Trump Threatened To Slap New Tariffs On China Over The Coronavirus Crisis

U.S. stock index futures slid on Friday after President Donald Trump threatened to slap new tariffs on China over the coronavirus crisis, while Apple and Amazon became the latest companies to warn of more pain in the future.

Trump said late on Thursday his trade deal with China was now of secondary importance to the pandemic, as his administration crafted retaliatory measures over the outbreak.

The threat pulled attention back to the trade war between the world’s two largest economies that has kept global financial markets on tenterhooks for nearly two years.

Also weighing on sentiment was a 2.6% fall in Apple Inc AAPL.O shares in premarket trading after the company said it was impossible to forecast overall results for the current quarter, even as it reported upbeat quarterly results.



Amazon.com Inc shares AMZN.O tumbled 5% after the company said it could post its first quarterly loss in five years as it was spending at least $4 billion in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Wall Street fell on Thursday as grim economic data and mixed earnings prompted investors to take profits at the end of the S&P 500’s best month in 33 years, a remarkable run driven by hopes of reopening the economy from crushing virus-induced restrictions.


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Markets will also keep a close eye on the ISM’s purchasing managers index (PMI) data, due at 10:00 a.m. ET.

The report comes a day after data showed U.S. initial jobless claims totalled 3.84 million for the week ended April 25 and personal spending tumbled 7.5% in March, the biggest decline on record.

Meanwhile, oil majors Chevron Corp CVX.N and Exxon Mobil Corp XOM.N are expected to post their first-quarter earnings later in the day.




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Trump Decides Against Quarantine for New York

“A lockdown is what they did in Wuhan, China, and we’re not in China,” Mr. Cuomo said on CNN Saturday evening.

President Trump late Saturday said he would not seek a quarantine on New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut after raising the idea earlier in the day and said his administration would instead issue a “strong travel advisory” for the area, as the nation’s largest city quickly becomes an epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr. Trump said he had directed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to issue the travel advisory and that more details would be released later in the evening. He said he had made the decision in consultation with the governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Later Saturday, the CDC issued a travel advisory urging residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to “refrain from non-essential domestic travel” for 14 days, effective immediately. The advisory doesn’t apply to those in critical infrastructure industries, including truckers and health professionals.



The president’s assertion earlier in the day that he was considering imposing a quarantine on those states for a few weeks drew swift and harsh blowback from governors, who questioned why they hadn’t been consulted first and suggested they didn’t believe the move would be legal.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo had called the quarantine idea a “declaration of war on states” that would crash financial markets and results in legal challenges.

“A lockdown is what they did in Wuhan, China, and we’re not in China,” Mr. Cuomo said on CNN Saturday evening.

The president had indicated he didn’t plan to physically prevent people from leaving those states, telling reporters earlier in the day that it wouldn’t be necessary to bring in the military or the National Guard. The president’s advisers have told him that most people would listen to an order from the president not to leave the states, and that it wouldn’t be necessary to “bring the hammer” by physically blocking their exit, a person familiar with the discussions said.

A quarantine restricting people’s movement across state lines would have represented one of the toughest measures the federal government has taken yet to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Mr. Trump already has blocked flights from China and much of Europe and asked Americans to adhere to social-distancing recommendations, but the stay-home measures that affect people most deeply have been ordered by governors.

New York City alone has more than 23,000 cases, nearly a quarter of all the cases in the country. Overall, New York state leads the country in infections, with 52,318 confirmed cases and 728 deaths as of Saturday, Mr. Cuomo said during an afternoon briefing.

Mr. Cuomo and the Democratic governors of New Jersey and Connecticut, Phil Murphy and Ned Lamont, already have ordered all nonessential businesses in the state to close and called for residents to stay home. Essential services like hospitals, grocery stores and pharmacies remain open under the order, and residents still can go outside for exercise and to obtain groceries.

