×

Warning

JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 59

Displaying items by tag: United States

President Donald Trump seemed ready to escalate the trade war with China in an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Monday.
 
Trump said it was "highly unlikely" that a planned meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit would yield a deal to prevent an increase in tariffs.
 
Trump also said he was prepared to hit another $267 billion worth of Chinese goods with tariffs — which would include duties on consumer goods like iPhones.
 
President Donald Trump seems ready to escalate the trade war with China even further as a crucial meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping nears.
 
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Monday, the president said it was "highly unlikely" that the US and China would reach a deal to prevent the 10% tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods from increasing to 25% on January 1.
 
In addition, Trump told The Journal that if planned weekend talks with Xi at the G20 summit in Argentina did not go well, more tariffs could be on the way.
 
"If we don't make a deal, then I'm going to put the $267 billion additional on," Trump said.
 
Trump first announced tariffs on Chinese goods in March, ostensibly to punish the country for the theft of US intellectual property.
 
After failed negotiations on a trade deal with China, the first round of tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods went into effect in July.
 
A second round of tariffs on another $200 billion of goods went into effect in late September, and Trump has repeatedly threatened to impose a third round on the remaining imports not subject to tariffs.
 
While Trump said the third round would hit another $267 billion in goods, some reports peg the remaining amount at $257 billion.
 
After mostly avoiding consumer goods in the first two rounds of tariffs, Trump said he was also willing to place tariffs on items such as Apple's iPhone and laptops imported from China. The administration backed off plans to impose tariffs on some Apple products as part of the previous round after the tech giant lobbied the president.
 
Economists warn that tariffs on consumer goods would drive up prices for Americans, curtail consumer spending, and eventually hurt US economic growth. Trump disagreed with that assessment, instead suggesting that a low tariff rate on such goods would go unnoticed by consumers.
 
"I mean, I can make it 10%, and people could stand that very easily," he told The Journal.
 
In addition to the tariffs, the Trump administration is employing a suite of other measures to crack down on China's economic practices. For instance, the Department of Commerce is considering stricter rules on which types of technology can be exported to China, and the Justice Department has charged some Chinese companies and people with economic espionage.
 
While there were hopes a Trump-Xi meeting could deescalate the trade tensions, recent moves by the administration seem to point to a sustained trade war.
 
Perhaps most significant, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer last week released an update to the investigation into Chinese intellectual-property theft that kicked off the tariff battle. It found China had not changed any of the practices that precipitated Trump's tariff decision.
 
 
Source: Business Insider
Published in Business

President Donald Trump is succeeding in making China pay most of the cost of his trade war.

That’s the conclusion of a new paper from EconPol Europe, a network of researchers in the European Union. U.S. companies and consumers will only pay 4.5 percent more after the nation imposed 25 percent tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods, and the other 20.5 percent toll will fall on Chinese producers, according to authors Benedikt Zoller-Rydzek and Gabriel Felbermayr.

                                                                         

The trade dispute between the U.S. and China is showing slim hope of abating as the leaders of the two nations prepare to meet in Argentina this month. According to Zoller-Rydzek and Felbermayr, the tariffs will do what Trump has longed for: They will cut American imports of affected Chinese goods by more than a third, and lower the bilateral trade deficit by 17 percent.

The Trump administration selected products with the highest “price elasticity,” or high availability of substitutes, according to Zoller-Rydzek and Felbermayr. The Chinese products hit by Trump’s tariffs can mostly be replaced by other goods, forcing exporters to cut selling prices to keep buyers.

“Through its strategic choice of Chinese products, the U.S. government was not only able to minimize the negative effects on U.S. consumers and firms, but also to create substantial net welfare gains in the U.S.,” the researchers wrote.

The U.S. is due to raise duties on the largest $200 billion tranche of goods to 25 percent from 10 percent on Jan. 1. In retaliation, China has slapped tariffs on $110 billion in imports from the U.S. and effectively shut off its purchase of key American agricultural exports including soybeans.

With the economic costs shifted to China, the U.S. levies will lead to a $18.4 billion net gain for the American government, the researchers wrote.

“As the trade conflict escalates, however, the U.S. administration may not be able to restrict its selection to products with high import elasticities,” they wrote. “And U.S. welfare might decrease as more of the tariff incidence falls on U.S. consumers.”

 

- Bloomberg

Published in World
US President Donald Trump and his children are accused of "deliberately" scamming Americans by encouraging them to invest in a multilevel marketing company, according to a complaint filed in US federal court on Monday.
 
The complaint accuses Trump and his children, Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric, of luring vulnerable investors to buy into three businesses with "a pattern of racketeering activity," according to The New York Times, which first reported on the lawsuit.
 
