Category Archives: News

worldwide news

Ex-Ford Employee Awarded Nearly $17 Million in Discrimination Lawsuit

A jury has awarded nearly $17 million to a former Ford engineer who sued the automaker for discrimination because he says two supervisors repeatedly berated and criticized him for his Arab background and accent.

The Detroit Free Press reports that a federal jury in Michigan ruled March 28 that Faisal Khalaf was subjected to workplace discrimination and retaliation after he reported the abuse. Khalaf was born in Lebanon.

The jury awarded Khalaf $15 million in punitive damages, $1.7 million in retirement and pension losses, and $100,000 for emotional distress for the actions of Ford supervisors Bennie Fowler and Jay Zhou.

A Ford representative says the company disagrees with the verdict and is pursuing options to get it “corrected.”

Ford has been criticized for workplace discrimination before, including in a December New York Times investigation into sexual harassment at two Chicago plants.

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Ex-Ford Employee Awarded Nearly $17 Million in Discrimination Lawsuit

A jury has awarded nearly $17 million to a former Ford engineer who sued the automaker for discrimination because he says two supervisors repeatedly berated and criticized him for his Arab background and accent.

The Detroit Free Press reports that a federal jury in Michigan ruled March 28 that Faisal Khalaf was subjected to workplace discrimination and retaliation after he reported the abuse. Khalaf was born in Lebanon.

The jury awarded Khalaf $15 million in punitive damages, $1.7 million in retirement and pension losses, and $100,000 for emotional distress for the actions of Ford supervisors Bennie Fowler and Jay Zhou.

A Ford representative says the company disagrees with the verdict and is pursuing options to get it “corrected.”

Ford has been criticized for workplace discrimination before, including in a December New York Times investigation into sexual harassment at two Chicago plants.

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YouTube Shooter Told Family She ‘Hated’ the Company

A woman who believed she was being suppressed by YouTube and told her family members she “hated” the company opened fire at YouTube’s headquarters in California, wounding three people before taking her own life, police said.

Investigators do not believe Nasim Aghdam specifically targeted the three victims when she pulled out a handgun and fired off several rounds in a courtyard at the company’s headquarters south of San Francisco on Tuesday, police said.

But a law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press that Aghdam had a longstanding dispute with the company. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case, said Aghdam used the name “Nasime Sabz” online.

A website in that name decried YouTube’s policies and said the company was trying to “suppress” content creators.

“Youtube filtered my channels to keep them from getting views!” one of the messages on the site said. “There is no equal growth opportunity on YOUTUBE or any other video sharing site, your channel will grow if they want to!!!!!”

Aghdam “hated” YouTube and was angry that the company stopped paying her for videos she posted on the platform, her father, Ismail Aghdam, told the Bay Area News Group.

On Monday, he called police to report his daughter missing after she didn’t answer the phone for two days and warned officers that she might go to YouTube, he said.

Officers in Mountain View — about 30 miles (48 kilometers) from YouTube’s headquarters — found her sleeping in her car in a parking lot around 2 a.m. Tuesday but let her go after she refused to answer their questions. Aghdam didn’t appear to be a threat to herself or others, police spokeswoman Katie Nelson said.

Nelson would not say whether officers had been warned that Aghdam might have been headed to YouTube headquarters.

Earlier Tuesday, law enforcement said the shooting was being investigated as a domestic dispute but did not elaborate. It was not immediately clear why police later said the people shot were not specifically targeted.

One of the victims — a 36-year-old man — was in critical condition, a spokesman for San Francisco General Hospital said. A 32-year-old woman was in serious condition and a 27-year-old woman in fair condition, the spokesman said.

YouTube employee Dianna Arnspiger said she was on the building’s second floor when she heard gunshots, ran to a window and saw the shooter on a patio outside.

“It was a woman and she was firing her gun. And I just said, `Shooter,’ and everybody started running,” Arnspiger said.

She and others hid in a conference room for an hour while another employee repeatedly called 911 for updates.

The world’s biggest online video website is owned by Silicon Valley giant Google, but company officials said it’s a tight-knit community. The headquarters has more than a thousand engineers and other employees in several buildings. Originally built in the late 1990s for the clothing retailer Gap, the campus south of San Francisco is known for its sloped green roof of native grasses.