They each said their moves already represent aggressive action against the virus’s spread. “Until further notified we are going to keep doing exactly what we are doing,” said Mr. Murphy, whose state has 11,124 coronavirus cases as of Saturday afternoon and 140 deaths.

“I look forward to speaking to the President directly about his comments and any further enforcement actions, because confusion leads to panic,” Mr. Lamont said in a statement.

Mr. Trump’s idea also took federal transportation officials by surprise. Federal transportation agencies, airline officials and pilot unions that would have been an important component of a quarantine weren’t informed about Mr. Trump’s idea before the president revealed it to reporters Saturday, according to people tracking the issue.

Concerns have mounted in other parts of the country about people leaving the New York City area and possibly spreading coronavirus. Earlier this week, administration officials urged anyone leaving New York to self-isolate for 14 days.


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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order on Monday directing travelers from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to self-isolate for that period, and said violations of the order would amount to a criminal offense. Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo on Thursday issued a similar order. Mr. Trump said on Saturday he had spoken to Mr. DeSantis.

“They’re having problems down in Florida. A lot of New Yorkers going down,” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Cuomo said other states’ measures to keep New Yorkers out were “reactionary.” He said he would sue Rhode Island if it doesn’t stop enforcing travel restrictions on New Yorkers.

Legal experts differed on whether the federal government could restrict, en masse, the movements of New York City area residents.

Lawrence Gostin, a professor of global health law at Georgetown University, said the quarantine broached by Mr. Trump would be unconstitutional and unprecedented.

“The power to regulate interstate commerce, including the spread of infectious diseases, resides exclusively in Congress,” he said. “In this case, the president hasn’t even consulted Congress or the governor of New York. He’d be acting unilaterally in ways he has no power to do.”

Mr. Gostin said governors, like Mr. Cuomo, would have multiple ways to push back if Mr. Trump ordered a quarantine of their states. They could sue, and they could direct the state police and public-health authorities not to enforce the order.

“The Supreme Court has said expressly that the federal government has no power to direct a governor to execute the president’s orders,” Mr. Gostin said. “The president would have to call in the United States military to guard the border.”

Wendy Parmet, a public-health law professor at Northeastern University in Boston, said the executive branch has broad powers to protect the public health. Restrictions on interstate travel and commerce should, constitutionally, be put in place by the federal government, not individual states, she said.

“We’re not supposed to have Florida saying drop dead to New York,” she said. “States can’t set up borders. We have a Constitution.”

She said whether any plan to quarantine the tri-state area passed constitutional muster would depend on the details of how it was done, and would have to be grounded in science about the public health.

“The courts are deferential to public health powers in times of emergency,” she said.

Mr. Trump’s comments overshadowed his visit to Norfolk, where he sent the hospital ship, USNS Comfort, on its way to New York to help take pressure off the city’s health-care system. Standing in front of the vessel, Mr. Trump said it was “stocked to the brim with equipment and medicines and everything you can think of.”

“This great ship behind me is a 70,000-ton message of hope and solidarity to the people of New York,” he said. He reminded Americans that anyone leaving New York must self-isolate for 14 days.

The U.S. added more than 15,000 cases of the Covid-19 disease, pushing the total past 104,000 on Saturday, with a surge of cases in New York amid increased testing. There are now more than 2,000 deaths from the virus in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University.



In a sign that other states were coming under pressure, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said coronavirus patients admitted to intensive-care units had doubled to 410 on Saturday. Hospitalizations were up 38.6% from a day earlier, with more than 1,000 Covid-19 patients now in California hospitals.

“That’s a significant, sizable increase,” he said. “If trends continue on those lines, then we will begin to manifest conditions that are very familiar to people on the East Coast.”

Authorities also reported the death of a New York Police Department detective and an Illinois infant who had Covid-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.

The virus’s growth in the U.S. outstripped that of Italy and China, the countries with the second- and third-most infections, where confirmed cases stayed around 86,000 and 81,000, respectively, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins.

