NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks shot higher in midday trading on Wall Street after the U.S. government announced it was delaying the implementation of tariffs on certain goods imported from China. The U.S. Trade Representative said today that some products that were subject to the 10% new tariff as of September 1st were now being removed from the list.
Those new tariffs are now being delayed until December 15th on items such as mobile phones, toys and several other items on holiday shopping lists.
The news sent the stocks of U.S. companies that make electronics, shoes and toys sharply higher.
US delays tariffs on some Chinese goods, drops others
WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Donald Trump says he delayed some tariffs in an escalating trade war with China to lessen the impact on the Christmas shopping season.
The announcement jolted shares of companies that rely on the shopping season for a large chunk of their profits.
The United States is delaying tariffs on Chinese-made cellphones, laptop computers and other items and removing other Chinese imports from its target list altogether in a move that triggered this morning’s rally on Wall Street. The U.S. says it’s removing other items from the list based “on health, safety, national security and other factors.”
But, the U.S. trade representative also said that the 10% tariffs on about $300 billion in Chinese imports would still go forward.
Pew survey: 60% in US hold dim view of China amid trade war
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Rising tensions over trade have dimmed Americans’ opinions of China. A Pew Research Center survey finds that 60% have an unfavorable view of China _ up from 47% last year to the highest proportion since Pew started asking the question 14 years ago. The survey results find that 24% regard China as America’s top threat for the future, the same percentage that said so of Russia. North Korea was the only other country to draw double-digit concern.
Still, the poll finds that only 41% of Americans believe that China’s growing economy is a bad thing for the United States, compared with 50% who called it a good thing. Respondents were far more worried about China’s rising military power: 81% said it was bad, 11% said good.
Half said they had no confidence in President Xi Jinping, the same as last year. In addition to being locked in a trade war with Trump, Xi has overseen a crackdown on dissent in China and a more combative foreign policy in East Asia.
Consumer prices rose 0.3% amid widespread cost increases
WASHINGTON (AP) _ U.S. consumer prices rose 0.3% in July, pushed higher by more expensive gas, medical care and housing. The Labor Department says the consumer price index increased 1.8% compared with a year earlier, up from 1.6% in June. Those numbers suggest that inflation is picking up slightly, and while still modest, were widespread. Clothing prices increased 0.4%, used car and truck prices moved up 0.9%, and prescription drug costs rose 0.4%. Airline fares jumped 2.3%.
Rents rose 0.3% and are up 3.5% in the past year. Hotel stays are 4.6% more expensive in the past year.
The economy is in its 11th year of growth, unemployment is low, and wages are growing modestly. These are trends that typically accelerate price gains. But many companies are reluctant to charge more in the face of online and global competition.
CIT-MUTUAL OF OMAHA
CIT Group acquiring Mutual of Omaha Bank for $1 billion
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — CIT Group is buying Mutual of Omaha Bank for $1 billion to expand its commercial banking operations.
The deal would mean the end to the Mutual of Omaha’s foray into the banking sector, initiated in 2007. Mutual’s CEO said the deal will allow Mutual to focus more on in its core insurance businesses.
About $4.5 billion of Mutual of Omaha’s $6.8 billion in deposits come from home owners’ associations and other community groups nationwide.
Mutual of Omaha Bank, based in Omaha, Nebraska, has 26 branches mostly across Western states and Plains.
Riot police clash with protesters at Hong Kong airport
HONG KONG (AP) _ Riot police have clashed with pro-democracy protesters at Hong Kong’s airport, moving into the terminal where the demonstrators had shut down operations at the busy transport hub for two straight days. Officers armed with pepper spray and swinging batons confronted the protesters who used luggage carts to barricade entrances to the terminal.
Earlier in the day, authorities were forced to cancel all remaining flights as the city’s pro-Beijing leader warned that the protesters had pushed events onto a “path of no return.”
There was a brief period early in the day when flights were able to take off and land, but then check-in services for departing flights were suspended. More than 200 flights were canceled Monday and the airport was effectively shut down with no flights taking off or landing, stranding passengers.
The airport disruptions are an escalation of a summer of demonstrations aimed at what many Hong Kong residents see as an increasing erosion of the freedoms they were promised in 1997 when Communist Party-ruled mainland China took over what had been a British colony.
Bolton promises UK trade-deal, but Johnson says it will still be tough
LONDON (AP) _ British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says getting a free trade deal with the United States will be “a tough old haggle,” after U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton promised the U.K. quick sector-by-sector trade deals after Brexit. Bolton says “it might be possible to reach a bilateral agreement very quickly, very straightforwardly” in some areas of trade after Britain leaves the European Union.
The comments could be interpreted as a boost to Johnson, who has vowed that Britain will leave the EU on Oct. 31, with or without a divorce deal. Supporters of Brexit say a free trade deal with the United States can help make up for any reduction in commerce with the EU after Britain leaves the bloc’s single market for goods and services.
In 2018, Britain did almost half its trade with the EU, while the U.S. accounted for 18% of U.K. exports and 11% of imports.