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Technology is the latest front to have opened in the incipient trade war between the US and China. Last week, US officials demanded that Beijing end state support for its high-tech industries. Meanwhile, the US Treasury is considering new restrictions on Chinese inward investment.

It is clear, writes Rana Foroohar in her column this week, that the Chinese and American tech industries are going to go their own ways in the coming years. This raises the question of which country is best placed to win the race to lead the world in technological innovation. China might earn a short-term advantage, thanks to the support and direction that the Communist party gives to leading tech firms. But the long-term effect of centralised control on technological innovation is unlikely to be beneficial.

That is why, Rana argues, policymakers in the US should be worrying less about emulating the Chinese command-and-control model in high tech industries and thinking more about how to foster innovation by reining in the “Faangs” — Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google. The quasi-monopoly power these companies enjoy threatens the kind of decentralised system in which genuine innovation can flourish.

Surplus value
Last week’s German budget, unveiled by the new finance minister, Olaf Scholz, is designed to ensure that the government runs a fiscal surplus between 2019 and 2022. This may satisfy the Ordo-liberal fetish for surpluses, but, argues Wolfgang Münchau, it will exacerbate already significant imbalances across the eurozone as a whole. It is time, Wolfgang suggests, for Germany’s neighbours to remind it of its responsibilities and for Berlin to treat economic policy as a matter of common concern.

Growing pains
Unemployment in the US is below 4 per cent and the economy is accelerating. Growth in Europe and Japan is also strong — at least by post-crisis standards. So, asks Lawrence Summers, does that mean the thesis of “secular stagnation” (or prolonged sluggish growth caused by insufficient demand) has turned out to be false? No, Larry argues. What we are seeing is fairly ordinary growth by historic standards achieved by extraordinary means. Unconventional monetary policy, for example, is a short-term palliative, not a long-term solution to the problem of anaemic demand.

Kanye or can’t he?
Since he posted an image of himself wearing a hat emblazoned with the Trump campaign slogan “Make America great again”, the rapper Kanye West has made a succession of controversial online utterances that have attracted opprobrium from erstwhile fans and approval from the president of the United States himself. Donald Trump, writes India Ross, recognises a kindred spirit — one who understands that controversialism is a powerful marketing tool.

Best of the rest

Selmayrgate: a blow against Europe — Ingebor Graessle in Libération

How long will Rudy Giuliani last as Trump’s lawyer? — John Cassidy in the New Yorker

What the non-revolution of May ’68 taught us — Mitchell Abidor in the New York Times

Argentina’s unseen fragility — Martin Guzman for Project Syndicate

The perils of a putsch in Venezuela — Brian Fonseca in Foreign Policy

What you’ve been saying

Caribbean will bear brunt of planned disclosure rules — letter from Paul Byles

Up until only a week ago the UK’s crown dependencies (Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man) were included in the proposed provision that would have also required them to implement such a public registry by 2020. Within days they were removed from the provision. Imposing the provision solely on the Caribbean territories is discriminatory.

Comment from Kassandra on Donald Trump shatters international trust in America

In a globalized world, all great powers need alliances to succeed. The US will learn this lesson soon enough. The cavalier attitude of the GOP towards Trump’s incoherent mess of a foreign policy is truly mind-blowing. Have Republicans really forgotten that the US built the post-WWII order out of enlightened self-interest and not out of the goodness of their hearts?

Loss of diplomatic partner will not limit Taiwan — letter from Kent Wang

Without an abundance of formal diplomatic partners, Taiwan continues to maintain international relevance, in no small part due to creative efforts to maintain unofficial relations. The loss of another formal partner [the Dominican Republic] is unlikely to limit Taiwan’s broader role and efforts in international relations.

Today’s opinion

Softening global growth marks a return to trend
European slow down spreading to US, but China remains steady

Fight the Faangs, not China
The Trump administration must break the power of big tech

FT View: Stormy weather hits emerging markets
As the dollar rises, economies from Turkey to Argentina are vulnerable

FT View: UK rates on hold as the recovery weakens
The Bank of England should be careful about managing expectations

Germany’s budget is an accident waiting to happen
The finance minister’s obsession with surpluses will damage EU neighbours

Fighting Corruption Is Dangerous by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Nigeria’s former finance minister describes plugging the leaks in a graft-ridden state

The case for a five-hour working day
One financial services boss was so productive on his reduced week he has rolled it out

Kanye West discovers the price of stoking Trump-style controversy
With his slavery comments, the rapper has alienated even his most ardent fans

FT View

FT View: Stormy weather hits emerging markets
As the dollar rises, economies from Turkey to Argentina are vulnerable

FT View: UK rates on hold as the recovery weakens
The Bank of England should be careful about managing expectations

The Big Read

The Big Read: Living Marxism: the Chinese Communist party reasserts control
Two hundred years after the birth of Karl Marx, his ideas are taking a bigger role in the economy and society under Xi Jinping

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