As a result, the number of confirmed infections globally has more than doubled over the past week to more than 600,000. The death toll from the pathogen rose to more than 28,000 on Saturday, with roughly one-third of the fatalities in Italy, data from Johns Hopkins showed.

Italy’s death toll from the virus on Friday rose by 919 to 9,134, the highest daily tally on record. Total infections there rose to 86,498, a 7% increase from the previous day.





 

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Trump: ‘Big Day of Negotiations With China’

Donald Trump said he’s meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on Friday, fueling optimism about a positive outcome from this week’s high-level trade talks.

“Big day of negotiations with China. They want to make a deal, but do I? I meet with the Vice Premier tomorrow at The White House,” Trump said in a tweet on Thursday.


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The U.S. and China have begun their principal-level negotiations in Washington on Thursday. Trump’s comment about a meeting with Liu contrasted with a report from the South China Morning Post that said the two sides made no progress in deputy-level trade talks this week and Liu will cut his visit short.

Stocks surged after the president’s tweet, rebounding from a wild overnight session sparked by the SCMP article as well as multiple other media reports.

Earlier on Thursday, Liu told Chinese state-run media Xinhua that China carries “great sincerity” for the talks this week. “The Chinese side has come with great sincerity and is willing to make serious exchanges with the U.S. on issues of common concern such as trade balance, market access and investor protection, and promote positive progress in the consultations,” Liu said.


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Past meetings between Liu and Trump this year have yielded positive progress on trade. For example, after their meeting in January, China increased its soybean buying. And their February meeting resulted in a delay in tariffs.

Still, tensions between the two economic superpowers reached a fever pitch earlier in the week. The U.S. blacklisted 28 Chinese entities over alleged human rights violations against Muslim minorities in Xinjiang, while putting visa restrictions on Chinese officials involved. China responded “stay tuned” for retaliation against the blacklist.


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Bloomberg News reported overnight that the White House is working up a partial deal to suspend next week’s tariff increase in exchange for a currency pact. The New York Times also reported that the Trump administration is grant licenses for some U.S. companies to sell nonsensitive supplies to Chinese telecom giant Huawei. The Dow was last up 200 points.




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Trump Will Hike Tariff Rates on Most Imports From China

{ Trump Raise Tariffs on Chinese Goods – Stock Market News } … President Donald Trump will hike tariff rates on most imports from China in response to the latest shots in the trade war between the world’s two largest economies, he said Friday.


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The White House will raise existing duties on $250 billion in Chinese products to 30% from 25% on Oct. 1, the president tweeted. The tariffs on another $300 billion in Chinese goods, which start to take effect on Sept. 1, will now be 15% instead of 10%, he added.

In a series of tweets, the president said he would increase the pressure on Beijing as part of his long-held goal to force China to change what he calls unfair trade practicesincrease the pressure on Beijing as part of his long-held goal to force China to change what he calls unfair trade practices. Trump has fired more shots in the trade war as he seeks a sweeping trade deal with Beijing — even as the tariffs threaten global economic growth.

“Sadly, past Administrations have allowed China to get so far ahead of Fair and Balanced Trade that it has become a great burden to the American Taxpayer,” he tweeted Friday. “As President, I can no longer allow this to happen!”



In a statement Friday announcing the tariffs, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative called Beijing’s planned tariffs on U.S. goods “unjustified.” It said it would publish in the Federal Register “as soon as possible any additional details” on the new duties Trump announced.

Trump’s tweets about China earlier Friday helped to send major U.S. stock indexes spiraling more than 2% for the day. The trade war intensified in the morning when China announced new tariffs on $75 billion in U.S. goods in retaliation for the U.S. duties on $300 billion in Chinese products.

Trump then tweeted that American companies “are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA.” He did not immediately detail the authority he thought he could use to compel firms to leave China.

