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US, Japan agree to trade deal at G-7 summit, as Trump says allies 'respect' China tariff war

US, Japan agree to trade deal at G-7 summit, as Trump says allies 'respect' China tariff warIn an unexpected announcement at the Group of 7 summit, President Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said they have agreed in principle to a trade deal following months of negotiations. Trump said that the United States and Japan planned to sign the agreement around the same time as the United Nations General Assembly in New York this September. The deal will focus on "agriculture, industrial tarries and digital trade," per U.S. Trade Rep Lighthizer.

Sun, 25 Aug 2019 11:48:00 -0400
First Ladies Raise Glasses on Morning Out in French Countryside

First Ladies Raise Glasses on Morning Out in French Countryside(Bloomberg) -- While their husbands sparred over Iran and the global economy in Biarritz, the first ladies of the U.S. and France were all smiles as they sampled local sangria in a Basque countryside town 30 kilometers to the southeast.Residents of the commune of Espelette -- known for its spicy dried red peppers -- greeted U.S. first lady Melania Trump warmly on Sunday morning as she browsed in local shops, accompanied by the spouses of other world leaders attending the Group of Seven summit nearby.But it was Brigitte Macron, the wife of French President Emmanuel Macron, who drew cheers of Brigitte! Brigitte! from the gathered crowd when the spouses emerged from a tasting a La Cave Des Barons Dezpeleta.Just an advice, dont drink too much, Macron could be heard warning her counterparts as reporters were ushered out of the local wine shop in the town center.The sangria was very good, Jenny Morrison, the wife of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed as she exited the tasting, glass still hand.Trump, Macron and Morrison -- along with the first ladies of Chile and Japan, as well as Malgorzata Tusk, the wife of European Council President Donald Tusk -- also visited a textile store, a bakery and a shoe merchant specializing in locally-made espadrilles.A White House official said the first lady didnt make any purchases.At a sixteenth-century church on the towns outskirts, Akie Abe, the wife of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, snapped photos on her phone as the group took in a choir performance in front of a Baroque altarpiece.Their next stop was Villa Arnaga, built in the early 1900s by French playwright Edmond Rostand. A dance troupe from La Bastide-Clairence, a village near the Spanish border, entertained the women as they sat in the shade to avoid the midday heat in the villas manicured gardens.For lunch, the group dined on fresh tomatoes in a light broth and farm-raised organic chicken with sweet bell pepper sauce, a local specialty. Dessert was a peach parfait and Basque-style cake.To contact the reporter on this story: Kathleen Hunter in Biarritz at khunter9@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Craig Gordon at cgordon39@bloomberg.net, Kathleen Hunter, Ros KrasnyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Sun, 25 Aug 2019 11:21:47 -0400
Iran foreign minister makes surprise visit to G7 summit

Iran foreign minister makes surprise visit to G7 summitIranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif flew into Biarritz in southwestern France for the G7 summit on Sunday in an unexpected and dramatic attempt to break a diplomatic deadlock over Tehran's disputed nuclear programme. Zarif's presence had not been announced and represented a risky attempt by French host Emmanuel Macron to find a way to soothe spiralling tensions between Iran and the United States. Zarif will "continue talks regarding the recent measures between the presidents of Iran and France," Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi tweeted, after flight tracking sites spotted that Zarif's plane had landed in Biarritz.

Sun, 25 Aug 2019 11:05:56 -0400
Drone war takes flight, raising stakes in Iran, US tensions

Drone war takes flight, raising stakes in Iran, US tensionsFrom the vast deserts of Saudi Arabia to the crowded neighborhoods of Beirut, a drone war has taken flight across the wider Middle East, raising the stakes in the ongoing tensions between the U.S. and Iran. In the year since President Donald Trump withdrew America from Iran's nuclear deal, there's been an increasing tempo of attacks and alleged threats from unmanned aircraft flown by Tehran's and Washington's allies in the region. The appeal of the aircraft they risk no pilots and can be small enough to evade air-defense systems fueled their rapid use amid the maximum pressure campaigns of Iran and the U.S.

Sun, 25 Aug 2019 10:58:48 -0400
G-7 summit: Trump strikes 'billion-dollar' trade deal with Japan

G-7 summit: Trump strikes 'billion-dollar' trade deal with JapanTwo of the world's countries with the largest GDP have agreed to a trade deal they plan to confirm at the U.N. General Assembly in September.

