The Trump administration recorded their first major trade deal as South Korea agreed to further open its auto market to avoid steel tariffs. South Korea and the US are calling the revised free-trade deal a ‘win-win’ situation, as trade relations had recently become strained. The US is expected to officially announce the deal today.
After Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he was optimistic China and the US can avert trade war, stocks climbed making yesterday the best market day since 2015. The tensions between China and the US stem from Beijing’s Made in China 2025 plan. The Trump Administration opposes the goal of dominant Chinese companies in advanced industries.
South Korea announced they are ‘carefully watching’ a situation in Beijing, rumored to be an unconfirmed visit by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in a special train. This would be Kim’s first known international trip since taking in office in 2011 and comes before a potential summit with President Donald Trump. The purpose of Kim’s visit is unknown.
Following last week’s fatal accident, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey suspended Uber from testing self-driving vehicles. Arizona was a key testing hub for Uber, a company in competition with Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo in developing autonomous vehicle technology. Waymo CEO John Krafcik commented saying Waymo has ‘a lot of confidence’ their technology would have prevented the accident.
The fallout continues from the alleged Russian poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain as President Trump expelled 60 Russians from the US uniting with Canada,16 EU nations, and non-EU members in solidarity with Britain. In addition to the expulsions, the US ordered the closing of the Russian Consulate in Seattle. The Russian government has threatened retaliation over one of the largest mass expulsions of its diplomats in history.