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U.S. agency submits auto tariff probe report to White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Commerce Department sent a report on Sunday to U.S. President Donald Trump that could unleash steep tariffs on imported cars and auto parts, provoking a sharp backlash from the industry even before it is unveiled, the agency confirmed.

Late on Sunday, a department spokeswoman said it would not disclose any details of the “Section 232” national security report submitted to Trump by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. The disclosure of the submission came less than two hours before the end of a 270-day deadline.

Trump has 90 days to decide whether to act upon the recommendations, which auto industry officials expect to include at least some tariffs on fully assembled vehicles or on technologies and components related to electric, automated, connected and shared vehicles.

As the White House received the report, the industry unleashed what is expected to be a massive lobbying campaign against it.

The industry has warned that feared tariffs of up to 25 percent on millions of imported cars and parts would add thousands of dollars to vehicle costs and potentially lead to hundreds of thousands of job losses throughout the U.S. economy.

The Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association, which represents auto parts suppliers, warned that tariffs will shrink investment in the United States at a time when the auto industry is already reeling from declining sales, Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum, and tariffs on auto parts from China.

The Commerce Department started its investigation in May 2018 at Trump’s request. Known as a Section 232 investigation, its purpose was to determine the effects of imports on national security and it had to be completed by Sunday.

Automakers and parts suppliers are anticipating its recommendation options will include broad tariffs of up to 20 percent to 25 percent on assembled cars and parts, or narrower tariffs targeting components and technologies related to new energy cars, autonomous, internet-connected and shared vehicles.

Trump said on Friday that tariffs protect industry and also help win trade agreements.

A report from the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan, published on Friday showed its worst-case scenario of a tariff of 25 percent would cost 366,900 U.S. jobs in the auto and related industries.

U.S. light duty vehicle prices would increase by $2,750 on average, including U.S.-built vehicles, reducing annual U.S. sales by 1.3 million units and forcing many consumers to the used car market, the think tank’s report said.

U.S. agency submits auto tariff probe report to White House

California tells Trump that lawsuit over border wall is ‘imminent’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – California will “imminently” challenge President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to obtain funds for a U.S.-Mexico border wall, state Attorney General Xavier Becerra said on Sunday.

“Definitely and imminently,” Becerra told ABC’s “This Week” program when asked whether and when California would sue the Trump administration in federal court. Other states controlled by Democrats are expected to join the effort.

“We are prepared, we knew something like this might happen. And with our sister state partners, we are ready to go,” he said.

Trump invoked the emergency powers on Friday under a 1976 law after Congress rebuffed his request for $5.7 billion to help build the wall that was a signature 2016 campaign promise.

The move is intended to allow him to redirect money appropriated by Congress for other purposes to wall construction.

California tells Trump that lawsuit over border wall is ‘imminent’

China’s Xi: trade talks with U.S. to continue in Washington next week

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Friday trade talks with the United States will continue in Washington next week and that he hopes the two sides will be able to reach a mutually beneficial deal in the upcoming negotiations, state media reported.

Xi said during a meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that talks in Beijing this week made progress and that China is willing to solve economic and trade disputes with the United States via cooperation, according to a report by Xinhua.

Lighthizer and Mnuchin said during the meeting that they maintain hope although there is still much work to be done, and that they are willing to work with China to reach a deal that is in line with the interests of both countries, according to Xinhua.

China’s Xi: trade talks with U.S. to continue in Washington next week

‘Decide what you want to do over Brexit, and hurry up!’ – French minister

PARIS (Reuters) – Britain should decide what to do regarding its exit from the European Union as soon as possible, French European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau said on Friday.

“I am telling our British friends that it is about time to decide whether to leave on friendly terms or abruptly,” she told RTL radio.

“It is a purely British choice. What we are saying is : hurry up!”

Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29.

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May suffered a defeat on her Brexit strategy on Thursday that undermined her pledge to EU leaders to get her divorce deal approved if they grant her concessions.

‘Decide what you want to do over Brexit, and hurry up!’ – French minister

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Currency pairsMetalsRaw materialsCrypto
EURUSD1.2286525.1 (0.20%) 1.8
GBPUSD1.4028253.0 (0.38%) 2.5
USDCAD1.2903215.8 (0.12%) 2.6
USDCHF0.957309.3 (0.10%) 2.3
USDJPY106.33742.9 (0.40%) 1.8
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EUR/CHF 18 February 2019 00:01 18 February 2019 18:00 Buy 1.1310-30 1.1310-30 1.1400-1.1430
EUR/JPY 18 February 2019 00:01 18 February 2019 18:00 Buy 124.60-80 124.60-80 125.40-125.80
USD/JPY 12 February 2019 00:01 12 February 2019 18:00 Buy 110.00-20 109.70-109.50 110.50
USD/CHF 4 February 2019 00:01 4 February 2019 18:00 Buy 0.9920-30 0.9920-30 0.9960-0.9990
AUD/USD 31 January 2019 00:01 31 January 2019 18:00 Buy 0.7200 0.7180-0.7160 0.7250
EUR/JPY 31 January 2019 00:01 31 January 2019 18:00 Buy 124.70-124.90 124.90 125.40-125.80
USD/CAD 30 January 2019 00:01 30 January 2019 18:00 Sell 1.3260-50 1.3280-1.3300 1.3200
EUR/CHF 24 January 2019 00:01 24 January 2019 18:00 Buy 1.1290-1.1300 1.1290-1.1300 1.1350-1.1380
AUD/USD 22 January 2019 00:01 22 January 2019 18:00 Sell 0.7180-70 0.7180-70 0.7130
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* Ester Holdings Inc. does not bear responsibility for the results of trade decisions, adopted using trading signals of independent analysts. All signals are informative.

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