Sun, 25 Aug 2019 10:51:39 -0400
Belgian parade goes ahead despite racism objections

Belgian parade goes ahead despite racism objectionsA Belgian street festival featuring a character called "Savage" played by a white person in blackface makeup has gone ahead amid objections from anti-racism activists. The character moved through the streets of the town of Ath, southwest of Brussels, on Sunday, chained and wielding a wooden stick, as part of a parade of floats and giant effigies with biblical and historical connotations. Anti-racism group Brussels Panthers has written to the United Nations cultural agency, UNESCO, urging it to remove the festival from its intangible cultural heritage list if the character is not removed.

Sun, 25 Aug 2019 10:47:34 -0400
France Dangles Prospect of Zarif Meeting U.S. Team: G-7 Update

France Dangles Prospect of Zarif Meeting U.S. Team: G-7 Update(Bloomberg) -- Group of Seven leaders have gathered in Biarritz, France and the host, French President Emmanuel Macron, has just pulled a massive surprise on his guests by inviting the Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.French Official Wants to See How Far Talks Can Go (4:43 p.m.)The French official was asked if theres any chance Zarif could meet the U.S. delegation. He said thats not planned at the moment. This is just a French-Iranian meeting at the moment. But they want to see how far those talks can go. French Wont Say If Zarif Is Meeting Macron (4:05 p.m.)A French official said that Zarif hasnt been invited to the G-7 talks. Hes instead meeting with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. The official refused to say whether Zarif will also be seeing Macron.Zarif Confirmed as Iranian Dignitary in Biarritz (3:44 p.m)It appears Macron has thrown a curve ball at his fellow leaders by inviting Irans Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to Biarritz. Its unclear in what capacity as French organizers have point blank refused to confirm anything. Officials from other delegations were surprised. The Italians found out from French news wire AFP.Macron had wanted to rip the script, and he had already irritated the Americans who accused the French of trying to manipulate the agenda to embarrass the president. Zarif was in Paris only last week, meeting with Macron about the future of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal. Zarif described the talks as constructive and good, the semi-official Iranian Students News Agency reported.The Biggest Source of Tension Is Russia (2:26 p.m.)G-7 leaders just cant seem to get on the same page about Russias Vladimir Putin, who was booted out of the club after ordering the annexation of Crimea in 2014. Whether to let him back in has become a sore point at the current gathering, according to an EU official briefed on the gala dinner Saturday night. The official described the mood as tense.Indeed, Trump described it as a lively discussion and Johnson agreed: It was lively! There are several reasons why the leaders are on the outs with Putin: from the festering conflict with Ukraine, the suspected meddling in their elections to its intervention in Syria.The U.K. holds Putin responsible for deploying a chemical weapon on British soil to poison a suspected Russia double agent and rallied international support to eject Russian diplomats. Trump went along with it but hes always been of the view that its illogical not to have such an important global player at the table.Next year he will have the option to invite Putin as a guest.Johnson Goes Swimming (2:02 p.m.)Johnson has been switching from goofy Boris to serious statesman with some success. On arrival to the dinner on Saturday he struck a pose that saw his French hosts break out in laughter. And today he took a dip in the ocean before breakfast with Trump.While out on his swim, the prime minister said he had Brexit epiphany: From here you cannot tell there is a gigantic hole in that rock. There is a way through. My point to the EU is that there is a way through, but you cant find the way through if you just sit on the beach.One local hotelier however suggested another interpretation of that symbolism. She warned that its not safe to swim out to the rock, because the waters can get choppy.No Coordinated Fiscal Stimulus (1:47 p.m.)In his midday update, Macron said there wont be any coordinated stimulus for the global economy coming out of this meeting.We need boosters for global economy, he said. Still, its not at the G-7 level that we decided to make budgetary or tax cuts.He said leaders discussed mechanisms for shoring up growth, which would involve a combination of tax cuts, deregulation and stimulus spending for different countries.Trump Pulls Macron Back Over Iran (12:34 p.m.)Macron is touting an agreement to send a joint message from the G-7 to Iran as one of his victories from last nights dinner. Weve enacted a common communication, which in my view has a lot of value, he said this morning in a French television interview.But Trump cast doubt on how much authority Macron will have. Well do our own outreach, he said. But I cant stop people from talking.One person familiar with the situation says Trump does not agree that Macron can convey a message from the G-7 to Iran since the leaders didnt all settle on what the message should be.Trump has pursued a maximum pressure campaign against Iran, using sanctions to cut off their sales of oil in a way thats hurting that nations economy. White House officials say the G-7 countries agreed Trumps pressure campaign on Iran is having an impact, and that it should continue.Macron Is Talking Up Progress on Iran (11:50 a.m.)The French president is trying to show that hes achieved something on the geopolitical issues hes raised. He told TF1 television Sunday that leaders agreed they need to stop Iran developing nuclear weapons and destabilizing the region -- which was the state of play before talks began.The G-7 also agreed on a common way of communicating over Iran and a decision on action that enables them to reconcile their positions a bit, he said.When Johnson Sees Tusk, It Could Get Tense (11:20 a.m.)Johnson took care of Brexit business with Macron and Merkel in the days just before the G-7 -- everyone made their position clear (no budging).But the U.K. prime minister is beginning to realize that getting a divorce deal done with the European Union by the Oct. 31 deadline was not going to be quite as easy as he might have thought. As for the Europeans, they too are starting to think about what they can do to avert a no-deal scenario that could be economically bad news for all countries involved.Ian Wishart sets out the stakes, and the mood, as Johnson meets Donald Tusk, the EUs president who tends to speak on behalf of the blocs leaders on matters related to Brexit.What is Macrons Plan for Iran? (11 a.m.)After their 3-hour informal Saturday dinner where they discussed