Inside, Google several years ago famously outfitted the office with a 3-lane red slide for workers to zoom from one story to another.

“Today it feels like the entire community of YouTube, all of the employees, were victims of this crime,” said Chris Dale, a spokesman for YouTube.

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said in a tweet the company would “come together to heal as a family.”

Officers and federal agents responding to multiple 911 calls swarmed the company’s campus sandwiched between two interstates in the San Francisco Bay Area city of San Bruno.

Zach Vorhies, 37, a senior software engineer at YouTube, said he was at his desk working on the second floor of one of the buildings on the campus when the fire alarm went off.

He got on his skateboard and approached a courtyard, where he saw the shooter yelling, “Come get me.” He said the public can access the courtyard where he saw the shooter without any security check during working hours.

There was somebody lying nearby on his back with a red stain on his stomach that appeared to be from a bullet wound.

He said he realized it was an active shooter incident when a police officer with an assault rifle came through a security door. He jumped on his skateboard and took off.

Officers discovered one victim with a gunshot wound when they arrived and then found the shooter with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound several minutes later, San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini said. He said two additional gunshot victims were later located at an adjacent business.

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YouTube Shooter Told Family She ‘Hated’ the Company

A woman who believed she was being suppressed by YouTube and told her family members she “hated” the company opened fire at YouTube’s headquarters in California, wounding three people before taking her own life, police said.

Investigators do not believe Nasim Aghdam specifically targeted the three victims when she pulled out a handgun and fired off several rounds in a courtyard at the company’s headquarters south of San Francisco on Tuesday, police said.

But a law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press that Aghdam had a longstanding dispute with the company. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case, said Aghdam used the name “Nasime Sabz” online.

A website in that name decried YouTube’s policies and said the company was trying to “suppress” content creators.

“Youtube filtered my channels to keep them from getting views!” one of the messages on the site said. “There is no equal growth opportunity on YOUTUBE or any other video sharing site, your channel will grow if they want to!!!!!”

Aghdam “hated” YouTube and was angry that the company stopped paying her for videos she posted on the platform, her father, Ismail Aghdam, told the Bay Area News Group.

On Monday, he called police to report his daughter missing after she didn’t answer the phone for two days and warned officers that she might go to YouTube, he said.

Officers in Mountain View — about 30 miles (48 kilometers) from YouTube’s headquarters — found her sleeping in her car in a parking lot around 2 a.m. Tuesday but let her go after she refused to answer their questions. Aghdam didn’t appear to be a threat to herself or others, police spokeswoman Katie Nelson said.

Nelson would not say whether officers had been warned that Aghdam might have been headed to YouTube headquarters.

Earlier Tuesday, law enforcement said the shooting was being investigated as a domestic dispute but did not elaborate. It was not immediately clear why police later said the people shot were not specifically targeted.

One of the victims — a 36-year-old man — was in critical condition, a spokesman for San Francisco General Hospital said. A 32-year-old woman was in serious condition and a 27-year-old woman in fair condition, the spokesman said.

YouTube employee Dianna Arnspiger said she was on the building’s second floor when she heard gunshots, ran to a window and saw the shooter on a patio outside.

“It was a woman and she was firing her gun. And I just said, `Shooter,’ and everybody started running,” Arnspiger said.

She and others hid in a conference room for an hour while another employee repeatedly called 911 for updates.

The world’s biggest online video website is owned by Silicon Valley giant Google, but company officials said it’s a tight-knit community. The headquarters has more than a thousand engineers and other employees in several buildings. Originally built in the late 1990s for the clothing retailer Gap, the campus south of San Francisco is known for its sloped green roof of native grasses.

Inside, Google several years ago famously outfitted the office with a 3-lane red slide for workers to zoom from one story to another.

“Today it feels like the entire community of YouTube, all of the employees, were victims of this crime,” said Chris Dale, a spokesman for YouTube.

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said in a tweet the company would “come together to heal as a family.”

Officers and federal agents responding to multiple 911 calls swarmed the company’s campus sandwiched between two interstates in the San Francisco Bay Area city of San Bruno.

Zach Vorhies, 37, a senior software engineer at YouTube, said he was at his desk working on the second floor of one of the buildings on the campus when the fire alarm went off.

He got on his skateboard and approached a courtyard, where he saw the shooter yelling, “Come get me.” He said the public can access the courtyard where he saw the shooter without any security check during working hours.