U.S. business groups roundly denounced the president’s statement, saying it jeopardized their operations. In a statement Friday, the National Retail Federation’s senior vice president of government affairs, David French, said, “It’s impossible for businesses to plan for the future in this type of environment.”


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“The administration’s approach clearly isn’t working, and the answer isn’t more taxes on American businesses and consumers. Where does this end?” French said. Some critics questioned whether it was realistic to cut off relationships with China, which sends more goods to the U.S. than any other country.

Trump’s tweet, a detonation in the trade war, sent major U.S. stock indexes tumbling Friday. Even before Trump raised the prospect of U.S. companies leaving China, investors had worried about sagging global economic growth and trade conflicts.

Trump met with his trade policy team at the White House during the day before announcing the tariff increases. At least one trade advisor — China hawk Peter Navarro — has generally supported the trade war escalations.


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Sen. Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said in a statement that Trump is “right to fight back” against China, though the conflict has caused damage to U.S. consumers and Iowa farmers.

“The only way to end this trade war is for China to come to the table and negotiate seriously on an enforceable deal that ends its bad behavior and unfair trade practices. In the meantime, tariffs cannot be the only negotiating tool. Tariffs are not a long-term solution,” Grassley said.

Earlier Friday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell boosted markets by saying the central bank would take the steps necessary to sustain economic growth. He said the U.S. economy is in good shape despite trade concerns dragging on the global economy.

Trump responded by questioning whether Powell or Chinese President Xi Jinping is the “bigger enemy” of the United States. Trump’s implication that Xi is an enemy of the U.S. is potentially a bad omen for trade talks, as the U.S. president previously touted his friendship with the Chinese leader.

As stocks rolled lower during the afternoon, Trump appeared to make a joke about the market drop. A president who spent recent days deflecting any concerns about a slowing economy suggested Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton’s exit from the 2020 presidential race hit markets.




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Trump Orders U.S. Businesses to Find Alternative to China

{ Trade War and Tariffs – Stock Market News } … President Trump said U.S. companies were “hereby ordered” to start looking for alternatives to doing business in China after Beijing said it would impose tariffs on $75 billion worth of additional U.S. products.

“Our Country has lost, stupidly, Trillions of Dollars with China over many years,” Mr. Trump wrote in a series of tweets. “They have stolen our Intellectual Property at a rate of Hundreds of Billions of Dollars a year, & they want to continue. I won’t let that happen! We don’t need China and, frankly, would be far better off without them.”


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Mr. Trump’s comments came in response to China’s plan, laid out Friday, to impose tariffs of 5% and 10% on almost all the remaining U.S. imports on which it has yet to impose punitive taxes, including vehicles and car parts, in retaliation against U.S. moves to slap punitive tariffs on an additional $300 billion of Chinese goods.

The president demanded that U.S. companies “immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA.”

Trade tensions are disrupting supply chains in China that have churned out electronics such as Apple’s iPhone and Nintendo’s Switch. The sharp escalation in the prolonged trade conflict between the two countries comes weeks after Mr. Trump said he impose the fresh tariffs on Chinese goods and Beijing had vowed to retaliate. China’s new levies on U.S. goods are set to go into effect on Sept. 1 and Dec. 15, timed with the next two rounds of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods. Chinese tariffs on U.S. automotive goods are set to begin Dec. 15.

Mr. Trump also said he would require shipping companies to block shipments of fentanyl from China and elsewhere. The president has blamed Beijing for not following through on a commitment in earlier trade negotiations to curb flows into the U.S. of the addictive and potentially lethal painkiller.

The White House didn’t immediately respond to questions about the president’s demand that shipping companies “SEARCH FOR & REFUSE” deliveries of fentanyl or offer further details on his demand that U.S. companies find alternatives to China.

Mr. Trump said on Twitter he would formally respond to China’s announcement later in the day. Items China plans to impose tariffs on include agricultural products, apparel, chemicals and textiles.

