Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. 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!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on 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!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on 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!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

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!

Trade union members protest President Trump's steel tariffs in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Photo: Cris Faga / NurPhoto via Getty Images

President Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum, authorized last Thursday, will likely come with costs to the global economic and diplomatic order that exceed their domestic benefits.

Why it matters: The tariffs were intended to address Chinese economic practices that harm American workers. But in order to truly mitigate that harm, the U.S. would need to collaborate with Europe through institutions such as the World Trade Organization. Instead, Trump's tariffs will create tensions with our trading partners and undermine global stability.

The potential tensions:

  • EU–U.S. relations: The Europeans will not accept a tariff hike without responding. As the world's largest trading bloc and importer of U.S. goods, the EU has plenty of leverage. EU retaliation could result in higher prices for Americans, a slower U.S. economy and, most important for the president, layoffs in key American labor sectors. What’s more: Trump’s decision will further reinforce already negative European views of the U.S. administration.  
  • Managing China: Rather than checking China’s ambitions, Trump’s tariff move will allow Beijing to claim the moral high ground as a supporter of multilateral and open trade. It will also make it harder for U.S. and EU leaders to forge a joint strategy to address concerns about Chinese subsidies and dumping practices.
  • An already-fraying global economic order: The Trump tariffs circumvent the World Trade Organization, the global referee underpinning a stable, multilateral trading system. Trump, an international institution skeptic, is already stalling the appointment of U.S. judges to the WTO Dispute Settlement Body. His invocation of a rarely used national-security clause to justify the tariffs will further undermine the WTO and set a dangerous precedent for other countries to act unilaterally in self-interest.

The bottom line: Rather than checking China’s ambitions as intended, the tariffs will likely create a vacuum of economic and diplomatic leadership for Beijing to fill.

Erik Brattberg is director of the Europe Program and a fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: McConnell temporarily halts in-person lunches for GOP caucus.
  3. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in DecemberAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  4. Education: U.S. public school enrollment drops as pandemic persists.
  5. Cities: Surge in cases forces San Francisco to impose curfew — Los Angeles County issues stay-at-home order, limits gatherings.
  6. Sports: NFL bans in-person team activities Monday, Tuesday due to COVID-19 surge — NBA announces new coronavirus protocols.
  7. World: London police arrest more than 150 during anti-lockdown protests — Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.

Tony Hsieh, longtime Zappos CEO, dies at 46

Tony Hsieh. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic

Tony Hsieh, the longtime ex-chief executive of Zappos, died on Friday after being injured in a house fire, his lawyer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He was 46.

The big picture: Hsieh was known for his unique approach to management, and following the 2008 recession his ongoing investment and efforts to revitalize the downtown Las Vegas area.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
15 hours ago - Economy & Business

The unicorn stampede is coming

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Airbnb and DoorDash plan to go public in the next few weeks, capping off a very busy year for IPOs.

What's next: You ain't seen nothing yet.