Keith Gilbert

Steven Mnuchin Looks for Substantial Progress as Trade Talks Recommence With China

The trade war between the United States and China has possibly been one of the most damaging and protracted trade disputes in recent history. The impact of the trade war between the world’s two biggest economies has sent ripples throughout the world economy, and almost all nations are waiting for the trade dispute to be over soon. However, despite months of talks, no resolution has come to pass despite noises from both the US and China that the talks are progressing well. The two negotiating teams are slated to meet for probably the last two rounds of talks, beginning in China in May, and the United States Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin has stated that he hopes that there will be ‘substantial progress’ in this round of talks. The next round of talks will take place in Washington.

Mnuchin spoke to reporters in Beijing today regarding his hopes about the next round of talks in Beijing, and as always, he sounded optimistic about the negotiations. He said, “We have a meeting here, and then the vice premier and team will be coming back to Washington D.C., and we hope to make substantial progress in these two meetings.” The second meeting is potentially going to be the final one before the deal is ratified in a summit meeting between US President Donald Trump and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping.  

Some of the stickier issues in relation to the whole new trade deal to be signed between the two countries include an enforcement mechanism, and that is something that will need to be thrashed out before any deal could be signed. On the other hand, the gradual lifting on the existing tariffs that had been placed on Chinese products is also an issue that will need to be looked into closely. US President Donald Trump had earlier stated that the tariffs could be kept on for some time to ensure that China sticks to the agreement. However, it is unlikely that China is going to agree to a deal if those are not lifted eventually. When asked about the issue of an enforcement mechanism, Mnuchin refused to comment on the whole thing. He said, “I’m not going to comment on specific issues of the discussions. They’ve been quite broad as I’ve said before. We’ve made a lot of progress. We look forward to the meetings here.”

Keith GilbertSteven Mnuchin Looks for Substantial Progress as Trade Talks Recommence With China
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Donald Trump says No Meeting with Chinese President Xi Ahead of Trade War Deadline

On Thursday, the US President Donald Trump addressed that meeting with his counterpart Chinese President Xi Jinping is not going to take place before the trade war deadline on March 1.

Last week, following a two days discussion on trade in Washington, a meeting between the two leaders was reported, and it was initially assumed to take place during the end of this month, which was nearer to Trump’s second summit meeting in Vietnam with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

On Thursday, while addressing the reporters at the White House, Trump admitted that meetings were not planned between him and with Chinese President Xi before the trade war deadline March 1 for a deal. Due to missing of an agreement, fresh US tariffs will be imposed on the Chinese imports on March 2.

When asked if he could meet Xi Jinping in this month, Trump replied ‘No’ and shook his head. Later, he said it is ‘not possible.’

The key economic advisor of Trump’s administration Larry Kudlow, on Thursday, said reporters that, he wants the meeting to take place between Xi and Donald Trump, but I am not sure when and where it is going to happen.

Most recently, Larry Kudlow’s addressed Fox Business that, the distance between the two countries is very big and sizeable enough to go on a trade deal between the two largest world economies.

Trump says trade deal with China needs structural modification to end US jobs theft

The comments were the first radical switch in tone ever since Beijing and Washington moved ahead for discussion last week, expecting to agree over a structure for a deal before the deadline. The 90-day break had been taken by the countries during their trade war by placing a hold on the planned increase in the tariffs in order to negotiate the agreement. In the absence of one, the US will raise the tariffs on the Chinese goods of worth the US $200 billion to 25 percent from 10 percent.

In the previous week, during the end of two days negotiations, in a tweet, Trump said “there will be no deal formulated unless I and my friend President Xi meet” in the near future to negotiate and to agree upon the long situation and on most complex points.

As soon as the news broke, the US stock market declared their first significant drawback at the beginning of January that the discussion will take place in Washington. The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Thursday noticed a slip of 200 points or 0.87 percent while Nasdaq and S&P 500 both lost 1 percent each.

Countdown for Trade war

Later after March 1, Trump and Xi might meet for a short while, although there is more work to be done to flesh out the trade war by negotiating. US President Donald Trump needs to be trained ahead of high stake meeting with Kim that is scheduled on February 27 and 28.

On Tuesday, during the Union address in his state, Trump mentioned that the trade deal requires including real organizational changes to end the improper trade practices which will decrease our trade deficit and will save more jobs for Americans.

China is ready to buy more of soybeans while US farmers see a gloomy future

The lead negotiator of China, Vice Premier Liu He, last week stunned Trump with a promise to purchase American soybeans of worth 5 million metric tonnes, a product in between of the tariff dispute, Congress emphasized that the US should not turn back to its demand for significant structural changes in return to China for buying more of American products.