Some major car companies will be hit hard by the increase in tariffs, particularly Tesla Inc. and Ford Motor Co., as well as Germany’s BMW AG and Daimler AG ’s Mercedes-Benz. These companies build a significant number of vehicles in the U.S. for export to China—mostly premium models—and a higher tariff could force them to raise prices.


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In all, auto makers exported roughly 230,100 U.S.-built cars to China last year, according to forecasting firm LMC Automotive.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 450 points, or 1.7%, ending what had been a relatively quiet several days for markets. Yields on U.S. government bonds also tumbled, as did commodities markets, such as oil and copper, that are sensitive to the two countries’ trade battle.

Shares of retailers and semiconductor companies that manufacture parts and materials in China were among the hardest hit. Mattel Inc. and Hasbro Inc. dropped more than 6%, while Nvidia Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. slumped about 5%.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Friday offered his most forceful warning of the risks emanating from the administration’s trade policy. “We have much experience in addressing typical macroeconomic developments under” the Fed’s policy-making framework, he said in a speech, “but fitting trade policy uncertainty into this framework is a new challenge.”

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro played down the broader economic impact in an interview on Fox Business Network.

“The risk here for China, when it does things like this, is simply to galvanize support even more” for President Trump in the U.S., Mr. Navarro said, adding that $75 billion “is not something for the stock market to worry about” when compared with the $21 trillion U.S. economy.


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A spokeswoman for Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. trade representative, didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment on the tariffs.

“Everyone knew this was coming, which is why we should have come into this fight with allies and a discernible strategy, instead of letting America’s workers and consumers bear the brunt of Donald Trump ’s erratic trade war,” said Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee. “Meanwhile, China’s market is more closed than ever to American goods.”

The tariffs come just as the two sides had planned for another round of high-level trade talks. Beijing remains interested in a deal that would remove U.S. punitive tariffs, analysts say, and has left open whether its officials would travel to Washington in September for trade talks as previously agreed.

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“Now that China has imposed tariffs, it can go to the negotiations,” said Wang Huiyao, founder of Beijing-based think tank Center for China and Globalization. “If China hadn’t, it would look like they’re still under the gun of the U.S.”

Mr. Navarro said Friday the high-level trade talks between U.S. and Chinese officials were still expected to resume in September. Some business leaders on Friday warned that the rising tensions with China are hurting the economy.


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“Nobody wins a trade war, and the continued tit-for-tat escalation between the U.S. and China is putting significant strain on the U.S. economy, raising costs, undermining investment, and roiling markets,” said Myron Brilliant, head of international affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.




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Trump Wants to Buy Greenland … But Why?


{ Trump Confirms Interest in Greenland – Stock Market News } … Mr. Trump has become entranced by the idea of the U.S. buying this vast, ice-shrouded island on the roof of the world, people familiar with discussions said. President Trump on Sunday confirmed his interest in potentially purchasing Greenland, but said it wasn’t a priority. The territory’s appeal seems rooted in its natural resources in addition to providing the U.S. with another doorstep to the Arctic as the ice sheet shrinks.


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But the president’s interest has drawn mixed reactions in Nuuk, the country’s capital, a sparse city just 150 miles south of the Arctic Circle. Lapped by the Labrador Sea, its low-rise, brightly painted houses and apartment blocks are home to around a third of Greenland’s 56,000 inhabitants.

For some, the idea of buying and selling their homeland is a highhanded reminder of a painful and unresolved colonial legacy, which saw its indigenous inhabitants’ culture and language suppressed during centuries of rule from faraway Copenhagen. Others discern in the president’s apparent fascination a sign of the geostrategic importance of the self-governing territory, which is part of the Kingdom of Denmark. Many simply see it as a joke.


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All insist that Greenland isn’t for sale, as do its political leaders. Greenland is the world’s largest island, covering more than 800,000 square miles in the North Atlantic and Arctic Sea northeast of Canada. It is larger than Mexico and around the same size as Saudi Arabia. Around 80% of the country is cloaked in ice, with human settlements hugging the coast. A network of airstrips and helipads, some dating from World War II, allow residents to jump from city to city in the absence of major roads.

