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Saudi crown prince begins Asia tour with US$20b Pakistan investment pledge

ISLAMABAD, Feb 18 — Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman yesterday said Saudi Arabia has signed investment agreements worth US$20 billion (RM81.6 billion) during his high-profile visit to Pakistan, where tensions were flaring up with nuclear-armed…


Trump cancels US delegation trip to Davos over shutdown

WASHINGTON, Jan 18 ― President Donald Trump yesterday cancelled the US delegation’s trip to the annual international conference at Davos, saying the officials were needed in Washington to tackle the shutdown of the federal government. “Out of…


SpaceX to lay off 10pc of workforce

LOS ANGELES, Jan 12 — SpaceX plans to lay off 10 per cent of its more than 6,000 employees, a source familiar with the decision said yesterday. “To continue delivering for our customers and to succeed in developing interplanetary spacecraft and…


Wall Street seesaws higher after comments by US Fed chief

WASHINGTON, Jan 11 — Wall Street rose in a seesaw session yesterday, tentatively on track for its fifth straight day of gains as investors responded to mixed comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, while a warning from Macy’s…


US, China agree to trade war ceasefire, more talks

BUENOS AIRES, Dec 2 — US President Donald Trump and China’s Xi Jinping agreed yesterday to suspend any new tariffs in the escalating trade war between the world’s two largest economies, even if huge existing duties will remain in place….


US, China agree on trade war ceasefire

BUENOS AIRES: China and the United States agreed to a ceasefire in their bitter trade war on Saturday after high-stakes talks in Argentina between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, including no escalated tariffs on Jan 1.

Trump will leave tariffs on US$200 billion (RM835.8 billion) worth of Chinese imports at 10% at the beginning of the new year, agreeing to not raise them to 25% “at this time”, the White House said in a statement.

“China will agree to purchase a not yet agreed upon, but very substantial, amount of agricultural, energy, industrial, and other product from the United States to reduce the trade imbalance between our two countries,“ it said.

“China has agreed to start purchasing agricultural product from our farmers immediately.”

The two leaders also agreed to immediately start talks on structural changes with respect to forced technology transfers, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft, services and agriculture, the White House said.

Both countries agreed they will try to have this “transaction” completed within the next 90 days, but if this does not happen then the 10% tariffs will be raised to 25%, it added.

The Chinese government’s top diplomat, state councillor Wang Yi, said the negotiations were conducted in a “friendly and candid atmosphere”.

“The two presidents agreed that the two sides can and must get bilateral relations right,“ Wang told reporters, adding they agreed to further exchanges at appropriate times.

“Discussion on economic and trade issues was very positive and constructive. The two heads of state reached consensus to halt the mutual increase of new tariffs,“ Wang said.

“China is willing to increase imports in accordance with the needs of its domestic market and the people’s needs, including marketable products from the United States, to gradually ease the imbalance in two-way trade.”

“The two sides agreed to mutually open their markets, and as China advances a new round of reforms, the United States’ legitimate concerns can be progressively resolved.”

The two sides would “step up negotiations” toward full elimination of all additional tariffs, Wang said.

The announcements came after Trump and Xi sat down with their aides for a working dinner at the end of a two-day gathering of world leaders in Buenos Aires, their dispute having unnerved global financial markets and weighed on the world economy.

After the 2½ hour meeting, White House chief economist Larry Kudlow told reporters the talks went “very well,“ but offered no specifics as he boarded Air Force One headed home to Washington with Trump.

China’s goal was to persuade Trump to abandon plans to raise tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese goods to 25% in January, from 10% at present. Trump had threatened to do that, and possibly add tariffs on US$267 billion of imports, if there was no progress in the talks.

With the United States and China clashing over commerce, financial markets will take their lead from the results of the talks, widely seen as the most important meeting of US and Chinese leaders in years.

The encounter came shortly after the Group of 20 industrialised nations backed an overhaul of the World Trade Organisation, which regulates international trade disputes, marking a victory for Trump, a sharp critic of the organisation.

Trump told Xi at the start of their meeting he hoped they would achieve “something great” on trade for both countries. He struck a positive note as he sat across from Xi, despite the US president’s earlier threats to impose new tariffs on Chinese imports as early as the next year.

He suggested that the “incredible relationship” he and Xi had established would be “the very primary reason” they could make progress on trade.


Trump to notify Congress in ‘near future’ he will terminate Nafta

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE, Dec 2 — US President Donald Trump said yesterday he will give formal notice to the US Congress in the near future to terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta), giving six months for lawmakers to approve a new…


Lockheed Martin awarded US$22.7b Pentagon contract

NEW YORK, Nov 15 — The Pentagon yesterday announced it had awarded Lockheed Martin a US$22.7 billion (RM95.13 billion) contract for 255 F-35 fighter jets. Of the aircraft, 106 are destined for the US military: 64 F-35As for the Air Force, 26…


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Bezos' Blue Origin and others get US$2.3b in US Air Force rocket contracts

ORLANDO, Oct 11 — The US Air Force yesterday said that it had awarded a total US$2.3 billion (RM9.55 billion) in contracts to develop rocket launch systems for national security missions. The awards go to Amazon.com billionaire Jeff Bezos' Blue…