World Economy

Trump repeats threat to impose auto tariffs

By Nick Beams, 20 July 2018

If the auto tariffs go ahead, they would be the largest trade war measure invoked by the Trump administration so far.

EU and Japan sign trade deal

By Nick Beams, 19 July 2018

The deal was five years in the making but the impetus to have it finalised was increased by the US trade war measures that have targeted both parties.

US rejects EU carve-out from sanctions against Iran

By Nick Beams, 16 July 2018

The US decision is another major economic blow against the European powers, which had looked to the nuclear agreement with Iran as opening the way for lucrative trade and investment deals.

Trump escalates trade war against China

By Nick Beams, 12 July 2018

The statement issued by the US trade representative was that of an imperial overlord whose word is law, to be obeyed without question, with any opposition to be met by escalating reprisals.

Trade war and the political independence of the working class

By Nick Beams, 7 July 2018

On the eve of World War II, Leon Trotsky wrote that that the bourgeoisie “toboggans with closed eyes towards an economic and military catastrophe.” Eighty years on, his words have a profound resonance.

OECD report details

A global economic “recovery” without wage increases

By Patrick Martin, 6 July 2018

A report by the grouping of 36 most economically developed countries found that the proliferation of low-wage, part-time jobs has held down wage growth for workers throughout the world.

Trump fires opening shot in trade war against China

By Nick Beams, 6 July 2018

The US president has already threatened to impose additional tariffs on up to $400 billion worth of Chinese goods if Beijing retaliates.

Trudeau beats nationalist drum as Canada imposes retaliatory tariffs against US

By Roger Jordan, 4 July 2018

Ottawa is waging trade war not to defend workers and their livelihoods, but to protect the markets and profits of Canadian big business.

Escalating trade war starts to make economic impact

By Nick Beams, 3 July 2018

Chinese stock markets have continued the fall over the first six months of the year that has wiped some $2 trillion off market valuations.

Trump goes with Mnuchin plan on Chinese investment

By Nick Beams, 28 June 2018

The move appears to have been motivated to a considerable extent by Wall Street’s reaction to a more hardline proposal that prompted the Dow to fall at one point by 500 points on Monday.

Citing tariffs, Harley-Davidson to move US production to Europe

By Jacob Crosse, 27 June 2018

In response to the developing trade war between the US and Europe, motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson said it is shifting some production to international facilities.

Trade war fears hit global markets

By Nick Beams, 26 June 2018

The Trump administration reportedly plans to invoke powers allowing the president to impose sanctions on the grounds of a “national emergency.”

After tariff measures against China

Trump threatens to escalate trade war with Europe

By Nick Beams, 23 June 2018

Central bankers at a meeting in Sintra, Portugal, voiced their concerns about the developing global trade war.

Trade war and the eruption of economic nationalism

By Nick Beams, 22 June 2018

As in the 1930s, the re-emergence of trade war and protectionism are accompanied by the most grotesque forms of right-wing xenophobia and authoritarianism.

White House report lays out economic war against China

By Nick Beams, 21 June 2018

China’s “economic aggression” is denounced as threatening the US and the global economy.

Trump escalates trade war with new tariff threat against China

By Nick Beams, 20 June 2018

The latest moves by the US administration brought a fall in stock markets amid growing concerns that trade war will have a significant impact on investment and global supply chains.

Washington launches trade war measures against China

By Ben McGrath, 16 June 2018

The decision by the Trump Administration to initiate a trade war between the world’s two largest economies will contribute to the already growing tensions and danger of military conflict in the Asia-Pacific region.

After G7 summit, Merkel calls for European rearmament

By Johannes Stern, 13 June 2018

German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that Germany “must promote our principles and values in Europe, potentially in alliance with Canada or Japan”

Recriminations, threats between US and allies continue after collapse of G7 summit

By Barry Grey, 12 June 2018

The level of acrimony and division following the unprecedented failure of the latest in a long line of summits points to a fundamental and irreparable breakdown of the post-World War II economic order.

