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The United States sends a delegation of trade and economic officials to Taiwan

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The United States will send a delegation of trade and economic officials to Taiwan next week, as President Joe Biden’s administration seeks to boost trade ties with the country.

The Office of the US Trade Representative announced Wednesday that Terry McCarten, its chief trade officer with China, will lead a delegation to Taiwan From the 14th to the 17th of January. The US Trade Representative’s office said officials from other government agencies would also attend. Beijing opposes a trade initiative between Taipei and Washington.

Since Biden became president, US government officials have visited Taiwan on rare occasions. In early 2021, John Hennessy Neyland, Washington’s ambassador to Palau, traveled to the country and met with senior officials on a trip that Beijing condemned. Last month, Tony Fernandez, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, visited Taiwan to discuss economic issues.

Then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi visited last summer Tensions escalated sharply With China, which puts Biden in a difficult position.

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The administration was looking to expand U.S. economic relations with Taiwan, though the country was not included in it Indo-Pacific Economic FrameworkWashington’s flagship trade initiative with the region.

In June, Washington agreed to launch trade negotiations with Taiwan – which included virtual sessions as well as an in-person meeting in New York.

According to the USTR’s negotiating mandate, the talks will focus on a range of issues, including agricultural and digital trade, the role of state-owned enterprises, labor standards, the environment and anti-corruption.

A US official said additional rounds of talks are likely to follow next week’s negotiations in Taiwan. The official added that the US delegation will be traveling on commercial planes and has been in contact with the State Department about security arrangements, as is the case with standard protocol.

A representative of the US Trade Representative stressed that the talks will be held “in accordance” with the US “one China” policy as well as the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979.

The United States does not have formal diplomatic relations with Taipei. But accelerating trade negotiations could spoil the bid of Biden and Xi Jinping, the president of China, to consolidate their relationship After they met at the G20 in Indonesia in November.

Additional reporting by Felicia Schwartz in Washington

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Economic

Chinese real estate corporate financing jumps 33% year-on-year in December by Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Unfinished apartment buildings stand in a residential complex developed by Jiadengbao Real Estate in Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China on September 17, 2022. REUTERS/Eduardo Baptista/

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese real estate firms raised a total of 101.8 billion yuan ($14.9 billion) in December, up 33.4 percent year-on-year, driven by more government support for the debt-laden sector, according to market researcher CRIC.

CRIC surveyed one hundred companies. It added that the figure for 2022 was 824 billion yuan, down 38 percent year on year.

The Central Bank said on Thursday that for cities where new home sales prices decline on a monthly basis and on an annual basis for three consecutive months, minimum mortgage rates for first-time home buyers in Egypt can be lowered or eliminated. stages.

Bloomberg News reported on Friday that China also plans to ease borrowing restrictions for real estate developers by calling its “three red lines” policy.

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In November and December, Chinese regulators began a series of measures to boost liquidity in the sector, including China’s largest state-owned banks pledging at least $162 billion in new credit to ease the sector’s liquidity crunch.

The real estate sector, which accounts for a quarter of China’s economy, was hit hard last year as many developers were unable to finish construction projects which led to some mortgage buyers boycotting. Lockdowns and motion control measures to control the spread of COVID-19 have also hurt buyer sentiment.

($1 = 6.8370 renminbi)

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Monetary independence is overrated, and the euro is on the rise

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Shortly after the latest bout of the eurozone debt crisis — Greece’s battle with the rupture of the single currency in summer 2015 — a colleague bet that within a decade the euro would lose at least one member. So far, it’s been quite the opposite: the monetary union just got a member, with Croatia joining at the start of the new year.

This force of attraction is not a one-off. Remember that during the most difficult years of monetary union, one Baltic country after another stepped forward and joined. The next Bulgaria will no doubt be allowed to adopt the euro soon. (A number of smaller and poorer European jurisdictions also use the euro either through unilateral adoption or as a result of the informal private sector euro process.)

One could say that there is nothing to see here – that it would be surprising if small, open economies did not want to participate in monetary policy making for the currency that dominated their trading relationship. But the notion is such that the euro in its current form is so doomed – especially among Anglo-American economists – that some reflection on its recent expansion is timely. Because old misgivings are becoming increasingly unconvincing, while ongoing changes in how money works speak to the advantage of the euro.

In recent years it has become – or should have been – increasingly clear that monetary ‘independence’ in the sense of having one’s own floating currency is not all it has to be. The advantage is supposed to be that a depreciating currency can offset negative shocks by boosting exports. As the fall of the pound sterling in 2016 after Britain’s EU referendum showed, however, in a world of long and complex supply chains across borders, currency depreciation could make your population poorer by raising the price of imports, with no support for export volumes. .

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Meanwhile, the benefits of monetary integration are being demonstrated by the energy price crisis in Europe. Take Slovakia. Yes, it has to deal with similarly high inflation as its non-euro neighbours. But it does so while enjoying a much lower interest rate (2.5 percent for the European Central Bank) than the Czech Republic and Poland, where borrowing costs are three times higher, or 13 percent in Hungary.

Size matters in a global economy whose rhythm is still set by the US financial cycle, and only the monetary union of euro economies gives the European Central Bank a degree of independence from the US Federal Reserve.

Second, it is now easy to see the vulnerabilities that emerged during the eurozone crisis as a type of crisis that could hit anyone, including economies with independent floating currencies, rather than a unique weakness in the euro.

Italy remains the country where pessimists believe the combination of high debt and low growth should eventually cause the euro’s demise. However, last summer it was not Italy, but the new populist government in the United Kingdom that severely shook the markets with its irresponsible policymaking. In the end, the Bank of England had to step in to contain the sovereign yields.

While the ECB may still be tested in this regard, it has the advantage of being more independent of its political masters than any national central bank. If anything, the Bank of England has more reason to fear monetary finance charges – which it was evidently keen to disprove – and which complicated its message when it turned from selling gold bonds to buying them in the market’s fright in the fall. By contrast, the European Central Bank created a permanent tool to deal with similar events last summer, with little controversy.

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All this suggests that the euro will become more, not less attractive over time. The appeal of different currencies will be further altered by how they manage the next big leap in central banking: the introduction of an official digital currency. So far, only peripheral economies like the Bahamas and Nigeria have gone all the way — although China is clearly primed for its capacity to expand the digital renminbi it has been experimenting with.

Among the rich economies, the European Central Bank has quickly moved to the top spot. Finance ministers swung defensively behind the digital euro after Facebook’s move in 2019 to create a private global digital payment system. But their support has now been bolstered by looming business opportunities in an economy of “programmable” safe money.

Formally, the digital euro is still only in the exploration phase. But politically, it has reached a point of no return. After Croatia, future entrants to the monetary union will enjoy having a developing digital currency in the bargain.

martin.sandbu@ft.com

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Britain’s Sunak says fighting inflation will require discipline, Reuters

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© Reuters. Reuters / Henry Nichols / Paul

LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said inflation is not guaranteed to go down this year and his government must be disciplined to ensure it does.

“You have to continue to be disciplined and take the right and responsible decisions in order to bring down inflation,” Sunak said in an interview with BBC Television. “It’s really important that we do that. It’s not something abstract. It affects people.”

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