Trump increases tariffs on derivative steel, aluminum products from some countries By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Trump addresses U.S. mayors at the White House in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday signed a proclamation increasing tariffs on derivative steel products by an additional 25 percent and boosting tariffs on derivative aluminum products by an additional 10 percent.

Trump said Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and South Korea are exempt from the additional tariffs on steel products, and Argentina, Australia, Canada and Mexico are exempt from the added tariffs on aluminum articles.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Trump speaks with British PM Johnson about telecoms security: White House


FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson welcomes U.S. President Donald Trump at the NATO leaders summit in Watford, Britain December 4, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/Pool/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday discussed the security of telecommunications networks with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the White House said, as Britain nears a decision on Huawei’s role in the country’s future 5G network.

“The two leaders discussed important regional and bilateral issues, including working together to ensure the security of our telecommunications networks,” the White House said in a statement about the phone call.

Britain is expected to make a final call later this month on how to deploy Huawei equipment in its future 5G networks. The United States has voiced significant concerns about the Chinese telecoms behemoth, which Washington fears could compromise British secrets.

Huawei, the world’s biggest producer of telecoms equipment, denies it is a vehicle for Chinese intelligence.

British officials have proposed granting Huawei a limited role in the UK’s future 5G network, resisting U.S. calls for a complete ban, two people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Sandra Maler and Daniel Wallis



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Exclusive: Trump to sign USMCA trade deal Wednesday at the White House – source


U.S. President Donald Trump walks to Air Force One to depart for travel to Florida at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, U.S. January 23, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis

DORAL, Fla. (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump will sign a trade pact between the United States, Mexico and Canada on Wednesday during a ceremony at the White House, an administration official told Reuters on Thursday.

Invitations had been sent out and the White House location would allow lawmakers from all over the country to attend, the official said.

The ceremony is likely to take place while an impeachment trial against Trump proceeds on Capitol Hill.

The official said Trump would be touting the pact after the signing during travel around the United States.

“This is a major accomplishment for the president and he will be taking this on the road in the coming weeks,” the official said.

Trump has made pursuing new trade deals a signature of his presidency and one of his key promises as a political candidate. The Republican president is running for re-election this year.

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which replaces NAFTA, still needs to be formally approved by Canada.

The deal cannot take effect until it has been ratified by all three member nations. Last week, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved the legislation, sending the measure to Trump for him to sign into law.

Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Sandra Maler and Tom Brown



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Trump Aid Means Farms Are Doing Better Than Before Trade War By Bloomberg



(Bloomberg) — Donald Trump is boasting that he’s made farmers “really happy.” He’s not wrong, but it’s not just the trade deal that’s left farmers optimistic for 2020.

Analysts are saying the accord signed this week mostly just takes trade back to normal for American agriculture. China has committed to $32 billion in additional purchases over two years, but that buying will be market dependent and retaliatory tariffs are still in place. Even the status quo is still a welcome relief after more than a year of escalating tensions.

The thing that’s really moved the needle for farmers is Trump’s $28 billion farm bailout. The trade aid meant incomes rose in a year when they were widely expected to fall.

Even better news: U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue just confirmed he’s expecting the administration will make the third and final payment for the aid package, even with the China deal. Perdue said those checks should be coming “imminently.” That extra income boost underscores why farmers are feeling good in places like Iowa’s Sioux County, the top agricultural producer in a state that’s No. 1 for corn and hogs.

“I’m really optimistic,” said Chris Ten Napel, who farms 2,500 acres (1,012 hectares) and raises 15,000 hogs a year in a family operation with his father and brother in Sioux County. “Things are looking up, you might say.”

In a growing season marked by unrelenting rains, record-late planting and depressed prices, farmers like Ten Napel still managed to come out ahead thanks to hard work, some luck, and especially that Trump bailout.

In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects national net farm income for 2019 will be up more than 10% to the highest since 2013, with the bailout payments accounting for the increase.

There are other signs of shored up finances: Farmers became less reliant on loans at the end of 2019, with lending activity declining for a second straight quarter, the Kansas City Federal Reserve said Thursday. Meanwhile, rural economic sentiment began the year positive, reaching the highest point in 18 months, according to a Creighton University survey.