US-European tensions erupt at the G7 summit

By Andre Damon, 9 June 2018

The bitter denunciations of America’s trade war measures by its closest allies are just one manifestation of the divisions ripping apart the world geopolitical order.

Mexico responds to Trump’s trade war measures with tariffs on US goods

By Rafael Azul, 9 June 2018

Retaliating against US steel and aluminum import tariffs, the government of Mexico imposed tariffs on 71 products exported by the United States.

G7 conflict set to deepen at leaders’ summit

By Nick Beams, 7 June 2018

The G7 has been called the G6 plus one, as Canada, the EU and Japan seek to coordinate their response to US tariffs.

Deep divisions over US trade policies at G7 finance ministers meeting

By Nick Beams, 4 June 2018

The statement from the G7, agreed to by Canada, the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Japan, pointed to the “negative impact of the unilateral trade actions of the United States.”

Backlash against US over tariffs

By Nick Beams, 2 June 2018

The European Union is pushing ahead with counter-measures against the US. It is expected to announce its final list of products to be targeted later this month.

US imposes steel and aluminium tariffs

Trump administration takes major step toward global trade war

By Nick Beams, 1 June 2018

The European Union said it would take immediate steps to retaliate, warning of a 1930s-style depression.

Trump sets out timetable for anti-China tariffs

By Nick Beams, 31 May 2018

The White House measures are aimed at China’s efforts to develop high-tech industries.

Naming of technocratic government plunges Italy into crisis of class rule

By Alex Lantier, 30 May 2018

Financial markets are panicking and protests are being called, as bitter divisions inside the Italian bourgeoisie erupt to the surface.

Bipartisan hostility to Trump deal on Chinese telecom firm ZTE

By Nick Beams, 28 May 2018

Moves are underway in the US Congress, supported by leading Republicans and Democrats, to extend bans on Chinese telecos regarded as a threat to “national security.”

Trump orders “national security” probe into auto industry

By Nick Beams, 25 May 2018

The investigation was directly linked to statements about economic preparations for war.

Trump trade deal comes under anti-China fire

By Nick Beams, 24 May 2018

The delay in imposing tariffs on China has been condemned by both sides of the US Congress as giving in to Beijing.

Limited truce in US-China trade conflict

By Nick Beams, 22 May 2018

Despite the postponement of US tariffs, the threat of open trade war remains.

Inconclusive outcome of US-China trade talks

By Nick Beams, 21 May 2018

The vagueness of the final, brief communiqué, left the way open for both sides to offer their own interpretations on what had been agreed.

Little room for manoeuvre in US-China trade talks

By Nick Beams, 17 May 2018

A letter signed by 32 Democrats stated that “America’s national security must not be signed away as bargaining chip in trade negotiations.”

Two voices of concern over Trump’s “New World Order”

By Nick Beams, 15 May 2018

One has the sense from both articles of the growing fears in ruling circles of the consequences of the US economic and foreign policy agenda for the stability of the world capitalist system.

US trade war claims China’s ZTE as first victim

By Nick Beams, 11 May 2018

ZTE operates on a global scale, doing business in more than 160 countries with over 74,000 employees, and generating revenues of $17 billion last year.

Argentina to make new IMF agreement amid growing social discontent

By Eric London, 10 May 2018

An estimated 75 percent of Argentinians oppose the move, which takes place alongside broadening strikes among teachers and other workers.

Argentine financial crisis could signal broader turbulence

By Nick Beams, 10 May 2018

Countries with high debts are coming under pressure because of rising interest rates and an appreciation in the value of the US dollar.

US issues trade ultimatum to China

By Nick Beams, 7 May 2018

The list of measures is not intended as the basis for negotiations but to escalate economic conflict and military tensions.

Official report whitewashes financial crimes by Australia’s biggest bank

By Mike Head, 5 May 2018

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia agreed to a worthless “enforceable undertaking,” which means it can carry on with its rapacious activities.

Trade talks in Beijing: China says it won’t back down to US

By Nick Beams, 3 May 2018

The conflict is over more than the trade deficit numbers, with the overriding concern of the US being China’s moves to develop its high-tech capacities.

