Daily briefing: Tariffs enforced, Chequered Brexit, Europe's beer crisis


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The biggest shots so far in the US-China trade war have been fired. US president Donald Trump’s administration has begun collecting 25 per cent tariffs on $34bn in annual imports from China. Here are the levies explained in charts.

Mr Trump also repeated a warning that the US had plans “in abeyance” for a further $200bn in tariffs on Chinese imports should China retaliate. Hours before Friday’s levies went into effect, the US president said he was prepared to go further — to $500bn.

The state-run China Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Communist party, accused the White House of behaving like a “gang of hoodlums”.

Markets in Asia were steady ahead of the Friday deadline for the tariffs, with analysts saying investors had already priced in effects of tit-for-tat rollouts. But central banks are starting to worry. The Fed has detected rising concern among US business and the Bank of England’s Mark Carney warned of the impact of a global trade war, saying world leaders should learn from the effects of Brexit. (FT, Reuters)

In the news

Don’t forget about the EU in all of this
It’s not just China and the US fighting over trade. The EU is now eyeing humble staples such as American ketchup in the fight against Donald Trump’s first round of transatlantic tariffs. (FT)

Chequers mate
Theresa May will today attempt to persuade her cabinet to sign up to a new “soft Brexit” strategy. But there is uproar in her Eurosceptic ranks as the plan would make it hard to strike a trade deal with the US. The FT’s Sebastian Payne says resignations today at Chequers present a real danger for the UK prime minister. Here’s an explainer on what Mrs May’s “third way” entails. Meanwhile, Airbus chief Tom Enders has said the UK government has “ no clue, no consensus on how to execute Brexit without severe harm”, and Horst Seehofer, Germany’s interior minister, has given one of the bluntest internal criticisms to date of how the EU is handling Brexit, in a letter seen by the FT. (FT)

Guess who’s coming to dinner?
About 150 UK business leaders have been invited to dine with Donald Trump next week when he visits Britain. Guests have been told that it will be between one and two hours travel from London. “It’s a bit like those 1980s warehouse raves where no one knows until just before,” said one lobbyist with a client attending the dinner. Perhaps this giant inflatable baby Trump can show them the way? (FT, Times)

Investors are shunning Europe
Investors pulled cash from funds investing in European and emerging market equities for another consecutive week, the longest streak of withdrawals from both markets since 2016. Countries including Argentina and Turkey have been among the hardest hit. Meanwhile, the UK is doing some shunning of its own by blocking US hedge fund manager Steven Cohen from reopening his multibillion-dollar fund to investors in Britain. (FT)

World Cup: how teams should attack the knockouts
Passing prowess or counter-attacking flair: which style has been the most productive? We analysed the “ ball progression” of some of the highest-ranked teams at the tournament, including Belgium, Brazil, England, France, Germany and Spain. The verdict? Speed matters. (FT)

Rising stakes — and water — in Thailand rescue
Thai authorities say a former navy SEAL working to rescue the boys and their soccer coach trapped in a cave has died from lack of oxygen. Authorities, aided by a global team of experts, are racing to pump out water from the flooded cave where the group has been trapped since June 23. (Guardian)

How well did you keep up with the news this week? Take our quiz. Roger Federer has swapped long-time sponsor Nike for which brand?

The days ahead

China and eastern Europe talk shop
Chinese premier Li Keqiang is meeting leaders of central and eastern European countries in the Bulgarian capital Sofia as part of the seventh “16+1” summit, which brings together China and 16 central and eastern European countries (CEEC), including 11 EU member states. Since its launch in 2012, the format has been viewed by western critics as an instrument for Beijing to divide and undermine the EU. (Deutsche Welle)

World Cup quarters
We’re down to the last eight in soccer’s showpiece. France play Uruguay and Brazil take on Belgium today, before England play Sweden and hosts Russia face Croatia on Saturday. Simon Kuper writes on why the World Cup is bigger than Vladimir Putin. (BBC, FT)

What we’re reading

Dhaka’s toxic skies
There are many places in the world where climate change is starting to become visible, but few where the changes are already as striking as in Bangladesh. And for another angle, here’s how Miami, Florida is taking on its underwater future. (FT, New Yorker)

It’s not all about the memes
The European Parliament has narrowly voted to reject draft reforms to the EU’s copyright laws (aka anti-meme law), delivering a partial victory for campaigners including Google and Wikipedia that said the rules would restrict internet freedom. But Lex thinks the likes of Google would do well to maintain a friendly approach towards regulators. (FT)

A sober look at Europe’s beer crisis
In a world being heated up by too much CO2, it seems odd that we’re in short supply of the greenhouse gas. But Europe is indeed running low on carbon dioxide . . . and by extension, beer. (Quartz)

A woman won Wimbledon. Her husband gets the credit
When Roger Federer, a married father of four won his match, the chair umpire said: “Game, set and match, Federer.” On the champions board, he is simply “R. Federer.” For women, it is a whole different ball game. (NYT)

Get some sleep
Yes, the rise of the on-demand economy — any time, anywhere — has brought enormous consumer benefit, but we have done nothing to calculate the human toll. We look at automation with fear, but could it also allow us to become more human? (FT)

Video of the day

Saving the ‘functionally extinct’ northern white rhino
There are only two females left but an international team of scientists has an ambitious plan to resurrect the animal through assisted reproduction and stem cell research. (FT)



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