Overseas Headlines-December 6, 2019

December 6, 2019

United States:

 Trump, Pelosi Both See Benefits in Swift House Impeachment

 “Speaker Nancy Pelosi has set her party in motion on a rapid path to the impeachment of Donald Trump, a timetable that fits with both her political imperatives and those of the president. Judiciary Committee Democrats will be working through the weekend and by next Thursday could begin to draft the articles of impeachment that will shape the debate in a Senate trial that likely will be held next year. The next formal step is a hearing on Monday where counsels for both parties on the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees will lay out the findings of the investigations. As Democrats decide what to charge the president with, they could begin voting on specific articles as soon as Thursday, Judiciary committee officials said. The entire House could vote the following week, just before Congress is set to break for the holidays. Pelosi insists that she’s set no deadlines and that her decision to move ahead has nothing to do with political considerations. But lawmakers in both parties have their eye on the electoral calendar. “We are trying to be sensitive to the fact that it is going to spill over into an election year. And we’re trying to wrap it before that happens here in the House to give the Senate the opportunity to set its own timetable,” said Democratic Representative Gerry Connolly of Virginia, a member of the Oversight Committee. “The calendar is what it is.” Trump, who is almost certain to be acquitted in the Republican-controlled Senate, also is eager to put impeachment in the rear-view mirror. “If you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair trial in the Senate, and so that our Country can get back to business,” the president said in a pair of tweets Thursday morning.”




ECB Rate Cuts Seen as Done With Lagarde’s Review in Spotlight

“The European Central Bank is done with cutting interest rates despite persistent downside risks to growth, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists. With officials increasingly concerned about the impact of negative rates and President Christine Lagarde about to announce a strategic review, most respondents said monetary policy is on autopilot for the next two years. That’s a turnaround from the previous survey which predicted more easing in June. Economists now see the next move as a rate hike by the first quarter of 2022. Lagarde, who holds her first policy meeting on Dec. 12, is facing mounting pressure from banks and politicians who say subzero rates are damaging the financial system and hurting savers. It suggests her review will have to investigate other ways of using the ECB’s toolkit to revive inflation.”




China to Waive Trade War Tariffs for Some U.S. Soy, Pork Purchases

“China is in the process of waiving retaliatory tariffs on imports of U.S. pork and soy by domestic companies, a procedural step that may also signal a broader trade agreement with the U.S. is drawing closer. China’s finance ministry said it has started to process the applications after the firms purchased a certain amount of U.S. goods based on its needs. The ministry is working to waive the tariffs resulting from the trade war on those goods, it said in a statement on Friday. American and Chinese negotiators have signaled that they may be drawing closer to agreeing on phase one of a broader accord that would resolve the trade dispute.   However, President Donald Trump has said that he wouldn’t mind if it takes until after the 2020 U.S. election, and that a threatened Dec. 15 tariff increase will proceed if the talks fail to yield a deal he likes. China began issuing waivers on American soybeans, cotton, corn, sorghum and pork as the Asian nation sought to press forward on a trade deal. While the waivers allow buyers to import U.S. soybeans without paying the 30% retaliatory tariffs, some traders had difficulty clearing customs as they were required to pay a deposit in lieu of the levy before they could apply to the finance ministry for an exemption.”


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