NAFTA renegotiation (and other trade issues) #2

Això és la continuació del tema NAFTA renegotiation.

ConversesPro and Con

Afegeix-te a LibraryThing per participar.

NAFTA renegotiation (and other trade issues) #2

ag. 18, 2018, 10:49am

Reading about horrific pollution in Florida, I vaguely remembered that Canadian sugar was disadvantaged in NAFTA.
Following is from Canadian sugar website, so take with grain of (sugar?), but geez, sure makes Trump fixation on Cdn dairy sound a little hypocritical?
(Sugar beets are grown in s Alberta. I assume raw material for Cdn cane sugar is imported.)

International Trade: NAFTA

...The NAFTA was implemented in 1994 and provided for gradual free trade in sugar between the United States and Mexico. In fact, Mexico achieved full duty-free access to the U.S. in 2008. Canada was excluded from the NAFTA sugar agreement so Canadian sugar exports continue to be limited to one-tenth of one percent (0.1%) of the 10.5 million tonne U.S. sugar market. Canada also faces quota limitations on a wide range of sugar-containing products while Mexico's access has been unlimited since 2003. U.S. quotas will remain fixed for Canada’s sugar industry unless multilateral or significant regional negotiations result in comprehensive market access gains across all products.

Unlike Canada’s free market sugar policy, the U.S. government intervenes in its sugar market to support domestic production of cane and beet sugar. The policy artificially supports U.S. domestic sugar prices above world and Canadian price levels, restricts imports and uses a special “re-export program” to encourage exports of sugar and sugar-containing products...

ag. 22, 2018, 7:37pm

U.S. to impose anti-dumping duties of 24% plus on Canadian-made pipes
The Canadian Press | Aug 21, 2018

U.S. penalties range from 3.45% for Turkey to over 132% for China.

...The U.S. is to immediately begin collecting 24.38 per cent cash deposits on imports from Canada that were worth almost US$180 million in 2017, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced on Tuesday.

The other countries being hit with duties are China, Greece, India, Korea, and Turkey, with penalties ranging from 3.45 per cent for Turkey to more than 132 per cent for China.

India is the only country on the list that had greater exports of the pipe to the U.S. in 2017 than Canada, at $295 million US.

..."The United States has a $2-billion surplus in steel trade with Canada," said Adam Austen (spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland) in an email. "Canada buys more steel from the U.S. than any other country, accounting for more than 50 per cent of U.S. exports."

The U.S. Commerce Department said it found that the six countries have sold pipe at less than fair value in the United States.

...Last week, Trump said the U.S. should harvest fallen trees from the forest floor, which he says are making wildfires in California worse, rather than import wood when "Canada is charging us a lot of money to bring their timber down into our country."

ag. 28, 2018, 7:35am

U.S.-Mexico trade deal welcomed - but industry players want details
Peter Zimonjic |Aug 27, 2018

Auto industry says Monday's announcement shows progress - but questions raised about textiles

While the trade deal U.S. President Donald Trump's administration struck with Mexico has the potential to set the stage for the final phase of NAFTA negotiations, many of the details have yet to be fully revealed, leaving industry players cautious in their reaction to the news.

For some, there are visible potential benefits, while for others the uncertainty and lack of detail have raised concerns that their industry may still be under threat.

The automobile industry in Canada, for instance, appears to be broadly supportive

The deal, as announced, would require 40-45 per cent of auto content made in Mexico to be made by workers earning at least $16 US per hour, placating unions in Canada and the U.S. concerned about high-paying jobs moving to Mexico's low-wage economy

...The revised U.S.-Mexico deal will require 75 per cent of auto content to be made in North America, up from 62.5 per cent under the current NAFTA deal.

But Flavio Volpe, president of Canada's Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association, said that despite the increase to the rules of origin threshold, some companies may simply continue to buy parts from abroad and just eat the 2.5 per cent tariff. Still, he called the deal "progress."

...The textile industry, however, said it has concerns with what it has heard about the deal so far, specifically the potential that sewing thread, pocket fabric, elastic bands and coated fabric would also have to meet North American rules of origin.

...Fruit and vegetables

Ron Bonnett, president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, said noted that other issues, such as dispute settlement, remain unresolved.

He said while the announcement of U.S.-Mexico deal may make a splash, he is still waiting to see what it will mean for agriculture in Canada.

The Canadian Produce Marketing Association, however, said it was encouraged by the agreement and by outgoing Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto's reference to including Canada in future discussions.

"It is our understanding that the seasonality provision has been removed from the U.S.-Mexico agreement and will not be part of the discussions moving forward," the CPMA said in a statement. "The CPMA has long advocated for the removal of the seasonality provision and is pleased that it will not be a feature of a future trilateral agreement."

That provision would have allowed U.S. produce suppliers to make a claim of anti-dumping against Mexican producers when it shipped large amounts of produce into the U.S. at certain times of the year.

The US-Mexico trade deal may be bad news for China
Yen Nee Lee | 8/28/2018

The trade deal with Mexico offers U.S. President Donald Trump "some wins from a political perspective that the administration can point to ahead of the mid-terms," said John Woods, the chief investment officer for Asia Pacific at Credit Suisse.

That could mean the country's ongoing dispute with China may drag on, Woods said.

..."There is, right now, no visible interest from the US administration in pursuing talks with China over trade, and there will likely not be either unless China proposes some far-reaching changes to issues such as intellectual property protection and forced technology transfer," the economists wrote.

That means the additional $200 billion in U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods will likely come into effect in September, they all said. China will also likely retaliate to the extent that they can and worsen the dispute, they added.

But the deal with Mexico showed that the U.S. "is willing to concede" if the terms are right, which is a "good signal" to countries trying to negotiate with the Trump administration, said Juan Carlos Hartasanchez, senior director of Albright Stonebridge Group.

Those countries could also learn from Mexico how to move from "a very complicated negotiation where no progress was being attained" to what "seems to be a good resolution for both parties"...

ag. 29, 2018, 6:36am

The National Corn Growers Association indicates "prices have dropped by 44 cents a bushel... Under the plan to bailout farmers hurt by tariffs, corn growers will receive payments at a rate of a penny per bushel"

John G. Murphy @JGodiasMurphy (US Chamber of Commerce)
7:56 PM - 28 Aug 2018

ag. 29, 2018, 10:25am

And Trump was exercised about Canada's protection of a few dairy farmers!
The devil's details--using national security rationale to bludgeon allies, at expense of consumers:

U.S.-Mexico trade deal may allow Trump to put tariffs of up to 25% on Mexican auto imports
David Shepardson and Ana Isabel Martinez | Aug 28, 2018

...a previously unreported side agreement between the two countries would allow the United States to pursue “national security” tariffs on annual Mexican car and SUV imports of over 2.4 million vehicles. The side deal would allow national security levies on auto parts imports above a value of $90 billion per year on the same grounds. The administration plans to announce the results of a probe into whether autos and part imports pose a national security risk in the coming weeks.

The study could be used to justify 25 percent U.S. tariffs on automotive imports on the basis that protecting the U.S. auto industry is vital to national security under a Cold War-era trade law.

Automakers are concerned that the agreement signals the United States will proceed with national security tariffs – and are likely to use the tariffs to win concessions from the European Union and Japan as well. They have said the tariffs could cost hundreds of thousands of jobs and dramatically raise vehicle prices.

A separate side-agreement lays out a possible scenario in which the United States increases its normal “most-favored nation” tariffs on autos, currently 2.5 percent. A potential new, unspecified rate would be applied to vehicles that do not meet the existing or revamped NAFTA.

Mexico reserves the right to challenge the U.S. use of “national security” tariffs at the World Trade Organization, people briefed on the talks said.

...The deal also sets quotas for carmakers to use domestic steel and aluminum...

...Asian and German automakers, and automakers and suppliers that want to expand production in Mexico, could be at a disadvantage, and be forced to source more production of both vehicles and engines in the United States.

...could add hundreds of millions of dollars in (paperwork) costs to automakers over the next decade....

The new cap on total vehicle exports could spur a rush for companies to announce additional production capacity in Mexico in the coming months to try to “lock in” space under the cap before the agreement takes effect...

The new content rules and a new requirement that 40-45 percent of a vehicle be produced by workers earning $16 an hour or more, far higher than current Mexican rates, could lead automakers to try to raise vehicle prices...

Editat: ag. 29, 2018, 11:34am

Canada, U.S. resume NAFTA talks amid growing optimism
Julie Gordon, Sharay Angulo | Aug 29, 2018

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Canada has three days to tackle contentious issues when it resumes talks with the United States on Wednesday to salvage the trilateral North American Free Trade Agreement amid signs Ottawa was open to taking a more conciliatory approach.

...(Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia) Freeland said on Tuesday that Mexico’s concessions on auto rules of origin and labor rights was a breakthrough.

...Ottawa is also ready to make concessions on Canada’s protected dairy market in a bid to save a dispute-settlement system, The Globe and Mail reported late on Tuesday.

...One of the issues for Canada in the revised deal is the U.S. effort to dump the Chapter 19 dispute resolution mechanism that hinders the United States from pursuing anti-dumping and anti-subsidy (Mexican produce, Cdn lumber, Cdn Bombardier plane) cases. (U.S. Trade Representative Robert) Lighthizer said on Monday that Mexico had agreed to eliminate the mechanism.

To save that mechanism, Ottawa plans to change one rule that effectively blocked American farmers from exporting ultrafiltered milk, an ingredient in cheesemaking, to Canada, the Globe and Mail reported, citing sources. (But Trudeau said Tuesday he would defend dairy farmers.)

...Other hurdles include intellectual property rights and extensions of copyright protections to 75 years from 50, higher threshold than Canada has previously supported...

Editat: set. 1, 2018, 7:08am

Quebec election: NAFTA talks positioned as a door for sovereignty
Christopher Curtis, Montreal Gazette | August 31, 2018

Québec solidaire's Manon Massé says the potential blow to the province's (dairy) farmers proves federalism isn't working for Quebecers

...Representatives from Quebec’s four major parties were in Longueuil Friday to meet with the province’s farming lobby and show a united front in favour of supply management.

...Quebec produces about 50 per cent of Canada’s dairy, and its agricultural sector is roughly the size of Ontario’s automotive industry. To oppose supply management would be political suicide, in other words. (120,000 jobs)

...(Parti Québécois Leader Jean-François) Lisée and (Québec solidaire's Manon) Massé’s poll numbers have them trailing the Liberals and Coalition Avenir Québec by a wide margin. And opinion surveys suggest Quebec sovereignty is less popular now than it has been in generations.

But Lisée has also suggested that the right set of external factors — like a blow to the dairy sector — could cause Quebecers to reconsider that stance.


The Art of the Deal...

Next week's NAFTA challenge: Restore momentum after Trump's latest 'bullying'
Janyce McGregor | Sep 01, 2018

U.S. President bragged about deal 'totally on our terms,' but Freeland isn't giving up

...Adam Taylor, a former advisor to Conservative trade minister Ed Fast who is now a consultant in Ottawa...Given Canada's reliance on U.S. trade, the idea of no deal being better than a bad deal for Canada is a "pick your poison" situation, he said. "You're going to die anyway." ...

set. 1, 2018, 9:07am

Trying to reconcile Canadian affinity for arbitration clause of NAFTA, since it has benefited them (Bombardier planes? paper?) and hurt them (US investors in wind turbines) with Trump admin disdain for it--I assume so Trump can heavily intervene when US business complains (Boeing, US newsprint co.)? I suppose if Cdn dairy tariff lifted, US dairy could challenge requirement that milk be hormone-free

Is Donald Trump About to Become NAFTA’s Savior?
Jordan Weissmann | Aug 31, 2018

...Trump’s NAFTA would also roll back the parallel legal system that currently lets foreign corporations sue governments outside of traditional courts, known as Investor-State Dispute Settlement, or ISDS. This would be another major win for left-leaning trade critics, such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who made ISDS a centerpiece of her opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership, and may be the most fundamental revision to the pact. ISDS, which has become a common feature of trade pacts globally, allows businesses to challenge governments before an arbitration panel if they believe their property has been illegally seized. But many have worried about companies using it to challenge basic health and environmental regulations. Philip Morris sought damages from Uruguay when the country sought to put graphic health warnings on cigarette packages, for instance (thankfully, it lost). According to Public Citizen’s Lori Wallach, who has been briefed on the specifics of the preliminary deal, the new NAFTA would eliminate the use of ISDS between the U.S. and Canada, and severely restrict its use in Mexico. The agreement does contain a carve-out for some energy companies, which would still get to use the old system. But “ISDS as it has ever been known for all intents and purposes is gone,” Wallach told me...

set. 1, 2018, 5:49pm

Just as an aside, I don't think most / many Canadians want to drink US milk. Our milk is growth hormone free and also antibiotic free. That is not true of US milk.

As for the Canadian Government helping out Bombardier, yes it has, but the USA government has helped out Boeing to a much greater extent.

Personally, I'd rather no deal than a bad deal for Canada, and I suspect most Canadians feel the same way. As far as I can understand, the US congress would like a deal with Canada. Trump's a bully that does not understand much of anything.

Editat: set. 2, 2018, 10:26am

Trump warns Congress to keep out of NAFTA talks with Canada
Murray Brewster | Sep 01, 2018

'There is no political necessity to keep Canada in the new NAFTA deal,' U.S. president tweets

...Trump also warned U.S. lawmakers, who have become increasingly uneasy that the new trade deal, formally signalled in a letter to Congress Friday, might not include Canada. The deal would then not be a reworked version of NAFTA, but a bilateral U.S.-Mexico trade deal.

"Congress should not interfere with these negotiations or I will simply terminate NAFTA entirely and we will be far better off..." Trump tweeted.

Both Republicans and Democrats have objected to a straight up bilateral deal with Mexico. Republican Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn was quoted by the American media on Wednesday saying that, without Canada, it would, "reduce the likelihood that it would actually be approved."

...Under NAFTA's withdrawal rules, Trump must give six months' notice to the leaders of Canada and Mexico, the other stakeholders in the current pact, for the U.S. to pull out. He also must seek the support of Congress to pass such a change...


Trump tweeted that VAT tax was unaccounted for in NAFTA. In Canada, I think it's called Good and Services Tax (fed) and is combined with any provincial sales taxes into Harmonized Sales Tax: Intent of GST was to ensure that imports and domestically produced goods were taxed at the same rate, as I recall. Many countries have VAT, but not US (for political reasons?)

It's a bit complicated to calculate because tax is applied at each transaction, then reconciled (some rebates) at the last transaction.

set. 2, 2018, 1:35pm

Cdn dairy farmer on subsidized over-prodution v. supply management:

Dismantling Canadian dairy protections won’t help U.S. farmers, group warns
Ben Cousins | September 1, 2018 5:26PM EDT

...Graham Lloyd, general manager of the Dairy Farmers of Ontario marketing group...believes the issue with the American dairy industry is that farmers produce more milk than necessary and rely too heavily on government subsidies to remain in operation.

“You look at what’s happening in the United States, Australia and New Zealand, they have failing farms, they don’t control production and so they have massive overproduction and that results in low prices and bankrupt farms,” Lloyd said.

Lloyd adds that overproduction among American dairy farms is so high that the problem can’t be resolved by entering the much smaller Canadian market.

“Why would Canada open up its market to the U.S.? It’s not going to benefit the U.S. economy, it’s not going to benefit the U.S. dairy, it’ll only cause harm to the Canadian dairy,” he said.

Instead of government money, the Canadian dairy industry relies on supply management, which ensures farmers are only producing enough milk to meet Canadian demand. Lloyd believes this system has kept Canadian farmers afloat while those in other countries feel the pinch....

set. 2, 2018, 2:35pm

Never mind Cdn dairy, I've seen binational "supply management" approach work pretty well in US and Canadian waters of Lake Erie. It has both protected the common resource and the incomes of Cdn commercial fishermen and Ohio charter boat operators:

Dairy farmers need supply management, in Canada and the United States
Jennifer Wells | Sept. 1, 2018

...So what’s it like to be a dairy farmer in the land of the free and the home of the brave?

For many dairy farmers the answer ranges from dire straits to crisis.

...There’s too much milk production. Milk surpluses are out of control. Past efforts to put controls in place have failed and failed again.

...Reaching back in time, prior to the signing of the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement, we see the U.S. federal government paying dairy farmers to cut production. That didn’t work. Two years later marked the launch of the unpleasantly titled Dairy Termination Program of 1985 in which farmers were paid to dispose of — slaughter or export — dairy cows. That reduced the national head count of dairy cattle by 1.5 million at a cost of $1.8 billion (U.S.). Milk production increased.

Fast forward to the modern day. Take a look at New York State, where governor Andrew Cuomo extolled the growth of the dairy industry, prodded by tax credits and expansion financing. Milk production increases vastly outpaced the national average — 2.2 per cent in 2013 versus 0.4 per cent growth nationwide. The following year the governor crowed that the sector, so important to his economic growth plan, had reclaimed the number three spot in the rankings of the country’s milk production.

Everything rosy? Far from it. A Greek yogurt maker, wooed with $14 million in tax credits, lasted little more than two years. Over production has massively depressed milk prices. Operational efficiencies have increased: According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, annual per cow milk production rose 12 per cent across a 10-year span to 23,000 pounds annually by 2017. This past spring, milk prices fell to a 10-year low.

Last month, Gov. Cuomo announced a $30-million fund to assist dairy farmers in converting their operations to non-dairy, but still agricultural, operations. There’s been a raft of bad news.

In June, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker announced the creation of a dairy task force to come up with actions that state can take to maintain a viable dairy industry...More than a dozen proposals were submitted to the Agri-Mark gathering. The phrase “supply management” came up a lot. Mark McAfee, executive director of the California Dairy Campaign, submitted a proposal for a Sustainable Milk Inventory System Act. It’s a 12-point plan built on establishing a national program of dairy inventory management. Sounds familiar. McAfee summarized the act as a “U.S. version of the Canadian system with improvements.”

Long term stability requires a structural overhaul. Lost in the call on this side of the border for an end to supply management are the voices in the U.S. dairy industry who see a similar program as the most effective way to protect the future of an industry...

set. 3, 2018, 6:32am

Steel and aluminum tariffs for national security reasons may have strengthened Cdn resolve re Article 19 (dispute settlement).
Former Cdn Ambassador to US:

Canada must learn from our history and stand firm on NAFTA
Derek Burney* | September 2, 2018

...With negotiations hanging in the balance primarily over dispute settlement, the current situation is like déjà vu all over again as this was the issue that almost scuppered the initial free-trade negotiations in 1987...

The dispute settlement issue was vital then, and is now because we are dealing with an economic giant more than 10 times our size, one that tends to render decisions on trade that are arbitrary, capricious and contravene U.S. trade law. The panels act as a check on such actions obliging each party to adhere strictly to their own trade laws. The mechanism is not foolproof. Canada has won on several issues such as softwood lumber and labelling on meat, but even when we have won, the United States has used every pretext to avoid honouring the result. Significantly, the same mechanism was strengthened in NAFTA, emulated by the WTO and in other major trade agreements. It helps temper the raw power imbalance.

...If we have learned anything about the Trump administration’s actions on trade to date it is that we need independent adjudication of disputes now more than ever. The tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum were implemented on spurious “national security” grounds. They are a prime example of egregious actions that should be challenged. If we can modify U.S. behaviour with other safeguards, notably against dubious national security claims, so be it. But we need the spectre of binding dispute settlement to give greater security of access and certainty to our exporters.

...When we are confronted with schoolyard bully tactics, the choice is clear. Concede and hope that the behaviour will improve, or resist in the hope that rational voices in Congress and business will constrain the President’s worst impulses. Remembering too, as George Schultz was fond of saying, “It is never over until it is over and, in Washington, it is never really over.” This is, however, time to stand firm.

* Derek Burney was Canada’s ambassador to the United States from 1989 to 1993. He led the Canadian delegation in concluding negotiations of the Canada-U.S. free-trade agreement.

set. 3, 2018, 6:59am

Interesting--Canada gave some on supply management in CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, Canada-Europe, but I seem to recall US entry was anticipated?) and TPP (Tran-Pacific Partnership, which Trump withdrew from). Latter was in response to US, but was left in after Trump pulled out--maybe in anticipation that U would be back? Canada now investing in dairy industry ("subsidy"?):

New TPP deal, same concessions for Canada’s supply managed sectors
Kelvin Heppner | January 23, 2018

The Canadian government has conceded the same access to the country’s dairy, poultry and egg markets in the new Trans-Pacific Partnership as was agreed to the initial version of the deal in 2015 when the U.S. was still part of the TPP.

