Overseas Headlines- July 15, 2019

Date: July 15, 2019

United States:

Trump may face more court battles over giving citizenship data to states

“ (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s order that all federal agencies provide citizenship data to the Commerce Department could open a new legal front over whether states can redraw their voting maps based on citizenship status. Trump dropped the effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census on Thursday following a recent defeat in the U.S. Supreme Court. Instead, he ordered other federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration, to provide relevant data. The Census Bureau can combine such information with citizenship data it receives from a population tally called the American Community Survey (ACS), which is based on a smaller sample than the once-a-decade census. If states use citizenship data provided by the federal government to redistrict, it would likely shift power toward Republicans, as Reuters reported in April reut.rs/2G9v8to. But it would also trigger a new wave of litigation, some advocates and redistricting specialists said. Potential plaintiffs could claim that citizen-only redistricting violates the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause and other laws barring discrimination against minority groups. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) will “monitor and watch what the federal government is doing and be very vigilant for any redistricting issues that might arise,” Sarah Brannon, managing attorney for the ACLU Voting Rights Project, said on a call with journalists on Thursday. “We will sue as necessary,” she said. The White House did not respond to a request for comment on potential legal challenges. Congress and state legislatures both rely on census data to determine how many political seats districts should get. As it stands, all residents count, regardless of citizenship or legal status. But there has been a fierce political debate about whether that should change, especially in state districting. In his remarks on Thursday, Trump noted that some states may want to draw state and local districts based on eligible voters. He has repeatedly said that asking residents about their citizenship status is important and should not be controversial. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) would also sue if there is an attempt to use anything but a full population count to distribute political seats, the group’s general counsel Thomas Saenz said in an interview. Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ) is also keeping a close eye on developments, said its president John Yang. Both groups and the ACLU have been plaintiffs in litigation regarding the proposed census citizenship question.”




Euro-Zone Factory Jobs Might Be Only Thing Stopping a Recession

“The euro zone’s continued demand for factory jobs is a mystery that may be the only thing staving off a recession right now. Manufacturing in the 19-nation currency bloc has been on a downward trajectory since the start of last year. The sector hasn’t contracted this long and deeply without a recession since at least the 1960s, according to an ING analysis of European Central Bank data. ING cites weakening global demand and trade uncertainty as significant causes of the slide, but noted a critical bright spot. “Remarkably though, this contraction in activity has not caused employment to decline. As long as that is the case, an outright euro-one recession remains unlikely,” senior economist Bert Colijn said in a note to clients. “Employment in the manufacturing sector continues to grow, thereby supporting household consumption, which in turn mainly benefits the service sector.” ING sees little reason for an improvement in the manufacturing sector though, with slowing exports spelling further trouble in the second half of 2019. An uptick in May’s output figures reported Friday looks unlikely to meaningfully offset previous weakness. Colijn questioned how long the industrial slump can continue without broader repercussions. “Businesses indicate that hiring intentions in the manufacturing sector are weakening and in Germany, layoffs have increased while short-term work is returning,” he wrote. “Still, as long as overall manufacturing employment continues to grow, the sluggishness in industrial production may well remain relatively contained. The manufacturing job market could, therefore, be key in the coming months to see whether the expansion can hold out.” ”




China’s Growth Slides to Weakest Pace in Almost Three Decades

“China’s economy slowed to the weakest pace since quarterly data began in 1992 amid the ongoing trade standoff with the U.S., while monthly indicators provided signs that a stabilization is emerging. Gross domestic product rose 6.2.% in the April-June period from a year earlier, below the 6.4% expansion in the first quarter. In June, factory output and retail sales growth beat estimates, while investment in the first half of the year also gave further evidence that stimulus measures to curb the slowdown are feeding through. Equity gauges in Shanghai and Hong Kong recouped early losses after the better-than-expected activity data. The offshore yuan was little changed. The slowdown underlines the pressure that Chinese policy makers face as they attempt to negotiate a deal with the U.S. on trade, while the economy takes another step down in the long-term deceleration from the heady expansion of the mid-2000s. Although Chinese negotiators are talking with U.S. counterparts again, there is no certainty that a deal will be reached in time to prevent further economic damage. “We continue to see the second-quarter growth slowing, but I think we are seeing the stabilization,” Wang Tao, chief China economist at UBS AG in Hong Kong, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “The central bank needs to be a bit more proactive” going forward with additional reserve-requirement ratio reductions if higher tariffs come in, she said. Net exports contributed to 20.7% to output growth in the first half, down from 22.8% in the first quarter. Trade data released Friday in Beijing detailed the weak end to the second quarter, as exports and imports fell. The surveyed urban jobless rate ticked up to 5.1% from 5.0%.”



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