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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
The U.S. could well have a new trade deal by tomorrow, and a trade war of staggering proportions by next week.
The big picture: President Trump has been fighting on three fronts — contentious NAFTA negotiations, tariffs on allies in Europe and Asia with the threat of more to come, and a multi-pronged standoff with Beijing. The China dispute pits the world’s two largest economies against one another, and has by far the greatest stakes for the global economy.
On NAFTA, Trump has reached a preliminary deal with Mexico, and wants Canada to come aboard by Friday so the agreement can be finalized before a new leftist government takes office in Mexico City.
Where things stand: Swan is hearing some confidence in the White House and doubts on Capitol Hill, while Canadian leaders have expressed cautious optimism. It would be a remarkable turn of events to see Canada, sidelined in the talks and anxious to stand up to Trump, come around so fast.
Meanwhile, Trump today rejected an EU offer to bring all auto tariffs down to zero. The new auto tariffs he's threatening would hit Europe and Japan hard and, according to an analysis from the Peterson Institute, could cause 624,000 U.S. workers to lose their jobs and car prices to spike.
Trump's view: “The European Union is almost as bad as China, just smaller."
The share of the U.S. population made up by immigrants has returned to the levels at the turn of the 20th century — although the makeup of today's immigrant population looks very different, Axios' Stef Kight reports.
The big picture: Nationalist phobias prompted the original immigrant quotas in the U.S., according to Guillermo Cantor, research director at the American Immigration Council. There were fears that the number of Chinese coming to the U.S. for work would change the culture, or that German would become the dominant language in Pennsylvania. There are echoes of those sentiments in the current political climate.
Chinese President Xi Jinping visits the White House in 2015. Photo: Xinhua/Lan Hongguang via Getty Images
Young Americans have significantly more favorable views on China than their older cohorts, according to a new Pew survey.
Why it matters: Competition with China for supremacy in the economic, military and technological fields is ramping up, and could well define the decades to come. It’s therefore noteworthy, and a bit surprising, that young people are more likely to have positive views of the country.
The big picture: According to a separate Pew survey, from last year, Americans are about evenly split over whether China will surpass the U.S. as the leading global superpower. In China, the vast majority believe U.S. dominance is coming to an end.
Argentina's central bank took drastic action in an attempt to shore up its collapsing peso today, hiking interest rates to a world-high 60% and sending shock waves reverberating throughout emerging markets, Axios' Zach Basu writes.
The big picture: Argentina's peso is the latest and heaviest shoe to drop in a year that has seen Turkey's lira, South Africa's rand, and other emerging market currencies struggle against a strong U.S. dollar, which has been bolstered by the Federal Reserve hiking interest rates. Now down 45% on the year, the peso has investors worried that instability in developing economies could spell broader trouble for global markets.
The bottom line: Argentina and Turkey are both in dire financial straits, but whether their domestic instability will have true international consequences still remains to be seen.
Theresa May dances during a visit to South Africa. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images
With U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel making multi-country visits to Africa this week, and Chinese President Xi Jinping about to preside over a yearly China-Africa forum, GZERO Media's Gabe Lipton puts things in perspective in the latest Signal newsletter:
The U.K. is going global, alone: Theresa May's first ever trip to the continent as prime minister brought her to South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya.
Germany is looking for a quick fix to a long-term challenge: Merkel's stops include Senegal, Nigeria, and Ghana.
China, A Grand Strategy: Then there is President Xi, fresh off a trip to Africa and now preparing for the opening of a summit that brings representatives from 53 of 54 African nations to Beijing
The bottom line: As Africa’s global economic and strategic footprint continue to grow, more countries will be eager to court new opportunities there. The latest diplomatic flurry suggest that China, with its steady hand and long-term thinking, will continue to overshadow other contenders across the continent.
Paramilitaries guard a road where anti-government protests were planned. Photo: Marvin Recinos/AFP/Getty Images
The UN Human Rights Office has accused the Nicaraguan government of violating international and human rights laws in a scathing report, Mateo Jarquín of Harvard University writes for Axios Expert Voices:
What's next: Talks between the government and opposition groups have stalled, but increased international scrutiny and diplomatic isolation could help push Ortega back to the negotiating table.
"We wrote our own vows..." Thousands of couples attend a mass wedding held by the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, aka Unification Church, in South Korea. Photo: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images
"If they want to see me as their main opponent, they’re right."— Emmanuel Macron on populist leaders in Hungary and Italy.
Thanks for reading — see you Monday evening!