Afternoon Coffee: U.S., China Put Tariff Rise on Hold; Trump Plans to Withdraw from NAFTA

Businesswoman with phone, calendar and a coffee

The business world seems to be reacting favorably to the U.S.-China truce on tariffs, which the countries announced over the weekend at the G20 summit in Argentina, the Supply Chain Dive reports. Tariffs on $200 billion in goods will remain at 10% instead of the planned rise to 25% on Jan. 1. Trade talks will commence on a range of issues, and if those cannot be resolved after 90 days, tariffs could rise then, the Dive reports. "We hope this 90-day tariff pause will lead to a positive resolution that removes tariffs altogether and improves U.S.-China trade relations," the National Retail Federation wrote in a statement.

The NAFTA Gambit

On the plane ride back from the G20 summit, President Donald Trump said he would withdraw from NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, which still governs business among Mexico, the U.S. and Canada despite the countries signing the USMCA deal at the summit, the New York Times reports. The move seems to be aimed at the new Democratic House, which will take over next year — and may not approve the USMCA. (The leaders signed it, but the countries' legislatures still must ratify the USMCA trade pact.) The Times said if no deal can be reached in six months, “both versions of the treaty would be void, which would result in far more restrictive trade that could have a severe impact on industry and agriculture in all three nations, economists have warned.” But Trump said he’s fine with that option too. He said “he would have no problem reverting to a ‘pre-NAFTA’ environment. Such a scenario ‘works very well’ for the United States,” the Times quoted him as saying.

Honors for Bush Delay Data, Fed Testimony

The U.S. national day of mourning for President George H.W. Bush on Wednesday has delayed the release of public and private economic data as well as widely anticipated testimony to lawmakers by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, Bloomberg News reports. See the list of delayed items here.

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