Tag: U.S

U.S. raises tariffs significantly on EVs, other goods from China

The U.S. plans to slap new tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles, advanced batteries, solar cells, steel, aluminum and medical equipment — an election-year move that’s likely to increase friction between the world’s two largest economies.

The tariffs are unlikely to have much of an inflationary impact because of how they’re structured. Administration officials said they think the tariffs won’t escalate tensions with China, yet they expect that China will explore ways to respond to the new taxes on their products. But the tariffs could contribute to a wider trade dispute, potentially leading to higher prices for consumers.

The tariffs are to be phased in over the next three years, with those that take effect in 2024 covering EVs, solar cells, syringes, needles, steel and aluminum and more. There are currently very few EVs from China in the U.S., but American officials worry that low-priced models made possible by Chinese government subsidies could soon start flooding the U.S. market.

Under the findings of a four-year review on trade with China, the tax rate on imported Chinese EVs is to rise to 102.5 per cent this year, up from total levels of 27.5 per cent. The review was undertaken under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, which allows the government to retaliate against trade practices deemed in violation of global standards.

The Biden administration views China, with subsidies of its own manufacturing, as trying to globally control the EV and clean energy sectors, whereas it says its own industrial support is geared toward ensuring domestic supplies to help meet U.S. demand.

“We do not seek to have global domination of manufacturing in these sectors, but we believe because these are strategic industries and for the sake of resilience of our supply chains, that we want to make sure that we

TikTok’s Chinese parent company denies reports it plans to sell its U.S. business

ByteDance, the Chinese owner of TikTok, insisted Friday that it had no intention of selling the video-sharing app, despite the prospect of a U.S. ban looming over it. File photo by Luong Thai Linh/EPA-EFE

ByteDance, the Chinese owner of TikTok, insisted Friday that it had no intention of selling the video-sharing app, despite the prospect of a U.S. ban looming over it. File photo by Luong Thai Linh/EPA-EFE

April 26 (UPI) — ByteDance, the Chinese owner of TikTok, insisted Friday that it had no intention of selling the video-sharing app despite the prospect of a U.S. ban hanging over it.

“ByteDance doesn’t have any plans to sell TikTok,” the firm said in response to a report on a U.S. tech news website that it was “exploring scenarios for selling a majority stake” in its American business, minus the algorithm that recommends videos to users of the app.

“Foreign media reports of ByteDance selling TikTok are not true,” the company said.

The statement posted on a Chinese social media platform ByteDance owns is the first time TikTok’s parent company has publicly commented since Congress passed, and President Joe Biden signed into law, legislation this week giving ByteDance nine months to divest itself of its stake in TikTok or see the app banned.

TikTok itself has been vocal in its opposition to the threat to its largest market and vowing to fight the forced sale, attempting to present it as a first amendment and economic freedom issue.

“This unconstitutional law is a TikTok ban, and we will challenge it in court,” it said Wednesday in a statement on X.

“This ban would devastate 7 million businesses and silence 170 million Americans.”

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew said the company was confident it would prevail, pledging in a video earlier this week to keep “fighting for your rights in the courts”

“The facts, and the Constitution, are on our side… rest assured, we aren’t going anywhere.”

The Chinese government has previously said it opposed a forced

Wab Kinew, Gary Doer part of Manitoba’s trade mission to U.S. amid uncertain trade policy future

Premier Wab Kinew isn’t waiting for a U.S. presidential election that could have a heavy impact on his province’s economy before trying to reinforce Manitoba’s relationships with the economic powerhouse. 

Kinew and Gary Doer, a former premier and former Canadian ambassador to the United States, will embark on a trade mission to America’s seat of power next week.

“The advice kept coming back that building strong relationships now will ensure that whatever Americans choose as their path forward in the future … we can have good trade, good economic relationships and that ongoing valuable partnership with our most important ally,” Kinew said at an unrelated news conference Friday. 

In his first international trade mission as Manitoba’s premier, Kinew will travel to Washington, D.C., and New York City.

