6 July 2018   Leave a comment

A town in Algeria, Ouargla, recorded what is “probably the highest temperature ever reliably measured both in Algeria and in all of Africa“.  The temperature was 124.3ºF (51.3ºC).  There have been record temperatures all over the planet in the last 10 days, including a reading of 90ºF in northern Siberia on 5 July.

Location of Ouargla, Algeria, indicated by red marker

 

The US imposed tariffs on China at midnight on Friday and the Chinese immediately responded with an equivalent level of tariffs.  The response by China was unequivocal, as suggested by the Global Times, a newspaper that reliably reports the official Chinese position:

“Lu Kang, Foreign Ministry spokesperson, told a regular press briefing on Friday that ‘if anything, unilateral pressure is futile,’ adding that any person should not have any illusions. ‘When China’s interests are treated unfairly, it has every reason to fight back,’ Lu said.

“China is forced to take necessary retaliatory measures to defend the nation’s core interests and the Chinese people’s interests following the US’ ‘largest-scale trade war in history,’ said a statement on the website of China’s Ministry of Commerce.

“The statement was posted immediately after the US’ scheduled tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese products took effect at 12:01 pm (Beijing Time) Friday.

“‘The duties are typical bullying behavior, which will have a serious impact on the global industrial and value chain and pose obstacles to global economic recovery,’ the ministry said.

“The duties will affect ‘innocent’ transnational companies, ordinary companies as well as global consumers, it added, noting US enterprises and consumers will also be hurt.”

The Trump Administration has indicated that it intends to escalate the trade war.  According to The Guardian:

“Trump has threatened to raise tariffs if China retaliates to roughly the value of total Chinese exports to the US last year of $506bn. He told reporters aboard Air Force One on Thursday, ‘You have another 16 (billion dollars) in two weeks, and then, as you know, we have $200bn in abeyance and then after the $200bn, we have $300bn in abeyance. Ok? So we have 50 plus 200 plus almost 300.’”

There is no logical end to a trade war.  Such wars only end if one side capitulates and it does not appear as if the US or China is near that point yet.

Posted July 6, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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