Brexit: EU to break a deadlock over the Irish border
2018-10-22 17:03:04 UTC
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union negotiators are looking at ways to promise Britain a customs deal that could stretch Brussels’ Brexit red lines but might break a deadlock over the Irish border, EU sources close to the talks have told Reuters.
Accounts of how British and EU negotiators came close to a deal on Oct. 13 focus on how Prime Minister Theresa May balked at an EU demand for a “backstop” clause. This could put Northern Ireland in a special relationship with the EU that might distance it from the British mainland to avoid putting up customs posts on Britain’s only EU land border, with Ireland.
But as the two sides try to re...
Brexit: The Irish border has become a sticking point
2018-10-15 16:25:14 UTC
LUXEMBOURG (AP) — Britain and the European were still both refusing to blink Monday over the question of the Irish border in Brexit talks — only two days ahead of a summit once seen as the moment when they would have to reach deal on Britain’s divorce from the bloc.
A flurry of diplomatic meetings over the weekend had raised hopes for a Brexit agreement, but they were derailed by the issue that has dogged the talks for months — how to ensure that no hard border is created between the EU’s Ireland and Britain’s Northern Ireland once Brexit happens on March 29.
The EU has proposed a “backstop” solution that would keep Northern Ireland ...
UK Brexit-negotiator is struggling to make headway
2018-08-29 15:36:40 UTC
LONDON (Reuters) - Financial centers outside the European Union would be the benefactors if the European Union sought to punish the City of London as Britain leaves the bloc, Brexit minister Dominic Raab said on Wednesday.
Raab told a parliamentary committee he did not believe the EU would try to punish the London’s financial sector, but that if they did, “I think the only winners would be the other financial centers in the top 10 like Tokyo and New York.”
<blockquote><h3>UK could hold back EU payments without Brexit deal</h3>
Britain could choose to withhold some payments to the European Union if a deal to ease its exit from the bl...
Germany: When U.S. 'Crosses the Line' Europe Must Act
2018-08-22 19:01:39 UTC
BERLIN — In a long column on how Europe should respond to U.S. policy under President Donald Trump, German foreign minister, Heiko Maas, a member of Merkel’s junior Social Democrat coalition partners, called for the creation of a “balanced partnership” with the US in which the Europeans filled the gaps left where the US withdrew from the world. Europe must, he said, “form a counterweight when the US crosses red lines”.
He also suggested that Europe needed its own system for cross-border payments to conduct trade with Iran in the face of U.S. sanctions.
European powers are scrambling to ensure Iran continues to get the economic benefi...
Iran: We made a "mistake" negotiating with US over nuke
2018-08-15 18:16:14 UTC
(Reuters) - Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has admitted he made a mistake in allowing the country’s foreign minister to speak to his U.S. counterpart during negotiations that led to a 2015 international nuclear agreement.
International sanctions on Iran were lifted when the pact with world powers came into force in 2016, but the expected level of foreign investment to help revive the economy has never materialized. Then this May President Donald Trump pulled out of the agreement and is now reimposing U.S. sanctions in stages.
Khamenei, who rarely admits in public to making errors, said he had done just that over the nu...
EU raises concerns over new US move on Iran
2018-08-06 17:59:19 UTC
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration expects economic sanctions that it is re-imposing on Iran this week to further cripple the Iranian economy and will aggressively enforce the measures, senior U.S. administration officials said on Monday.
But the U.S. sanctions strategy has several weak spots, especially a reluctance by Europe and China to curtail business with Iran.
The European Union voiced regret and expressed concern at the new U.S. move.
“We deeply regret the re-imposition of sanctions by the U.S.,” the bloc said in a joint statement with the foreign ministers of France, Germany and Britain.
One EU measure to...
Americans fleecing their savings and piling up debt
2018-07-23 17:42:08 UTC
REUTERS — Despite roaring job growth and consumer spending, the U.S. economy is bolstered in large part by the poorer half of Americans fleecing their savings and piling up debt.
A Reuters analysis of U.S. household data shows that the bottom 60 percent of income-earners have accounted for most of the rise in spending over the past two years even as the their finances worsened - a break with a decades-old trend where the top 40 percent had primarily fueled consumption growth.
With borrowing costs on the rise, inflation picking up and the effects of President Donald Trump’s tax cuts set to wear off, a negative shock - a further rise i...
EU to protect oil exports & firms from US sanctions on Iran
2018-07-17 21:13:17 UTC
The Iran nuclear agreement marked its third anniversary in a gloomy state. Despite repeated attempts to keep him on board, US President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the deal – signed on July 14, 2015 under the formal title the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – and thereby pulled the rug from under Europe’s feet. European policymakers are now focused on salvaging the agreement. For a growing number of European corporate decision-makers, the deal is already dead. In reality, the JCPOA is on life support and the next few months could open either its next or final chapter. Despite the significant challenges they face...