Canada and the other 10 countries concluded negotiations on Tuesday for the updated Pacific trade pact, now formally known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. The signing ceremony for the deal will likely take place on March 8th in Chile.

The market access provisions in the text are unchanged from the first agreement, which gave TPP countries (including the U.S.) access to the following share of the domestic market:

3.25 percent for dairy
2.3 percent for eggs
2.1 percent for chicken
2 percent for turkey, and
1.5 percent for broiler hatching eggs.

Supply managed producer groups are questioning why Canada agreed to the same terms when the largest economy in the original deal — the U.S. — is no longer a member.

“Although the loss of the U.S. represents a loss of approximately 60 percent of the original TPP market GDP, the original concessions to our domestic dairy market remain,” notes Dairy Farmers of Canada, in a news release calling Tuesday “a somber day for the 221,000 Canadians that depend on the dairy sector for their livelihood.”

Chicken Farmers of Canada is also “trying to figure out why Canada offered access to countries who didn’t request it and who didn’t offer anything in exchange, because in the original, the only country seeking chicken access was the USA,” says spokesperson Lisa Bishop-Spencer.

These groups are also voicing concern about the cumulative effect of giving up incremental market access in multiple trade deals, including the Canada-EU trade deal, TPP, and potentially, a new NAFTA...

Canada carves out more European cheese for retailers after EU concerns
Janyce McGregor | Aug 01, 2017

European trade deal takes hold Sept. 21 with 18,000 tonnes of new cheese imports phased in over 5 years

Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne has disappointed Canada's dairy industry with a revised plan for how nearly 18,000 tonnes of European cheeses will be imported once the Canada-EU trade deal takes effect in September.

A much-anticipated announcement came Tuesday on how Canada will allocate tariff rate quota (TRQ) for 16,000 tonnes of fine cheese and 1,700 tonnes of industrial cheese...

Canada's Dairy Farm Investment Program ($50 million per year):

1. What is the Dairy Farm Investment Program?

The Dairy Farm Investment Program (DFIP) is a five-year (beginning fiscal year 2017-2018) $250-million program to help Canadian cow's milk producers improve productivity through upgrades to their equipment.

3. What is the purpose of the program?

The program is one of two new programs announced on November 10, 2016, to support the productivity of the dairy sector, as it adapts to the anticipated impacts from the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union.

set. 4, 2018, 5:24am

Trump might want to "clear the deck" for battle with China (and Europe?), but he will want to come out of NAFTA negotiation looking strong to China/Europe. Canada will probably give some on dairy and hold tight on dispute resolution, methinks. Not sure how much Trump wants to protect Big Pharma from generics--sounds inconsistent with his campaign rhetoric?

Trump’s NAFTA threat leaves Trudeau locked in high-stakes game of poker
Daniel Dale | Sept. 3, 2018

...(President) Trump’s thinking appears to be this: (PM) Trudeau will make concessions before the end of September because Congress, which is currently controlled by Republicans, would give Trump legal permission to proceed with a Mexico-only deal — and then would eventually vote to grant a Mexico-only deal final approval.

But neither of those two things is even close to certain. Some trade experts say they are unlikely.

...risk for Trudeau... Despite their early words on the U.S.-Mexico deal, congressional Republicans do not have a long history of standing up to a president who is overwhelmingly popular with party voters.

...The Canadian government official...said, though, that the congressional picture will improve further for Canada after members see the precise text of the U.S. deal with Mexico, which the official said includes provisions that will harm members’ communities and donors.

The congressional situation could get worse for Trump and better for Canada if Democrats win back control of the House of Representatives in November’s midterm elections...

But Trump is Trump, proud of his unpredictability and prone to vindictiveness. In addition to abandoning talks with Canada, as he threatened again on Saturday, he could decide to follow through on a repeated threat that does not, in his view, require congressional approval: imposing “national security” tariffs on Canadian-made cars.

There is possible downside for Trump there, too. Such a move could cause turmoil in stock markets and in Congress at a particularly inopportune time, just over a month before the midterms.

...“(Trump's) trying to get even with the prime minister, saying, ‘You’re not going to be pushed around? Well, just watch me,’” (Peter Clark, a veteran Canadian trade lawyer) said. “There’s no limits on his pettiness. The danger is very little of the stuff he does is logical.”

Editat: set. 4, 2018, 9:40am

Trump’s NAFTA deal can’t solve America’s manufacturing problems
Marshall Auerback | September 4, 2018

...As a result of the militarization of what’s left of US manufacturing, along with the enlargement of the trans-Pacific supply chains with China (brought about through decades of offshoring), a mere tweak of the “new NAFTA” is unlikely to achieve Trump’s objective of revitalizing America’s industrial commons. With China’s entry to the WTO, it is possible that the US manufacturing has hit a “point of no return,” which mitigates the utility of regional trade deals, as a means of reorienting the multinational production networks in a way that produces high-quality, high-paying jobs for American workers...

set. 5, 2018, 8:55am

Trump supporter's view of NAFTA negotiations and Trudeau.
(In the end he supports same deal (dairy for dispute resolution) that others do, but lots of dissing Trudeau in the process.)

Justin Trudeau finally gets the trade trouble he deserves
F.H. Buckley* | September 4, 2018

*F.H. Buckley is the author of the new book “The Republican Workers Party: How the Trump Victory Drove Everyone Crazy, and
Why It Was Just What We Needed.”


Poor Canadian negotiators, landing in DC just as Woodward book is revealed...
There's probably NOTHING staffers can do to shield NAFTA negotiations from Wrath of Trump?

Blame Canada - South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut (3/9) Movie CLIP (1999) HD (2:04)

Editat: set. 6, 2018, 8:15am

(Trumpian trade strategy?)

1) Decide trade deficit with country "A" is a big problem

2) Impose tariffs on that country

3) Drive down targeted country's currency

4) Make targeted country's imports cheaper, make your exports to that country more expensive

5) Bigger trade deficit with targeted country

David Frumn @davidfrum
5:57 AM - 5 Sep 2018


And voilà:

Canada's Trade Surplus With U.S. Widens to Most Since 2008
Greg Quinn | September 5, 2018

2018 Economic Calendar
International Trade | Released On 9/5/2018 8:30:00 AM For Jul, 2018

U.S. trade deficit surges to five-month high as exports fall
Lucia Mutikani | Sept 5, 2018

...“America still isn’t getting a fair deal on trade and that can only mean one thing,” said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York. “President Trump is going unleash another $200 billion in tariffs on China imports.”

The Commerce Department said the trade deficit increased 9.5 percent to $50.1 billion as exports of soybeans and civilian aircraft dropped and imports hit a record high. The trade gap has now widened for two straight months.

...Imports of goods and services increased 0.9 percent to a record $261.2 billion in July. They were boosted by imports of computers and computer accessories. (defense against future tariffs?) The import bill was also inflated by petroleum imports, which were the highest since December 2014 amid higher oil prices.

...“Looking ahead, cooler global momentum and the stronger dollar will temper export growth while imports will stay well-supported by upbeat domestic demand, fiscal stimulus and the strong greenback,” said Oren Klachkin, lead economist at Oxford Economics in New York...

Editat: set. 7, 2018, 10:51am

The Trade Slowdown Has Already Begun
David Fickling | September 7, 2018

As tariffs pile up, the world economy is starting to look holed below the waterline.

...Rolling three-month trade volumes are already in decline, a rare situation in recent decades

...For a better picture of what lies ahead, have a look at the way the world’s container-shipping lines are planning for the future. Order books* that ran in excess of 1,000 vessels before the 2008 financial crisis haven’t cracked one-fifth of that level since Trump came to power. If the global economy is going to ride out this latest round of tension, the merchant fleets on which trade depends aren’t seeing it.

* An order book is a business's list of open, unshipped, customer orders, normally time-phased and valued at actual individual order prices, that may include margin and profitability analysis.

Editat: set. 8, 2018, 7:19am

Trudeau willing to be flexible on dairy, but Kudlow says that Canada isn't offering enough (probably CETA and TPP terms?).

Kudlow: "The word that continues to block the deal is m-i-l-k, OK? I'm just saying, 'Let go. Milk, dairy, drop the barriers, give our farmers a break and we can fix some other things.'"

Trump: Threatens auto industry with tariffs (again).

August jobs reports: U.S. up 200,000 while Canada down 50,000.


Trump says auto tariffs would be ‘ruination’ of Canada
By Rebecca Joseph | September 7, 2018 3:47 pm

...Trump spoke about trade talks with Canada, first to reporters on Air Force One then again at a fundraiser in North Dakota.

While also saying he wants to make a “fair deal” with Canada, he said he could impose the automobile tariffs.

“I don’t want to do anything bad to Canada. I can — all I have to do is tax cars — it would be devastating,” he said.

Later at the fundraiser, Trump said all he had to do is threaten Canada’s cars “and they say, ‘Okay we’ll make a deal!’”

“So every time I have a problem with these, you know, many of these countries that we’re talking about, especially the big car countries,” he went on. “I just say, ‘Okay! Look, that’s okay. I’m going to put a 20 per cent tax on your cars.’ ‘We’ll do it! We’ll do it, we’ll agree.’”

“Actually in Canada, a tax on cars would be the ruination of the country,” he continued.

While it’s an exaggeration that Canada would be ruined, economists have said the country’s GDP could slow by one per cent, and the effects could be doubled in Ontario — even sending the province into a recession...


'M-i-l-k' blocking NAFTA, says Trump adviser as Freeland departs Washington
Mike Blanchfield | September 7, 2018

...A senior government official, briefing reporters on background, said Freeland was departing Washington on Friday night, but would keep in touch with Lighthizer. Canadian and American negotiators would continue to meet...Canada and the U.S. are trying to agree on a text that could be submitted to the U.S. Congress by month's end in order to join the deal the Trump administration signed with Mexico last week.

In addition to dairy, the two countries still have to resolve differences on culture and the Chapter 19 dispute resolution mechanism. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said Canada could be willing to be flexible on dairy, but (Larry Kudlow, the director of President Donald Trump's National Economic Council) suggested Friday that Canada isn't offering enough.

"I think the United States would rather have a trade deal with Canada, but it has to be a good deal, right? And the word that continues to block the deal is m-i-l-k, OK?," Kudlow said on the Fox Business Network show "Varney & Co."

"I'm just saying, 'Let go. Milk, dairy, drop the barriers, give our farmers a break and we can fix some other things.' So I want to predict. I'll just say Bob Lighthizer is doing a great job and the president is encouraging it."

...The U.S. wants Canada to open its dairy market to greater American access, as it has done in two previous major trade agreements, with the European Union and in a re-booted Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The latter deal offered 10 other Pacific Rim countries access to 3.25 per cent of Canada's dairy market -- and most analysts predict the U.S. will settle for nothing less in NAFTA.

Trump also wants Canada to scrap its two-year-old pricing agreement that has restricted U.S. exports of ultra-filtered milk used to make dairy products.

...the subject (is) particularly politically charged in Ontario and Quebec...


U.S. Up 200,000 while Canada Down 50,000 in August Jobs Reports
Alex Carrick | September 7, 2018

U.S. total employment rose by 201,000 jobs in August, according to the latest Employment Situation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

...The U.S. unemployment rate in the latest month stayed level versus the previous month at an exceptionally low 3.9%. A year ago, in August, the unemployment rate was 4.4%.

...besides construction, the U.S. registered strong hiring advances in ‘professional and business services’ and ‘education and health’ in August. Each took on +53,000 net staff members. (margd: Trump disregards services when looking at trade balance with Canada, only considering "goods".)

...For August, Statistics Canada’s Labor Force Survey records a month-to-month performance of -51,000 jobs. Also, the unemployment rate north of the border worsened to 6.0% from 5.8% in July.

...There’s a small measure of comfort to be taken from the full-time versus part-time mix of employment change in Canada in August. The former was +40,000 while the latter was -91,000.

...In year-over-year total jobs creation, Canada is presently trailing the U.S. +0.9% to +1.6%.

The disparity is worse in manufacturing, with Canada at -1.5% to America’s +2.0%.

Among provinces, Ontario (+79,000) is still the jobs creation leader on a year-over-year basis.

...With respect to month-to-month employment in August, however, Ontario suffered with a bad ‘toothache’, -80,000 jobs. In other words, Ontario bore the entire brunt of the nation’s total jobs loss in the latest month...unemployment rates...Ontario (5.7%)...

set. 9, 2018, 5:57am

Canada job numbers questioned.
From my summer perch in Ontario, I don't see such devastation either(?)

Want jobs? They've (Ontario construction) got 'em
The Canadian Press - Sep 7, 2018

...Ottawa Construction Association President John DeVries said the data is a stark contrast from the stories of a "tight" labour market that he has been hearing about lately in the province.

...He said he was stumped about why StatCan's data reveals a very different finding, but hypothesized that it might be because people who respond to the telephone survey and say they are working in construction are really in a different industry or only loosely working in construction.

...University of Toronto professor Christo Aivalis, who specializes in labour, said it's unclear what fuelled any of the province's 80,100 job losses, which were predominantly in part-time work.

He figured many will blame an Ontario minimum wage hike in January from $11.60 to $14, but he wasn't convinced that was the reason because jobs growth was already slow when the new rate was introduced months ago.

"It is difficult to say why (job losses) would be happening," he said. "The economy in general remains strong."


Even (Cdn opposition) politicians aren't falling for this ‘weak’ jobs report
Kevin Carmichael | September 7, 2018

The labour market is nowhere near as bad as the headline numbers suggest; it's the other indicators that mean something

...Andrew Scheer, the Opposition leader, (isn't crowing) on the new hiring data, which show a big drop in employment last month

...StatsCan’s latest batch of numbers suggest job creation has stagnated this year; net employment was about 14,000 positions lower in August than at the end of 2017. But that stagnation has occurred at a high level. Think of the Canadian economy like a five-speed car that’s been running in fifth for a couple of years now. The unemployment rate was six per cent in August, up from 5.8 per cent, which was the lowest on records that date back to the mid-1970s. There probably is room for marginal improvement, but in effect, Canada’s economy has entered the zone that economists associate with full employment.

Editat: set. 9, 2018, 2:31pm

Ford Kills Plan to Sell Chinese-Made Cars in the U.S., and Trump Thinks It Means They're Going to Start Manufacturing Them Here Instead
Elizabeth Werth | 9/9/2018

...No, Ford is just… not going to sell these vehicles in the US at all.

...Ford isn’t getting rid of their plans to manufacture cars in China. They’re still going to do that! They’re just not going to sell those cars in the United States. Instead, they’re just going to find their markets elsewhere.

...So yeah, ceasing sales in the US might hurt Ford—but so will excessive tariffs. This whole deal isn’t really encouraging anyone to do much else, aside from root their heels down deeper in the dirt and play chicken until thing get bad enough that someone has to break.


Apple vs. Trump: Who is right?
Jefferson Graham | Sept. 9, 2018

Would you willingly spend $2,000 to buy an iPhone that today costs a grand?

That’s how much veteran analyst Tim Bajarin tells me it would cost Apple to retail if it made iPhones in the United States.

...Why shouldn’t Apple makes iPhones here?...It’s not just money. ..Skilled workers in China make about $100 a week, way less than we offer. There’s also the availability of parts in Asia and the lack of suitable manufacturing facilities here.

...Apple says it's the largest U.S. taxpayer, and that it's investing $350 billion in the economy over the next five years by building data centers and more in North Carolina, Oregon, Nevada, Iowa and Arizona.

Editat: set. 11, 2018, 5:50pm

Here's an interesting by-story on steel tariffs:

Steel workers union leaders demand pay increase as profits rise after tariffs

The price of steel jumped by more than 30 percent this year after the U.S. levied tariffs on foreign steel, causing profits to rise for the industry generally.

Union leaders say workers aren't seeing their compensation rise appropriately at U.S. Steel and ArcelorMittal SA, which make up 40 percent of the U.S. production capacity for flat-rolled steel.

Editat: set. 12, 2018, 8:59am

Trump's trade war has China's stocks, currency taking a beating while the US market soars
Samuel Shen and John Ruwitch

Barely six months into a broadening Sino-U.S. trade war, Shanghai's stock market has lost about 20 percent.

In stark contrast, the technology heavy U.S. Nasdaq index is one of the world's biggest gainers, up about 15.5 percent.

And the war may have only just begun. Trump has said he is prepared to tax the entire roughly $500 billion of Chinese products that the United States imports annually.

Meanwhile, US markets have soared. Investors unsure about the trade war seem to think US technology stocks are insulated from any fallout.

China's currency is also down...


War games with Russia. Trade with North Korea. China's next move will be___________?

ETA: Silk highway, Africa, renewable technology... (G5?)

set. 16, 2018, 2:40am

"Supply management means that Canadian prices are much higher, with two pounds of cheddar cheese at a Sam’s Club store in the U.S. selling for about US$3, versus US$5 across the border" Probably a loss leader or bulk buying by chains, but I've seen huge blocks of brand cheddar cheese for sale in Ontario grocery stores for $3.88 Cdn.

How the U.S. system of dairy import quotas and tariffs may be as protectionist as Canada's
Tom Blackwell | September 11, 2018

It imposes strict quotas on how much milk product it will import freely from other nations, sets high tariffs to limit imports above those quotas and generally opens only a small portion of its dairy market to foreign competitors.

It is, surprisingly, the United States, a country that some experts say erects the same kind of trade barriers to protect its dairy industry as those it constantly blasts Canada for imposing.

Yet the American system for managing dairy trade is in many ways similar to Canada’s, and the States actually imports proportionately fewer milk products than (Canada) does

...What is clearly different between the countries is the supply-management system in Canada that limits how much milk farmers can generate, and sets the price for their products, versus the more free-wheeling U.S. environment.

The Canadian creation two years ago of a low-priced alternative to a new U.S. dried milk product – and its effect on world prices – has added another irritation to the relationship.

...Canadian “outside-quota” tariffs are very high – as much as 300% for some products, a fact that Trump has often highlighted in his attacks on Canada’s protectionism. (margd: but prices are higher, which offsets the tariffs somewhat)

U.S. tariffs outside of the quotas are lower, the equivalent of about 30 per cent on cheddar cheese...but adding even that much on top of the base price discourages most exporters... (margd: also that prices in the US are lower, so less profit for Cdn dairy farmers who might otherwise export to the US) from the U.S Agriculture Department...U.S. cheese imports are equivalent to about three per cent of its overall production. Canada already imports five to six per cent of its cheese, he said, and that figure will rise as new free-trade agreements with Europe and Pacific nations come online, giving those countries more of a foothold in the Canadian market. (margd; TPP concessions were made with US in mind, apparently, but other countries will take advantage of them with US out of TPP.)

The U.S. exported just under $500 million in dairy products to Canada under tariff-free quotas last year, about triple what it imported from here.

...Then there is class-seven milk, the ultra-filtered dried product that the Canadian industry authorized at a low price to compete with a new American export that circumvented the NAFTA exclusion of dairy. Not only did it deprive Americans of a substantial market, but when Canadians exported surplus class-seven, it depressed world prices... (margd: apparently this was what prompted complaints by US dairy farmers that caught Trump's ear.)

Sources close to the trade talks believe Canada may offer to end the class-seven milk program.

Top U.S. trade negotiator says Canadian dairy the most difficult issue of his career
Tom Blackwell | September 14, 2018

Doud said the challenge is the 'disparate' nature of the two dairy sectors, involving Canada’s 'closed' supply-management regime, and America’s open system

...chief agricultural negotiator Gregg Doud said both sides have been working “very, very hard,” with dairy the headline dispute.

“The amount of time we’re spending on Canada right now is extraordinary. We have one issue that’s probably the most difficult that I’ve ever seen in my career that we’re trying to deal with.”

...Aside from dairy, dealing with barriers to the Canadian grain market and wine retailing are the most important agriculture issues for the U.S. ... (Canada’s policy of automatically classifying U.S. grain exports as lower-priced feed grain...policies that give B.C. wines preferential treatment in the province’s grocery stores--margd: wine trade even difficult between provinces, e.g., BC complains about Ontario treatment of BC wines.)

