Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that tariffs on Chinese goods are not hurting consumers in the United States, despite reports to the contrary from researchers at Harvard, the University of Chicago, the International Monetary Fund, the Federal Reserve of Boston and more.

JAKE TAPPER: "You and the administration keep saying the entire burden of these tariffs and this trade war is being bore by China. A study from researchers at Harvard, the University of Chicago, the IMF and the Federal Reserve of Boston in May found that U.S. importers are shouldering about 95% of the price change from tariffs, and China is shouldering only 5%. Are you saying their research is wrong?"
NAVARRO: "You put on 10% tariffs on $200 billion. And China devalues its currency by 12%. Are consumers bearing anything on that? No. We have seen absolutely no evidence in the price data. It's not showing up in the consumer price index."
TAPPER: "If these tariffs aren't hurting anyone in the United States --"
NAVARRO: "They're not hurting anybody here."

Why it matters: The Trump administration announced last week that the impending 10% tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports would be delayed from Sept. 1 to Dec. 15 for certain products. Trump and other aides explained that the delay is intended to help consumers who might be affected by tariffs during the holiday season — suggesting that the administration does, in fact, agree with experts that the trade war is harming Americans.

  • Navarro said on CNN that business owners told Trump they had bought holiday goods in dollar-based contracts, meaning they had no ability to shift the tariff burden to China. He added that they promised Trump to move their supply chains out of China as fast as they can after the tariff delay.
  • "The president made a wise decision," Navarro said "Build goodwill with the Chinese, which protects consumers from any possible Christmas impacts. And once we get past that, these businesses are doing their contracts in a way that won't hurt consumers."

Reality check: July's core consumer price index rose 0.3% from the previous month and 2.2% from a year earlier, meaning there has in fact been inflation, Bloomberg reports. Navarro also disputed that the yield curve had inverted earlier in the week, saying that it had merely flattened. This is not true.

  • Yields on 10-year Treasuries on Wednesday fell briefly below yields on 2-year Treasuries, which fits the definition of an inverted yield curve. Navarro seems to argue that the inversion needed to be larger in order to be legitimate, but investors clearly disagreed — with the stock market on Wednesday falling 800 points in its worst day of 2019.

The big picture: Navarro and White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow took to the Sunday morning talk shows in an effort to ward off public fears of an upcoming recession. The stock market saw a huge sell-off last week after the yield curve inversion, a warning sign that's predated every recession for the past 50 years.

  • Navarro argued on ABC's "This Week" that "we're going to have a strong economy through 2020 and beyond with a bull market," predicting future rate cuts by the Federal Reserve, monetary easing by Europe and economic stimulus by China, and the potential passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement by Congress in the fall.
  • Kudlow said on NBC's "Meet the Press": "Consumers are working at higher wages, they are spending at a rapid pace, they're actually saving also while they're spending. That's an ideal situation. So I think actually the second half of the economy is going to be very good in 2019. No I don't see a recession."

Go deeper: Toymakers say Trump's China tariff delay "saved the holiday season"

Go deeper

Gunman kills 8 people in shooting at FedEx facility in Indianapolis

A screenshot of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson Genae Cook during a news conference Friday morning. Photo: Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department/Facebook

A gunman opened fire at a FedEx warehouse facility in Indianapolis late Thursday, killing at least eight people and wounding multiple others, authorities said.

Details: "The alleged shooter has taken his own life here at the scene," Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson Genae Cook said during a news conference early Friday.

Dems race to address, preempt stimulus fraud claims

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Biden officials are working to root out the systematic fraud in unemployment and Paycheck Protection Program claims that plagued the Trump administration’s efforts to boost the economy with coronavirus relief money, Gene Sperling told House committee chairmen privately this week.

Why it matters: President Biden just signed another $1.9 trillion of aid into law, with Sperling tapped to oversee its implementation. And the administration is asking Congress to approve another $2.2 trillion for the first phase of an infrastructure package.

8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Biden close to picking Nick Burns as China ambassador

Nicholas Burns. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Nicholas Burns, a career diplomat, is in the final stages of vetting to serve as President Biden’s ambassador to China, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Across the administration, there's a consensus the U.S. relationship with China will be the most critical — and consequential — of Biden's presidency. From trade to Taiwan, the stakes are high. Burns could be among the first batch of diplomatic nominees announced in the coming weeks.