A Defiant Russia Builds Barriers to U.S. Sanctions

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Highlights

  • As the United States pressures Russia with sanctions, Moscow will use a mix of options to counter the penalties in the short term, including diplomatic negotiations and financial support for threatened businesses.
  • In the long term, Russia will continue deploying a strategy to insulate its people and businesses, leading Moscow to increasingly move away from the West and toward the East.
  • While Moscow may make tactical concessions to protect its economic interests, U.S. sanctions ultimately will be ineffective in compelling Russia to strategically shift its foreign policy, meaning the Russia-West standoff is here to stay.

This photograph shows bars of aluminum.

(MIKE DOTTA/Shutterstock)

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Trump Tariffs on EU, Mexico, Canada Draw Retaliation Threats

By Associated Press – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

The Trump administration’s announcement Thursday that it will impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Europe, Mexico and Canada drew swift vows of retaliation from key allies, inflamed trade tensions and sent stock markets sinking.

The administration’s move threatens to inflate prices for U.S. consumers and companies and heighten uncertainty for businesses and investors across the globe.

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Germany Desperate to Avoid Trade War With Trump

By Thomson Reuters – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

As Europe’s biggest exporter to the United States and with more than 1 million German jobs at stake, Germany is desperate to avoid a European Union trade war with the United States.

In the run-up to a June 1 deadline for U.S. President Donald Trump to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on the EU, Berlin is urging its European partners to show some flexibility and pursue a broad trade deal that benefits both sides.

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China Imposing New Tariffs on US Meat, Fruit, Other Products

By Thomson Reuters – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

China has increased tariffs by up to 25 percent on 128 U.S. products, from frozen pork and wine to certain fruits and nuts, escalating a spat between the world’s biggest economies in response to U.S. duties on imports of aluminum and steel.

The tariffs, to take effect on Monday, were announced late on Sunday by China’s finance ministry and matched a list of potential tariffs on up to $3 billion in U.S. goods published by China on March 23.

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Trump Hits China With the Tariffs We’ve All Been Waiting For

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Highlights

  • The United States has launched its first major trade and investment measures against China, but they won’t be the last as the White House looks to make good on its protectionist promises.
  • China will be compelled to respond in kind and may prompt the United States to retaliate in the process.
  • As the United States moves forward with its aggressive trade agenda, the need to minimize the domestic fallout of its policies will restrain the White House.

The president promised that the first measures he rolled out on Beijing will not be the last.

(MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

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As Trump Weighs Tariff, US Steelmakers Enjoy Rising Profits

Re-Blogged From Newsmax

The Trump administration has chosen an odd time to offer special protection to the U.S. steel industry.

As President Donald Trump prepares to impose a 25 percent tax on imported steel, America’s steelmakers are actually faring pretty well: The U.S. steel industry last year earned more than $2.8 billion, up from $714 million in 2016 and a loss in 2015, according to the Commerce Department. And the industry added more than 8,000 jobs between January 2017 and January 2018.

Even before Trump mentioned the tariff last Thursday, the price of the benchmark U.S.-made hot-rolled steel had reached the highest level since May 2011, according to S&P Global Platts. The price surged even higher on the tariff news.

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Nano Aluminium Offers Fuel Cells on Demand – Just Add Water

By David Hambling – Re-Blogged From New Scientist

The accidental discovery of a novel aluminium alloy that reacts with water in a highly unusual way may be the first step to reviving the struggling hydrogen economy. It could offer a convenient and portable source of hydrogen for fuel cells and other applications, potentially transforming the energy market and providing an alternative to batteries and liquid fuels.

“The important aspect of the approach is that it lets you make very compact systems,” says Anthony Kucernak, who studies fuel cells at Imperial College London and wasn’t involved with the research. “That would be very useful for systems which need to be very light or operate for long periods on hydrogen, where the use of hydrogen stored in a cylinder is prohibitive.”

Refuelling hydrogen vehicle
Hydrogen could provide an alternative to battery power

Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty