May 17, 2019

Axios PM

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1 big thing: Trump's cooler trade war

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Today marked a cool down on the non-China trade war front, providing a glimmer of hope that the global economy can avoid the worst-case scenario of global trade wars.

  • The White House delayed its auto import tariffs for 6 months. They would have hit Japan and Europe especially hard.
  • The U.S. is also preparing to lift its steel and aluminum tariffs that Trump imposed on Mexico and Canada. The three will focus on preventing cheap imports to North America, the U.S. and Canada said in a joint statement.

Why it matters: It's really hard to manage a worldwide trade war without blowing up the stock market or causing political chaos.

  • A source familiar with Trump’s thinking told Axios' Jonathan Swan he knows that neither Congress nor the markets will tolerate a multi-front trade war right now.
  • "United States officials believed it was not the right time to pursue the tariffs, given fractious trade negotiations with China, which have nearly collapsed, as well as a continuing effort to pass the revised North American trade agreement into law." [NYT]

The other side: China is making clear its intent to fight a prolonged trade war with the U.S.

Bonus: Pic du jour
Photo: Carl Court/Getty Images

Taiwanese men celebrate after the country's parliament voted to become the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage.

  • "Thousands of gay rights supporters gathered outside the parliament building in the nation's capital as the result was announced." (Getty)
2. What you missed
  1. A former athletic doctor at Ohio State sexually abused at least 177 students during his 20-year tenure, the Columbus Dispatch reports.
  2. Elizabeth Warren has released a proposal to protect access to reproductive care, including abortion, just two days after Alabama passed a law effectively banning abortion. Details.
  3. Missouri's state legislature has passed a bill to ban abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy, the latest red state to pass new restrictions. Details.
  4. John Deere has lost its cautious optimism about the U.S.-China trade war amid sinking earnings and an uncertain demand for products, Bloomberg reports.
  5. Trump tried to persuade Rep. Steve Scalise to run for governor of Louisiana, according to two sources familiar with the president's private conversation. Details.
3. 1 Thrones thing

Photo: Courtesy of HBO

After eight seasons, the world's favorite TV show is coming to an end this Sunday, writes Flipboard's Mia Quagliarello. (Warning: spoilers ahead.)

Why it matters: The 80-minute series finale must tackle the show's biggest question: Who will take the Iron Throne?

Between the lines: Fans have been howling about nonsensical plotlines, sloppy editing, and a "woman problem" that's plagued the show from the start.

  • Turning Daenerys "not just into a Mad Queen, but into a crazy ex-girlfriend [was] the laziest of sexist tropes," wrote The Daily Beast.
  • "Cersei and Sansa didn't make much sense this year, either," writes USA TODAY.

The bottom line: None of this will stop the finale from being a ratings juggernaut. A new survey predicts 10.7 million people will skip work the day after the airing.

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