The US-China Trade War forecasted to get worse

The US-China trade war is “going to get worse before it gets better,” an expert said on Tuesday.

US President Donald Trump announced that he would increase tariffs on $200 billion in goods from 10% to 25%. China responded by upping the tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. goods. The relations between the two countries are on a decline – trade talks between the US and China stopped abruptly.

American multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products, Google revoked Huawei’s operating license for its Android devices, a source familiar with the matter said on Sunday – Googles decision is believed not to be separate from the trade war.

READ MORE:Google cuts Huawei’s access to androids licencing


Additional reporting: CNBC

By: Kgothatso Nkanyane

100 days of Bolsonaro’s Presidency – wins, struggles & blunders

Elected with 55.1% on October 2018 and officially sworn in as the President of the Republic of Brazil, succeeding Michael Temer, on 1 January 2019—Bolsonaro is a day away from reaching  100 days in office. With 99 days in office, Bolsonaro’s Presidency has had few wins, struggles, and blunders.

The Brazil economy has grown the second year in a row, the country’s trade surplus reached US$ 3,67 billion in February, inflation estimate has reduced and jobs have been added to the economy. The President has attained some of his campaign promises: “he signed a decree easing restrictions on gun ownership as an anti-crime move, privatized some state-run companies, installed a Cabinet with eight members of the military”, reported by Washington Post.

Bolsonaro visited the US in March and during the trip, he declared himself a bold devotee of the US. This trip infuriated most Brazilians, with most taking to Twitter with the #BolsonaroEvergonhaOBrasil – #BolsonaroShamesBrazil. Citizen’s of the Republic accused President Jair Bolsonaro of prejudice, misrepresenting Brazilians and trying to please US President, Donald Trump, which many Brazilians found offensive including members of his base. The hashtag trended across the world. Many cartoons were created showing Bolsonaro as Trump’s pet and subordinate.

Twitter post: @moema4

READ MORE: Trump to designate Brazil as a “Major Non-NATO ally”

The month of March was marked with Bolsonaro’s Presidential visits, it was first the US, followed Chile. The Chile visit sparked controversy, the President praised Chile’s former military dictatorship that led to the first-ever boycott of a presidential visit by influential Chilean politician. This caused in Chile anger and a rare political boycott.

RELATED STORY:Bolsonaro’s official trips spark controversy

The President concluded March with a visit to Israel. Day 2 of the visit Bolsonaro visited the Western wall which caused Palestinians to be angry. Bolsonaro’s plan to move Israel’s capital to Jerusalem angered the Muslims. Recent reports have had the right-wing leader saying he has not changed his mind about moving the capital.

The Bolsonaro Presidency has been marked by insults to adversaries and allies, fighting among his administration and praise for Brazil’s dictatorship (1964 -1985) – Washington Post.


By: Kgothatso Nkanyane

India responds to US removing trade special treatment

US president Donald Trump announced on Monday plans that the US would end special trade treatment for India. The program allows developing countries access to the US market. The US sight unfair trade practices by India for the reason.

India has responded to this move by US president Trump. The sudden change in trade relations comes at a bad time for India as elections draw near as well as new escalating tension between India and Pakistan.

According to, the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry released a statement on US-Indian relations which said the US-India trade deficit has substantially reduced due to initiatives put in place in 2017-2018. India is also a key market for many US-based tech companies.

India has become the US new target when it comes to fair trade, as the China-US trade tariffs talks start to gain ground with a new deal looking more likely. Trump wants to look stronger in 2019 as he still under massive political pressure domestically.



By Mokgethi Mtezuka


China-US re-engage in new batch of trade talks

Chinese and US delegates are meeting in Beijing to hash out some of their trade difference and possibly put an end in the trade war. The Trade War between the world two biggest economies has entered a new year and 2019 both countries are aiming to come to some real agreement.

US president Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping announced in December that the two super economies came to a truce. So far both sides have praised the talks as positive and constructive and both sides are actively engaged and are working to come to a resolution.

According to Asian financial markets have reacted positively to the meeting and discussion between the countries.

The talks will come to close tomorrow with both countries expected to refrain from issuing new tariffs and mitigate any further disruption to global financial market as well as the global economy.

By Mokgethi Mtezuka

China, Russia relations on a rise

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to Beijing in the framework of Russia-China intergovernmental meetings was striking evidence of a major improvement in bilateral relations. The challenge of matching the high level of mutual political trust with the real state of Russian-Chinese trade and economic ties is being met and at a fairly rapid pace.

This is clear enough from the practical results of this visit. Following the talks with Premier of the Chinese State Council Li Keqiang, the sides signed over 10 agreements, including a plan for developing agriculture in Russia’s Far East and the Baikal Region and China’s North-West and a memorandum of understanding between Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development and China’s Ministry of Commerce on trade in services.  The Federal Customs Service and the General Administration of Customs of China agreed to upgrade customs clearance procedures and oversight of international e-commerce. The two countries are completing their final agreements on the cooperative project to build the AHL heavy helicopter and will sign a relevant general contract in the near future.

It is gratifying that the marked decline in trade in the past few years has been replaced by solid growth. It may exceed $110 billion before this year expires and the sides are likely to bring their trade to $200 billion in the foreseeable future. It was clear that Dmitry Medvedev was intent on resolving outstanding issues during his visit rather than leaving them for later. Russian companies are keenly interested in gaining access to the Chinese agricultural market, for example, but a number of restrictions prevented them from doing so. This time, however, the governments of both countries managed to agree on lifting several remaining restrictions and now domestic producers will be able to supply China with poultry and dairy products. Officials of the Russian Ministry of Agriculture said Russia may supply their first consignments before the end of this year.