matters including Iran, leaders of the G7 gave Macron -- as chair of the Group -- the authority to hold talks and pass on a message from them to the Persian state, according to a French official.The official added that the message, based on the content of leaders talks Saturday, hadnt yet been passed on. The official didnt respond to request for details on the content of the message and of last nights talks content.Second Thoughts on Trade War? (10: 52 a.m.)Trump rarely displays doubt, so when shows even a glimmer of it, it grabs ones attention. The president is feeling the heat at the G-7 from his aggressive trade stance against China. Leaders are being careful on how to bring it but they are bringing it up -- persistently.During a meeting with Boris Johnson , he was asked whether he had any second thoughts on escalating the trade war with China, after he announced higher tariffs late Friday.Yeah, sure, why not? Trump replied. Reporters asked again whether he had second thoughts. Might as well, might as well, he replied, before reporters asked again. I have second thoughts about everything, he said.Trump has seen his poll numbers sag ahead of his 2020 re-election bid and he is relying on a strong economy to stay in power for another term.Trump Says Very Close To Japan Trade Deal (9:50 a.m.)The U.S. is close to reaching a trade deal with Japan, Donald Trump said, as his trade chief hinted an announcement could come within hours.Were very close to a major deal with Japan, Trump said Sunday morning during a meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the Group of Seven summit, with Trump due to meet Japans Shinzo Abe later Sunday morning in France. Prime Minister Abe and I are very good friends, really good friends. Weve been working on it for five months.Japanese media have reported that the U.S. and Japan have agreed on a trade deal that will keep U.S. tariffs on Japanese cars in place while removing barriers to U.S. beef and pork sales to Japan.Johnson Finds a Way to Raise Tariffs With Trump (9:30 a.m.)Part of Johnsons balancing act at the G-7 is to strike a good relationship with Trump -- whom he needs post-Brexit for a trade deal with the U.S. -- but also speak truth to power. Back home, the perception of a U.K. prime minister being Americas poodle is a bad look, especially if you could be heading into an election.So at the breakfast with Trump, Johnson found a way to raise criticism, sheep-like.Here it was: I congratulate the president on everything that the American economy is achieving. Its fantastic to see that. But just to register a faint, sheep-like note of our view on the trade war -- were in favor of trade peace on the whole, dialing it down a beat.Johnson said that the U.K. has profited massively in the last 200 years from free trade and thats what we want to see. So, were keen to see that. We dont like tariffs on the whole.Trump responded with a tongue-in-cheek question about how the U.K. had fared in the past three years.Would Trump Declare a National Emergency on China? (9 a.m.)Trump has said a 1977 law known as the Emergency Economic Powers Act would allow him to order companies to leave China, though experts say that was never the intent of the law. In addition, it would be massive disruption to ask companies to pull up stakes in China, or even to re-route supply chains located there.Asked about whether it was on the cards, here was the answer: For many years this has been going on. In many ways its an emergency. I have no plan right now. Actually were getting along very well with China right now. Were talking. I think they want to make a deal much more than I do. Were getting a lot of money,The law isnt usually used to regulate international trade, but more regularly has been used to impose sanctions on countries resulting from national security threats. President Jimmy Carter invoked it in 1979 during the Iran hostage crisis.Johnson Doesnt Need any Advice, Says Trump (8:45 a.m.)There were 18 people sitting in on the working breakfast between Trump and Johnson. The two men had been photographed on Saturday night walking and talking in the margins of the summit.Trump was asked if he had Brexit advice for Johnson: He needs no advice, hes the right man for the job. Ive been saying that for a long time. It didnt make your predecessor very happy.Johnson: Youre on message there, Im very grateful... were looking forward to having some pretty comprehensive talks about how to take forward the relationship in all sorts of ways.... And were very excited about that.Trump: were going to do a very big trade deal, bigger than weve ever had with the U.K. and now at some point they wont have the obstacle, they wont have the anchor around their ankle because thats what they have.Putin at Next Years G-7? Its possible (8:35 a.m.)U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters its certainly possible he will invite Vladimir Putin as a guest of next years Group of Seven summit. Hes said before how he thinks it makes no sense not to have the Russian president at the table. Putin was ejected from the G-8 in 2014 over Russias annexation of Crimea. His eventual return into the fold has been a topic of debate -- but Europeans have said the Ukraine crisis needs to be resolved first.Next year Trump is the host, and as such has the discretionary power to invited who he wants. Macron this year, for example, invited the leaders of India, Chile, Australia and Spain.The most-watched bilateral is about to start (8:15 a.m.)Donald Trump is up and tweeting that there have been some very good meetings and leaders are getting along. He is about to sit down with Boris Johnson, making his debut at the summit after replacing Theresa May as prime minister. The two men seem to get on famously, in stark contrast with the forced, strained relationship with May.For a run-down on what to expect, read this:Protesters Kept at Bay, Police Use Tear Gas (last night)French riot police deployed water cannons and tear gas to disperse a crowd of activists that included Yellow Vest protesters, environmentalists and even some Basque separatists. They have been largely kept at a safe distance from the leaders, who are in the heavily-guarded red zone.Earlier stories:Macron Rips Up Agenda for His G-7 in a Fit of Climate FuryMacron Riles Bolsonaro, Setting Up G-7 Fight Over Amazon FiresDonald Trump Is Coming for Europes Most Important Alliance\--With assistance from Josh Wingrove and Alex Morales.To contact the reporters on this story: Jennifer Jacobs in Biarritz, France at jjacobs68@bloomberg.net;Helene Fouquet in Biarritz at hfouquet1@bloomberg.net;Arne Delfs in Biarritz at adelfs@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ben Sills at bsills@bloomberg.net, Craig Gordon, Flavia Krause-JacksonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Sun, 25 Aug 2019 10:47:00 -0400
As Brexit looms, will US craft trade deal with Britain?