There was somebody lying nearby on his back with a red stain on his stomach that appeared to be from a bullet wound.

He said he realized it was an active shooter incident when a police officer with an assault rifle came through a security door. He jumped on his skateboard and took off.

Officers discovered one victim with a gunshot wound when they arrived and then found the shooter with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound several minutes later, San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini said. He said two additional gunshot victims were later located at an adjacent business.

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Facebook CEO to Testify Before Congressional Committee

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify before a congressional committee about the privacy scandal that has rocked the social media company.

The House and Energy and Commerce Committee announced Wednesday Zuckerberg will testify on April 11 about the British consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, which obtained data on tens of millions of Facebook users that could be used to influence voters in U.S. elections. The firm was hired by U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, which paid the firm nearly $6 million.

Committee chairman Greg Walden and ranking Democrat Frank Pallone said the hearing hopes to “shed light on critical consumer data privacy issues and help all Americans better understand what happens to their personal information online.” The panel is the first of three congressional committees that have asked Zuckerberg to testify.

Zuckerberg’s upcoming testimony comes after senior Facebook officials failed to answer questions during a private meeting with congressional staffers about how the company and third-party software developers use and protect consumer data.

It remains unclear if Congress or the administration will take any action against Facebook, but the company is well-positioned to counter any efforts to regulate it.

The social media giant has a large lobbying operation to advance its interests in Washington. Documents filed with the House and Senate shows Facebook spent more than $17 million in2017, much of it on an in-house lobbying team that is comprised of former Republican and Democratic political aides. The company lobbied on a variety of issues, including potential changes to government surveillance programs and on corporate tax issues.

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Facebook CEO to Testify Before Congressional Committee

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify before a congressional committee about the privacy scandal that has rocked the social media company.

The House and Energy and Commerce Committee announced Wednesday Zuckerberg will testify on April 11 about the British consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, which obtained data on tens of millions of Facebook users that could be used to influence voters in U.S. elections. The firm was hired by U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, which paid the firm nearly $6 million.

Committee chairman Greg Walden and ranking Democrat Frank Pallone said the hearing hopes to “shed light on critical consumer data privacy issues and help all Americans better understand what happens to their personal information online.” The panel is the first of three congressional committees that have asked Zuckerberg to testify.

Zuckerberg’s upcoming testimony comes after senior Facebook officials failed to answer questions during a private meeting with congressional staffers about how the company and third-party software developers use and protect consumer data.

It remains unclear if Congress or the administration will take any action against Facebook, but the company is well-positioned to counter any efforts to regulate it.

The social media giant has a large lobbying operation to advance its interests in Washington. Documents filed with the House and Senate shows Facebook spent more than $17 million in2017, much of it on an in-house lobbying team that is comprised of former Republican and Democratic political aides. The company lobbied on a variety of issues, including potential changes to government surveillance programs and on corporate tax issues.

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Closure of Top Philippine Resort Island Would Shake up Business to Cut Pollution

The possible closure of a major coastal tourism magnet in the Philippines for environmental cleanup will hurt business, but for a cause that helps everyone longer term, experts say.

President Rodrigo Duterte said via the presidential website in March he would place Boracay Island under a “state of calamity.” The island may be shut down for two to 12 months, Philippine media reports say, citing other statements from Duterte and cabinet members.

The government is “addressing wastewater issues through an improved sewerage system,” the country’s environment minister Roy Cimatu said in a March 27 statement.

Boracay, a 10.3-square-kilometer feature in the central Philippines, has been compared to Bali and other Asian beach resort hot spots. Its main white sand beach runs four kilometers, paralleled by a strip of at least 100 hotels.

“The Philippines has been very aggressive in its campaign to attract tourists… and Boracay is actually the No. 1 selling point of the tourism business in the Philippines,” said Maria Ela Atienza, political science professor at University of the Philippines Diliman.

“So it will really be a big blow to the tourism industry and we don’t know what will happen to these industries depending on Boracay, if they will continue if they can return to operation,” Atienza said.

Fear of closure

Government agencies have not finalized any closure of Boracay Island but dropped enough hints to prompt flight and hotel cancellations, analysts and operators report. Domestic media say arrivals in March were normal but expected a fall for this month.

