China: ‘No Winners in a Trade War’

China said Sunday it does not intend to ignite a trade war with the U.S. because the move would be disastrous for the entire world.

“There are no winners in a trade war,” Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan said on the sidelines of China’s annual parliamentary session.

“China does not wish to fight a trade war, nor will China initiate a trade war, but we can handle any challenge and will resolutely defend the interests of our country and our people,” Zhong said.

President Donald Trump signed proclamations Thursday imposing a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum, with the new taxes set to go into effect this month.

​US, Japan, EU talk

Trade representatives for Japan and the European Union met with the U.S. trade representative Saturday in an effort to avoid a trade war over Trump’s new tariffs on aluminum and steel.

At the meeting in Brussels, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom and Japanese counterpart Hiroshige Seko discussed the tariffs as part of a trilateral effort to combat unfair trade practices.

The EU said in a statement that both Brussels and Tokyo had serious concerns about the U.S. tariffs. Both powers, two of the biggest trade partners with the United States, have asked for exemptions from the tariffs.

After the meeting, Malmstrom tweeted, “No immediate clarity on the exact U.S. procedure for exemption … so discussions will continue next week.”

“I firmly and clearly expressed my view that this is regrettable,” Seko said at a news conference following the meeting. “… I explained that this could have a bad effect on the entire multilateral trading system.”

Saturday afternoon, Trump accused the EU of treating “the U.S. very badly on trade.” He said if they drop their “horrific barriers & tariffs on U.S. products… we will likewise drop ours,” he wrote in a tweet.

If they don’t, he warned the U.S. would tax European cars and other products.

​Exemptions unclear

On Friday, the European Union said it is not clear whether the bloc will be exempt from Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs.

EU Trade Commissioner Malmstrom said Friday in Brussels, “We hope that we can get confirmation that the EU is excluded from this.”

Canada and Mexico were given specific exemptions from the tariffs for an indefinite period while negotiations continue on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Brazil, South Korea and Australia have also asked for exemptions or special treatment.

Trump imposed the tariffs despite pleas from friends and allies who warned the new measure could ignite a trade war.

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Trump Touts Tariffs at Rally for Embattled Pennsylvania Republican

President Donald Trump said Saturday that his controversial tariffs would bring back the U.S. steel industry, as he campaigned in Pennsylvania steel country for a Republican congressional candidate in a tight race.

Trump’s appearance was aimed at helping Republican Rick Saccone in a district Trump won overwhelmingly in 2016 as part of a narrow win in Pennsylvania.

Trump spent a lot of time talking about his own fortunes in a “Make America Great Again” rally for Saccone in an airport hangar at the Pittsburgh International Airport.

Economic boost forecast

A day after getting news that the U.S. economy produced 313,000 jobs last month, Trump said his policies were paying off. He said 25 percent tariffs on steel imports would help boost Pennsylvania’s economy.

Critics say the tariffs could trigger retaliatory trade measures and damage the U.S. economy. There are also doubts about how far Trump’s policies will go toward resuscitating the battered American steel industry.

“Your steel is coming back. It’s all coming back,” Trump told several thousand cheering supporters.

Trump vowed to fight any retaliatory trade measures by, for example, slapping taxes on imported European cars.

Trump also said he hoped to run against Oprah Winfrey, although the entertainer has ruled out a run despite pressure on her to seek the presidency.

“I’d love to beat Oprah. I know her weakness,” said Trump, without giving details.

Saccone is trying to win an election Tuesday in Pennsylvania’s 18th District to replace Republican Tim Murphy, who resigned last fall while enmeshed in a sex scandal.

Close race

Saccone is competing against Democrat Conor Lamb, and polls show a close race. Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway campaigned for Saccone on Thursday at a Lincoln Day dinner in Allegheny County.

A Saccone loss would be a blow to Trump, the first loss by Republicans of a seat in the House of Representatives since he took office in January 2017.

The results will not affect Republican control of the chamber.

The race could signal how much help Trump can provide Republican congressional candidates trying to keep control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate in midterm elections next November.

Typically the party that controls the White House loses seats in the U.S. Congress in the first election after a new president takes office. But Trump hopes a strong economy and tax cuts he pushed through Congress in December will help him beat the odds. 