On Thursday, while recognizing that Trump is still positive about the deal, Kudlow stated, there is the rather sizable distance to go from here. On Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin mentioned that he along with the Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer would be heading to China for another fresh round of talks in the week ahead.

On Thursday, the US stock sell out worsened due to global market pullback and raised concern over the worldwide economic slowdown. During this year, the growth expectation for the eurozone was cut by the European Commission because of risks over domestic challenges and global trade tensions.

Keith GilbertDonald Trump says No Meeting with Chinese President Xi Ahead of Trade War Deadline
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Volkswagen Makes A Strategy Shift Bets Big On Electric

Volkswagen is staking its future bigtime; it is investing $91 billion or 80 billion Euros to produce electric vehicles in mass. It is seen as the most significant shift in strategy in the 80-year-old history of the company. If it can pull this off, it will be achieving what most other automakers have not been able to till date. If Volkswagen can fulfill this ambitious plan, it will become the global leader in electric cars.

Volkswagen crisis:

In September 2015, The EPA or the Environmental Protection Agency found that many of the VW cars that were sold in America had a device installed in engines that could detect the engine was being tested and change the performance parameters to provide better results. The company accepted that it was cheating and after the scandal came to light, competitors projected diesel cheating as a ‘VW Issue’ only to find out that it was widespread in the sector.

Now the company is trying to put the diesel gate behind and is making plans to become the largest manufacturer of electric cars in the world. If the demand for these cars increases then VW will be in a position to flood the market.

The decision to make this radical shift in strategy came in one of the weekend crisis meeting on October 2015 at the Rothehof Guest House as per one of the senior executives. The meeting which was headed by the then Chief Herbert Diess, top managers discussed what the future for the company is after regulators found about the emission cheating which not only bought a bad reputation to VW but also cost them 27 billion Euros in fines. It was there that the decision to build electric cars in Emden factory was taken said a senior executive of VW. Three days after the meeting at Rothehof, VW management board announced its plans to develop an electric vehicle platform which helps to mass produce affordable electric cars.

Though the market was aware that the VW would produce electric cars using the platform with codename MEB, the scale of the company’s ambition came into light only a couple of months ago when it revealed its plans of spending 80 billion Euros to make electric vehicles and batteries which beats all its rivals. Right now the company produces 40k whereas the plan is to increase production annually to 3 million by 2025. It is to be seen whether the customers who have shunned electric vehicles till now will accept it in the future.

Keith GilbertVolkswagen Makes A Strategy Shift Bets Big On Electric
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Pinduoduo e-commerce Chinese rival to raise more than $1 billion

The cost of competing with the Chinese e-commerce enterprises JD.com and Alibaba are enormous. That has been witnessed by the rival Pinduoduo, most widely known as PDD which is going to build over $1billion in fresh capital only within 6 months after going public.

The company declared that it is planning to sell around 37 million of shares to raise more than $1 billion, perhaps going even as high as $1.25 billion only if the guarantor exercise their total share purchase choice. Some present investors might sell their part of stock which will be noticed during the secondary event; the seller mostly includes Lightspeed China, Sequoia and Banyan, as per the filing.

In July, the PDD went public immediately it raised around $1.6 billion via Nasdaq listing.

Former Googler Colin Huang incorporated PDD in September 2015; PDD adds a social twist to the e-commerce by rendering discounts for the buyers who come together with friends or family members to make a bunch of orders. That is mostly encountered with the customers, especially with female ones, the company stated. There are around 385.5 million active shoppers with a yearly GMV of RMB 344.8 billion or around $250.2 billion during Q3 of 2018, the PDD affirms.

This has helped it to deal with the Chinese e-commerce market, which is mostly ruled by Alibaba and Tencent while it has arrived at some price. The PDD is not at a profit and is not going to be for some more time. Although after going public, PDD has incurred a net loss of around RMB 6.49 billion [$981.4 million] during its Q2 and in Q4 it has recorded RMB 1.10 billion [$159.9 million].

Yes, there has been strong growth, the Q4 revenue increased by 697 percent every year to reach RMB 3.37 billion [$491.0 million] while the identical operating loss was increased by 5 times.

The business is a combination of Costco and Disney; Huang explained which indicates a value for money and entertainment both combined. In a note to the shareholders, he stressed about his vision that it needs a decade before starting to reach its capacity.

To take a leap of faith and to believe in such a strange company it’s not easy; the company aims to satisfy both economic and social needs of users and also strives to make a positive impact on the society. The job and aim of our long term vision and the inner value will not be covert, anytime to earn near time profits. Rather we believe in showing you the real colors of our company irrelevant of the numbers and how rough it looks like. We request you to take a ride of the journey along with us for a long term. We are hopeful that the journey will be marvelous, he recorded.