...“We have spent an enormous amount of time working on this (dairy) issue. Good faith. Both countries are trying to resolve this issue,” (Doud) told the Senate agriculture committee Thursday

Editat: set. 16, 2018, 8:39am

#23--which is to say a lot about our economy 'doing well' is really all the profits going into a few pockets. I don't really see any discernible differences in the area in which I live. Still loads and loads of people unemployed or underemployed. Many working two-three part time low paying jobs because employers don't want to pay their health care. These talking heads in the media want to talk up the economy all the time but just because the stock market is soaring doesn't mean that more than 50% of the population of this country can handle an issue that's going to cost them $500 or more. The all the time touted Trump tax bill targets 83% of its tax relief to the top 1% of the country. It's about corporations and wealthy people. They give everyone else temporary tax relief and then try to cut social services to pay for it. What they're giving the wealthy and corporations is not temporary--it's permanent.

set. 16, 2018, 10:05am

These countries are most vulnerable to the emerging market storm
Matt Egan and Jordan Valinsky | September 16, 2018

Rising interest rates, along with trade wars, have started a stampede out of some emerging markets.

...countries most susceptible to the emerging market stress have several things in common.

First, they've piled on lots of dollar-denominated debt -- much of which is due soon. Second, they have relatively high overall levels of debt and low rainy-day funds. And these emerging markets are running trade and budget deficits.

So which countries fit these categories? Daw called out Turkey, South Africa, Malaysia, India and Indonesia as the most vulnerable.

"The misallocation of capital following a decade of cheap money is starting to be exposed," (Jason Daw, head of emerging markets strategy at Societe Generale) said.

set. 18, 2018, 6:19am

China says Trump forces its hand, will retaliate against new U.S. tariffs
Yawen Chen, David Lawder | Sept 17, 2018

...Collection of tariffs on the long-anticipated U.S. list will start on Sept. 24 (10%) but the rate will increase to 25 percent by the end of 2018, allowing U.S. companies some time to adjust their supply chains to alternate countries.

So far, the United States has imposed tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese products to pressure Beijing to reduce its huge bilateral trade surplus and make sweeping changes to its trade, technology transfer and high-tech industrial subsidy policies.

Beijing has retaliated in kind (to previous tariffs on $50 billion), but some analysts and American businesses are concerned it could resort to other measures such as pressuring U.S. companies operating in China.

A senior Chinese securities market official said U.S. trade actions will not work as China has ample fiscal and monetary policy tools to cope with the impact. The government already has been ramping up spending on infrastructure.

So far, China has either imposed or proposed tariffs on $110 billion of U.S. goods, representing most of its imports of American products.

“Tensions in the global economic system have manifested themselves in the U.S.-China trade war, which is now seriously disrupting global supply chains,” the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China said in a statement on Tuesday.

China's yuan currency CNY=CFXS slipped against the dollar on Tuesday after news of the U.S. measures. It has weakened by about 6.0 percent since mid-June, offsetting the 10 percent tariff rate by a considerable margin.


The U.S. Trade Representative’s office eliminated 297 product categories from the latest proposed tariff list, along with some subsets of other categories.

But the adjustments did little to appease technology and retail groups who argued U.S. consumers would feel the pain.

“President Trump’s reckless and will create lasting harm to communities across the country,” said Dean Garfield, president of the Information Technology Industry Council, which represents major tech firms.

Kenneth Jarrett, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, said three quarters of its members will be hit by the tariffs, and they will not bring jobs back to the United States.

“Most of our member companies are ‘in China, for China’ - selling goods to Chinese companies and consumers, not to Americans - and thus ultimately boosting the U.S. economy,” Jarrett said.

set. 20, 2018, 8:55am

Total Impact of Enacted and Announced Tariffs
Erica York and Kyle Pomperleau | 9/18/2018 (updated weekly)

...Total Impact of Enacted and Announced Tariffs

If all tariffs announced thus far were fully enacted by the United States and foreign jurisdictions, U.S. GDP would fall by 0.59 percent ($148.33 billion) in the long run, effectively offsetting one-third of the long-run impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Wages would fall by 0.38 percent and employment would fall by 459,816.

The 0.59 percent reduction in long-run GDP is one-third the total long-run impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which we estimated to raise GDP by 1.7 percent in the long run...


If additional tariffs and in-kind retaliatory actions continue to be taken, the harm caused to U.S. businesses and consumers would increase. The Trump administration would do well to not follow a path of imposing tariffs that could dampen the U.S. economic outlook.

set. 21, 2018, 9:07am

China 'outraged' by US sanctions over Russian weapons buy
Associated Press | Sep 21, 2018, 6:55 AM ET

China said Friday it was "outraged" over U.S. economic sanctions against a Chinese military agency and its director over the purchase of Russian fighter jets and surface-to-air missile equipment, and demanded the U.S. cancel the measure.

...ban on entering the U.S., forbids conducting transactions with the U.S. financial system and forces the blocking of all property and interests in property within U.S. jurisdiction.

..."(China) strongly urge the U.S. to immediately correct its mistakes and revoke the so-called sanctions. Otherwise, it must take all the consequences"...

...China's purchase of the weapons from Rosoboronexport, Russia's main arms exporter, violated a 2017 law, the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, intended to punish the government of President Vladimir Putin for interfering in U.S. elections and other activities...

set. 21, 2018, 12:54pm

Walmart says new batch of Trump tariffs could force price hikes on bikes and Xmas lights
Charisse Jones | Sept. 21, 2018

..."Should the tariffs go into effect, Walmart customers will face cost increases for essential items like car seats, cribs, backpacks, hats, pet products and bicycles,'' the retailer said. And there will be a domino effect. "Either consumers will pay more, suppliers will receive less, retail margins will be lower, or consumers will buy fewer products or forego purchases altogether."

...“We are concerned about the impact on U.S. suppliers, consumers and manufacturers,’’ said Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove in a statement. “We encourage the two countries to find near-term solutions to ease trade tensions that will allow more opportunities for U.S. exports and benefit families in both countries.’’...

set. 21, 2018, 3:47pm

The trade war reaches Procter & Gamble -- and into the medicine cabinet
Nathaniel Meyersohn | September 21, 2018

...P&G has plants across the United States and makes more than 90% of what it sells at home.

But like so many other American corporate giants, P&G relies on China for parts and materials to manufacture and package its brands. No one in the United States makes those components.

The company told the Trump administration that it uses Chinese parts to produce lines of Crest and Oral-B toothpaste and toothbrushes, Febreze air freshener, Downy and Bounce dryer sheets, Braun electric shavers, Head & Shoulders, Pantene and Olay shampoo, and a vacuum model of Swiffer.

...Tariffs "would undermine P&G manufacturing, U.S. jobs, and P&G's business competitiveness," Selina Jackson, the company's vice president for government relations, wrote to Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on September 6. She warned the decision would drive up prices, reduce P&G's profitability and damage its market share...

set. 25, 2018, 6:40am

Trump’s trade wars start biting GOP ahead of midterms
BEN WHITE | 09/24/2018

With fresh U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods taking effect Monday, company reports and prominent sentiment gauges are flashing early warnings for the economy.

...“Where you have real-world effects of the trade war, you see people’s opinions sour dramatically,” said Scott Lincicome, a trade lawyer and adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute who is studying the links between public opinion and trade. “You look at places like Washington state where people are dependent on exporting cherries and apples, or Rust Belt states that border Canada, or Tennessee with auto and bourbon makers, and you are going to see close races where this is actually a decisive issue.”

...Economists expect (tariffs) to translate into higher prices for consumers across the country and special pain for low- to middle-income voters who make up much of Trump’s base — and are least able to absorb increased costs for consumer goods such as air conditioners, clothing and furniture. Republicans are counting on getting Trump supporters to the polls in November to hold off projected Democratic gains in the House and potentially the Senate. Forcing consumers to pay higher prices could make that harder.

...Consumer sentiment measured by the University of Michigan dropped last month to its lowest point in nearly a year, with the decline centered in lower-income households most sensitive to higher prices. The sentiment index ticked up again in preliminary results for September. But nearly a third of those surveyed cited concern over tariffs when assessing the economy.

A survey of chief financial officers unveiled last week by Deloitte found that 42 percent said business conditions would improve next year, the lowest in two years, with executives “overwhelmingly worried” about trade policy and tariffs.

...Trump’s trade policies also are making it difficult for big business groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Retail Federation that generally support pro-business Republicans...The Chamber’s latest list of states impacted the most include Alabama, Michigan, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin...


Michael Bloomberg: "(Trump) says he wants to run the nation like he has run his business. God help us."

set. 25, 2018, 8:59am

Why Canada Won’t Budge on Trade
Drew Fagan* | Sept. 24, 2018

Dispute settlements and dairy tariffs go to the heart of how Canada sees its relationship with the United States.

...the reason these talks have been so hard is that the two sides see them in fundamentally different terms. To Americans, Canada seems to be making a big fuss over minor details. To Canadians, Americans — and Mr. Trump above all — seem intent on undermining hard-fought protections.

Canada is perfectly happy to negotiate changes to Nafta; in fact, they’re overdue. The negotiations should have been about working together in the digital age. A deal should simplify rules of origin and align regulations for trade in goods, as well as focus on trade in services. It should open up government procurement and clarify intellectual property rules. Some of these are in play, but they’re hardly anyone’s priority.

Thirty years ago, Prime Minister Mulroney was intent on deepening trade relations with the United States. Now Prime Minister Trudeau has named a minister of international trade diversification. Diversification from what? No one in Canada need ask.

*Drew Fagan is a professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto, and a former head of policy planning at Canada’s Foreign Affairs Department.

set. 26, 2018, 6:17am

US-China trade war winner: Brazil soybean exports
Maylan Studart | September 25, 2018

China, which uses one-third of the world’s soybeans, imported 89% of its soybeans from the U.S. and Brazil last year, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. And since China has slapped a 25% tariff on U.S. soybeans in retaliation for tariffs levied by U.S. President Donald Trump on China goods, that percentage will likely shift to Brazil. China has already become less reliant on the U.S. for soybeans. Last year, Brazil was China’s largest soybean exporter with 54 million metric tons, followed by the U.S. at 32 million metric tons.

Brazil President Michel Temer...on the sidelines of the 10th BRICS summit last month.

“When I was with president Xi Jinping in Johannesburg, I put in a program for soy, not just soybeans, but manufactured goods like soybean oil and soybean meal and president Xi said he would examine the issue,” said Temer. “I have the impression that it will proceed and it will increase.”

Brazil’s soybean exports to China have already been increasing. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said the share of Brazil’s soybean exports destined for China was 85% in August, up from 78% in July...

set. 26, 2018, 7:12am

The UN laughed at Trump.
Rosenstein dissed him.
Kavanaugh proving an embarrassment and possible loss.
Canada given until Saturday to cave on NAFTA.

YIKES! SOMEBODY will be looking for sacrificial victim(s).

Why Canada’s leaders should wait out Trump’s NAFTA deal
(And why Americans should hope they do.)

set. 29, 2018, 7:30am

Autos and dispute resolution are the issues now on the US and Canadian table it sounds like? Digital trade and stronger labor and environmental standards that Mexico and US agreed on--wouldn't be disputed by Canada? No mention in article of dairy, drug generics, and intellectual property rights?

'We'll know in 48 hours': Mexico sees new hope of trilateral NAFTA
David Lawder, Adriana Barrera | September 28, 2018

...In Mexico, President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told reporters that Washington had made a new counter-proposal to Ottawa...

...(Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso) Guajardo said his U.S. and Canadian counterparts “specifically requested” a delay in publishing the text (for delivery to the Mexican and U.S. legislatures).

...The NAFTA text, either bilateral or trilateral, is due by late Sunday night to meet U.S. congressional notification requirements to allow U.S. President Donald Trump and outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto to sign the pact before Lopez Obrador takes office on Dec. 1.


(Mexican President-elect) Lopez Obrador told reporters in Mexico City that Trudeau asked him during a Thursday phone call “to intervene and call on the U.S. government to reach an agreement” with Canada. “We agreed to that.”

He said that regardless of the outcome with Canada the language of the agreement between Washington and Mexico City was now final. “We are not going to re-open the negotiation. That you can be sure of,” Lopez Obrador said.

...Canada’s Liberal government says it does not feel bound by the latest NAFTA deadline, and it repeated on Friday that it would not bow to U.S. pressure to sign a quick deal.


Some U.S. Democratic lawmakers said on Thursday after a meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer that they could not support a NAFTA deal without Canada.

...The U.S.-Mexico text will flesh out an agreement in principle that aims to rebalance automotive trade between the two countries and update NAFTA with new chapters on digital trade and stronger labor and environmental standards.

...(US-Mex agreement on) auto rules requiring an increase in regional value content to 75 percent from 62.5 percent previously, with 40 percent to 45 percent coming from “high wage” areas, effectively the United States...unlikely those targets can be met if Canada is not part of the deal, given supply chains in which parts crisscross NAFTA borders multiple times.

More light is likely to be shed on the enforcement of new labor standards and trade dispute settlement arrangements. The United States has said Mexico agreed to eliminate a system of settlement panels to arbitrate disputes over anti-dumping and anti-dumping tariffs. (margd: Canada wants to preserve dispute settlement system independent of US courts.)

...The release of the trade deal text will start a months-long process for U.S. congressional approval that will require a lengthy analysis by the independent U.S. international Trade Commission and notification periods before an up-or-down vote.


Interesting little piece about the personalities representing US and Canada in NAFTA negotiations:

Chrystia Freeland’s most important sparring partner isn’t Donald Trump
John Geddes | Sep 28, 2018

The U.S. president says he doesn’t like Canada’s foreign minister, but the more interesting dynamic is the contrast between Freeland and Robert Lighthizer, Trump’s trade czar

...(Chrystia) Freeland, 50, is a journalist-turned-politician, a consummate networker in liberal global elite circles. (United States Trade Representative Robert) Lighthizer, 70, is a trade lawyer with establishment Republican roots. To get a sense of where they’re coming from, let’s glance at what they were preoccupied with back in, oh, 2011—when Freeland was Reuters’ global editor-at-large and Lighthizer was in private practice in Washington.

In an op-ed piece in the New York Times in April of that year, Freeland started out by observing, “Global capitalism isn’t working for the American middle class.” She went on to unpack reports showing that technological change and globalization were enriching corporate executives but not ordinary folks. She concluded that U.S. politicians had to start figuring out, not how to dismantle the system, but to make it work for those in the middle class.

The following month, Lighthizer published an op-ed in the Washington Times. He took special note of rising enthusiasm among Republicans for, of all people, the long-shot presidential hopeful Donald Trump. In particular, he argued that Trump’s protectionist rhetoric, which orthodox free-trade conservatives were scoffing at, actually fit with an older Republican tradition of supporting tariffs. Lighthizer pointed abroad, particularly to China, at “state-sponsored, government-organized unfair trade” that was costing Americans jobs and America clout.

In a way, Freeland and Lighthizer weren’t so far apart back then. Both looked at the way the world economy was working in the globalized era and didn’t like the results in the U.S. After that, of course, they diverged. What’s fascinating about their clashing mindsets is how, to me at least, each of them looks to have been shaped by a preoccupation with one of the two biggest developments in geopolitics of their times. For Lighthizer, it’s the rise of China. For Freeland, the fall of the Soviet Union.

...Do they get along? It’s an interesting question, but not as interesting as what they represent. Lighthizer may be wrong about NAFTA, but he’s drawing on Republican tradition he’s studied carefully, and the real threat represented by China is never far from his mind. Freeland may have erred tactically in irritating Trump, but she’s giving voice to anxieties about populism and protectionism that are amply justified, and her grasp of contemporary Europe broadens her perspective...

Editat: oct. 1, 2018, 8:27am

Factbox: Details of the new North America free trade deal
October 1, 2018

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The United States and Canada forged a last-gasp deal on Sunday to salvage a three-country, $1.2 trillion open-trade zone agreement with Mexico that had been about to collapse after nearly a quarter century.

Here are some of the details in the agreement, which will change its name from NAFTA to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA):







New NAFTA deal reached: Canada, U.S., Mexico reach trade agreement under new name
Katie Dangerfield

...Canada has made concessions on dairy market access that are slightly higher than under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

...Chapter 19, the dispute resolution mechanism, which was a major sticking point in the negotiations, will be kept with no substantial changes.

...Concerning steel and auto tariffs, U.S. officials say they are on a separate track and are a side agreement that still will be dealt with.

...A review of the deal will come up every six years.

...Canada has agreed to a cap on its automotive exports to the United States in the event that the Trump administration imposes global auto tariffs on national security grounds.

...The quota would allow for some growth in tariff-free automotive exports from Canada above current production levels


Curious to see the "20 chapters that were modernized", e.g. e-commerce, agriculture--maybe generic drugs and intellectual property.
Interesting to see Jared Kushner role, e.g. dealing with his father-in-law as well as Mexican and Canadian negotiators:

Mexico may have lost most with new NAFTA deal, but calls it a win
Stephanie Nolen | Oct 1, 2018

...The bilateral deal (would have) left Mexico in a decidedly weaker position, and the dispute resolution mechanisms in Chapter 19 (negotiated by Canada) have value for Mexico

Campbell Clark: Canada made concessions on NAFTA but new deal avoids major damage to economy

...the overall feeling among Mexicans is perhaps best characterized as relief. Mr. Trump is seen as so unpredictable – and so irrationally convinced that Mexico was disproportionately benefiting from NAFTA at U.S. expense – that achieving any sort of a reasonable trade deal with him is seen as a victory.

...Mexico may have given up more than it needed to, particularly on auto production, where the rules were changed in a way that will favour more production from the U.S. and Canada.

...Mr. Videgaray is a close confidant of President Enrique Peña Nieto, and was seen as pushing for a deal the president could sign before he leaves office on Nov. 30 (thus giving him a legacy for a presidency that has been marred by scandal), even as Ildefonso Guajardo, the Economy Secretary who nominally headed the negotiating team, was pushing for slower talks.

...after winning the presidency with a sweeping majority, Mr. López Obrador tapped left-leaning economist and former negotiator Jésus Seade Kuri to head up a parallel NAFTA negotiation team of his own, and it largely backed the Peña Nieto team’s positions. And then Mr. Trump and Mr. López Obrador appeared to develop a certain rapport, which also softened the Mexico-U.S. relationship.

...(Moises Kalach, who heads Mexico's largest textiles group, and the international negotiating arm of the national business lobby) said the auto rules were the price Mexico had to pay to maintain the treaty, given that changes to car manufacturing and the jobs associated with it were Mr. Trump’s main priority going into negotiations. "Of course we don’t like that 25 per cent of the content that has to be produced in high-wage zones, but we understand that in a negotiation as big as this you cannot like 100 per cent of every decision,” he said. “But in the big picture, in the long term, it’s a good deal for our country – it keeps investments in our country safe."

He predicted that as Mexicans learn more about the final deal, they will feel more positive. "Twenty chapters were modernized and there are a lot of opportunities in there. There’s not a lot of talk about them but there is a lot of value there.” There are significant improvements in how e-commerce and anticorruption measures will be handled, he said, while the agriculture sector will get faster border processing and better sanitation rules.

“No duties were put on to any of our products, or quota

Negotiating with GOP's bull-elephant-in-must (to paraphrase former Canadian PM Pierre Trudeau):

In 12 steps, how troubled NAFTA 2.0 talks unfolded
Tonda MacCharles | Sept. 30, 2018


Jared Kushner...

President Trump's Nafta deal with Canada imminent
Bloomberg News: Jenny Leonard, Josh Wingrove and Jennifer Jacobs | September 30, 2018

...Some people familiar with the talks credited Trump senior adviser Jared Kushner for helping smooth the path toward a deal. When it looked like negotiations had stalled or broken down due to friction between the U.S. and Canadian sides, Kushner kept talks going with aides close to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, including Gerald Butts and Katie Telford, three people said.

U.s. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Kushner were at the USTR office in Washington on Sunday afternoon negotiating final details by conference call with the Canadians in Ottawa. U.S. officials have been keeping President Donald Trump in the loop on every step since Friday, but there was no plan as of 6 p.m. to go to the White House to brief him in person, two people said...


oct. 1, 2018, 5:32am

from CBC - What we know so far.

I guess we will know in the morning.

oct. 1, 2018, 10:20am

Read the full text of the new United States, Mexico and Canada Agreement
Global News | Oct 1, 2018

(Full text)

...Here are some highlights from the agreement.

Intellectual property...

Dispute settlement...

Canadian tariff schedule...

oct. 2, 2018, 7:30am

A conservative Canadian news paper:

Trudeau's claim of victory in trade deal is hollow - Canada was played
John Ivison | October 1, 2018

We are now in a new era of managed trade, where the U.S. has the ability to cap Canada’s growth

...This deal is fundamentally a story about the re-assertion of U.S. power. As Canada’s former ambassador to Washington, Charles Ritchie, wrote in his memoir Storm Signals, the president (in this case Lyndon B. Johnson) never listens, “or at any rate never listens to foreigners. The phrase ‘consultation with allies’ is apt to mean in U.S. terms, briefing allies, lecturing allies, sometimes pressuring allies…The word comes from Washington and is home-made.”

