Tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese imports will increase to 25 percent from 10 percent on Friday, and another US$325 billion in goods will “soon” be subject to tariffs, US President Donald Trump said on Sunday, in a warning to China as what could be a closing round of takes for a trade deal are set to start in Washington this week.
“The Trade Deal with China continues, but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate,” Trump said in his tweet. “No!”
Lighthizer and Mnuchin told reporters on Monday that the Chinese backsliding became apparent during their visit to Beijing last week, but that they had been reassured by their Chinese interlocutors that everything would turn out.
That changed over the weekend when China sent through a new draft of an agreement that included them pulling back on language in the text on a number of issues, which had the “potential to change the deal very dramatically,” Mnuchin said. At that stage about 90 percent of the pact had been finalized, he said, and the Chinese wanted to reopen areas that had already been negotiated.
Trump is losing his trade war with China (May 5, 2019)
If China is, in fact, slow-rolling Trump on trade, it makes sense: Trump’s trade policy is unpopular in his own country and his own party, so why make a deal if Trump’s support at home is on the verge of crumbling?
Goldman Sachs economists said the chances of the White House putting tariffs on the remaining $325 billion are just 1 in 10.
“First, to do this would take several months, as it would require a formal regulatory process including public comment. By then, US-China negotiations are fairly likely to have produced an agreement, we believe. Second, there would be more substantial effects on consumer goods, which make up the remaining imports from China not yet affected by new tariffs. We expect the White House would seek to avoid this,” they wrote in a note.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.A/ BRK.B)
Known as the “Oracle of Omaha” for his track record of picking winning investments, Buffett was joined by his right-hand man Charlie Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire.
7 Takeaways From The Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting (May 5, 2019)
The chairman and chief executive officer said at the company’s annual meeting that longtime executives Greg Abel and Ajit Jain could one day join him and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger on stage and answer questions from shareholders.
For years, Buffett and Munger have taken questions from Berkshire shareholders without sharing the stage at an arena in Omaha. But Buffett said Saturday that “this format will not be around forever and if it’s better to have them up on the stage, then we’d be happy to do it.” He added that they thought of having all four of them on stage at the same time.
Abel and Jain were promoted last year, with Abel running Berkshire’s noninsurance businesses while Jain handles all insurance-related operations. These promotions made them the clear-cut favorites to succeed Buffett once he departs from his post.