Sep 30, 2018

The Trump China tariffs aren't hurting — yet

Illustration: Axios Visuals

So far, there's no evidence of pain from President Trump's ongoing trade war with China — at least from the economic indicators. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told a room of reporters earlier this week that there have been no measurable effects of the trade tension.

Be smart: That doesn't mean market-watchers and economists aren't bracing for an impact around the world. And there's already some evidence of an impact on individual companies.

A few impacts on the horizon:

  • Canada's central bank could "pause raising (or even cut) rates to help borrowers" in response to a significant tariff or trade shock, ratings agency Fitch says in a new paper.
  • Chinese policymakers could also amp up easing of monetary policy and look at tax cut packages with the aim of "boosting domestic demand" to buffer trade shocks, Bank of America says.
  • Iowa could see economic losses of $1.6 billion due to potential ripple effects from hits to the corn, soybean, hog and ethanol sectors, researchers at Iowa State University estimate.

And one trade blow that's already here:

  • This week, two more companies — Ford and Bed, Bath & Beyond — confirmed that the impact from tariffs is hitting their bottom line.

What to watch: Expect more predictions of downside economic risk to the trade war. It's doubtful that these types of studies will force the Trump administration to back away from the tariff tactics, but obvious side effects might, like a stock market plunge, an increase in unemployment or a hit to the GDP — none of which we have seen yet.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Axios Visuals

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 1,131,713 — Total deaths: 59,884 — Total recoveries: 233,591Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 278,458 — Total deaths: 7,159 — Total recoveries: 9,897Map.
  3. Public health latest: The CDC is recommending Americans wear face coverings in public to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. The federal government will cover the costs of COVID-19 treatment for the uninsured, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said.
  4. 2020 latest: "I think a lot of people cheat with mail-in voting," President Trump said of the 2020 election, as more states hold primaries by mail. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock said Friday that every county in the state opted to expand mail-in voting for the state's June 2 primary.
  5. Business updates: America's small business bailout is off to a bad start. The DOT is urging airlines to refund passengers due to canceled or rescheduled flights, but won't take action against airlines that provide vouchers or credits.
  6. Oil latest: The amount of gas American drivers are consuming dropped to levels not seen in more than 25 years, government data shows. Trump is calling on the Energy Department to find more places to store oil.
  7. Tech updates: Twitter will allow ads containing references to the coronavirus under certain use cases.
  8. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Senators call for independent investigation into firing of Navy captain.
  9. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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The renaissance of the American family

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

It used to be scarce and hard-earned, but suddenly family time is abundant in the era of shelter-in-place.

Why it matters: For the first time since the early 19th century, many parents and kids — and even grandchildren — are all under the same roof round-the-clock. And if past periods of emergency are any guide, this enforced togetherness could deepen our relationships for years to come.

Biden says he's starting VP search this month

Joe Biden. Photo: Scott Olson / Staff

Joe Biden said he's spoken to Sen. Bernie Sanders and former President Barack Obama about selecting a running mate — and that he wants to build "a bench of younger, really qualified people" who can lead the nation over the course of the next four presidential cycles.

Driving the news: Biden spoke about the state of the 2020 race during a virtual fundraiser on Friday night that was opened to pooled coverage.