As Brexit looms, will US craft trade deal with Britain?British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Trump are efforting a post-Brexit free trade deal, but the U.K. leader warned they could not rush negotiations at the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France this weekend.

Sun, 25 Aug 2019 10:22:07 -0400
Trump 'not happy' after N. Korea's Kim oversees latest rocket test

Trump 'not happy' after N. Korea's Kim oversees latest rocket testNorth Korean leader Kim Jong Un supervised the test-firing of a high-tech rocket system, state media reported Sunday, prompting criticism from US President Donald Trump, who said he was "not happy" with the latest launch. Pyongyang fired what appeared to be two short-range ballistic missiles on Saturday, South Korea's military said, the latest in a series of recent launches in protest at the South's joint exercises with the US, which wrapped up last week. North Korea's official news agency described the weapon as a "super-large multiple rocket launcher".

Sun, 25 Aug 2019 10:14:43 -0400
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif arrives in Biarritz in surprise visit to G7 leaders summit

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif arrives in Biarritz in surprise visit to G7 leaders summitIran's foreign minister Mohammad JavadZarifarrived on Sunday in Biarritz, southwestern France, where leaders of the G7 group of nations are meeting, an Iranian official said. Flight tracking website flightradar24.com showed an Iranian government jet landed at Biarritz's airport, which has been closed for the duration of the summit from Saturday to Monday. Iranian state television cited the foreign ministry as sayingZarifwould not hold talks with U.S. President Donald Trump's summit delegation. Asked to comment on reports thatZarifhad landed in Biarritz, Trump said: "No comment". The office of French President Emmanuel Macron, who is hosting the G7 summit, declined to comment as did the French foreign ministry. European leaders have struggled to calm a deepening confrontation between Iran and the United States since Trump pulled his country out of Iran's internationally brokered 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions on the Iranian economy. Earlier on Sunday at the G7 summit, Trump appeared to brush aside French efforts to mediate with Iran, saying that while he was happy for Paris to reach out to Tehran to defuse tensions he would carry on with his own initiatives. France said G7 leaders had agreed that Macron should hold talks and pass on messages to Iran. However, Trump, who has pushed a maximum pressure policy on Iran, distanced himself from the proposal, saying he had not even discussed it.

Sun, 25 Aug 2019 10:13:23 -0400
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