Overseas Headlines – April 10, 2017


Trump considers trade order that could lead to duties: official
U.S. President Donald Trump is considering an executive order to launch a trade investigation that could lead to supplemental duties in certain product categories, a Trump administration official told Reuters. Trump has made reducing U.S. trade deficits a key focus of his economic agenda to try to grow American manufacturing jobs. He has taken particular aim at renegotiating trade relationships with China and Mexico. The new order, if issued, would seek to determine whether U.S. trade deficits for those product lines are the result of dumping of imported products below cost and unfair subsidies by foreign governments, the official said late on Sunday in Washington. That could eventually lead to additional import duties, but any decisions on such punishments would depend on the probe’s findings, not "pre-determined conclusions," said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the order was still being considered. The official did not specify which product lines could be investigated.


Euro zone recovery on track despite political uncertainty: ECB’s Draghi
The recovery of the euro zone’s economy will stay on track this year although heightened political uncertainty around the globe is likely to persist, the president of the European Central Bank said in its annual report. "Political uncertainty is likely to persist into 2017. But we remain confident that the economic recovery, buoyed by our monetary policy, will continue," Mario Draghi wrote in the report, published on Monday. The ECB has cut its main policy rate to zero and has purchased bonds worth trillions of euros in the aftermath of the 2007-09 financial crisis. The central bank has to decide later this year if it wants to wind down its money-printing from January, a policy action its critics – mainly in the bloc’s powerhouse Germany – have long been asking for. Draghi gave no hints about the ECB’s future monetary policy steps in the annual report, but repeated that the central bank would stick to its mandate to maintain price stability in the 19-member currency union.


China to allow policy banks to issue bonds on Shenzhen stock exchange
China will allow its policy banks to use the Shenzhen Stock Exchange to issue bonds, which until now could only be issued and traded on the interbank bond market, the exchange said in a statement on Monday. China’s securities regulator and central bank have approved expansion of this trading in a bid to further develop the country’s debt market, it said. Beijing has pledged to further open up its financial sector but is also struggling to contain risks from a rapid build-up in debt. China’s total bond market was worth 57 trillion yuan at the end of 2016. Trading of government debt futures also launched in Hong Kong on Monday but trading was slow as investors grappled with some operational issues and contract limits.