Tourists who read “negative news” about Boracay are cancelling mid-year reservations, said a manager with Boracay Pito Huts, a 10-year-old group of villas for tourist groups on the island. Villa staff people may be asked to “take a vacation” if bookings don’t pick up, she said.

“As a preparation, of course we have to tighten our belts,” said the manager, who did not want to be named. “We are in the toilet. For June bookings or June tourists it’s nothing. That’s how we got affected.”

The Boracay Foundation, a business association with an environmental focus, declined comment for this report. A Department of Tourism representative said her office could make no statements on the possible closure.

Suspension of business would hurt a network of common Filipinos who sell souvenirs, prepare meals or drive tourists around the island, Atienza added.

Boracay generated $1.076 billion in tourism receipts last year, the local provincial tourism office said, as cited by the Philippine Information Agency, an increase of about 15 percent over 2016. Tourism was 8.6 percent of the Philippine GDP in 2016.

People and waste

Boracay has an ideal capacity of about half a million tourists per year, compared to its 2017 total of 2 million, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said in an online video. More than 300,000 tourists reached the island in January and February this year, it said.

Travelers often visit Boracay during the northern hemisphere winter to escape the cold in spots such as China, Russia and South Korea.

The island should review its “carrying capacity,” said Alicia Lustica, a coastal ecosystems cluster head with a department research Center. “We need also to assist also the volume of waste that has been generated and likewise how people are doing their activities on Boracay Island,” Lustica said in the video.

Sewage became an issue because some resorts treat their own inadequately or dump it into the sea, the domestic news website BusinessMirror.com said in January. It cites overbuilding and inadequate infrastructure as additional problems for Boracay.

The nongovernmental organization Global Coral Reef Alliance said more than 10 years ago sewage “from uncontrolled development” was hurting Boracay’s coral and fisheries.

The environment ministry also plans to do a “massive replanting” of trees on Boracay, the minister said in the March 27 statement.

Boracay renewal

A temporary closure would let Boracay clean itself up to become better for tourists, said Jonathan Ravelas, chief market strategist with Banco de Oro UniBank in Metro Manila.

“It’s going to hurt us, but I think moving forward we will probably see a lot of pent-up demand for Boracay — just like in any business a temporary renovation — and I think that’s how you should probably see what’s happening in Boracay,” he said.

Travelers would rather see a cleaner island, he added. Today Boracay-bound tourists must pay an environmental impact fee at a boat pier before stepping onto the island.

A cleaner Boracay would motivate other Philippine beach resort areas to protect their environments before they too face shutdown, Ravelas said. “You need the one example, and everybody will follow,” he said.

Duterte called Boracay a “cesspool” and ordered his government to fix problems in six months, the presidential office website says. The state of calamity, Duterte said, would let the government offer aid to people facing business losses.

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Closure of Top Philippine Resort Island Would Shake up Business to Cut Pollution

The possible closure of a major coastal tourism magnet in the Philippines for environmental cleanup will hurt business, but for a cause that helps everyone longer term, experts say.

President Rodrigo Duterte said via the presidential website in March he would place Boracay Island under a “state of calamity.” The island may be shut down for two to 12 months, Philippine media reports say, citing other statements from Duterte and cabinet members.

The government is “addressing wastewater issues through an improved sewerage system,” the country’s environment minister Roy Cimatu said in a March 27 statement.

Boracay, a 10.3-square-kilometer feature in the central Philippines, has been compared to Bali and other Asian beach resort hot spots. Its main white sand beach runs four kilometers, paralleled by a strip of at least 100 hotels.

“The Philippines has been very aggressive in its campaign to attract tourists… and Boracay is actually the No. 1 selling point of the tourism business in the Philippines,” said Maria Ela Atienza, political science professor at University of the Philippines Diliman.

“So it will really be a big blow to the tourism industry and we don’t know what will happen to these industries depending on Boracay, if they will continue if they can return to operation,” Atienza said.

Fear of closure

Government agencies have not finalized any closure of Boracay Island but dropped enough hints to prompt flight and hotel cancellations, analysts and operators report. Domestic media say arrivals in March were normal but expected a fall for this month.

Tourists who read “negative news” about Boracay are cancelling mid-year reservations, said a manager with Boracay Pito Huts, a 10-year-old group of villas for tourist groups on the island. Villa staff people may be asked to “take a vacation” if bookings don’t pick up, she said.

