The US raised tariffs on 200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10% to 25% on Friday as President Trump threatened earlier.
DC round goes on
The move comes amid talks between US and Chinese negotiators who met for a two-day round of talks in Washington. China’s Vice Premier Liu, USTR Lighthizer and Treasury’s Steven Mnuchin talked for an hour and a half on Thursday. Chinese Commerce Ministry said in a statement that it “deeply regrets” the American decision, vowing to take necessary countermeasures.
Kim testing Trump
In a move that has the potential to derail dialogue with Trump, North Korea launched two short-range missiles on Thursday. They were the second test in less than a week. Analysts say they can trigger a conflict. The seized a North Korean cargo ship carrying coal on the shipping was illicit. The North Korean leader Kim ordered his army on Friday to be “full combat posture” according to state media.
Powell laments rising inequality
US Fed Chair Powell told Fed research conference on Thursday the country needed to find means in the coming years to solve the issue of slowdown in income growth and upward economic mobility.
The US Labor Department released its producer price index, saying the PPI increased 0.2% in April after hiking 0.6% the previous month. On a year-on-year basis, the PPI increased 2.2%. The figure was largely in line with expectations.
EU leaders met in Romania to informally discuss the next Presidents of the ECB, European Commission and European Council. Names were dropped but none for the ECB as markets await to see who will replace Draghi. The leaders discussed combating climate change, keeping the rule of law safe and looking for a modern growth model for the bloc.
UK parties launch EP campaigns
In the UK, the opposition Labour Party and Scottish National Party launched their EP elections campaign, highlighting pro-EU messages. Labour’s Corbyn gave support to the idea of a second referendum if the Brexit process fails. The talks between Labour and ruling Conservatives are not making any progress.