US tariffs battle with China threatens global trade growth, warns WTO

Global trade grew at its fastest for six years in 2017, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) revealed on Thursday, and the outlook is positive – but only if tensions between major economies do not escalate into a full blown trade war.
According to the WTO’s figures, the volume of world merchandise trade grew by 4.7 per cent, by far exceeding the 3.6 per cent forecast in September last year, and well above the 1.8 per cent growth in 2016. Based on improved business and consumer confidence, the WTO estimates world trade will grow nearly as fast this year as they did last year, at 4.4 per cent, with growth of 4 per cent in 2019.
Read more IMF boss warns trade protectionism will only hurt the world's poorest China files trade complaint against US at the WTO over steel tariffs China says it will defeat US in any trade war and stand up to Trump Roberto Azevedo, director general of the WTO, said: “This is good news. It represents the best run of trade expansion since before the crisi..

U.S. Seeks Quick Nafta Deal, but Allies Balk as It Gives Little Ground

U.S. Seeks Quick Nafta Deal, but Allies Balk as It Gives Little Ground Photo A manufacturing plant in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. In Nafta talks, the Trump administration has not significantly softened its position on rules aimed at bringing manufacturing back to the United States. Credit Ivan Pierre Aguirre for The New York Times WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is pushing to reach a deal on the North American Free Trade Agreement by the beginning of May. But the timeline could be complicated by its refusal to budge from contentious proposals aimed at bringing manufacturing back to the United States.
The administration has not significantly softened its position on rules that automakers would need to meet to qualify for zero tariffs under Nafta, according to a summary of the American proposal reviewed by The New York Times. While the administration has removed a requirement about the percentage of a car that must be made in the United States, it has added other rules that North Americ..

Metro Bank chairman faces rebellion after handing millions to wife's company

Vernon Hill handed over £4.6m to Shirley Hill's architecture firm InterArch
Metro Bank chairman Vernon Hill is facing the prospect of an embarrassing shareholder rebellion after an investor hit out at more than £21m of payments from the lender to his wife's architecture firm.
Royal London Asset Management has warned it will vote against a raft of resolutions at Metro Bank's annual general meeting (AGM) on 24 April, including the re-election of founder and chairman Mr Hill and the lender's remuneration report.
The fund manager, which holds a 0.44 per cent stake in Metro Bank worth £13.6m, said it would also vote against the re-election of the heads of both the remuneration and audit committees.
Read more 'Goldman may have build London HQ elsewhere if it knew about Brexit' Shirley Hill's firm InterArch was paid £4.6m in 2017 alone, linked to architectural design services for Metro Bank, as well as a branding, marketing and advertising agreement t..

After Cambridge Analytica, Privacy Experts Get to Say ‘I Told You So’

After Cambridge Analytica, Privacy Experts Get to Say ‘I Told You So’
PALO ALTO, Calif. — Doc Searls met with a group of his fellow internet privacy experts one recent afternoon here at the Computer History Museum. On a whiteboard were the words “OUTRAGE” and “MAKE HAY” — capitalized, underlined and surrounded by lines jutting in all directions like a cartoon “BOOM!”
For the first time in years, their field of expertise was front and center. Facebook had just become embroiled in a controversy over how the political data firm Cambridge Analytica had improperly harvested the information of up to 87 million users of the social network.
Seated in a wide circle of folding chairs, members of the group excitedly discussed what they could do next.
“A lot of geeks in the world are looking at Facebook as a redwood that’s starting to fall,” said Mr. Searls, whose given name is David and who created Project VRM, a program at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society that se..

Goldman Sachs might not have built European HQ in London if it had known about Brexit, says Lloyd Blankfein

Investment bank boss says he “thought there would have been a worse outcome by now”
Goldman Sachs might not have chosen to build its new European headquarters in London if the decision had been made after Brexit, the bank's boss Lloyd Blankfein said.
The Wall Street giant is currently constructing a new £300m site in the City, which will remain its European base.
But Mr Blankfein said, had Goldman known about Brexit, “we might have made a different decision”.
Read more Goldman Sachs boss Lloyd Blankfein reportedly stepping down “In our European headquarters, Goldman has German nationals covering German securities issued by German institutions, in London,” he said in an interview with Politico on Thursday.
The long-serving Goldman boss said he was wrong about the immediate of effects of the Brexit vote on the economy.
“Cassandra hasn’t been proved right,” he said.
“Some people would say, ‘hasn’t been proved right, yet’.”
Read more Goldman Sachs CEO takes to Twitter to ..

Pope Francis Admits ‘Grave Errors’ in Chile Sex Abuse Cases

Pope Francis Admits ‘Grave Errors’ in Chile Sex Abuse Cases Photo Pope Francis at the Vatican last week. Credit Alberto Pizzoli/Agence France-Presse, via Associated Press ROME — Pope Francis has apologized for “grave errors” in the handling of sexual abuse cases in Chile, where he had adamantly defended a bishop accused of covering up abuse by the country’s most notorious pedophile priest.
In an extraordinary letter to the bishops of Chile, published on Wednesday, a remorseful pope then invited representatives of the abuse victims to Rome so that he could personally apologize. Francis has endured intense criticism over accusations that he had a blind spot on the issue of sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Church.
A spokesman for the Chilean bishops’ conference said that some of the victims would go in the coming weeks, and that the pope would individually ask for their forgiveness. Francis in the letter also summoned the country’s 32 bishops to meet at the Vatican in May — an exceptionall..