U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday defended his trade war with China as tensions escalated and markets extended their losses, promising a deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping soon, even as fears escalated about a protracted battle.In a string of early-morning tweets, Trump kept up his “America First” agenda in support of hefty tariffs and called on U.S. companies to back him by shifting their businesses away from China. But he also softened his tone on soybeans and other agricultural products, appealing to Beijing to act.“When the time is right we will make a deal with China,” Trump said. “It will all happen, and much faster than people think!”.
China on Wednesday reported surprisingly weaker growth in retail sales and industrial output for April, adding pressure on Beijing to roll out more stimulus as the trade war with the United States escalates.Clothing sales fell for the first time since 2009, suggesting Chinese consumers were growing more worried about the economy even before a U.S. tariff hike on Friday heightened stress on country’s struggling exporters.Overall retail sales rose 7.2% in April from a year earlier, the slowest pace since May 2003, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed. That undershot March’s 8.7% and forecasts of 8.6%.
British Prime Minister Theresa May will launch another push next month to approve Britain’s exit from the European Union before the summer break, setting a new deadline for her Brexit plan and a potential timetable for her own departure.Nearly three years after the United Kingdom voted 52% to 48% to leave the EU, politicians still disagree about when, how or even if the divorce will take place.
Japan has complained at the World Trade Organization about India’s duties on mobile phones, base stations and routers, and the circuit boards and other components that go into them, a WTO filing showed on Tuesday.Japan’s complaint, the first step in a legal dispute, said India had sought to foster domestic production by adjusting various taxes including customs duties, especially since it launched the “Make in India” campaign in September 2014.Some of the tariffs on goods of substantial interest to Japan were now “clearly in excess” of the rates allowed by the WTO, Japan said.India’s WTO membership terms specified that the import tariff on all the disputed goods was zero percent, but India applied a 20% tariff to mobile phones and base stations, and tariffs of 10%, 15% and 20% on the other products, Japan said.Under WTO rules, India has 60 days to settle the dispute, but after that Japan could ask the WTO to set up an adjudication panel to say whether India’s tariffs break the rules.
India fears China could soon start flooding excess steel into its market after the United States raised tariffs on Chinese products due to the escalating trade war between the world’s two largest economies, according to three government sources and four industry officials.As a result, the Indian steel industry has asked the Indian government to put in so-called safeguard duties of as much as 25 percent to protect it from growing imports. These would be imposed on steel that the government determines has been dumped in India at prices below the cost of production.
Mexico is closing in on a deal to repeal U.S. President Donald Trump’s punitive tariffs on steel and aluminum, a senior Mexican official said on Tuesday, potentially moving a step nearer to the ratification of a major trade deal struck last year.We are, I think, close to negotiating the lifting of the tariffs,” Mexican Economy Minister Graciela Marquez told Canadian broadcaster CBC after meeting with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland in Toronto.“We’re having very fruitful conversations on lifting the tariffs not only in the U.S. but also here in Toronto.”Adam Austen, a spokesman for Freeland, said the minister noted on Tuesday that it was unwise to predict how long a negotiation would take. He declined to comment further.Mexico and Canada imposed tariffs on various U.S. products last year in response to Trump’s metals duties. The Mexican government says it could soon swap out some goods from its list for others to spread the pain across the U.S. economy.
Asian stocks rebounded from a 3-1/2-month low on Wednesday as a slight softening in rhetoric from U.S. President Donald Trump eased worries about the U.S.-China tariff war, and on expectations that Beijing could unveil more economic stimulus.MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.6%. The index had fallen to its lowest level since the end of January the previous day as the Sino-U.S. trade conflict intensified. Beijing on Monday imposed a tariff hike on U.S. goods following Washington’s decision last week to hike its levies on Chinese imports.
Gold prices edged lower on Wednesday, retreating from a one-month peak hit in the previous session as optimism surrounding trade talks between Washington and Beijing soothed investor concerns, boosting global stocks and the dollar.Spot gold fell 0.1% to $1,295.54 per ounce by 0313 GMT.
Oil prices fell on Wednesday after data showed a surprise rise in U.S. crude stockpiles and Chinese industrial output for April grew less than expected, but prices were supported by mounting tensions in the Middle East.Brent crude futures were at $71.04 a barrel at 0358 GMT, down 20 cents, or 0.3%, from their last close. Brent closed 1.4% higher on Tuesday.U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $61.38 per barrel, down 40 cents, or 0.7%, from their previous settlement. WTI closed up 1.2% in the previous session.U.S. crude stockpiles unexpectedly rose last week, while gasoline and distillate inventories increased, data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed on Tuesday.Crude inventories rose by 8.6 million barrels in the week to May 10 to 477.8 million, compared with analysts’ expectations of a decrease of 800,000 barrels.