“Without the trade aid, almost no one would have made money,” said Eric Walhof, president of Northwest Bank in Sioux Center, Iowa. About half the bank’s farm borrowers turned a profit last year, and the rest had what he called “manageable” losses.

Just a few months ago, that would’ve seemed nearly impossible. Ten Napel remembers one 48-hour stretch that summed the whole dreadful thing up. He spent it on his tractor, catching one measly hour-long nap slumped over the steering wheel, as he raced through a rare dry spell to plant soybeans he figured might never fetch a profit.

“It was looking pretty bleak,” the 37-year-old said, sitting on a stool beside a wooden workbench in his equipment shed, his red tractor and combine parked behind him.

Sioux County is a fertile area of rolling hills with the scent of manure in the air. The towns are built around grain elevators, and rural roads are lined with cattle feed lots, hog buildings and corn-stalk bales. It’s Trump country — he won 81% of the vote here in 2016. That support wavered little during the hard times of 2019.

“He understands we’re at the front lines of the trade war. He’s taken care of us,” Brad Den Herder, who grows corn and soybeans and raises hogs with his brother and father, said of Trump before trade deals were finalized this week. “We don’t feel forgotten.”

If it weren’t for the aid — the $28 billion sum ringing in at more than twice as expensive as the 2009 bailout of automakers — many Iowa farmers would’ve likely posted losses last year.

To agriculture economists such as Nathan Kauffman, of the Kansas City Fed, the bailout boost provided a troubling cushion. Even before the trade war and wild weather seized headlines, U.S. growers were squeezed by a global commodity glut, primarily because of increases in output in Brazil, Russia, Ukraine and other rivals.

“One of the concerns with the aid is the extent to which it encourages producers to continue the over-production of crops that aren’t that well supported by the fundamentals,” he said.

But federal subsidies have long been part of farmers’ financial picture, and while this program was extraordinarily large, it’s viewed as a good investment of taxpayer money to back up Trump’s China strategy.The Den Herder family farm had its best year in 2019 out of the past five, the 30-year-old farmer said, estimating his profits would’ve been halved without aid payments. Sioux County was one of the 10 largest recipients of the money, according to a database of payments compiled by the Environmental Working Group.

Even then, U.S. farmers don’t have a long leash to confront hurdles. Their working capital, a key measure of ability to withstand short-term setbacks, has been trending down for half a decade, dropping last year to half its level in 2014, according to USDA projections.There’s no telling, meanwhile, what the weather will bring. As it is, the hangover from 2019 still stings, some worse than others. In the Dakotas, some farmers haven’t been able to harvest late-maturing crops that are still covered in snow.

But recent price stabilization helps. Soybean futures in Chicago are up about 1% since Dec. 12, the day before Trump announced the China agreement. Compared with this time last year, they’re 3.3% higher.“We’re sitting pretty good,” said Ten Napel. On his farm, about two-thirds of last year’s corn and soy harvest is still sitting in storage bins. “If we sold the grain at today’s price, we’d make more money than we have the last three or four years.”

(Updates with economist comments beginning in 15th paragraph)



EU Trade Chief Calls Trump ‘Obsessed,’ Attacks U.S.-China Deal By Bloomberg


© Reuters. EU Trade Chief Calls Trump ‘Obsessed,’ Attacks U.S.-China Deal

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The European Union’s new trade chief pulled no punches on an inaugural visit to Washington, saying President Donald Trump’s tariff threats amount to short-sighted electioneering and warning him about widespread economic damage from protectionism.

Phil Hogan said Trump’s “America First” agenda has helped bring about “a high-pressure crisis moment for the international trading system.” He urged the U.S. government to work with the EU to uphold open commerce.

“If we go about this in the right way, working together, the mutual benefits can be very significant,” Hogan told a conference in the U.S. capital on Thursday. “But, if we fail to do so, the damage will be significant, not alone for us both, but for the world.”

Hogan is seeking to prevent a deterioration in transatlantic commercial ties that have been fraying for months as a result of disagreements over everything from aircraft subsidies to farm tariffs. He spoke bluntly about growing EU unhappiness over U.S. unilateralism, saying it was driven by Trump’s desire for re-election.

