Bad trade policy could cost U.S. its autonomous vehicles lead

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The U.S. has a competitive advantage in the development of self-driving cars, but risks squandering it by disrupting global markets with tariffs on imported vehicles, according to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a science and technology policy think tank.

Why it matters: After decades of decline, the U.S. auto industry stands to re-emerge as a global leader by leveraging America’s competitive advantage in IT hardware and software. But trade policies intended to protect American workers could trigger reciprocal actions, cutting off markets for U.S. vehicles, ITIF says.

Companies play "global blame game" this earnings season

Illustration of globe crushing bars in a bar graph
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Corporate earnings have been strong so far, with 84% of companies reporting better earnings than analysts expected — higher than the 64% average at this point in earnings season, per Refinitiv. But the companies that have disappointed are blaming tensions around the world for the less than stellar results.

Why it matters: The trade war with China will probably get worse — with a tariff escalation looming in January — and Brexit negotiations have reached a standstill. Yet companies aren't saying how they are planning for a more permanent tense global environment.