Ireland to Boycott Israeli 'Occupied Territories' Goods
2018-07-15 20:23:57 UTC
DUBLIN — On July 12, the Irish Senate, known as the Seanad Éireann, passed a bill to prohibit the import and sale of goods, services, and natural resources, originating from “illegal settlements in occupied [Palestinian] territories.” The ban would only apply to products sold and made in territories beyond the 1967 Green Line borders and does not ban Israeli goods produced inside Israel itself. The bill passed 25-20, with 14 abstentions.
Titled the Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill 2018, the legislation was submitted by Senator Frances Black in January. The bill acknowledges the illegality of Israel’s West Bank se...
Trump brought his chaotic style of governing to the NATO summit
2018-07-12 18:00:08 UTC
U.S. President Donald Trump brought his chaotic style of governing to the NATO summit in Brussels on Wednesday and Thursday, irritating and befuddling allies with charges and jibes before declaring success for convincing his counterparts to pay more for their mutual defense.
It was a classic performance for the one-time reality television star, whose “America first” mantra has translated into a sometimes-bullying style on the world stage, particularly with countries traditionally considered to be U.S. friends.
Even before the NATO summit was underway, he kicked off the summit with a broadside against Germany over plans for a natural ...
Germany and China standing together against US protectionism
2018-07-09 21:02:43 UTC
BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany and China signed a raft of commercial accords worth some 20 billion euros ($23.5 billion) on Monday, with their leaders reiterating commitments to a multilateral global trade order despite a looming trade war with the United States.
The deals, involving German industrial giants including Siemens, Volkswagen and BASF, come with the two leading exporting powerhouses being forced into an unlikely alliance in defense of the open global trade on which both their economies depend.
Speaking at a news conference alongside Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “We both want to sustain the system...
Trade war: China accuses US of “opening fire”
2018-07-05 16:53:07 UTC
BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - China accused the United States on Thursday of “opening fire” on the world with tariffs set to take effect on Friday, warning that it will respond the moment that duties on $34 billion in Chinese goods kick in.
U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to further escalate the trade conflict between the world’s two largest economies with tariffs on as much as $450 billion worth of Chinese goods if China retaliates, as the initial round of tariffs take effect at 12:01 a.m. EDT (0401 GMT) on Friday.
There was no evidence of any last-minute negotiations between U.S. and Chinese officials, business sources ...
Brexit: Pro European Union Protesters March in London
2018-06-23 22:01:31 UTC
LONDON (Reuters) - Around 100,000 supporters of the European Union marched through central London on Saturday to demand that the British government hold a final public vote on the terms of Brexit, organizers said.
Protesters packed the main arteries of the capital, waving British, Irish and European flags and colorful banners to call for a “People’s Vote” on the eventual deal in which Britain leaves the world’s biggest trading bloc.
On the second anniversary of the 52 to 48 percent Brexit vote, polls show political divisions are entrenched. Despite some confusion over what Brexit will actually mean there has been no clear change of h...
Trump's massive tax cuts drive up U.S. deficits: Just in May alone, $147 billion
2018-06-12 23:06:23 UTC
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government had a $147 billion budget deficit in May, an increase of 66 percent from the same month last year as the ledger took a hit from declining revenue and higher spending, according to Treasury Department data released on Tuesday.
Treasury reported a budget deficit of $88 billion in the same month last year, the department’s monthly budget statement showed.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the Treasury recording a $144 billion deficit in May.
When accounting for calendar adjustments, the government’s deficit was $131 billion compared to an adjusted deficit of $88 billion in the same m...
Macron suggests to exclude Trump from joint statement at G7 summit
2018-06-08 02:20:20 UTC
OTTAWA (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron, who has invested in a warm personal relationship with US president Donald Trump, said the other G7 nations - Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy and Japan, as well as France - should remain “polite” and productive but warned that “no leader is forever,” a sign that Europe would not surrender meekly to the U.S. president.
“Maybe the American president doesn’t care about being isolated today, but we don’t mind being six, if needs be,” Macron told reporters. “Because these six represent values, represent an economic market, and more than anything, represent a real force at the international ...
Mexico puts tariffs on products from key Republican congressional districts
2018-06-07 02:50:01 UTC
WASHINGTON/MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican tariffs are roiling U.S. congressional campaigns in states where U.S. exporters could take a hit and President Donald Trump’s Republicans face tough races in November congressional elections.
Mexico announced the levies this week in retaliation to Trump’s decision to slap tariffs on metal imports from Mexico and other countries. They fall on only about $3 billion in U.S. exports, but were crafted to have a “very specific” focus on vulnerable Republicans, said one senior Mexican official who asked not to be named.
“We wanted to ensure that the issue is a top priority for key decision makers a...
United States completely isolated itself at G7 meeting
2018-06-01 19:03:28 UTC
WASHINGTON/WHISTLER, British Columbia (Reuters) — U.S. isolated at G7 meeting as tariffs prompt retaliation.
At a meeting of the Group of Seven top world economic powers in Canada, France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire castigated the United States for its tariffs, saying Washington was isolated.