‘Managed Trade’

“It’s short-term thinking,” Hogan said in a separate video interview with Global Counsel Chairman Peter Mandelson, a former EU trade commissioner. “Between now and the November elections is what Mr. Trump is thinking about.”

Hogan took a swipe at a preliminary trade agreement reached between the U.S. and China, saying the deal smacked of “managed trade” and threatening an EU complaint to the World Trade Organization. The pact was signed with much fanfare in Washington on Wednesday, two days after Hogan arrived in the city.

The EU is concerned about a Chinese pledge in the accord to increase purchases of U.S. goods and services by at least $200 billion over the next two years.

“We haven’t analyzed the document in detail, but we will, and if there’s a WTO-compliance issue of course we will take the case,” Hogan told the Washington conference at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “We’re not trigger-happy about taking cases to the WTO — we don’t want to create that impression. But we’ll stand up for our own economic interests.”

Hogan said Trump is misguidedly “obsessed” with a U.S. deficit in goods trade with the bloc and should also take into account services, where the country has a $60 billion surplus. Altogether, transatlantic trade in goods and services is worth over $3 billion a day, according to Hogan.

“Sounds like a fairly healthy relationship to me,” he said. “So why put tariffs on these EU products to make them more expensive for your people?”

‘Let’s Talk’

Hogan sharply criticized the Trump administration’s invocation of national security to apply duties in 2018 on EU steel and aluminum, and threaten similar levies on European cars and auto parts. The metal duties prompted tit-for-tat EU tariffs, and the bloc has pledged to react the same way were European automotive goods to be targeted.

“We reject the U.S. labeling the EU as a security risk in order to justify the imposition on tariffs,” Hogan said. “This narrative is hurtful to both our people.”

The two sides are locked in arguments on other points too, including:

  • A U.S. threat to hit $2.4 billion of French goods with tariffs as retaliation over a digital tax in France
  • A deadlock on the WTO’s appellate body caused by a U.S. refusal to consider new panelists
  • U.S. tariffs on a range of European products following a WTO ruling about illegal aid to Airbus
  • American demands to add agriculture to the agenda of talks that are due to address charges on industrial goods

Hogan, who has met U.S. government officials as well as member of Congress this week, pleaded for a more diplomatic and collaborative approach from the Trump administration.

“If we continue to beat each other up then the future risks being lost to new competitors,” Hogan said. “Let’s talk, let’s cooperate, let’s lead.”





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Trump administration to change economic data release procedures: Bloomberg By Reuters


Trump administration to change economic data release procedures: Bloomberg

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration plans to put in place new procedures governing the release of market-sensitive economic data that would hinder news organizations from preparing stories in advance under embargo, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter.

Bloomberg said the changes could extend to the removal of computers from a government “lockup” room used by media and that an announcement could come as soon as this week.

Media organizations, including Bloomberg and Reuters News, send reporters to data “lockups” to prepare stories in advance of release, with the government controlling a communications switch to prevent an inadvertent early release. The system is in place to allow media outlets to report the often complicated and extensive data accurately and with better context than if it were released “live.”

The Labor Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and a spokesman for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the arm of the department that handles the monthly jobs report, could not be immediately reached. Spokespeople for the two main Commerce Department agencies that produce economic data also could not immediately be reached.

Federal agencies in the past have altered, or proposed altering, their release of potentially market-moving data in order to prevent the possibility that some investors could get earlier access, and thereby profit by selling or buying stocks, bonds or other securities ahead using that advance knowledge.

Under the Obama administration in 2012 the Labor Department proposed changing the lockup procedures by requiring media outlets to use government-issued computers and not their own. News outlets fought the plan, ultimately successfully.

“It would imperil the ability of news organizations to provide such data to the public in a reliable, accurate and timely way and lead to confusion in the public and in the financial markets that rely on the Department’s data,” Reuters general manager Rob Doherty testified to Congress at the time.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Trump expected at Davos meeting this month: WEF By Reuters



GENEVA (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald J. Trump is set to participate in the 50th anniversary meeting of political and business leaders being held at Davos from Jan 21-24, the World Economic Forum (WEF) said on Tuesday.