Plus ca change.

Editat: oct. 2, 2018, 11:09am

A social justice NGO (Canada):

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly on NAFTA 2.0
Sujata Dey | October 1, 2018

...Here is the good, the bad, and the ugly within the agreement.

Good news first

► No Chapter 11 between the U.S. and Canada... (margd: e.g., US company Windstream Energy successfully sued Ontario over Great Lakes moratorium on offshore wind turbines.)

► No energy proportionality...

The iffy

► Culture...

► Environmental and labour chapters...

► Water...

The Bad

► Farmers and BGH* milk...

► Gender and Indigenous chapters...

► Drugs and Patent Prices...

► Regulatory Cooperation...

► ISDS**still exists between the U.S. and Mexico...

Other information

There is a dispute settlement mechanism similar to Chapter 19 and a sunset clause for renewal of the agreement every 16 years. There are also side letters agreeing on the process of getting rid of 232*** tariffs on autos. Steel and aluminum tarrifs are not in the agreement.

This is a preliminary analysis. With our allies, we will continue to update you with more information. It is a comprehensive agreement, so it will take some time to understand the larger ramifications.

* Bovine Growth Hormone (banned in Canada but not the US)

**Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) or investment court system (ICS) is a system through which investors can sue countries for alleged discriminatory practices. (Wikipedia)

*** The Trade Expansion Act of 1962 aimed to increase overseas trade, primarily by giving the president broad authority to cut tariffs. By placing the responsibility for national security tariffs with the executive branch, Congress intended to make the process of imposing tariffs less political and better informed.

oct. 2, 2018, 11:14am

What's new in the US, Canada and Mexico trade deal?
Katie Lobosco, Donna Borak, and Tami Luhby | October 1, 2018

...Here are the biggest changes between the nearly 25-year-old NAFTA agreement and the new provisional USMCA.

Opening up Canada's dairy market...

Car manufacturing...

Sunset Clause...

Exchange rate curbs...

Dispute resolution...

Help for American workers...

'Modernizing' NAFTA for the digital age...

Other tariffs...

oct. 4, 2018, 7:44am

Not sure how many Canadians will follow though after some time passes, but I am hearing boycott-talk among Cdn correspondents on Facebook and Twitter:

For Canada and U.S., ‘That Relationship Is Gone’ After Bitter Nafta Talks
Catherine Porter | Oct. 3, 2018

...Despite being a country of just 36 million, Canada is the biggest source of international travelers to the United States, its closest military ally and the biggest importer of American goods.

Many Canadians, who touted their relationship with Americans as the most successful partnership in the world, feel that the special bond is gone — or at least frayed...

...For many Canadians, the worst part was seeing that Mr. Trump’s sentiments had the support of many Americans. (Janice Stein, the founding director of the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs) noted the latest Gallup poll, which showed Mr. Trump’s job approval rating at 42 percent.

“It’s really a deep shock for Canadians,” she said. “We need now to use the time the agreement provides us — 16 years — to adjust, to diversify our trade beyond the United States.”

“We have to invest more effort and resources in the rest of the G7 — independent of what the United States says — in Germany and France and Japan,” Ms. Stein continued. “It would be highly irresponsible not to after this.”...


Canada relieved trade deal done, won't forget Trump attacks
ROB GILLIES | Associated Press | Oct 4, 2018

...Bothwell, the University of Toronto professor, warned of lingering damage to relations.

"Trump treated it like a real estate deal when he was a shyster in Atlantic City," Bothwell said.

"But this is nation to nation. And that's different. And it's connected to other things," he added. "Trump really doesn't grasp that and doesn't care."

oct. 4, 2018, 9:20am

Liberal group praises Trump's NAFTA replacement as 'important progress'

Public Citizen, the left-of-center public interest group, on Wednesday praised President Trump's U.S.-Mexico Canada Agreement on trade, saying it represented a significant improvement over the North American Free Trade Agreement.

While the group said not every detail of the agreement was good and much rested on its implementation, it said the deal nevertheless represented "important progress."

"The revised deal could reduce NAFTA’s ongoing job outsourcing, downward pressure on our wages and environmental damage if more is done to ensure the new labor standards are subject to swift and certain enforcement, and some other key improvements are made," Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch program said in an analysis released Wednesday.

Many progressive groups, Democratic lawmakers, and organized labor have been circumspect in discussing the NAFTA replacement deal. The agreement includes many changes that liberal trade skeptics have long called for, putting those groups in the awkward position of having to applaud Trump. Public Citizen's lengthy analysis delved into the details of the agreement — and found much to like.

Trump's USMCA deal is intended to prod manufacturers to locate more production in the U.S., long a goal of trade skeptics. Toward that end, it penalizes outsourcing to Mexico by requiring that 75 percent of the parts of a car need to be made in North America for it to be duty-free, up from the 62.5 percent level set by NAFTA. It also requires that at least 40 percent of all auto content be made by workers making at least $16 an hour or its equivalent.

oct. 4, 2018, 9:44am

U.S. not invited to Canada’s upcoming trade meeting — only ‘like minded’ nations allowed
Mike Blanchfield | Oct 4, 2018

...“Those who believe that a rules-based system is in the interests of the international community will meet to come up with a consensus that we will then move out into nations who might have been more resistant.”

Asked what his message to Americans is in the meantime, (Jim Carr, Canada’s newly appointed international trade diversification minister) replied: “That a rules-based system is good for them too.”...

oct. 9, 2018, 8:33am

Trade wars, increasing interest rates, disasters--what could possibly go wrong? :-(

The trade war will hit US and Chinese growth next year, the IMF warns
Donna Borak | October 8, 2018

...Despite healthy momentum in the United States, which received a boost from recent tax cuts, IMF economists now expect growth to slow to 2.5% next year from 2.9% this year. They cut the 2019 forecast by 0.2 percentage points because of the trade conflict.

...It cut the global forecast 0.2 percentage points to 3.7%, and predicted a downward trend over the next few years.

...There's plenty of scope for further damage if Trump follows through on his threats of further measures and China retaliates.

..."close to a percentage point" could be shaved off of global growth if the trade rift continues...


A Lot of Stocks Aren’t Keeping Up With the Dow. It’s a Pattern Usually Followed by Bad News
Evie Liu | Oct. 5, 2018

...Since the 1990s, there have only been six occasions when the Dow was at a 52-week high but less than half of NYSE stocks are above 200-day average. And it’s usually followed by bad news: Five times occurred in the years leading up to the 2000 dot-com bubble, and once before the Great Financial Crisis in 2008...

oct. 12, 2018, 3:06am

Ford Prepares for Mass Layoffs After Losing $1 Billion to Trump's Trade Tariffs, Report Says
Kevin Kelleher | October 10, 2018

Ford is having a bad year in 2018. Its stock is down 29%, and the tariffs imposed by President Trump have reportedly cost the company $1 billion, as the company is in the midst of a reorganization. Now, the company is announcing layoffs.

...While the company hasn’t said how many jobs will be lost, a report from Morgan Stanley estimates “a global headcount reduction of approximately 12 percent,” or 24,000 of Ford’s 202,000 workers worldwide.”...

oct. 12, 2018, 9:14am

Canada to impose new quotas, duties on steel imports in response to U.S. tariffs
Staff Reuters | Oct 11, 2018

Canada does not hold out much hope that Washington will quickly lift tariffs that it imposed on steel and aluminum exports and is resisting a U.S. push to agree to strict quotas, two sources familiar with the matter said.

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump imposed the sanctions on Canada and Mexico in June, citing national security reasons. Although Canada and Mexico agreed a renewed continental trade deal last week, the measures remain in place.

Canada is the single largest supplier of both aluminum and steel to the United States. Washington worries that nations could try to ship supplies through Canada and pretend the metals had been produced in Canadian facilities.

In a bid to address those concerns the Canadian government – acting on a promise it made in March – on Thursday said it would impose new quotas and tariffs on imports of seven categories of steel* from many countries to head off a potential rise in imports.

A tariff of 25 percent will apply starting Oct. 25, 2018 to imports “in cases where the level of imports from trading partners exceeds historical norms,” a government statement said.

Mexico, one of the countries targeted by the new measures, said on Thursday it “lamented” Ottawa’s decision and would seek to have its exporters’ steel products excluded from the trade protections...

...In March, the United States signed a deal with Seoul whereby in exchange for an end to steel tariffs, South Korea agreed to cut exports by 30 percent of the past three years’ average.

During talks on the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), U.S. officials told Canada they wanted a similar arrangement for steel and aluminum...

Canada rejected the demand and made clear any cap on the metals would have be at a level higher than current exports to allow room for shipments to grow... (like autos in USMCA)

*The seven products are:
Heavy plate
Concrete reinforcing bar (rebar)
Energy tubular products
Hot-rolled sheet
Pre-painted steel
Stainless steel wire
wire rod

Those products help build condominiums, dams and bridges, "which encompasses a heck of a lot of steel," Jesse Goldman, a lawyer representing the Canadian Coalition for Construction Steel, told The Canadian Press.

oct. 15, 2018, 10:15am

Trump Is Risking an Even Greater Chicken War
Bloomberg Stephen Mihm | 10/15/2018

...When one country imposes tariffs on another, the eventual resolution of the conflict does not necessarily mean a return to the status quo. Instead, the penalties levied in the heat of a trade war can have destructive ripple effects long after the dispute is settled.

The textbook example of these unintended consequences was the so-called Chicken War between the U.S. and the European Economic Community, the precursor to the European Union, almost six decades ago. Although the clash lasted little more than a year, we still live with the repercussions today.

...what the architects of the (American's) retaliatory tariff (in retribution for European tariffs on chickens) could not imagine was the perverse consequences of the tax on (American auto industry)...

...This all began as a single, tiny trade dispute, with tariffs amounting to about $200 million in today’s dollars. Trump’s tariffs on China, by contrast, are 1,000 times larger and cover a far greater number of products.

...history suggests that the resolution of (today's trade war with China) -- if there is a resolution -- may have profound, enduring consequences for both countries.

Editat: oct. 19, 2018, 8:33am

Trump, with steel and aluminum quotas still in place and now threatening to close the Mexican border (i.e. trade), reportedly wants Mexico and Canada to join him for a pre-midterm publicity stunt, a symbolic signing ceremony before the official one... Wonder if Supreme Court justices would be commanded to witness THIS sham ceremony 'er campaign event... :/

Our newsletter: Senior US sources tell us President Trump would love to have Canada & Mexico join him at a symbolic signing ceremony somewhere in the industrial midwest to tout the replacement of NAFTA ahead of the midterms, but Canada’s like, yeeeeah, about those steel tariffs 1

2/ One high-level US tells our @morningmoneyben this pre-midterm event has "come up several times" and the "political people" want to do it. But the issue of tariffs remains a problem with Mexico and Canada — and the discussions are to switch to "generous (steel) quotas."

3/ Canadian Ambassador MacNaughton confirms to @ABehsudi he’d heard talk of a potential event, but Canada won’t consider attending unless the penalties are removed. Important to keep in mind: any ceremony before Nov 30 would be symbolic - given TPA rules. But such a symbolic

4/ event happened with the original NAFTA. This time, the leaders will be far away — at G20 in Argentina — at the end of November. So, where could you do this kind of thing in the industrial heartland? Detroit native @sandsathopkins has a suggestion: his hometown, at the nexus of

5/ the 🇨🇦-🇺🇸 auto industry, in front of a beautiful mural of industrial workers painted by 🇲🇽master Diego Rivera

Alexander Panetta @Alex_Panetta (Politico PRO Canada) | 10/19/2018

I am watching the Democrat Party led (because they want Open Borders and existing weak laws) assault on our country by Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, whose leaders are doing little to stop this large flow of people, INCLUDING MANY CRIMINALS, from entering Mexico to U.S.....

...In addition to stopping all payments to these countries, which seem to have almost no control over their population, I must, in the strongest of terms, ask Mexico to stop this onslaught - and if unable to do so I will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!..

.......The assault on our country at our Southern Border, including the Criminal elements and DRUGS pouring in, is far more important to me, as President, than Trade or the USMCA. Hopefully Mexico will stop this onslaught at their Northern Border. All Democrats fault for weak laws!

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump | Oct 18, 2018

oct. 21, 2018, 9:32am

>51 margd: contd.

The migrant caravan forced Trump to admit he'd sacrifice economic prosperity to politically exploit racism
Julio Ricardo Varela | Oct. 19, 2018 / 12:38 PM EDT

To keep out a handful of Central American asylum seekers, the president has said he'd wreak havoc on the U.S. economy.

On Thursday, President Trump threatened in a series of tweets to shut down the U.S.-Mexico border unless a yearly caravan of Honduran migrants heading up north through Mexico turn around before they reach the United States (where they intend to apply for asylum) and head back home.

...On any given day, about 1 million people cross the border between the United States and Mexico, both Americans and otherwise (a fact even Trump noted in 2016). They do it for work, for travel, for business and for pleasure. There are close to 20,000 trucks per day to the mix, along with 200,000 cars. And, from January through July of 2018, nearly $290 billion in trade crossed the border via rail or truck — $245 billion by truck — and over 40 percent of that was exports from the U.S. to Mexico.

That’s 365 million people a year, 6.4 million trucks, 78 million cars and more than $450 billion in goods last year. A closed border would eliminate all that and more.

It’s probably safe to say that the Trumpistas have no idea that close to 17 million Mexicans visited the U.S. in 2014, generating about $19 billion for the U.S. economy, or that Mexico is one of the top trading partners with border states like California, Arizona and Texas...

oct. 23, 2018, 7:47am

America Is Drowning in Milk Nobody Wants
Deena Shanker and Lydia Mulvany | October 17, 2018

Dairy farmers are under siege thanks to low prices and changing tastes. Even a one-week holiday shutdown by yogurt giant Chobani inflicted pain.

...The dairy industry in New York expanded rapidly. Yogurt production in the state peaked that year, tripling what it was in 2007.

...With sales on the rise, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo convened the state’s first Yogurt Summit in 2012. In 2013, after the state became the top U.S. yogurt producer, he changed state law to allow farmers to have up to 299 cows instead of just 199 before they had to comply with certain environmental regulations.

...“We employ many tactics to find a home for our members’ milk, such as additional sales, drying, donating the milk or moving the milk to other areas where we can find demand,” said Nichole Wenderlich Owens, a spokeswoman for Dairy Farmers of America. “After exhausting all options, if an imbalance still exists, raw milk may be disposed.”

“When you have a free-market type of system, it just shows the vulnerability that the farm price has to market conditions,” said Doug DiMento, a spokesman for Agri-Mark. A cooperative that serves about 900 dairy farms in the Northeast, Agri-Mark recently invested $21 million to expand one of its four plants so it can take excess milk off the market.

Ball said the state is trying to address the declining fortunes of New York dairy farmers. This includes investing more than $250 million in expanded processing capacity, research at Cornell University on developing a milk-based recovery beverage for athletes, using milk to help feed the hungry and a marketing program to show consumers their milk is made locally.

“I don’t think we’ve exploited all the market share that we could,” Ball said.

Nevertheless, limiting supply—the ultimate solution to the glut—isn’t on the table. “Dairy farmers are free-market guys—they don’t want to be told how much to produce,” Ball said, even as supply management programs like those in Canada gain traction among U.S. farmers. For now, though, the state will stick to investing in ways to sell all this extra milk. “It’s a lot more fun to talk about how to increase demand than restrict what they’re doing.”

oct. 29, 2018, 1:44pm

Ford Prepares for Mass Layoffs After Losing $1 Billion to Trump's Trade Tariffs, Report Says
Fortune Kevin Kelleher | October 9, 2018

Ford is having a bad year in 2018. Its stock is down 29%, and the tariffs imposed by President Trump have reportedly cost the company $1 billion, as the company is in the midst of a reorganization. Now, the company is announcing layoffs.

Jim Hackett, Ford’s CEO, is working to engineer a $25.5 billion restructuring of the automaker, hoping to cut costs and remain competitive, the Wall Street Journal reports. But auto sales are down, and one reason is the trade tariffs that Trump has imposed on metals and other goods. According to Bloomberg, Hackett has said they have already cost the company $1 billion in profit and could do “more damage” if the disputes aren’t resolved quickly.

Ford, the No. 2 U.S. automaker by sales, is making aggressive job cuts as part of that reorganization, NBC News reported. While the company hasn’t said how many jobs will be lost, a report from Morgan Stanley estimates “a global headcount reduction of approximately 12 percent,” or 24,000 of Ford’s 202,000 workers worldwide.”...

nov. 1, 2018, 6:20am

GM looks to cut costs by offering buyouts to 18,000 (salaried) employees
Kirsten Korosec@kirstenkorosec / Oct 31, 2018
Cruise Chevy Bolt

General Motors has offered voluntary buyouts to 18,000 salaried employees in North America who have at least 12 years of experience, as the automaker looks to cut costs all while investing in its electric and autonomous future.

The company has described this as a proactive measure aimed at preparing for coming headwinds such as slow sales in North America and China, commodity prices and tariffs.

But it’s just as much about preparing for the future. The company has been undergoing a transformation over the past four to five years, ditching expensive, money-losing programs like the Opel brand in Europe, and investing more into electrification and autonomous vehicle technology.

...About 36 percent of the company’s 50,000 employees in North America are eligible for the buyout. A GM spokesman declined to say how many employees it expected to take the buyout, except to predict that it was unlikely the number would be anywhere close to 18,000...

nov. 4, 2018, 3:34am

From Council of Canadians 11/3/2018 e-mail "Keep Monsanto milk out of Canada":

...In the U.S., dairy farmers are permitted to inject rBGH into their cows. And now, under NAFTA 2.0 – the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) – Canada has given unprecedented access for U.S. milk laced with this genetically engineered hormone to be sold in our grocery stores alongside rBGH-free milk from Canadian dairy farms that generations have come to know and trust – without any labelling requirements to allow Canadian consumers to make informed choices.

At the same time, Canada has just ratified the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The sweeping 11-nation trade agreement would force us to further open the door to milk imported from Pacific Rim countries that, like the U.S., permit the use of rBGH.

Canada's decision to keep rBGH out of our dairy supply is just one of many of our higher safety standards that are threatened by these new trade agreements – and the Government of Canada must now stand firm in upholding it....

Petition "Keep rBGH-laced milk out of Canada":

Health Canada scientists have also raised concerns over rBGH passing on to humans through consumption, and that “such long-term health risks as sterility, infertility, birth defects, cancer and immunological consequences have not been investigated.”:

Editat: nov. 8, 2018, 1:23pm

Trump’s Tariffs Have Fully Kicked In—Yet China’s Exports Grow
Nov. 8, 2018

...China is getting a boost from surprisingly healthy global demand and perhaps from a weaker yuan.

...China’s total exports rose 15.6% from a year earlier, the customs administration said, which tops the 14.5% year-over-year increase in September. Economists expected 11% growth.

Exports to India, Hong Kong and Brazil all grew by more than 20% last month from year ago...Exports to the U.S. and the European Union also held up, rising 13% and 15% respectively.

...China’s...boosting imports (global commodities) 21.4% in October from a year earlier, compared with a 14.3% increase the previous month. Imports of crude oil jumped 89% on year.

...China on track to post another record surplus with the U.S. Last year, China reported the largest-ever annual surplus of some $275.8 billion. The U.S. estimates the gap was even larger, at $375.2 billion.

...some frontloading of export orders is still taking place....electrical and mechanical products...expects to see continued frontloading in the coming months before it tapers off.

...expects rising labor costs are also going to make exports less attractive...


China wants to stop buying American soybeans entirely
Daniel Shane | October 24, 2018

...China is the world's biggest buyer of soybeans, using them as a protein-rich feed for livestock such as pigs and chickens. More than a third of its supply comes from the United States.

Beijing's solution to get by without US beans? Give the animals less to eat.

One of the country's top industry groups this month proposed cutting the amount of protein used in livestock feeds, saying animals could get by with less than is required at the moment. The government-run China Feed Industry Association said a reliance on imported soybeans is creating a "bottleneck" for the country's farming industry...

nov. 9, 2018, 9:00am

Two new plants needed to process $1.6 billion in Michigan milk
Kaley Fech | 11/9/2018

...Michigan’s shortage of processing capacity is due to the rapid expansion in milk production, which has doubled since 2000, Philibeck said.

The industry was growing at a rapid pace and going through segments of economic prosperity at the same time, said Ernie Birchmeier, a livestock and dairy specialist for the Michigan Farm Bureau.