T-Mobile and Sprint agree to $146 billion mega-merger

By Gabriel Black, 2 May 2018

The companies have presented the merger as a critical geopolitical move in the fight against China’s development of 5G.

Trump postpones steel tariffs but trade tensions increase

By Nick Beams, 2 May 2018

The European Commission said there was no basis for tariffs on “national security” grounds and it would not negotiate under threat.

European Central Bank points to slowing economic growth

By Nick Beams, 27 April 2018

The ECB appears to have adopted a “wait and see” approach on monetary policy in light of the latest eurozone slowdown.

US and China to hold trade talks as tariff deadline looms

By Nick Beams, 26 April 2018

Trump said there was a “very good chance of making a deal,” but if not, the US would impose “very substantial tariffs” on Chinese imports.

US issues ultimatums to IMF on trade

By Nick Beams, 23 April 2018

Adopting the tone of an overlord, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin demanded that the IMF back Washington in its drive against what it claims are “unfair global trade practices.”

White House considers “national emergency” powers against Chinese investment

By Nick Beams, 21 April 2018

Under a 1977 law, president Trump could declare a national emergency in response to an “unusual and extraordinary threat” which would allow him to block transactions and even to seize assets.

IMF remains upbeat on global economy but trade conflicts sound a jarring note

By Nick Beams, 19 April 2018

The IMF chief economist said it seemed “paradoxical” that major economies were “flirting with trade war” at a time of economic expansion.

US and Britain hit Chinese telecom company ZTE

By Nick Beams, 17 April 2018

Both countries imposed the bans amid calls for more aggressive moves by US authorities against Chinese communications and telecom firms.

Trump to consider rejoining TPP to step up pressure on China

By Nick Beams, 14 April 2018

The apparent turnaround is motivated by two immediate considerations: the need to be seen as taking action to alleviate pressure on US farmers threatened by the China tariffs, and the search for international allies against China.

World economy in danger of being “torn apart”

By Nick Beams, 13 April 2018

IMF chief Christine Lagarde said that as a result of easy financial conditions, global debt—public and private—has reached an all-time high of $164 trillion.

Trade war issues come into sharper focus

By Nick Beams, 12 April 2018

The key question is not primarily the Chinese trade surplus against which Trump rails, but Beijing’s plan to become a major source of high-tech development.

Top Trump aide lays out driving forces of trade war against China

By Nick Beams, 10 April 2018

Trump’s key trade adviser Peter Navarro declared that China’s move into high-tech development was a direct threat to US economic and military dominance.

Report details massive growth of inequality worldwide

By Eric London, 10 April 2018

The report found that if inequality grows at its present rate, the world’s billionaires will eventually “own 100 percent of the world’s wealth.”

China prepares to strike back as US trade war intensifies

By Nick Beams, 7 April 2018

At a briefing with reporters in Beijing Friday evening, Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said the US move was “extremely wrong” and China was preparing to retaliate.

Canada’s trade union-backed Liberal government clamps down on steel and aluminum imports

By Roger Jordan, 7 April 2018

Trudeau’s protectionist measures, which help enforce Trump’s trade war tariffs, include corporatist initiatives aimed at further integrating the unions with big business and the state.

Trump steps up trade war with proposal for further tariffs on Chinese goods

By Nick Beams, 6 April 2018

The White House said the new directive was in response to the Chinese decision to impose tariffs on $50 billion worth of American exports.

US-China trade war intensifies

By Nick Beams, 5 April 2018

The driving force of the US action is Washington’s attempt to prevent China from developing its capacities in high technology sectors, including communications, robotics, aircraft and pharmaceuticals.

China imposes tariffs as trade war heats up

By Nick Beams, 3 April 2018

The Chinese moves appear to have had an impact on Wall Street, where the Dow was down by more than 450 points at end of yesterday.

The looming threat of global trade war

By Nick Beams, 29 March 2018

The volatility reflects the speculative character of the share market’s rise and the fears that a global trade war could puncture this bubble.

Markets fall on trade war fears

By Nick Beams, 24 March 2018

Chinese reaction to US tariff measures has been fairly muted, so far, but government officials said they will defend their “legitimate interests.”

