US President Trump surprisingly threatened China on Sunday that he would hike tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods this week and target hundreds of billions worth others soon.
A tweet to derail talks
Trump had cited progress in trade talks as recently as Friday. “The Trade Deal with China continues, but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate. No!” Trump tweeted. The Wall Street Journal reported that China was considering cancelling this week’s trade talks in Washington.
Iran’s contingency plan
Aiming to bypass US sanctions, Iran has mobilized all its resources to sell oil in a “grey market,” state media cited Deputy Oil Minister Amir Hossein Zamaninia. He gave no details and added the action is not smuggling given that US sanctions are not legitimate.
Fed Vice Chair Clarida said on Friday the US economy is not heading into a recession, however, advised the “central banks need to be vigilant and alert” to risks to the outlook. He added the economy is in a “very good place.”
The unemployment rate is at a 50-year low at 3.6 percent and the Labor Department’s monthly employment report showed a plunge of 263,000 newly created jobs last month.
Tokyo-DC deal coming
The US and Japan may finalize a trade agreement by the end of May, White House adviser Kudlow said on Friday. After Trump met with Japanese Prime Minister Abe in April, Japan invited him to visit May 25 to May 28.
Brits’ Brexit agony
UK PM May and the opposition Labour Party could reach a Brexit deal within days, a leading Conservative Ruth Davidson said on Saturday, following poor local election results. English voters punished both PM May’s Conservatives and the main opposition Labour Party. The Conservatives had suffered a net loss of 1,332 seats on local councils while the opposition lost 81.
UK Foreign minister Hunt saw a “glimmer of hope” that there might be a deal with Labour soon. However, added that an EU customs union was not a viable long-term option. The Times reported on Sunday that the Conservatives would offer new concessions to Labour when talks resume on Tuesday, including a temporary customs union until a national election due in June 2022.