Business

Trump tariffs: EU wants clarity on exemption

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The EU’s trade commissioner says there is “no immediate clarity” from the US on how the bloc can gain exemption from new tariffs on imported steel and aluminium imposed by President Trump. BBC Cecilia Malmstrom met with the US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Japan’s Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko in Brussels. She said discussions would continue next week. Mr Seko called for calm-headed behaviour in the dispute. The EU says that its exports should be excluded from the… Trump tariffs: ... Read More »

Minister criticises ‘snowflake’ artists who opposed arms firm sponsorship

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Jake Berry reacts after BAE Systems withdraws as partner of Great Exhibition of the North Frances Perraudin The Guardian The government minister responsible for the “northern powerhouse” has described campaigners who forced the arms firm BAE Systems to withdraw as a sponsor of a flagship arts festival in north-east England as “subsidy-addicted artists” and “snowflakes”. The Great Exhibition of the North, which will run from 22 June to 9 September in Gateshead and Newcastle, is being funded by £5m from the government’s northern ... Read More »

Asia-Pacific trade deal signed by 11 nations

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Eleven Asia-Pacific countries have just signed the trade pact formerly known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Tim McDonald BBC Although the US pulled out last year, the deal was salvaged by the remaining members, who signed it at a ceremony in the Chilean city of Santiago. Chilean foreign minister Heraldo Munoz said the agreement was a strong signal “against protectionist pressures, in favour of a world open to trade”. The deal covers a market of nearly 500 million people, despite the ... Read More »

Mobile phone pioneer encourages Scotland to embrace circular economy

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An influential designer who has worked on some of the world’s most popular mobile phones is to visit Edinburgh to speak on the benefits of adopting a more “circular” manufacturing sector. CHRIS MCCALL The Scotsman Tapani Jokinen, who helped develop the multi-million selling Nokia 3310 and 1100 cellphones, will devliver the latest in a series of lectures organised by Zero Waste Scotland on the need for a circular economy – in which materials are kept in high value use for ... Read More »

US Tariffs: ‘Aluminum Companies Will Benefit, Everyone Else Will Lose’ – Analyst

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Trump’s decision to introduce higher tariffs on steel and aluminum imports would be detrimental to both the US and the EU. Sputnik This is what French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has stated, noting that the US measures would have a major impact on the European economy. Sputnik discussed this with Simon Lester, Trade Policy Analyst at Cato Institute. Sputnik: What is your take on President Trump’s statement that the US has been suffering from unfair trade, is that really the case? ... Read More »

Reserve Bank leaves rates on hold at record low 1.5 per cent

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The Reserve Bank of Australia has left the cash rate at a record-low 1.5 per cent, as sluggish wage growth and inflation put the board in a holding pattern for the 17th meeting in a row. Eryk Bagshaw The Sydney Morning Herald Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe used the word “gradual” to describe Australia’s economic recovery three times in his short statement on monetary policy on Tuesday, indicating the bank is in no rush to raise interest rates from their ... Read More »

Justin Trudeau’s India debacle shows the pitfalls of ‘nation branding’

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Justin Trudeau’s multiple missteps on his recent visit to India — wearing inappropriately formal dress and posing for corny photo-ops, at least once with a controversial figure — have prompted critical onlookers to suggest that self-awareness is sorely lacking from the Canadian prime minister’s “brand.” Rebecca Ogden The Conversation The ease with which we use the term “brand,” especially when speaking of political diplomacy, underscores how the discourse and practice of corporate branding has spread into previously unbranded contexts. Branding ... Read More »

In a trade war, China would act to protect its interests: official

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Beijing: China doesn’t want a trade war with the United States but will act to protect its interests, a senior Chinese official said on Sunday, as other major US trading partners smarted at looming steel tariffs. Kirsty Needham The Canberra Times China’s response to Mr Trump’s announcement of 25 per cent tariff on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium has been muted compared to the reaction of the EU and Canada because China doesn’t rank in the top 10 steel ... Read More »

