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Donald Trump says he’ll increase tariffs on imports from China – National

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Donald Trump says he’ll increase tariffs on imports from China National

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WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday dramatically increased pressure on China to reach a trade deal by announcing he will hike U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods this week and target hundreds of billions more soon.

The announcement via Twitter marks a major shift in tone from Trump, who has cited good progress in the talks and praised his relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Any sign of an escalation in the months-long trade war is almost sure to roil financial markets, which have reacted sensitively to developments in the talks between the world’s two largest economies.


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Trump’s announcement comes ahead of another round of talks between U.S. and Chinese officials in Washington scheduled for this week. White House officials were unaware on Sunday afternoon whether the tweet would affect those talks. The Chinese delegation could decide not to come because of what is likely to be seen as an escalation by the president.

Trump’s move is a reversal of his decision in February not to increase tariffs from 10 per cent to 25 per cent on $200 billion of goods, thanks to progress in the trade talks. That increase will now go into effect on Friday, Trump said in a tweet.

The president also said he would target another $325 billion of Chinese goods with 25 per cent tariffs “shortly” and he suggested that the measures were not leading to price increases for American consumers.

WATCH: Trump says he discussed nuclear deal with Russia which may include China





“The Tariffs paid to the USA have had little impact on product cost, mostly borne by China. The Trade Deal with China continues, but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate. No!” Trump said.

Tariffs on Chinese goods are paid to the United States by the companies importing the goods; most of those companies are U.S.-based.

READ MORE: Cost of trade war in billions for both U.S. and China in 2018

The announcement casts doubt on expectations that China and the United States were closing in on a deal to end a trade war that has slowed global growth and disrupted markets.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He was due to travel to Washington for talks this week after a round last week in Beijing that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called “productive.”

As recently as Friday, Trump said talks with China were going well.

WATCH: Trump says there will be a summit with China if there’s a trade deal





White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told Fox News that the president’s tweet was a warning to the Chinese.

“The president is, I think, issuing a warning here, that, you know, we bent over backwards earlier, we suspended the 25 per cent tariff to 10 and then we’ve left it there. That may not be forever if the talks don’t work out,” he said.

But Michael Pillsbury, an informal trade adviser to Trump and the director for Chinese strategy at the Hudson Institute, said Kudlow’s remarks downplayed the president’s intent.


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“I take the president’s tweet at face value. I was disappointed that Larry Kudlow downgraded it to a mere warning, which may tend to undermine American credibility as the Chinese delegation prepares its position” ahead of this week’s scheduled talks, he said.

Despite Mnuchin’s more upbeat interpretation of the last negotiating round, Pillsbury said he assumed Trump’s tweet came after a more sobering update from U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, including information that China had walked back from some things to which it had previously agreed.


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Last week, industry sources said they believed the talks were in the endgame, and Mnuchin had said he hoped that the U.S. negotiating team would soon be able to recommend a deal to Trump or tell him that one could not be reached.

The administration has been insisting on a mechanism to ensure that China follows through on any promises to purchase more American goods. Administration officials have said both sides are expected to launch new enforcement staffs to police the agreement.



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Catholic Bishops react to military coup in Mali

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Catholic Bishops react to military coup in Mali

Contrary to the expectations of the people, the leadership of the Episcopal Conference of Mali (CEM) has termed the Tuesday, August 18 military coup in the West African nation as “regrettable” and “a big failure for our democracy” and called for a change of mentality if the country has to put an end to coups.

In an interview with ACI Africa Wednesday, August 19, made available to RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA, the President of CEM, Bishop Jonas Dembélé said that the governance challenges the country is facing can be managed through dialogue.

“The military coup that led to the ousting of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta is regrettable because we are in a state of law and democracy. This is the second time that Mali has had a military coup as a result of the way in which the country is governed. It is a big failure for our democracy even if there were reasons for it,” Bishop Dembélé told ACI Africa.

“It is true that our country has serious challenges including bad governance, the poor management of the economy, corruption, insecurity and so on,” Bishop Dembélé said and probed, “Why is it that we Malians have not managed to engage in dialogue to be able to discuss these problems and face up to these challenges responsibly?”

“Our leaders, our people lack transparency, they hate those who speak the truth and advocate for good governance. This mentality must change for our country to move on,” the Prelate told ACI Africa August 19.

Bishop Dembélé who is a frontline member of RECOWA-CERAO urged the military officials “to ensure a return to democracy as promised but most especially ensuring the new leadership of the country put the people first and tackle the security challenges facing the nation.”

