Aug 22, 2019

EU drafts plans to take on American tech giants and slap tariffs on U.S. goods

The European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters on July 25, 2019. Photo: Arne Dedert/picture alliance via Getty Images

European Union officials have a drafted 2 separate plans to "slap unilateral tariffs" on U.S. goods, block Chinese companies from engaging financially with Europe, and fortify European tech companies in competition with U.S. and Chinese firms, Politico reports.

Why it matters, via Axios' Sara Fischer: Europe’s aggressive regulatory policies have hindered its technology sector from being able to compete with American and Chinese companies on the world stage. With Brexit as a backdrop, European officials are under enormous pressure to resurrect the corporate sector.

The big picture: It's not clear if the measures will actually find support, per Politico, but the plans do suggest the EU is ready to make interventionist economic moves without the influence of the United Kingdom as it prepares for an October Brexit.

Details: Under the EU's plans, U.S. goods would be tariffed if the Trump administration successfully blocked judges from the World Trade Organization's primary trade arbitration court. The plans also call for increased regulations for social media and "new transparency rules governing online political advertising."

Go deeper: European officials draft radical plan to take on Trump and U.S. tech companies

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Trump delays tariff increases on Chinese goods ahead of trade talks

Photo: Thomas Peter-Pool/Getty Images

President Trump announced on Twitter Wednesday he would delay the increase on existing tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods ahead of the U.S. resuming trade talks with China.

Why it matters: There's evidence that the U.S.-China trade war has hurt both of the world's 2 leading economies. It's dented consumer sentiment and a survey of members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai released Wednesday found 51% said U.S. and Chinese tariffs had a negative effect on revenue.

Go deeperArrowSep 11, 2019

Trump promises "very big trade deal" with U.K. as Brexit deadline looms

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Donald Trump at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, Sunday. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/Pool/Getty Images

President Donald Trump promised Britain Sunday a "very big trade deal" with the U.S. — "bigger than we’ve ever had with the U.K." — and declared British Prime Minister Boris Johnson the "right man" to oversee Brexit, Reuters reports.

The big picture: Trump said Britain leaving the EU would be like losing "an anchor round the ankle," per the BBC. But as the Oct. 31 Brexit deadline looms, it is still unclear whether the United Kingdom can leave the European Union with an agreement in place or, indeed, whether the U.K. will leave the EU. Johnson has vowed it will happen "do or die," but experts warn that leaving without a deal could have catastrophic consequences.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Aug 25, 2019

Trade between U.S. and China plummets ahead of October negotiations

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Trade between China and the United States has continued to fall ahead of October negotiations and a further tit-for-tat escalation of tariffs, according to customs data reported by AP.

The big picture: Imports of American products to China dropped to $10.3 billion in August, down 22% from the same month last year. Chinese exports to the U.S. also plummeted to $44.4 billion in August, down 16%. China's trade surplus with the U.S. shrunk to $31.3 billion in August, down $27 billion from a year prior.

Go deeperArrowSep 8, 2019