Раздел: Економика

экономические новости

Trump and Moon Sign Revised Trade Agreement

U.S. President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in signed a revised free trade agreement between the two countries Monday afternoon in New York, following their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

“I’m very excited about our new trade agreement,” Trump said during a joint press conference with Moon. “This is a brand new agreement. This is not an old one rewritten. … I’m very excited about that for the United States, and I really believe it’s good for both countries.” 

Trump called the signing “a historic milestone in trade” and “something that most people thought was not going to be happening.”

Speaking through an interpreter, Moon called the revision of the free trade agreement “significant, in the sense that it expands the ROK-U.S. alliance to the economic realm, as well.”

“With the swift conclusion of the negotiations for the revision, uncertainty surrounding our FTA (Free Trade Agreement) have been eliminated,” he said, adding that “as a result, companies from both countries will now be able to do business under more stable conditions.”

The new deal contains amendments to the 2012 U.S.-South Korea free trade deal known as KORUS, which Washington and Seoul agreed to revise in March. 

Trump had previously blamed KORUS, signed during the Obama administration, for increasing U.S. trade deficits with South Korea. 

The amendments include provisions to ease customs barriers for U.S. agricultural goods and pharmaceutical exports. It will increase the number of cars the U.S. can export to South Korea, from 25,000 to 50,000, without being subject to the country’s more stringent safety regulations.

Seoul also accepted a quota on its steel exports to the U.S. to avoid the tariffs Trump has imposed on other countries.

The new deal, however, does not include a currency agreement as members of the Trump administration had previously indicated.

NAFTA deal

Meanwhile, the U.S. and Canada are still trying to work out a deal on a new North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters in Montreal on Sunday that negotiators are “very likely” to hold informal talks on the sidelines of the UNGA. 

Trump struck a side deal on the three-nation trade agreement with Mexico last month and has threatened to exclude Canada. His administration wants to reach an agreement by the end of September.

Canada says it does not feel bound by any deadlines. Trudeau reiterated his position that he would not sign a bad NAFTA deal.

In a blog for the conservative-leaning Heritage Foundation, economist Tori Whiting wrote that under the new KORUS agreement, Washington “failed to fully achieve the goal of eliminating tariff and non-tariff barriers.” She added that protectionist tariffs “should remain dormant under a new NAFTA.”

US-China tariffs

Also on Monday, a new round of U.S.-imposed duties on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, and a retaliatory set of tariffs imposed by Beijing on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods took effect.

The new U.S. duties cover thousands of Chinese-made products, including electronics, food, tools and housewares. The new tariffs begin at 10 percent, and will rise to 25 percent on Jan. 1, 2019. 

In a policy statement, Beijing accused Washington of using tariffs as a means of intimidating other countries to submit to U.S. wishes on economic matters.

“We have now reached a stalemate,” Eswar Prasad, senior fellow at Brookings Institution, said in his podcast, “where neither side can be seen as caving in to each other’s demands, potentially signaling that we could be in for a long-standing trade war.”

Prasad added that it seems clear Trump “wants nothing less than total capitulation by the Chinese side on all American demands.”

This includes, he said, not just measures by China to reduce the trade deficit, but also other issues that the U.S. has long been concerned about, such as “better protection of intellectual property rights of American companies, better access to Chinese markets for American investors, as well as American manufacturers.” 

The U.S. has already imposed tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods, and China has retaliated on an equal amount on U.S. goods. 

Earlier this month, Trump threatened more tariffs on Chinese goods — another $267 billion worth of duties that would cover virtually all the goods China imports to the United States.

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Trump and Moon Sign Revised Trade Agreement

U.S. President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in signed a revised free trade agreement between the two countries Monday afternoon in New York, following their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

“I’m very excited about our new trade agreement,” Trump said during a joint press conference with Moon. “This is a brand new agreement. This is not an old one rewritten. … I’m very excited about that for the United States, and I really believe it’s good for both countries.” 

Trump called the signing “a historic milestone in trade” and “something that most people thought was not going to be happening.”

Speaking through an interpreter, Moon called the revision of the free trade agreement “significant, in the sense that it expands the ROK-U.S. alliance to the economic realm, as well.”

“With the swift conclusion of the negotiations for the revision, uncertainty surrounding our FTA (Free Trade Agreement) have been eliminated,” he said, adding that “as a result, companies from both countries will now be able to do business under more stable conditions.”

