World Economy

The militarist component of Trump’s trade war

By Nick Beams, 20 September 2018

While China is at present the prime target, the Trump administration sees the US as being involved in an economic war against the rest of the world.

China retaliates against US trade war measures

By Peter Symonds, 19 September 2018

The escalating trade war is heightening economic instability and fueling geo-political tensions, not only between the US and China, but internationally.

The implications of US-China trade war

By Nick Beams, 18 September 2018

The world’s two largest economies have entered a rapidly-escalating trade war with vast global consequences.

China’s $60 billion in aid and loans to Africa in context

By Gabriel Black, 18 September 2018

While China’s role in Africa has grown significantly in the past two decades, the United States and its allies remain the principal issuers of debt.

Ten years after Lehman: New financial crises in the making

By Nick Beams, 17 September 2018

Commentaries on the anniversary of the Lehman Brothers collapse voice fears of another meltdown.

US set to escalate trade war against China

By Nick Beams, 10 September 2018

Trump’s threat of further tariffs means that Chinese exports into the US would be subject to increased tariffs if China carries through on its threat of retaliatory measures.

A record $31.5 trillion hoarded by corporate oligarchs

By Eric London, 8 September 2018

The Wealth X report points to the immense revolutionary potential in the present situation. The resources for the transformation of the planet on an egalitarian basis already exist.

Mounting turmoil in emerging markets

By Nick Beams, 6 September 2018

The plunge in emerging market currencies is a product of the strengthening of the dollar and the increase in US interest rates, which is sucking capital back into American markets.

Argentine government announces “emergency” measures to face deepening recession and growing unrest

By Andrea Lobo, 5 September 2018

In his speech Monday, President Macri declared that the market had supported Argentina for two years and warned that “poverty will increase.”

IMF pushes for more social cuts in Ukraine

By Jason Melanovski, 3 September 2018

Amid growing strikes of miners and other workers, the IMF is using the corruption of the Ukrainian oligarchy to push for social cuts.

Trade tensions increase as US-Canada talks miss deadline

By Nick Beams, 1 September 2018

Trump warned that if Canada did not agree to US terms “the easiest thing we can do is tariff their cars coming in,” a threat which he repeated in remarks yesterday.

Turbulence hits emerging markets as Argentina’s central bank hikes interest rates to 60 percent

By Nick Beams, 31 August 2018

The Argentine currency has lost half of its value this year and fallen to a record low against the US dollar.

Tax cuts boost US bank profits to record highs

By Trévon Austin, 30 August 2018

Banks and corporations are channeling the bulk of their savings from the tax cuts into stock buybacks, dividend increases and mergers and acquisitions.

China-US trade talks: The divisions deepen

By Nick Beams, 27 August 2018

The Chinese Commerce Ministry stated there were “constructive and frank” talks, but gave no indication of any further discussions in the future.

Nearly 90,000 retail jobs lost in UK in 12 months

By Barry Mason, 25 August 2018

Retailers are shifting employees from secure full-time contracts to less secure ones with “less rigidity and more flexibility.”

The class dynamics of the stock market bull run

By Nick Beams, 24 August 2018

The record-breaking stock market rally is the outcome of the relentless class war pursued by the ruling elite after the 2008 financial crash.

China-US talks but trade war set to escalate

By Nick Beams, 20 August 2018

The basic conflict centres on the US demand that China not only lessen the trade deficit but also significantly pull back on its plan to boost its industrial and technological base.

CEO pay up 17 percent while US workers’ wages stagnate

By Matthew Taylor and Barry Grey, 18 August 2018

The typical CEO of a large firm in the US makes in a single day almost as much as the typical worker earns in an entire year.

Amidst Turkish crisis Indian rupee falls to all-time low

By Deepal Jayasekera, 18 August 2018

The decline of Indian rupee is a part of a global rush by investors away from so-called emerging markets.

The global implications of the Turkish lira crisis

By Nick Beams, 16 August 2018

Ten years after the 2008 financial crisis, the growing intensity of economic warfare threatens to collapse the financial house of cards created by the multi-trillion-dollar bailout of the global banking system.

The Turkish crisis and the threat of world war

By Bill Van Auken, 15 August 2018

Underlying the reckless and punishing attack by Washington on Turkey’s economy are predatory geostrategic aims that are threatening to drag humanity into a new world war.

Erdogan charges US “stab in the back” as Turkey crisis deepens

By Bill Van Auken, 14 August 2018

The Turkish president vowed to retaliate against “traitors” undermining the economy as the lira slid again precipitously on Monday.

World markets brace for impact of Turkish lira crisis

By Nick Beams, 13 August 2018

The European Central Bank has put on watch major European banks that are heavily exposed to Turkish debt.

Turkish lira plunges as US trade war measures strangle Turkish economy

By Alex Lantier and Halil Celik, 11 August 2018

President Trump is trying to use trade tariffs to compel Ankara to step up attacks on the working class and totally subordinate its foreign policy to US imperialism’s demands.

US-China trade war escalates

By Nick Beams, 9 August 2018

The US has threatened to impose tariffs on another $200 billion of Chinese products, possibly by the beginning of September following public hearings to be held later this month.

Latin American elites respond to trade war with desperate “roadmap” for regional trade bloc

By Andrea Lobo, 9 August 2018

The escalating trade-war measures between the major global economies are accentuating the rabid competition between Latin American ruling elites for investments and trade.

China threatens tariffs on $60 billion of US goods

By Nick Beams, 4 August 2018

Coming on top of the tariffs already imposed on $34 billion worth of US goods, the new measures would mean that around 85 percent of US exports to China would be covered.

Chinese president under pressure over trade war with US

By Peter Symonds, 4 August 2018

Just months after constitutional changes enabling him to stay in office indefinitely, Xi Jinping is reportedly facing internal criticism from party elders and factional rivals.

Trump set to hike tariff threat against China

By Nick Beams, 2 August 2018

The US is actively considering escalating proposed tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25 percent up from the initial level of 10 percent.

Rifts emerge in US-EU trade deal

By Nick Beams, 31 July 2018

The Trump administration is keeping a gun at the head of the EU over auto tariffs as it continues an investigation into whether to impose them on “national security” grounds.

Qualcomm deal scuttled: China hits back at US in trade war

By Nick Beams, 27 July 2018

The collapse of the takeover has far-reaching implications for other high-tech companies that had been waiting for the outcome of the Qualcomm-NXP deal before proceeding with their own plans.

The Trump-Juncker agreement: A manoeuvre in the global trade war

By Nick Beams, 26 July 2018

The threat by Washington to impose a 25 percent tariff on auto imports has not been removed, but only suspended while negotiations go ahead on broader trade relations.

Seven months after Trump’s tax cut

Corporate tax collection rate at historic low

By Gabriel Black, 26 July 2018

The trillions in deficits created by the tax cuts for the rich will be used to justify further slashes to critical social programs that millions of Americans rely on.

Trade tensions intensify at G20 meeting

By Nick Beams, 23 July 2018

Rather than addressing any of the trade conflicts ripping through the world economy, the main work of the G20 meeting was to craft a statement that avoided them.

Trump repeats threat to impose auto tariffs

By Nick Beams, 20 July 2018

If the auto tariffs go ahead, they would be the largest trade war measure invoked by the Trump administration so far.

EU and Japan sign trade deal

By Nick Beams, 19 July 2018

The deal was five years in the making but the impetus to have it finalised was increased by the US trade war measures that have targeted both parties.

US rejects EU carve-out from sanctions against Iran

By Nick Beams, 16 July 2018

The US decision is another major economic blow against the European powers, which had looked to the nuclear agreement with Iran as opening the way for lucrative trade and investment deals.

Trump escalates trade war against China

By Nick Beams, 12 July 2018

The statement issued by the US trade representative was that of an imperial overlord whose word is law, to be obeyed without question, with any opposition to be met by escalating reprisals.

Trade war and the political independence of the working class

By Nick Beams, 7 July 2018

On the eve of World War II, Leon Trotsky wrote that that the bourgeoisie “toboggans with closed eyes towards an economic and military catastrophe.” Eighty years on, his words have a profound resonance.

