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Vox Sentences: Trade war will tariff us apart

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The Chinese-American trade war is off to the races; the world scrambles to save the Thai soccer team trapped in a cave.

The “biggest trade war in economic history” has begun

Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images
  • President Trump’s 25 percent tariffs against more than 800 Chinese goods worth $34 billion went into effect today. China immediately responded by invoking their own set of tariffs against the US. [CNN / Jethro Mullen]
  • China is not happy about the tariffs. China’s Ministry of Commerce released a statement saying Trump was launching “the biggest trade war in economic history so far.” [NYT / Ana Swanson]
  • Trump committed to increasing tariffs — before the election — because of what he said were China’s unfair trading practices and a $375 billion trade deficit between the two nations. A trade deficit is the difference in the value of goods China and America import from one another. America imports more goods from China than vice versa. [BBC]
  • The back and forth of increasing tariffs will not end here. There will likely be multiple “round[s] of revenge and retaliation.” [Washington Post / Danielle Paquette, David J. Lynch, and Emily Rauhala]
  • Along with tariffs, China is using alternative routes to hurt the US trading industry. They lowered tariffs on Asian-bred products to encourage citizens to purchase non-American goods. [Vox / Zeeshan Aleem]
  • China could also retaliate by hurting US companies with supply chains operating out of its country — like Apple — through imposing “obscure safety rules” and delaying shipments. [Vox / Zeeshan Aleem]
  • Economists fear that amid all of the trade wars between the US, Canada, the EU, and China, the “global trading system will start to crumble.” [Vox / Sean Illing and Emily Blanchard]
  • Despite concerns that the trade war could harm US markets, tech stocks and job creation have surged, while inflation has not. [Bloomberg / Matthew Townsend and Hema Parmar]

The mission to save the Thai soccer team is a race against time

  • Thailand is in the middle of a rescue mission to save 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach trapped in a flooded cave. The group was previously missing with practically no food or water for nine days. [Vox / Radhika Viswanathan]
  • The soccer team initially disappeared after rain flooded the Tham Luang Nang Non cave system, forcing them to head 2.5 miles inside. Divers had to swim for five hours to reach the team. [Newsweek / Benjamin Fearnow]
  • Various rescue ideas have been proposed but each has an obstacle to overcome. Drilling from the top of the cave could cause it to collapse. The rescue team is also teaching the boys how to dive, but some are too young and unable to swim well or for a long time. [Reuters / Panu Wongcha-um and Patpicha Tanakasempipat]
  • The mission is essentially a race against the clock as oxygen levels drop. Thailand is also in the middle of monsoon season. This could cause sea levels to rise more than they already have. [CNN / Kocha Olarn, Euan McKirdy, Angela Dewan, and Lauren Said-Moorhouse]
  • Saman Gunan, a former Navy Seal diver, died while trying to deliver oxygen canisters to the soccer team’s location. [Sky News]
  • Elon Musk wants to build an “air tunnel underwater” to rescue the boys. Musk offered up resources from his two companies, SpaceX and Boring Company, though it’s unclear if he has done anything yet. [Vox / Radhika Viswanathan]


  • Experts believe that saying nice things about yourself will improve your inner-dialogue, even if you don’t believe it at first. Sounds fake, but okay. [Vice / Anna Goldfarb]
  • First a whitewasher, now a ciswasher — Scarlett Johansson will play a transgender man in an upcoming movie, and people are disappointed, to say the least. [CBS]
  • NASA has retired the Kepler Space Telescope because it’s almost out of fuel. Kepler, which is currently 94 million miles away from Earth, found many, many exoplanets (planets outside of our solar system) in its heyday. [The Verge / Sean O’Kane]
  • Rumor has it that Sacha Baron Cohen is coming back to the biz in a project involving Trump University. The extremely un-PC Baron Cohen is infamous for Borat, the Dictator, and dumping ashes on Ryan Seacrest ... so this should be interesting. [Slate / Marissa Martinelli]


“Any number of Trump’s statements on Thursday would have elicited a firestorm three, two, or maybe even one year ago. Today, they’re good for a shrug. Maybe that’s a sign that the American people are becoming inured to Trump’s falsehoods & distortions. Or maybe it’s a sign the magic is wearing off.” [David A. Graham on the “point” of a Trump rally and political fatigue in 2018 / The Atlantic]

Watch this: why the US national anthem is terrible — and perfect

Debating the merits of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” [YouTube / Estelle Caswell and Joss Fong]

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