His four-day trip comes amid widespread uncertainty around America’s future trade policies as the presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, who triggered tariff feuds and slowed the growth of international trade in his first term in office, attempts to unseat Democrat Joe Biden as president. 

Kinew’s entourage for the trade mission includes Doer, who’s currently advising Kinew on Canada-U.S. relations in a volunteer capacity, and two provincial ministers: Jamie Moses, who’s in charge of economic development, and Lisa Naylor, who’s leads the transportation and infrastructure file.

The premier’s also bringing a 10-member delegation of leaders in business, manufacturing, mining, agriculture and labour, including NFI Group president Paul Soubry and Price Industries president Chuck Fraley. Some government staff will also attend.

Kinew said Friday he’d meet with politicians from both sides of the aisle, as well as “thought leaders” and “folks who are influential around public policy” in the U.S.

“I think the most important goal that I would hope we accomplish on this is that we just start to build the relationships. We build

America is mirroring China’s tech protectionism and reversing decades of free trade doctrine. Here’s why that’s bad news for U.S. leadership

Under U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai, the USTR is a diminished version of its former self, and may actually be harming the U.S. economy and American business.

On March 28, the Office of U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) released its annual National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers–a long and often technical document that usually gets little fanfare. However, this year, the report referred to the “sovereign right” of all governments to “govern in the public interest.” That would allow governments to erect tariffs and other trade barriers if they asserted a public interest in doing so–a major pivot for USTR.

That astonishing move is part of a larger pattern emerging in the Biden Administration, which has adopted an approach to trade policy that goes against traditional U.S. foreign policy.

The USTR may simply be embracing a protectionist posture that supports the administration’s “Buy America” agenda. But in turning inward, the agency is abandoning the thousands of American businesses that fuel some $250 billion in goods and services trade beyond our borders. In short: the agency seems to have forgotten the “U.S.” in USTR.

The most recent decision follows a similarly baffling decision by USTR to withdraw support for crucial digital trade provisions at the World Trade Organization (WTO). These proposals–supported both by prior USTRs and many of our global allies–aimed to protect cross-border data flows, prohibit data localization mandates, and safeguard intellectual property. They advance the principles of fair trade and open markets that the U.S. has long championed, and that our innovation economy was built on. In backing away from them, the U.S. approach now resembles those of countries like China, and risks legitimizing authoritarian practices that hurt innovation and undermine fair competition.

The justification for this abrupt policy reversal is flimsy at best. Claims that

Small business owners report growing optimism about the U.S. economy

Small business owners are feeling better about the U.S. economy as inflation cools and recession fears subside, according to a new survey. Indeed, economic optimism among smaller employers is at a 22-year high, PNC Financial Services Group found in polling small and midsize business owners. 

A majority of respondents – 55% – said they are “highly optimistic” about the national economy this year. That’s up sharply from 34% last fall and 26% a year ago, according to the Pittsburgh-based bank. Roughly eight in 10 owners also expressed confidence about their own businesses’ financial prospects. Over the next six months, just over half of the business owners who were surveyed think their profits will rise, while only 5% expect earnings to fall. 

“The U.S. economy is doing quite well. We had strong economic growth in the second half of 2023, with consumers spending more and businesses investing. That strength is persisting into 2024,” PNC Chief Economist Gus Faucher told CBS MoneyWatch. 

The findings are based on a randomized phone survey of 500 small and midsize businesses, which PNC defines as having annual revenue ranging from $100,000 to $250 million, from January 2 to February 1.

As inflation slows, fewer small business owners also see a need to raise their own prices in the near term. According to PNC, 47% of the enterprises that were surveyed said they expect to increase prices over the next six months, down from 55% last fall. Of those businesses that plan to raise prices, just over 1 in 10 say they’ll do so by at least 5%. 