“While our production numbers continued to increase, processing capacity in the state did not keep up,” he said. “We ended up with too much milk and not enough room for it all.”...

nov. 21, 2018, 8:30am

Harvesting in a trade war: U.S. crops rot as storage costs soar
Mark Weinraub, P.J. Huffstutter | Nov 21, 2018

Across the United States, grain farmers are plowing under crops, leaving them to rot or piling them on the ground, in hopes of better prices next year, according to interviews with more than two dozen farmers, academic researchers and farm lenders. It’s one of the results, they say, of a U.S. trade war with China that has sharply hurt export demand and swamped storage facilities with excess grain.

In Louisiana, up to 15 percent of the oilseed crop is being plowed under or is too damaged to market, according to data analyzed by Louisiana State University staff. Crops are going to waste in parts of Mississippi and Arkansas. Grain piles, dusted by snow, sit on the ground in North and South Dakota. And in Illinois and Indiana, some farmers are struggling to protect silo bags stuffed with crops from animals.

U.S. farmers planted 89.1 million acres of soybeans this year, the second most ever, expecting China’s rising demand to give them better returns than other bulk crops.

But Beijing slapped a 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans in retaliation for duties imposed by Washington on Chinese exports. That effectively shut down U.S. soybean exports to China, worth around $12 billion last year. China typically takes around 60 percent of U.S. supplies.

The U.S. government rolled out an aid program of around the same size - $12 billion - to help farmers absorb the cost of the trade war. As of mid-November, $837.8 million had been paid out.

Some of that money will pass from farmers to grain merchants such as Archer Daniels Midland Co (ADM.N) and Bunge Ltd (BG.N), who are charging farmers more to store crops at elevators where there is limited space. central Illinois could pay up to 40 percent more than in previous years to store crops over the coming weeks, agricultural consultant Matt Bennett estimated.

That amounts to between 3 cents to 6 cents a bushel, Bennett said, a painful expense for a crop that was already expected to deliver little income to farmers.

Storage rates are swinging wildly, depending on the elevator location. Grain dealers at rivers typically charge more than their inland counterparts because they are more dependent on export markets.

At some Midwest river terminals, farmers were paying 60 cents a bushel to store soybeans until the end of the year - more than twice as much as a year ago. Some commercial terminals are charging farmers to just drop off their soybeans.

...a worldwide oversupply of grain

Even before this fall’s harvest, around 20 percent of total grain storage available in the U.S. was full with corn, soybeans and wheat from previous harvests...

...banking on a resolution to the trade war before this spring...


Rather than letting crops rot, why don't farmers make bio-fuels?
(In one small Ontario community, a farmer collects kitchen waste collected in bins at dump, which he adds to his own organic debris to make bio-fuel.)

nov. 26, 2018, 4:01am

General Motors to close Oshawa plant, affecting thousands of jobs: source
The Canadian Press | November 25, 2018

...General Motors Canada will announce on Monday that it’s closing its plant in Oshawa, Ont...part of a shift in the company’s global production and has nothing to do with the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the shift also affects GM operations in other countries, and the Oshawa facility is the only Canadian plant that will be shuttered. GM also operates manufacturing facilities in St. Catharines, Ont., and Ingersoll, Ont.

Unifor, the union representing more than 2,500 workers at the Oshawa plant, has been informed that there is no product allocated to the Oshawa plant past December 2019.

...Oshawa Mayor John Henry said...that the plant closure would have ripple effects well beyond the city of roughly 170,000.

“It’s going to affect the province, it’s going to affect the region … The auto industry’s been a big part of the province of Ontario for over 100 years.

“This country has also invested a lot in General Motors,” he added, referring to the 2009 bailout that saw the federal and provincial governments invest billions in GM and Chrysler to keep the companies afloat.

Federal and provincial politicians also weighed in on the reported closure, expressing concern for the thousands of high-paying jobs at the Oshawa plant — as well as the potential trickle-down effect a closure could have.

...the Oshawa Assembly Plant employs 2,522 workers with Unifor Local 222. Production began on Nov. 7, 1953, and in the 1980s the plant employed roughly 23,000 people.

Unifor national president Jerry Dias said in April that the Oshawa complex was headed for closure in June of this year.

...The Oshawa operation became a Donald Trump talking point during Canada-U.S. trade negotiations, according to a Toronto Star report about an off-the-record aside during an interview with Bloomberg News over the summer.

“Every time we have a problem with a point, I just put up a picture of a Chevrolet Impala,” the U.S. president was reported to have said. The Impala is built at the GM plant in Oshawa.

nov. 26, 2018, 12:47pm

Not said here, but GM is also eyeing the potentially huge Chinese market (for electric cars). They will want to build there, or at least not in the US with threats of trade wars in the air.

GM to slash jobs and close eight plants

General Motors (GM) plans to halt production at five factories in North America and cut more than 14,000 jobs.

The US carmaker has also announced it will close three plants outside North America by the end of 2019.

The moves follow rising costs and slower car sales and comes as the US carmaker focuses on its line-up of trucks, electric and self-driving vehicles.

The company said the plan would help it save about $6bn (£4.7bn).

The cutbacks include a 15% reduction in the number of its salaried employees, including 25% fewer executives.

The five plants in North America alone employ about 7,000 people currently, including more than 6,000 shift workers.

...General Motors currently employs about 54,000 salaried workers in North America - which means the cuts will affect more 8,000 salaried staff, in addition to the shift workers at the plants.

The firm said it was cutting production of the Buick LaCross, Chevrolet Volt, Cadillac CT6 and XTS and Chevrolet Impala, as well as older versions of the Silverado and Sierra.

The closures include assembly plants in Oshawa, Canada; Detroit, Michigan and Warren, Ohio; as well as factories in Warren, Michigan and a site near Baltimore in Maryland.

...In February, the company said it would close one plant in South Korea. It also offered voluntary buyouts to up to 18,000 workers in October.

The firm said it would name the two additional international plants set for closure later...

Editat: nov. 27, 2018, 9:05am

>3 margd: ...The (USMCA) deal, as announced, would require 40-45 per cent of auto content made in Mexico to be made by workers earning at least $16 US per hour, placating unions in Canada and the U.S. concerned about high-paying jobs moving to Mexico's low-wage economy...The revised U.S.-Mexico deal will require 75 per cent of auto content to be made in North America, up from 62.5 per cent under the current NAFTA deal...

So-o, USMCA created incentives for auto industries to scuttle Canadian and US plants and to open ASAP in Mexico to capture their share of the cheap labor under the ceiling? Add THAT to slowing economy, preference for SUVs over sedans, the chnging market (self-driving cars, electric vehicles etc.), the lure of the Chinese market against backdrop of Trump tariffs--GM's closures and layoffs may be just a ripple of a looming tsunami!!

GM layoffs and plant shutdowns suggest U.S. economy may be starting to slow — and dent Trump’s claim of an industrial renaissance
David J. Lynch and Taylor Telford | November 26 at 11:03 PM

...(Trump's) repeated promises to reverse the Rust Belt jobs hemorrhage that he said had emptied the region’s factories as a result of poorly designed trade policies.

“They’re all coming back. They’re all coming back. Don’t move, don’t sell your house,” the president said during a July 2017 visit to Youngstown, Ohio. “We’re going to fill up those factories or rip them down and build new ones.”

During an October 2016 campaign rally in Warren, Mich., site of one of the targeted transmission plants, Trump promised: “If I’m elected, you won’t lose one plant, you’ll have plants coming into this country, you’re going to have jobs again, you won’t lose one plant, I promise you that.”...

nov. 27, 2018, 2:50pm

A new study found that Trump's trade war could take a gigantic bite out of the US economy
Bob Bryan | 11/27/2018

...The report, commissioned by the pro-free-trade Koch Industries, modeled the impact if Trump were to go through with all of his tariff threats on China and auto imports.

The report also assumed other countries would respond in kind.

The report found that gross domestic product, household income, and industrial production would fall substantially and that unemployment would rise.

...While the researchers' estimates don't suggest the US would be plunged into a recession, they say the slowdown would be substantial.

.. Here's a rundown of some of the key findings from the report:

The total economic cost from the measures from 2018 to 2030 would be $2.8 trillion.

Gross domestic product in 2019 would be 1.78 percentage points lower in 2019 than under the current projection.

In 2019, each US household would lose the equivalent of $2,357, which also works out to a cost of about $915 a person. Through 2030, the study estimates that each household would lose just over $17,000 in spending power.

If all trade actions hit concurrently, up to 2.75 million more workers would be unemployed compared with current projections, as companies slow their hiring plans and lay off workers.

The authors also estimate that the trade policies would force 665,000 workers to find employment in other industries...

Editat: des. 3, 2018, 3:44pm

ETA Kudlow tells press that contrary to Trump tweet, there is "no specific agreement" re rollback of China's 40 percent tariff on US-built cars. Markets moved on Trump tweet!

Trump tweets China to cut tax on US-made cars, revs up auto stocks
Reuters |12/3/2018

...U.S. President Donald Trump said China had agreed to cut import tariffs on American-made cars, buoying shares in BMW and Daimler who manufacture in the United States for export to the world's biggest auto market.

General Motors shares jumped more than 4 percent in premarket trading. Ford and Tesla rose 3 percent each.

Shares of Chinese car dealers also perked up on hopes that such a move could revitalize the domestic auto market that is poised for its first annual sales contraction in decades amid cooling economic growth and a debilitating U.S.-China trade war.

Trump, fresh from agreeing a 90-day cease-fire in his trade war with China at the meeting of the G20, said on Twitter "China has agreed to reduce and remove tariffs on cars coming into China from the U.S. Currently the tariff is 40%".

"If they cancel the extra 25 percent tariff on U.S.-made cars, then we will see positive signs for imported cars," Wang Cun, director of the China Automobile Dealers Association's import committee, told reporters in Beijing.

Beijing raised tariffs on U.S. auto imports to 40 percent in July, forcing many carmakers to hike prices in a major hit to the roughly $10 billion worth of passenger vehicles the United States sent to China last year.

That put U.S.-made car brands like Tesla and Ford's Lincoln at a major disadvantage as the move came soon after China slashed auto import tariffs for the wider market to 15 percent from 25 percent.

...The United States currently charges tariffs of 27.5 percent on Chinese vehicles. On Wednesday, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Trump had directed him to examine all available tools to raise U.S. tariffs on Chinese vehicles to the level that China is charging.

des. 5, 2018, 9:37am

I LOVE Michigan cherries dried on my salad and concentrate swirled in my yoghurt,
but "America First" tariffs without evidence of wrongdoing creates a lot of ill will...

Michigan cherry growers happy to see new tariff on Turkish cherries
Kaley Fech |12/5/2018

des. 5, 2018, 1:49pm

Oh yes! I bought a ten pound box of dried Michigan cherries this year - they were great!

Editat: des. 6, 2018, 6:31am

Hello recession...

Huawei exec's arrest sends shudders through stock markets
Daniel Shane | December 6, 2018

...The main index in Hong Kong fell about 2.5% and Tokyo stocks closed down 1.9% on Thursday after Canada said Huawei's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, had been arrested in Vancouver and is being sought for extradition by the US government.

Shanghai's market slid about 1.7%, while US stock futures were pointing down more than 1% (margd: -1.68% now). Major indexes in Europe fell by around 1% to 1.5% in morning trading.

The arrest of Meng, the daughter of Huawei's founder, sparked fears of a new escalation of tensions between the United States and China, which reached a truce in their trade war less than a week ago. Uncertainty about whether the two sides can reach a lasting deal has fueled volatile trading in global markets this week.

...The Wall Street Journal reported last month that US officials had briefed counterparts in countries including Germany, Japan and Italy on potential security risks from Huawei equipment. That report prompted a major sell-off in more than 100 Chinese stocks, according to Innes.

...A Huawei spokesperson said Meng faces unspecified charges in the Eastern District of New York. The Wall Street Journal reported in April that the US Justice Department was investigating whether Huawei violated US sanctions on Iran.

..."It's as strong a message to China's elites as a horse's head in your bed," (Michael Every, head of Asia-Pacific research at investment bank Rabobank) wrote in a note to clients, referencing a famous scene from mafia movie "The Godfather."


One part of the U.S. yield curve just inverted; what does that mean?
Richard Leong | December 6, 2018

Part of the U.S. Treasury yield curve “inverted” this week, setting off debate over whether it is delivering a classic signal of oncoming recession or it has just developed a short-term kink that can be explained away by technical reasons.

Whatever the reason, investors and economists ignore this message from the bond market at their peril: yield curve inversions - when shorter-dated securities yield more than longer maturities - have preceded every U.S. recession in recent memory by anywhere from 15 months to around two years...

des. 10, 2018, 4:58am

The Mug that Stood Up to the Mailman (18:00)
BBC World Service |December 10, 2018

Donald Trump has threatened to pull the US out of the global postal system, after receiving a letter from the inventor of the "Mighty Mug".

Trump moves to quit 144-year-old postal treaty
BBC | 18 October 2018

The US has announced plans to withdraw from a 144-year-old postal treaty, which the White House says lets China ship goods at unfairly low prices.

Under the treaty, a UN body sets lower international rates for packages from certain countries, a move originally designed to support poorer nations.

But the US says the discounts put American businesses at a disadvantage. (Due to lower rates, foreign packages cost the US about $300m (£228.5m) each year, according to administration estimates. The US Postal Service and companies such as Amazon and FedEx have complained about the discounts for foreign shippers for many years. )

Officials said they hoped the notice of withdrawal would set the stage to agree a better deal.

"We're looking for a fair system," a senior administration official told reporters. "We do hope that ultimately we achieve a negotiated outcome."

The BBC's Asia business correspondent Karishma Vaswani says the move to pull out of the treaty is aimed at forcing the Chinese to give up the developing nation status they had when they first entered the pact back in 1969...

des. 13, 2018, 5:08am

Two Canadians have now been detained by China in apparent retribution for Canada's arrest of Huawei CFO at US request.
Individual 1's injection of "America First" politics into the affair could cost Canada and Canadians a lot more as it unfolds.
(Putin must be happy at another breakdown in international alliances and law enforcement. Magnitsky-Schmagnitsky...)

Trump’s recklessness trips up Canada in the Huawei case
David Moscrop | December 12, 2018

...In an interview with Reuters, Trump politicized the Meng affair in a few sentences: “If I think it’s good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made — which is a very important thing — what’s good for national security, I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary.”

...Decades, indeed, centuries of legal, political and social evolution have been necessary to establish domestic and international laws, protocols and institutions. These have been years of careful construction, of moving away from the renegade, ad hoc power politics of whimsy and caprice. With the arrest of Meng, Canada has shown its commitment to maintaining that delicate order. Some in the Trump administration have, too. Unfortunately, the head of that administration has not.

Regrettably, in this instance, the president has the power to both botch the Meng case and undermine domestic and international processes. Not a bad day’s work for him. Canada, meanwhile, which is reviewing Huawei’s technology against its own national security concerns, is caught between China and the United States as the two play hardball with baseball bats wrapped in barbed wire.

The case against Meng could take years to unfold, and her extradition to the United States won’t happen overnight. Today, a year is a very long time. A lot can happen. As Canada, the United States and China face their own political uncertainties, this affair is likely to remain a scorching-hot potato that threatens to burn anyone who touches it — including Canadian officials who are just trying to handle it with care.

Can no one rid us of this meddlesome Individual 1?

des. 27, 2018, 8:02am

Steel Profits Gain, but Steel Users Pay, under Trump’s Protectionism
Gary Clyde Hufbauer and Euijin Jung | December 20, 2018

...Our arithmetic is stark. Steel tariffs will boost firm pre-tax earnings by $2.4 billion and create about 8,700 jobs—over $270,000 of pre-tax profits for each job. Steel users will pay an additional $5.6 billion for more expensive domestic steel, thanks to protection. In other words, steel users will pay about $650,000 for each job created in the steel industry.

Whatever President Trump and his lieutenants may have said about guarding national security or creating steel jobs, the tariffs were never about military strength or American workers. Their purpose was to enrich steel firms. They succeeded—but at an exorbitant price.

Editat: des. 28, 2018, 10:31am

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump | Dec 28, 2018:

We will be forced to close the Southern Border entirely if the Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall & also change the ridiculous immigration laws that our Country is saddled with. Hard to believe there was a Congress & President who would approve!

....The United States looses soooo much money on Trade with Mexico under NAFTA, over 75 Billion Dollars a year (not including Drug Money which would be many times that amount), that I would consider closing the Southern Border a “profit making operation.” We build a Wall or.....

.....close the Southern Border. Bring our car industry back into the United States where it belongs. Go back to pre-NAFTA, before so many of our companies and jobs were so foolishly sent to Mexico. Either we build (finish) the Wall or we close the Border......

.....Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador are doing nothing for the United States but taking our money. Word is that a new Caravan is forming in Honduras and they are doing nothing about it. We will be cutting off all aid to these 3 countries - taking advantage of U.S. for years!

Brian Krassenstein @krassenstein | 45m45 minutes ago:

You just want to watch the Dow drop, don't you? It's almost as if you are doing everything you can to scare the markets.

Are you this ignorant, or are you trying to tank stocks to hold rates low because of your $325M in debt? I just don't get it...

Evan Solomon @EvanLSolomon (Cdn journalist) | 5:13 AM - 28 Dec 2018

Uh oh. Now he’s turning back on the trade deal he just championed (still needs to be ratified)to get the wall he promised Mexico would pay for and won’t. Has the transactional President just put his biggest deal back on the table? For Canada-US trade watchers this ain’t good.

David Frum @davidfrum | 1h1 hour ago

...the $615 billion exchange of goods and services between the United States and Mexico. Trump's threat this AM is empty because acting on it would plunge the US economy into deep recession.

Alternative NOAA @altNOAA | 7:23 AM - 28 Dec 2018:

I would rather @realDonaldTrump just close the Southern Border entirely than build a wall. At least that way wildlife wouldn't be affected.

Editat: gen. 14, 2019, 11:03am

ETA: China sentences Canadian man to death in drug case linked to Huawei row
Gerry Shih | January 14, 2019

BEIJING — A Chinese court issued the death penalty on Monday in the retrial of a convicted Canadian drug trafficker, a sentence that is expected to sharply escalate China’s diplomatic row with Canada and the United States.

Robert Lloyd Schellenberg’s new sentence comes after an appeals court this month sided with prosecutors, who argued that his original sentence of 15 years was too light given new evidence implicating the 36-year old Vancouver native’s role in an organized drug trafficking operation.

The case has been condemned by Western legal experts and Schellenberg’s relatives, who say China is using Schellenberg as a bargaining chip in its efforts to free a top technology executive whose detention in Canada infuriated the Chinese government...

Sure, Schellenberg may have deserved jail for drug-smuggling, but article below shows how resentencing FOUR YEARS LATER may have been influenced by Canada's arrest of Huawei executive at US behest, later given trade-war political cast by Trump. Schellenberg might be the least-innocent of folks killed by Trump assery, but geez!

China’s Hostage Diplomacy
Donald Clarke | January 11, 2019, 10:54 AM

...Canadian Robert Schellenberg entered China in November of 2014 and was detained the following month on charges of planning to smuggle almost 500 pounds of crystal methamphetamine from China to Australia. Sentenced just last November to 15 years’ imprisonment, he effectively lost—indeed, more than lost—his appeal in the Liaoning Provincial High Court on Dec. 29, 2018. The High Court sent his case back for retrial, suggesting a harsher sentence would be appropriate. That could include the death penalty.

...(has) China has moved from merely detaining Canadians as hostages to actually threatening—subtly, to be sure—to kill a Canadian who would otherwise not have been executed if it does not get what it wants...

gen. 21, 2019, 6:51pm

No Sweeping Free Trade Deal, Brussels Tells Washington
Keith Johnson | January 18, 2019

The EU’s terms for talks could herald another trade setback for Trump.

Six months after U.S. President Donald Trump proclaimed he’d already reached a trade deal with the European Union, Brussels has only now laid out its preliminary conditions for talks. And they don’t point to a quick or a comprehensive trade pact, or, more importantly, one that could ever pass muster with the U.S. Congress—adding to two years of Trump administration failures when it comes to trade.

The European Union on Friday released its objectives for trade talks with Washington, which are, by design, focused and narrow. Brussels hopes to slash the existing tariffs on trade in industrial goods between two of the world’s biggest economic blocs, and to harmonize some regulations, but made clear it has zero interest in a full-fledged free trade agreement with the United States.

