Trump’s trade war is getting serious — here’s why it started, what it means for the US economy, and how it could hit you

trump tariffs china eu canada 2x1Evan Vucci/AP Photo; Steffi Loos/Getty; Lintao Zhang/Getty; Jochen Zick/Getty; Shayanne Gal/Business Insider

President Donald Trump has been on a nearly six-month long tariff spree, kicking off trade wars with several countries.
Trump has placed tariffs on everything from steel to chicken incubators.
Trading partners including China, Canada, the European Union, and Mexico have hit the US with retaliatory tariffs.
Here’s a breakdown of how we got here and what the tariffs mean for the economy.

President Donald Trump declared on March 2 via Twitter: “When a country (USA) is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good, and easy to win.”

The tweet marked the announcement that the US would impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports coming into the country — and the start of a growing trade war.

Since that point, Trump has opened up trade battles on a series of fronts, and the US and other countries around the world have slapped tariffs on $85 billion worth of goods.

Trump has long been a fan of tough action on trade. In the 1980s, the then-real estate mogul railed against the US’s trade deficit and warned of “other countries ripping off the United States.” In a 1990 Playboy interview, Trump was asked about his first action if he ever became president.

“Many things. A toughness of attitude would prevail,” Trump said. “I’d throw a tax on every Mercedes-Benz rolling into this country and on all Japanese products, and we’d have wonderful allies again.”

Given the president’s decades-long history of protectionist statements and direct signals on the campaign trail, the recent spate of trade restrictions should come as no surprise.

So far, Trump has used tariffs as the main weapon in his trade war. A tariff is a tax on a good coming into the US, also known as a duty. These duties are collected by Customs and Border Protection at the good’s port of entry. Once tariffs go into place, importers face the extra fee immediately.

Trump placed tariffs on a wide variety of goods and the moves are starting to make an impact on the US economy, prices, and more. Here’s a breakdown of how Trump’s trade fight is starting to take its toll.

The number of tariffs Trump has enacted or threatened is piling up.
Shayanne Gal/Business Insider

Trump’s hard line on trade kicked off in February, when the administration officially placed tariffs on imports of washing machines and solar energy equipment.

But the protectionist push began in earnest at the start of March, when Trump announced a 25% tariff on imported steel and 10% tariff on imported aluminum. This move triggered widespread pushback from allies, since the tariffs were implemented on national security grounds.

Allies like Canada, the European Union, and Mexico argue that they pose no national security risk to the US and thus should not be slapped with tariffs. Those three countries, along with China and others, have filed a suit against the US with the World Trade Organization arguing the tariffs are illegal.

So far, the enacted tariffs haven’t hit a large percentage of goods with major trading partners, but that could change in a hurry.
Jenny Cheng/Business Insider

China is the biggest target for Trump so far, with 11.7% of the total goods going between the two countries subject to tariffs.

Trump has also threatened to hit another $400 billion worth of Chinese goods with tariffs due to their retaliation. China accused the president of starting the “largest trade war in economic history.” While that claim may be a slight exaggeration now, it may come true in time.

The fight with Canada is the second-largest front in the trade battle, with 4.5% of total trade with the US subject to tariffs. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called the tariffs “insulting.”

Just 1.5% of the total trade between the US and EU is subject to tariffs, and 1.1% of trade between the US and Mexico.

For the EU, Canada, and Mexico, the amount of trade subject to tariffs would increase dramatically if Trump follows through on his threat to place tariffs on imports of cars and auto parts.

The goods subject to tariffs are wide-ranging — from bulldozers to chicken incubators to hairspray.
Jenny Cheng/Business Insider

Trump’s tariffs have so far focused on industrial goods like metals, machinery, and components.

In particular, Trump has tried to attack industries that are part of China’s Made in China 2025 plan, which is designed to help boost Chinese companies in a variety of high-growth industries like technology.