US threatens trade war against China

By Nick Beams, 23 March 2018

The Trump administration has drawn up a list of more than 1,000 products, and proposed investment bans, targeting 10 key Chinese industries.

US to launch trade measures against China

By Nick Beams, 22 March 2018

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said action would be taken outside the WTO, because China’s “state-dominated economy” rejects “market principles.”

European Union seeks tariff exemptions as US sets out demands

By Nick Beams, 20 March 2018

Talks in Washington with the Trump administration will determine whether the EU proceeds with threatened measures in retaliation against the US imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminium.

Confusion over US tariff exemptions

By Nick Beams, 12 March 2018

US trade representative Robert Lighthizer could give his EU and Japanese counterparts no indication of the criteria for gaining an exemption.

US “allies” scramble for tariff exemptions

By Nick Beams, 10 March 2018

The European Union is “counting” on being exempted from the Trump tariff measures but may get short shrift.

Australian government obtains “national security” exemption from Trump’s trade war measures

By Mike Head, 10 March 2018

The government argued that retaining steel production in Australia was vital for its $200 billion military spending program.

Trump, risking trade war, signs off on steel and aluminium tariffs

By Nick Beams, 9 March 2018

Trump’s tariff announcement expresses the turn by the United States to the types of protectionist measures that characterised the 1930s Great Depression.

Trade conflict heats up

By Nick Beams, 8 March 2018

The European Union hopes to avert the Trump tariff measures but at a press conference Trump singled out the EU for attack.

Canadian ruling elite reacts to Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs

By Roger Jordan, 7 March 2018

Signaling the Canadian ruling elite’s readiness to support Washington in a trade war against China and other rivals, Ottawa is pleading for an exemption from Trump’s tariffs.

The historic significance of Trump’s trade war measures

By Nick Beams, 5 March 2018

Trump’s trade measures are a major step in the dismantling of the system of economic relations established by Washington itself after World War II.

EU threatens retaliation to Trump’s trade war measures

By Peter Symonds, 3 March 2018

Trump’s announcement of global tariffs on steel and aluminium has triggered international criticism, including from US allies that will be among the hardest hit.

Trump launches trade war

By Nick Beams, 2 March 2018

In imposing a global tariff hike, rather than selective measures, Trump took the toughest option presented to him by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

The growing threat of global trade war

By Nick Beams, 24 February 2018

Two major initiatives by the Trump administration over the past month have ratcheted up global tensions, bringing the threat of retaliatory actions from the European Union and China.

Another US step toward trade war

By Nick Beams, 19 February 2018

“If we ever have a conflict, we don’t want to be buying steel [from] a country we are fighting,” Trump declared, referring particularly to China.

Marx’s analysis of the laws of capital and the share market crisis

By Nick Beams, 17 February 2018

The largest fall in markets since the crisis of 2008 has provided a damning exposure of the entire framework of bourgeois economics and a living confirmation of the analysis of Karl Marx.

Wild swings on Wall Street at end of turbulent week

By Nick Beams, 10 February 2018

The business channel CNBC calculated that the Dow gyrated a total of 22,000 points up and down during the week.

Wall Street plunges amid fear and panic

By Nick Beams, 9 February 2018

A major feature of the turmoil has been the speed of events, with stock prices plunging and oscillating dramatically.

Global markets plunge as Dow records biggest ever one-day point fall

By Nick Beams, 6 February 2018

One of the most significant features of yesterday’s decline was its speed with the Dow plunging 900 points in just 11 minutes in an avalanche of selling.

The working class and the capitalist economy

By Nick Beams, 5 February 2018

Friday’s fall on world stock markets, in response to an uptick in US wages, demonstrates the significance of Marx's labor theory of value, which explains the inner workings of the capitalist economy.

India strengthens ties with ASEAN countries

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 5 February 2018

Modi’s manoeuvres with ASEAN are part of India’s transformation into a frontline state in Washington’s strategic offensive against China.

Fear of working class upsurge triggers plunge in financial markets

By Barry Grey, 3 February 2018

The increasing market volatility takes place amidst signs of mounting working class resistance.