Trump attended the annual event in the Swiss resort in January 2018, a year into his administration, taking his “America First” message to the world’s elite. The first U.S. president to attend in two decades, he did not participate last year, and the return trip comes amid moves for him to face impeachment charges in the Senate.

U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer as well as Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner are on the U.S. delegation, a WEF list of participants distributed at its annual preview news conference showed. Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who had been expected, is no longer on the list of nearly 3,000 people attending the event being held under the theme: “Stakeholders for a Sustainable and Cohesive World”.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Europe Looks to Follow China’s Lead Taming Trump on Trade By Bloomberg



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President Donald Trump’s relationship with European leaders has often been testy and the same applies to his aides. Then again, transatlantic relations have been rescued from the brink a number of times thanks to the personalities involved.

Which is why new European trade commissioner Phil Hogan’s visit to Washington this week is more important than most. Even if the big show while Hogan makes his first tour in his new post will be Wednesday’s signing of a long-awaited “phase one” deal between the U.S. and China.

When then-European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker arrived in Washington in July 2018, many of those travelling with him were bracing for a turn to the worse in trade relations. Trump was threatening to impose tariffs on imported European cars and had become frustrated with Europe’s retaliation to steel tariffs he had rolled out.

Worried at what was unfolding, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow reached out to Christine Lagarde, then the International Monetary Fund’s managing director, according to people familiar with the events. She suggested he get in touch with Martin Selmayr, Juncker’s top lieutenant. Within hours the two were huddled in the restaurant of the Hay Adams Hotel across from the White House, hashing out the terms of a tariff truce.

The mood between the two sides, however, remained tense. Until, that is, the next morning Juncker, a gregarious former prime minister of Luxembourg, marched into the Oval Office and planted a big kiss on the American president.

The atmosphere instantly lifted, according to people who were in the room. Within a few hours the two presidents were announcing what became known as the Rose Garden truce to a hastily called press conference even as some of their aides continued to stew.

Then again even a presidential peck has limited currency. The ceasefire has been fragile ever since, and the negotiations it triggered have gone nowhere. The EU is also back in the Trump tariff sights thanks to France’s introduction of a digital services tax. Transatlantic divisions over how to deal with Iran aren’t helping.

Enter Hogan. The politically savvy Irishman served as agriculture commissioner in the last European Commission and is no stranger to Washington. But Hogan has had a difficult start. He annoyed some in the White House and across 17th street at the U.S. Trade Representative’s office when in an interview soon after his appointment he told Irish radio that one of his goals would be “to get Mr Trump to see the error of his ways” on trade.

The interview was in line with what European officials say is their plan to take a more robust approach to dealing with Trump and his tariffs. But it so angered U.S. officials that Kudlow summoned the EU’s ambassador to Washington, Stavros Lambrinidis, to protest.

Hogan needs a reset. And for that he may also want to look up another trade negotiator in town this week: China’s Vice Premier Liu He. Liu has commanded the respect of his U.S. counterparts over three years of tough interactions, part of the reason he’s signing a deal at the White House on Wednesday morning. He may have some tips.

Charting the Trade War

Caution gripped the U.K. economy ahead of last month’ s general election, fueling speculation the Bank of England is moving closer to cutting interest rates. GDP unexpectedly fell in November, leaving output just 0.6% higher than a year earlier — the worst performance in more than seven years.                     

Today’s Must Reads

  • Victory lap | After three years of tweets and tariffs, President Donald Trump has arrived at his China moment. Now the challenge turns to ensuring Beijing follows through.
  • No bull cause | Washington will likely take time to lift a ban on Brazilian fresh-beef imports amid frustration at the South American country’s decision to keep quotas on tariff-free imports of U.S. ethanol.
  • Chip shot | South Korea’s chip exports showed signs of revival after more than a yearlong slump, supporting optimism that the worst is behind for the trade-dependent economy.
  • Metal fatigue | A drop in American factory jobs shows Trump’s tariffs haven’t yet solved a key issue haunting U.S. steelmakers: China’s subsidizing of its own industry.
  • Over baht | Thailand’s Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana said any measures authorities take to curb gains in the currency won’t disrupt the “market mechanism” of the baht.

