Mar 9, 2018

Europe, China threaten retaliation over Trump's tariffs

President Donald Trump. Photo: Samuel Corum / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

Donald Trump's move on Thursday to push forward his tariffs on steel and aluminum imports has already prompted threats of retaliation.

Why it matters: While the tariffs aren't quite as drastic as originally believed, they're still facing backlash — even at home. Trump's decision met with immediate rebuke from high-profile Republicans and some U.S. manufacturers amid growing concern that a trade war could hurt the economy and risk thousands of jobs.

What they're saying:

  • French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire: "There are only losers in a trade war ... With our EU partners, we will assess consequences on our industries and agree (an) appropriate response."
  • EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström: "The EU is a close ally of the US and we continue to be of the view that the EU should be excluded from these measures. I will seek more clarity on this issue in days to come." She also suggested that the E.U. could impose tariffs on cranberries, orange juice and peanut butter, according to The Washington Post.
  • China Foreign Minister Wang Yi, per Reuters: “Especially given today’s globalization, choosing a trade war is a mistaken prescription. The outcome will only be harmful. China would have to make a justified and necessary response.”

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Driving the news: Trump’s comments came Friday during a televised portion of a meeting he hosted with industry CEOs to discuss ways to help the sector. It’s reeling from a historic drop-off in demand with the world shutting down to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 1,083,084 — Total deaths: 58,243 — Total recoveries: 225,422Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 266,671 — Total deaths: 6,921 — Total recoveries: 9,445Map.
  3. 2020 latest: Wisconsin governor calls for last-minute primary election delay.
  4. Oil latest: The amount of gasoline American drivers are consuming dropped to levels not seen in more than 25 years, government data shows.
  5. Business updates: America's small business bailout is off to a bad start.
  6. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Senators call for independent investigation into firing of Navy captain.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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America's small business bailout is off to a bad start

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Websites have crashed, phones are jammed and confusion reigns as businesses rushed at today's kickoff to get their chunk of the $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program.

Why it matters: This is a race to save jobs in the present and the future, and to ensure that as many workers as possible keep their benefits and paychecks during the coronavirus lockdown.