‘Too much, too soon,’ expert warns on PH-China sea study

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PUERTO PRINCESA CITY — A maritime expert has questioned  Malacañang’s pronouncement that it is considering a “joint exploration” with China for potential energy deposits in an undisputed Philippine territory some 50 kilometers off Busuanga town in Palawan province, identified as Service Contract (SC) 57. Redempto Anda Philippine Daily Inquirer Lawyer Jay Batongbacal, director of the University of the Philippines Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, said in a social media post that the government’s plan to include ... Read More »

Housing risks ‘catastrophic’: Grattan Institute

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Australia’s eight-year house price boom has savaged the living standards of poorer Australians while so far leaving the wealthy untouched, a new Grattan Institute analysis finds. Peter Martin The Age But the report, to be released on Monday, warns of a “catastrophic” impact on all income groups should mortgage rates rise by more than a few percentage points. The institute’s chief executive, John Daley, said Australians who already owned their houses had been little affected by soaring prices to date because ... Read More »

The Congo Is Set to Butt Heads With Mining Firms Over Cobalt

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For parents in much of the world, the beginning of December is a harbinger for the scramble to secure the year’s hottest game or electronic gadget ahead of the holidays. Stratfor And as battery technology continues to improve and costs decline, it has touched off another scramble of its own, as the manufacturers of batteries for everything from smartphones to electric vehicles chase after raw materials like cobalt, an invaluable component in such objects. Right at the center of this ... Read More »

Why the daunting economics of elder care are about to get much worse

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My sister Carol loves movies, but she hasn’t been out to see one in years. When she tries to watch one at home, she’s frequently interrupted. Patricia Smith The Conversation She shrugs this off, saying “Who needs to see movies when you’re living one?” You see, my sister is living the plot from the movie “Groundhog Day.” She takes care of our mother, who suffers from dementia. Our mom asks the same questions over and over and only wants to ... Read More »

Trump Announces New Tariffs On Aluminum And Steel

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President Donald Trump announced Thursday a host of new “punitive” tariffs that will be implemented as soon as Monday. Christian Datoc The Daily Caller Trump made the announcement during a meeting with industry executives at the White House, arguing that domestic producers have been treated very unfairly by previous administrations. “What’s been allowed to go on for decades is disgraceful,” he said at the meeting. “And when it comes to a time when our country can’t make aluminum and steel, ... Read More »

South Australia is fine after the car industry closed: Downer

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London: Former foreign minister Alexander Downer has downplayed the effect on Australia of losing its car industry, saying unemployment in South Australia is “pretty low” and young car manufacturing workers had found it relatively easy to get new jobs. Nick Miller Brisbane Times Downer, the outgoing high commissioner in London, was spruiking the benefits of trade liberalisation to a UK parliamentary committee. Australia’s free trade deals with the US and China had “exceeded expectations”, he said. Opening Australia’s markets to the… ... Read More »

German court backs city bans on diesel cars

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A top German court ruled on Feb. 27 in favor of allowing major cities to ban the most heavily polluting diesel cars, a move set to hit the value of 12 million vehicles in Europe’s largest car market and probably force carmakers to pay for costly modifications. LEIPZIG – Reuters Hurriyet There has been a global backlash against diesel-engine cars since Volkswagen admitted in 2015 to cheating U.S. exhaust tests, meant to limit emissions of particulate matter and nitrogen oxide ... Read More »

How Europe’s Band-Aid Ensures Greece’s Bondage

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All the happy talk about impending “debt relief” and a “clean exit” from Greece’s third “bailout” obscures an uglier truth: the country’s debt bondage is being extended to 2060. Yanis Varoufakis Project Syndicate Worse, by ossifying Greece’s insolvency, while pretending to have overcome it, Europe’s establishment is demonstrating its refusal to fix the eurozone’s flaws. ATHENS – Greece’s never-ending public-debt saga has come to signify the European Union’s inept handling of its inevitable eurozone crisis. Eight years after its bankruptcy, ... Read More »