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Trump Touts Tariffs at Rally for Embattled Pennsylvania Republican

President Donald Trump said Saturday that his controversial tariffs would bring back the U.S. steel industry, as he campaigned in Pennsylvania steel country for a Republican congressional candidate in a tight race.

Trump’s appearance was aimed at helping Republican Rick Saccone in a district Trump won overwhelmingly in 2016 as part of a narrow win in Pennsylvania.

Trump spent a lot of time talking about his own fortunes in a “Make America Great Again” rally for Saccone in an airport hangar at the Pittsburgh International Airport.

Economic boost forecast

A day after getting news that the U.S. economy produced 313,000 jobs last month, Trump said his policies were paying off. He said 25 percent tariffs on steel imports would help boost Pennsylvania’s economy.

Critics say the tariffs could trigger retaliatory trade measures and damage the U.S. economy. There are also doubts about how far Trump’s policies will go toward resuscitating the battered American steel industry.

“Your steel is coming back. It’s all coming back,” Trump told several thousand cheering supporters.

Trump vowed to fight any retaliatory trade measures by, for example, slapping taxes on imported European cars.

Trump also said he hoped to run against Oprah Winfrey, although the entertainer has ruled out a run despite pressure on her to seek the presidency.

“I’d love to beat Oprah. I know her weakness,” said Trump, without giving details.

Saccone is trying to win an election Tuesday in Pennsylvania’s 18th District to replace Republican Tim Murphy, who resigned last fall while enmeshed in a sex scandal.

Close race

Saccone is competing against Democrat Conor Lamb, and polls show a close race. Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway campaigned for Saccone on Thursday at a Lincoln Day dinner in Allegheny County.

A Saccone loss would be a blow to Trump, the first loss by Republicans of a seat in the House of Representatives since he took office in January 2017.

The results will not affect Republican control of the chamber.

The race could signal how much help Trump can provide Republican congressional candidates trying to keep control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate in midterm elections next November.

Typically the party that controls the White House loses seats in the U.S. Congress in the first election after a new president takes office. But Trump hopes a strong economy and tax cuts he pushed through Congress in December will help him beat the odds. 

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Trade Representatives From US, EU, Japan Discuss New Metal Tariffs

Trade representatives for Japan and the European Union met with the U.S. trade representative Saturday in an effort to avoid a trade war over President Donald Trump’s new tariffs on aluminum and steel.

At the meeting in Brussels, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom and Japanese counterpart Hiroshige Seko discussed the tariffs as part of a trilateral effort to combat unfair trade practices.

The EU said in a statement that both Brussels and Tokyo had serious concerns about the U.S. tariffs. Both powers, two of the biggest trade partners with the United States, have asked for exemptions from the tariffs.

After the meeting, Malmstrom tweeted, “No immediate clarity on the exact U.S. procedure for exemption … so discussions will continue next week.”

Seko said at a news conference following the meeting, “I firmly and clearly expressed my view that this is regrettable. … I explained that this could have a bad effect on the entire multilateral trading system.” 

Saturday afternoon, Trump accused the EU of treating “the U.S. very badly on trade.” He said if they dropped their “horrific barriers & tariffs on U.S. products … we will likewise drop ours.”

If they don’t, he warned, the United States will tax European cars and other products.

On Friday, the European Union said it was not clear whether the bloc would be exempt from Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs.

Malmstrom said Friday in Brussels, “We hope that we can get confirmation that the EU is excluded from this.”

Trump signed proclamations Thursday imposing a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum, with the new taxes set to go into effect in two weeks. 

Canada and Mexico were given specific exemptions from the tariffs for an indefinite period while negotiations continue on the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Brazil, South Korea and Australia have also asked for exemptions or special treatment.

Trump imposed the tariffs despite pleas from friends and allies who warned the new measure could ignite a trade war.

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Trade Representatives From US, EU, Japan Discuss New Metal Tariffs

Trade representatives for Japan and the European Union met with the U.S. trade representative Saturday in an effort to avoid a trade war over President Donald Trump’s new tariffs on aluminum and steel.

At the meeting in Brussels, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom and Japanese counterpart Hiroshige Seko discussed the tariffs as part of a trilateral effort to combat unfair trade practices.

The EU said in a statement that both Brussels and Tokyo had serious concerns about the U.S. tariffs. Both powers, two of the biggest trade partners with the United States, have asked for exemptions from the tariffs.

