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President Trump’s “deal” with the EU on trade is more a fragile ceasefire — no significant territory was gained or lost, no white flags have been raised, and the president’s trigger finger remains itchy. Crucially, though, the guns have gone silent.
Why it matters: Looming over the White House meeting yesterday between Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker was Trump’s threat of a 20% levy on auto imports that would hit EU countries like Germany (and U.S. consumers) hard, and could lead to a full-scale trade war. That threat is now on hold while the sides negotiate.
How it happened, per the FT:
Behind the scenes, from Axios’ Jonathan Swan:
The view from Beijing...
Chinese leaders welcomed the U.S.-EU agreement, but noted that no progress has been made for a similar U.S.-China deal, Caixin Global reports.
The view from Tokyo...
Japan is also wary of auto tariffs, and looking to ratchet down trade tensions.
A closing thought, from FT World Trade Editor Shawn Donnan: “The biggest tension in the global trading system today is the internal one in Donald Trump. He loves tariffs. He also loves making deals.”
Pew asked Americans which countries they consider to be the two most important partners for U.S. foreign policy. The top responses:
Partisan divide: Republicans are more likely than Democrats to pick Israel (24%), Canada (18%) and the U.K. (42%) than Democrats. Dems are more likely to pick Germany (21%), Mexico (7%) and China (26%).
Note: Data from October, 2017.
The big picture: Michael Kugelman of the Wilson Center told Axios the uptick in weapons being used "makes perfect sense. ... Washington is likely trying to give the Taliban a better incentive to stop fighting — and that entails making the Taliban feel more vulnerable on the battlefield. Hence the upsurge in weaponry."
The latest, per the Wall Street Journal: "The top U.S. envoy for South Asia met with Taliban officials this week to discuss ways to lay the groundwork for peace talks, in a fresh bid to end the 17-year war in Afghanistan, people familiar with the matter said."
Supporters of Khan (pictured on the sign) rally in Islamabad. Photo: Aamir Qureshi/AFP
Imran Khan, the cricket star-turned anti-establishment politician, has declared victory in Pakistani elections that have been marred by violence and allegations of military meddling.
Khan has lambasted the U.S. in the past, though foreign policy is the military's domain, so his views there may be of limited consequence. He called today for dialogue with India, Pakistan's neighbor and rival.
"I started this struggle 22 years ago and thankfully today I have been given a chance to fulfill what I dreamt for the country. ... We are going to uplift Pakistan’s poor and help our country’s laborers. Corruption has been eating Pakistan like a kind of cancer."— Khan, in his victory speech
Netanyahu (L) and Putin this month in Moscow. Photo: Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected Russian President Vladimir Putin's proposal to organize a summit with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Moscow, Axios contributor Barak Ravid scoops. The reason: Netanyahu didn't want to step on President Trump's toes.
Go deeper: On Tuesday, the Israel Defense Forces used two surface-to-air missiles to shoot down a Syrian fighter jet that strayed two kilometers into Israeli airspace over the Golan Heights. Eurasia Group's Willis Sparks explains how that fits into the wider conflict.
We're just four days away from a landmark election in Zimbabwe, the first since Robert Mugabe resigned under pressure after nearly four decades in power.
What’s happening: Hotels have seen a surge in customers, car rental businesses can't keep up with demand and newspapers and radio stations are enjoying a surge in political advertising.
Go deeper: Read Hamza's full report on Al Jazeera.
Burnt cars following a wildfire in the village of Mati, near Athens, on July 24, 2018. Credit: Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP/Getty Images
Axios' Henrietta Reily gets you caught up quick on weather-related disasters around the world:
The bigger picture: The U.K. and France are also experiencing record temperatures, and fires are blazing everywhere from the U.S. West Coast to the Arctic Circle. Daniel Swain, a climate researcher at UCLA, emails:
"From my perspective as a climate scientist, one of the most striking (and disconcerting) aspects of this is that we’re now seeing decades-old scientific predictions being validated in the real world, right before our eyes. And now we’re seeing these changes manifest themselves in a very tangible sense in London, and Tokyo, and Delhi, and Los Angeles, and Washington D.C.—places where hundreds of millions of people live."
Axios Science Editor Andrew Freedman will have more reporting on all of this in the coming days. Sign up for his excellent newsletter here.
Photo: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images
“If we join forces, maybe we can become rule shapers and motors of the international order. Germany and Japan can become the core of an alliance of the multilateralists."— German foreign minister Heiko Maas in Tokyo.
Thanks for reading — see you Monday evening!