Posts belonging to Category commodities



EU will respond to U.S. tariffs with its own measures

Trade war

The European Union will take retaliatory measures in response to new U.S. tariffs on European goods, Germany’s foreign minister, Heiko Maas, told newspapers in remarks published on Friday. “The European Union now will have to react and, after obtaining the approval of the World Trade Organisation, probably impose punitive tariffs as well,” Maas, a member of Germany’s governing Social Democrats told German newspaper group Funke.

His comments come after the WTO this week ruled that some subsidies EU states paid to planemaker Airbus were illegal, giving the United States the right to react with tariffs on EU-imported goods.

https://uk.reuters.com/

Brexit: PM pressured to rule out ‘no deal’

Dozens of ministers could resign

The prime minister faces threats of mass resignations, disastrous worst-case scenarios and demands for further votes.

Pressure on Theresa May to rule out a “no-deal” Brexit is stacking up after MPs derided her plan B.

Sky News has learned that cross-Channel freight trade could collapse by between 75% and 87% for six months if the UK fails to agree a divorce deal with the EU by 29 March, when the country leaves the bloc.

The disclosure, in a document leaked to Sky News, comes as:

:: The pro-Remain cabinet minister Amber Rudd is said to have warned Number 10 that dozens of ministers could resign if Tory MPs are banned from voting to stop a no-deal Brexit;

:: Labour has tabled a Commons amendment to the government’s EU withdrawal deal, which it claims prevents the chaos of no deal and includes the option of a second referendum;

:: Labour’s Hilary Benn has also tabled an amendment for next week’s Brexit debate, calling for a series of votes on a way forward;

http://news.sky.com

Beijing is ready to dig in for a war of attrition with the United States on trade

The US government wants China to change practices

The Trump administration launched its biggest barrage of tariffs yet just as top executives and policymakers were gathering for the start of a World Economic Forum event in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin on Tuesday. China said later it would retaliate with more tariffs of its own. The trade war dominated discussions at the “summerDavos,” as the event is known, and few participants predicted a swift resolution to the conflict.

“China is growing concerned that the US motivation is now trying to keep China down and contain it,” said Timothy Stratford, a managing partner at law firm Covington & Burling in Beijing. “I expect that we’re going to have a deadlock for some time.”

The US government wants China to change practices that it says disadvantage American businesses, accusing Beijing of overseeing the theft of US intellectual property and boosting Chinese companies through aggressive industrial policies. The Chinese government dismisses the criticism as groundless, even though American and European firms operating in China frequently complain about the issues.

https://www.cnn.com/

China’s Annual Trade Surplus With U.S. Hits Record

China posted a trade surplus of $323.32 billion with the U.S. in 2018

China’s trade surplus with the U.S. hit a fresh record last year, as robust American demand for Chinese goods undercut the Trump administration’s tariff offensive aimed at narrowing the countries’ lopsided trade gap. China recorded $323.32 billion in surplus with the U.S. in 2018, representing a 17% jump from the figure in the previous year, according to Chinese government trade data released Monday.

Abetting the record imbalance were a healthy American economy and a weakening Chinese one, some economists and analysts said, which in turn fed U.S. demand for imports and damped demand in China. The Trump administration’s phased deadlines for tariffs, along with threats of more for this year, also sent Chinese exporters racing to fill orders, and a weakening Chinese currency kept the prices of those goods competitive.

https://www.wsj.com/

No-deal Brexit plans put 3,500 troops on standby

Cabinet says contingency plans must now be implemented across government

Emergency no-deal Brexit contingency plans must now be implemented across government, cabinet ministers have agreed, including reserving ferry space for supplies and putting 3,500 armed forces personnel on standby to deal with any disruption.

No 10 confirmed on Tuesday that ministers would “ramp up” no-deal planning, and that the departments would be expected to make it their main priority.

http://theguardian.com

Trump and Xi agree trade truce

Market is very concerned about the outcome of further negotiations

Soybeans prices are moving sharply this morning, on relief that Washington and Beijing have backed away from a deeper trade war.
Trump’s claim that China will “immediately” start buying more US products has driven soybean prices up by 3% on the Chicago futures market.
However, they’ve dropped in China — as traders anticipate a surge in supplies from America’s farmers.
“The price spike in Chicago soybeans and the fall in Dalian is a normal market reaction to the U.S.-China trade truce because China has agreed to start buying agricultural products from American farmers immediately,” said Monica Tu, an analyst at researcher Shanghai JC Intelligence Co.
Still, “the market is very concerned about the outcome of further negotiations,” and whether there will be big purchases in the next few weeks, she said.
http://www.theguardian.com

Europe ready to retaliate if U.S. imposes auto tariffs

EU has a list of potential retaliation targets ready

European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said on Wednesday that the EU has a list of potential retaliation targets ready in case U.S. President Donald Trump imposes auto tariffs on the bloc’s member states. Malmstrom told reporters after a meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer that they did not speak specifically about auto tariffs, but focused instead on regulatory cooperation issues and ways to enable EU countries to import more American soybeans and liquefied natural gas.

Malmstrom did not specify the U.S. products on which the EU would levy retaliatory tariffs, as consultations with member states would need to take place, but she said the list could include “all kinds” of products.
“It could be cars, it could be agriculture, it could be industrial products – it could be everything. And we will do that, but hope we don’t have to get to that situation,” she said.

