Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

President Trump meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Osaka, Japan, June 29, 2019. Photo: Xinhua/Ju Peng via Getty Images

President Trump says the initial trade agreement between the U.S. and China is "righting the wrongs of the past," referring to what he views as China's exploitative economic and trade policies. But Beijing is sidestepping that narrative.

The big picture: Domestically, China is presenting the "phase one" deal not as concessions made to a superior foe, but as the logical next phase of its own economic development.

China is casting this agreement as a welcome boost to its transition to an innovation-based economy.

  • In general, intellectual property protections benefit countries that produce new technology.
  • Countries that primarily consume, rather than produce, intellectual property have little incentive to enforce a tough IP protection regime.

Beijing presents its official view right in the text at the top of the agreement:

  • "China believes that enhancing intellectual property protection and enforcement is in the interest of building an innovative country, growing innovation-driven enterprises, and promoting high quality economic growth."
  • Paul Haenle, chair of the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy in Beijing, told NPR that most of this positive messaging "seems geared towards the Chinese people, to say, 'We are not going to allow the Americans to slow our rise, to obstruct our rise.'"

Between the lines: China's agreement to purchase a set amount of American products may boost the U.S. economy in the short term, but in some ways, it's at odds with long-term U.S goals.

  • "Purchasing commitments are more in line with a state-driven economic model than a market-driven model, the latter of which the United States aims for China to adopt," according to an analysis published on Jan. 15 by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Details:

  • The deal, which eases the two-year-long trade war between the countries, reduces tariffs on $120 billion in Chinese goods, though it leaves most tariffs in place —including 25% tariffs on Chinese products that U.S. factories use to assemble goods.
  • It also lays out rules for the protection of patents and other intellectual property.
  • China agreed to buy $200 billion in U.S. products and services over the next two years.
  • The agreement includes an evaluation and enforcement framework that the U.S. hopes will help safeguard intellectual property from the rampant theft that has long plagued U.S. organizations.
  • It avoids thornier structural issues, such state subsidies for some of China's top companies that the U.S. has long decried as unfair.

What's next: There's still a long road ahead to a future "phase two" deal that addresses deeper structural concerns about the Chinese economy. For now, watch for signs that the new evaluation and enforcement mechanism is doing its job.

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.

Obama stumps for McAuliffe, urges Virginians not "to go back to the chaos"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama framed a Nov. 2 gubernatorial race as a bellwether for the Democratic Party and the country, telling a crowd at a campaign event for Terry McAuliffe on Saturday that "I believe you, right here in Virginia, are going to show the rest of the country and the world that we're not going to indulge in our worst instincts."

Why it matters: With just over a week to go before Election Day in the Commonwealth, McAuliffe is bringing out the big guns. The 44th president appeared on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University to urge supporters to get to the polls.