White House: Major New Russia Sanctions Package Coming

February 21, 2024 – The Biden Administration announced that a new “major” sanctions package against Russia is coming, as soon as this week, in response to the death of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, and the 2-year anniversary of the Ukraine War.

President Biden acknowledged yesterday that the upcoming sanctions with reporters is a response to Navalny’s death, in part. White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said this week that a sanctions package was already in the works to mark the 2-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “It will be a substantial package covering a range of different elements of the Russian defense industrial base and sources of revenue for the Russian economy that power Russia’s war machine, that power Russia’s aggression, and that power Russia’s repression,” Sullivan said. “So we believe it will have an impact.” Read more from a readout of Sullivan’s media call on Tuesday.

Mexico Now Top U.S. Trading Partner, as China Evades U.S. Tariffs

February 21, 2024 – Mexico took over from China as the leading exporter of goods to the U.S. last year, and a report by the Financial Times may explain a major reason why. It says shipments arriving directly from China “now account for less than 15 per cent of US imports, down from more than a fifth in 2017.” However, the reports says, some imported goods from China are still entering the U.S. by way of Mexico — without facing Trump-era Section 301 tariffs.

The report also says Vietnam, Singapore and the Philippines are benefiting from China’s move to export goods to the U.S. through a third country. Read the Financial Times report (paywall).

Report: China PNTR Benefits U.S., Trump Tariffs Hurt Economy

February 21, 2024 – A report commissioned by the US-China Business Council (USCBC) found that the U.S. reaped economic benefits in the 20 years that China was granted Permanent Normalized Trade Relations (PNTR). The report by Oxford Economics also found that Trump-era Section 301 tariffs on goods imported from China hust American jobs and U.S. output.

The report says that revoking China’s PNTR status, and triggering China’s retaliatory trade actions, could result in a $1.9 trillion loss to the GDP over 5-years, and eliminate more that 800,000 U.S. jobs. Read the Oxford Economics report on The Economic Impact of China PNTR Repeal.

Revoking China PNTR Would Result in Massive Inflation, Says CTA

February 21, 2024 – The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) released a report showing that revoking China’s Permanent Normalized Trade Relations (PNTR) status “is a recipe for inflation.” The report says enacting this trade proposal will lead to:

  • draining U.S. consumer purchasing power by $30 billion;
  • reduced consumer spending, such as 30% fewer purchases of smartphones and 26% fewer purchases of laptops and tablets.

The CTA’s report focused on six consumer electronics products categories: televisions, monitors, laptops and tablets, smartphones, connected devices and video game consoles. Read the CTA report.

Lawmakers Call for Forced Labor Investigation of China's Seafood Supply Chains

February 21, 2024 – Members of the Ways and Means Committee are calling on the Biden Administration to investigate whether forced labor is used in China’s seafood supply chain.

The lawmakers say there is “mounting evidence that Chinese seafood companiesare complicit in, or directly responsible for, forced labor by Uyghurs or other minority populations from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.” If the allegations are proven to be true, the lawmakers recommend applying sanctions against China, “including those pursuant to the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.” Read the lawmakers’ letter.

Research Group Sees Global Trade Undergoing Reconfiguration

February 21, 2024 – A global research firm is seeing shifting trade patterns that businesses should consider in future planning. McKinsey Global Institute published a report the impact of the geopolitics and geometry of global trade. It says trade reconfiguration began in 2017 with the U.S., China, Germany, and the UK reducing the “geopolitical distance of their trade by 4 to 10 percent each.” The firm says the future of global trade will involve trade-offs, including more trade concentration and warns business leaders to position their companies for uncertainty. Read the McKinsey Global Institute report.