OECD report details

A global economic “recovery” without wage increases

By Patrick Martin, 6 July 2018

A report by the grouping of 36 most economically developed countries found that the proliferation of low-wage, part-time jobs has held down wage growth for workers throughout the world.

Trump fires opening shot in trade war against China

By Nick Beams, 6 July 2018

The US president has already threatened to impose additional tariffs on up to $400 billion worth of Chinese goods if Beijing retaliates.

Trudeau beats nationalist drum as Canada imposes retaliatory tariffs against US

By Roger Jordan, 4 July 2018

Ottawa is waging trade war not to defend workers and their livelihoods, but to protect the markets and profits of Canadian big business.

Escalating trade war starts to make economic impact

By Nick Beams, 3 July 2018

Chinese stock markets have continued the fall over the first six months of the year that has wiped some $2 trillion off market valuations.

Trump goes with Mnuchin plan on Chinese investment

By Nick Beams, 28 June 2018

The move appears to have been motivated to a considerable extent by Wall Street’s reaction to a more hardline proposal that prompted the Dow to fall at one point by 500 points on Monday.

Citing tariffs, Harley-Davidson to move US production to Europe

By Jacob Crosse, 27 June 2018

In response to the developing trade war between the US and Europe, motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson said it is shifting some production to international facilities.

Trade war fears hit global markets

By Nick Beams, 26 June 2018

The Trump administration reportedly plans to invoke powers allowing the president to impose sanctions on the grounds of a “national emergency.”

After tariff measures against China

Trump threatens to escalate trade war with Europe

By Nick Beams, 23 June 2018

Central bankers at a meeting in Sintra, Portugal, voiced their concerns about the developing global trade war.

Trade war and the eruption of economic nationalism

By Nick Beams, 22 June 2018

As in the 1930s, the re-emergence of trade war and protectionism are accompanied by the most grotesque forms of right-wing xenophobia and authoritarianism.

White House report lays out economic war against China

By Nick Beams, 21 June 2018

China’s “economic aggression” is denounced as threatening the US and the global economy.

Trump escalates trade war with new tariff threat against China

By Nick Beams, 20 June 2018

The latest moves by the US administration brought a fall in stock markets amid growing concerns that trade war will have a significant impact on investment and global supply chains.

Washington launches trade war measures against China

By Ben McGrath, 16 June 2018

The decision by the Trump Administration to initiate a trade war between the world’s two largest economies will contribute to the already growing tensions and danger of military conflict in the Asia-Pacific region.

After G7 summit, Merkel calls for European rearmament

By Johannes Stern, 13 June 2018

German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that Germany “must promote our principles and values in Europe, potentially in alliance with Canada or Japan”

Recriminations, threats between US and allies continue after collapse of G7 summit

By Barry Grey, 12 June 2018

The level of acrimony and division following the unprecedented failure of the latest in a long line of summits points to a fundamental and irreparable breakdown of the post-World War II economic order.

US-European tensions erupt at the G7 summit

By Andre Damon, 9 June 2018

The bitter denunciations of America’s trade war measures by its closest allies are just one manifestation of the divisions ripping apart the world geopolitical order.

Mexico responds to Trump’s trade war measures with tariffs on US goods

By Rafael Azul, 9 June 2018

Retaliating against US steel and aluminum import tariffs, the government of Mexico imposed tariffs on 71 products exported by the United States.

G7 conflict set to deepen at leaders’ summit

By Nick Beams, 7 June 2018

The G7 has been called the G6 plus one, as Canada, the EU and Japan seek to coordinate their response to US tariffs.

Deep divisions over US trade policies at G7 finance ministers meeting

By Nick Beams, 4 June 2018

The statement from the G7, agreed to by Canada, the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Japan, pointed to the “negative impact of the unilateral trade actions of the United States.”

Backlash against US over tariffs

By Nick Beams, 2 June 2018

The European Union is pushing ahead with counter-measures against the US. It is expected to announce its final list of products to be targeted later this month.

US imposes steel and aluminium tariffs

Trump administration takes major step toward global trade war

By Nick Beams, 1 June 2018

The European Union said it would take immediate steps to retaliate, warning of a 1930s-style depression.