Trump was reportedly paid millions of dollars in exchange for promoting ACN, a telecommunications marketing company; Trump Network, another multilevel marketing company which sold vitamins and health promoting products; and Trump Institute, which allegedly gave "extravagantly priced multiday training seminars."
 
Some of the payments were made in secret, according to the lawsuit, which also alleges the Trumps "were aware that the vast majority of consumers would lose whatever money they invested."
 
Trump, who allegedly promoted ACN to investors without disclosing he was being paid, was heard in at least one ACN marketing video describing the company as being on the "cusp of technological advancements that will change the way we communicate."
 
"I'm here to tell you about a company that provides ... essential components for success," Trump said in the video.
 
"That's probably even better than real estate, I like real estate," Trump continued. "But I think this is probably better. It's certainly more advanced."
 
"You have a great opportunity before you with ACN. Without any of the risks most entrepreneurs have to take," Trump added. "Believe me. It's ultimately a dream come true."
 
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of four anonymous plaintiffs, who withheld their identities due to "serious and legitimate security concerns given the heated political environment," according to their attorneys.
 
The plaintiffs reportedly became investors in ACN after watching Trump's promotional videos, and were charged a $499 registration fee to sell products like videophones, The Times and CNBC reported on Monday.
 
ACN, like other multilevel marketing companies, allegedly advertised incentives for recruiting other investors or sales staff to join its programme.
 
One plaintiff claimed to have joined ACN in 2014 after attending a recruitment meeting that included a video of Trump's endorsement. After spending thousands of dollars attending other meetings, she only earned $38 from the company, according to the lawsuit.
 
Trump Organisation officials questioned the timing of the lawsuit, which comes days before the November 6 midterm election: "This is clearly just another effort by opponents of the President to use the court system to advance a political agenda," attorney Alan Garten said to The Times.
 
"Their motivations are as plain as day," Garten added.
 
A spokesperson for the plaintiff's attorneys denied the allegation and said the lawsuit was filed "because it is ready now," according to CNBC.
 
"No matter when this was filed, the Trump Org would say it was politically motivated," the spokesperson said.
 
 
Source: New York Times
Published in World
Global markets fall once again on Tuesday after brief two-day relief rally.
A "poisonous brewing cauldron of geopolitical and economic issues" is to blame for the risk-off sentiment gripping investors.
Losses are led by Asia, which has seen virtually all major indexes drop more than 2% on Tuesday.
Europe is following suit, with Germany's DAX down more than 1.2%. US futures are also pointing to substantial losses.
The JSE fell almost 2%.
You can follow the latest developments in global markets at Markets Insider.
Global markets slumped once again on Tuesday as the continent's two-day-long relief rally came to an abrupt end, thanks to a cocktail of negative drivers.
 
All major Asian indexes lost ground during Tuesday's session, with the FTSE China A50 the biggest casualty, down more than 3%. Other mainland Chinese indexes lost more than 2%, with the Shanghai and Shenzhen Composite indexes both down around 2.2%.
 
Losses were not contained to China, however, with Japan's Nikkei losing 2.7%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropping close to 3% after a sharp fall into the close.
 
There was no single catalyst for the losses, with growing geopolitical tensions between Saudi Arabia and the West over the death of journalist Jamal Khashosggi, resurfaced fears about President Trump's trade war, and generally waning confidence in the Chinese economy all partially to blame.
 
"Big swings in the Chinese markets continued, with the previous two-day rally moving sharply into reverse. After mulling over Chinese stimulus plans the market is seeing these stimulus measures as cushioning a fall rather than boosting the economy," Jasper Lawler, head of research at London Capital Group said in a morning briefing.
 
"It was all too much for the markets on Tuesday. The poisonous brewing cauldron of geopolitical and economic issues led to one of those opens as nuance-less as it was red," Connor Campbell, analyst at Spreadex added.
 
Fears abound that the sell-off in China could get worse as a wave of forced share selling kicks in for Chinese companies who use their shares as colleteral for loans.
 
According to Bloomberg, about 4.18 trillion yuan (R8.7 trillion) worth of shares have been put up by company founders and other major investors as collateral for loans, accounting for about 11% of the country's stock market capitalization, based on calculations using China Securities Depository and Clearing Corporation data.
 
The South China Morning Post, citing a report by Tianfeng Securities, said earlier in the week tha tmore than 600 company stocks have fallen to levels where forced sales may kick in.
 
"It's a vicious cycle: share drops lead to liquidation and liquidation leads to further share drops," Wang Zheng, chief investment officer at Jingxi Investment Management told the South China Morning Post last week.
 
