China said it would increase tariffs on a range of American goods. This was in retaliation for Donald Trump’s decision to raise duties on $200bn-worth of Chinese exports following the breakdown of talks that had tried to end the two countries’ stand-off over trade. In addition, American officials said they were seeking to extend levies to all remaining Chinese imports to the United States. Both sides are holding off on imposing their punishing tariffs for a few weeks, giving negotiators more time to try to end the impasse. Even if there is a deal, it is unlikely to reduce tensions between the two powers over trade, and other matters.
The transfer of technology is another contentious issue for China and America. A few days after the collapse of the trade talks, Mr Trump and the Commerce Department signed orders blocking Huawei, a Chinese tech giant, from involvement with American mobile networks and suppliers. America has pressed its allies to shun the firm, citing security worries, but has had only limited success.
The Chinese economy may be slowing more than had been thought, according to new data. China’s retail sales grew at their slowest rate in 16 years in April. Industrial production expanded by 5.4%, the slowest rate in a decade.
Germany’s economy grew by 0.4% in the first three months of the year compared with the previous quarter. That brought some relief for the government following a six-month period when the country almost slipped into recession. Officials warned that global trade rows could still knock the economy off course. In Britain, GDP rose by 0.5% in the first quarter, helped by businesses stockpiling goods ahead of the now-missed Brexit deadline of March 29th.
Bayer lost a third court case in America brought by plaintiffs claiming that a weedkiller made by Monsanto, which Bayer took over last year, caused their cancer. This time the jury ordered the German conglomerate to pay $2bn in damages to an elderly couple, a sum far greater than that awarded to the plaintiffs in two previous trials. Bayer’s share price plunged.
Officials in San Francisco voted to make it the first American city to ban the use of facial- recognition software by the local government. Legislators worry that the technology, which is spreading rapidly, is unreliable and open to abuse.