Trump sets out timetable for anti-China tariffs

By Nick Beams, 31 May 2018

The White House measures are aimed at China’s efforts to develop high-tech industries.

Naming of technocratic government plunges Italy into crisis of class rule

By Alex Lantier, 30 May 2018

Financial markets are panicking and protests are being called, as bitter divisions inside the Italian bourgeoisie erupt to the surface.

Bipartisan hostility to Trump deal on Chinese telecom firm ZTE

By Nick Beams, 28 May 2018

Moves are underway in the US Congress, supported by leading Republicans and Democrats, to extend bans on Chinese telecos regarded as a threat to “national security.”

Trump orders “national security” probe into auto industry

By Nick Beams, 25 May 2018

The investigation was directly linked to statements about economic preparations for war.

Trump trade deal comes under anti-China fire

By Nick Beams, 24 May 2018

The delay in imposing tariffs on China has been condemned by both sides of the US Congress as giving in to Beijing.

Limited truce in US-China trade conflict

By Nick Beams, 22 May 2018

Despite the postponement of US tariffs, the threat of open trade war remains.

Inconclusive outcome of US-China trade talks

By Nick Beams, 21 May 2018

The vagueness of the final, brief communiqué, left the way open for both sides to offer their own interpretations on what had been agreed.

Little room for manoeuvre in US-China trade talks

By Nick Beams, 17 May 2018

A letter signed by 32 Democrats stated that “America’s national security must not be signed away as bargaining chip in trade negotiations.”

Two voices of concern over Trump’s “New World Order”

By Nick Beams, 15 May 2018

One has the sense from both articles of the growing fears in ruling circles of the consequences of the US economic and foreign policy agenda for the stability of the world capitalist system.

US trade war claims China’s ZTE as first victim

By Nick Beams, 11 May 2018

ZTE operates on a global scale, doing business in more than 160 countries with over 74,000 employees, and generating revenues of $17 billion last year.

Argentina to make new IMF agreement amid growing social discontent

By Eric London, 10 May 2018

An estimated 75 percent of Argentinians oppose the move, which takes place alongside broadening strikes among teachers and other workers.

Argentine financial crisis could signal broader turbulence

By Nick Beams, 10 May 2018

Countries with high debts are coming under pressure because of rising interest rates and an appreciation in the value of the US dollar.

US issues trade ultimatum to China

By Nick Beams, 7 May 2018

The list of measures is not intended as the basis for negotiations but to escalate economic conflict and military tensions.

Official report whitewashes financial crimes by Australia’s biggest bank

By Mike Head, 5 May 2018

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia agreed to a worthless “enforceable undertaking,” which means it can carry on with its rapacious activities.

Trade talks in Beijing: China says it won’t back down to US

By Nick Beams, 3 May 2018

The conflict is over more than the trade deficit numbers, with the overriding concern of the US being China’s moves to develop its high-tech capacities.

T-Mobile and Sprint agree to $146 billion mega-merger

By Gabriel Black, 2 May 2018

The companies have presented the merger as a critical geopolitical move in the fight against China’s development of 5G.

Trump postpones steel tariffs but trade tensions increase

By Nick Beams, 2 May 2018

The European Commission said there was no basis for tariffs on “national security” grounds and it would not negotiate under threat.

European Central Bank points to slowing economic growth

By Nick Beams, 27 April 2018

The ECB appears to have adopted a “wait and see” approach on monetary policy in light of the latest eurozone slowdown.

US and China to hold trade talks as tariff deadline looms

By Nick Beams, 26 April 2018

Trump said there was a “very good chance of making a deal,” but if not, the US would impose “very substantial tariffs” on Chinese imports.

US issues ultimatums to IMF on trade

By Nick Beams, 23 April 2018

Adopting the tone of an overlord, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin demanded that the IMF back Washington in its drive against what it claims are “unfair global trade practices.”

White House considers “national emergency” powers against Chinese investment

By Nick Beams, 21 April 2018

Under a 1977 law, president Trump could declare a national emergency in response to an “unusual and extraordinary threat” which would allow him to block transactions and even to seize assets.