Asked about the role of the Church in the current crisis, the 57-year-old Prelate noted, “For us the Catholic Church in Mali, our role is to preach peace; our role is to preach dialogue. We shall continue in this path of dialogue for peace just like Cardinal Jean Zerbo and some religious leaders initiated.”

“In a state of law, power is not in the hands of certain individuals but to the people. The anger of our people led to this crisis, but we must work for peace and reconciliation in Mali,” Bishop Dembélé said.

He continued in recollections, “The Bishops in Mali have always issued messages before every election in our country sounding the alert and inviting the government to organize transparent elections, ensure good governance and better management of resources.”
“But it seems our messages are never taken into consideration that is why we find ourselves in this situation today,” the Local Ordinary of Kayes Diocese told ACI Africa and added, “If the opinion of the Episcopal Conference of Mali is needed to mediate in bringing back stability and peace in the country, then we are ready.”

As a way forward, the Bishop urged the people of God in Mali to “seek the path to conversion” and to accept dialogue in the spirit of truth and honesty.
“We all want change in our

country, but this change can only be possible if individually we seek the path to conversion. It is for Malians be they Muslims or Christians or members of traditional religion, to do an examination of conscience and accept personal and community conversion in order to engage in sincere dialogue,” he said.

The Malian Prelate added, “Now there is this coup d’état to demand change we really wonder where change should come from. As long as we don’t change our behavior, our mentality, we will always have a repeat of the current situation.”

On Tuesday, August 18, President Keita announced his resignation and dissolved parliament hours after mutinying soldiers detained him at gunpoint, Aljazeera reported.
“For seven years, I have with great joy and happiness tried to put this country on its feet. If today some people from the armed forces have decided to end it by their intervention, do I have a choice? I should submit to it because I do not want any blood to be shed,” President Keita said August 18 during the televised address to the nation.

Rev. Fr. George Nwachukwu
RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA

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Harris accepts VP nomination

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Harris accepts VP nomination

Senator Kamala Harris formally accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president on Wednesday following a scathing speech by former President Barack Obama, who said the fate of the nation” depends entirely on the outcome of this election.”

Both Mr. Obama and Harris stressed the importance of voting, with Harris saying “we’re all in this fight together.” Harris sounded an optimistic note by highlighting her personal history and the promise of America, saying she was “so inspired by a new generation.”

“Make no mistake, the road ahead will not be not easy,” she said. “We will stumble. We may fall short. But I pledge to you that we will act boldly and deal with our challenges honestly. We will speak truths. And we will act with the same faith in you that we ask you to place in us.” She called Mr. Trump a “predator” in a speech that came after Mr. Obama issued his most forceful rebuke of his successor to date, saying Mr. Trump “hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t.”

“This president and those in power — those who benefit from keeping things the way they are — they are counting on your cynicism,” Mr. Obama said. “They know they can’t win you over with their policies. So they’re hoping to make it as hard as possible for you to vote, and to convince you that your vote doesn’t matter.

That’s how they win. That’s how they get to keep making decisions that affect your life, and the lives of the people you love. That’s how the economy will keep getting skewed to the wealthy and well-connected, how our health systems will let more people fall through the cracks. That’s how a democracy withers, until it’s no democracy at all.”

Mr. Obama and Hillary Clinton, speaking earlier in the night, both said they had hoped Mr. Trump would rise to the occasion. But they both stressed what they called his failures while in office, with Mr. Obama saying Mr. Trump has shown “no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves.”

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Mali coup leaders vow to hold elections as history repeats itself

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Mali coup leaders vow to hold elections as history repeats itself

The Malian soldiers who forced President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to resign in a coup promised early Wednesday to organize new elections after their takeover was swiftly condemned by the international community.

In a statement carried overnight on state broadcaster ORTM, the mutinous soldiers who staged Tuesday’s military coup identified themselves as the National Committee for the Salvation of the People led by Colonel Major Ismael Wagué.

“With you, standing as one, we can restore this country to its former greatness,” Wagué said, announcing that borders were closed and that a curfew was going into effect from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m

The news of Keita’s departure was met with jubilation by anti-government demonstrators in the capital, Bamako, and alarm by former colonial ruler France and other allies and foreign nations.

The U.N. Security Council scheduled a closed meeting Wednesday August 19, 2020 afternoon to discuss the unfolding situation in Mali, where the U.N. has a 15,600-strong peacekeeping mission. Keita, who was democratically elected in a 2013 landslide and re-elected five years later, still had three years left in his term.

But his popularity had plummeted, and demonstrators began taking to the streets calling for his ouster in June.

West African regional bloc ECOWAS had sent mediators to try and negotiate a unity government but those talks fell apart when it became clear that the protesters would not accept less than Keita’s resignation.

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