Economy

China slaps US with up to 25% bigger import tariffs in trade war retaliation

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Beijing is hiking up tariffs on more than 128 US imports, including fruit and pork, as part of a tit-for-tat response to US President Donald Trump’s $60 billion package of tariffs imposed against China. RT The additional fares, which range from 15 to 25 percent, are taking effect on Monday, the Chinese Finance Ministry said on their website. It added that the measure, aimed at “safeguarding China’s interests,” was in response to Washington’s package of tariffs targeting more than 100 types of Chinese goods, ... Read More »

Weaponizing Hydrocarbons: It Was Obama’s Idea to Flood EU With US LNG

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According to some estimates, the US is likely to emerge as one of the major LNG exporters by 2020. Sputnik However, it appears that Washington is seeking to use its liquefied hydrocarbons as an economic weapon in the fight with its geopolitical rivals, Russia and China. Washington has weaponized its liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies to kill two birds with one stone — expel Russia from the European energy market and win a “trade war” with China. Following the 2014 February coup in Ukraine and Crimea’s ... Read More »

Australia’s greenest energy companies leave big retailers behind

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Powershop and Diamond Energy have been voted as Australia’s most green energy retailers in Greenpeace’s electricity guide. Cole Latimer The Sydney Morning Herald The two retailers were the only companies to win a five out of five star rating in the third annual Green Electricity Guide from Greenpeace and the Total Environment Centre. “In taking the top two places for the third time running, five-star retailers Powershop and Diamond Energy continue to be the guiding lights in the retail energy ... Read More »

Bitcoin tumbles to cap off dismal quarter

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Bitcoin’s miserable quarter isn’t over yet. By Eddie van der Walt and Olga Kharif Brisbane Times The world’s biggest cryptocurrency by market value dropped by more than 10 per cent on Thursday, pushing it below the $US7,000 mark and the lowest level on a… The slide took the token’s losses in 2018 to a whopping 50 per cent, and other digital assets, including rivals Ripple and Litecoin, slumped more. In addition, regulatory pressure is mounting in the cryptocurrency space, while major ... Read More »

Finland’s race for Arctic riches

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A small city on the Baltic may soon become a vital part of Helsinki’s push to compete with Russia and China. Reid Standish Politico OULU, Finland — A new frontier of geopolitics is opening up as countries move to control lucrative and strategically important natural resources and shipping lanes in the Arctic, and Finland doesn’t want to be left… The unprecedented rate at which the polar ice caps are melting is creating a flurry of activity. So far, Russia and ... Read More »

Restricting migration after Brexit likely to slow growth, says official UK report

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Restricting migration into Britain will very likely lead to lower output and employment growth, an interim report commissioned by the British government said on March 27, warning that firms were not prepared for a tightening labor market. LONDON – Reuters Hurriyet “Lower migration would very likely lead to lower growth in total employment, and lower output growth,” said the report by the Migration Advisory Committee, which focused on migration from the European Economic Area. The report was ordered by the ... Read More »

Give millennials a break – young people are worse off and it’s not their fault

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Young people are poorer than older people. And it’s not simply because the old have worked all their lives and are enjoying the fruits of their labours in their sunset years. Evangelos Kontopantelis The Conversation The wealth gap between the young and the old is on the rise in England. These were the stark findings of our research into deprivation levels between 2004 and 2015. We measured wealth (or lack thereof) using the the UK government’s English Index of Multiple ... Read More »

Scotland’s potential will only be realised after independence says Nicola Sturgeon

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said that the SNP is using every power at its disposal to deliver for the people of Scotland and that the full potential of Scotland can only be seen when the nation is independent. Angus Howarth The Scotsman In a speech to the SNP National Council in Glasgow, the First Minister said that a clear contrast had opened up in competing visions for Scotland’s future – and said that the SNP had a ‘renewed mission’ ... Read More »

Americans Will Pay the Price for Trump’s Toughened Approach with China

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American firms may not profit from a trade war with China, but both Airbus and Brazilian farmers have to be salivating at the prospect. Colin Grabow The National Interest It appears that President Trump is going to get his much-desired trade war with China. Citing the country’s harmful intellectual property and innovation policies, President Donald Trump on Thursday announced the pending imposition of tariffs on $60 billion worth of imports as well as restrictions on Chinese investment. Trump may have ... Read More »

“Global Britain” Is Already on Its Own

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British voters’ decision to leave the EU may have been motivated mostly by domestic issues such as political dysfunction and immigration, but the costs of departure are being felt first on the foreign-policy front. Mark Malloch-Brown Project Syndicate The international response to the recent nerve-agent attack in Salisbury, England, suggests that the costs will be high. LONDON – British Prime Minister Theresa May has finally had a good crisis. Responding to the nerve-agent attack on former Russian double agent Sergei ... Read More »

Brexit: A managed surrender

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London talks tough but gives Brussels what it wants. Forget red lines, bellicose declarations and rhetoric about the United Kingdom taking back control — Brexit so far has been a process of managed surrender. Paul Taylor Politico British officials acknowledge that Prime Minister Theresa May has mostly had to accept the European Union’s terms for the divorce and a transition period to avoid a cliff-edge rupture in economic ties that could have crippled business. However, the Brits insist, the real negotiation starts now and ... Read More »

Australia’s worst nightmare: to be caught in cross fire of trade war

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Beijing: Australia’s great fear of a trade war breaking out between its largest trading partner and closest security ally is unfolding, as China and the United State exchange threats and release multi-billion dollar punitive tariff plans targeting each… Kirsty Needham & Darren Gray The Age After US President Donald Trump signed a document to trigger $US60 billion ($A78 billion) in tariffs on Chinese technology products, China responded within hours with a $US3 billion plan to hit 128 US products including ... Read More »

Containing the Shock Waves from Venezuela

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Venezuela’s socio-economic implosion is dragging in neighbours as hundreds of thousands of people flee the country, epidemics spread and violent crime spills over borders. International humanitarian support is needed and regional powers should push for a negotiated transition, including through threats of targeted sanctions. ICG What’s new? As Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro prepares to seek re-election, the country’s socio-economic implosion has become a major problem for its neighbours. Venezuelans are fleeing hunger and poverty by the hundreds of thousands, while ... Read More »

Developing countries at risk from US rate rise, debt charity warns

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Jubilee Debt Campaign says 126 nations spend more than 10% of revenues on interest Larry Elliott The Guardian The expected rise in US interest rates will increase financial pressures on developing countries already struggling with a 60% jump in their debt repayments since 2014, a leading charity has warned. The Jubilee Debt Campaign said a study of 126 developing nations showed that they were devoting more than 10% of their revenues on average to paying the interest on money borrowed – the ... Read More »

Goldman Sachs reveals 56% UK gender pay gap and bonus gap of 72%

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Women account for just 17 per cent of all the jobs in the highest pay quartile Josie Cox The Independent Goldman Sachs has become the latest bank to publish a yawning gender pay gap, underscoring just how male dominated the world of finance still is – especially at the most senior level. The company, which employs around 6,000 people in the UK, on Friday reported a mean gender pay gap in Britain for its international business of 55.5 per cent and a mean ... Read More »

The Fatal Flaw in China’s Plan for Dominating the World Economy

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Dependence is baked into China’s industrial plans—and will likely fail. Chinese premier Li Keqiang recently delivered a remarkably revealing speech. Milton Ezrati The National Interest Addressing the National People’s Congress for two full hours early in March, he stressed the county’s determination to rely on broad industrial policies as a means to development. The objective, to use Li’s words, is to “speed up work to build China into a leader in manufacturing.” Li doubtless wanted his audience and the world ... Read More »