“As a preparation, of course we have to tighten our belts,” said the manager, who did not want to be named. “We are in the toilet. For June bookings or June tourists it’s nothing. That’s how we got affected.”

The Boracay Foundation, a business association with an environmental focus, declined comment for this report. A Department of Tourism representative said her office could make no statements on the possible closure.

Suspension of business would hurt a network of common Filipinos who sell souvenirs, prepare meals or drive tourists around the island, Atienza added.

Boracay generated $1.076 billion in tourism receipts last year, the local provincial tourism office said, as cited by the Philippine Information Agency, an increase of about 15 percent over 2016. Tourism was 8.6 percent of the Philippine GDP in 2016.

People and waste

Boracay has an ideal capacity of about half a million tourists per year, compared to its 2017 total of 2 million, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said in an online video. More than 300,000 tourists reached the island in January and February this year, it said.

Travelers often visit Boracay during the northern hemisphere winter to escape the cold in spots such as China, Russia and South Korea.

The island should review its “carrying capacity,” said Alicia Lustica, a coastal ecosystems cluster head with a department research Center. “We need also to assist also the volume of waste that has been generated and likewise how people are doing their activities on Boracay Island,” Lustica said in the video.

Sewage became an issue because some resorts treat their own inadequately or dump it into the sea, the domestic news website BusinessMirror.com said in January. It cites overbuilding and inadequate infrastructure as additional problems for Boracay.

The nongovernmental organization Global Coral Reef Alliance said more than 10 years ago sewage “from uncontrolled development” was hurting Boracay’s coral and fisheries.

The environment ministry also plans to do a “massive replanting” of trees on Boracay, the minister said in the March 27 statement.

Boracay renewal

A temporary closure would let Boracay clean itself up to become better for tourists, said Jonathan Ravelas, chief market strategist with Banco de Oro UniBank in Metro Manila.

“It’s going to hurt us, but I think moving forward we will probably see a lot of pent-up demand for Boracay — just like in any business a temporary renovation — and I think that’s how you should probably see what’s happening in Boracay,” he said.

Travelers would rather see a cleaner island, he added. Today Boracay-bound tourists must pay an environmental impact fee at a boat pier before stepping onto the island.

A cleaner Boracay would motivate other Philippine beach resort areas to protect their environments before they too face shutdown, Ravelas said. “You need the one example, and everybody will follow,” he said.

Duterte called Boracay a “cesspool” and ordered his government to fix problems in six months, the presidential office website says. The state of calamity, Duterte said, would let the government offer aid to people facing business losses.

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China Announces $50 Billion in Retaliatory Tariffs on US Goods

China announced Wednesday it plans to impose tariffs on $50 billion worth of U.S. goods in response to a similar package announced by the United States.

The Chinese measures would boost tariffs by 25 percent on 106 U.S. products, including soybeans, aircraft and cars.

China’s commerce ministry responded with its own measures less than 11 hours after the U.S. issued a proposed list of Chinese goods. The ministry said the question of when the measures will go into effect will depend on when the U.S. tariffs become active.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced his intention to impose $50 billion in increased tariffs on Chinese products last month, and on Tuesday the U.S. Trade Representative released a proposed list of 1,300 goods including aerospace, medical and information technology products.

Subject to public review

That list will be subject to a public review process scheduled to run until late May.

“The total value of imports subject to the tariff increases is commensurate with an economic analysis of the harm caused by China’s unreasonable technology policies to the U.S. economy,” the USTR said.

The United States has accused China of pressuring foreign companies to hand over technology.

China’s Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen said Wednesday that accusation is groundless, and that while China wants to resolve the trade dispute through dialogue, if the United States continues the fight then China will too.

Unlike the U.S. list, which includes many obscure industrial goods, China’s list targets cotton, frozen beef, soybeans and other agricultural products that are produced in states from Iowa to Texas that favored Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

The U.S.-China dispute has fueled concern it could stymie a global economic recovery if other countries raise their own import barriers.

The prospect of a trade war between the world’s two largest economies also has worried stock market investors. U.S. markets opened sharply lower Wednesday. Shortly after the markets opened, the S&P 500 Index fell 1.4 percent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.8 percent and the NASDAQ Composite Index was 1.6 percent lower.