Another sore spot, China’s investment in the Russian economy, is also being resolved but not without effort. For the most part, the Chinese are interested in the oil and gas sector. According to Premier Li Keqiang, Chinese companies are weighing their participation in projects for the production, deep processing and transportation of fuel. They are also interested in developing innovation cooperation with Russian companies, in particular, creating a research and innovation fund to support science and technology cooperation and joint projects.

Importantly, Russia-China cooperation is making such headway despite the external pressure and attempts to destroy the international trade system. Dmitry Medvedev and his Chinese counterpart announced their intention to promote global trade and exchange of investment. They noted that protectionism and unilateral approaches undermine the multilateral trade system based on the WTO, hurting the interests of specific states, including Russia and China – countries that are always ready to facilitate trade and investment and support regional economic integration.

Under the circumstances, Moscow and Beijing have to look for such cooperation mechanisms that will offset this negative influence on their economies.

The word “sanctions” was not used when the United States unleashed a trade war against China earlier this year. However, its actions amount to the same. This is why China is beginning to understand much better Russia’s logic in countering US sanctions and the need to meaningfully bolster Russia-China efforts to resist sanctions pressure and illegal trade restrictions on our countries, which are becoming increasingly systematic and long-term.

  • Valdi Club




USA to pull out of nuclear treaty with Russia

US president, Donald  Trump has announced that the US  will pull out of Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) with Russia. President Trump has said that Russia has violated the bilateral treaty. Trump further that the US is the only one up holding to the agreements made in the treaty.

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was established in 1987 by the US president Ronald Reagan and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and was an agreement to end the proliferations and use of intercontinental nuclear weapons.  The treaty was also key in ending the Cold War between the USA and Soviet Union.

The US has said that they have honoured the agreement but Russia is not adhering to it, as well as saying China is also developing nuclear weapons. President Trump stated that if all three countries came together to create new agreement they would be open to that, but they cannot allow other countries to develop nuclear weapons while they cannot.

Under the treaty the US and Russia are required to eliminate land launched nuclear missiles with a range of 500-5500km. The treaty has kept Russia and the USA from engaging in another arms race. Vladimir Putin, Russia’s President said Russia will provide an immediate and reciprocal response and that Russia has fully complied with the treaty and will continue with it as long as the US does.


BRICS Ministers pledge to challenge protectionism

Ministers of the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa coalition have pledged to fight protectionism and to protect intellectual property rights. The Ministers agreed to this on Wednesday, even as American President Donald Trump is considering actions on what he sees as unfair trade practises by China, reports the

Ministers of the bloc concluded two days of talks in Shanghai with agreements to strengthen trade and investment links, says a statement released by Chinese Commerce Minister, Zhong Shan. According to the statement the Ministers also agreed to develop and safeguard the multilateral trading system.  

“Ministers are committed to continue to firmly oppose trade and investment protectionism, recommitted to their existing pledge for both standstill and rollback of protectionist measures and called upon countries to join in that commitment,” said the statement.

The Ministers  agreed to guidelines for cooperation on intellectual property rights (IPR) between members of the bloc.

The statement said that the “Ministers agreed to promote exchanges and cooperation on IPR legislation and enforcement in order to create favourable conditions for trade and innovation-driven economic development.”



“India will soon find out,” – US sanctions for India’s S-400 deal with Russia

US President, Donald Trump said on Wednesday that India “will soon find out” about his decision regarding the India’s purchase of the S-400 air defence system from. It has been predicted that the US president might impose the CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act) sanctions on India.

President Trump amended the CAATSA earlier in the year – only Trump has the authority for the presidential waiver to India on weapons deal with sanctions-hit Russia. India and Russia met last week for their annual summit. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s 22-hour visit to India concluded with various agreements, including the purchase of the S-400.

When asked about India’s purchase, Trump replied “India will soon find out. Aren’t they?”


Source: Times of India

India could soon face a threat of US sanctions ahead of a possible Russia defence deal

India could soon face a threat of US sanctions ahead of a possible Russia defence deal. If India goes ahead with $5 billion weapons deal, analysts predict that India might receive sanction impositions from the US.

India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi is currently meeting with his Russian counterpart, President Vladimir Putin in the Indian capital, New Delhi. The agenda amongst other things includes, India’s potential purchase of Moscow’s high-tech S-400 surface-to-air missile defence system.

The weapons deal is expected to be signed during the meet and it could open a possibility of sanctions for India, under legislation known as Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

The CAATSA was signed into law by US President, Donald Trump last month. The law designed to “punish Moscow for its malign activities”. The US has already imposed sanctions on China for purchasing Russian military equipment, including the S-400, under the CAATSA legislation.


Source: CNN

China cancels security talks with the US

The Chinese government has cancelled their planned security talks  with US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis. The meeting which was planned for October has not been rescheduled and the reason for the cancellation is still to be determined.

There has been tensions surrounding China-US relations in recent months with escalating tariffs on Chinese import to the US resulting in a trade war. Other causes of the tension are the US sanctions on Chinese military for purchasing Russian weapons and the territorial disputes in South China Sea.

 These ever-rising tension might escalate and spiral out of control with the countries continue with retaliatory measures. Both the US government and Chinese government have not yet comment on the cancellation. But it is believed that the tensions between the two superpowers is the main reason for this cancellation.

The Chinese government did reiterate that it will not be forced or blackmail in to yielding over pressure created by the trade war.