Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Ahead of this week's G20 summit in Argentina, it's clear from an interview President Trump gave The Wall Street Journal — and from Axios' own reporting — that his faith in tariffs is as strong as ever. Trump believes to his core that tariffs work, both to create negotiating leverage and as instruments to improve the U.S. economy, though it's hard to locate many economists who agree with Trump on the latter point.

The bottom line: A former top trade official on Capitol Hill said after reading the interview: "My main takeaway is that maybe Wall Street needs to stop being so optimistic that Trump is going to negotiate away this China thing in the relatively near future. We are in for a long haul."

The interview's key exchange:

  • WSJ's Bob Davis: "[T]he Chinese No. 1 goal in this G-20 is to get you to delay or suspend that [increase in the tariff rate on some Chinese imports from 10 percent to] 25 percent on January 1. ... [A]re you willing to do that?"
  • Trump, who’ll meet Chinese President Xi Jinping at the summit: "I think it would be highly unlikely."

This suggests that, as Trump has been telling people he talks to regularly, he doesn't expect a breakthrough.

  • A breakthrough would mean any kind of deal — even a temporary one — to stop Trump from ratcheting up China tariffs in January, as he’s scheduled to do. 

Go deeper:

Go deeper

5 hours ago - World

China-Iran deal envisions massive investments from Beijing

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

China and Iran have negotiated a deal that would see massive investments flow into Iran, oil flow out, and collaboration increase on defense and intelligence.

Why it matters: If the proposals become reality, Chinese cash, telecom infrastructure, railways and ports could offer new life to Iran’s sanctions-choked economy — or, critics fear, leave it inescapably beholden to Beijing.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 13,048,249 — Total deaths: 571,685 — Total recoveries — 7,215,865Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 3,353,348— Total deaths: 135,524 — Total recoveries: 1,031,856 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. World: WHO head: There will be no return to the "old normal" for foreseeable future — Hong Kong Disneyland closing due to surge.
  4. States: Houston mayor calls for two-week shutdownCalifornia orders sweeping rollback of open businesses — Cuomo says New York will use formula to determine if reopening schools is safe.
  5. Education: Los Angeles schools' move to online learning could be a nationwide tipping point.

House Judiciary Committee releases transcript of Geoffrey Berman testimony

Geoffrey Berman. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee on Monday released the transcript of its closed-door interview with Geoffrey Berman, the former top federal prosecutor in Manhattan who was forced out by Attorney General Bill Barr last month.

Why it matters: House Democrats have seized on Berman's testimony, in which he claimed the attorney general sought to "entice" him into resigning so that he could be replaced by SEC chairman Jay Clayton, to bolster allegations that the Justice Department has been politicized under Barr.