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U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer Cliff Owen/AP

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer testified Wednesday before Congress that it would be a "cataclysmic" mistake for the WTO to grant China market economy status — as the Chinese believe it is required to do this year.

  • What's market economy status? A designation recognizing a country's commitment to free market policies. If China wins this label, it would make it more difficult for the U.S. to win cases it brings against China for violations like selling steel below cost of production.
  • Why it matters for workers: There's good evidence that allowing China's accession to the WTO fifteen years ago was the trade policy decision that most led to joblessness and stagnant incomes, specifically in the manufacturing sector.
  • The Trump Administration has taken a dismissive stand toward the WTO, even saying that it may ignore its rulings. But the Trump trade policy has been all bark and no bite, and there's no reason to believe that revoking the privileges China receives for its membership would bring back lost manufacturing jobs.

Go deeper

Axios-Ipsos poll: Trust in federal coronavirus response surges

Data: Axios/Ipsos survey; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Trust surged in the federal government since President Biden's inauguration when it comes to COVID-19 — but that's almost entirely because of Democrats gaining confidence, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

The big picture: Americans reported the biggest improvement in their mental and emotional health since our survey began last March, and the highest trust levels since April about the federal government providing them accurate virus information and looking out for their best interests.

7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

McConnell drops filibuster demand, paving way for power-sharing deal

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (R) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attend a joint session of Congress. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has abandoned his demand that Democrats state, in writing, that they would not abandon the legislative filibuster.

Between the lines: McConnell was never going to agree to a 50-50 power sharing deal without putting up a fight over keeping the 60-vote threshold. But the minority leader ultimately caved after it became clear that delaying the organizing resolution was no longer feasible.

8 hours ago - Technology

Scoop: Google won't donate to members of Congress who voted against election results

Sen. Ted Cruz led the group of Republicans who opposed certifying the results. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Google will not make contributions from its political action committee this cycle to any member of Congress who voted against certifying the results of the presidential election, following the deadly Capitol riot.

Why it matters: Several major businesses paused or pulled political donations following the events of Jan. 6, when pro-Trump rioters, riled up by former President Trump, stormed the Capitol on the day it was to certify the election results.