Its economy is sustained by shrimp and fish exports and a $591 million annual subsidy from Denmark. Growing industries include tourism and mining. Active mines churn out rubies and minerals used to make fiberglass, and projects are under way to assess the feasibility of mining rare earths and uranium, Greenlandic officials say.

The abundant resources mean any buyer for Greenland would struggle to make a fair offer for the country…

Whether the president’s aspiration is serious or not, Washington will continue to view Greenland as vital to American national-security interests. A decades-old defense treaty between Denmark and the U.S. gives the U.S. military virtually unlimited rights in Greenland at America’s northernmost base, Thule Air Base, which houses part of a U.S. ballistic missile early-warning system.

Greenland’s strategic importance to the U.S. was underscored further last year when the Pentagon worked successfully to block China from financing three airports on the island. With American prodding, Denmark’s government instead asked a consortium led by Danske Bank to help assemble an alternative financing package.

In Copenhagen, which still sets Greenland’s foreign and defense policies, news of Mr. Trump’s enthusiasm for the territory has been interpreted as the latest signal from Washington that the U.S. is an engaged player in the Arctic, a zone of increasing economic and strategic rivalry with both China and Russia.

“The U.S. wants to make everyone aware the U.S. is an Arctic power,” said Nils Wang, a retired Royal Danish Navy rear admiral and director of Naval Team Denmark, an association for navy suppliers.

Denmark, too, aims to explore new research and economic opportunities as the Arctic opens up, and has warned that Greenland will lose its annual subsidy if it pushes for independence. Mr. Trump is due to meet the Danish and Greenlandic premiers during a previously planned visit to Copenhagen next month, alongside the leader of the Faroe Islands, another autonomous Danish region.


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Múte Bourup Egede, leader of the left-wing, pro-independence Inuit Ataqatigiit party in Greenland’s parliament, said such strategic games—and Mr. Trump’s icebound fantasy—serve to remind Greenlanders of their country’s outsize importance in world affairs.



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Trump Dismisses Recession Fears


{ Recession Fears  Stock Market News } … U.S. President Donald Trump and top White House officials dismissed concerns that economic growth may be faltering, saying on Sunday they saw little risk of recession despite a volatile week on global bond markets, and insisting their trade war with China was doing no damage to the United States.

We’re doing tremendously well, our consumers are rich, I gave a tremendous tax cut, and they’re loaded up with money,” Trump said on Sunday. But he was less optimistic than his aides on striking a trade deal with China, saying that while he believed China was ready to come to an agreement, “I’m not ready to make a deal yet.”

He hinted that the White House would like to see Beijing resolve ongoing protests in Hong Kong first. “I would like to see Hong Kong worked out in a very humanitarian fashion,” Trump said. “I think it would be very good for the trade deal.”

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said trade deputies from the two countries would speak within 10 days and “if those deputies’ meetings pan out… we are planning to have China come to the USA” to advance negotiations over ending a trade battle that has emerged as a potential risk to global economic growth.

Even with the talks stalled for now and the threat of greater tariffs and other trade restrictions hanging over the world economy, Kudlow said on “Fox News Sunday” the United States remained “in pretty good shape.”


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“There is no recession in sight,” Kudlow said. “Consumers are working. Their wages are rising. They are spending and they are saving.”

Their comments follow a week in which concerns about a possible U.S. recession weighed on financial markets and seemed to put administration officials on edge about whether the economy would hold up through the 2020 presidential election campaign. Democrats on Sunday argued Trump’s trade policies were posing an acute, short-term risk.

U.S. stock markets tanked last week on recession fears with all three major U.S. indexes closing down about 3% on Wednesday, paring their losses by Friday due to expectations the European Central Bank might cut rates.

