BY EVAN DENNY
New Tariffs in US/China Trade War
The Trump administration is set to impose tariffs on $200 billion more in Chinese goods starting this week, escalating a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies and potentially raising prices on goods ranging from handbags to bicycle tires.
The tariffs started at 10 percent on Monday, Sept. 24. They will rise to 25 percent on Jan. 1, 2019.
Trump has already imposed 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods. And China has retaliated in kind, hitting American soybeans, among other goods, in a shot at the president’s supporters in the U.S. farm belt.
Wheat farmer Roy Dube made it clear he’s no fan of President Donald Trump’s trade policy. Dube said China is buying less wheat from eastern Washington farmers, and that Trump’s policies have opened the door for Australia and Canada to wrest away business.
The U.S. tariffs on agricultural products, sown by Trump, have grown into an election-year threat to Republicans in rural districts that are heavily reliant on exports for their economy. With the livelihoods of farmers at risk, opposition to the tariffs could make a difference in some races and help determine which party takes control of Congress.
China responded to President Donald Trump’s tariff hike by imposing its own penalties Tuesday on $60 billion of American imports.
Trump threatened to add an additional $267 billion in Chinese imports to the target list if Beijing retaliated for the latest U.S. tariffs. That would raise the total affected by U.S. penalties to $517 billion, covering nearly everything China sells to the United States.
US Cuts Palestinian aid
The Palestinians on Saturday condemned the U.S. decision to end its decades of funding for the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, calling it an attack on the Palestinian people and accusing the Trump administration of trying to remove sensitive core issues from the negotiating table as it says it is preparing a Mideast peace initiative.
The Palestinians accuse the U.S. of being unfairly biased in favor of Israel, citing a series of steps by the White House. Trump has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital over Palestinian objections and last week cut $200 million in development aid to the Palestinians.
The decision cut an additional $300 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which serves millions of Palestinian refugees and their descendants across the region.
UNRWA was established after the war surrounding Israel’s establishment in 1948 to aid the 700,000 Palestinians who fled or were forced from their homes. Today, it provides education, health care and social services to some 5 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.
The U.S. in recent years has supplied nearly 30 percent of UNRWA’s budget.
In a statement, the U.S. called the agency an “irredeemably flawed operation.” It said the U.S. was no longer willing to pay for a “very disproportionate share” of UNRWA’s costs and criticized what it called the agency’s “fundamental business model and fiscal practices” and its “endlessly and exponentially expanding community of entitled beneficiaries.”
Russia Investigation: Michael Cohen
Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer says he is providing “critical information” as part of Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign.
Cohen pleaded guilty in August to eight federal charges and said Trump directed him to arrange payments before the 2016 election to buy the silence of porn actress Stormy Daniels and a former Playboy model who have both alleged they had affairs with Trump.
ABC News reported on Thursday that Cohen has met several times with investigators from the special counsel’s office.
The president has continued a very public battle against the Mueller investigation, repeatedly calling it a politically motivated and “rigged witch hunt.”
The Associated Press contributed to this article.