The daily business briefing: June 15, 2018

Trump approves tariffs on billions of dollars in Chinese goods, AT&T completes its $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner, and more

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1. Trump approves stiff tariffs on China imports

President Trump has approved a 25 percent tariff on roughly $50 billion of Chinese products. The administration has said the levies, the latest in a series of aggressive trade moves by Trump, are a response to unfair trade practices by China, including requiring U.S. companies to share technology secrets with Chinese partners to get access to Chinese markets. Trump also has said he wants to reduce America's $375 billion annual trade deficit with China, which he blames for the loss of U.S. factories and jobs. Most economists say those losses are largely due to increased automation. The tariffs threaten to spark retaliation from China, and complicate Trump's effort to get Beijing to maintain pressure on North Korea to denuclearize.

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