Posts belonging to Category China

Sanctions against China for the “theft” of US intellectual property

Threats of retaliatory measures

President Donald Trump is poised on Thursday to unveil sanctions against China for the “theft” of US intellectual property, a White House official said, teeing up a second potential confrontation in as many months. Spokesman Raj Shah told AFP that Trump will announce actions following an “investigation into China’s state-led, market-distorting efforts to force, pressure, and steal US technologies and intellectual property.”

Beijing has already warned the Trump administration against the move, urging him not act “emotionally.” It is just weeks since Trump short-circuited White House deliberations and announced a raft of sanctions on foreign-produced steel and aluminum off the cuff.

That move prompted the resignation of top economic advisor Gary Cohn, a global stock market selloff, legal disputes and threats of retaliatory measures.

On Wednesday Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned that the prospect of a trade war was a growing threat to the world’s largest economy. But the impulsive president is showing no sign of backing down.

Machines have replaced human stock market traders

Impact on the next financial crisis could be devastating

The February sell-off in stocks demonstrated the impact of automated trading on markets, according to Charles Himmelberg, Goldman Sachs’ cohead of global markets research.
“In this new market structure, machines have replaced humans, and speed has replaced capital,” Himmelberg said in a note.
This new ecosystem dominated by machines has dried up the sources of liquidity that would be needed in the next major wave of selling, he said.

China wants half of the electric vehicle business

China signed a deal to secure a huge amount of the global supply of cobalt, key component of electric cars batteries

China has signed a huge deal to secure the lion’s share of global cobalt supply — a core component of electric car batteries. The deal will see GEM — a $4.6 billion company listed on the Shenzhen stock exchange — purchase 50,000 tonnes of cobalt from mining company Glencore over the next three years. According to the Financial Times, that’s equal to half of the world’s total cobalt supply in 2017 — and comprises around one third of Glencore’s total production estimates through 2020.

The Glencore deal locks in China’s position as a market leader in the manufacturing of electric car batteries globally — given that it already produces more than 80% of the world’s refined cobalt. Prices for the metal have doubled over the past two years as electric vehicle manufacturers scramble to secure adequate supplies.…  March 15, 2018

Huge Chinese Demand for Natural Gas

United States is well-positioned

China’s push for cleaner air and fuel is driving an unprecedented demand for natural gas, and the United States is well-positioned to seize this opportunity and export even more of its growing gas production to the thirsty nation.

U.S. companies have plans for even more liquefied natural gas (LNG) export trains and facilities to come online in the coming years, and this winter’s surge in Chinese LNG demand and imports underpins a second wave of LNG investment in the United States, analysts and company executives believe.…  March 13, 2018

China February exports surge most in three years

Global trade war fears build

China’s exports unexpectedly surged at the fastest pace in three years in February, suggesting both its economy and global growth remain resilient even as trade relations with the United States rapidly deteriorate.

Trade tensions have jumped to the top of the list of risks facing China this year, with planned U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum signaling more measures may be on the way, Zhou Hao, senior emerging markets economist at Commerzbank, told the Reuters Global Markets Forum this week.

China’s February exports rose 44.5 percent from a year earlier, far more than analysts’ median forecast for a 13.6 percent increase and January’s 11.1 percent gain, official data showed on Thursday.

Imports grew 6.3 percent, missing forecasts for 9.7 percent growth and down from a sharper-than-expected 36.9 percent jump in January.…  March 08, 2018

America’s oil exports are booming

Prices are climbing

The resurgence of the oil industry can be traced back to what happened in Congress one day in December 2015. That’s when lawmakers ended the 40-year ban on U.S. oil exports. Crude pumped in Texas, Oklahoma and North Dakota could suddenly be shipped overseas.

At the time, a glut of supply was wreaking havoc on the energy industry. Crude eventually crashed to $26 a barrel. But that glut is disappearing, thanks in part to booming oil exports from the United States. Crude that was once trapped inside the country is now going to Europe, Latin America and even China.

The United States exported a record 1.7 million barrels of oil per day in October 2017, according to the most recent stats from the Energy Information Administration. That’s four times as much as in 2015, when federal law prohibited shipping oil to most places except Canada.…  January 29, 2018

Trump angers US solar installers with panel tariff

Job creator, or job killer?

U.S. President Donald Trump signed into law a steep tariff on imported solar panels on Tuesday, a move billed as a way to protect American jobs but which the solar industry said would lead to thousands of layoffs and raise consumer prices.

The 30 percent tariff on solar panels is among the first unilateral trade restrictions imposed by the administration as part of a broader protectionist agenda to help U.S. manufacturers, but which has alarmed Asian trading partners that produce lower cost goods. The administration also introduced a tariff on imported washing machines. “You’re going to have people getting jobs again and we’re going to make our own product again. It’s been a long time,” Trump said as he signed the order.

But the solar industry countered that the move will raise the cost of installing panels, quash billions of dollars of investment, and kill tens of thousands of jobs, raising questions about whether Trump’s move will backfire by triggering mass layoffs.…  January 24, 2018

Global Debt Hits Record $233 Trillion

The ratio of debt-to-gross domestic product is now 318 percent

Global debt rose to a record $233 trillion in the third quarter of 2017, more than $16 trillion higher from end-2016, according to an analysis by the Institute of International Finance. Private non-financial sector debt hit all-time highs in Canada, France, Hong Kong, South Korea, Switzerland and Turkey.

At the same time, though, the ratio of debt-to-gross domestic product fell for the fourth consecutive quarter as economic growth accelerated. The ratio is now around 318 percent, 3 percentage points below a high set in the third quarter of 2016, according to the IIF. … Mon., 08  January 2018


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EU has serious concerns about Trump 3 tax plans

Top EU economic powers warn US 

The European Union’s top five economies are warning the United States that its massive tax overhaul could violate some of its international obligations and risks having “a major distortive impact” on trade.

In a letter to U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, the finance ministers of Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Spain wrote they had “significant concerns” about three tax initiatives in particular.

In the letter, seen by The Associated Press, the five wrote that “it is important that the U.S. government’s rights over domestic tax policy be exercised in a way that adheres with international obligations to which it has signed-up.”

EU nations have been warily eyeing President Trump’s domestic tax proposals as they made their way through congress and have long expressed fears they might hurt world trade and EU companies in particular.… Tue., 12  December 2017