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An update around the globe

More Tariff Drama

China and the United States have recently imposed new tariffs on each other’s goods. They have a bitter trade history and neither side seems to be giving room for compromise.

China accused the United States of bullying other countries to agree to American deals. These tariffs include $200 billion worth of Chinese goods and retaliatory tariffs by Beijing on $60 billion worth of U.S. products. China has recently pulled out of negotiations, citing the American midterm elections as a potential shift in strategy for crafting new trade policy.

The United States administration is continuing the strategy of being the aggressor in trade talks, siding more with protectionist policies rather than decades of Republican dominated free-trade.

Europe’s withdrawal from Iran Dea

After the United States announced their withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, European Union officials are trying to save European investments in the Islamic country.

EU-Iranian trade is running at $2.35 billion a month in 2018 but is expected to fall as big European companies pull out and Iranian oil exports are choked off by U.S. sanctions. European countries could pay Iran directly for oil in Euros and go around the U.S. financial system.

Berlin, Paris and London “don’t have the political strength and time to be able to offer Iran anything serious or significant,” said Sanam Vakil, a senior associate fellow at Chatham House, a London-based international think tank.

U.S. not concerned by Iranian accusation

Also in Iran, an attack at a military parade left 25 dead, including a dozen members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, supreme leader of Iran, is speculating the killers were people paid by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Khamenei also insinuated the United States had a part to play and that all parties will deal with severe punishments.

In response, United States Defense Secretary James Mattis did not feel threatened by Khamenei’s accusation.

“We’ve been very clear that they shouldn’t take us on like that. And I am hopeful that cooler, wiser heads will prevail,” Mattis said.