World Economy

Trump escalates economic confrontation with China

By Andre Damon, 24 August 2019

Trump’s “order” for American companies to leave China marks a milestone in the global descent into economic nationalism and preparations for military conflict.

Wall Street falls as US-China trade conflict intensifies

By Nick Beams, 24 August 2019

Tweets by Trump in response to tariff measures by Beijing were his most belligerent to date, taking aim not only against China, but US corporations and the Federal Reserve.

Markets await key speech by US Fed chair

By Nick Beams, 22 August 2019

Powell’s speech will be scoured for what it indicates about the future policy of the US Federal Reserve in conditions of growing financial turbulence and a slowing world economy.

Record global dividend payouts fuel rising social inequality

By Will Morrow, 22 August 2019

The report demonstrates how the financial markets serve as a mechanism for the transfer of wealth up the income scale, from the working class to the corporate elite.

Japan-South Korea conflict intensifies

By Nick Beams, 17 August 2019

South Korea announced this week that it has removed Japan from a list of countries that qualify for accelerated supply of South Korean products, after Japan had imposed a similar measure against South Korea on August 2.

Financial turbulence continues as major economies move towards recession

By Nick Beams, 16 August 2019

The gyrations in financial markets and the growing signs of recession—threatening to set in motion a crisis even more severe than that of 2008—pose vital political issues before the working class in every country.

Concerns grow over global financial stability

By Nick Beams, 13 August 2019

There is now a historically unprecedented situation in bond markets where it is estimated that some $15 trillion worth of government bonds are trading at negative yields, meaning an investor who purchased the bond and held it to maturity would make a loss.

Establishment figures welcome renewed anti-China hysteria in Australia

By James Cogan, 13 August 2019

The ruling elite requires Australia’s incorporation into US war preparations to be accompanied by slandering any public opposition as the product of “Chinese interference.”

Costa Rican public health workers strike against tax changes, privatization plans

Workers Struggles: The Americas

13 August 2019

Thousands of hospital and clinic workers across Costa Rica carried out a two-day strike last week to protest a tax reform bill that has imposed additional burdens on workers and led to underfunding of services.

UK growth contraction caps week of economic turbulence

By Nick Beams, 10 August 2019

The British GDP data ended a week of deepening uncertainty in financial markets and growing fears of a recession in major areas of the global economy.

UN: Global food and water crisis threatens 3 billion people

By Bryan Dyne, 9 August 2019

A new report by the United Nations warns that anthropogenic climate change, if left unchecked, will render a steadily increasing portion of Earth essentially uninhabitable.

As German industrial production records “devastating” fall

Bond markets point to global recession

By Nick Beams, 8 August 2019

The signs of a global slowdown, if not an outright recession, are most evident in Germany and the Asia-Pacific region, where three central banks cuts their interest rates yesterday.

Currency war: A new stage in capitalist breakdown

By Nick Beams, 8 August 2019

A global currency conflict will take the economic warfare being waged by the US against “strategic competitors” such as China as well as its nominal allies to a new level.

Layoffs in global auto industry hit Mexico, India, China and the US

By Jerry White, 7 August 2019

Global automakers are destroying hundreds of thousands of jobs as sales fall and a brutal competition unfolds to dominate the market for electric vehicles and other new technologies.

US-China trade conflict escalates to currency war

By Nick Beams, 6 August 2019

Stock markets fell sharply around the world yesterday, amid fears of a currency war, after China allowed its currency, the renminbi, to pass through the benchmark of 7 to the US dollar.

Trump’s trade war measures hit the financial markets

By Nick Beams, 3 August 2019

In its analysis of the latest turn in the trade war, the South China Morning Post said China had to decide either to a walk away from the negotiations or make major concessions to the US.

“GM has made all of these profits and we’re getting shafted”

Autoworkers speak out as GM Warren Transmission plant closes after 78 years of operation

By our reporters, 2 August 2019

The closure of the facility, which once employed upwards of 4,000, is the latest economic blow to workers in the Detroit area, once the center of global auto manufacturing.

Trump escalates trade war against China

By Nick Beams, 2 August 2019

The decision to impose a 10 percent tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, covering a wide range of consumer products, represents the most significant intensification of the more than year-long trade war to date.

Slump deepens in Australian residential construction industry

By Paul Bartizan and Richard Phillips, 2 August 2019

Multiple faults in new apartment buildings have become a factor in the bursting of a debt-fuelled property bubble that is threatening thousands of jobs.

Indian protest marks seven years of legal vendetta against jailed Maruti Suzuki workers

By Kranti Kumara and Keith Jones, 31 July 2019

The sole “crime” of the 13 jailed auto workers was to challenge the poverty-wages and repressive sweatshop conditions at Maruti Suzuki.

