Oct 4, 2019

U.S. trade deficit grows to $54.9 billion in August

The U.S. trade deficit grew to $54.9 billion in August, jumping for the first time in 3 months due to increased imports, reports the AP from Commerce Department data.

Why it matters: Though it had fallen in June and July, the country's overall trade deficit is still up for the year as a result of President Trump's ongoing trade war with China.

  • By the numbers: The U.S. increased exports by 0.2% in August to $207.9 billion, but imports jumped up 0.5% to $262.8 billion as shipments of cellphones increased ahead of the planned tariffs against Chinese goods that are planned to begin in September.

What's next: The U.S. and China are set to meet next week for the 13th time to try to resolve the trade dispute, despite the fact that Trump downplayed the importance of the meeting this week, telling reporters he has "a lot of options on China. But if they don’t do what we want, we have tremendous power."

Go deeper: Despite promises, Trump's trade deficits are only growing

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Trump says U.S. and China reach partial trade agreement

Illustration: Axios Visuals

President Trump said the U.S. and China reached a partial trade deal on Friday that included an agreement from the U.S. to suspend a planned 30% tariff spike on Oct. 15, while China will buy $40-50 billion worth of U.S. agricultural goods.

Why it matters: The ceasefire comes as the U.S. economy is showing signs of weakness as a result of the trade war — threatening the economic gains Trump has counted on to carry him to re-election in 2020.

Go deeperArrowOct 11, 2019

Trump's promises on "phase 1" deal with China fall flat

President Trump and China's President Xi Jinping, Nov. 2017. Photo: Nicolas Asfouri/Getty Images

It's been a week since President Trump touted his "phase 1" partial trade agreement with China as the greatest-ever deal for U.S. farmers — but China isn't endorsing his promises.

Where it stands: China has not confirmed Trump's claim that it will buy $40 billion–$50 billion worth of U.S. agricultural goods, and it says a final deal would require the U.S. to cancel all existing and future tariffs, CNBC reports. No final decision has been reached to determine if the U.S. will push tariff increases scheduled for Dec. 15.

Go deeperArrowOct 17, 2019

The upcoming U.S.-China trade talks are huge

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Investors will be closely watching today's U.S. nonfarm payroll report, but they will also have 1 eye out for news on a potentially pivotal meeting between U.S. and Chinese negotiators next week.

What's happening: President Trump downplayed the importance of the meeting on Thursday, telling reporters he has "a lot of options on China. But if they don’t do what we want, we have tremendous power."

Go deeperArrowOct 4, 2019