The U.S. Federal Reserve and 19 other central banks have already loosened monetary policy in what Fitch Ratings last week described as the largest shift since the 2009 recession.

Markets are expecting more cuts to come. For a brief time last week, bond investors demanded a higher interest rate on 2-year Treasury bonds than for 10-year Treasury bonds, a potential signal of lost faith in near-term economic growth.

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro on Sunday dismissed the idea that last week’s market volatility was a warning sign, saying “good” economic dynamics were encouraging investors to move money to the United States.


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“We have the strongest economy in the world and money is coming here for our stock market. It’s also coming here to chase yield in our bond markets,” Navarro told ABC’s “This Week.”

For bond markets, the sort of movement Navarro described is often driven by trouble – in this case the possibility that the trade battle with China is lasting far longer than expected and becoming disruptive to business investment and growth.

The U.S. economy does continue to grow and add jobs each month. Retail sales in July jumped a stronger-than-expected 0.7%, the government reported last week, and Kudlow said that number showed that the main prop of the U.S. economy was intact.

But manufacturing growth has slowed and lagging business investment has become a drag. A slowdown would be bad news for Trump, who is building his 2020 bid for a second term around the economy’s performance. He told voters at a rally last week they had “no choice” but to vote for him to preserve their jobs and investments.

The president and his advisers have repeatedly accused the Fed of undermining the administration’s economic policies. On Sunday, Kudlow again pointed the finger at the central bank, describing rate hikes through 2017 and 2018 as “very severe monetary restraint.”

The Fed hiked rates seven times over those two years as part of a plan to restore normal monetary policy following emergency steps taken to battle the 2007-2009 global financial crisis and recession. Even with those steps, the Fed’s target interest rate has remained well below historic norms, and policymakers have started cutting rates in response to growing global risks.

Democratic presidential candidates on Sunday joined the many economic analysts who have said the administration’s sometimes erratic policies on trade – at one point threatening tariffs on Mexico over immigration issues – are to blame for increased uncertainty, disappointing business investment and market volatility.

“I’m afraid that this president is driving the global economy and our economy into recession,” Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”


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Speaking to CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg criticized the administration for failing to deliver a deal with China. “There is clearly no strategy for dealing with the trade war in a way that will lead to results for American farmers, or American consumers,” he said.


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President Donald Trump might end one conflict with Congress over funding for his long-sought Mexican border wall by invoking national emergency powers


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President Donald Trump might end one conflict with Congress over funding for his long-sought Mexican border wall by invoking national emergency powers, but he’s almost certain to ignite another, with repercussions Republicans may regret in the future.

By declaring an emergency, Trump would be seeking to unlock the money needed to start new sections of the wall without Congressional approval, but the move would be fraught with risk. Members of Congress, landowners and environmentalists may sue, and legal experts said judges may eventually derail Trump’s gambit altogether.


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“There has to be some basis for declaring an emergency when both houses of Congress have concluded” there isn’t one, said Walter Dellinger, who served as acting Solicitor General under President Bill Clinton. “It’s not enough to put a stump speech on paper and file it in court.”

There have been 58 declarations of a national emergency since Congress passed The National Emergencies Act in 1976, bolstering, perhaps, Trump’s claim on Thursday that he has an “absolute right” to declare one. But while he may have broad authority to make such a pronouncement, it’s far from clear that he can use the declaration to fund a wall.


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Trump rode hard his campaign promise to build a “big, beautiful wall” to halt illegal immigration and stanch the flow of narcotics from Mexico, Central and South America. Now that promise has metastasized into a full blown showdown with Congress, with the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives steadfast in its refusal to commit $5.6 billion for a barrier.

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This week, as the country entered the longest-ever government shutdown, administration officials were considering tapping funds earmarked for the military, disaster relief for Puerto Rico, or some other government program, and Trump repeatedly suggested he might invoke a national emergency.

