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Trump slaps tariffs on imported washing machines, solar panels

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Washington, Jan 23: US President Donald Trump has imposed steep tariffs on imported washing machines and solar panels, the first major step by his administration to protect manufacturers in the country.

The announcement on Monday came after a year of tough rhetoric — but little action — on curbing imports of cheap products from countries like China and South Korea. Both countries will be most heavily affected by the move, the New York Times reported.

Both China and South Korea harshly criticized the action, suggesting they could take their complaints to the World Trade Organization.

The administration’s decision came in response to petitions from American manufacturers who have complained for years that rising imports were eating into their sales.

It was in line with Trump’s “America First” trade policy, which aims to protect local manufacturers from foreign competition.

The action was being seen as the President’s most significant trade move since his decision to pull the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal (TPP) and renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta).

The administration said the tariffs were largely directed at China, which over the past decade has built itself into the world’s largest manufacturer of solar products, flooding global markets with low-cost crystalline silicon panels.

Beijing on Tuesday hinted it could take a similar approach.

“With regard to the wrong measures taken by the US, China will work with other WTO members to resolutely defend our legitimate interests,” its Ministry of Commerce said.

South Korea’s Trade Minister Kim Hyun-chong said the tariffs may constitute a “violation of WTO provisions”.

The imposition of tariffs will most likely exacerbate trade tensions with other nations also and could result in an escalation of retaliatory trade measures against imports from the US.

Trump will impose tariffs of up to 50 per cent on imported washers for the next three years and of up to 30 per cent on solar cells and modules for the next four years, said the Office of the US Trade Representative.

The decision was based on the findings by the US International Trade Commission that increased foreign imports of both products “are a substantial cause of serious injury to domestic manufacturers”.

South Korean conglomerate Samsung called the decision “a great loss for American consumers and workers. This tariff is a tax on every consumer who wants to buy a washing machine”.

US appliance maker Whirlpool said that the tariff move would benefit US manufacturing workers.

The announcement came with Trump’s scheduled travel to Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum. He is scheduled to speak on Friday before the annual gathering of corporate and government leaders.

IANS

India

India asks Saudi Arabia to take corrective steps on bank note

The world map on the new 20 Riyal banknote, released to mark Saudi Arabia’s presidency of the G20 grouping, does not feature Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as part of India.

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Anurag Srivastava

New Delhi, Oct 30: India has asked Saudi Arabia to take corrective steps on the misrepresentation of its territorial boundaries on a new bank note.

The world map on the new 20 Riyal banknote, released to mark Saudi Arabia’s presidency of the G20 grouping, does not feature Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as part of India.

MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said India has asked Saudi Arabia to take “urgent corrective steps” in the matter, and emphasized that the entire Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are integral parts of the country.

“We have seen the banknote referred by you which gives an incorrect depiction of India’s external territorial boundaries. The note was issued by Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority on October 24 to mark the occasion of Saudi presidency of the G20,” the MEA spokesperson said.

“We have conveyed our serious concern to Saudi Arabia, both through their Ambassador in New Delhi as well as in Riyadh, for this gross misrepresentation of India’s external territorial boundaries on an official and legal banknote of Saudi Arabia and asked Saudi Arabia to take urgent corrective steps in this regard,” Srivastava said.

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Croatia announces new measures amid rise in Covid cases

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Zagreb, Oct 28 Amid surge in Covid-19 cases, Croatia’s National Civil Protection Headquarters has announced new measures.

The measures include mandatory physical distancing, a ban on all public events with more than 50 people, the new limit of the number of people attending weddings and funerals and the provision that public events and gatherings can last up to 10 p.m. while weddings until midnight, Xinhua news agency reported.

Sports competitions can be held without spectators, according to the measures, which banned the sales of alcoholic beverages from midnight to 6 a.m.

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Tech

Rawalpindi cops banned from posting on TikTok

Police officers in Rawalpindi have been banned from posting on the short video-making app, TikTok, after a video went viral, the media reported on Tuesday

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Tik Tok

Police officers in Rawalpindi have been banned from posting on the short video-making app, TikTok, after a video went viral, the media reported on Tuesday.

The police department of the Pakistan twin city has warned that if a video of any officer goes viral on social media, irrespective of whether it is TikTok, Facebook or YouTube, strict departmental action will be taken, The Express Tribune reported.

The new rules were communicated on Monday in a letter issued by Rawalpindi CPO Ahsan Younas to divisional SPs, circle officers and station house officers.

The letter stated that posting videos on social media and going viral presents a negative image of the department.

After the video went viral, at least one officer has been suspended.

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