IMF remains upbeat on global economy but trade conflicts sound a jarring note

By Nick Beams, 19 April 2018

The IMF chief economist said it seemed “paradoxical” that major economies were “flirting with trade war” at a time of economic expansion.

US and Britain hit Chinese telecom company ZTE

By Nick Beams, 17 April 2018

Both countries imposed the bans amid calls for more aggressive moves by US authorities against Chinese communications and telecom firms.

Trump to consider rejoining TPP to step up pressure on China

By Nick Beams, 14 April 2018

The apparent turnaround is motivated by two immediate considerations: the need to be seen as taking action to alleviate pressure on US farmers threatened by the China tariffs, and the search for international allies against China.

World economy in danger of being “torn apart”

By Nick Beams, 13 April 2018

IMF chief Christine Lagarde said that as a result of easy financial conditions, global debt—public and private—has reached an all-time high of $164 trillion.

Trade war issues come into sharper focus

By Nick Beams, 12 April 2018

The key question is not primarily the Chinese trade surplus against which Trump rails, but Beijing’s plan to become a major source of high-tech development.

Top Trump aide lays out driving forces of trade war against China

By Nick Beams, 10 April 2018

Trump’s key trade adviser Peter Navarro declared that China’s move into high-tech development was a direct threat to US economic and military dominance.

Report details massive growth of inequality worldwide

By Eric London, 10 April 2018

The report found that if inequality grows at its present rate, the world’s billionaires will eventually “own 100 percent of the world’s wealth.”

China prepares to strike back as US trade war intensifies

By Nick Beams, 7 April 2018

At a briefing with reporters in Beijing Friday evening, Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said the US move was “extremely wrong” and China was preparing to retaliate.

Canada’s trade union-backed Liberal government clamps down on steel and aluminum imports

By Roger Jordan, 7 April 2018

Trudeau’s protectionist measures, which help enforce Trump’s trade war tariffs, include corporatist initiatives aimed at further integrating the unions with big business and the state.

Trump steps up trade war with proposal for further tariffs on Chinese goods

By Nick Beams, 6 April 2018

The White House said the new directive was in response to the Chinese decision to impose tariffs on $50 billion worth of American exports.

US-China trade war intensifies

By Nick Beams, 5 April 2018

The driving force of the US action is Washington’s attempt to prevent China from developing its capacities in high technology sectors, including communications, robotics, aircraft and pharmaceuticals.

China imposes tariffs as trade war heats up

By Nick Beams, 3 April 2018

The Chinese moves appear to have had an impact on Wall Street, where the Dow was down by more than 450 points at end of yesterday.

The looming threat of global trade war

By Nick Beams, 29 March 2018

The volatility reflects the speculative character of the share market’s rise and the fears that a global trade war could puncture this bubble.

Markets fall on trade war fears

By Nick Beams, 24 March 2018

Chinese reaction to US tariff measures has been fairly muted, so far, but government officials said they will defend their “legitimate interests.”

US threatens trade war against China

By Nick Beams, 23 March 2018

The Trump administration has drawn up a list of more than 1,000 products, and proposed investment bans, targeting 10 key Chinese industries.

US to launch trade measures against China

By Nick Beams, 22 March 2018

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said action would be taken outside the WTO, because China’s “state-dominated economy” rejects “market principles.”

European Union seeks tariff exemptions as US sets out demands

By Nick Beams, 20 March 2018

Talks in Washington with the Trump administration will determine whether the EU proceeds with threatened measures in retaliation against the US imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminium.

Confusion over US tariff exemptions

By Nick Beams, 12 March 2018

US trade representative Robert Lighthizer could give his EU and Japanese counterparts no indication of the criteria for gaining an exemption.

US “allies” scramble for tariff exemptions

By Nick Beams, 10 March 2018

The European Union is “counting” on being exempted from the Trump tariff measures but may get short shrift.

Australian government obtains “national security” exemption from Trump’s trade war measures

By Mike Head, 10 March 2018

The government argued that retaining steel production in Australia was vital for its $200 billion military spending program.