After the meeting, Malmstrom tweeted, “No immediate clarity on the exact U.S. procedure for exemption … so discussions will continue next week.”

Seko said at a news conference following the meeting, “I firmly and clearly expressed my view that this is regrettable. … I explained that this could have a bad effect on the entire multilateral trading system.” 

Saturday afternoon, Trump accused the EU of treating “the U.S. very badly on trade.” He said if they dropped their “horrific barriers & tariffs on U.S. products … we will likewise drop ours.”

If they don’t, he warned, the United States will tax European cars and other products.

On Friday, the European Union said it was not clear whether the bloc would be exempt from Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs.

Malmstrom said Friday in Brussels, “We hope that we can get confirmation that the EU is excluded from this.”

Trump signed proclamations Thursday imposing a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum, with the new taxes set to go into effect in two weeks. 

Canada and Mexico were given specific exemptions from the tariffs for an indefinite period while negotiations continue on the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Brazil, South Korea and Australia have also asked for exemptions or special treatment.

Trump imposed the tariffs despite pleas from friends and allies who warned the new measure could ignite a trade war.

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Putin ‘Couldn’t Care Less’ if Russians Meddled in US Election

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he “couldn’t care less” if Russian citizens sought to meddle in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, insisting that the Kremlin had nothing to do with the efforts.

“Why have you decided the Russian authorities, myself included, gave anybody permission to do this?” Putin asked in an often-combative interview with NBC News aired late Friday.

U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller last month indicted 13 Russians and three Russian companies and charged them with running a social-media campaign to sow political divisions in the United States and help Donald Trump win the presidency.

“So what if they’re Russians?” Putin told NBC. “There are 146 million Russians. So what? I don’t care. I couldn’t care less…. They do not represent the interests of the Russian state.”

Putin said that the indicted individuals are “not working for the government” and suggested instead, “Perhaps some of them worked for one of the candidates.” 

The most well-known of the Russians indicted, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has ties to Putin and the state. Prigozhin is accused of funneling money into the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency, which is often described as a notorious “troll factory” and which is also named in the indictment.

Despite Mueller’s 37-page indictment detailing charges against the Russians, Putin said he has seen no evidence that their actions broke any law. He was emphatic that he would never extradite the suspects to the United States to face trial.

“We in Russia cannot prosecute anyone as long as they have not violated Russian law,” he said.

Putin rejected allegations that Russia sought to interfere in the election, despite the conclusion last year by U.S. intelligence agencies that he personally directed a campaign to do so in 2016.

“Could anyone really believe that Russia, thousands of miles away…influenced the outcome of the election? Doesn’t that sound ridiculous, even to you?” Putin asked NBC interviewer Megyn Kelly.

“It’s not our goal to interfere. We do not see what goal we would accomplish by interfering,” Putin said.

The U.S. intelligence agencies concluded in January 2017 that in addition to aiding Trump, for whom they said the Kremlin had developed a clear preference, Russia’s aims included undermining faith in the U.S. electoral system and denigrating Trump’s main rival, Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton.

During the campaign, Clinton signaled that she would be tough on Russia over actions such as its interference in Ukraine, and Putin’s relationship with the former secretary of state has been marked by sometimes palpable tension. As he prepared to return to the presidency in 2012 after a stint as prime minister, Putin accused Clinton of fomenting anti-government protests in Russia.

Last month, U.S. intelligence chiefs said Russian attempts to meddle in U.S. politics are continuing unabated and pose a threat to midterm congressional elections in November.

Trump himself has repeatedly refused to condemn Russia over the alleged meddling and has said that he admires Putin as a strong leader.

Putin suggested in the interview that the reason Trump has seemed deferential to him is he knew upon taking office that he needed to develop a “cooperative relationship” with Russia and thus he needed to treat his counterpart with respect.

On another issue, Putin told NBC he has no plans to change the Russian Constitution to eliminate term limits on his presidency.

“I have never changed the constitution. I have no such plans today,” he said.

Some material for this article came from AFP.

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Putin ‘Couldn’t Care Less’ if Russians Meddled in US Election

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he “couldn’t care less” if Russian citizens sought to meddle in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, insisting that the Kremlin had nothing to do with the efforts.

“Why have you decided the Russian authorities, myself included, gave anybody permission to do this?” Putin asked in an often-combative interview with NBC News aired late Friday.

