Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Reports show China's intellectual property theft costs U.S. companies hundreds of billions of dollars a year, and Chinese businesses have clearly benefited from a government-manipulated currency, goods dumping and non-tariff barriers at the expense of American firms.

Why it matters: A lack of money is not America's problem, given its $21 trillion economy. But President Trump has yet to explain how a trade war victory benefits working people in places like Louisiana, Michigan and South Carolina who will suffer higher prices on account of his conflict.

  • Instead, the White House looks to be taking a different track: praising the virtue of sacrifice.

The big picture: Wars are unpleasant things, and trade wars are no exception to the rule. When a country goes to war, its citizens have to make sacrifices, as Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) acknowledged on "CBS This Morning" Monday.

"There will be some sacrifices on the part of Americans, I grant you that, but I also would say that sacrifice is pretty minimal compared to the sacrifices that our soldiers make overseas, that our fallen heroes that are laid to rest in Arlington make."

The catch: Cotton's remarks come in the wake of White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow telling Fox News' Chris Wallace on Sunday that "both sides will pay... Both sides will suffer on this."

The bottom line: With a trillion dollars of global stock-market losses on Monday alone, and the continued implosion of agricultural prices, Republicans aren't even trying any more to make the case that trade wars are easy to win. Now that they're asking Americans to make sacrifices, they're going to have to start being more explicit about what cause the sacrifices are being made for.

Go deeper: Trade war intensifies as China retaliates with $60 billion in tariffs

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Updated 9 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: The swing states where the pandemic is raging — Pence no longer expected to attend Barrett confirmation vote after COVID exposure.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day case records last week
  3. Business: Where stimulus is needed most.
  4. Education: The dangerous instability of school re-openings.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota COVID cases traced to 3 Trump campaign events
  6. World: Restrictions grow across Europe.
  7. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine.

Republicans and Dems react to Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation

President Trump stands with Judge Amy Coney Barrett after she took the constitutional oath to serve as a Supreme Court justice during a White House ceremony Monday night .Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

President Trump said Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Senate confirmation to the Supreme Court and her subsequent taking of the constitutional oath Monday was a "momentous day," as she she vowed to serve "without any fear or favour."

  • But as Republicans applauded the third conservative justice in four years, many Democrats including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) warned of consequences to the rush to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ahead of the Nov. 3 election, with progressives leading calls to expand the court.
Ina Fried, author of Login
51 mins ago - Science

CRISPR pioneer: "Science is on the ballot" in 2020

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

In her three decades in science, Jennifer Doudna said she has seen a gradual erosion of trust in the profession, but the recent Nobel Prize winner told "Axios on HBO" that the institution itself has been under assault from the current administration.

  • "I think science is on the ballot," Doudna said in the interview.

Why it matters: That has manifested itself in everything from how the federal government approaches climate change to the pandemic.