Economic Analysis

  • Risks in 2020 | Euro-Area GDP growth has slowed on global uncertainty tied to trade and Brexit.
  • Looking up | Singapore’s economy is poised for 2020 rebound after the trade hub suffered last year.

Coming Up

  • Jan. 14: China trade balance
  • Jan. 14-16: EU trade chief Phil Hogan plans trip to Washington
  • Jan. 15: U.S., China plan to sign phase-one deal in Washington
  • Jan. 21-24: Business and government leaders meet at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting. Stay on top of all of the action via Bloomberg’s Davos Diary newsletter. Click here to subscribe.

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How are we doing? We want to hear what you think about this newsletter. Let our trade tsar know.



Trump says China trade deal may be signed shortly after January 15


U.S. President Donald Trump rallies with supporters in Toledo, Ohio, U.S. January 9, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

(Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump, who announced last month that the Phase 1 trade deal with China would be signed on Jan. 15, said on Thursday the agreement could be signed “shortly thereafter.”

In an interview with the ABC affiliate in Toledo, Ohio, Trump said: “We’re going to be signing on January 15th – I think it will be January 15th, but shortly thereafter, but I think January 15th – a big deal with China.”

Reporting by Eric Beech in Washington; Editing by Makini Brice



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Yen, Swiss franc fall after Trump signals no further action vs Iran By Reuters


© Reuters. Light is cast on a Japanese 10,000 yen note as it’s reflected in a plastic board in Tokyo, in this picture illustration

By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The safe-haven yen slid from three-month highs against the dollar on Wednesday, as U.S.-Iran tensions eased after President Donald Trump signaled there would be no further military action, for now, with Tehran appearing to have pulled back from its threats.

Another safe haven, the Swiss franc, also fell. It had earlier touched a more than one-week peak versus the greenback. Gold, which draws a bid in times of geopolitical stress, also gave up earlier gains, as did .

Trump backed away on Wednesday from days of angry rhetoric against Iran as the two countries tried to defuse a crisis over the American killing of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani.

In an address from the White House, Trump said the United States did not necessarily have to respond militarily to Iranian missile attacks on military bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq overnight.

Iran said it had fired missiles at U.S. targets in Iraq in retaliation for last Friday’s U.S. drone strike that killed Soleimani.

“It’s a big sigh of relief for the markets,” said Shaun Osborne, chief FX strategist, at Scotiabank in Toronto.

“The markets were concerned that there was the risk of an escalation. I would be very surprised though that this would be the absolute end of all of this, but the risk of a direct confrontation between the U.S. and Iran seems less of a risk,” he added.

SAFE HAVENS

The yen, regarded as a safe haven in times of geopolitical turmoil because of its deep liquidity as well as Japan’s current account surplus, dropped, pushing the dollar to a more than one-week high of 109.19 yen . The dollar earlier fell to a three-month low of 107.66 yen following Iran’s strike, but was last up 0.8 at 109.18 yen.

(GRAPHIC: Bumpy ride for markets after Iran strikes at U.S. forces in Iraq – https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/13/712/712/frx0801.png)

The dollar also rose against the Swiss franc at 0.9737 franc , up 0.3%, after falling to a more than one-week trough earlier in the global session.

A higher-than-expected U.S. private payrolls number for December also boosted the dollar. The rose 0.3% to 97.30 () in mid-afternoon trading.

The ADP (NASDAQ:) National Employment Report on Wednesday showed private payrolls jumped by 202,000 jobs last month after an upwardly revised 124,000 gain in November. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast private payrolls of 160,000 last month following a previously reported 67,000 rise in November.

“The market still has the ultimate ballast, or anchor, which is the U.S. economy,” said Marc Chandler, chief market strategist at Bannockburn Global Forex. “Even though there’s some variance month-to-month between the ADP and the non-farm payrolls report, the ADP is still a good indicator of the underlying trend.”

The euro, meanwhile, was at $1.1108 in afternoon trading, down 0.4% () and near session lows.





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