Updated Aug 26, 2018

Retail CEOs worry about China trade war

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios


In their quarterly conference calls with investors last week, retail CEOs were sounding the alarm about how a proposed round of tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese products — on top of earlier rounds — could damage their businesses.

Why it matters: Retailers have been reporting strong earnings thanks to robust consumer demand. That's in danger after China/U.S. trade talks stalled, making tariffs — and price increases — more likely.

What executives said:

  • “We're concerned about tariffs because they would increase prices on everyday products for American families … When we're faced with tariffs or any other external factors, there are multiple levers we can pull to remain price competitive and maintain profitability.” — Brian Cornell, Target CEO
  • “We're working with our vendors and internally to assess any [tariff] impact to Kohl's. It is important to note that we have a nice diversity across our manufacturing base, and of course, the tariff hasn't yet been applied to apparel but we're, obviously, monitoring the situation closely.” — Bruce Besanko, Kohl's CFO
  • “We are aggressively working to mitigate the potential impact of these tariffs on our financial results while maintaining our customer value proposition.” — Laura Alber, Williams Sonoma CEO
  • “We are closely watching the evolving global issue concerning tariffs and trade … We believe we will have some flexibility to address the potential input of existing and proposed tariffs and remain committed to satisfying global consumers with our quality products.” — Fabrizio Freda, Estee Lauder CEO
  • “If U.S. goods become too expensive due to tariffs, Chinese consumers can shift to domestic producers or imports from other parts of the world … Over the years, China has become less reliant on exports so that the Chinese economy can withstand the imposition of tariffs on Chinese products.” — Joe Tsai, Alibaba Executive Vice Chairman

Go deeper: 8 Ways China’s Next Round of China Tariffs Could Pinch Consumers

Go deeper

NYPD commissioner: "I'm extremely proud" of officers' response to protests

New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea in February. Photo: Yana Paskova/Getty Images

New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said in a public statement Sunday that he is "extremely proud" of the New York City Police Department's response to protests over the death of George Floyd Saturday night, writing: "What we saw in New York City last night and the night before was not about peaceful protest of any kind."

Why it matters: New York City residents captured several instances of police officers using excessive force against demonstrators. In one video, two NYPD SUVs are seen ramming into protesters who were blocking a road and throwing traffic cones at the vehicles.

12 mins ago - Science

SpaceX capsule carrying astronauts docks with space station

The Crew Dragon just before docking on Sunday. Photo: NASA TV

SpaceX's Crew Dragon safely delivered two NASA astronauts — Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken — to the International Space Station on Sunday after the company's historic launch Saturday.

Why it matters: This marks the first time a private company has delivered people to the space station and it signals the beginning of the end of NASA's reliance on Russia's Soyuz spacecraft for flights to orbit.

Minnesota AG: Prosecution of officer in George Floyd case shouldn't be rushed

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison cautioned in an interview on "Fox News Sunday" that the case against Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer involved in the death of George Floyd, is "very early in the process" and that charges could be amended or added.

Why it matters: Chauvin was arrested last week and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, which implies that he did not intend to kill Floyd. Some protestors have demanded more severe charges and Floyd's family has asked Ellison to serve as a special prosecutor in the case.