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Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

The White House announced this morning a plan to levy a 25% tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese tech goods — with the exact list to be announced next month — as well as tech investment limits for Chinese nationals and entities. It also plans to pursue litigation at the World Trade Organization relating to Chinese intellectual property abuses.

The big picture: It’s a show of force that has surprised some sources close to the White House who believed Trump would defer any aggression towards China until after the North Korea summit.

  • A source close to the White House who has a keen understanding of the internal dynamics on China told me that this is an "initial move in a long negotiation that shows the Chinese Trump is very serious — and a move to balance the criticism that he was soft on ZTE.”

Another source close to the White House highlights these key takeaways:

  • This makes clear that investment restrictions, which were not vetted or ready at the time of the original announcement on tariffs, are part of the negotiating dance. In some ways, these are even more harmful to Chinese interests and a bigger deal in the negotiations than the tariffs.
  • The tariffs and the rest is what we already knew. What’s interesting is the timing. Trump is seeking to accelerate the negotiations even amidst the North Korea dance.

Worth noting: The White House statement provides timelines for announcing the final tariff list and investment restrictions, but it doesn’t give a hard timeline for their implementation. That gives Trump the flexibility to keep negotiating with the Chinese.

Go deeper: U.S. panics over China tech threat.

Go deeper

Surprising pandemic side effect: Soaring trade deficits

Source: Census Bureau and Bureau of Economic Analysis; Chart: Axios Visuals

Inflation and jobs may get all the economic headlines, but meanwhile a big shift is taking place in the underpinnings of the world economy: The U.S. trade deficit is soaring.

What's happening: Americans' spending on imported physical goods has gone through the roof, while exports are growing slowly, making the U.S. the world's consumer of last resort.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Third Way: "Big Lie" could become "Big Coup"

Graphic: Third Way

Third Way, the center-left think tank, is urging fellow Democrats to respond to the Capitol riot with "the size, scope, and seriousness of a presidential campaign," co-founder Matt Bennett tells me.

Driving the news: "For the first time in U.S. history, a party must mount two parallel presidential campaigns: one to win the election, and the other to prevent its theft," Bennett said, calling this "a Paul Revere moment."

Advocates say Biden has let Haitian migrants down

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, Christian Torres/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Continued turmoil in Haiti is causing a growing number of Haitians to try to make it to American shores — and some advocates say the Biden administration isn't supporting this community in its time of crisis.

The big picture: Haitian-American activists in South Florida told Axios Today they feel like President Biden has gone back on campaign promises he made to the community to stand up for them.