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US Senate passes tech & manufacturing bill that takes on China

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Biden

The US Senate has passed a bipartisan tech and manufacturing bill that will take on China

The legislation, intended to boost the county’s ability to compete with Chinese tech was passed on Tuesday. The Senate voted 68-32 to approve the sweeping package of legislation.

The measure authorises approximately $190 billion for provisions to strengthen US technology and research.

The legislation would also separately approve spending $54 billion to increase manufacturing and research into semiconductor chips and telecommunication equiptment.

The next stages

The bill must now pass the House of Representatives in order to be sent to the White House for Biden to sign into law.

Currently, it is not clear what legislation in the House will look like or when it might take it up.

The bill has a number of other China-related provisions including prohibiting the social media app TikTok from being downloaded on government devices and would block the purchase of drones manufactured and sold by companies backed by the Chinese government.

It would also allow diplomats and Taiwanese military to display their flag and wear their uniforms while in the United States on official businesses.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, warned of the consequences of not funding research to keep up with China.

“If we do nothing, our days as the dominant superpower may be ending. We don’t mean to let those days end on our watch. We don’t mean to see America become a middling nation in this century,”

President’s Response:

President Joe Biden also praised the bill: “

We are in a competition to win the 21st century, and the starting gun has gone off … We cannot risk falling behind.”

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Global Politics

UK, Australia strike new free trade agreement

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Australia and the United Kingdom have agreed to a new trade deal, a first major deal post-Brexit.

The Australian Prime Minister had a working dinner with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Downing Street last night, with a formal announcement expected on Tuesday.

According to the BBC, the meal served up to the pair on Monday evening included Welsh lamb and Scottish smoked salmon, and was washed down with Australian wine.

It is the first trade deal to be negotiated from scratch since the UK left the EU.

The new deal is expected to give UK and Australian food producers and other businesses easier access to each other’s markets.

However, the leaders were initially stuck on several issues, including a plan by the British to add tariffs to Australian farming imports for the next ten years.

Behind the scenes, bureaucrats have been working frantically to reach a deal, and now both leaders are believed to have made concessions.

The new trade deal is expected to give UK and Australian food producers and other businesses easier access to each other’s markets.

According to the National Farmers Union (NFU), Australian farmers are able to produce beef at a lower cost of production, and could undercut farmers in the UK.

Australia’s top 10 export markets

Australia still leads the world when it comes to exporting ironcoal and petroleum gases.

Australia’s biggest export products by value in 2020 were iron, coal, petroleum gases, gold and aluminium. In aggregate, those major exports account for 63.1% of overall exports sales from Australia.

The following export product groups categorize the highest dollar value in Australian global shipments during 2020. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Australia.

  1. Ores, slag, ash: US$91.3 billion (35.9% of total exports)
  2. Mineral fuels including oil: $65.4 billion (25.7%)
  3. Gems, precious metals: $19.6 billion (7.7%)
  4. Meat: $10.4 billion (4.1%)
  5. Inorganic chemicals: $5.2 billion (2%)
  6. Machinery including computers: $4.4 billion (1.7%)
  7. Cereals: $3.8 billion (1.5%)
  8. Pharmaceuticals: $3.4 billion (1.4%)
  9. Electrical machinery, equipment: $3.1 billion (1.2%)
  10. Aluminum: $3.1 billion (1.2%)

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Business

Wall street soars, investors countdown key Fed meeting.

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Investors appear to be buying what the Federal Reserve is selling at the minute, that is they’re shrugging off those pesky inflation concerns.

The Nasdaq and S&P 500 hit fresh record-highs ahead of the Fed meeting this week.

VFS Group’s James Whelan says there’s one key question in all of this.

“Will the Fed care about the market reaction? That’s the playbook for the next six months. Inflation, Fed response, market response to the Fed, and then will the market actually care? We’ve had four years of the Fed caring about everything the market did.”

JAMES WHELAN, VFS GROUP

The four years Whelan’s referring to are the Donald Trump years, where the former President often boasted of how strongly Wall Street performed.

But not everyone trusts the central bank right now, billionaire hedge funder Paul Tudor Jones is cynical.

“He (Tudor) called the stock market crash in ’87. History is on his side for calling big things. He’s saying if he doesn’t see any sort of commentary from the Fed this week, he’s going all-in on every inflationary hedge there is”

DANIEL WEINER, MARKET STRATEGIST

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. | Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo

Expectations remain that the central bank will hold tight, and keep pace with their bond purchases.

James King of AFEX says the amount of stimulus that’s entered the market over the last 18 months is extraordinary.

“The last 18 months or so there’s been a meteoric rise in the Fed’s balance sheet. From four trillion dollars to almost eight trillion dollars in an 18 month period”

Federal Reserve Bank

The next update is due Wednesday US time, and all investors will be watching.

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Global Politics

Australian future unclear for detained family of asylum seekers

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A family of Tamil asylum seekers detained on Christmas Island since 2019 will be reunited in Australia.

The Murugappan family have been separated as youngest daughter Tharnicaa undergoes treatment in a Perth hospital, but their long-term future in Australia remains unclear.

“Today’s decision releases the family from held detention and facilitates ongoing treatment, while they pursue ongoing litigation before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, Federal Court and High Court.”

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said in a statement.

“Importantly, today’s decision does not create a pathway to a visa.”

WA Health had requested they be reunited while she receives treatment.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg confirmed the move but it remains unknown if they will be granted new visas.

The family were removed from their home in Biloela in 2018 when their visas expired.

The family has been separated for more than a week after Tharnicaa and her mother were flown from Christmas Island to Perth.

Three-year-old Tharnicaa is believed to have developed a blood infection while in detention on Christmas Island.

“This is not ok, it needs to end”

Last week Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young told Ticker News “This is just not ok and it needs to end”

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