The JSE's all share index was down 1.7% by midday, but the rand was marginally stronger at R14.35/$.
 
Naspers, down 3% to R2,725.58, and Nedcor, which lost 3.7% to R225.03 were some of the worst hit among large companies. 
 
Gold stocks are booming again, with Sibanye up 11% to R11.64. Nervous investors are buying gold, which jumped a percent to $1,234/oz this morning.
 
European stocks have also witnessed losses in the first hour of trading, although not as severe as those in Asia. By midday, Germany's DAX has dropped 1.2%, while the UK's benchmark FTSE 100 index is around 0.7% lower. The Euro Stoxx 50 broad index is down 0.8%.
 
"Sentiment continues to take a hit from a combination of geopolitical tensions including the growing isolation of Saudi Arabia, Italy's defiant stance towards the ECB and Brexit," Lawler said.
 
US futures are also pointing to big losses when markets open stateside, with the Nasdaq pointing to an opening loss of 1.1%, while both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones look to fall around 0.9%
 
 
Source: Bloomberg news
Published in World
China's government has hit back at the Trump administration, accusing the US president of "bullying" over his aggressive tactics in the escalating trade conflict between the two nations, saying it will "rise up" should a full-scale trade war break out.
"China doesn't want a trade war, but would rise up to it should it break out," Zhong Shan, China's minister for commerce said in a statement.
 
So far, the Trump administration has placed tariffs on $250 billion (R3.7 trillion) worth of Chinese goods, affecting more than 5,000 products. The president, however, has said he is willing to "go to 500"- a colloquial term for placing tariffs on all US imports from China.
 
What was initially seen as an empty threat is now viewed by many observers as a genuine possibility after the latest round of tariffs were announced in late September, after which Trump doubled down on his threats to tax all Chinese imports. Such threats, Zhong said, will not lead China to back down and offer the US concessions.
 
"There is a view in the US that so long as the US keeps increasing tariffs, China will back down. They don't know the history and culture of China," he said.
 
"This unyielding nation suffered foreign bullying for many times in history, but never succumbed to it even in the most difficult conditions," he continued.
 
"The US should not underestimate China's resolve and will."
 
Zhong's comments came just a few hours after President Trump once again accused China of taking advantage of the US over trade.
 
"We can't have a one-way street," Trump said during a press conference to discuss the resignation of UN Ambassador Nikki Haley on Tuesday afternoon.
 
"It's got to be a two-way street. It's been a one-way street for 25 years. We've got to make it a two-way street. We've got to benefit also," he told reporters.
 
Alongside increasing tariffs, communications between the two sides have become more and more strained in recent weeks. China in September called off planned talks between mid-level officials, and this week US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo exchanged displeased words with Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi during a trip to Beijing.
 
"Recently, as the US side has been constantly escalating trade friction toward China, it has also adopted a series of actions on the Taiwan issue that harm China's rights and interests, and has made groundless criticism of China's domestic and foreign policies," Wang said at a press conference.
 
"We demand that the US side stop this kind of mistaken action."
 
Pompeo hit back, saying the US has "great concerns about the actions that China has taken."
 
A currency war brewing?
Away from the escalating tensions over trade, the US Treasury has shown new concern about China's devaluation of the renminbi, an action it believes Beijing is using to strengthen its hand with regard to trade by making Chinese goods cheaper.
 
"As we look at trade issues there is no question that we want to make sure China is not doing competitive devaluations," Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin said in an interview with the Financial Times published on Wednesday.
 
"We are going to absolutely want to make sure that as part of any trade understanding we come to that currency has to be part of that."
 
Trump has frequently criticised China for his belief that Beijing is artificially weakening its currency to make Chinese exports more competitive, something he believes Beijing is doing to hurt the US economy.
 
In August, he claimed that Beijing is a "currency manipulator."
 
 
Source: Business Insider
Published in Business

The Federal Government has expressed willingness to involve Nigerians in the diaspora in its strides to develop the country’s economy.

The effort, which is aimed at ensuring the realisation of the objectives of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), was contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday by the Head, Press and Public Relations Unit, AbdulGaniyu Aminu.

The ERGP is a four-year medium term strategic blueprint of the Federal Government covering 2017 to 2020 and focusing on human capital investment, restoration of economic growth, and building a competitive economy.

According to the statement, the Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, is expected to begin a tour of the United States on Monday to this effect.

Amino said the tour would serve as an avenue to meet and discuss with Nigerians living abroad and advance a case for returning home and exploring opportunities in the country.

The statement also noted that the minister would travel to Cuba to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on science and technology.

