NEW FRONTS in President Donald Trump’s assault on the global trading system are opening up by the day. On May 30th he dropped a bombshell on Mexico, threatening a 5% tariff on all its exports to America, rising to 25% by October if immigration flows do not fall (see article). On May 31st he turned to India, announcing the end of longstanding trade preferences on around $6bn-worth of its exports to America. A proposal is being considered to enable the administration to increase tariffs on imports from countries deemed to be manipulating their currencies. The appointment of judges to the court of appeals of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is being blocked. Japan and the European Union are on notice that America may impose tariffs on their cars. Meanwhile the biggest trade fight of all, with China, is getting bloodier. The trade element of Trumponomics is a striking departure from previous administrations’ policies, and a stiff challenge to the multilateral trading system. … [Read more...] about President Donald Trump is trashing deals in favour of tariffs
Block deal in share market
On Cannes’ La Croisette on Wednesday morning, thousands of people looked a little rough after an evening of party-hopping across yachts, hotels and pubs. It’s nothing new for the wealthy town in March, when the world’s property industry congregates for the Mipim festival. But this year the hangovers felt worse for many of the 5900 Brits in attendance. They woke up to hear that MPs last night rejected Theresa May’s latest Brexit deal: quelle horreur! The vote adds further uncertainty to the UK property market, which has suffered since the 2016 referendum, with central London house prices plunging and would-be office tenants taking longer to sign leases. As veteran housebuilder Bob Weston puts it: “Uncertainty is not doing UK businesses a favour.” Slouched back into a mustard-coloured sofa on his yacht in the south of France, the boss of Weston Homes has a message for the Government: “For God’s sake, just get on with it.” … [Read more...] about Mipim 2019: Brexit uncertainty puts deals in the shade
And they’re off: packed together, screaming, shoving, plotting and drinking into the night. No one knows what will happen, there will be shocks and fallers, millions will be lost — and all eyes will be on the Irish. That’s at Cheltenham, of course, where the best roar in the world kicks off the Festival with the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at 1.30pm tomorrow. Six hours later, long after the last winner has thundered up the famous racecourse hill, there will be almost as much noise, even more chaos, but no fun at all in the House of Commons, where MPs are preparing to crush Theresa May’s plan for Brexit for a second time. We’ve seen so many weeks in which Parliament was supposed to come to the crunch only to put things off that it’s hard to believe this one might be different. And today there is talk that the PM will, once again, try to duck the meaningful vote she promised by cooking up an alternative vote on a deal that doesn’t exist. … [Read more...] about Riding for a fall at the Brexit races: the odds of a deal in 18 days
Bernard Connolly 7 February 2019 5:07 PM 7 February 2019 5:07 PM Share Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Email Whatsapp Could a no-deal Brexit destroy the Tory party’s reputation for competence and lead to a crushing electoral defeat in the same way as Britain’s withdrawal from the Exchange Rate Mechanism did in 1992? That is certainly the view of some seasoned commentators, such as Jeremy Warner in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph, and the parallels to an acrimonious Brexit seem obvious. But in reality, the comparison is actually misleading, as it misrepresents the political history of the ERM exit and fails to understand how Britain has changed as a result of the Brexit referendum. First, it’s worth remembering that what really hurt the Conservatives after ‘Black Wednesday’ was not that government policy had been defeated by economic logic. Instead, the damage was done by the realisation that the initial Tory policy of ERM … [Read more...] about Would a no-deal Brexit be a repeat of Black Wednesday for the Tories?
The European Commission has blocked Siemens’ proposed acquisition of Alstom, a massive deal that had the backing of both the Frenc and German governments, saying the deal violated the EU’s Merger Regulation as it would have created a near monopoly in the European market. According to Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, the merger would have harmed competition in markets for railway signalling systems and very high-speed trains, while at the same choking off fair competition which would lead to higher prices for passengers. Vestager added that the Commission’s decision to nix the deal was made because “the companies were not willing to address our serious competition concerns”. “If companies want to merge they can do so if they offer remedies just like Siemens and Alstom should have done,” said Vestager, who added, “We tested the remedy package in a market test and got very negative feedback.” The Commission would not … [Read more...] about EU Commission blocks Siemens – Alstom deal amid competition concerns