Global Markets: U.S., China reaffirm Phase One despite tensions

Lumber ruling in Canada's favour

By MarketsFarm

WINNIPEG, Aug. 25 (MarketsFarm) – The following is a glance at the news moving markets in Canada and globally.

– High level trade officials from the United and China reaffirmed their commitment to the Phase One trade deal during a telephone conversation on Tuesday. The two countries signed the agreement in January, but since then relations between the economic superpowers have been strained at best. As part of Phase One, China was to have increased its U.S. purchases by US$77 billion in 2020. However, the COVID-19 pandemic, opposing views regarding Hong Kong, and a dispute over international waters in the South China Sea, among other issues, have put a damper on China coming anywhere close to meeting its obligations.

– The World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled in favour of Canada over a softwood lumber dispute with the U.S. on Monday. The WTO dispute-resolution panel said the U.S. was wrong to have imposed countervailing duties on Canadian softwood lumber exports in 2017. The panel agreed with Canada that the U.S. improperly calculated benchmark Canadian timber prices. While Canada hailed the ruling, the U.S. condemned it as unfair, biased and flawed.

– Monsoon rains in India have been 24 per cent above average this month and are forecast to remain heavy for the rest of August, said the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday. “There’s no doubt that the quantity of rains has been excellent, but the other important feature of this year’s monsoon’s is that the rainfall has been very well distributed across the country, and that augurs well for our agricultural outputs this year,” said IMD Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra in speaking with Reuters. In all but four of the country’s 36 meteorological subdivisions, the monsoon rains have been average to above average.

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