Biden to Focus on Trade Enforcement After Years of Trump Tariffs
“President Joe Biden’s administration is setting up its trade policy to prioritize enforcement of existing commitments by the U.S.’s partners over negotiating more deals to open new export markets. Biden’s likely strategy for supporting American producers focuses on going after violations via dialogue, work with allies and use of dispute-resolution mechanisms in existing trade agreements rather than following the Trump administration’s more blunt unilateral tool of national- security tariffs, according to industry veterans familiar with his incoming team. That could leave existing free-trade talks with the U.K. and Kenya in limbo for the foreseeable future.”
BOE Likely to Embrace Negative Interest Without Using Them
“The Bank of England is preparing to take a significant step into the debate on whether negative interest rates should be used to stimulate the coronavirus-stricken U.K. economy. The central bank this week is due to publish the results of 160 detailed responses to a consultation about how borrowing costs could be pushed below zero for the first time since it was founded in 1694. The controversial policy, already tried in the European Union and Japan, turns banking on its head by charging for deposits while paying those who borrow money.”
Asia Manufacturing Activity Holds Up Even as China PMIs Cool
“Taiwan’s IHS Markit January manufacturing purchasing mangers’ index rose to 60.2 from 59.4 in December, its highest reading since April 2010. South Korea’s rose to 53.2 from 52.9, the most since February 2011. Both were well above the 50 level that separates contraction from expansion. There were also gains for India, which rose to 57.7 from December’s 56.4, expanding for a sixth straight month; Indonesia, which rose to 52.2 from 51.3 — its highest reading since July 2014; and the Philippines, which increased to 52.5 from 49.2, its highest level since December 2018.”
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