But that will open him up to any number of legal challenges. What qualifies as a national emergency has never been spelled out in the law, leaving the field wide open for presidents to make their own determinations. Yet legal experts said that power isn’t absolute, and it’s likely the declaration itself will be attacked in court.

“Something that supposedly becomes a ‘national emergency’ only when Congress fails to give the president what he demands, but hasn’t been an emergency until that point, is obviously no emergency at all,” said Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe, a frequent Trump critic. “The claim that there’s an immigration crisis at the border is totally fake — apart from the humanitarian crisis created by President Trump himself.”

The Trump administration’s use of dubious statistics, including the misleading claim that nearly 4,000 known or suspected terrorists were caught trying to enter the U.S. illegally — the vast majority were prevented from traveling to the U.S. by air or legal ports of entry — might also undermine the president’s position that there is an emergency, experts said.



Yet even if a declaration of emergency survives a legal challenge, Trump still may lack the authority to use government funds to construct a southern barrier. The U.S. Constitution gives Congress, and not the president, the power to appropriate money, and Trump must find a legal way to tap the money he wants for a wall.

There are 136 “statutory powers” potentially available to Trump upon a declaration of a national emergency, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. Two of those “offer some legal cover” for him to build the wall, according to the center, which also tallied the 58 emergency declarations.

One permits the Defense Department to shift certain funds appropriated for construction projects in support of the armed forces. The other allows the Army to take money from existing construction projects and apply them to other projects needed for national defense.

1952 Case. Whether any of these would allow Trump to lay claim to government funds to begin wall building may be up to the courts to decide. In 1952, in a landmark decision limiting the president’s power, the Supreme Court blocked President Harry Truman for seizing steel plants during the Korean War, with a key opinion saying his authority during an emergency is restricted when he acts contrary to the will of Congress.

“Now the easy solution is for me to call a national emergency,” Trump said Friday. “I could do that very quickly. I have the absolute right to do it. But I’m not going to do it so fast because this is something Congress should do.”

Josh Blackman, a professor at the South Texas College of Law in Houston, said Trump may ultimately prevail if he resorts to his emergency powers, especially if he avoids seizing property from border landowners and shifts money to build where Congress has already authorized fencing but hasn’t funded it.

But he criticized the move as setting “a terrible precedent,” providing justification for a successor, possibly a Democrat, to also circumvent Congress and declare emergencies over global warming or an economic downturn.

Supreme Court. Trump on Friday recognized his administration would be sued and likely lose if the case is brought in federal court in California and appealed to the liberal-leaning Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. But he predicted he’d eventually prevail. “It’ll be appealed to the Ninth Circuit and we’ll probably lose there,” Trump said. “But fortunately we have the Supreme Court that’s treated us very fairly.”

The current high court — and particularly Chief Justice John Roberts — has generally been wary of Trump-related controversies, deferring involvement when possible and often resolving issues with incremental steps.



Roberts has a mixed record on presidential power and Trump’s assertions of sweeping authority. In June, he wrote the court’s decision upholding the president’s travel ban, saying the president has “broad discretion” under the nation’s immigration laws to block foreigners from entering the country.

But last month Roberts joined the court’s liberals in refusing to let Trump start automatically rejecting asylum bids from people who cross the Mexican border illegally.

It’s not clear how quickly a dispute over the wall could reach the justices — or even who could sue. Democrats may challenge the end-run around the legislative process. Some people affected by construction — particularly those whose border-area property is seized by the government — will also likely challenge a declaration. And environmental groups may seek to force compliance with laws protecting the environment and endangered species.

NYU Law School professor David Golove said litigation could stretch well past the 2020 election, making the wall construction plan a moot point if Trump fails to win a second term and his successor scuttles the idea.


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Still, Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, said the Supreme Court would want to have the last word. “To me it’s a very dangerous precedent,” Chemerinsky said. “We know from world history that the way dictators have often come to power is by claiming powers in an emergency.”