Overseas Headlines- June 27, 2019

Date: June 27, 2019

United States:

Trump Warns of ‘Plan B’ on China Trade: Billions More in Tariffs

“President Donald Trump said substantial additional U.S. tariffs would be placed on goods from China if there’s no progress on a trade deal after his planned meeting with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the G-20 Summit in Japan. “My Plan B with China is to take in billions and billions of dollars a month and we’ll do less and less business with them,” Trump said Wednesday during an interview with Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo. The White House announced his meeting with Xi would take place at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday in Osaka. Trump has previously said he may decide to raise tariffs on the remaining $300 billion of Chinese imports if he doesn’t like what he hears from Xi at this weekend’s summit in Osaka. Asian stocks advanced Thursday on optimism Trump and Xi would reach a truce at their highly anticipated meeting. The president’s latest remarks added an element of doubt to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin‘s comment earlier Wednesday on CNBC that he’s “hopeful” about U.S.-China trade negotiations.”




U.K. Million-Pound Home Sales Hit Record High Despite Slowdown in London

 “The number of million pound property sales increased to a record high last year across Britain—despite such transactions edging down in London. Overall, the number of sales of homes valued at £1 million-plus increased by 1% year-on-year in 2018 to a new high of 14,638—the highest number recorded, according to Lloyds Bank. The number of houses sold for more than £2 million was down slightly, from 2,530 in 2017 to 2,501 in 2018. Sales of properties for £1 million-plus increased in Scotland, Wales, the Midlands and northern England, according to Lloyds, which analysed Land Registry and Registers of Scotland figures. But, given that London and the South East combined make up nearly eight in 10 (79%) million pound-plus sales in Britain, the overall sales picture was fairly flat despite other parts of the country seeing positive gains, Lloyds said. Some 8,267 million pound homes were sold in London in 2018, edging down from a record high of 8,308 in 2017. London also saw a 3% fall in the number of £2 million-pound plus homes sold, reducing from 1,946 to 1,886 over the course of the year. There was also no perceptible growth in the South East, with 3,390 million pound homes sold in 2018, just up from 3,377 in 2017. In Yorkshire and Humber, million-pound home sales fell by 23% year-on-year in 2018, with 103 sales made. The South West of England saw a 1% fall, from 676 homes in 2017 to 668 in 2018. Louise Santaana, head of private banking and lending, Lloyds Bank Private Banking, said: “The high-value property boom the country has experienced over the last decade has decelerated in the past 12 months, which is in line with expectations. “However, while growth across London and the South East has slowed, there are still a number of property hotspots across the country that would create some value for investors, particularly in the East Midlands.””




 China Says Its Demands for a Trade Deal With the U.S. Haven’t Changed

“There’s no change to China’s conditions for making a trade deal with the U.S. as the two nations’ leaders prepare to meet this weekend, a government spokesman said. “China’s core concerns must be addressed properly,” Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said at a regular briefing in Beijing Thursday, when asked about the three demands laid out by Vice Premier Liu He in May. In order to reach an agreement the U.S. must remove all extra tariffs, set targets for Chinese purchases of goods in line with real demand and ensure that the text of the deal is “balanced” to ensure the “dignity” of both nations, according to Liu. “We hope the U.S. side could drop its wrong practices, and we can solve the problems through equal dialogue and cooperation,” Gao said. The trade teams are in contact to prepare for the meeting, and the respective negotiators had a good phone call earlier in the week, Gao said, without clarifying whether the trade teams will meet in Osaka before the leaders’ encounter. Separately, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang also briefed reporters in Beijing on Thursday. “The U.S.’s threat to add tariffs cannot scare us,” Geng said. “The Chinese people refuse to be misled and will not be intimidated. So I would like to offer a piece of advice to the U.S. — starting a trade war and adding tariffs harms itself and others.””




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