It looks like the EU is going to pullout all the stops to try to avoid a trade war with the US. EU commissioner head Juncker is going to meet in Washington this week with President Trump to offer some new avenues for discussion as a way to avoid a broad tariff package. Trump is threatening a $50 bn tariff package on the EU, which he says has taken advantage of the US in trade. Europe is particularly worried for their car exports to the US, which are very vulnerable to Trump’s potential tariffs.

FINSUM: We have a hard time imagining Juncker is going to say anything to dissuade Trump, but maybe the EU has something sweet to offer.


Anyone hoping the current trade war might have stalled will be sorely mistaken today. While Trump says he plans to to impose an additional $200 bn of tariffs on China in September, he has just said he is ready to go to a full $500 bn of tariffs on Chinese imports. When asked if he thought his plans would cause the stock markets to drop, Trump responded “Well, if it does, it does. Look, I'm not doing this for politics. I'm doing this to do this right thing for our country”.

FINSUM: We think the US does currently get a raw deal in a lot of foreign trade, especially with China. However, the manner in which this “negotiation” is proceeding does seem to be unnecessarily disruptive.

(New York)

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance has just formally opened an investigation into Trump’s charity activities. The state accuses the Donald J. Trump Foundation of violating state tax laws regarding campaign financing, self-dealing, and illegally coordinating with the presidential campaign. The state seeks to dissolve the foundation in addition to other measures. The investigation may turn criminal, in which case it could widen in scope to include much of Trump’s personal financial affairs, including his tax returns.

FINSUM: Hard to know how broad this could extend, but it seems like it will certainly intersect with Mueller’s investigation. It could prove a big headache for the president.

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