...To drive home the limited nature of the European proposal, Malmstrom underscored that discussion over greater access for U.S. agricultural products in Europe is off the table. The position is at odds with the negotiating objectives released by Trump’s trade team last week and makes it virtually impossible any agreement could win Senate approval...

gen. 21, 2019, 8:00pm

>73 margd: My impression is that Europeans are much choosier about the quality of their foods. All we can offer is pesticide laden, genetically modified items. Yech!

gen. 22, 2019, 2:46am

>74 2wonderY: You forgot hormone enhanced beef and milk :-)

gen. 22, 2019, 10:34am

Chilling Davos: A Bleak Warning on Global Division and Debt
Andrew Ross Sorkin | Jan. 22, 2019

DAVOS, Switzerland — As business and political leaders arrive in the Swiss Alps for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, a surprisingly alarming letter from an influential investor who studiously eschews attention has already emerged as a talking point.

The (a 22-page annual letter to his investors) letter, written by Seth A. Klarman, a billionaire (value) investor known for his sober and meticulous analysis of the investing world, is a huge red flag about global social tensions, rising debt levels and receding American leadership.

“It can’t be business as usual amid constant protests, riots, shutdowns and escalating social tensions,”

“As the post-World War II international order continued to erode, the markets ignored the longer-term implications of a more isolated America, a world increasingly adrift and global leadership up for grabs,”.

“Social frictions remain a challenge for democracies around the world, and we wonder when investors might take more notice of this.” He added, “Social cohesion is essential for those who have capital to invest.”

“The seeds of the next major financial crisis (or the one after that) may well be found in today’s sovereign debt levels,” (exceeding 100 percent in the United States and nearing that figure in France, Canada, Britain and Spain.)

Mr. Klarman is especially worried about debt load in the United States, what it could mean to the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency and how it could ultimately affect the country’s economy. “There is no way to know how much debt is too much, but America will inevitably reach an inflection point whereupon a suddenly more skeptical debt market will refuse to continue to lend to us at rates we can afford,” he wrote. “By the time such a crisis hits, it will likely be too late to get our house in order.”

“Individuals, professional investors and financiers are prone to project their own recent experiences into the future,” he wrote. “So when adversity is absent, investors become complacent. They assume good times will continue, and they grow careless about risk, perceiving it through rose-colored lenses.”

“This post-truth moment is quite dangerous,” Mr. Klarman wrote. “Imagine an incident that threatens national security. Will Americans see eye to eye on the seriousness of the threat? If our leaders are truth-challenged, will Americans believe the official explanation of the threat and the wisdom of the proposed response? Should they?”

The many technology companies in Davos — Facebook, Google and Amazon among them — may also want to take note of Mr. Klarman’s anxiety that “more and more people are choosing to only seek out information from those who share their views” and his blame that “technology and social media have made it increasingly easy to do so.”

“It is not hard to imagine worsening social unrest among a generation,” he wrote, “that is falling behind economically and feels betrayed by a massive national debt that was incurred without any obvious benefit to them.”

Editat: feb. 1, 2019, 4:01pm

EU Warns Trump of Potential Tariffs on $23 Billion of U.S. Goods
Jonathan Stearns | January 23, 2019

Bloc threatens tit-for-tat duties on $22.7 billion of goods
Risk of trade-war escalation amid parallel push for accord

The European Union is prepared to hit 20 billion euros ($22.7 billion) of U.S. goods with tariffs should President Donald Trump follow through on a threat to impose duties on EU cars and auto parts, said a senior trade official for the bloc.

The assertion by Jean-Luc Demarty, director general for trade in the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, highlights the risk of a sudden escalation in trans-Atlantic commercial tensions following a truce struck six months ago...

Monkeys Are Better Stockpickers Than You'd Think
Jack Hough | June 19, 2014

Editat: feb. 1, 2019, 3:43pm

Bet against the guy who's negotiating trade deals on our behalf--at least when picking stocks:

Betting Against Trump Was a Winner for a Second Year
Barry Ritholtz | February 1, 2019

...we created a pair of indexes, and tracked them for a year. The Oligarch (companies he favored) and the Drain the Swamp (companies he denigrated) indexes were filled with companies straight from the feed of the tweeter-in-chief. This allowed us to track how well or poorly they did relative to their relationship with the president. What impact would he have on the companies’ market performance?

...(In 2018) a 29 percentage point advantage for Trump’s most-hated companies over his most favored ones. This is even bigger spread than the first year (2017) we tracked the indexes, when the spread was 23 percentage points...

feb. 11, 2019, 9:30am

Behind the scenes: Troubles ahead for Trump's NAFTA replacement
Jonathan Swan | 2/11/2019

...the USMCA — Trump's most urgent legislative priority besides government funding — has a tough row to hoe.

Influential House Democrats say they won't even negotiate with the White House until Trump stops threatening to withdraw from NAFTA and lifts his tariffs on Canada's and Mexico’s steel and aluminum.

Meanwhile, Republicans oppose important parts of USMCA, including its weakening of the NAFTA provision that lets foreign companies sue governments for mistreatment.

...Wisconsin Democrat Rep. Ron Kind, a member of the trade subcommittee on Ways and Lighthizer credit for "doing a lot more outreach." But he added that, like many of his colleagues, he won’t back the trade deal until Trump lifts those steel and aluminum tariffs. Retaliation for these tariffs is hurting Badger State farmers and manufacturers, he said... "Time is of the essence," Kind said. "The later this drags into '19, or if it slips to '20, the presidential campaign is going to overwhelm things and make things so much more difficult to move forward."

...Trump, meanwhile, seems totally unwilling to budge on that point.

The bottom line: Nancy Pelosi is the most important person here. She'll decide when the USMCA comes to the House floor...while she's indicated she's open to Trump's trade deal, Republicans anticipate she'll use her leverage over Trump to extract something substantial (and possibly unpalatable).

març 1, 2019, 4:19pm

Sure wish I had confidence that Trump won't use this woman as a trade-pawn after Canada risked much playing by the rules...

Canada allows US extradition of Huawei CFO to proceed
Sara Salinas | March 1, 2019

It's the first step in what's likely to be a lengthy and revealing legal process.
Meng will appear in Canadian court for an extradition hearing on March 6.
The process to extradite Meng extends a saga that has captivated markets and fueled tensions between the U.S. and China...

març 6, 2019, 1:25pm

Trump promised to shrink the trade deficit. Instead, it exploded.
David J. Lynch | March 6 at 8:41 AM

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that — despite more than two years of President Trump’s “America First” policies — the United States last year posted a $891.2 billion merchandise trade deficit, the largest in the nation’s 243-year history.

...even as he imposed tariffs on foreign-made solar panels, washing machines, steel, aluminum and assorted goods from China, imports roared ahead of exports...

...Economists say the trade deficit is swelling because of broad economic forces, including a chronic shortfall in national savings that was exacerbated by last year’s $1.5 trillion corporate and personal income tax cut. As cash-flush businesses and consumers increased their spending, purchases of imported goods rose while the overvalued dollar weighed on services trade, which includes spending by foreign tourists and students, financial services and consulting

...The Commerce Department on Monday began investigating whether imports of titanium sponges, used in chemical plants and military hardware, represent a national security threat.

The president has used similar studies to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum and has threatened to apply them to imported cars and car parts.

...Trump has long been convinced that the United States gets a raw deal from its trade ties. As a New York real estate magnate in the 1980s, he routinely complained about Japanese auto companies and investors who bought iconic American properties such as Rockefeller Center and California’s Pebble Beach.

...Trump has used tariffs and import taxes more aggressively than any American president since the 1930s.

...“When we impose a tariff, it is the domestic consumers and purchasers of imports that bear the full cost of the tariffs,” said David Weinstein, an economics professor at Columbia University, who co-wrote one of the papers....the president appears to be relying on a 2018 analysis of data from the 1990s, when the United States represented a larger share of the global economy and had more leverage over exporters in other countries...last year after U.S. tariffs took effect...Americans paid the entire tariff bill.

A second study...found that workers in Republican-leaning counties, especially in farm states, suffered the greatest losses from tariffs that U.S. trading partners imposed in retaliation for the president’s actions.

Trump’s tariffs also may cause U.S. companies to write off sizable investments in their Chinese factories as they scramble to shift operations to safer venues, said the study by Weinstein, Amiti and Redding. If the tariffs continue, about $165 billion worth of trade would be redirected each year, they added.

The study also found sizable costs relative to any expected benefits. If the tariffs led to the creation of 35,000 new manufacturing jobs — equal to all the steel and aluminum jobs lost in the past decade — they would cost $195,000 per job, the study found...

abr. 23, 2019, 2:35pm

Trump Today: President...vows to ‘reciprocate’ against EU after Harley profit drops
Apr 23, 2019

..President Donald Trump on Tuesday...vowed to “reciprocate” against the European Union in the wake of Harley-Davidson’s report of a profit drop in the first quarter.


After Harley-Davidson HOG, -1.41% reported a nearly 27% drop in first-quarter profit, Trump cited comments made on Fox Business Network about EU tariffs forcing the motorcycle maker to move U.S. jobs overseas.

“So unfair to U.S. We will Reciprocate!” Trump wrote in a tweet. It was a change of tune from Trump on the iconic American brand, against which he’d called for a boycott last year. In June 2018, Harley executives said they were planning to shift production of motorcycles being sold in European markets to overseas factories. They said the move was in response to retaliatory tariffs the EU slapped on Harleys after Trump imposed duties on steel and aluminum imports from Europe.

The threat of retaliatory action comes amid a wider trade spat with the EU, in which Trump has threatened tariffs on European cars. The Trump administration also wants to put tariffs on $11.2 billion worth of EU goods to offset what it says are unfair European subsidies for plane maker Airbus AIR, +2.13%...

abr. 29, 2019, 12:31pm

Trump’s Tariffs End or His Trade Deal Dies (Opinion Commentary )
Chuck Grassley | April 28, 2019

Congress won’t approve USMCA while constituents pay the price for Mexican and Canadian retaliation.

Donald Trump bucked decades of Republican orthodoxy by railing against free-trade agreements. To say I was skeptical of his plans to rip up or renegotiate nearly every major trade deal would be a polite understatement...

maig 1, 2019, 2:11am

>80 margd: Sure wish I had confidence that Trump won't use Huawei executive as a trade-pawn after Canada risked much playing by the rules, contd.

China sentences another Canadian to death for drug trafficking
April 30, 2019

...The court in southern Guangdong province in China said on Tuesday that Canadian national Fan Wei, and 10 others, including an American and four Mexicans, were part of an international narcotics syndicate working out of Taishan city between July and November 2012.

The group produced and sold 63.38kg (140 pounds) of methamphetamine and 366 grammes of dimethylamylamine, a drug used for attention deficit-hyperactive disorder, weight loss and improving athletic performance...

Fan and a Chinese man who played a key role in operations were sentenced to death...The other foreigners were given suspended death sentences, which would be reduced to life imprisonment after two years while the rest of the men faced prison terms.

...Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland reacted to the sentencing, saying her government is "very concerned. Canada stands firmly opposed to the use of the death penalty, everywhere around the world. We think that this is a cruel and inhumane punishment which should not be used in any country. We are obviously, particularly concerned when it is applied to Canadians." ...called on China to grant clemency for Fan.

...In January, Canadian Robert Lloyd Schellenberg was handed the death penalty following a one-day retrial after he appealed an earlier 15-year sentence in a separate drug trafficking case.

...frosty diplomatic relations between China and Canada, with Beijing furious over the Vancouver arrest in December of a top executive from telecom giant Huawei on a US extradition request related to Iran sanctions violations.

Chinese authorities later detained two Canadian nationals - a former diplomat and a business consultant - on suspicion of endangering national security, a move seen as retaliation over the Huawei executive's arrest.

...China has also cancelled Canadian agribusiness Richardson International Ltd's registration to ship canola to China this year.

maig 6, 2019, 5:57am

Chinese negotiators did not cancel trip to DC on Wednesday, giving a couple days to reach agreement.

U.S. stock futures sink (~2%) as threat of full-blown trade war re-emerges
Published: May 6, 2019 5:01 a.m. ET

...Stock futures tumbled sharply on Monday, as global markets sold off amid fears that trade talks between the U.S. and China were on the verge of collapse, after President Donald Trump threatened to raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods.

...In a surprise pair of tweets early late Sunday, Trump expressed frustration with the speed of talks with China, and threatened to raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods by Friday of this week to 25% from 10%. “The Trade Deal with China continues, but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate. No!” he wrote.

...Stocks had finished on a high note last week after the April employment report underscored a healthy labor market that produced a stronger-than-expected 263,000 new jobs, helping to drive down the unemployment rate to a 49-year low of 3.6%. There is no data on the calendar for Monday, leaving investors wide open to fret about trade talks.

...Chris Weston, head of research at Pepperstone, said markets will be watching carefully to see whether China’s top negotiator Liu He calls off his planned visit to Washington.

“If the visit i(s) formally canceled, then Trump simply has to hike tariffs on the $200 billion of goods to 25%."...

Editat: maig 6, 2019, 9:05am

Wow--see graphic on US ag export commitments for 2019 v 2018.
Also, ag trade with China has plummeted:

Why US Democrats don’t want to mention Trump’s (trade) war
The dispute with China has hit farmers but presidential hopefuls are reluctant to campaign against it
Demetri Sevastopulo in Muscatine, Iowa and James Politi | May 5, 2019

maig 10, 2019, 8:56am

The group losing faith in a quick China trade resolution? The farmers drained by lost exports
May 9, 2019

...(before Trump's Sunday tweet re 25% tariffs) Only 28% of the 400 survey respondents from around the U.S. felt that the (China trade) dispute would be resolved before July 1, down from 45% who thought as much in March. However, 71% still feel the dispute will ultimately be resolved in a way that benefits U.S. agriculture. Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows soybean exports are down more than 90% under the trade dispute and U.S. farmers lost nearly $8 billion in the past year as a result.

...About 47% of Purdue survey respondents favored rejoining TPP (the Obama administration had entered the U.S. into the pact), while 29% said they were not in favor of rejoining. Interestingly, one-fourth of respondents said they were uncertain whether or not the U.S. should rejoin TPP.

...Farmer sentiment, and more broadly, trade sentiment, could factor more prominently in the months leading up to the 2020 election, especially if plunging soybean and other commodity prices continue to feature in the headlines in key political states, such as (OH, IL IA)...

Editat: maig 14, 2019, 1:04pm

David Frum @davidfrum | 6h6 hours ago:

Trump has led the US into a trade war against China worse than alone. He's simultaneously fighting trade wars against South Korea, Canada, and other allies. Meanwhile potential allies - Australia, Brazil - are opportunistically replacing US as China's food suppliers

Trump has started the China trade war at the *SAME TIME* as he is threatening two shooting wars, one against Venezuela, another against Iran

In short, Trump has meticulously set the board so as to conduct his policy vs China from a position of maximal weakness. He's hoping the Chinese will not notice. But it seems ... they have.


China has also noticed that Trump is facing election in 2020, and that his farmer base is close to revolt.

maig 21, 2019, 5:06am

Xi’s Trip to Rare-Earths Plant Stokes Talk of Trade Retaliation
Bloomberg News | May 20, 2019

...the U.S. excluded rare earths from its own list of prospective tariffs on roughly $300 billion worth of Chinese goods to be targeted in the next wave of measures.

The U.S. relies on China, the dominant global supplier, for about 80% of its rare earths imports. Xi was accompanied on the trip to JL MAG by Liu He, the vice premier who has led the Chinese side in the trade negotiations.

The visit “sends a warning signal to the U.S. that China may use rare earths as a retaliation measure as the trade war heats up,” Yang Kunhe, analyst at Pacific Securities Co., said by phone from Beijing. That could include curbs on rare earth exports to the U.S., he said.

...Restrictions on rare earth materials from China would hurt its domestic miners. But curbs could potentially help (China's domestic) companies like JL MAG, which makes magnets containing rare earths that are used in products including electric vehicles and wind turbines.

maig 29, 2019, 4:32am

This is what Trump’s latest tariff increase will cost the typical American household
Published: May 26, 2019 7:04 a.m. ET

New Federal Reserve Bank of New York researchers doubled their projections on the impact of the trade war with China

...Rising tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports will translate to an extra $831 in annual costs for the typical American household, according to new projections from Federal Reserve Bank of New York researchers.

Thursday’s projections on the impact of the newly-implemented 25% tariffs are about double the earlier estimates of $419 per household, the Fed said. The latest round of tariff hikes, in addition to those introduced last year, could cost over $106 billion for American households, the researchers said.

That could be approximately 19 gas tank fill-ups of a mid-size car’s 15-gallon gas tank if regular grade gas prices held at AAA’s $2.84 average.

That $831 could pay for five weekly trips to the grocery store for a family.

The latest figure doesn’t take into account any further adverse economic impact from China’s retaliatory tariffs. Starting June 1, the Chinese government will raise tariffs as high as 25% for roughly $60 billion in 5,000 American products. The products range from frozen fruits to vodka...


Here’s how hard the tariff fight could hit the economy
William Watts | May 13, 2019 10:23 a.m. ET

Tariff hike could cost U.S. economy $62 billion by 2020, while global economy takes $360 billion hit

The escalation of the U.S.-China trade fight — and the threat of further tit-for-tat measures — marks a significant risk to both countries and the world economy, analysts said.

The U.S. early Friday increased tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25% from 10% and President Donald Trump threatened to extend levies to other goods from the country in an attempt to ratchet up pressure on Beijing as trade negotiations continue. Beijing on Monday said it would retaliate, lifting tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. goods as high as 25%

“No one wins trade wars, not even the bystanders,” wrote Gregory Daco, chief U.S. economist at Oxford Economics, a research firm, in a Thursday note...

Then there’s the potential for even further escalation.

In a scenario where Washington puts tariffs of 25% on all imports from China, with Beijing retaliating in kind, U.S. GDP would take a hit of around 0.5%, he said. That would push real GDP growth — growth minus inflation — dangerously close to 1% by the end of 2020, he said.

China’s GDP growth would be reduced by around 1.3% in 2020, slowing to an unprecedented 5% annual pace, while world GDP would suffer a significant 0.5% loss (see chart below).
Oxford Economics

And then there’s the “extreme scenario” of full-blown, multilateral trade war. In this scenario, Oxford Economics modeled the impact of the U.S. putting 35% tariffs on all Chinese imports and 25% auto tariffs globally, plus 10% blanket tariffs on all other goods imported from the EU, Taiwan and Japan — with all countries retaliating in kind.

The firm calculated this would result in a 2.1% hit to U.S. GDP in 2020, pushing the economy into recession later this year. China’s economy would contract by 2.5%, while Europe and Japan would see average GDP losses of 1.5% and world GDP would be reduced by 1.7%.

The damage to private-sector confidence and the accompanying plunge in stock prices would likely see central banks forced into significant rate cuts and other measures, Daco said.

maig 29, 2019, 7:19pm

US Department of Energy is now referring to fossil fuels as “freedom gas”

Patriotic bloat indeed.
Call it a rebranding of "energy dominance."

In a press release published on Tuesday, two Department of Energy officials used the terms "freedom gas" and "molecules of US freedom" to replace your average, everyday term "natural gas."

The press release was fairly standard, announcing the expansion of a Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) terminal at the Freeport facility on Quintana Island, Texas. It would have gone unnoticed had an E&E News reporter not noted the unique metonymy "molecules of US freedom."

maig 30, 2019, 6:32am

Freedom fries... Canadian steel and aluminum was a national security risk. China is about to cut US supply of rare earths. (Check. CheckMATE?)

Our boys aren't just dissociated from science--they're ignoring REALITY for the world they want to see.

maig 30, 2019, 6:57am

Meanwhile on Wall Street (and in our shopping carts):
(I was surprised that more than 50% of Wynn Resort's revenue comes from China. Steve Wynn, casino mogul accused of sexual assault, is major Republican donor.)

Wall Street's Darkening Trade-War Gloom Means Tossing Old Advice
Sarah Ponczek | May 29, 2019

RBC Capital Markets, Goldman Sachs lay out most-exposed stocks
Wells Fargo goes the opposite route, recommends adding to risk

...How much of a company’s sales come from China? What are executives saying on earnings calls? Which ones can pass through higher costs? They’re all questions being asked of U.S. firms -- and for good reason. While the S&P 500 Index has held up pretty well since the start of the month, selling pressure is getting stiffer, with major support levels under threat.

Here’s the latest advice:

Splitting Up by Sector

quantify trade risk sector by sector...the clear losers under a worst-case China trade war scenario would be consumer discretionary, technology, industrials and materials...

...consumer staples and energy stocks carry risk, but less than those aforementioned. At the safety end of the spectrum, utilities, REITs, and communication services companies are the least exposed...