The new deal contains amendments to the 2012 U.S.-South Korea free trade deal known as KORUS, which Washington and Seoul agreed to revise in March. 

Trump had previously blamed KORUS, signed during the Obama administration, for increasing U.S. trade deficits with South Korea. 

The amendments include provisions to ease customs barriers for U.S. agricultural goods and pharmaceutical exports. It will increase the number of cars the U.S. can export to South Korea, from 25,000 to 50,000, without being subject to the country’s more stringent safety regulations.

Seoul also accepted a quota on its steel exports to the U.S. to avoid the tariffs Trump has imposed on other countries.

The new deal, however, does not include a currency agreement as members of the Trump administration had previously indicated.

NAFTA deal

Meanwhile, the U.S. and Canada are still trying to work out a deal on a new North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters in Montreal on Sunday that negotiators are “very likely” to hold informal talks on the sidelines of the UNGA. 

Trump struck a side deal on the three-nation trade agreement with Mexico last month and has threatened to exclude Canada. His administration wants to reach an agreement by the end of September.

Canada says it does not feel bound by any deadlines. Trudeau reiterated his position that he would not sign a bad NAFTA deal.

In a blog for the conservative-leaning Heritage Foundation, economist Tori Whiting wrote that under the new KORUS agreement, Washington “failed to fully achieve the goal of eliminating tariff and non-tariff barriers.” She added that protectionist tariffs “should remain dormant under a new NAFTA.”

US-China tariffs

Also on Monday, a new round of U.S.-imposed duties on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, and a retaliatory set of tariffs imposed by Beijing on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods took effect.

The new U.S. duties cover thousands of Chinese-made products, including electronics, food, tools and housewares. The new tariffs begin at 10 percent, and will rise to 25 percent on Jan. 1, 2019. 

In a policy statement, Beijing accused Washington of using tariffs as a means of intimidating other countries to submit to U.S. wishes on economic matters.

“We have now reached a stalemate,” Eswar Prasad, senior fellow at Brookings Institution, said in his podcast, “where neither side can be seen as caving in to each other’s demands, potentially signaling that we could be in for a long-standing trade war.”

Prasad added that it seems clear Trump “wants nothing less than total capitulation by the Chinese side on all American demands.”

This includes, he said, not just measures by China to reduce the trade deficit, but also other issues that the U.S. has long been concerned about, such as “better protection of intellectual property rights of American companies, better access to Chinese markets for American investors, as well as American manufacturers.” 

The U.S. has already imposed tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods, and China has retaliated on an equal amount on U.S. goods. 

Earlier this month, Trump threatened more tariffs on Chinese goods — another $267 billion worth of duties that would cover virtually all the goods China imports to the United States.

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Iran’s Currency Hits Another Record Low, With Six Weeks to US Sanctions

Iran’s currency has hit another record low against the dollar, six weeks before the United States is due to reimpose sanctions on Iranian oil exports that are Tehran’s main revenue source.

The Bonbast.com website, which tracks Iran’s unofficial exchange rates, showed a new low of 16,000 tomans, or 160,000 rials, to the dollar Monday.

The rial has weakened to a series of record lows against the U.S. currency in recent weeks. Bonbast.com displayed the rial at a record low of 128,000 to the dollar on Sept.  3.

Iran’s official exchange rate, set by its central bank, has stood at 42,000 to the dollar since April.

The Trump administration has vowed to reinstate sanctions on Iranian oil exports on Nov. 4, in a bid to pressure Tehran to give up what the U.S. says is its nuclear weapons ambitions.

Iran denies seeking nuclear weapons. Washington reimposed a first set of economic sanctions on Iran last month as part of the pressure campaign. The moves reverse the previous U.S. administration’s suspension of those sanctions under terms of a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers.

Speaking to VOA Persian last Friday in an interview broadcast Monday, U.S. economist Steve Hanke of Johns Hopkins University said Iranians should expect more of the same with their currency.

“The Iranian people already have anticipated the problems that will befall them after the sanctions go back on, and they react much more rapidly, of course, than anyone,” Hanke said. “That is why the rial has been plummeting and inflation has been soaring.”

A weakening rial makes dollar-denominated imports more expensive for Iranians.

