US-China relations wipe-down

Posted by: Paul Donovan

07 Aug 2020

Daily update

  • US President Trump remains deeply concerned about the national security implications of the Chinese government obtaining the secret of how to perform the TikTok wipe-down challenge. An executive order banned US companies from doing business with the video app, with a similar order for the WeChat app. The direct economic impact is limited. The concern is that this may threaten the economically significant trade deal.
  • US President Trump imposed a 10% tax on American consumers of Canadian aluminum (in spite of the NAFT2 trade agreement being in effect). American beer companies have been quick to protest this increase in their costs.
  • The US employment report data will have problems from seasonal adjustment. Seasonal adjustment is designed to smooth numbers, and compensates for jobs lost every summer (e.g. teachers). However, the pandemic means these jobs will not be lost over the summer – they were lost earlier in the year. Where seasonal adjustment generates increased jobs, the economic circumstances of ordinary US citizens will not be changing.
  • German industrial production in June was in the top half of the 2% to 13% m/m range. French and Spanish industrial production numbers are due. US fiscal policy talks continue to drag on, as if there were no urgency to the matter.

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