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Commcerce Secretary Wilbur Ross during a cabinet meeting on Oct. 21. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Monday on Fox Business that time is running out for the U.S. and China to agree on a trade deal before Dec. 15, when the U.S. is set to impose an additional 15% tariff on around $156 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Why it matters: Future tariff hikes would likely further squeeze the U.S. and Chinese economies, dragging down already declining business investment in the U.S. and possibly pushing the manufacturing industry into a deeper recession.

  • China reported last quarter that its economic growth fell to its slowest pace since the 1st quarter of 1992. A report released Monday shows the U.S. manufacturing sector contracted for the fourth consecutive month.

What he's saying: “If nothing happens between now and then, the president has made quite clear he’ll put the tariffs in — the increased tariffs, Ross said.

  • Ross said December is a "really good time" to add more tariffs because he claims it wouldn't "interfere with this year’s Christmas," since many retailers have already stocked up.
  • "We have a very strong economy and [the Chinese] have lots of problems," Ross added.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Dion Rabouin: The negative impacts of Trump's trade war are already being felt by American businesses. As we've reported, big retailers are forcing their small suppliers to absorb the cost of tariffs and small business hiring has taken a major hit, along with hiring in the retail and manufacturing sectors.

The big picture: One of Beijing’s priorities in talks has been removing existing U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods. Increasing tariffs on Chinese goods would further complicate any hope for an agreement.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
22 mins ago - Economy & Business

GM's shrinking deal with Nikola

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

General Motors will no longer take an equity stake in Nikola Corp. or build its pickup truck, under a revised deal that still envisions GM as a key tech supplier for Nikola's planned line of electric and fuel cell heavy trucks.

Driving the news: The revised agreement Monday is smaller in scope than a draft partnership rolled out in September that had included a $2 billion stake in the startup and an agreement to build its Badger pickup.

1 hour ago - Technology

Exclusive: Facebook's blackout didn't dent political ad reach

Photo: Valera Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Americans saw more political ads on Facebook in the week before the 2020 election than they did the prior week despite the company's blackout on new political ads during that period, according to Global Witness, a human rights group that espouses tech regulation.

Why it matters: The presidential election was a key stress test for Facebook and other leading online platforms looking to prove that they can curb misinformation. Critics contend measures like the ad blackout barely made a dent.

Wall Street wonders how bad it has to get

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Wall Street is working out how bad the economy will have to get for Congress to feel motivated to move on economic support.

Why it matters: A pre-Thanksgiving data dump showed more evidence of a floundering economic recovery. But the slow drip of crumbling economic data may not be enough to push Washington past a gridlock to halt the economic backslide.