US

China announces further tariffs on US imports

China will impose retaliatory tariffs on most US imports according to a revised $60 billion target list. This move aims to hit back at a tariff hike by the US on $200 billion of Chinese goods, further escalating the ongoing trade war. The 25% tariffs will be implemented against 2,493 goods including LNG, soy oil, peanut oil, petrochemicals, frozen vegetables and cosmetics, while the 20% on 1,078 products.

China conservatively optimistic on reaching a trade deal with the US

China and the US will carry out more negotiations in China, according to Vice Premier Liu He. In the meantime, the US President Donald Trump ordered his trade chief to begin the process of imposing tariffs on all remaining imports from China. However, Mr. Liu is conservatively optimistic that the two countries will agree on a deal, but there are some ‘issues of principle’ on which China is not willing to back down.

US retail imports rising ahead of higher tariffs

With retail sales rising and Trump’s plans to both increase and broaden tariffs on goods from China, imports at the US’ major retail container ports are expected to see unusually high levels in the next months and through the summer, according to a monthly report by the NRF and Hackett Associates.

US President Trump prohibits trade in Iranian metals

According to Bloomberg, US President Donald Trump provided an executive order banning the purchase of Iranian iron, steel, aluminum and copper, worsening the tensions with the Islamic Republic a day after he declared he may begin enriching uranium again in two months.

US threatens to increase tariffs on Chinese goods to 25%

US President Donald Trump stated that tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods will increase to 25%, from the current 10%. This move comes after repeated claims by the US government that trade talks with China are progressing smoothly. However, Vice President Mike Pence said that the US President is hopeful that he could reach an agreement with China. 

US ends exceptions for Iranian oil importers

The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on April 22 that the United States will end all exceptions for countries currently purchasing oil from Iran. As he specifically, said the country will no longer grant any exceptions. ‘We’re going to zero across the board’. Countries that had previously bought Iran’s crude oil have been transitioning to new suppliers.

Switzerland to support China’s Belt and Road initiative

Switzerland will support China’s Belt and Road Initiative as President Ueli Maurer visits China during April. This will ensure ties with a major trading partner as other Western countries view the gigantic project with scepticism. The Swiss government said that the aim is to enhance cooperation on trade, investment and project financing in third markets along the Belt and Road Initiative.

FMC to keep an eye on bunker surcharges

The US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) will continue paying attention on the way that ocean carriers pass on additional fuels costs that have occurred due to IMO’s 2020 sulphur cap. The regulation could increase fuel costs by as much as one third. FMC is mainly aiming to make sure that ocean carrier bunker charge adjustment formulas are clear and definite, FMC Chairman Michael Khouri informed. 

Drewry: US auto tariffs may affect American seaports

Drewry published a report according to which the new American tariffs on cars and car parts could have a negative impact on some of the largest US ports. President Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on 25% of the cars imported. Drewry supports that in the possibility that President Trump implements the tariffs, American auto imports from overseas markets could fall by nearly 15% by 2021.

China’s growth to slow down in 2019, 2020 due to global trade tensions

Growth in China is expected to be moderate in the next two years as global growth slows down and trade tensions with the US put pressure on trade and investment, according to the Asian Development Bank. In its Asian Development Outlook 2019, ADB expects GDP growth for the world’s second largest economy to slow to 6.3% in 2019 and 6.1% in 2020. That is below the 6.6% growth rate recorded in 2018. 

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