Thursday Morning Briefing: Trump's team sees China trade stance as strength in 2020

United States

As trade talks resume between China and the United States, President Donald Trump’s advisers are confident he can portray his stance against Beijing as a strength in the 2020 election, despite making concessions and having no deal in sight. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed in Japan last month to another truce in the year-long trade war between the world’s two largest economies, thanks largely to Trump’s promise not to impose new tariffs on Chinese goods and to ease restrictions on technology company Huawei. The agreement in Osaka kick-started talks that had been stalled since May. Chinese and U.S. negotiators spoke by phone and are discussing a face-to-face meeting in the future. But no deadline has been set for the process to conclude.

A storm churning in the Gulf of Mexico and aimed at water-logged New Orleans is likely to make landfall as the first Atlantic hurricane of the 2019 season by late Friday or early Saturday, forecasters said. The storm, expected to be designated a tropical storm early on Thursday, is set to deposit between 10 to 15 inches of rain on the Gulf Coast on Friday and Saturday from west Texas, through New Orleans and the Louisiana coast.

Trump plans to meet with prominent conservative social media figures at a White House forum where he is set to reiterate frustrations with big tech firms for allegedly suppressing conservative voices. Pro-Trump online personalities will get together at what the White House billed as a gathering of “digital leaders” where invitees expect to discuss what they say is censorship on social media platforms.

Looking to steady his presidential campaign after a debate performance against other Democratic contenders that hurt him in public opinion polls, Joe Biden will seek to play to his strengths with a speech that draws upon his experience in foreign affairs. The Democratic front-runner will shine “a light on the damage we believe President Trump has done to our standing in the world,” a senior Biden campaign official told reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity.


"World should know," a Guatemalan asylum seeker told members of a U.S. House panel, leaving some visibly shaken with the story of her daughter’s death, saying the toddler had contracted a deadly lung infection during a 20-day detention near the U.S. border with Mexico. Yazmin Juarez told a House of Representatives subcommittee that it was “like they tore out a piece of my heart” when just weeks after they were released her daughter Mariee died at 19 months old.

When the U.S. puts a border between migrant kids and their caretakers. On June 12, Gerardo, a 41-year-old indigenous bricklayer from Guatemala, appeared before a U.S. immigration judge in El Paso, Texas. Since crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally two months earlier with his 14-year-old son, he had been separated from the boy and forced to wait in Mexico for his hearing. Now, he had only one question for the judge: “Can you help me get my son back?”


Three Iranian vessels tried to block the passage of a BP-operated tanker through the Strait of Hormuz but withdrew after warnings from a British warship, the British government said. The stand off followed a warning by Donald Trump that U.S. sanctions on Iran would soon be “substantially” increased as part of Washington’s drive to curb Iran’s nuclear activities and regional behavior. Britain urged Iran to “de-escalate the situation in the region” after the incident involving British Heritage, which is operated by BP under an Isle of Man flag. Here is a closer look as tensions rise in the world’s most strategic oil chokepoint.
Britain and the United States will regret detaining an Iranian oil tanker, a deputy commander of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards said, according to the Tasnim news agency. Last week, British Royal Marines boarded an Iranian tanker, the Grace 1, off Gibraltar and seized it on suspicion that it was breaking EU sanctions by taking oil to Syria.


South Korea has warned the United States of the potential damage from “undesirable” Japanese restrictions on exports of high-tech material to South Korea, as a trade row between the East Asian U.S. allies intensifies. As South Korea sought U.S. help in the dispute, triggered by disagreement over the issue of compensation for South Koreans forced to work for Japanese firms during World War Two, it also took steps to limit the damage to its companies.
China’s top representative in Hong Kong said the central government in Beijing maintained its support for Chief Executive Carrie Lam, who is grappling with the city’s greatest political crisis since it returned to Chinese rule in 1997. Wang Zhimin, director of the Liaison Office of the People’s Government in Hong Kong, criticized the violence that has broken out at some of the protests, including the July 1 break-in and ransacking of the territory’s legislature. Hong Kong’s faceless protest movement is embarking on a bold new strategy that poses a direct challenge to the city’s political masters in Beijing: activists want to export their “revolution” to mainland China.
Russian police detained over 40 Crimean Tatars who were protesting outside the Supreme Court in Moscow over what they said was the wrongful conviction of four compatriots on terrorism-related charges, a monitoring group said. The incident came a day after police detained seven Crimean Tatars on Moscow’s Red Square after dispersing a similar demonstration aimed at drawing attention to alleged rights abuses on the Black Sea peninsula which Russia annexed from Ukraine five years ago.


Wall Street banks bailing on troubled U.S. farm sector

In the wake of the U.S. housing meltdown of the late 2000s, JPMorgan Chase hunted for new ways to expand its loan business beyond the troubled mortgage sector. The nation’s largest bank found enticing new opportunities in the rural Midwest - lending to U.S. farmers who had plenty of income and collateral as prices for grain and farmland surged.
9 min read

Bleak China autos outlook triggers raft of profit warnings

Auto suppliers Johnson Electric Holdings and Sensirion slashed their earnings forecasts, blaming a slowdown in car sales and pessimism about the prospects of a Chinese car sector recovery. The news is the latest to signal weaker global industrial activity and ripples from a trade war that has already forced China’s Geely, Swiss engineering company ABB, Germany’s Aumann and chemicals giant BASF, to warn of turbulence ahead.
4 Min Read

Powell testimony, Fed meeting highlight case for 'insurance'

A confidence shock driven partly by the U.S. trade war is at the center of an increasingly persuasive argument for Federal Reserve policymakers seriously considering cutting rates for the first time in a decade.
8 min read

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