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War: US, China sign first deal

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The U.S. and China signed a so-called ‘Phase One’ deal on Wednesday, thus putting on hold a trade war between the two economic giants but leaves in place massive tariffs on Beijing’s goods, while also sidestepping some of the thorniest issues.

The trade war has roiled world markets and slowed global growth over the past two years.

The approximately 90-page deal includes Chinese promises to buy some 200 billion dollars’ worth of U.S. products over two years and implement stronger rules on intellectual property, NAN reports

It also established a dispute resolution mechanism, which is meant to ensure the deal is enforceable, and provides further access to the Chinese market for U.S. financial service providers.

The U.S. said that if the sides could reach a more expansive Phase Two deal, Washington would roll back tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese imports.

The first phase leaves in place Washington’s tariffs on 370 billion dollars’ worth of Chinese imports, while reducing the tariff rate on some of those goods from 15 to 7.5 per cent.

BUSINESS

War: US, China sign first deal

Published

on

The U.S. and China signed a so-called ‘Phase One’ deal on Wednesday, thus putting on hold a trade war between the two economic giants but leaves in place massive tariffs on Beijing’s goods, while also sidestepping some of the thorniest issues.

The trade war has roiled world markets and slowed global growth over the past two years.

The approximately 90-page deal includes Chinese promises to buy some 200 billion dollars’ worth of U.S. products over two years and implement stronger rules on intellectual property, NAN reports

It also established a dispute resolution mechanism, which is meant to ensure the deal is enforceable, and provides further access to the Chinese market for U.S. financial service providers.

The U.S. said that if the sides could reach a more expansive Phase Two deal, Washington would roll back tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese imports.

The first phase leaves in place Washington’s tariffs on 370 billion dollars’ worth of Chinese imports, while reducing the tariff rate on some of those goods from 15 to 7.5 per cent.

Still, President Donald Trump hailed the “historic” agreement at a lengthy White House signing ceremony.

“Keeping these two giant and powerful nations together in harmony is so important for the world.

“The world is watching today.

“Together, we are righting the wrongs of the past,” Trump said, while stressing that he viewed the remaining tariffs as a negotiating tool.

China will buy 40 billion dollars in U.S. agriculture products “in line with market terms,” Chinese Vice Premier Liu He said at the ceremony, while noting that demand would also be a factor.

Trump has made closing the large trade deficit between the U.S. and China one of the goals of his administration.

He also has sought an end to abuses of U.S. intellectual property rights by Chinese companies along with forced technology transfers.

“We are not likely to see in this agreement any provisions addressing the key structural problems with China,” Jennifer Hillman, a trade expert at the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations, warned ahead of the ceremony.

Hillman cited Beijing’s use of subsidies to “prop up” companies that flood markets with goods and drive down prices among the practices.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, who did not attend the event in Washington, praised the deal, in a letter read out by Liu.

“In the next step the two sides need to implement the agreement in real earnest and optimize its positive impact,” Xi said.

“In that spirit, I hope the U.S. side will treat fairly Chinese companies and their regular trade and investment activities,” the letter added.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said on Wednesday, “(The deal) is an extreme disappointment to me and to millions and millions of Americans who want to see us make China play fair.”

Chinese observers also feel like the deal, while halting a trade conflict that was spiralling out of control, may fail to serve China’s national interests.

BUSINESS

War: US, China sign first deal

Published

on

The U.S. and China signed a so-called ‘Phase One’ deal on Wednesday, thus putting on hold a trade war between the two economic giants but leaves in place massive tariffs on Beijing’s goods, while also sidestepping some of the thorniest issues.

The trade war has roiled world markets and slowed global growth over the past two years.

The approximately 90-page deal includes Chinese promises to buy some 200 billion dollars’ worth of U.S. products over two years and implement stronger rules on intellectual property, NAN reports

It also established a dispute resolution mechanism, which is meant to ensure the deal is enforceable, and provides further access to the Chinese market for U.S. financial service providers.

The U.S. said that if the sides could reach a more expansive Phase Two deal, Washington would roll back tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese imports.

The first phase leaves in place Washington’s tariffs on 370 billion dollars’ worth of Chinese imports, while reducing the tariff rate on some of those goods from 15 to 7.5 per cent.

Still, President Donald Trump hailed the “historic” agreement at a lengthy White House signing ceremony.

“Keeping these two giant and powerful nations together in harmony is so important for the world.

“The world is watching today.

“Together, we are righting the wrongs of the past,” Trump said, while stressing that he viewed the remaining tariffs as a negotiating tool.

China will buy 40 billion dollars in U.S. agriculture products “in line with market terms,” Chinese Vice Premier Liu He said at the ceremony, while noting that demand would also be a factor.

Trump has made closing the large trade deficit between the U.S. and China one of the goals of his administration.

He also has sought an end to abuses of U.S. intellectual property rights by Chinese companies along with forced technology transfers.

“We are not likely to see in this agreement any provisions addressing the key structural problems with China,” Jennifer Hillman, a trade expert at the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations, warned ahead of the ceremony.

