9th July 2018
Trump and XI stick to their guns
This week, Peak Pegasus, a US cargo ship full to the brim with soybeans, raced across the Northern Pacific to beat a 25 percent import duty on one of the States’ most lucrative exports to China. Unfortunately, it arrived late, making it the latest casualty in the global trade war which now seems to be properly underway.
As widely anticipated, the US imposed 25 percent duties on $34bn worth of annual imports from China late in the week, prompting this like-for-like retaliation from Xi Jinping’s government. We are likely to see a bit more of this back and forth before the situation improves.
Elsewhere, Theresa May is retreating to Chequers to try to get her warring cabinet ministers to back a Brexit strategy which would keep the UK more closely-aligned to the single market and customs union. The outcome will likely be too soft for the Brexiteers and too hard for the remainders, and probably something already rejected by Brussels as unworkable. The leading Tory Brexiteer in classic Rees-Moggian style, has already announced that the plan could leave the UK “a vassal state in chains”. We will have to wait and see whether these talks force any more ministers to resign.