Keith GilbertPinduoduo e-commerce Chinese rival to raise more than $1 billion
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Trump Calls on Congress to Act on Aging Infrastructure

The United States President on Tuesday has asked the U.S. Congress in his State of the Union address to pass legislation to boost aging American infrastructure. But, he has not shared any details as of how he is planning to fund it or how much it is going to cost.

Trump at the time of his election campaign in 2016 vowed to support $1 trillion infrastructure spending over 10 years, but then also he was not very transparent about his ideas.

Trump said in his speech, “Both parties should be able to unite for a great rebuilding of America’s crumbling infrastructure.”

He added, “I know that the Congress is eager to pass an infrastructure bill — and I am eager to work with you on legislation to deliver new and important infrastructure investment, including investments in the cutting edge industries of the future. This is not an option; this is a necessity.”

Trump, however, did not explicitly reveal any details of the price of the plans he was talking of. However, he called on “to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment we need” in his 2018 State of the Union address.

Many officials including Acting Environmental Protection Agency chief Andrew Wheeler are scheduled this week to hold events around the country to discuss infrastructure, while a U.S. House panel will hold a hearing on infrastructure needs on Thursday.

It should be reported here that in February 2018, Trump urged the Congress to authorize $200 billion in federal money over 10 years to spur road, bridge and other projects that are mostly funded by states, cities and the private sector.

That plan was heavily criticized and could not see itself in the Congress for voting, and then Congress had a majority of Republicans. As Democrats are controlling the House of Representative, they are demanding that Trump back new revenue as a condition of moving forward with an infrastructure plan.

As per some sources, the administration was considering an infrastructure plan for as long as 13 years.

Representative Peter DeFazio, who chairs the House Transportation and Infrastructure, said on Tuesday he has been holding discussions with concerned officials about an infrastructure plan.

He also says the United States has a need of at least $2 trillion for infrastructure needs that includes 140,000 bridges that need substantial attention and 40 percent of the nation’s highways that need to be rebuilt.

He said, “It is past time to make these investments, we are in a crisis.”

His committee is scheduled to hear from Amtrak chief executive Richard Anderson, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Thursday.

And Democrats have previously proposed to raise $500 billion with the help of 30-year bonds and using revenue from indexing taxes on fuel to rise with inflation.

Keith GilbertTrump Calls on Congress to Act on Aging Infrastructure
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China’s FDA Plans to Use Blockchain Technology in Quality Assurance Checks

According to The People’s Daily, Food and Drug Administration of Chinese Chongqing Yuzhong district is interested in Blockchain technology and planning to adopt this powerful technology for running its operations. Moreover, The People’s Daily is a popular newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party.

This adoption of blockchain technology is aimed at making the supervision of food and drug quality assurance more strong. Moreover, blockchain technology will result in better traceability of the product cycle as well as anti-counterfeiting measures.

Chief Executive Officer of Prime Number Chain Technology Chengdu Co. Ltd. states that this adoption of blockchain in FDA will help in improving regulatory measures of the Chinese government. Moreover, it will also help in boosting the efficiency of the supervision.

Prime Number Chain Technology Chengdu Co. Ltd. is one of the most trusted companies in China that are working on blockchain technology. This blockchain traceability system will be quite beneficial for enterprises as it will provide centralized management of information regarding traceability. Moreover, it allows for various queries regarding products.

Earlier, Cyberspace Administration of China has initiated new rules and regulations for all the blockchain based industries running in the country. Not only Food and Drug sector, but Banking Industry is also adopting this disruptive technology to increase the growth and performance.

Recently, earlier in the January month of 2019, it was heard that China Banking Association is going to start a platform that will help in enhancing efficiency. Furthermore, this platform will be based on powerful blockchain technology. China Banking Association is a famous bank organization in China. It is a self-regulatory entity serving the Chinese public with its world-class and trusted banking services.

And this adoption of blockchain technology is aimed at utilizing the powerful potential of blockchain technology to pay attention to trade finance, transactions, and similar financial services.

With the increase in time, more and more organizations realize the potential of innovative blockchain technology. Hence, blockchain technology’s usage in the world is increasing at a good speed.

Decentralization is one of the most popular benefits of blockchain technology. This technology decentralizes a system. In other words, it can eliminate the centralized control to a service. In this way, service becomes free of centralization. Furthermore, it can be said that no one is the owner of a decentralized system.

Keith GilbertChina’s FDA Plans to Use Blockchain Technology in Quality Assurance Checks
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