“Unfortunately we are going to have a G6 plus one with the United States alone against everyone and running the risk of economic destabilization,” Le Maire told reporters in Whistler, British Columbia.
US president Donald Trump told Canada and the European Union on Friday to do more to bring down their trade surpluses, a day after hitti...
France: The American consumer will pay for Trump's tariffs bill
2018-06-01 05:26:35 UTC
PARIS (Reuters) - U.S. trade tariffs on European metals exports are unjustified and will be met with a proportionate and calibrated EU response, the French government said on Thursday.
“Today, France and the EU disapprove, of course, these measures. We are getting ready to put in place safeguards, rebalancing measures because we won’t let unjustifiable and unjustified measures go unanswered,” ,” France’s junior trade minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne told reporters.
The United States said earlier it would impose tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from Canada, Mexico and the EU, ending months of uncertainty about potenti...
Italy in chaos as effort to form government collapses
2018-05-28 07:53:17 UTC
MILAN (Reuters) - Italy’s president is expected to ask a former International Monetary Fund official on Monday to head a stopgap government amidst political and constitutional turmoil, with early elections looking inevitable.
President Sergio Mattarella has called in Carlo Cottarelli after two anti-establishment parties angrily abandoned plans to form a coalition after the head of state vetoed their choice of eurosceptic economist Paolo Savona as economy minister.
Below are some reactions to the latest developments:
<strong>HOLGER SCHMIEDING, CHIEF ECONOMIST, BERENBERG</strong>
“Even if the immediate risk of having ...
US threatens to 'crush' Iran and warns European companies
2018-05-21 17:06:09 UTC
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday threatened to impose the “strongest sanctions in history” against Iran if it did not accept a sweeping series of U.S. demands, including effectively giving up its nuclear ambitions, curtailing its ballistic missile program and ending its expansionist behavior.
Iran’s president said on Monday that the United States could not decide for Iran after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanded sweeping changes in the country’s foreign and nuclear policies, the semi-official ILNA news agency reported.
“Who are you to decide for Iran and the world? The world today does not acc...
Merkel, Putin share common ground on Iran nuclear accord
2018-05-18 17:09:29 UTC
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the Iran nuclear deal, Syria, the conflict in Ukraine and the North Stream 2 gas pipeline.
Merkel said that the Iran nuclear deal was better than none at all in a press conference with Vladimir Putin on Friday, also criticizing a breach in the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine overnight before their meeting in Sochi.
Merkel was speaking at a press conference following talks with her Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, with Germany at odds with Russia over its support for the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad and its role in the conflict in eastern U...
European Powers Regret Trump's Decision on Iran
2018-05-08 19:22:15 UTC
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Israel praised President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal, while Washington’s allies in Europe expressed regret over the decision and said they would to try keep the pact alive.
“The European Union is determined to preserve it,” EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said of the world powers’ 2015 agreement with Tehran. “Together with the rest of the international community, we will preserve this nuclear deal.”
“I am particularly worried by the announcement tonight of new sanctions,” she added.
French President Emmanuel Macron said he regretted the decision and...
Trump will be announcing his decision on Iran Deal tomorrow
2018-05-07 19:25:15 UTC
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said he would announce a decision on the future of the Iran nuclear deal on Tuesday as European countries piled pressure on Washington to remain in the 2015 agreement.
Trump has threatened to withdraw from the deal, which provided Iran with relief from economic sanctions in exchange for limiting its uranium enrichment capacity, unless European signatories to the accord fix what he has called its shortcomings.
“I will be announcing my decision on the Iran Deal tomorrow from the White House at 2:00pm,” Trump said in a Twitter post on Monday.
Trump has until May 12 to decide whether ...
China increased tariffs by up to 25 percent on 128 US goods
2018-04-02 06:29:23 UTC
BEIJING (Reuters) - China has increased tariffs by up to 25 percent on 128 U.S. products including frozen pork, wine and certain fruits and nuts, escalating a spat between the world’s biggest economies in response to U.S. duties on imports of aluminum and steel.
The tariffs, to take effect on Monday, were announced late on Sunday by China’s finance ministry and matched a list of potential tariffs on up to $3 billion in U.S. goods published by China on March 23
Soon after the announcement, an editorial in the widely read Chinese tabloid Global Times warned that if the U.S. had thought China would not retaliate or would only take symbo...
Trump signs spending bill that "nobody read it"
2018-03-23 18:45:02 UTC
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump signed Congress’ newly passed $1.3 trillion spending bill on Friday, ending suspense over a surprising threat he made hours earlier to veto the budget and shut down the federal government.
In the latest episode of the Republican president throwing his White House, Congress and the federal government off balance, Trump had threatened in an early morning tweet to kill the government funding deal.
Initially, it had been a foregone conclusion that Trump would sign the ahead of a midnight deadline to keep the government running.
Trump used the threat to draw attention to his displeasur...