Signs of turbulence in stock markets

By Nick Beams, 2 February 2018

The major concern in financial markets is that a rise in bond yields could see an end to the rise in stock prices and even set off a major downturn.

Currency conflicts deepen between US and Europe

By Nick Beams, 31 January 2018

Remarks by US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on the advantages of a lower dollar brought a sharp response from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi.

The “fractured world”: Plutocrats convene in Davos amid war and great-power conflict

By Andre Damon, 27 January 2018

The 47th annual World Economic Forum was dominated by apprehension over every aspect of global politics and economics, from the possibility of a 2008-style financial collapse to the threat of a new world war.

German Chancellor promotes militarism and great-power politics at World Economic Forum

By Johannes Stern, 26 January 2018

Merkel sought to drum up support for a European defence policy that would enable Germany and Europe to enforce their economic and geostrategic interests around the world.

Asia-Pacific trade bloc reshaped, without the US

By Mike Head, 25 January 2018

The “TPP 11” announcement points to the increasing isolation of the US, and the escalating tensions between the rival capitalist powers.

BlackRock’s Laurence Fink urges CEOs to serve a “social purpose”

By Katy Kinner, 25 January 2018

Fink, whose firm manages $6 trillion in investments, has penned a worried and hypocritical letter to the world’s CEOs urging them to exercise a “positive influence on society.”

World Economic Forum meets in Davos under shadow of crisis and war

By Bill Van Auken, 24 January 2018

The gathering of the world’s oligarchs is taking place amid the breakdown of the postwar capitalist order and the eruption of great power conflict.

IMF upgrades global growth forecast amid warnings of “fracture points”

By Nick Beams, 24 January 2018

While attention is focused on the headline predictions of a rise in growth, there are warnings that the spurt may not last.

Oxfam: Bottom half of world’s population received none of the wealth created in 2017

By Niles Niemuth, 23 January 2018

The annual survey, which reported the largest annual increase in the number of billionaires worldwide, was released to coincide with the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Indian Prime Minister Modi to tout pro-business record at World Economic Forum

By Kranti Kumara, 23 January 2018

The WEF deliberations will be bookended by speeches from Modi, a slavish servant of big business and Hindu supremacist, and the fascist-minded billionaire, US President Donald Trump.

Sri Lankan president threatens to end ruling coalition

By K. Ratnayake, 23 January 2018

Sirisena’s cabinet walkout demonstrates the government’s crisis and points to preparations for dictatorial rule.

US takes aim at China over trade

By Nick Beams, 22 January 2018

The Trump administration has declared it was a mistake to admit China to the World Trade Organisation in 2001.

Sharp fall in bitcoin price a sign of growing financial turbulence

By Nick Beams, 19 January 2018

The speculative rise, and now the plunges, in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are indicative of broader processes in the global financial system.

“Fractures, Fears and Failures:” World’s ruling elites stare into the abyss

By Bill Van Auken, 18 January 2018

The Global Risk Report released in advance of the World Economic Forum in Davos exposes mounting anxiety in ruling circles over the threat of war and social revolution.

Threat of trade war looming larger

By Nick Beams, 16 January 2018

A series of “anti-dumping” measures initiated by the United States could set in motion retaliatory action and lead to widening trade conflicts.

A significant tremor in the bond markets

By Nick Beams, 13 January 2018

While the bond market has calmed since Wednesday’s sell-off, reports in the financial press indicate considerable nervousness over what the dip could signify.

Upturn in global economy will not last, says World Bank

By Nick Beams, 11 January 2018

The bank warned of “particularly worrying” longer-term risks associated with “subdued productivity and potential growth.”

December US jobs report reveals weaker than expected growth

By Trévon Austin, 6 January 2018

The modest improvement in the unemployment rate and number of jobs added over the last year are not reflective of the real situation confronting millions of workers.

Foxconn tax subsidies to build Wisconsin plant reach over $4 billion

By George Gallanis, 6 January 2018

Decades of deindustrialization have created unprecedented levels of social inequality, poverty and unemployment, which corporations like Foxconn can exploit.