US and Canada reach deal on NAFTA

The 3 country North American Free Trade Agreement is preserved

Canada has agreed to sign on to a trade deal between the United States and Mexico, preserving the three-country North American Free Trade Agreement after more than a year of tortuous negotiations.
The US and Canadian governments agreed to a deal that would allow US farmers greater access to Canada’s dairy market and address concerns about potential auto tariffs just hours before a self-imposed midnight deadline, a US official and a Canadian official told CNN late Sunday.
The new deal has a new name: the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
http://www.cnn.com

China says U.S. trying to force it to submit on trade

The United States and China imposed fresh tariffs on each other’s goods on Monday as the world’s biggest economies showed no signs of backing down from an increasingly bitter trade dispute that is expected to hit global economic growth. Soon after the new duties went into effect, China accused the United States of engaging in “trade bullyism” and said it was intimidating other countries to submit to its will, the official Xinhua news agency said, reiterating China’s willingness to fight if necessary.
But Beijing also said it was willing to restart trade negotiations with the United States if the talks are “based on mutual respect and equality,” Xinhua said, citing a white paper on the dispute published by China’s State Council. U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods and retaliatory tariffs by Beijing on $60 billion worth of U.S. products took effect at midday Asian time, though the initial level of the duties was not as high as earlier feared.
http://www.reuters.com

Jack Ma to Hand Alibaba’s Helm to CEO Daniel Zhang Next Year

His retirement caps a 19-year run for Asia’s largest company

Alibaba is heralding the end of the Jack Ma era. A former English teacher who helped found Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. two decades ago, Ma outlined plans to hand the executive chairman role to Daniel Zhang, a finance veteran who’s presided over an ambitious expansion and won over investors in three years as chief executive officer.

Ma will officially pass the baton in exactly 12 months’ time, on his 55th birthday, but remain on the board until 2020. He now intends to focus on philanthropy and education but also pursue unspecified “new dreams,” he said in a statement Monday.

Jack Ma to Hand Alibaba's Helm to CEO Daniel Zhang Next Year

His retirement caps a 19-year run for Asia’s largest company

Alibaba is heralding the end of the Jack Ma era. A former English teacher who helped found Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. two decades ago, Ma outlined plans to hand the executive chairman role to Daniel Zhang, a finance veteran who’s presided over an ambitious expansion and won over investors in three years as chief executive officer.
Ma will officially pass the baton in exactly 12 months’ time, on his 55th birthday, but remain on the board until 2020. He now intends to focus on philanthropy and education but also pursue unspecified “new dreams,” he said in a statement Monday.

US has started 'the biggest trade war' in history

Trump readies new tariffs on China

The Trump administration is preparing another round of tariffs on Chinese goods worth $200 billion, ramping up the US-China trade war. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Tuesday released a list of thousands of additional goods that could face 10% tariffs after a public comment period. It includes fruit and vegetables, handbags, refrigerators, rain jackets and baseball gloves.

The move comes after the United States imposed 25% tariffs on Chinese goods worth $34 billion last Friday. Beijing immediately responded with its own tariffs on US goods worth $34 billion.

Trump Is Fracturing OPEC

Trump tweets

Trump’s tweet over the weekend that Saudi Arabia agreed to add 2 million barrels per day (mb/d) of supply confused the oil markets, pushing prices down a bit on Monday. Most analysts dismissed the statement, concluding that Trump was confused when the Saudis told him they have 2 mb/d of spare capacity, and not that they had planned to bring that capacity online.
A few days on from that episode, however, it actually doesn’t look that black and white.
Indeed, Trump’s tweet suggests that he very much believes that 2 mb/d of Saudi supply is coming online, and despite the attempt by the Saudis to clarify, by stating that they have surplus capacity waiting to be used in the event of a pinch, the statement was interpreted in different ways by the oil market.
https://www.oilprice.com/

Does Trump plan to quit the World Trade Organization?

Better WTO Treatment

President Donald Trump said he doesn’t plan to withdraw from the World Trade Organization (WTO), but wants the U.S. needs to be treated more fairly by the global body.The U.S. won’t exit the Geneva-based organization “at this point,” Trump said Friday. His top White House trade adviser hedged on the question on Saturday, saying any decision was up to the president, and pushed back at critics of U.S. trade moves from companies including auto-maker General Motors Co.
Axios news agency reported earlier in the day that Trump had repeatedly told top White House officials he wants to exit the WTO, citing people familiar with Trump’s thinking. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index and U.S. futures wobbled on the story before recovering. Earlier Friday, White House officials sought to ease concerns over the report, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin calling it an “exaggeration.”
https://www.bloomberg.com/

Trade war: Harley-Davidson shifts some production out of the U.S.

Trump last year thanked the company for “building things in America.”

On Monday, Harley-Davidson Inc. said it would shift some production out of the U.S. in order to mitigate the impact of European Union tariffs targeting its motorcycles. Those penalties — which Harley-Davidson estimates may cost it as much as $100 million annually — were in response to U.S. levies on steel and aluminum imported from the EU. Meanwhile, the Treasury Department is reportedly planning to aim a bazooka at a Chinese takeover problem that doesn’t really exist anymore by declaring a national economic emergency. What’s more troubling is a reported plan to crack down on exports of key U.S. technologies.
https://www.bloomberg.com/