In a Monday tweet, Hanke said Iran’s annual inflation rate has hit a record high of 293 percent.

In a graphic posted with the tweet, Hanke said he calculated the rate using data from Bonbast.com, Iran’s central bank and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

“It is impossible to predict how low the Iranian currency will go,” Hanke said. “We just know it is dying. And when currencies die, inflation goes up, the economy tends to be completely destabilized, and society in general becomes destabilized because [people] can’t trust their own money.”

This article originated in VOA’s Persian Service.

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Iran’s Currency Hits Another Record Low, With Six Weeks to US Sanctions

Iran’s currency has hit another record low against the dollar, six weeks before the United States is due to reimpose sanctions on Iranian oil exports that are Tehran’s main revenue source.

The Bonbast.com website, which tracks Iran’s unofficial exchange rates, showed a new low of 16,000 tomans, or 160,000 rials, to the dollar Monday.

The rial has weakened to a series of record lows against the U.S. currency in recent weeks. Bonbast.com displayed the rial at a record low of 128,000 to the dollar on Sept.  3.

Iran’s official exchange rate, set by its central bank, has stood at 42,000 to the dollar since April.

The Trump administration has vowed to reinstate sanctions on Iranian oil exports on Nov. 4, in a bid to pressure Tehran to give up what the U.S. says is its nuclear weapons ambitions.

Iran denies seeking nuclear weapons. Washington reimposed a first set of economic sanctions on Iran last month as part of the pressure campaign. The moves reverse the previous U.S. administration’s suspension of those sanctions under terms of a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers.

Speaking to VOA Persian last Friday in an interview broadcast Monday, U.S. economist Steve Hanke of Johns Hopkins University said Iranians should expect more of the same with their currency.

“The Iranian people already have anticipated the problems that will befall them after the sanctions go back on, and they react much more rapidly, of course, than anyone,” Hanke said. “That is why the rial has been plummeting and inflation has been soaring.”

A weakening rial makes dollar-denominated imports more expensive for Iranians.

In a Monday tweet, Hanke said Iran’s annual inflation rate has hit a record high of 293 percent.

In a graphic posted with the tweet, Hanke said he calculated the rate using data from Bonbast.com, Iran’s central bank and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

“It is impossible to predict how low the Iranian currency will go,” Hanke said. “We just know it is dying. And when currencies die, inflation goes up, the economy tends to be completely destabilized, and society in general becomes destabilized because [people] can’t trust their own money.”

This article originated in VOA’s Persian Service.

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Senegalese Chef Puts Supergrain on New York Menus to Boost African Farmers

A gluten-free grain that grows in Africa’s impoverished and semi-arid Sahel region is taking off as a health food in New York, the Senegalese chef who masterminded its revival said Monday, outlining plans to almost double production by 2023.

Pierre Thiam began exporting fonio to New York last year, hoping to help smallholder communities in the Sahel, which stretches from Mauritania and Mali in the west to Sudan and Eritrea in the east and is home to more than 100 million people.

The grain is now on the menus of more than 60 New York restaurants and will soon be in all the city’s Whole Foods stores, according to an executive at Yolele Foods, the company he co-founded.

“It’s a grain that could play an important role in some of the poorest regions in the world. The Sahel, nothing grows in that region, but fonio grows abundantly,” Thiam said at the international Slow Food festival in the Italian city of Turin.

“It’s also great for the environment. It matures in 60 days and grows with very little water. There’s even a nickname they have for fonio — the lazy farmers’ crop,” he said.

Thiam told Reuters he hoped to expand annual production from 600,000 tons to a million tons over the next five years.

He wants to have 7,000 families in Senegal producing the crop by 2020, and also plans to expand production to Burkina Faso.

Yolele Foods describes fonio as a “gluten-free, nutrient rich, ancient grain that takes just 5 minutes to cook.” Its website includes recipes for everything from fonio breakfast cereal to kimchi with fonio.

“When we rolled out at Whole Foods Harlem they built a display for us within the first couple weeks because we were selling out so quickly,” said the company’s director of business development Claire Alsup.

Thiam, who opened his first restaurant in New York in 1997, said changing weather patterns had hit the crops commonly grown in the Sahel, but fonio grew quickly even in poor soil and dry conditions.

The crop was largely abandoned under French rule when local farmers were made to grow peanuts and grains such as wheat were imported, but is now being rediscovered, he said.