The economic fortunes of small businesses are critical to the U.S., with nearly 62 million Americans employed by such firms, or roughly 46% of workers, according to the Small Business Administration. Overall, the U.S. has more than 33

Prime Minister Kishida’s Attendance at the Luncheon Meeting with U.S. Business Leaders

Prime Minister Kishida’s Attendance at the Luncheon Meeting with U.S. Business Leaders | Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

April 9, 2024

Photo of the luncheon meeting

(Photo: Cabinet Public Affairs Office)

Prime Minister Kishida speaking at the luncheon meeting

(Photo: Cabinet Public Affairs Office)

Prime Minister Kishida receives applause

(Photo: Cabinet Public Affairs Office)

On April 9th, commencing at 12:00 p.m. (local time 1:00 a.m. on April 10th, Japan Time) for approximately 60 minutes, during his official visit to Washington, DC, Mr. KISHIDA Fumio, Prime Minister of Japan, attended a luncheon meeting with U.S. business leaders, which was co-hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S.-Japan Business Council. The overview of the meeting is as follows. The CEOs and executives of the leading U.S. companies as well as Ms. Suzanne P. Clark, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Mr. Douglas Peterson, Chairman of the U.S.-Japan Business Council attended and exchanged views on how to further strengthen economic relations between Japan and the U.S. focusing on critical and emerging technology cooperation.

  1. At the outset, President Clark stated that the primary mission of the U.S.-Japan Business Council is to strengthen the U.S.-Japan economic partnership and it is the cornerstone of the stability and peace in the Indo-Pacific region. She also stated that the U.S.-Japan relations have never been stronger and she would like to continue to strengthen cooperation and collaboration with Japan.

  2. Prime Minister Kishida then stated that in order to make this year the one in which the Japanese economy

U.S. investors successfully demand RBC change how it reports on green, fossil fuel investments

Canada’s largest bank has reversed course on a policy to disclose how much it invests in green energy versus fossil fuel energy following demands from New York City’s large public pension funds, with environmental groups welcoming the move but pointing out it doesn’t actually reduce carbon emissions yet.

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is one of three financial giants in North America that will start to disclose the ratio of how much money they put into clean energy projects compared to how much they invest in fossil fuel extraction. JPMorgan Chase and Citi also made similar agreements. 

“Up until now, RBC had resisted calls to disclose that ratio clearly across all their lending and investments every year,” explained New York City Comptroller Brad Lander in an interview with CBC News. 

Multiple pension funds overseen by Lander had put forward shareholder motions to compel the financial institutions to take these steps. Prior to RBC’s annual general meeting, set for April 11, the bank’s board of directors had recommended shareholders vote against doing this.

A politician in a grey suit and blue tie sits facing the camera, with the flag of New York City behind him.
NYC Comptroller Brad Lander said making sure RBC is actually living up to its stated goal of going ‘net-zero’ by 2050 is the fiduciary duty of shareholders, such as the pension funds he represents. (Anis Heydari/CBC)

Essentially, up until April 4, when a press release was issued, RBC’s public position was that it would not disclose green energy to fossil fuel investment ratios. Now that it has voluntarily agreed to do, RBC will not face a public vote of shareholders that could have forced the issue.

Agreement does not reduce emissions

“All they’re doing with this agreement is agreeing to show their work,” said Lander, pointing out that the agreement does not require RBC to reduce investing in projects that generate or increase carbon emissions, though the

Chinese leader issues positive message at meeting with U.S. business leaders

China’s economy has struggled to recover from severe self-imposed restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic that it lifted only at the end of 2022. But Xi said that China was again contributing to world economic growth in the double digits percentage-wise.

“Sino-U.S. Relations are one of the most important bilateral relations in the world. Whether China and the United States cooperate or confront each other has a bearing on the well-being of the two peoples and the future and destiny of mankind,” Xi was cited as saying by China’s official Xinhua News Agency.

Participants at the meeting included Stephen A. Schwarzman, the billionaire head of investment firm Blackstone.

Trade and tariffs have increasingly drawn attention in the run-up to the U.S. presidential election, and the Biden administration has shown little sign of moderating punitive measures against Chinese imports imposed by his predecessor and assumed rival in the November polls, Donald Trump.