Jacksonville Electrical Authority board of directors approves privatization effort

By Matthew Taylor, 31 July 2019

Last Tuesday’s vote represents the latest effort in a years-long conspiracy by Mayor Lenny Curry and his backers to sell off the Florida city’s utility to private interests.

Retired teachers on hunger strike across Ecuador

Workers Struggles: The Americas

31 July 2019

The government of Lenin Moreno has asked thousands of retired teachers to accept payment in government bonds, rather than cash, in an effort to rob retirees of their pensions.

Layoffs mount as slump in world auto industry deepens

By Shannon Jones, 30 July 2019

Continuing sales declines, led by China and India, are leading to massive job losses and attacks on autoworkers as transnational companies seek to maintain high levels of return.

Trump threatens unilateral action against World Trade Organization

By Nick Beams, 30 July 2019

A memorandum on the WTO issued Friday by the White House represents a significant challenge to the structure of the world’s major trade regulatory body.

Amid significant fall in investment

US economy slows in second quarter

By Nick Beams, 27 July 2019

Data on investment and industrial production show that pro-corporate tax cuts have not produced the resurgence in manufacturing and investment forecast by Trump.

Australian central bank chief fearful of rising global tensions

By Mike Head, 27 July 2019

“When businesses are nervous, they don’t want to invest,” Philip Lowe warned a corporate lunch audience.

12,500 job cuts at Nissan as global restructuring of auto industry continues

By Jerry White, 26 July 2019

The Japan-based automaker says it will cut 6,400 jobs in Japan, the US, Mexico, Britain, Spain, India and Indonesia by the end of March 2020.

European Central Bank signals return to monetary stimulus

By Nick Beams, 26 July 2019

In response to a question at his press conference following the European Central Bank meeting, President Mario Draghi said the outlook for European manufacturing was getting “worse and worse.”

Amid growing signs of global slowdown

US-China trade talks to resume next week

By Nick Beams, 25 July 2019

The conflict has become more fraught since the US Commerce Department decided to place Huawei on its entity list, effectively banning it from supplies of US components for its operations.

The Bretton Woods Agreement 75 years on

By Nick Beams, 22 July 2019

The participants at the conference were acutely conscious of the fact that what was at stake in their deliberations to establish a new world economic order was nothing less than the survival of their rule.

Mixed signals on rate cut prompts Trump to demand the Fed enlist in US trade war against rivals

By Nick Beams, 20 July 2019

Trump is demanding that the Fed drop all pretence of “independence” and openly serve as an instrument of Washington’s economic war against its global competitors.

As US senators deepen attack on Huawei

Trump’s trade war against China hits Asian economies

By Nick Beams, 18 July 2019

Because it functions as a transhipment hub for final destinations in the rest of Asia, a sharp decline in exports from Singapore last month points to an economic slowdown across the region.

China’s growth slows to lowest level since 1992

By Nick Beams, 17 July 2019

While the growth figure is still within the official target range, there are clearly growing concerns in Beijing that it could go lower in the months ahead.

US-China trade negotiations at virtual standstill

By Nick Beams, 15 July 2019

While Beijing continues to maintain that it is open to discussions, the evidence indicates it has all but given up on any prospect of reaching an agreement.

Fed signals it will bow to Wall Street’s demands

By Nick Beams, 11 July 2019

Fed Chairman Powell’s testimony to Congress yesterday was warmly welcomed by the financial markets, with Wall Street’s S&P 500 index at one point surpassing 3,000, a new record.

As industry analyst calls UAW-automaker negotiations “Kabuki theatre”

Autoworkers demand substantial improvement in wages and conditions on eve of contract talks

By Jerry White, 9 July 2019

With negotiations set to begin on July 15, workers are determined to overturn decades of givebacks accepted by the United Auto Workers.

Australian retail giant to cut jobs, wages

By Eric Ludlow, 9 July 2019

Woolworths, one of Australia’s two major supermarket chains, last month announced a restructure that endangers thousands of jobs across the country.

Germany: Riva steelworkers in Trier and Horath on strike for four weeks

By Marianne Arens, 9 July 2019

Workers are fighting against the wage dumping of parent company Riva Stahl, which is trying to pit them against the rest of the workforce to force down wages.

Britain: Gang convicted of running “extensive and prolific” modern slavery network

By Richard Tyler, 9 July 2019

According to the International Labour Office, there are 40.3 million people in conditions of modern slavery across the world, including 10 million children .