Thiam said he was aware that popular demand for traditional grains such as fonio and millet could push up prices, putting them out of reach of local consumers.

“We’re conscious of that. We definitely want the first beneficiaries to be the smallholder communities of West Africa,” he said.

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Senegalese Chef Puts Supergrain on New York Menus to Boost African Farmers

A gluten-free grain that grows in Africa’s impoverished and semi-arid Sahel region is taking off as a health food in New York, the Senegalese chef who masterminded its revival said Monday, outlining plans to almost double production by 2023.

Pierre Thiam began exporting fonio to New York last year, hoping to help smallholder communities in the Sahel, which stretches from Mauritania and Mali in the west to Sudan and Eritrea in the east and is home to more than 100 million people.

The grain is now on the menus of more than 60 New York restaurants and will soon be in all the city’s Whole Foods stores, according to an executive at Yolele Foods, the company he co-founded.

“It’s a grain that could play an important role in some of the poorest regions in the world. The Sahel, nothing grows in that region, but fonio grows abundantly,” Thiam said at the international Slow Food festival in the Italian city of Turin.

“It’s also great for the environment. It matures in 60 days and grows with very little water. There’s even a nickname they have for fonio — the lazy farmers’ crop,” he said.

Thiam told Reuters he hoped to expand annual production from 600,000 tons to a million tons over the next five years.

He wants to have 7,000 families in Senegal producing the crop by 2020, and also plans to expand production to Burkina Faso.

Yolele Foods describes fonio as a “gluten-free, nutrient rich, ancient grain that takes just 5 minutes to cook.” Its website includes recipes for everything from fonio breakfast cereal to kimchi with fonio.

“When we rolled out at Whole Foods Harlem they built a display for us within the first couple weeks because we were selling out so quickly,” said the company’s director of business development Claire Alsup.

Thiam, who opened his first restaurant in New York in 1997, said changing weather patterns had hit the crops commonly grown in the Sahel, but fonio grew quickly even in poor soil and dry conditions.

The crop was largely abandoned under French rule when local farmers were made to grow peanuts and grains such as wheat were imported, but is now being rediscovered, he said.

Thiam said he was aware that popular demand for traditional grains such as fonio and millet could push up prices, putting them out of reach of local consumers.

“We’re conscious of that. We definitely want the first beneficiaries to be the smallholder communities of West Africa,” he said.

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Greece Uses High-tech Drones to Fight Tax Evasion in Holiday Hot Spots

Greece are using drones to buzz over boats running day trips on the Aegean at the start of a new effort aimed at cracking down on rampant tax evasion at holiday hotspots.

With the black economy by some accounts representing about a quarter of national output in a country which depends hugely on tourism, Greek authorities are turning to high-tech to stamp out undeclared earnings.

Finance ministry tax inspectors and the coast guard launched the drones project on Santorini, an island highly popular with tourists, to check on whether operators offering short day trips were issuing legal receipts to all their passengers.

Based on data from the drones, authorities were able to establish how many passengers were on board, then cross-referenced it with declared receipts and on-site inspections.

“We used the drones for the first time on an experimental basis to monitor how many tourists were on board,” said an official at the Independent Authority for Public Revenue. “The results were excellent”, he added.

Nine tourist vessels checked were alleged to have not issued a number of receipts, totalling about 25,000 euros ($29,460).

Their owners now face fines.

Tourism is a much-needed motor of growth and tax revenue for the economy, accounting for about a fifth of Greek gross domestic product.

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Greece Uses High-tech Drones to Fight Tax Evasion in Holiday Hot Spots

Greece are using drones to buzz over boats running day trips on the Aegean at the start of a new effort aimed at cracking down on rampant tax evasion at holiday hotspots.

With the black economy by some accounts representing about a quarter of national output in a country which depends hugely on tourism, Greek authorities are turning to high-tech to stamp out undeclared earnings.

Finance ministry tax inspectors and the coast guard launched the drones project on Santorini, an island highly popular with tourists, to check on whether operators offering short day trips were issuing legal receipts to all their passengers.

Based on data from the drones, authorities were able to establish how many passengers were on board, then cross-referenced it with declared receipts and on-site inspections.

“We used the drones for the first time on an experimental basis to monitor how many tourists were on board,” said an official at the Independent Authority for Public Revenue. “The results were excellent”, he added.