“The visit to the United States of America which is from August 27 to September 4 will afford the minister the opportunity to meet with Nigerians in the United States to sensitise them to the numerous advantages of the Executive Order Five, which is to ensure the realisation of the objectives of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, 2017-2020.

“In accordance with section five (capacity building) of the Executive Order Five, the ministry is expected to take steps to encourage indigenous professionals in the Diaspora to return home and use their experience to develop Nigeria. Onu is expected to visit New York, Washington-DC and Florida.

“The minister will, at the end of the visit to the US, proceed to Cuba on September 5 to honour the invitation of the Government of Cuba to enable both countries to evaluate the possibilities of cooperation in the areas of science, technology and innovation.

“The two countries are expected to sign cooperation agreement in science, technology, and innovation, under the auspices of Ministries of Science and Technology of both countries,” he added

Amino pointed out that, Nigeria could domesticate some of Cuba’s technologies to reduce importation in line with the Executive Order Five since the country had advanced it’s technologies.

 

Business Insider

Published in Business
United States President, Donald Trump, has called his Nigeria counterpart, Muhammadu Buhari, “so lifeless,” after their April meeting.
 
Buhari and Trump met at the White House on April 30. Both leaders discussed issues bordering on fighting terrorism and economic growth.
 
Punch quoted Global business newspaper, Financial Times, in a recent publication, as saying that as Trump is set to welcome President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, the newspaper, in an article titled, ‘Africa looks for something new out of Trump,’ claimed that the US leader described Buhari, whom he met officially in April, as ‘so lifeless.’
 
The paper added that Trump warned his aides that he never wanted to meet someone ‘so lifeless’ again.
 
“The first meeting with Nigeria’s ailing 75-year-old Muhammadu Buhari in April ended with the US president telling aides he never wanted to meet someone so lifeless again, according to three people familiar with the matter,” Financial Times claimed.
 
Trump had, at a meet-the-press held by the two leaders, praised the Buhari administration. He commended the President’s effort in tackling corruption and insurgency.
 
The 72-year-old American president had then called Nigeria one of the most beautiful places on earth, adding that he would love to visit someday.
 
 
Source: Punch
Published in World
U.S. President Donald Trump acknowledged on Sunday that his son met with Russians in 2016 at Trump Tower to get information on his election opponent Hillary Clinton, saying it was “totally legal” and “done all the time in politics.”
 
The Republican president had previously said the meeting was about the adoption of Russian children by Americans.
 
Trump’s morning Twitter post was his most direct statement on the purpose of the meeting, though his son and others have said it was to gather damaging information on the Democratic candidate.
 
In a post on Twitter, Trump also denied reports in the Washington Post and CNN that he was concerned his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., could be in legal trouble because of the meeting with the Russians, including a lawyer with Kremlin ties.
 
He repeated that he had not known about the meeting in advance.
 
“Fake News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower. This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics – and it went nowhere. I did not know about it!” Trump said.
 
Political campaigns routinely pursue opposition research on their opponents, but not with foreign representatives from a country viewed as an adversary. Russian officials were under U.S. sanctions at the time.
 
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is examining whether Trump campaign members coordinated with Russia to sway the White House race in his favor. Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied his government interfered.
 
One part of the inquiry has focused on a June 9, 2016, meeting at Trump Tower in New York between Donald Jr., other campaign aides and a group of Russians.
 
Email released by Donald Jr. himself showed he had been keen on the meeting because his father’s campaign was being offered potentially damaging information on Clinton.
 
Donald Jr. said later he realized the meeting was primarily aimed at lobbying against the 2012 Magnitsky sanctions law, which led to Moscow denying Americans the right to adopt Russian orphans.
 
President Trump has repeatedly denied that his campaign worked with Moscow, saying “No Collusion!” Last week, however, he adopted his lawyers’ tactics and insisted “collusion is not a crime.”
 
While collusion is not a technical legal charge, Mueller could bring conspiracy charges if he finds that any campaign member worked with Russia to break U.S. law. Working with a foreign national with the intent of influencing a U.S. election could violate multiple laws, according to legal experts.
 
CNN reported last month that Michael Cohen, the president’s longtime personal lawyer, was willing to tell Mueller that Trump did know about the Trump Tower meeting in advance.
 
Trump’s lawyers and the White House have given conflicting accounts about whether Trump was involved in crafting Donald Jr.’s response to a New York Times article last summer revealing the Trump Tower meeting with the adoptions rationale. Trump’s lawyers acknowledged in a letter to Mueller’s team in January 2018 that Trump dictated the response, according to the Times.
 
