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China approves retaliatory tariffs worth $50 billion on US imported goods

Economic security, worldwide, is therefore much less certain as Trump pursues this path

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Earlier this year, Trump announced tariffs against Chinese goods, which prompted retaliatory tariffs from Beijing.

Trump followed up China’s retaliation with even further punitive measures, which China then responded to before negotiations in Washington managed to cool the tensions down somewhat.

However, within a very brief time, Washington came back out with its tariffs against China, particularly relative to Chinese metals, in a similar fashion as was also being applied to other US trade partners with the pretext of reducing trade deficits which were perceived by the Trump administration as a threat to American national security, sparking outrage from US European, Canadian, Japanese, Korean, and Mexican trade partners, among others.

With the Trump administration’s renege on the trade wars truce which had just been hashed out, China is now responding with tariffs of its own worth $50 billion.

The South China Morning Post reports:

China’s Finance Ministry has imposed an additional 25 per cent tariff on some US$50 billion of US imports and said the US has invalidated recent high-level talks aimed at averting a trade war

China has hit back at US President Donald Trump after he slapped punitive tariffs on Chinese goods on Friday, announcing that it would place its own additional 25 per cent tariffs on 659 US imports worth a total of US$50 billion.

Tariffs on about US$34 billion of those products will start on July 6, and be applied to soybeans, corn, wheat, rice, sorghum, beef, pork, poultry, fish, dairy products, nuts and vegetables, autos and aquatic products, China’s finance and commerce ministries said.

In addition, China said Trump’s move invalidated recent high-level negotiations aimed at averting a trade war.

“All the previous agreements reached through talks will become invalid,” the Ministry of Commerce said in the statement. “China doesn’t want to engage in a trade war, but in face of the shortsighted acts from the US side … China is forced to take strong and forceful measures to hit back,” it said.

The effective date of the tariffs on the remaining US$16 billion of American goods will be announced later, the commerce ministry said. Among those items are crude oil, natural gas, coal and some refined oil products.

The list of 659 US goods was longer than a preliminary list of 106 products published by the Chinese commerce ministry in April, although their remained unchanged at US$50 billion. Aircraft, which were previously included, were not on the revised list.

China’s response came on Friday afternoon, hours after Trump confirmed his plan to slap punitive tariffs on Chinese products that “contain industrially significant technologies”. The move is part of his effort to close a bilateral trade gap and force Beijing to change the way it acquires US technology.

The US will put a 25 per cent tariff on US$50 billion worth of annual imports from China, including “goods related to China’s Made in China 2025 strategic plan to dominate the emerging high-technology industries that will drive future economic growth for China, but hurt economic growth for the United States and many other countries”, Trump said in an official White House statement.

Made in China 2025 refers to Beijing’s industrial policy of subsidising domestic companies developing strategic advanced technologies, including robotics and artificial intelligence.

China has “long been engaging in several unfair practices related to the acquisition of American intellectual property and technology. These practices … harm our economic and national security and deepen our already massive trade imbalance with China,” Trump said.

US stocks retreated on Friday amid the countries’ competing announcements, with major indices in the red the entire session, although they closed above their session lows.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.3 per cent to end the week at 25,090.48. The broad-based S&P 500 slipped 0.1 per cent to close at 2,779.42, and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite index lost 0.2 per cent to 7,746.38, retreating from Thursday’s record.

Large multinationals active in China were among the worst performers in the Dow, with Caterpillar losing 2 per cent and Boeing and General Electric both falling more than 1 per cent.

Petroleum-linked shares also tumbled on a pullback in oil prices due in part to the trade discord. Chevron fell 2 per cent, Halliburton 2.4 per cent and ConocoPhillips 4.1 per cent.

Trump’s announcement on Friday follows up on pledges he has made since he campaigned in 2016 to address the long-running US trade deficit with China.

That gap rose to a record US$375 billion last year and amounted to US$119 billion in the first four months of 2018, according to US government data.

Trump vowed to fight any retaliation by China – be it tariffs, non-tariff barriers or “punitive actions against American exporters or American companies operating in China” – with additional tariffs, raising the possibility of an all-out trade war.

“The Trump administration is now committed to tariffs on US$50 billion of imports from China, and China has signalled that it will retaliate on US$50 billion of US exports,” David Dollar, a China expert at the Brookings Institution, a Washington-based think tank, told the South China Morning Post.

“The question that no one can answer right now is whether Trump will then escalate into a full-blown trade war. It is hard to see either side backing down in the near future.”

Trump has bipartisan support among lawmakers to take measures to curtail acquisition of US technology by Chinese interests, as many of them see such transfers as strengthening China’s military capabilities.

Some technology sought by Chinese investors has military applications, the US Defence Department warned in a report published last year.

The Trump administration’s tactics are bumping up against Beijing’s overarching economic ambitions.

“One of the things that [Chinese President] Xi Jinping is focused on is the transformation [of his country] from the manufacturing centre of the world to the innovation centre of the world,” Elizabeth Economy, director for Asia Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, said in a discussion at the Wharton Global Forum on Thursday.