Breaking Down by Name

...analysts deemed most (and least) at risk in the industries where they see the trade war impact as “very negative.”

Autos & Auto Parts: ADNT, VC, ALV, APTV, DLPH, BWA (AXL, MTOR)
Coatings: SEE, OI (CCK, BLL, GPK)
Department Stores & Specialty Softlines: AEO, URBN (VFC, LULU)
Railroads: UNP (CSX, NSX)

...Global policy uncertainty stands near record highs, according to strategists at the firm, and “many aspects of the U.S.-China trade dispute are difficult to resolve.”

...Only 1% of S&P 500 sales come explicitly from China

...Skyworks Solutions Inc., Wynn Resorts Ltd., Qualcomm Inc., Broadcom Inc., Qorvo Inc., and Micron Technology Inc. all get more than half of their revenue from China

...U.S. companies that receive at least 15% of their sales from the Asian nation have seen outsize pain this month -- down 10% more than the broader S&P 500.

...“We expect equities to move lower before they go higher and we don’t think you’ll need to wait too long. Our best guess is the equity markets will experience more stress or choppiness rather quickly (days/weeks) and risk will be for sale,” (Chris Harvey, head of equity strategy at Wells Fargo Securities) wrote to clients...

Editat: maig 31, 2019, 3:58am

In addition to economic chaos described below, new tariffs on Mexico might result in even more R voters, legislators, and donors looking askew at Mr. Trump. Rs and Ds might even find the will to cooperate, first with a joint resolution to block the president's action under International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA)...

Trump’s tariff threat to Mexico may upend trade deal, undermine the economy
David J. Lynch and Kevin Sieff | May 30, 2019

...Business leaders reacted with dismay to Trump’s statement Thursday that he would impose a new 5 percent tariff on all goods from Mexico beginning June 10 to force the Mexican government to take more aggressive actions to prevent Central American migrants from crossing its territory en route to the United States.

...Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley of Iowa (R), blasted Trump’s move as “a misuse of presidential tariff authority and contrary to congressional intent.” Implementing the tariffs, he said, would “seriously jeopardize passage” of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

If the administration determines that Mexican authorities have not done enough in response, the tariff would automatically jump to 10 percent on July 1 and then continue rising in 5 point increments at the start of each subsequent month until it reaches 25 percent on Oct. 1, according to a White House statement.

The tariffs could undermine an economic relationship that has been deepening for decades, and throw into chaos corporate and agricultural supply chains that have essentially worked in a system without tariffs since the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement. Mexico is on track to become the United States’ largest trading partner, ahead of China and Canada, according to census data through March.

The president’s announcement came after the White House appeared to be making headway with its push for ratification of the USMCA. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador earlier Thursday sent the accord to the Mexican Senate, asking it to convene a special session to pass it before September.

Trump has been pressing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to move forward with congressional approval, with the administration sending a formal statement of its plans to Capitol Hill hours before the abrupt tariff move.

...Farmers in states such as Iowa had been among those hardest hit by Mexico’s retaliatory tariffs imposed to counter Trump’s metals fees. tariff increases...Hardest hit would be Detroit’s automakers, which have spread their supply chains across North America since NAFTA.

Two-thirds of U.S. imports from Mexico are intracompany trade, parts that an American company uses to produce another product...

...Mexico’s deputy foreign minister for North America, Jesús Seade, said the suggested tariffs would be “disastrous” and promised that Mexico would respond “strongly.” He called the announcement an “ice bath” for U.S.-Mexico relations...Trump’s decision came just hours after López Obrador sent the new USMCA trade deal to Mexico’s senate to be ratified, saying it would lead to “more foreign investment.”

...the peso fell about 1.7 percent against the dollar. U.S. bond yields are also plunging, suggesting concerns about the economic impact of the tariffs.

The United States last year exported $265 billion in goods to Mexico, more than to China, Japan and Germany combined. The United States imported $347 billion in goods from Mexico.

...the new tariffs would run counter to the existing North American Free Trade Agreement, which provides for mostly duty-free trade among the United States and its two neighbors.

...Trump said he imposed the tariffs under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), which grants the president sweeping authority to regulate commercial activity in the event of a crisis.

...Simon Lester, a trade law expert at the Cato Institute. “The statute does give Congress the ability to block the president’s action through a joint resolution, but Congress hasn’t shown much willingness to act on these matters.”

...imperiling (Trump) goal of steady 3 percent annual economic growth.

Tariffs on goods imported from Mexico would be paid foremost by U.S. companies in need of Mexican goods, and a significant share of those importers would likely pass on the higher costs to consumers...

Editat: juny 1, 2019, 10:25am

2 maps show how every US state's economy could be affected by Trump's proposed Mexico tariffs
Andy Kiersz | June 1, 2019

On Thursday, President Donald Trump announced plans to levy new tariffs on goods imported from Mexico.

Those tariffs could hit states where trade with Mexico is a big part of the economy especially hard.

States that border Mexico and big manufacturing states that rely on distributed, continent-wide supply chains could be affected.

... Friday morning, stocks were falling in industries like auto manufacturing, which has supply chains distributed across North America that could be seriously interrupted by increased trade barriers between the US and Mexico. Chipotle, which relies on imports of avocados and other produce from Mexico, also saw a drop in its stock price...

juny 1, 2019, 10:23am

China Steps Up Trade War and Plans Blacklist of U.S. Firms
Alexandra Stevenson and Paul Mozur | May 31, 2019

BEIJING — The Chinese government said on Friday that it was putting together an “unreliable entities list” of foreign companies and people, an apparent first step toward retaliating against the United States for denying vital American technology to Chinese companies.

China’s Ministry of Commerce said the list would contain foreign companies, individuals and organizations that “do not follow market rules, violate the spirit of contracts, blockade and stop supplying Chinese companies for noncommercial reasons, and seriously damage the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies.”

It did not give any details of which companies or entities it would include on the list, or what would happen to them. The ministry said that specific measures would be announced in the “near future.”...

juny 2, 2019, 6:59am

CNBC confirmed that FedEx diverted packages destined for Huawei addresses in Asia(!)

China releases official document that blames America for the trade war
Evelyn Cheng | Jun 2 2019

...(China’s much-anticipated white paper) argues that trade disruptions — which the document claims were launched by the United States — negatively affect the world. It claims that the United States is an untrustworthy negotiator and that the Chinese government wants talks that are equal, mutually beneficial and trustworthy.

U.S. media outlets have reported that Beijing backed out from basically all negotiating points during talks with the United States several weeks ago.

...Early this month, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods would go up from 10% to 25%. The U.S. has also begun investigating whether $300 billion of other Chinese goods could be subject to tariffs. Finally, the U.S. put Chinese telecom giant Huawei on an list that essentially prevents it from conducting business with U.S. companies.

Wang would not confirm at a press conference Sunday whether Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping would meet at the G20 meeting at the end of June....

On Friday, China’s Commerce Ministry announced it would create a list of what it calls “unreliable entities.” State news agency Xinhua subsequently reported that China is investigating Memphis, Tennessee-based FedEx. CNBC confirmed that the shipping giant diverted packages destined for Huawei addresses in Asia...

juny 2, 2019, 8:33am

Exhaust restrictions + Uber/Lyft etc + steel/aluminum/Mexican/Chinese tariffs + . =
decline in global demand for cars =
job loss + weakened consumer spending + dampening global economic growth.

Some reprieve for Mother Earth at least...


The pain is just beginning': After 38,000 layoffs, Wall Street wakes up to 'peak car'
Jim Edwards

Global demand for cars will decline 3% in 2019, analysts predict.
There have been 38,000 job losses among automakers in the last six months.
One stark example: Commercial vehicle exports from the UK collapsed by 89% in April.
The decline of cars will hurt GDP growth. It has already wiped 0.2% off global GDP.
The world may have already passed "peak car."

...At bank after bank, analysts...are telling clients, diesel vehicles will collapse into a small niche as their polluting exhausts are regulated out of existence. Petrol/gasoline vehicles will be next, as governments in Europe and the United States set dates for manufacturers to switch their models to electric.

But that's not all. As on-demand services like Uber and Lyft grow their customer bases, more people will decide they no longer need to own a car of their own. Why would you, when it's cheaper to ride around in someone else's?

...The decline is having an effect on employment. Honda said it would close its factory in Swindon, England, resulting in the loss of 3,500 jobs. Automakers cut 38,000 jobs globally in the past six months, according to Bloomberg. Ford cut 7,000 workers, or 10% of its force.

That, in turn, is dampening global economic growth. Fitch ratings said 0.2% has already been shaved from global GDP because of car contraction. US President Donald Trump's proposed tariff of 5% on goods imported from Mexico will make that worse — cars are the biggest trade good in the US-Mexico relationship...

...Bank of America published a note with the headline "shifting from second gear to reverse: A weakening in the auto cycle will serve as a drag to the economy. There are a few channels by which the decline in autos will impact GDP. Autos influence GDP through consumer spending and production, with inventories serving as the residual between what is produced and sold. When sales weaken, it will lead to weaker consumer spending," analysts Meyer and Zhou wrote. "Motor vehicle production is already on course to be a drag this year, slicing 0.14pp percentage points from 1Q GDP growth. We expect it to cut nearly 0.2pp to annual growth this year. Relative to last year, that is a reversal of 0.4pp."

The decline won't be total. Cars won't go the way of the horse and cart. More likely the aftermath of "peak car" will look like the television business — a long, slow decline that takes years to play out.

juny 6, 2019, 8:08am

Why Congress Cannot Allow the Trump Tariffs on Mexico to Stand
Edward Alden | May 31, 2019
If the president succeeds, he will be free to slap tariffs on any country or any product at any time for whatever reason he dreams up.

...Trump’s announcement Thursday night that the United States would impose escalating tariffs beginning June 10 on all Mexican imports is so significantly worse than anything he has done to date that silence and inaction from the Congress and business will do incalculable harm to the United States. If Trump can get away with this one, then there is nothing on trade he will not be permitted to do. Unless Congress overturns the new tariffs on Mexico, it will have granted Trump unlimited powers to impose tariffs, for whatever reason, whenever the mood strikes him.

There are at least three reasons why Congress cannot allow this action to stand.

First, it is the deepest betrayal yet of any U.S. trading partner, one that will leave a scar in U.S.-Mexico relations for years to come...

Secondly, the new tariffs on Mexico are a wholesale abuse of the laws passed by Congress...

Finally, the president’s decision to link trade to immigration and refugee concerns is an especially dangerous escalation...

By linking trade and immigration in this fashion, Trump has opened the door to all sorts of damaging responses from Mexico and other countries. Will Mexico continue to cooperate with the U.S. on drug investigations? Will China limit its future retaliation to trade or look for other areas to harm the United States? The raw power of the United States will surely give other countries pause, but this is another giant step away from the rule of law and towards the rule of the jungle.

This is the day Congress and powerful American businesses should finally wake up to the threat that Trump’s trade policies pose to this country, and to the world...

Editat: juny 9, 2019, 6:27am

Extortion, pure and simple.

Mexico Never Agreed to Farm Deal Publicly Touted by Trump
Nacha Cattan and Eric Martin | June 8, 2019

President Donald Trump boasted of “large” agricultural sales to Mexico as part of a deal reached Friday on border security and illegal immigration that averted the threat of U.S. tariffs, but the deal as released had none, and three Mexican officials say they’re not aware of any side accord.

Trump told his 61 million Twitter followers in an all-caps message that Mexico had agreed to “immediately begin buying large quantities of agricultural product from our great patriot farmers.”

...the communique issued late Friday by the State Department -- the U.S.-Mexico Joint Declaration -- made no mention of agricultural trade as part of the agreement.

...Mexico is already a large buyer of U.S. farm goods, including corn, soybeans, pork and dairy products. It had given no indication of attempting to find alternative suppliers during the one-week standoff over Trump’s proposed steep tariffs on Mexican goods.

Increasing Mexico’s purchases from the U.S. wasn’t discussed during the three days of talks in Washington that led up to Friday’s agreement, said the three people with knowledge of the deliberations who weren’t authorized to speak publicly.

...Trump on Saturday was fund-raising on the back of the Mexican agreement. His campaign sent out a “donate now” email that read in part, “Art of the Deal! Mexico has agreed to help END ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. Promises Made. Promises Kept.”

Farm states, among the strongest of Trump’s supporters, have been hit hard by the president’s trade war against China, and the threat of additional action against Mexico had some farm-state senators up in arms. The president is expected to travel to the heartland to hold a private fund-raiser in West Des Moines on Tuesday.


Mexico Agreed to Take Border Actions Months Before Trump Announced Tariff Deal
Michael D. Shear and Maggie Haberman | June 8, 2019

WASHINGTON — The deal to avert tariffs that President Trump announced with great fanfare on Friday night consists largely of actions that Mexico had already promised to take in prior discussions with the United States over the past several months, according to officials from both countries who are familiar with the negotiations.

Friday’s joint declaration says Mexico agreed to the “deployment of its National Guard throughout Mexico, giving priority to its southern border.” But the Mexican government had already pledged to do that in March during secret talks in Miami between Kirstjen Nielsen, then the secretary of homeland security, and Olga Sanchez, the Mexican secretary of the interior, the officials said.

The centerpiece of Mr. Trump’s deal was an expansion of a program to allow asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico while their legal cases proceed. But that arrangement was reached in December in a pair of painstakingly negotiated diplomatic notes that the two countries exchanged. Ms. Nielsen announced the Migrant Protection Protocols during a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee five days before Christmas.

And over the past week, negotiators failed to persuade Mexico to accept a “safe third country” treaty that would have given the United States the legal ability to reject asylum seekers if they had not sought refuge in Mexico first.

Mr. Trump hailed the agreement anyway on Saturday, writing on Twitter: “Everyone very excited about the new deal with Mexico!” He thanked the president of Mexico for “working so long and hard” on a plan to reduce the surge of migration into the United States.

It was unclear whether Mr. Trump believed that the agreement truly represented new and broader concessions, or whether the president understood the limits of the deal but accepted it as a face-saving way to escape from the political and economic consequences of imposing tariffs on Mexico, which he began threatening less than two weeks ago.

Having threatened Mexico with an escalating series of tariffs — starting at 5 percent and growing to 25 percent — the president faced enormous criticism from global leaders, business executives, Republican and Democratic lawmakers, and members of his own staff that he risked disrupting a critical marketplace.

After nine days of uncertainty, Mr. Trump backed down and accepted Mexico’s promises...


Mexico Avoids Tariffs for Now, but the Threat Lingers
As part of the deal, U.S. will review effectiveness of Mexico’s immigration policies after 90 days
Louise Radnofsky, Josh Zumbrun and Robbie Whelan | June 8, 2019

juny 13, 2019, 7:23pm

First on CNN Business: 600 companies including Walmart, Costco and Target warn Trump on tariffs
Nathaniel Meyersohn | June 13, 2019

More than 600 companies and industry trade associations — including Walmart, Costco, Target, Gap, Levi Strauss and Foot Locker — wrote to the White House urging Trump to remove levies on China and end the ongoing trade war.

"We know firsthand that the additional tariffs will have a significant, negative, and long-term impact on American businesses, farmers, families, and the US economy," the companies said in the letter. "An escalated trade war is not in the country's best interest, and both sides will lose."

"Tariffs are taxes paid directly by U.S. companies," not China, the companies said to Trump. "Tariff increases and uncertainty around these trade negotiations have created turmoil in the markets, threatening our historic economic growth."

The United States Trade Representative's office will hold public hearings on the proposed tariffs starting Monday. Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, a business coalition formed to oppose tariffs, organized the letter to the White House ahead of the hearings. The coalition was backed by trade groups for the retail, tech, manufacturing and agricultural industries.


..."At the end of the day, prices will go up on things," Costco (COST) chief financial officer Richard Galanti told analysts last month. Dollar General (DG) Chief Financial Officer John Garratt also said the company's low-income shopping base "will be facing higher prices as 2019 progresses."...

Editat: jul. 3, 2019, 1:20pm

Farm Policy @FarmPolicy | 7:03 AM - 3 Jul 2019

As the #tariff took full effect during the first 5 months of #China’s 2018/19 market year, #Brazil’s share of #Chinese #soybean imports rose to 77 percent, while the U.S. share fell to 4 percent @USDA_ERS


A Report from the Economic Research Service, USDA (48 p)
Interdependence of China, United States, and Brazil in Soybean Trade
Fred Gale, Constanza Valdes, and Mark Ash | June 19, 2019


Soybeans are the largest and most concentrated segment of global agricultural trade. Two land-abundant countries—Brazil and the United States—supply most soybean exports, and China accounts for over 60 percent of global soybean imports. International trade in soybeans began growing when China liberalized imports to meet demand for protein in animal feed and edible oils. A tariff structure favoring imports of soybeans, domestic policies favoring production of cereal grains, and rapid expansion of processing capacity drove China’s growth in soybean imports. More flexible U.S. policies facilitated produc-tion response by U.S. farmers to supply more soybeans, and Brazil’s expansion of output in its inland Cerrado region propelled supply growth in recent years. China imported even more Brazilian soybeans after imposing a 25-percent tariff on U.S. soybeans during 2018, but the overall volume of China’s imports fell for the first time in 15 years. USDA’s 10-year projections indicate that China will continue to account for most future growth in global soybean imports even if the tariff remains in place. However, USDA projects slower growth in China’s imports than in the previous decade. Projections show that Brazil will again account for most of the growth in global soybean exports during the next decade, but growth will be slower...


Amazon destruction accelerates 60% to one and a half soccer fields every minute
Vasco Cotovio | July 2, 2019

jul. 11, 2019, 12:35pm

Wall Street banks bailing on troubled U.S. farm sector
P.J. Huffstutter, Jason Lange | July 11, 2019

...after years of falling farm income and an intensifying U.S.-China trade war* - JPMorgan and other Wall Street banks are heading for the exits, according to a Reuters analysis of the farm-loan holdings they reported to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

The agricultural loan portfolios of the nation’s top 30 banks fell by $3.9 billion, to $18.3 billion, between their peak in December 2015 and March 2019, the analysis showed. That’s a 17.5% decline...

* not to mention floods and wet spring

jul. 13, 2019, 9:24am

The Black Hole Engulfing the World's Bond Markets
July 13, 2019

There’s a multitrillion-dollar black hole growing at the heart of the world’s financial markets. Negative-yielding debt -- bonds worth less, not more, if held to maturity -- is spreading to more corners of the bond universe, destroying potential returns for investors and turning the system as we know it on its head. Now that it looks like sub-zero bonds are here to stay, there’s even more hand-wringing about the effects for mom-and-pop savers, pensioners, investors, buyout firms and governments.

1. Why invest in a bond that will lose you money?

2. How much is being bought?

3. Why is this reason for worry?

4. Who benefits from negative rates?

Governments, for one. The incentive to borrow money is never greater than when you are being paid to do so...Companies that issue bonds also reap the benefits of record-low borrowing costs. So do private-equity firms, which typically use leverage to acquire companies and see greater opportunities when (and where) capital is cheap. Homeowners with variable-rate mortgages also have reason to celebrate.

5. Who gets hurt?

Pension funds and insurers, traditionally big investors in government bonds, are in a particular predicament: Their liabilities grow steadily as clients age, but often they are required not to take on big risks. Banks see their margins squeezed. They’re earning next to nothing from lending but still need to offer depositors a rate above zero to keep their business. ...

6. How did we get here?

Several of Europe’s central banks, otherwise unable to spur growth in the aftermath of the 2008-2009 financial crisis, cut interest rates below zero in 2014. Japan soon followed. The idea was to spur lending by charging financial institutions, rather than rewarding them, for parking money that otherwise could be put to use in the real economy. ...

7. Why have negative rates lasted so long?

...Aside from the U.S. Federal Reserve, few central banks that slashed interest rates during the credit crunch have managed to raise rates, meaning that during the next downturn they are likely to head further into negative territory.

8. Where’s all this heading?

In Europe, there are fears that the continent is following the path of Japan’s so-called lost decade, where policy makers struggled to revive anemic growth and inflation. Central banks have been keen to iterate that they still have tools in their locker to combat any slowdown, including rate cuts and more quantitative easing. For markets, waning volatility is bad for trading. Geopolitical tensions over trade, and Britain’s exit of the European Union will keep driving investors into the safest assets, meaning demand will remain high for negative-yielding debt. But the push to find juicier returns with riskier bets raises the prospect of further fund failures or a new crisis.