By comparison, the retaliatory tariffs from China, the EU, and others predominately go after US agricultural goods, as well as a jumble of consumer products like nail polish and kitchen equipment.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Apple is creating a $300 million fund to build solar power in China (AAPL, DB)

renewable_energy_apple_hongyuancn_sunpower_040918Apple

Apple wants its parts suppliers to use renewable energy, like it does at its stores and headquarters.
So it’s investing in a $300 million fund along with its suppliers that will invest in new solar and wind projects in China. 
The fund will be managed by DWS Group, Deutche Bank’s asset management arm.

Apple is reaching into its cash pile to help spread solar energy and wind farms across China. 

The iPhone maker has teamed up with 10 of its components suppliers to create a new $300 million fund that will invest in renewable sources of energy in China over the next four years.See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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See all the products that will cost you more because of Trump’s trade war

Toyota Corolla Assembly LineAP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

Trump’s import taxes are meant to help US manufacturers by making foreign products more expensive, but this will hurt likely American consumers. 
A new wave of tariffs targeting hundreds of Chinese industrial goods is set to take effect on July 6th.
According to Labor Department estimates, the average cost of washing machines shot up by 17% in the past three months.
Many other goods, such as the computer chips that power PCs and smartphones, are important components of the finished products consumers love — new tariffs could eventually drive up prices on these too.

President Trump has promised to get tough on America’s trading partners. But with the administration now slapping hefty duties on imported goods such as steel and washing machines, and threatening them on many others, it’s American consumers who could be hurt.

While Trump has long complained that trade agreements with nations like China and Mexico need to be renegotiated, his biggest move so far has been placing tariffs — import taxes, payable to the US government — on goods these countries import into the US.

The taxes are meant to help US manufacturers by making foreign goods comparatively more expensive and, therefore, less attractive to consumers. Most economists disagree with Trump’s approach, however, arguing that the tariffs could easily destroy more US jobs — mainly at companies forced to pay higher raw materials costs — than they create. “Companies that can will pass the increased costs onto consumers,” says Erica York, an analyst at the Tax Foundation, a Washington think tank. “If they can’t pass them on, that will come out of profits, which means less money to hire or give raises.”

The first tariffs, targeting a handful of consumer goods, debuted earlier this year; they were followed by taxes on raw steel and aluminum. Now a new wave focusing specifically on hundreds of Chinese industrial goods is set to go into effect in July. And Trump has threatened to target still more Chinese goods — possibly including many popular consumer items like televisions and cellphones.

Here’s a complete rundown of all the goods that could cost you more — or already do — as a result of Trump’s trade war.

Trump fired an initial shot in his trade war in January, targeting just two products — washing machines and solar panels. The administration placed a tax of 20% to 50% on large residential washing Machines after Whirlpool complained that foreign competitors, including Korean giants Samsung and LG, were unfairly undercutting its prices.

The move initially helped Whirlpool — the company’s stock jumped 5% and it said it would hire 200 workers — but the benefit was offset when the White House also slapped tariffs on imported steel (more on that in a bit), pushing up its costs.

Now US consumers stand to lose. The Wall Street Journal, citing Labor Department data, recently estimated the average cost of washing machines had shot up 17% in just the past three months.

Solar panels
Justin Sullivan/Getty

As with washing machines, tariffs on solar panels — in this case 30% for 2017, with lower rates over the next several years — followed complaints from US manufacturers. But the solar tariffs were highly controversial even within the solar industry, with the Solar Energy Industries Association predicting the new tax could cost as many as 23,000 US jobs, as higher costs prompt homeowners and businesses to put off solar installations. (That’s nearly one out of every 10 jobs in the solar industry.)

Just how much could the tariffs cost you? In May, energy marketplace EnergySage estimated they would add $500 to $1,000 to the cost of the typical home installation project. Such projects typically cost $16,000 to $21,000, according to the group’s estimates.

Beer and soup
Flickr/Pittaya Sroilong

Trump followed up with a broader set of tariffs starting June 1: a 25% levy on steel and 10% levy on aluminum. Few Americans buy these these materials directly, almost everyone buys products that include them — like cars, for instance, or the cans that hold beer, soda, and soup.