“They’re using subsidies to encourage Chinese firms and give them an advantage,” she said. Moreover, “a number of restrictions or regulations … make it difficult for foreign companies to compete” in China, Economy said.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has led investigations into the trade and investment practices Trump has targeted.

A nearly 200-page report from the trade representative’s office published in March alleges, among other things, that these policies “deprive US companies of the ability to set market-based terms in licensing and other technology-related negotiations with Chinese companies and undermine US companies’ control over their technology in China”.

Still, some in the US corporate sector are condemning Trump’s decision to address trade imbalances and investment restrictions through unilateral tariff measures.

“We urge both governments to sit down and negotiate a solution to these important issues. American companies want solutions, not sanctions,” US-China Business Council (USCBC) President John Frisbie said in a statement.

“Tariffs will not solve these problems, but will harm American economic interests and jobs. Rather than inflicting damage on ourselves, we should be seeking ways to address the problems with China,” he said.

“Pursuing pragmatic outcomes in coordination with other like-minded trading partners is a better approach than going it alone and exposing American workers, farmers and companies to retaliation.”

Some analysts played down the urgency of the latest phase in US-China trade tensions, pointing out that both sides have returned to dialogue despite regular rhetorical flare-ups.

“Clearly there’s a lot of ups and downs, and both sides seem to be OK with that,” Bart Oosterveld, director of the Washington-based Atlantic Council’s Global Business and Economics Programme, told the Post.

“They do seem to get past pretty rough statements made against each other and then get back to the table again.”

Oosterveld said he expected the parties would strike an agreement that could halt the confrontation “probably at some point this year”.

Allowing the trade battle to continue would be “very costly” over time for “both economies and for consumers in both economies”, the director said. “In the meantime, we may see some further escalations.”

Derek Scissors, a China expert at the American Enterprise Institute, another Washington-based think tank, agreed.

“This is far too small a step to lead to a serious trade conflict,” Scissors told the Post.

“I believe the initial tariffs will go into effect July 6. However, the second set of tariffs allows time for negotiations, which could lead to the initial tariffs being lifted after only a few months.”

The White House announcement on Friday did not say when the US tariffs would take effect.

Trump is pushing forward on his agenda to even things out with America’s trade partners, regardless of the consequences, under the assumption that he can just throw America’s economic weight around in an aggressive manner while expecting that respect for America alone will serve as enough of a deterrent against meaningful consequences adversely impacting America’s political and economic hegemony, as well as its own domestic well being.

Not only is China broadening its trade horizons with an ever growing list of markets, but so too is Europe.

Mexico, too, is looking for other suppliers from which to purchase certain agricultural goods in a bid to decrease the detrimental effect of an escalating trade conflict with America.

Economic security, worldwide, is therefore much less certain as Trump pursues this path, and the trade arrangements that have brought America, China, Europe, and North America to their respective places in the global economy are changing in very radical ways, often in ways that don’t respect America’s position. Meaning, therefore, that Trump’s policies, rather than putting America first, are, in effect, putting America last.

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Putin, Trump meet in Helsinki for first bilateral summit

The Helsinki summit is the first ever full-fledged meeting between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. Their previous encounters were brief talks on the sidelines of the G20 and APEC summits in 2017.

Vladimir Rodzianko

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump are meeting in the Finnish capital of Helsinki for their first bilateral one-on-one meeting.

Trump arrived in the Finland capital a day early, while the jet of Putin, who wrapped up his nation’s hosting of the World Cup Sunday, touched down around 1 p.m. local time and the Russian president’s motorcade whisked him straight to the palace where the two world leaders are meeting.

Trump signed an August 2017 law imposing additional sanctions on Russia. The law bars Trump from easing many sanctions without Congress’ approval, but he can offer some relief without a nod from Congress.

Almost 700 Russian people and companies are under U.S. sanctions. Individuals face limits on their travel and freezes on at least some of their assets, while some top Russian state banks and companies, including oil and gas giants, are effectively barred from getting financing through U.S. banks and markets.

The agenda of the summit hasn’t been officially announced yet, though, the presidents are expected to discuss global crises, such as the Syrian conflict and Ukraine, as well as bilateral relations.

Stay tuned for updates…

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“Foreign entity, NOT RUSSIA” hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails (Video)

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tx): Hillary Clinton’s cache of 30,000 emails was hacked by foreign actor, and it was not Russia.

Alex Christoforou

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A stunning revelation that hardly anyone in the mainstream media is covering.

Fox News gave Louie Gohmert (R-Tx) the opportunity to explain what was going on during his questioning of Peter Strzok, when the the Texas Congressman stated that a “foreign entity, NOT RUSSIA” hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Aside from this segment on Fox News, this story is not getting any coverage, and we know why. It destroys the entire ‘Russia hacked Hillary’ narrative.

Gohmert states that this evidence is irrefutable and shows that a foreign actor, not connected to Russia in any way, intercepted and distributed Hillary Clinton’s cache of 30,000 emails.

Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

Via Zerohedge

As we sift through the ashes of Thursday’s dumpster-fire Congressional hearing with still employed FBI agent Peter Strzok, Luke Rosiak of the Daily Caller plucked out a key exchange between Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tx) and Strzok which revealed a yet-unknown bombshell about the Clinton email case.

Nearly all of Hillary Clinton’s emails on her homebrew server went to a foreign entity that isn’t Russia. When this was discovered by the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG), IG Chuck McCullough sent his investigator Frank Ruckner and an attorney to notify Strzok along with three other people about the “anomaly.”

Four separate attempts were also made to notify DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz to brief him on the massive security breach, however Horowitz “never returned the call.” Recall that Horowitz concluded last month that despite Strzok’s extreme bias towards Hillary Clinton and against Donald Trump – none of it translated to Strzok’s work at the FBI.

In other words; Strzok, while investigating Clinton’s email server, completely ignored the fact that most of Clinton’s emails were sent to a foreign entity – while IG Horowitz simply didn’t want to know about it.

Daily Caller reports…

The Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) found an “anomaly on Hillary Clinton’s emails going through their private server, and when they had done the forensic analysis, they found that her emails, every single one except four, over 30,000, were going to an address that was not on the distribution list,” Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas said during a hearing with FBI official Peter Strzok.

Gohmert continued..

“It was going to an unauthorized source that was a foreign entity unrelated to Russia.”

Strzok admitted to meeting with Ruckner but said he couldn’t remember the “specific” content of their discussion.

“The forensic examination was done by the ICIG and they can document that,” Gohmert said, “but you were given that information and you did nothing with it.”

According to Zerohedge “Mr. Horowitz got a call four times from someone wanting to brief him about this, and he never returned the call,” Gohmert said – and Horowitz wouldn’t return the call.

And while Peter Strzok couldn’t remember the specifics of his meeting with the IG about the giant “foreign entity” bombshell, he texted this to his mistress Lisa Page when the IG discovered the “(C)” classification on several of Clinton’s emails – something the FBI overlooked:

“Holy cow … if the FBI missed this, what else was missed? … Remind me to tell you to flag for Andy [redacted] emails we (actually ICIG) found that have portion marks (C) on a couple of paras. DoJ was Very Concerned about this.”

Via Zerohedge

In November of 2017, IG McCullough – an Obama appointee – revealed to Fox News that he received pushback when he tried to tell former DNI James Clapper about the foreign entity which had Clinton’s emails and other anomalies.

Instead of being embraced for trying to expose an illegal act, seven senators including Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca) wrote a letter accusing him of politicizing the issue.

“It’s absolutely irrelevant whether something is marked classified, it is the character of the information,” he said. Fox News reports…

McCullough said that from that point forward, he received only criticism and an “adversarial posture” from Congress when he tried to rectify the situation.

“I expected to be embraced and protected,” he said, adding that a Hill staffer “chided” him for failing to consider the “political consequences” of the information he was blowing the whistle on.

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Donald Trump plays good cop and bad cop with a weak Theresa May (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 55.

Alex Christoforou

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US President Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK was momentous, not for its substance, but rather for its sheer entertainment value.

Trump started his trip to the United Kingdom blasting Theresa May for her inability to negotiate a proper Brexit deal with the EU.  Trump ended his visit holding hands with the UK Prime Minister during a press conference where the most ‘special relationship’ between the two allies was once again reaffirmed.

Protests saw giant Trump “baby balloons” fly over London’s city center, as Trump played was his own good cop and bad cop to the UK PM, outside London at the Chequers…often times leaving May’s head spinning.

Even as Trump has left London, he remains front and center in the mind of Theresa May, who has now stated that Trump advised her to “sue” the European Union to resolve the tense negotiations over Brexit.

Trump had mentioned to reporters on Friday at a joint press conference with Theresa May that he had given the British leader a suggestion that she found too “brutal.”

Asked Sunday on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show what that suggestion was, May: “He told me I should sue the EU. Not go into negotiation, sue them.” May added…

“What the president also said at that press conference was `Don’t walk away. Don’t walk away from the negotiations. Then you’re stuck.”‘

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris summarize what was a state visit like no other, as Trump trolled the UK PM from beginning to end, and left London knowing that he got the better of a weakened British Prime Minister, who may not survive in office past next week.

Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

Via CNBC

It wasn’t exactly clear what Trump meant. The revelation came after explosive and undiplomatic remarks Trump made this week about May’s leadership — especially her handling of the Brexit negotiations — as he made his first official visit to Britain.

In an interview with The Sun newspaper published Thursday — just as May was hosting Trump at a lavish black-tie dinner — Trump said the British leader’s approach likely “killed” chances of a free-trade deal with the United States. He said he had told May how to conduct Brexit negotiations, “but she didn’t listen to me.”

He also praised May’s rival, Boris Johnson, who quit last week as foreign secretary to protest May’s Brexit plans. Trump claimed Johnson would make a “great prime minister.”

The comments shocked many in Britain — even May’s opponents — and threatened to undermine May’s already fragile hold on power. Her Conservative government is deeply split between supporters of a clean break with the EU and those who want to keep close ties with the bloc, Britain’s biggest trading partner.

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