Hillman cited Beijing’s use of subsidies to “prop up” companies that flood markets with goods and drive down prices among the practices.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, who did not attend the event in Washington, praised the deal, in a letter read out by Liu.

“In the next step the two sides need to implement the agreement in real earnest and optimize its positive impact,” Xi said.

“In that spirit, I hope the U.S. side will treat fairly Chinese companies and their regular trade and investment activities,” the letter added.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said on Wednesday, “(The deal) is an extreme disappointment to me and to millions and millions of Americans who want to see us make China play fair.”

Chinese observers also feel like the deal, while halting a trade conflict that was spiralling out of control, may fail to serve China’s national interests.

Beijing might also find it hard to purchase the set amounts of U.S. agricultural, energy, and manufactured goods outlined in the agreement without alienating other countries, said Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University.

“I think China has made a lot of concessions, and the implementation of the first phase of the agreement poses a considerable challenge,” he said.

Other countries have raised objections to the deal, saying it would force China to adopt a system of “managed trade” to the detriment of other nations, according to Joerg Wuttke, president of the European Chamber of Commerce in China.

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NIGERIA

Nigeria’s capital tops record today of COVID-19 new cases

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Federal Capital Territory, Abuja recorded 90 new cases of COVID-19 cases on Tuesday out of the 304 new cases of recorded.

In the latest information disclosed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on Twitter, confirmed cases of the virus in the country are now 44433.

The new cases of COVID- 19 across the country spread thus:

304 new cases of #COVID19Nigeria;

 

FCT-90

Lagos-59

Ondo-39

Taraba-18

Rivers-17

Borno-15

Adamawa-12

Oyo-11

Delta-9

Edo-6

Bauchi-4

Kwara-4

Ogun-4

Osun-4

Bayelsa-3

Plateau-3

Niger-3

Nasarawa-2

Kano-1

The total confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the thirty-six states of the countryb are 44,433 while 31,851 patients have been discharged after recovery.

910 patients have died of the virus.

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NIGERIA

Adoke’s trial for money laundry to begin August 11

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The Federal Government has filed an amended 14-count money laundering charge against former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Justice Minister Mohammed Bello Adoke as well as a businessman, Aliyu Abubakar.

The amended charge replaced an earlier seven-count charge on which Adoke and Abubakar were arraigned before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on June 17 this year.

Both defendants were re-arraigned on Tuesday on the amended charge before the same judge and they pleaded not guilty to them.

Justice Ekwo adjourned till August 11 for the prosecution to open its case by calling its first set of witnesses.

In the old charge, six counts were directed at Adoke, while only one was directed at Abubakar. But in the amended one, seven counts are directed at each of the defendants.

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NIGERIA

Court dismisses Farouk Lawan’s appeal in $500,000 bribery charge

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The Court of Appeal in Abuja has ordered former House of Representatives member, Farouk Lawan, to return to the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to defend himself in the $500,000 bribery case pending against him.

In a judgment on Tuesday, a three-man panel of the Court of Appeal unanimously dismissed Lawan’s appeal for lacking in merit.

The appellate court upheld the October 17, 2019 ruling by Justice Angela Otaluka of the High Court of the FCT, rejecting Lawan’s no-case submission.

Justice Peter Ige, who read the lead judgment of the Court of Appeal, held that, as against the appellant’s claim, there was no injustice against Lawan in Justice Otaluka’s ruling, which ordered him to enter his defense in the trial.

Justice Ige resolved the four issues for determination in the appeal against the appellant.

He said: “I have also read the records of appeal, particularly the evidence of prosecution witnesses one to five (PW1 to PW5), the ruling of the High Court, and the argument of parties to this appeal. I am of the firm view that the review of the evidence by the lower court was not slanted in favour of the prosecution against the appellant.

“The lower court was expected to be brief in its analysis of the evidence at the stage of the no-case submission. In any event, what calls for examination on a no-case submission is whether there is any evidence from the prosecution, no matter how to slant, linking the defendant with the commission of the offenses for which he was charged, and whether or not the evidence linking the defendant has been discredited during cross-examination.

“The trial court is also called upon, at the no-case submission stage, to find out if the evidence or ingredients of the offenses for which the defendant was charged have been established and not to go into any elaborate or extensive review of the evidence of witnesses

“The lower court was right in its decision, calling on the appellant to enter his defense.”

Lawan is being prosecuted by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offenses Commission (ICPC) for allegedly collecting $500,000 as part of a $3 million bribe.

The ex-lawmaker was alleged to have demanded money to facilitate the removal of Femi Otedola’s company, Zenon Oil, from the list of firms indicted by the House of Representatives’ ad hoc committee which probed fuel subsidy abuse in 2012, which Lawan chaired.

The prosecution called five witnesses and closed its case, following which Lawan made a no-case submission, which was rejected in a ruling by Justice Otaluka on October 17, 2010.

Rather than enter his defense, as ordered by the trial court, Lawan, through his lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), appealed the ruling, which the Appeal Court dismissed yesterday for lacking in merit.

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