Of course, the cost of metals is just one component of the ultimate price consumers pay.

When it comes to foodstuffs, the increase is likely to be moderate. Shortly after the tariff was announced Trump commerce secretary Wilbur Ross went on TVlugging cans of Campbell soup, insisting the steel tariff would boost the cost of each can by only a fraction of a penny. Similarly, in March The New York Timesestimated the aluminum tariff could boost beer costs by something like a penny a can.

Cars
REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Cars, on the other hand, use a lot more steel and aluminum than a can of soup. Ross himself said that the administration’s 25% steel tariff could add as much as $175 to the price of a $35,000 car. Of course, he called that amount “trivial” — but others have noted that it’s about what many people will get from the Trump tax cut.

And there’s another worry for car buyers: In addition to taxing raw materials, President Trump has said he might institute a separate tariff as high as 25% on foreign cars and car parts. Automakers oppose the move, which Trump says may nonetheless be justified on national security grounds.

A new report from Moody’s, released Monday, said European automakers without US plants (like Jaguar and Land Rover) would be among the hardest hit. But GM, which imports almost a third of the cars it sells in the US from plants in Canada and Mexico, and Ford, which imports about 20%, would also suffer.

Last week the American Action Forum, a Washington think tank, estimated a new 25% tariff would boost the cost of buying an imported car by $4,000 to $5,000. Even cars assembled in the US — which nonetheless typically include many foreign auto parts — would see a roughly $1,300 price increase.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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The most luxurious hostel in every European country under $55 a night

Andorra, Mountain HostelHostelworld

The idea of staying in a messy, loud hostel might seem like a thing of the past — best kept for the backpacking days of your late teens and 20s.

However, a “hostel” is simply “budget-friendly accommodation that focuses on a shared social experience.” While to be considered a hostel it must have the option of a dorm room, most offer private rooms as well — and instead of messy and loud, some can actually be pretty luxurious.

Business Insider teamed up with hostel booking site Hostelworld and its HOSCAR ranking of the best hotels in the world to discover where you’ll find the most luxurious hostel in every European country for under £40 ($54).

Scroll down to see each one — as well as what it will cost you and what you can expect — in alphabetical order.

The following nation states and cross-border countries are not included in the list: The Åland Islands, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, Monaco, San Marino, Svalbard, Ukraine, and Vatican City.

ALBANIA: Stone City Hostel, Gjirokaster.
Hostelworld

Situated right in the heart of the old town of Gjirokaster, Stone City Hostel is close to the best sights, including a castle and communist bunker.

It boasts a huge roof terrace with brilliant views of the castle, a shaded garden with fruit trees, and is also next to the best coffee bar in town.

Price: Private rooms from £22, dorms from £8.

ANDORRA: Mountain Hostel, El Tarter.
Hostelworld

If the outdoor heated pool and jacuzzi aren’t enough to tempt you, Andorra’s eco-friendly Mountain Hostel is perfect for mountain sports and activities like skiing, snowboarding, freeride, freestyle, and ski touring in the winter season, and mountain biking, hiking, and trail running in summer.

The hostel uses solar energy and is also bike-friendly, offering cyclists a security box, padlock, workshops with tools, and a bike wash area.

Price: Dorms from £22 per night.

ARMENIA: Kantar, Yerevan.
Hostelworld

Located in the very centre of Yerevan, just a minute’s walk from the Republic Square, this cosy hostel has dorms for four to eight people or private bedrooms with balconies. 

Price: Dorms from £10 per night.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Elon Musk says Model 3 production still needs ‘radical improvements’ to meet aggressive targets (TSLA)

elon muskJoe Skipper/Reuters

In a leaked email obtained by CNBC, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that Model 3 production has moved about 500 units per day.
The troubled Tesla Model 3’s run rate is now at roughly 3,500 per week.
Some aspects of the system are pushing toward 700-vehicle capacity per day.
The carmaker has said that it will achieve 5,000 per week by the end of June.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is excited about the manufacturing of the carmaker’s troubled Model 3 — a reversal of his nearly yearlong journey through “production hell.”