Costa Rican public health workers strike over pay cut, government policies; truckers block highways

Workers Struggles: the Americas

9 July 2019

Three Costa Rican public health unions began strike action July 4 against government policies while Costa Rican truckers blockaded highways over imposition of a value added tax.

As economic conflicts intensify

One year since the start of US trade war against China

By Nick Beams, 8 July 2019

Under conditions of its relative economic decline, the US regards China's industrial and technological development as intolerable, and will use all methods necessary to prevent it.

International Labour Organization report documents growing assault on wages

By Nick Beams, 5 July 2019

In a “key finding,” the report states that “increases in top labour incomes are associated with losses for everyone else, with both middle class and lower-income workers seeing their share of income decline.”

Bank of England chief issues warnings on global economy

By Nick Beams, 4 July 2019

In a major speech, Mark Carney pointed to a “sea change,” defined as a “profound transformation,” in the global economy, with “worrying” portents.

Australian prime minister lines up with Trump at the G20

By Peter Symonds, 3 July 2019

Trump made clear that he expected Morrison and the Australian government to back the US in its confrontations on all fronts—in particular against Iran and China.

Mass protests resume against Sudan’s junta

By Jean Shaoul, 2 July 2019

Protesters were met Sunday with tear gas, stun grenades and live ammunition that killed at least seven people and injured 181 more.

Amazon’s meat grinder in the Dallas, Texas suburbs

By Tom Carter, 2 July 2019

Over a two-year period, 567 workers were injured at Amazon’s DFW7 fulfillment center in Fort Worth, Texas.

Human rights imperialism, social media censorship and the fraud of Facebook’s “Oversight Board”

By Kevin Reed, 2 July 2019

Behind the recent report on the creation of an Oversight Board to oversee “content decisions” at Facebook is a plan for social media censorship in defense of the global capitalist system.

2,000 workers to lose jobs as Philadelphia refinery shuts down

By Samuel Davidson, 2 July 2019

Blaming high costs from fire damage, Philadelphia Energy Solutions announced the closure of the largest oil refinery on the US East Coast.

Platitudes at the G20 can’t mask a world on the brink of war

By Nick Beams, 1 July 2019

Trump’s theatrical overtures of peace toward North Korea after the G20 summit were belied by the Senate’s passage of the biggest military budget in American history.

The G20 Summit in Osaka: The war of all against all

By Andre Damon, 29 June 2019

World leaders gathered in Osaka, Japan for the G20 summit amid the relentless promotion of trade war, protectionism and militarism.

Ford announces 12,000 layoffs, five plant closures across Europe

By Will Morrow, 28 June 2019

A global restructuring is underway, with all the automakers relying on the trade unions to seek to suppress the seething and growing opposition of autoworkers.

All eyes at G20 summit on Trump-Xi meeting

By Nick Beams, 28 June 2019

The sideline meeting is widely viewed as the last chance to restart trade negotiations that broke down in early May.

Union works to sabotage unity of Minnesota nurses’ struggle

By Matt Rigel, 28 June 2019

The Minnesota Nurses Association is working to sell out nurses in Minneapolis-St. Paul metro region by negotiating contracts at some hospitals while others remain unsettled.

Greek dockers plan 24-hour strike; Irish health workers strike; sit-in strike at South African chrome mine

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

28 June 2019

Greek dock workers have announced a 24-hour strike on Wednesday July 3, which is expected to heavily impact ferry services in the busy tourist season.

Sharp downturn in Sri Lankan economic growth

By Dilruwan Vithanage, 27 June 2019

International credit rating agency Moody’s revised down its prediction for this year from 3.4 percent to 2.6 percent.

The significance of Trump’s awarding of the Freedom Medal to Arthur Laffer

By Nick Beams, 25 June 2019

The fact that Laffer’s theories were exposed as economic nonsense from the outset did not in any way lessen their influence because they encapsulated the unrelenting drive for increased wealth that has dominated the ruling elite over the past four decades.

As contract talks set to begin

GM throws down gauntlet to autoworkers

By Jerry White, 21 June 2019

The industry publication Automotive News says the automaker will demand the hiring of more low paid temps and cuts to existing health care benefits.

US names Taiwan a “country,” stoking tensions with China

By Robert Campion, 21 June 2019

Washington deepens ties with Taipei in preparation for war against mainland China.

“Sully” Sullenberger testifies that the 737 Max 8 was “fatally flawed”

By Bryan Dyne, 21 June 2019

The airline captain’s statement to Congress exposed the negligence of Boeing and questioned the relationship between the company and regulatory agencies.

