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US President Donald Trump threatens additional tariffs on China




Washington, June 27 (IANS) US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that the US would impose “very substantial” tariffs on China if the two countries were unable to reach a trade deal during his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan.

“I would do additional tariffs … very substantial additional tariffs if that doesn’t work, if we don’t make a deal,” the US President during an interview, the Efe news reported.

Trump said: “Companies are moving out of China, by the way, some are coming back to the United States because they don’t want to pay the tariff.”

Trump said the US was benefiting from the tariffs imposed on Chinese goods.

“When tariffs go on in China we are taking in billions and billions of dollars – we never took in 10 cents – now you have another $325 billion that I haven’t taxed yet – it’s ripe for taxing – for putting tariffs on,” Trump said.

The US President, however, said he was optimistic about reaching a trade deal with Beijing, adding that China needed an agreement more than the US.

Trump said the Chinese government knows “what we have to have” to cut a trade deal.

“We don’t have intellectual property rights protections, we don’t have the opening of China,” Trump said. “You know, China’s not open. We’re open, but China’s not open. So, if we don’t have the openings of China, if we don’t have the things that we negotiated, and maybe even more than that.”

Trump said that while he hoped to reach a deal with Xi, his “plan B” could include a 10 percent tariff on “$600 billion” worth of goods from China.

“Now what’s going to happen … all of those companies will move out of China – most of them – and they’ll move to other places like Vietnam and other places that take advantage of us, and we’ll start working on that too … I don’t want to do too many at one time,” Trump said, referring to trade deals.

The US President said he had decided to use tariffs differently than his predecessors and that his policy was getting results.

Trump and Xi are expected to meet on Saturday in an effort to deal with the trade tensions and amid threats from Washington to impose additional tariffs.

The G20 summit will take place in Osaka, a city in southern Japan, June 28-29.

In May, Trump imposed a 25 percent tariff on Chinese imports worth $200 billion in response to the lack of progress in reaching a trade deal with Beijing.

China, for its part, retaliated by slapping tariffs on US imports worth $60 billion.

In 2018, the US posted a trade deficit of $419 billion with China due, largely, to the fact that US exports to Asia’s largest economy totalled just $120 billion, while American imports from China reached $540 billion.


Govt caught ‘Karo Na’ virus: Congress makes jibe on economy

The Congress alleged that the BJP government is ignoring all the alarming econmic indicators.



Randeep Surjewala

New Delhi, Feb 28 : The Congress once again took a jibe on the government, saying that under it, the economy has got infected by “Karo Na” (Don’t do anything) virus.

In a statement, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said “The latest GDP numbers reflect that “Karo-na” (Don’t do anything) virus has plagued the functioning of the BJP government.”

“The economy is in shambles, stagflation is there, every indicator of economy is showing a downward trend, yet the government continues to function as an ostrich.”

The Congress alleged that the BJP government is ignoring all the alarming econmic indicators.

To bolster his claim, Surjewala shared the figures of the quarter, saying: “The GDP in the third quarter i.e. December 2019 was recorded to be 4.7 per cent and GVA was at 4.5 per cent.”

Another spokesperson Gaurav Ballabh, a professor in a management college, said, “Manufacturing growth is minus 0.2 per cent (during Q3) which clearly indicates that there’s no improvement in the demand.”

He also gave example of the real estate sector as he said that it is at an all time high stress with more than 12 lakh units lying unsold and there are no signs of revival as of now.

The party said the demand and consumption sentiments are still low despite so-called stimulus by the government in September 2019 and the Budget 2020-21 which shows that the government is not concerned.

Exports are significantly low and industries are under stress which is clearly visible in the umemployment rate. The government is doing nothing to stop this unabted risk in the country, the party said.

The economy is in a huge risk as capital formation is at a negative of 5.2 per cent clearly indicating that there’s no positive outlook for investments.

“Does government wants to manage the numbers through unclear revisions? Why aren’t they coming out with the truth? It’s not the 20 basis point improvement, which will improve the sentiments, rather action should be taken with right intent,” said Surjewala.

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Pakistan’s economy shows positive indicators: PM’s Office




Imran Khan Pakistan PM

Islamabad, Feb 28 : Pakistan’s economic indicators are seeing a constant improvement due to efforts made by the current government to overcome the serious economic challenges, the Prime Minister’s Office said on Friday.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, chairing a meeting of his economic team, expressed satisfaction over the improvement in all sectors, adding that his government is making efforts to bring a trickle-down effect of the improving economy on general public and in this regard steps are being taken to provide relief to low income and salaried class of the country, Xinhua reported.

He also directed the economic team to keep the public updated about the positive indicators of the economy in a bid to win the confidence of the local businessman to invest in the country.

Earlier this month, the prime minister approved subsidy of Pakistani Rs 10 billion ($65 million) on five essential food items for controlling rampant inflation in the country.

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DoT panel needs more data for deciding on AGR relief

Airtel has AGR dues of Rs 35,500 core, Tata Teleservices has said it has submitted Rs 2,197 crore as full and final amount against an AGR order of Rs 14, 829 crore. Airtel and VIL are yet to submit self-assessment numbers of AGR.




Mobile tower

New Delhi, Feb 28 : Digital Communications Commission (DCC), the interministerial panel of Telecom Ministry, on Friday did not take any decision on possible relief to the financially distressed telecom sector with officials saying more data are required for reconciliation of AGR numbers, dashing the hopes of telcos, especially Vodafone Idea.

The DCC meeting that lasted two hours will be held again in the coming days, sources said.

No decision has been taken on any relief to the telecom companies, sources said, adding, the department needs more data, and that there will be more meetings and reconciliation of AGR figures.

Secretaries in the Ministries of Finance (DEA), Commerce, and Electronics and IT, as well as CEO of NITI Aayog, are the members of DCC. Vodafone Idea, the worst hit telco with Rs 53,000 crore AGR dues, has told the government that it would not be able to pay the dues unless state support is extended to it to survive the crisis.

While the rationale behind giving any relief to the telcos is that government wants to avoid a duopoly situation in the event Vodafone Idea is forced to shut operations, it is also in a bind over implementation of the Supreme Court order which directs DoT to recover the dues.

DoT is examining the COAI and Vodafone Idea proposals and waiting for the self-assessment numbers of the telcos to come to it. Once the department has an idea how much the telcos’ calculations are and reconcile with its own demands, the picture will be a little clear about payment.

One option is upfront payment of the entire principal amount on licence fee and spectrum usage charges and 50% of the interest, penalty and interest on penalty. The rest could be paid over four years with interest.

The other option is once DoT gets the self-assessment figures of the telcos, it may ask them to pay that amount immediately and the gap between the DoT and telcos could be a staggered payment after reconciliation of both figures over 4 to 5 years, said sources.

Both the options seek some payment first then any relief to the telcos on the remaining amount payment.

Airtel has AGR dues of Rs 35,500 core, Tata Teleservices has said it has submitted Rs 2,197 crore as full and final amount against an AGR order of Rs 14, 829 crore. Airtel and VIL are yet to submit self-assessment numbers of AGR.

The government is also said to be considering, among others, setting up a stress fund for telcos to draw from and pay off AGR dues and repay on easy terms, besides deferment of licence fees and spectrum usage charge (SUC) for a substantial period to free up cash flows.

Airtel has paid Rs 10,000 crore and VIL has paid Rs 3,500 crore as AGR dues.

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