But according to an internal email obtained by CNBC, he isn’t overconfident, insisting that there’s plenty of work left to do if the company is going to meet its own target of 5,000 in weekly Model 3 output by the end of June.See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Satellite images reveal what Russia’s World Cup stadiums look like from space

Russia map stadiums world cupDeimos Imaging, an UrtheCast Company

Games for the 2018 World Cup will be played at 12 stadiums across Russia, with locations spread more than 1,500 miles apart from east to west and more than 1,000 miles from north to south.
Deimos Imaging has captured satellite images of these stadiums.
Here’s what the World Cup stadiums look like from space.

On June 14 at 6:00 p.m. Moscow time (11:00 a.m. ET), teams from Russia and Saudi Arabia will kick off the 2018 World Cup at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

That’s just one of 12 stadiums that teams from 32 countries will be playing at during the World Cup. The stadiums are spread across Russia. As a bird flies, the stadiums in Kaliningrad and Yekaterinburg are more than 1,500 miles apart; stadiums in Sochi and St. Petersburg are more than 1,000 miles apart.

This will lead to varying temperatures and conditions, depending on where games are played.

Urthecast subsidiary Deimos Imaging, which operates commercial satellites and is one of the world’s leading satellite image providers, has captured images of what each of the stadiums look like from space.

Here’s where the games of the 2018 World Cup in Russia will be played.

Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
Deimos Imaging, an UrtheCast Company

In addition to the first game of the World Cup, the final on July 15 will also be played at Luzhniki Stadium.

Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi
Deimos Imaging, an UrtheCast Company
Kazan Arena, Kazan
Deimos Imaging, an UrtheCast Company
See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and a group of influential billionaires are investing in 2 startups that could solve the biggest problem with renewable energy

Bill GatesREUTERS/Charles Platiau

Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and a group of billionaires are investing in two energy storage startups through their fund, Breakthrough Ventures.
Energy storage is one of the biggest bottlenecks in the widespread adoption of renewable energy.
Breakthrough Ventures’ fund is designed to be “patient capital,” which means it doesn’t mind waiting a long time to see returns. 

Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and a host of their uber-rich compatriots are investing in two energy startups that could solve one of the biggest problems with renewable energy.

They’re investing through a $1 billion fund, Breakthrough Ventures (BEV), which announced last year that energy storage would be one of its main focuses. See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Mesmerizing aerial images show the growth of major cities over the last 3 decades

beijingStuck in Customs on flickr

Over the last three decades, much of the world’s population growth has centered in urban areas, where 4.1 billion people — around 55% of the world’s population — live today.

By 2030, the United Nations predicts that cities will house 60% of people globally, and one in every three people will live in cities with at least half a million inhabitants.

NASA satellites have visualized this growth through its Landsat program, the longest-running initiative for collecting satellite imagery of Earth. Landsat satellites have captured images of cities across the world since 1972.

The imaging startup Descartes Labs recently compiled these photos to create fascinating timelapses — from the 1980s to today — of five large cities, including Beijing and Las Vegas.

Take a look below:

In the span of just 34 years, the population of Dubai, UAE has grown from 350,000 to 3 million. The time-lapse below shows the city’s rapid development over that period:

unnamed (2)Descartes LabsDubai — 1984 vs 2017

“The architectural scope of that expansion is impressive, particularly the infrastructure and buildings over the water,” Jason Schatz, an applied scientist at Descartes Labs, told Business Insider.

São Paulo, Brazil expanded from around 13 million to 21 million people from the late 1980s to today. As you can see in the time-lapse below, much of this urban growth has resulted in sprawl:

unnamed (4)

São Paulo — 1987 vs 2017

The Las Vegas metro area bloomed from around 540,000 people in 1984 to 2.1 million people today. On the right, you can see that Lake Mead has shrunk, due partly to the region’s increasing water demands:

unnamed (3)

Clark County, Nevada — 1984 vs 2018

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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