Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Bloomberg reported at noon today that President Donald Trump has now directed his staff to proceed with the next round of tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports.

What's happening: On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal broke the news that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had extended an invitation to senior economic official Liu He to return to D.C. for another round of talks.

The other side: The Chinese side acknowledged the invitation but has not yet agreed, and between Trump's decision to move forward on the next round of tariffs and a Thursday tweet, I doubt they will accept.

Trump may have already decreased the likelihood Liu will return to D.C. by tweeting on Thursday:

My thought bubble: It's going to take a lot of backchannel reassurances and promises to get Liu back to D.C. The Chinese understand that there's disagreement among Trump's top advisers and Liu has been humiliated on two recent trips to D.C.

  • Liu did not get even a handshake with Trump when he came to D.C. in early March.
  • And, in May he thought he had reached a deal to suspend the trade war, only to have Trump reject it in a tweet.

The bottom line: That "reversal-by-tweet" methodology also shredded any remaining credibility Mnuchin had in Beijing, so unless the Chinese are hearing directly from Trump or other top members of his inner circle, they are going to be very wary.

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Exclusive: Where Trump and Biden stand on tech issues

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Getty Images photos: Win McNamee and Saul Loeb/AFP

Joe Biden has laid out a more concrete tech agenda whereas President Trump has focused on tax cuts and deregulation while criticizing tech firms for anti-conservative bias. That's according to a side-by-side analysis of the two candidates' tech records by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation shared exclusively with Axios.

Why it matters: The tech industry needs to prepare for either four more years of Trump's impulsive policy approach or for a Biden administration that's likely to be critical of tech but slow to take action.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 33,137,748 — Total deaths: 998,372 — Total recoveries: 22,952,164Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 7,116,456 — Total deaths: 204,762 — Total recoveries: 2,766,280 — Total tests: 101,298,794Map.
  3. States: 3 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week
  4. Health: The childless vaccine. The long-term pain of the mental health pandemic
  5. World: India the second country after U.S. to hit 6 million cases
Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Big Tech's share of the S&P 500 reached record level in August

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Reproduced from The Leuthold Group; Chart: Axios Visuals

The gap between the weighting of the five largest companies in the S&P 500 and the 300 smallest rose to the highest ever at the end of August, according to data from the Leuthold Group.

Why it matters: The concentration of wealth in a few massive U.S. tech companies has reached a scale significantly greater than it was before the dot-com bubble burst.