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Turkey to keep Russian missiles, defying US sanctions threat – News in USA by Post24x7

2019-12-25 20:28:00
S-400

ANKARA :
Turkey dug into its refusal to abandon its new Russian missile defense, saying it won’t bow to threat of crippling US sanctions or trade the S-400s for an American system.

“They said they would not sell Patriots unless we get rid of the S-400s. It is out of question for us to accept such a precondition,” Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said late Tuesday after a cabinet meeting.

Turkey, which has NATO’s second-largest military, denies it is walking away from the alliance, but its row with the US over its purchase of the Russian S-400s is escalating. Congress is pushing for sanctions against Ankara over the objection of President Donald Trump, who says such a move could drive Turkey closer to Moscow.

Pentagon Chief Queries Turkey’s NATO Loyalty After Base Threat

“An irrational anti-Turkish sentiment has prevailed in the Congress and it is not good for Turkish-American relations,” Kalin said. “They should know that such language of threat would push Turkey exactly toward places that they don’t want it turn to.”

Turkey plans to acquire a second S-400 battery and pursue a joint-development agreement with Moscow in order to be able to produce its own sophisticated ballistic missiles.

Trump has so far refrained from using a piece of legislation that allows the US president to slap sanctions on any country that makes a sizable arms purchase from Russia. But a Senate committee recently approved a bill that would enforce the legislation, which could freeze Turkish assets in the US, restrict visas and limit access to credit.

The last time the US sanctioned Turkey, to pressure it to release a detained US pastor last year, the lira crashed and sent the Turkish economy into a recession from which it is still recovering.

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Opinion | Trade truce – News in USA by Post24x7

2019-12-15 22:25:00
Donald Trump

On Friday, the US and China reportedly reached a trade deal billed as the first phase of a final pact. The details that have dribbled out are under study. The US, it seems, has agreed to lower some of its punitive tariffs on imports from China and withheld levies about to take effect on Sunday. This, in exchange for China’s promise to purchase more US services and goods, farm produce especially, along with a set of other concessions. The news lifted sentiment across financial markets. Beijing announced peace measures, too, and stated that the deal covered intellectual property and matters of technology transfer as well. On these, by US reports, it looks as if China has admitted a need to go by regular market rules.

Trump began slapping tariffs on Chinese imports two years ago. This, he said, was an effort to secure a “level-playing field” globally. He had grumbled that China was not playing fair and stealing US intellectual property to gain an undue competitive advantage. China retaliated and the hostilities caused havoc in global business ties. Every whiff of a truce since has sent ripples of excitement through markets. Now a real one may be here.

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US offers China tariff rate cut; announcement possibly ‘imminent’ – News in USA by Post24x7

2019-12-13 01:28:00
Donald Trump

WASHINGTON/BEIJING :
The United States has offered to cut existing tariffs on Chinese goods by as much as 50% and suspend new tariffs scheduled to go into effect on Sunday in an attempt to secure a “Phase One” trade deal.

US negotiators have offered to reduce tariffs on about $375 billion in Chinese goods by 50% across the board, two people familiar with the negotiations said on Thursday, and suspend tariffs on $160 billion in goods scheduled for Dec. 15.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told senators during a briefing that announcements were possibly “imminent” on U.S. tariffs, Senator John Cornyn told reporters.

US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping have been embroiled in a 17-month trade war that has slowed global growth and dampened profits and investment for companies around the world.

Dec. 15 is a crucial date. If the United States does not suspend the new tariffs, Beijing officials will apply more tariffs on US goods and may suspend talks until after the US presidential election in November 2020, many trade experts believe.

Trump is expected to meet top trade advisers at 2:30 on Thursday afternoon to discuss trade negotiations.

The final percentage of tariff rate reduction the United States might offer Beijing has not been set, and will be proportional to the amount of the Section 301 trade war issues addressed by Chinese concessions, one source said.

Trump said on Thursday the United States was “very close” to nailing down a deal. “Getting VERY close to a BIG DEAL with China,” Trump posted on Twitter. “They want it, and so do we.”

During a regular briefing on Wednesday in Beijing, Gao Feng, spokesman at the Chinese commerce ministry, told reporters: “The two sides’ economic and trade teams are maintaining close communication.”

Stock markets jumped on Trump’s tweet, and the S&P 500 shot to a record high and was trading up 0.5% in the afternoon.

Trump, speaking at a White House event on paid parental leave later on Thursday morning, acknowledged the impact. “The stock market’s up very substantially today as some of you may know. And when it goes up I think of 401(k)s,” he said.

The White House had no comment on any tariff reduction offers.

The United States is due to impose tariffs on almost $160 billion of Chinese imports such as video game consoles, computer monitors and toys on 15 Dec.

Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has recently taken a larger role in U.S.-China trade negotiations, and is among the advisers pushing the 50% tariff rollback, one person briefed on the talks said.

A decision to proceed with the Dec. 15 levies could roil financial markets. Gao declined to comment on possible retaliatory steps if Washington imposes more tariffs on Chinese goods this weekend.

Analysts at Capital Alpha Partners said they expect Trump to announce, as soon as Thursday, a delay in the Dec. 15 tariffs for more than 30 days.

China and the United States agreed in October to conclude a preliminary trade agreement, but Beijing is balking at US demands that it promise to buy a specific amount of agricultural goods. Beijing is also demanding rollbacks of all existing tariffs imposed by the United States.

Beijing has said previously it would retaliate if the United States escalates the trade dispute.

In August, China said it would impose 5% and 10% in additional tariffs on $75 billion of US goods in two batches. Tariffs on the first batch kicked in on Sept. 1, hitting US goods including soybeans, pork, beef, chemicals and crude oil.

The tariffs on the second batch of products are due to be activated on Dec. 15, affecting goods ranging from corn and wheat to small aircraft and rare earth magnets.

China also said it will reinstitute on Dec. 15 an additional 25% tariff on U.S.-made vehicles and 5% tariffs on auto parts that had been suspended at the beginning of 2019.

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Donald Trump says China deal could wait until after election – News in USA by Post24x7

2019-12-03 20:59:00
Donald Trump

LONDON :
President Donald Trump appeared to downplay the chances for a deal to end the US-China trade war before the end of the year.

Speaking in London he is attending a NATO summit, Trump said Tuesday that the only limiting factor to reaching an agreement with China is whether he wants to make a deal.

Asked about his previous goal of reaching an agreement by years’ end, Trump told reporters, ”I have no deadline, no.” “In some ways I like the idea of waiting until after the election,” Trump added. He has previously suggested that China wanted to wait until after the election to negotiate a deal.

Tensions between the two nations flared anew last week after Trump signed legislation expressing US support for pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong. The US-China trade talks face a December 15 deadline for new US tariffs to kick in on many Chinese-made items, including smartphones and laptops.

Pressure is building on both sides to complete what Trump has called a limited “phase one” deal before the deadline, though Trump could end up postponing the tariffs, as he did in October, to allow more time for negotiations.

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