The US economy is fine, but trade storms are gathering

Workers assemble cars at the newly renovated Ford’s Assembly Plant in Chicago, June 24, 2019. Jim Young | AFP | Getty Images A former colleague of mine at the OECD (a Paris-based public policy research organization financed by member country governments) smiled at me over a five-o’clock beer with a cutting remark that reports of economic analysis were “a dime a dozen.” I felt like wiping the floor with him, but gulping down my drink, I thought again how low a once revered profession of “worldly philosophers” had fallen. Economists,…

China ‘needs to do more’ to adjust foreign policy and win friends as trade war with US rolls on

Beijing is adjusting its assertive foreign policy and scaling back moves to expand its presence abroad, but it needs to do more to win friends as tensions escalate with Washington, according to a government adviser and researcher. They said there was an urgent need for China to rethink its foreign policy priorities after years of taking an assertive stance that had made other nations ” especially its neighbours ” increasingly worried, and created a situation that was adding to pressure amid its protracted trade war with the US. Shi Yinhong,…

Govt says confident in South China Sea pact amid trade worries

Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah. KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is confident it can reach an agreement with China to settle tensions in the South China Sea after its neighbours warned that incidents in the disputed waters had “eroded trust”. The country is “very hopeful” that a code of conduct (CoC) for the area will be completed within the three-year deadline or earlier, Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “We are very hopeful that within three years or perhaps even earlier we can come up with a better…

Rising South China Sea tensions, US-China trade talks cast shadow over Asean summit, SE Asia News & Top Stories

BANGKOK (BLOOMBERG) – Rising tensions in the South China Sea and the fallout from US-China trade war are set to dominate talks this week as top diplomats converge in Bangkok for a key Southeast Asia summit. US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo will be joined at the Asean Foreign Ministers’ Meeting by his Chinese counterpart, Foreign Minister Wang Yi, on the heels of trade negotiations between the two countries in Shanghai on Tuesday (July 30). The meetings come amid accusations from Vietnam and the Philippines that China has become more…