Trump, however, dismissed the notion of a U.S.-China trade war on Wednesday, tweeting that previous U.S. administrations weakened the country’s ability to defend itself on trade matters.   

“We are not in a trade war with China, that war was lost many years ago by the foolish, or incompetent, people who represented the U.S. Now we have a Trade Deficit of $500 Billion a year, with Intellectual Property Theft of another $300 Billion. We cannot let this continue!”

In a subsequent tweet Trump seemed to imply the U.S.-China trade imbalance is so wide that there is only room for improvement.

“When you’re already $500 Billion DOWN, you can’t lose!”

Despite Trump’s claims, U.S. government figures show the U.S. had a $375 billion trade deficit with China at the end of 2017.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross also dismissed concerns Wednesday about a burgeoning trade war with China and said recent trade actions between the two countries would probably lead to a negotiated agreement.

“It wouldn’t be surprising at all if the net outcome of all this is some sort of negotiation,” Ross said in an interview with CNBC.

Ross brushed off worries of a trade dispute, saying U.S. tariffs imposed on China amount to only 0.3 percent of America’s gross domestic product.

China’s Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen said Wednesday that accusation is groundless, and that while China wants to resolve the trade dispute through dialogue, if the United States continues the fight then China will too.

 

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China Announces $50 Billion in Retaliatory Tariffs on US Goods

China announced Wednesday it plans to impose tariffs on $50 billion worth of U.S. goods in response to a similar package announced by the United States.

The Chinese measures would boost tariffs by 25 percent on 106 U.S. products, including soybeans, aircraft and cars.

China’s commerce ministry responded with its own measures less than 11 hours after the U.S. issued a proposed list of Chinese goods. The ministry said the question of when the measures will go into effect will depend on when the U.S. tariffs become active.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced his intention to impose $50 billion in increased tariffs on Chinese products last month, and on Tuesday the U.S. Trade Representative released a proposed list of 1,300 goods including aerospace, medical and information technology products.

Subject to public review

That list will be subject to a public review process scheduled to run until late May.

“The total value of imports subject to the tariff increases is commensurate with an economic analysis of the harm caused by China’s unreasonable technology policies to the U.S. economy,” the USTR said.

The United States has accused China of pressuring foreign companies to hand over technology.

China’s Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen said Wednesday that accusation is groundless, and that while China wants to resolve the trade dispute through dialogue, if the United States continues the fight then China will too.

Unlike the U.S. list, which includes many obscure industrial goods, China’s list targets cotton, frozen beef, soybeans and other agricultural products that are produced in states from Iowa to Texas that favored Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

The U.S.-China dispute has fueled concern it could stymie a global economic recovery if other countries raise their own import barriers.

The prospect of a trade war between the world’s two largest economies also has worried stock market investors. U.S. markets opened sharply lower Wednesday. Shortly after the markets opened, the S&P 500 Index fell 1.4 percent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.8 percent and the NASDAQ Composite Index was 1.6 percent lower.

Trump, however, dismissed the notion of a U.S.-China trade war on Wednesday, tweeting that previous U.S. administrations weakened the country’s ability to defend itself on trade matters.   

“We are not in a trade war with China, that war was lost many years ago by the foolish, or incompetent, people who represented the U.S. Now we have a Trade Deficit of $500 Billion a year, with Intellectual Property Theft of another $300 Billion. We cannot let this continue!”

In a subsequent tweet Trump seemed to imply the U.S.-China trade imbalance is so wide that there is only room for improvement.

“When you’re already $500 Billion DOWN, you can’t lose!”

Despite Trump’s claims, U.S. government figures show the U.S. had a $375 billion trade deficit with China at the end of 2017.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross also dismissed concerns Wednesday about a burgeoning trade war with China and said recent trade actions between the two countries would probably lead to a negotiated agreement.

“It wouldn’t be surprising at all if the net outcome of all this is some sort of negotiation,” Ross said in an interview with CNBC.

Ross brushed off worries of a trade dispute, saying U.S. tariffs imposed on China amount to only 0.3 percent of America’s gross domestic product.

China’s Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen said Wednesday that accusation is groundless, and that while China wants to resolve the trade dispute through dialogue, if the United States continues the fight then China will too.

 

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