Afternoon Coffee: Trade War Talk Turns to Reality, UK Retailers Warn of Consequences Without Brexit Deal

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The U.S. and China finally ignited a trade war Friday, when both countries slapped levies on $34 billion of each other’s exports, The Wall Street Journal reports. Experts say the fight will likely stretch into next year, as a strong U.S. economy could insulate consumers from any immediate effects.

Brexit Rot

Failure to reach a Brexit deal with the E.U. could lead to “food rotting at ports” and “devastation” for small retailers, U.K. lobby group British Retail Consortium said Thursday. As the Financial Times reports, the BRC noted in a letter that 60% of the British food comes from the E.U., and without an agreement, food and drink prices could rise by nearly one-third as a result of non-tariff barriers alone.

VW Realigns

Volkswagen is reorganizing its global components business into a separate corporate division, according to Automotive Logistics. The move reflects VW’s need for greater efficiency and cost optimization as it realigns its manufacturing capacity around electric vehicle components.

Job Report 

And finally, an economic update: The U.S. economy added 213,000 jobs in June, the New York Times reports, surpassing economist expectations of 200,000. The strong labor market encouraged 601,000 people to rejoin and look for work last month, and the unemployment edged up slightly to 4%.

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