Trump has stepped up his public attacks on the Mueller probe since the first trial to arise from it began last week in Alexandria, Virginia, involving former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
 
The federal tax and bank fraud charges Manafort faces are not related to the Trump campaign but Manafort’s close relations with Russians and a Kremlin-backed Ukrainian politician are under scrutiny in the trial.
 
Trump’s attacks on the special counsel’s investigation have been rebuffed by Republican leaders in Congress who have expressed support for Mueller.
 
“The president should be straightforward with the American people about the threat to our election process that Russia, Putin in particular, is engaged in is ongoing,” Representative Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.
 
One of the president’s personal lawyers said on Sunday that if Trump is subpoenaed by the special counsel, his lawyers will attempt to quash it in court. Any legal battle over whether the president can be compelled to testify could go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, the lawyer, Jay Sekulow, said on ABC’s “This Week.”
 
U.S. intelligence agencies concluded last year that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election with a campaign of hacking into Democratic Party computer networks and spreading disinformation on social media. American intelligence officials say Russia is targeting the November congressional elections, which will determine whether or not Republicans keep control of both chambers of the U.S. Congress.
 
 
Source: Reuters
 
 
 
 
Published in World

The Naira on Thursday gained marginally against the dollar at the parallel market in Lagos, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

The Nigerian currency gained 50 kobo to close at N358, stronger than N358.5 traded on Thursday, while the Pound Sterling and the Euro closed at N480 and N418.5 respectively.

At the Bureau De Change (BDC) window, the naira closed at N360 to the dollar, while the Pound Sterling and the Euro closed at N480 and N418.5 respectively.

The naira, however, appreciated at the investors’ window, closing at N361.45, stronger than N361.68 traded on Thursday, while it was sold at N305.90 at the Central Bank of Nigeria official window.

Meanwhile, Mr Godwin Emefiele, CBN Governor, said that Nigeria performed very well among emerging markets in Africa.

Emefiele in an interaction with newsmen at the end of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja, added that the foreign exchange market had remained stable.

According to him, the apex bank had enough buffers to defend the naira.

 

Source: NAN

Published in Bank & Finance
The United States of America has terminated funding to three Zimbabwean human rights and pro-democracy groups  weeks before an election, a move that analysts say could undermine the credibility of the country’s first post-Mugabe vote.
 
General elections are scheduled to be held in Zimbabwe on July 30 to elect the President and members of both houses of Parliament.
 
A U.S. embassy spokesman said the decision by USAID, Washington’s aid arm, to pull the plug followed a regular internal audit that uncovered “unusual activity” and “non-compliance” in the use of funds, without providing any details.
The affected groups are the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association, Counselling Services Unit (CSU), a health clinic that provides medical treatment to victims of police torture and abuse, and Election Resource Centre (ERC).
 
Alongside its broader voter education work, the ERC has been working on an independent audit of the July 30 election’s register of voters, a list that has been at the centre of vote-rigging allegations in the past.
 
The credibility of the voters roll and the election, eight months after the removal of long-time ruler Robert Mugabe in a de facto military coup, is crucial to establishing a government that is acceptable to the outside world.
 
Without that international seal of approval, Harare will be unable to patch up relations with the likes of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank to access the large-scale funding it needs to get its moribund economy back on its feet.
 
“These organisations have played a really important watchdog role,” said Piers Pigou, a Zimbabwe analyst at the International Crisis Group, a think-tank.
 
“This has politicial implications.”
 
All three NGOs denied any wrong-doing and challenged USAID, saying it had acted unilaterally and without completing its investigations while denying the affected parties the right of reply and smearing them in the media.
 
“The blanket embassy statements, innuendo and allegations are deeply distressing to the board, staff and survivors of torture in Zimbabwe,” CSU said in a statement, adding that it would be opening its books to the public to prove its innocence.
 
The ERC said its audit of the voters’ roll had been affected although should still be concluded in time.
 
“We have just revised our timelines,” spokesman Tawanda Chimhini said.
 
“We remain on track to contribute towards a constitutional, credible, free and fair election.”
 
U.S. embassy spokesman David McGuire declined to comment on the specific allegations or the findings of the partial investigations.
 
He also denied that Washington was dabbling in domestic politics or guilty of undermining the vote.
 
“The timing obviously is unfortunate but when you’re looking at protecting your investments and you uncover wrong-doing, our philosophy is that you have to act swiftly,” he said.
 
He said the funding cuts were only a “small percentage” of Washington’s annual $225 million aid package.
 
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who succeeded 94-year-old Mugabe after November’s military intervention, is expected to win a close vote.
 
 
 
Source: PrimeNews
Published in World
  1. Opinions and Analysis

Calender

« May 2021 »
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31