Italian and French dockers refuse to load ship to protest Saudi Arabia war in the Yemen; UK Bridgend Ford workers strike vote against closure

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

21 June 2019

Protests against the Saudi war in Yemen continued by French and Italian dockworkers, while Ford workers in Britain voted 83 percent for strike action against threats to shutter the facility.

US Federal Reserve signals readiness for interest rate cut

By Nick Beams, 20 June 2019

Fed chairman Jerome Powell gave a clear indication that rate cuts were on the table, pointing to “significant changes” in the statement of its policy-making body.

Canada rules out overture to China, vows to extradite Huawei CFO to US

By Roger Jordan, 19 June 2019

The Trudeau government has curtly dismissed the suggestion of former Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chrétien that Ottawa use its legal prerogative to block Meng’s extradition.

On eve of auto contract talks, VW workers in Tennessee reject UAW again

By Jerry White, 17 June 2019

Workers in Chattanooga were correct to reject, for the second time, “representation” by the United Auto Workers, a corrupt agent of corporate management.

Fed under pressure to indicate cut in interest rates

By Nick Beams, 17 June 2019

The push for an interest rate cut has increased, after Morgan Stanley’s Business Conditions Index revealed a record decline for June, falling to its lowest level since the financial crisis in December 2008.

Trump threatens immediate imposition of China tariffs if Xi does not attend G20

By Nick Beams, 11 June 2019

In an interview with CNBC, Trump attacked opponents of his tariff measures within US business groups and renewed his offensive against the Federal Reserve on interest rates and monetary policy.

Market surge continues on prospect of Fed rate cut

By Nick Beams, 10 June 2019

One financial analyst told the Wall Street Journal the markets were a “slave to liquidity, and when the Fed is accommodative, it’s a good sign for the markets.”

US job growth down sharply, wages stagnate

By Jerry White, 10 June 2019

US workers have seen a mere 1.1 percent increase in real wages over the last year.

IMF warns of growing trade war

By Nick Beams, 7 June 2019

Trump’s threat to use tariffs against Mexico over immigration has sent a shock wave through the international trading system because it makes clear the US is prepared to use economic and trade warfare measures to pursue all of its policy objectives.

US coal producer Cloud Peak Energy files for bankruptcy

By Zachary Thorton, 7 June 2019

Over 1,200 miners face a precarious future after the third-largest US coal producer declared bankruptcy.

US stocks surge as Fed signals rate cut

By Barry Grey, 5 June 2019

US stock prices shot up Tuesday, reversing weeks of declines, after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell signaled that he was prepared to slash interest rates.

Three reports expose extreme inequalities in Britain

By Steve James, 4 June 2019

Three recent reports and surveys have exposed intensifying levels of mass poverty, alongside the grotesque accumulation of wealth by a few.

The US and China on a collision course

By Andre Damon, 3 June 2019

The “cold war” between the United States and China took a major step toward becoming a “hot” war over the weekend at the annual Shangri-La defense summit in Singapore.

US defense secretary issues military threat against China

By Nick Beams, 3 June 2019

US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan delivered a 40-minute blast against China accusing it of seeking “Indo-Pacific hegemony in the near-term and, ultimately, global pre-eminence in the long-term.”

Trump’s Mexican tariff threat hits global markets

By Nick Beams, 1 June 2019

In pursuit of his political agenda, Trump has made clear he is prepared to resort to the unprecedented use of economic measures, with far-reaching international ramifications.

China considering “rare earths” retaliation in conflict with the US

By Nick Beams, 30 May 2019

An editorial published in the state-owned People’s Daily warned that the US should not underestimate China’s ability to fight a trade war.

Rumored deal between Fiat-Chrysler and Renault foreshadows mass layoffs

By Tom Hall, 27 May 2019

The proposed deal with the French automaker will be used to eliminate “redundancies,” particularly in FCA’s unprofitable European operations.

Former Trump adviser lays out plan for all-out economic war against China

By Nick Beams, 25 May 2019

Steve Bannon has called for Huawei, the Chinese telecoms firm, to be driven out of US and Europe, declaring this is ten times more important than any trade deal.

Markets fall on trade war and global growth fears

By Nick Beams, 24 May 2019

The Financial Times cited one fund manager who said it was “panic mode” and “people are realising that the economy could be a lot slower than we thought.”

Macron’s Labor Law in France: Unions organize 3,000 layoffs at Carrefour supermarket chain

By Anthony Torres, 23 May 2019

The unions and company are using a procedure for so-called voluntary redundancies introduced in the Labor Law initiated by the Socialist Party and imposed by Macron.

The Huawei shock

By Nick Beams, 23 May 2019

The actions by the Trump administration against the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei have sent shock waves through the global economy and the international trading system.

