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President Trump holds up a signed presidential memorandum aimed at what he calls Chinese economic aggression. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The plot has thickened and the characters have developed as President Trump announced plans to re-engage 2018's tariff battle with China.

By the numbers: Chinese stocks fell more than 6% at one point, Dow futures dropped more than 500 points and the Chinese yuan weakened significantly after Trump sent 2 tweets yesterday threatening more U.S. tariffs on imported Chinese goods.

Behind the scenes: A source familiar with the situation tells Axios' Jonathan Swan the Chinese have been backing off of agreements the U.S. negotiating team believed they had already made. Trump's view, the source said, is that he's negotiating from a position of economic strength, especially with April's strong U.S. jobs numbers.

Flashback: We've seen this movie before. In late March 2018 the Dow fell more than 1100 points in just 2 days, after Trump ramped up trade war rhetoric and announced another round of tariffs on China.

Why it matters: The stock market has had one of its best starts to a year in almost a decade, but the run has been based on traders pricing in a resolution to the trade war and no further tariffs. It's one of the many positive assumptions the market has been making all year.

Reality check: China is in a much more advantageous position this time around. Its government added stimulus that has seemingly stabilized the economy, its stock market is the world's top performer so far this year and its central bank has ample room to cut rates.

  • The editor-in-chief of China's state-owned Global Times tweeted: "President Trump threatens China while he seemingly doesn't understand how tariffs work. ... China has long ago prepared for the worst. We won't buy this trick. Moreover, he didn't even scare North Korea."

Trump also is facing pressure from U.S. businesses who aren't eager to relive the uncertainty of last year's tit-for-tat drama.

  • "Tariffs are taxes paid by American businesses and consumers, not by China," National Retail Federation senior vice president for government relations David French said in a statement.
  • "A sudden tariff increase with less than a week's notice would severely disrupt U.S. businesses, especially small companies that have limited resources to mitigate the impact. If the administration follows through on this threat, American consumers will face higher prices and U.S. jobs will be lost."

Flashback: Grading the impact of Trump's China tariffs

Go deeper

Broncos and 49ers the latest NFL teams impacted by coronavirus crisis

From left, Denver Broncos quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Jeff Driskel during an August training session at UCHealth Training Center in Englewood, Colorado. Photo: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the NFL season into chaos, with the Denver Broncos' quarterbacks sidelined, the San Francisco 49ers left without a home or practice ground and much of the Baltimore Ravens team unavailable, per AP.

Driving the news: The Broncos confirmed in a statement Saturday night that quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles were identified as "high-risk COVID-19 close contacts" and will follow the NFL's mandatory five-day quarantine, making them ineligible for Sunday's game against New Orleans.

Updated 5 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.