Jul 5, 2018

Axios PM

Situational awareness: Scott Pruitt is out as head of the EPA. President Trump tweeted this afternoon that he'd accepted his resignation and the agency's deputy will take over. Axios' Amy Harder on what will and won't change at the EPA now.

1 big thing: Trade-war's eve

President Trump and son Don Jr. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Just after midnight tonight the Trump administration is set to impose tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods, escalating a global trade war that has pitted the U.S. against trading partners around the world.

What's next: Already, several U.S. sectors are freaking out — soybean farmers losing business in China, aluminum metal companies hit inadvertently by tariffs, and GM, worried about soaring supply costs. Manufacturers fear the tariff war will prematurely cut short a renaissance triggered by low natural gas prices and tax cuts, reports Ed Crooks at the FT

  • P.S. A freighter carrying U.S. soybeans is racing towards China to beat retaliatory tariffs, Bloomberg reports. If it arrives as scheduled at around 5 p.m. local time "it should be able to clear customs before the tariffs are imposed."

Be smart from Axios Future Editor Steve LeVine: Thus far, Trump has been pushing trading partners hard on the presumption that the U.S. holds the strongest hand and that the rest of the world will ultimately back down. Even if he ends up being right, the question is how long "ultimately" will be.

  • Tech industry leaders expect the trade war to escalate rapidly, with Trump quickly following up tomorrow's tariffs on China with tariffs on an additional $200 billion in Chinese imports, and Beijing following that in kind.
2. What you missed

The Independence Day celebration on the South Lawn of the White House. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

  1. Merger and acquisition activity hit-all time highs in the U.S. and worldwide during the first half of the year. The details.
  2. Trump has completed interviews for his Supreme Court pick. Meet the top three contenders.
  3. Saudi Arabia may scuttle the massive IPO for state-owned oil company Aramco. WSJ scoops. Bonus oil content: Iran's OPEC Minister asks Trump to please stop tweeting
  4. Scoop: Uber and Lyft both held talks to acquire bus-ride matching company Skedaddle. Why it matters.
  5. An AP deep dive describes life in Trump's cabinet as "adulation, humiliation, perks and pestering." The highlights.
3. 1 blimp thing

The Trump Baby. Photo: Andrew Aitchison/In pictures via Getty Images

A group of self-described "art activists" have been granted permission by London's government to fly an almost 20-foot tall blimp called "Trump Baby" during President Trump's visit to the city later this month, Sky News reports.

  • London's mayor approved the blimp after backers raised 16,000 pounds and got more than 10,000 people to sign a petition calling for the flight to be allowed
  • The flight will coincide with "Stop Trump" marches in London and around the U.K.