U.S. Officials have renewed concerns over Chinese industrial policy practices and overcapacity, and the resulting impact on U.S. workers and companies, that they blame in part on China’s massive trade surplus that amounted to more than $279 billion last year, its lowest level in about a decade.

Following the meeting, the U.S.-China Business Council said in a statement that it was honored to have a dialogue with the country’s top leader to “discuss our concerns over the decline in trade, investment, and business confidence, as well as our desire to help improve engagement and commercial exchange between our two countries.”

“We stressed the importance of rebalancing China’s economy by increasing consumption there and encouraged the government to further address longstanding concerns with cross-border data flows, government procurement, better protection of intellectual property rights, and improved regulatory transparency and predictability,” the Washington-based council said. Its president, Craig Allen, was among the

French-language signage: U.S. businesses must ‘adapt,’ says Rodriguez

Faced with Washington’s grumblings about proposed regulations for commercial signage in Quebec, Justin Trudeau’s Quebec lieutenant, Pablo Rodriguez, said Americans just need to “adapt.”

“Americans, when they go to Mexico, they’re going to post in Spanish. When they go to Argentina, they’re going to post in Spanish. When they go around the world, they adapt,” Rodriguez said Wednesday as he arrived at the Liberal caucus meeting. “They can adapt. Here, let them adapt in French.”

In his view, “anyone who wants to come here” to do business must “understand that it’s done in French.”

Rodriguez was reacting to a letter sent by the Bloc Québécois leader to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in which he announced a visit to Washington in March.

In the letter shared with the media on Wednesday, Yves-François Blanchet noted that American companies are adopting the “language of work or daily life” used in the various “markets” around the world where they do business.

“We believe the same should be true in Quebec,” he summarized.

In a press scrum, Rodriguez said “first of all” that the Bloc leader “is not Quebec’s ambassador in Washington, nor Canada’s ambassador.”

“And secondly, I would remind him that not only are there more Liberal MPs than Bloc Québécois, there were more votes for Liberal MPs than Bloc Québécois, and that we Quebecers in the Liberal Party of Canada can very well speak on behalf of Quebec, defending Quebec’s interests,” he continued.

Moments later, his colleague Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne said Canada “is a sovereign country” and that it passes laws in its own interests.

“If it’s the will of society to move forward in that direction, it’s understandable. I think people respect that. People understand that we need to

Lululemon shares sink on disappointing outlook, slowdown in U.S. business

Open this photo in gallery:

A Lululemon store in Pittsburgh, Pa., on Jan. 12, 2022.Gene J. Puskar/The Associated Press

Shares in Lululemon Athletica Inc. LULU-Q were down about 15 per cent in afternoon trading Friday as investors reacted to lower revenue projections and a U.S. slowdown.

The Vancouver-based athletic apparel retailer’s fourth quarter, which ended Jan. 28, brought US$669.5 million in earnings, up from US$119.8 million a year earlier.

However, the company estimates its fiscal 2024 revenue will range between US$10.70 billion and US$10.80 billion. Analysts on average had expected US$10.90 billion, financial markets data firm Refinitiv said.

The projections came as Lululemon chief executive Calvin McDonald lamented a sluggish U.S. market.

“As you’ve heard from others in our industry, there has been a shift in the U.S. consumer behaviour of late, and we’re navigating what has been a slower start to the year in this market,” he told analysts Thursday.

The retailer has also noticed an increase in younger shoppers, which necessitate smaller sizes and covet a wider selection of colours that weren’t always on hand.

“Sizes zero to four is something we’re chasing into. Colour, where we had colour, it performed well, but honestly, we just did not have enough,” McDonald said.

John Kernan, an analyst with TD Cowen, suspected rivals were making the sector “as challenging as ever” for Lululemon, too.

“U.S. consumer softness could partially be attributed to increased competition from upstarts Alo and Vuori,” he told investors in a note.

Alo is a Los Angeles-based purveyor of yoga apparel and other athleticwear that has pushed more aggressively into the Canadian market recently. Vuori, from San Diego, Calif., also makes clothing suited to recreation and has been rumoured to be interested in going public this year.

But McDonald argued Lululemon has been strong even in