Afternoon Coffee: Agriculture Secretary Seeks to Assure Safety of Chinese Imports, Canadian Lumber Slapped with more Duties

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U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is set to travel to China Wednesday to mark the return of U.S. beef from the country following a 13-year gap, CNBC reported. Tight U.S. food inspections should give American consumers confidence in the safety of new Chinese chicken imports, Perdue told CNBC Tuesday.

Lumber Spat Continues 

Softwood lumber from Canada will face further punitive tariffs, as the longstanding trade dispute between the world’s second largest lumber exporter and the U.S. drags on, according to the Seattle Times. Preliminary anti-dumping duties of as much as 7.7% will be levied on Canadian producers, the U.S. Department of Commerce said Monday in a statement.

U.S. Outlook

The Trump administration’s seeming inability to get major legislation passed is affecting how economists are forecasting U.S. growth. The International Monetary Fund, for one, cut its forecast for the U.S. economy Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported, saying it could “no longer assume the Trump administration will be able to deliver pledged tax cuts and higher infrastructure spending.”

French Consumer Confidence 

In France, however, the outlook looks a bit brighter — at least from the consumer perspective. French consumer confidence soared to its highest level in a decade after Emmanuel Macron’s first month in office, according to Bloomberg.

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