U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller last month indicted 13 Russians and three Russian companies and charged them with running a social-media campaign to sow political divisions in the United States and help Donald Trump win the presidency.

“So what if they’re Russians?” Putin told NBC. “There are 146 million Russians. So what? I don’t care. I couldn’t care less…. They do not represent the interests of the Russian state.”

Putin said that the indicted individuals are “not working for the government” and suggested instead, “Perhaps some of them worked for one of the candidates.” 

The most well-known of the Russians indicted, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has ties to Putin and the state. Prigozhin is accused of funneling money into the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency, which is often described as a notorious “troll factory” and which is also named in the indictment.

Despite Mueller’s 37-page indictment detailing charges against the Russians, Putin said he has seen no evidence that their actions broke any law. He was emphatic that he would never extradite the suspects to the United States to face trial.

“We in Russia cannot prosecute anyone as long as they have not violated Russian law,” he said.

Putin rejected allegations that Russia sought to interfere in the election, despite the conclusion last year by U.S. intelligence agencies that he personally directed a campaign to do so in 2016.

“Could anyone really believe that Russia, thousands of miles away…influenced the outcome of the election? Doesn’t that sound ridiculous, even to you?” Putin asked NBC interviewer Megyn Kelly.

“It’s not our goal to interfere. We do not see what goal we would accomplish by interfering,” Putin said.

The U.S. intelligence agencies concluded in January 2017 that in addition to aiding Trump, for whom they said the Kremlin had developed a clear preference, Russia’s aims included undermining faith in the U.S. electoral system and denigrating Trump’s main rival, Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton.

During the campaign, Clinton signaled that she would be tough on Russia over actions such as its interference in Ukraine, and Putin’s relationship with the former secretary of state has been marked by sometimes palpable tension. As he prepared to return to the presidency in 2012 after a stint as prime minister, Putin accused Clinton of fomenting anti-government protests in Russia.

Last month, U.S. intelligence chiefs said Russian attempts to meddle in U.S. politics are continuing unabated and pose a threat to midterm congressional elections in November.

Trump himself has repeatedly refused to condemn Russia over the alleged meddling and has said that he admires Putin as a strong leader.

Putin suggested in the interview that the reason Trump has seemed deferential to him is he knew upon taking office that he needed to develop a “cooperative relationship” with Russia and thus he needed to treat his counterpart with respect.

On another issue, Putin told NBC he has no plans to change the Russian Constitution to eliminate term limits on his presidency.

“I have never changed the constitution. I have no such plans today,” he said.

Some material for this article came from AFP.

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Facebook Exclusive Deal: Streaming 25 MLB Games

Facebook is getting deeper into the professional sports streaming game, partnering with Major League Baseball to air 25 weekday afternoon games in an exclusive deal.

The games will be available to Facebook users in the U.S. on Facebook Watch, the company’s video feature announced last August, via the MLB Live show page. Facebook said Friday that recorded broadcasts will also be available globally, excluding select international markets.

The package, MLB’s first digital-only national broadcast agreement, precludes teams from televising those games on their regional sports networks. The concept is similar to the exclusive package of Sunday night games on ESPN.

Facebook, Twitter and Amazon and other tech companies are in a race to acquire sports streaming rights, which can be lucrative and potentially boost user loyalty. The deal comes at a time when leagues are worrying about cord-cutters causing a decrease in viewers among cable television networks.

Verizon signed a deal with the NBA to stream eight basketball games on Yahoo, and Amazon paid $50 million to stream NFL games to Prime members last season.

The games will be produced by the MLB Network for Facebook Watch, with interactive and social elements that differentiate them from live streaming.

Facebook’s first-month schedule includes Philadelphia-New York Mets on April 4, Milwaukee-St. Louis on April 11, Kansas City-Toronto on April 18 and Arizona-Philadelphia on April 26.

Facebook had a package of 20 non-exclusive Friday night games last year that began in mid-May and used broadcast feeds from the participating teams.

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Tillerson: Political Reconciliation in Kenya ‘a Very Positive Step’

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Friday that the political reconciliation between Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga is “a very positive step,” adding that the United States supports Kenya’s political inclusion and democracy. Tillerson’s trip to Africa is his first as the top U.S. diplomat and promotes good governance, something high on his agenda. VOA State Department Correspondent Nike Ching reports from Nairobi, Kenya.

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