The Reference Shelf

Why buyers of negative-yielding debt aren’t necessarily fools.
QuickTakes on negative interest rates, yield curve inversion and central bank independence.
Bloomberg Opinion columnist Marcus Ashworth delved into the implications of "this tectonic shift in fixed income."
The crisis at Danske Bank illustrates the full extent of damage from negative rates.
An ECB paper on negative rates not being unproductive once they reach the zero lower bound.
Pimco are among a growing clamor of voices that Europe is becoming “Japanified.”

Editat: ag. 1, 2019, 4:58pm

Trump hits voters in their pocketbooks as 2020 election looms.
Groceries, school shopping, linens, Christmas gifts...and retirement savings...

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump | 1:26 PM · Aug 1, 2019:

...during the talks the U.S. will start, on September 1st, putting a small additional Tariff of 10% on the remaining 300 Billion Dollars of goods and products coming from China into our Country. This does not include the 250 Billion Dollars already Tariffed at 25%...
Show this thread


Chris Clayton ChrisClayton DTN | 1:43 PM · Aug 1, 2019:

And prices react.
Corn now down 9 cents, soybeans down 12 cents, lean hogs down 2.45.


Trump threatens to hit China with 10% tariff — and stocks slide
Alain Sherter | August 1, 2019

...Rick Helfenbein, CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, which has lobbied against the tariffs,..."This decision will increase the tariff bill on all clothes, shoes and home textiles, like blankets and sheets – products that already account for the vast majority of the duties collected by the U.S. government."

Financial markets, which had jumped in morning trade, fell into negative terrain after Mr. Trump's tweets. The Dow went from a gain of 270 points Thursday to a loss of 180 points moments after Mr. Trump tweeted his threat — a swing of more than 450 points. The broader S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq also slid.


Trump says he will go ahead with new China tariffs that would hit iPhones and toys
Katie Lobosco, Kevin Liptak and Abby Phillip | August 1, 2019

...The new tariffs could hit US consumers harder than the earlier rounds. It would tax goods like iPhones and other consumer electronics, sneakers and toys. Last year, Trump imposed tariffs on about $250 billion in Chinese-made goods, targeting industrial materials and components...

ag. 19, 2019, 7:18am

John G. Murphy @JGodiasMurphy (Sr VP for Intl Policy at @USChamber) | 6:46 AM · Aug 19, 2019:

US wine exports to China were down by 33% in the first half of this year compared with 2017. “Chinese importers will buy from a different country... We’ve worked on building those relationships for two decades. Now all of that time is basically a loss.”

The latest casualty of Trump’s trade war with China? California wine
Margot Roosevelt | Aug. 18, 2019

ag. 21, 2019, 9:48am

Trade war and you: Tariffs will cost Americans $1,000 a year, report warns
Matt Egan — August 21, 2019 .

...The tariffs Trump has already imposed on China are estimated to cost the average American household $600 per year, according to a report by JPMorgan Chase. That will rise to $1,000 if Trump carries through on his plan to levy tariffs on another $300 billion of US imports from China

...The tariffs will “significantly” impact the “wallet of the US consumer/voter ahead of the 2020 election”

...will wipe out most of the benefits households got from the Republican tax cuts.

...Last week, as recession fears spiked, the Trump administration delayed tariffs on consumer goods such as smartphones, toys and video game consoles until December 15. Trump’s advisers warned him these new tariffs could effectively “ruin Christmas,” people familiar with the matter previously told CNN.

However, some goods from China are still scheduled to get hit with a 10% tariff on September 1. That includes food items such as peanuts, meats and cheese, a significant amount of footwear imports from China, apparel such as gloves and scarves, and consumer tech products like smart speakers, printers and TVs.

...It’s vitally important that the trade war avoids infecting consumer spending, which accounts for the bulk of the American economy.

Boosted by historically low unemployment, households have continued to spend. Retail sales jumped in July by more than analysts anticipated. However, consumer sentiment dropped sharply in early August to seven-month lows as the trade war intensified and the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates to offset tariff uncertainty.

...JPMorgan warned that tariffs could be a “significant headwind” for small businesses because they have less ability to pass down costs to customers and suppliers. The firm noted that small businesses account for almost half the US economy and workforce.

“The unintended spillover effects of tariffs to the economy” and corporate earnings, Lakos-Bujas said, “could be much more severe” if small businesses are forced to cut jobs to cope with tariffs...

ag. 21, 2019, 12:09pm

U.S. Steel plans to lay off hundreds of workers in Michigan
Aug 19, 2019

CHICAGO (Reuters) - will temporarily lay off hundreds of workers at its Great Lakes facility in Michigan in coming weeks, according to a filing the steelmaker made with the State of Michigan.

In a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification filed on Aug. 5, the Pittsburgh-based company (United States Steel Corp) said it expects to let go fewer than 200 workers following its decision to halt production at the Michigan facility.

...lay-offs at the Michigan plant could last beyond six months.

...The lay-offs call into question claims President Donald Trump has made about the resurgence of the domestic steel industry. Last week in Pennsylvania, Trump said his 25% tariff on foreign imports has turned a “dead” business into a “thriving” enterprise.

Domestic steel prices did rise in the immediate aftermath of Trump’s tariffs. But they have fallen dramatically amid improved supplies and weakening demand from the auto and farm machinery sectors.

Prices of hot-rolled coil are down nearly 37% from their 2018 peak.

U.S. Steel’s stock price has plunged 73% since March 1, 2018, when Trump announced his decision to crack down on foreign imports...

Editat: ag. 24, 2019, 1:37pm

Oh, great, yet another Trumpian plaything, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA):

What Comes After Tariffs: An IEEPA Primer
Stephanie Zable | July 19, 2018

...the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA)...allows the president to take aggressive unilateral action against Chinese economic activity in the U.S.

...IEEPA is an incredibly powerful tool that presidents have made considerable use of in the national security sphere. Since the Trump administration has defined strategic competition as a national security concern, it is logical that it would seek to use IEEPA’s broad authority to respond to allegations of anticompetitive Chinese behavior. Such an aggressive step would cause a seismic disruption to markets and to the U.S. relationship with China. For now, external forces seem to have persuaded the president to rely on existing and calibrated measures. But there is no guarantee that this will hold. And if the president decides to use his IEEPA authority, little would stand in his way. The United States exists in a near-permanent state of national emergency, and in that context IEEPA permits the president to take dramatic action with minimal oversight by Congress or the courts.


Trump Asserts He Can Force U.S. Companies to Leave China
Peter Baker and Keith Bradsher | Aug. 24, 2019

set. 9, 2019, 6:23am

Kyle Griffin @kylegriffin1 | Sep 7:
The Trump admin has proposed a tariff of up to 100% on $25 billion in European items. Romano, Parmesan and Gouda are all on the list. But it's not just cheese. The tariff is proposed to hit a variety of items like wines, meats, olive oil, olives and pasta.

Trump's other trade war could hit European cheeses and olive oil
Katie Lobosco | September 7, 2019

David Frum @davidfrum | 8:15 PM · Sep 8, 2019
When launching a trade war against China, it’s very important to ensure the fewest possible allies

set. 12, 2019, 8:35am

Trump's trade war is being felt throughout the economy
Data: Tariffs Hurt the Heartland; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

While news that President Trump plans to postpone the latest round of tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports for 2 weeks will likely soothe the market, his tariffs have already done a number on the U.S. economy.

... Torsten Slok, chief economist at Deutsche Bank Securities, says "The trade war is having a serious negative impact on the U.S. economy" from recent months detailing clear downturns in several areas, including: fixed investment and capital expenditures, CEO and business confidence, the percentage of firms planning to hire, consumer goods spending, job openings, and average hours worked, among others.

Moody’s Analytics estimates...The trade war with China has already reduced U.S. employment by 300,000 jobs...will rise to about 450,000 by the end of the year if there's no change in policy and could top 900,000 by the end of 2020...

The big picture: The most damaging part of a trade war is not the tariffs, but the costs associated with the uncertainty it creates. However, the tariffs themselves also are making a dent.

...David G. Tuerck and William Burke write in a recent paperfrom the National Foundation for American Policy...estimate tariffs will cost U.S. households $2,000 each by next year...the positive impact of deregulation has been cut by 29% because of the tariffs, "and the additional anticipated tariffs on Chinese imports will eliminate all remaining economic gains from the administration’s deregulation actions."

The bottom line: Some have argued that because manufacturing and trade are such small pieces of the U.S. economy the trade war would have a negligible impact. But it's no longer just the manufacturing sector that's hurting as a result of the trade war — harm is now being inflicted and felt throughout the economy.

set. 13, 2019, 10:55am

China exempts US soybeans and pork from tariffs
Rishi Iyengar | September 13, 2019

...Chinese state news agency Xinhua announced the policy change (exempt American soybeans and pork from its latest round of tariffs) on Friday, citing government sources as saying China would support "relevant enterprises" purchasing US pork, soybeans and other commodities.

...Exports of soybeans to China fell to $3.1 billion in 2018, down from $12.2 billion the year before, leaving a record number in storage at the end of last year's harvest.

Pork producers are also concerned that they are missing out on a growing Chinese market, where demand has accelerated because of an African swine fever affecting domestic hogs.

...Despite its easing of restrictions on US soybean exports, Beijing has been diversifying its supply away from American farmers. Earlier this week, Argentina's agricultural ministry announced that China would open the door for imports of Argentinian soybean meal.

Argentina isn't the only South American country that China's soybean industry is turning to because of the trade war — Chinese farmers have also stepped up imports from its neighbor, Brazil.

Editat: set. 22, 2019, 10:25am

Bloomberg business | 2:47 AM · Sep 22, 2019
At $28 billion so far, the farm rescue is more than twice as expensive as the 2009 bailout of Detroit’s Big Three automakers, which cost taxpayers $12 billion

Trump’s $28 Billion Bet That Rural America Will Stick With Him
Mario Parker and Mike Dorning | Sept 19, 2019

Farmers caught in the trade war have become dependent on government payments.


Of course, both auto and farm bailouts pale beside the bank bailout: .

Unlike auto bailout, farmers won't be able to repay(?) and unless Chinese market reopens, may be dependent on government for a long time to stave off bankruptcies? Could be tough decisions ahead...

set. 22, 2019, 10:12am

>113 margd: So, in other words, those folks who are so quick to complain about welfare handouts are now getting $28 billion worth. If they really had the courage of their voting convictions they would refuse the dole and tough it out like the rugged individualists they like to pretend they are. The title of that piece should have been "Trump's $28 Billion Bribe".

set. 22, 2019, 11:20am

#114 Also, THEIR guy knowingly did it to them, then uses OUR tax dollars to keep them onside.

set. 28, 2019, 9:21am

What investors need to know about a potential White House effort to block U.S. investment in China
Sunny Oh | Sept 27, 2019

U.S.-listed Chinese companies command a market capitalization of around $1.2 trillion, as of February 2019

...(Friday) Trump administration officials were having preliminary discussions on ways to limit Chinese companies from trading on U.S. exchanges and restrict portfolio inflows into China


U.S.-listed Chinese companies have already been under pressure over complaints that the rigor of financial statements from Chinese companies were not at the same standard of U.S. firms, exposing American investors to potential corporate governance problems and outright fraud.

Two bipartisan bills have been introduced in Congress aimed at pushing U.S.-listed Chinese firms to comply with auditing rules in the U.S. and if those companies failed to submit to regulatory oversight, they would face delisting.


The breakout of trade tensions between U.S. and China about two years ago has led some in Washington to push for a broader decoupling of financial ties between the two countries, drawing Chinese stocks listed in the U.S. into the cross-sights of more hawkish members of Congress.

...Sen. Marco Rubio...asked MSCI, the global securities index provider, what they were doing to ensure that U.S. investors were not funneling money into Chinese state organs, or businesses linked to Beijing. “We can no longer allow China’s authoritarian government to reap the rewards of American and international capital markets while Chinese companies avoid financial disclosure and basic transparency, and place US investors and pensioners at risk”...letter dated June 12.

Later in August, he called for the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, a pension fund for federal government employees, to avoid benchmarking its funds to the MSCI All Country World ex-U.S. Investable Market Index.

...senator didn’t coordinate (with White House)...isn’t clear, however, if the U.S. government can pressure global index providers not to include shares from Chinese firms.


Patrick Chovanec of Silvercrest Asset Management worried that if U.S. investors couldn’t include Chinese stocks and bonds into their portfolios, they could risk underperforming their benchmarked indexes...

oct. 12, 2019, 11:07am

China makes few concessions in trade truce with US
Tom Mitchell in Beijing 5 hours ago

Beijing believes time is on its side as Trump seeks economic boost before 2020 election...

nov. 4, 2019, 6:42am

Wonder how this will fit with the CPTPP or TPP-11 (TPP minus the US)?
( )

Asia-wide trade pact on course despite India, Thailand says
Panu Wongcha-um, Patpicha Tanakasempipat, Panarat Thepgumpanat | November 3, 2019

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Asian countries held conclusive talks on what could be the world’s biggest trade pact and there will be an announcement of success at a summit in Bangkok, despite doubts raised by India, the Thai hosts said on Monday.

But China, a champion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), said 15 members had agreed to move ahead without India, while leaving the door open for it to join a deal that has been given new impetus by the United States-China trade war.

...India fears a potential flood of Chinese imports and officials with knowledge of the negotiations said India had raised late demands.

One advantage for Southeast Asian countries of including relative heavyweight India in the trade pact would be less domination by China.

...the U.S. decision to send a lower level delegation to the back-to-back East Asian Summit and U.S.-ASEAN Summit this year has raised regional concerns that it can no longer be relied on as a counterweight to China’s increasing might.

Because of the downgrade in the U.S. delegation, officials from only three of the 10 regional countries joined the usual U.S.-ASEAN meeting.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross...condemned Chinese “intimidation” in the South China Sea, where several regional states reject China’s sweeping maritime claims and complain that Beijing is illegally stopping them from exploiting their energy resources and fishing grounds.

But diplomats and analysts said the message from Washington was clear.

“Doubts have been raised in a more serious way about the Trump administration engaging and this may also play into the hands of other superpowers in pushing their own agendas,” said Panitan Wattanayagorn, a former Thai national security adviser.

des. 11, 2019, 7:17am

Change to environment and digital but don't see details yet

Democrats — and Trump — declare victory on USMCA
House Democrats and the Trump administration agreed to tweaks on the United States Mexico Canada Agreement, paving the way for its implementation.
Jen Kirbyjen | Dec 10, 2019

...As part of USMCA, Mexico agreed to pass new workers’ rights laws, including guaranteeing the right to unionize and negotiate labor contracts. The updated USMCA will establish a committee to monitor Mexico’s progress and benchmarks for Mexico to meet. If it does not, it could lead to penalties.

...The original USMCA extended the period that certain drugs (known as “biologics”) can be protected from generic competition to 10 years (it’s already 12 years in the US). Democrats objected to this provision, saying it could potentially thwart future efforts to lower the cost of some prescription drugs. That provision has now been removed from the USMCA.

...Already included in the USMCA were new rules that said cars must have 75 percent of their components manufactured in Mexico, the US, or Canada to qualify for zero tariffs (up from 62.5 percent under NAFTA) and provisions that 40 to 45 percent of automobile parts must be made by workers who earn at least $16 an hour by 2023. (Now with increased enforcement, per the Democrats.)

The USMCA also adds a 16-year “sunset” clause — meaning the terms of the agreement expire, or “sunset” after 16 years. The deal is also subject to a review every six years, at which point the US, Mexico, and Canada can decide to extend the USMCA.

...The House will vote on the USMCA legislation before Congress breaks for recess for the holidays, probably around the same time it votes on impeachment. The Senate must also take up the USMCA — though Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated that the body won’t consider it until after Trump’s impeachment trial in January...

des. 14, 2019, 7:40am

Not sure I follow the math, but regardless it looks like a net loss for America:

Robert Reich @RBReich | 11:44 AM · Dec 13, 2019

Trump’s China deal:

China agrees to buy $50b of ag products next year.

That's a gain of $29b from before Trump tariffs.

Trump tariffs have cost US farmers $11b.

U.S. taxpayers have spent $28b on emergency payouts to farmers.

So loss to US is $39b.

You do the math.

feb. 7, 2020, 11:46am

March 2018: Trumpian steel tariffs
Nov 2019: 1,000 more steel jobs. 75,000 fewer steel-intensive jobs...

Steel Tariffs and U.S. Jobs Revisited
Lydia Cox and Kadee Russ | February 6, 2020

...Tariffs on goods used by a large number of U.S. firms, like steel, make it difficult for U.S. producers to compete against foreign rivals, both at home and in export markets. Tariffs on steel may have led to an increase of roughly 1,000 jobs in steel production. However, increased costs of inputs facing U.S. firms relative to foreign rivals due to the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum likely have resulted in 75,000 fewer manufacturing jobs in firms where steel or aluminum are an input into production. In addition, depressed global demand for durable consumption and investment goods related to policy uncertainty and increased costs from the trade war may be dampening demand for steel and weighing on steel prices. Tariffs on additional inputs into production made with steel are likely to exacerbate these adverse effects on the manufacturing sector.

ag. 7, 2020, 3:38am

Pandemic. US election. Trump: what this country needs is more taxes (tariffs) and a trade war.

Trump imposing new aluminum tariff, Canada readies countermeasures
Rachel Aiello | August 6, 2020

... Aluminum association groups on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border are speaking out about Trump’s move, and are in agreement that it’s the wrong approach.

Aluminum Association of Canada President & CEO Jean Simard told CTV News that Canadian producers are not dumping aluminum—the term for when selling under domestic price—rather that Canada is selling at the current international price.

“There’s no dumping. It’s a misuse of a word that is very well documented in international trade law. This is not dumping. This is quite an assumption by the president,” Simard said.

In a statement, President and CEO of the Aluminum Association Tom Dobbins said his organization— which represents aluminum production and jobs in the United States—is “incredibly disappointed,” and said Trump’s move while trying to help will only add volatility to the industry as a whole.

“The administration failed to listen to the vast majority of domestic aluminum companies and users by reinstating Section 232 tariffs on Canadian aluminum. After years of complex negotiations and hard work by government, industry and other leaders across North America to make the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) a reality, this ill-advised action on a key trading partner undermines the deal’s benefits at a time when U.S. businesses and consumers can least afford it,” said Dobbins.

He added that the reports of a surge of imports from Canada are “grossly exaggerated,” citing data released on Wednesday from the U.S. Census Bureau that showed that overall primary aluminum imports from the U.S. to Canada declined about 2.6 percent from May to June and are below 2017 levels.

“The few companies that stand to benefit from reinstated 232 tariffs on aluminum have cherry-picked government data and omitted important context to build their case, which unfortunately won the day,” he said...

gen. 14, 6:23am

All that tariff-pain inflicted on American farmers, consumers et al. comes to naught:
"Beijing's trade surplus with Washington rose to $317 billion in 2020, a 7% increase from the year prior and the second highest amount on record, according to Iris Pang, chief economist for Greater China at ING. The amount is just $7 billion shy of 2018 levels, when Trump launched a blistering trade war to right what he called a lopsided relationship with the world's second largest economy."

China is winning the trade war and its exports have never been higher
Laura He | January 14, 2021

Hong Kong (CNN Business)China was already outperforming every other major world economy last year as the coronavirus pandemic upended the globe. It looks like the country's relatively sure footing also gave it the edge in its trade war with the United States.

The world's second biggest economy closed out 2020 with an overall trade surplus of $78 billion for December, according to official customs data released Thursday. China's overall surplus for the year hit a record $535 billion, up 27% from 2019. Exports, meanwhile, rose to an all-time high.

"Amid all the noises on de-coupling and de-globalization, somewhat unexpectedly, the pandemic has deepened the ties between China and the rest of the world," wrote Larry Hu, chief China economist for Macquarie Capital, in a research report.

Louis Kuijs, head of Asia economics at Oxford Economics, attributed China's gains largely to the country's management of the pandemic, which broke out in the Chinese city of Wuhan just over a year ago. He added that China has benefited from a lot of demand for protective gear and electronics as people around the world worked from home.

"After having recovered from its own Covid-19 crisis, China was open for business when the pandemic triggered huge demand in the US (and other countries) for Covid-19 related goods," Kuijs said.

China's trade relationship with the United States, meanwhile, became even more imbalanced: Beijing's trade surplus with Washington rose to $317 billion in 2020, a 7% increase from the year prior and the second highest amount on record, according to Iris Pang, chief economist for Greater China at ING. The amount is just $7 billion shy of 2018 levels, when Trump launched a blistering trade war to right what he called a lopsided relationship with the world's second largest economy.

"Judged by the surge of US imports from China in 2020, it seems fair to say that Trump's trade war with the country failed," Kuijs said...