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Axios Visuals

Curt Moldenhauer, PwC's US China Inbound Leader, tells Axios that the burgeoning trade wars could increase the amount of cross-border M&A:

"Let's assume that a company can no longer easily trade into China or the U.S. but still has a desire to do so for strategic reasons. One option is greenfield investment, like building a plant to skip tariffs, or you can go buy somebody local to do the same thing. These are basically substitution effects for trade."

Moldenhauer says he is using "M&A" liberally here, as it could be anything from a complete buyout to a joint venture to strategic transactions that don't involve any equity (such as certain biotech partnerships that might be encouraged by the Chinese government).

  • "The last big trade war began in the 1970s with the Japanese, when both sides were taking a similar amount of political grief over similar things like trade deficits and investments in sensitive industries... as it played out, Japan became one of the biggest investors in the U.S. economy, including through M&A."
  • Moldenhauer stresses that his is a long-term view as, right now, trade uncertainty is depressing both inbound and outbound deal-flow. "I suspect we'll see a bit of a rough third quarter."

Go deeper

37 mins ago - Health

Fauci: COVID vaccine rollout needs to prioritize people of color

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci highlighted the need to address racial disparities in the COVID-19 vaccination process, per an interview with The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.

What he’s saying: "I think that's the one thing we really got to be careful of. We don't want in the beginning ... most of the people who are getting it are otherwise, well, middle-class white people."

The Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers are emerging as troublemakers within their parties and political thorns for their leadership.

Why it matters: We're calling this group "The Mischief Makers" — members who threaten to upend party unity — the theme eclipsing Washington at the moment — and potentially jeopardize the Democrats' or Republicans' position heading into the 2022 midterms.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Obama speechwriter fears Biden unity drive is one-sided

Cody Keenan (right) is shown heading to Marine One in December 2009. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Obama's former speechwriter says he's "preemptively frustrated" with President Biden's effort to find unity with Republicans.

What they're saying: Cody Keenan told Axios that Biden's messaging team has "struck all the right chords," but at some point "they're gonna have to answer questions like, 'Why didn't you achieve unity?' when there's an entire political party that's already acting to stop it."

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