White House and Google launch technology war against China

By Andre Damon, 21 May 2019

Google and other companies have announced measures that would effectively destroy Huawei, the second-largest global smartphone maker and the world’s largest maker of telecommunications equipment.

Trump manoeuvres in economic war against China

By Nick Beams, 20 May 2019

US intelligence chiefs have held meetings with major American companies, providing them with classified information to warn of the dangers of doing business in China.

Democrats back trade war with China

By Patrick Martin, 18 May 2019

The main criticism of Trump’s trade policy by congressional Democrats and most presidential candidates is that the president should focus exclusively on China and enlist Canada, Mexico and the European Union in an anti-China coalition.

In another escalation of trade war against China

Trump issues executive order directed at Huawei

By Nick Beams, 16 May 2019

The latest US action is an escalation in what could be described as a drive to “weaponise” all arms of the state in the economic confrontation against China.

A new stage in the US-China trade war

By Nick Beams, 14 May 2019

The fundamental and irresolvable contradiction of world capitalism, between world economy and the nation-state system, lies at the root of the accelerating US-China trade war.

“Act now” on trade or it will get worse, Trump threatens China

By Nick Beams, 13 May 2019

The increasingly belligerent US rhetoric is being matched by action expected to target another $300 billion worth of Chinese goods with tariffs of 25 percent.

No agreement at US-China trade talks as positions harden

By Nick Beams, 11 May 2019

A week ago, a deal had been expected, but that scenario was blown up when the Trump administration accused Beijing of backtracking on its commitments.

US tariff hike against China goes ahead

By Nick Beams, 10 May 2019

Trump said talks with Chinese representatives would proceed, but “I have no idea what’s going to happen.”

China to hit back if new US tariff threat goes ahead

By Nick Beams, 9 May 2019

The US is demanding China submit an inventory of laws and regulations it will enact to guarantee compliance with any trade deal—in effect dictating economic policy to Beijing.

Financial parasitism and the stock market surge

By Nick Beams, 9 May 2019

In its maniacal drive for higher profits, increasingly generated by the parasitic inflation of stock prices, finance capital and its mouthpieces in politics and the media demand that more cheap money be made available through the slashing of interest rates.

On eve of trade talks in Washington

Trump threatens new tariffs against China

By Nick Beams, 6 May 2019

Trump’s threats, aimed at putting intense pressure on Chinese negotiators when they sit down with their US counterparts on Wednesday, could have the effect of blowing up the talks.

US-China trade talks enter final phase

By Nick Beams, 4 May 2019

One of the main sticking points is agreement on the procedure by which US tariffs imposed on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods would be lifted if a trade agreement is reached.

US threatens UK over Huawei involvement in 5G network

By Robert Stevens, 1 May 2019

After it was leaked that Huawei could help build the British 5G network, the Trump administration is threatening to shut Britain out of “Five Eyes” intelligence sharing.

Preparing for World War Three

Global military spending tops $1.8 trillion, highest on record

By Niles Niemuth, 30 April 2019

Nearly three decades after the end of the Cold War, the world’s capitalist elite, led by the United States, are preparing for a devastating conflict of global proportions.

Fed “pivot” promotes stock market surge

By Nick Beams, 26 April 2019

While share prices soar, the global economic outlook has worsened, with growing signs of a downturn.

UK: May unable to stem Tory crisis over Brexit, but still propped up by Corbyn

By Robert Stevens, 26 April 2019

For Corbyn’s faction, the political function of these talks over Brexit is to side-line a discussion on the political crisis facing the government that could precipitate a general election.

Ontario Tory government intensifies assault on workers’ rights

By Penny Smith, 26 April 2019

Ford’s thinly veiled threat to criminalize teachers’ strikes must be taken as a serious warning: emboldened by the unions’ complicity, the Tories are escalating their class-war assault.

The fraud of “progressive capitalism”

By Nick Beams, 26 April 2019

Calls for “reform” of the capitalist economy advanced by billionaire CEOs in the US and supported by “left” economists are motivated by deep fears of the implications of the shift to the left in broad sections of the American population.

Miners’ union sells out five-month long strike at Sibanye Stillwater in South Africa

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

26 April 2019

The South African Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union agreed to a deal ending the five-month strike by gold miners on the same terms as the “slave labour” agreement signed with three other unions.

OECD report: Growth of social inequality fuels global political and economic crisis

By Jessica Goldstein, 23 April 2019

The findings of the report showed that among OECD countries, a growing number of middle-income earners perceive “that the current socioeconomic system is unfair.”