Nine tourist vessels checked were alleged to have not issued a number of receipts, totalling about 25,000 euros ($29,460).

Their owners now face fines.

Tourism is a much-needed motor of growth and tax revenue for the economy, accounting for about a fifth of Greek gross domestic product.

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New Venezuela Fuel Payment System Gets Off to Slow Start

Venezuela’s new digital fuel payment system got off to a slow start on Monday, as most drivers paid with cash and only a handful of gas stations were equipped with the system that President Nicolas Maduro says will limit fuel smuggling.

The new system entails Venezuelans applying for and using a state-backed digital identification document to pay for fuel, with the government providing gas stations with wireless devices that will read the card.

Leftist Maduro has said the system will limit the cross-border trading of gas, which is so heavily subsidized that drivers often do not even bother paying for it. Last week, he said the new payment system would roll out on Monday.

That followed a pilot earlier this month in border states, where fuel smugglers are the most active, though drivers at the time said the system was not functioning.

Gas station employees and drivers that Reuters spoke to on Monday said the system was not fully operational.

“Right now payments aren’t being made with the system, it’s only to show how it works,” said an employee of a gas station in Caracas, who asked not to be identified. “This is a test phase, it’s a month-long test.”

The Information Ministry did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Maduro has said gasoline prices will rise to international levels by October, but has provided no details on what the prices would be. The issue has been politically delicate since a 1989 austerity package that included a fuel price hike triggered rioting that left thousands dead.

Maduro’s previous plans to raise gasoline prices have either been abandoned or resulted in insignificant increases that were quickly overtaken by inflation.

Many Venezuelans Reuters spoke to said they were confused about what the new prices will be and called the card a mechanism to withhold benefits and services from those who oppose Maduro.

“To me this system is garbage,” said Mercedes Fernandez, 41, a systems engineer. “We don’t even know how much it’s going to cost, or how we’re going to pay.”

Fernandez shortly thereafter filled her tank and paid for the fuel with a bank note worth 0.01 bolivars, currently the smallest denomination of legal tender.

The combination of fixed fuel prices and annual inflation now topping 200,000 percent has made gasoline so cheap as to be effectively free. For the amount it costs to buy one kilo (2.2 pounds) of cheese, a driver could fill their tank 20,000 times. 

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New Venezuela Fuel Payment System Gets Off to Slow Start

Venezuela’s new digital fuel payment system got off to a slow start on Monday, as most drivers paid with cash and only a handful of gas stations were equipped with the system that President Nicolas Maduro says will limit fuel smuggling.

The new system entails Venezuelans applying for and using a state-backed digital identification document to pay for fuel, with the government providing gas stations with wireless devices that will read the card.

Leftist Maduro has said the system will limit the cross-border trading of gas, which is so heavily subsidized that drivers often do not even bother paying for it. Last week, he said the new payment system would roll out on Monday.

That followed a pilot earlier this month in border states, where fuel smugglers are the most active, though drivers at the time said the system was not functioning.

Gas station employees and drivers that Reuters spoke to on Monday said the system was not fully operational.

“Right now payments aren’t being made with the system, it’s only to show how it works,” said an employee of a gas station in Caracas, who asked not to be identified. “This is a test phase, it’s a month-long test.”

The Information Ministry did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Maduro has said gasoline prices will rise to international levels by October, but has provided no details on what the prices would be. The issue has been politically delicate since a 1989 austerity package that included a fuel price hike triggered rioting that left thousands dead.

Maduro’s previous plans to raise gasoline prices have either been abandoned or resulted in insignificant increases that were quickly overtaken by inflation.

Many Venezuelans Reuters spoke to said they were confused about what the new prices will be and called the card a mechanism to withhold benefits and services from those who oppose Maduro.

“To me this system is garbage,” said Mercedes Fernandez, 41, a systems engineer. “We don’t even know how much it’s going to cost, or how we’re going to pay.”

Fernandez shortly thereafter filled her tank and paid for the fuel with a bank note worth 0.01 bolivars, currently the smallest denomination of legal tender.

The combination of fixed fuel prices and annual inflation now topping 200,000 percent has made gasoline so cheap as to be effectively free. For the amount it costs to buy one kilo (2.2 pounds) of cheese, a driver could fill their tank 20,000 times. 

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