U.S. Government

  • 2019-09-10 14:50

    Senators question whether plan will make mortgages more expensive

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - Senators questioned whether U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's proposal to overhaul the housing finance system could address affordability concerns, hinting at a roadblock in the Trump administration's bid to privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    Fannie and Freddie back half of the nation's mortgages and have an obligation to provide low-income borrowers with approximately a quarter of the home loans they back. Under the Treasury plan proposed last week, they would pay an annual fee to the government in exchange for loans that are federally guaranteed, reducing the risk of a bailout.

  • 2019-07-29 15:18

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The U.S. Treasury Monday estimated it will borrow $433 billion of net marketable debt in the third quarter of 2019, assuming a $350 billion cash balance on September 30.

    Previously, the Treasury estimated it would borrow $160 billion in the quarter, with a $85 billion cash balance at the end of September.

    The larger borrowing estimate was due to "changed in cash balance assumptions," the Treasury said.

    In the second quarter of 2019, Treasury borrowed $40 billion, while the end-of-quarter cash balance was $264 billion.

  • 2019-07-09 15:45

    --Trump adviser makes comments with bilateral negotiations opening this week

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - Donald Trump's main economic adviser said there is no time limit on Chinese trade talks and in the meantime President Xi Jinping must keep a promise to import more American farm products.

    Negotiations must undo two decades of China's unfair practices and the remaining 10% of issues such as alleged technology theft are the most difficult, Larry Kudlow said at a CNBC event Tuesday. Xi must oversee major purchases of U.S. goods such as soybeans, wheat and possibly energy, he said.

    "President Xi is expected we hope, in return for our accommodations, to move immediately, quickly, while the talks are going on, on the agriculture front," Kudlow said.

  • 2019-07-05 14:34

    By Shen Lu

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - President Donald Trump said Friday that China has taken advantage of the United States in trade, a return to more hostile remarks days before the resumption of talks between the two nations.

    "We've lost our shirts with China, and now China's dying to make a deal. And we're taking, by the way, billions and billions of dollars of tariffs are coming in, and China is paying for it, not our people," Trump said.

    "Right now, we've put very big tariffs on," Trump said, adding China had "broken a deal" in May. "We have a lot more to put on if we want."

    China wasn't the sole focus of Trump's comments on trade. Much of his criticism was aimed at former U.S.

  • 2019-05-17 01:51

    By Iris Ouyang

    BEIJING (MNI) - China's macro policies to boost the economy will help maintain stability through any escalation of the trade dispute with the U.S., the country's economic planning body said Friday.

    Here are the highlights from Friday's National Development of Reform Commission press briefing in Beijing:

    -The key for China through any trade dispute is to focus on its own business, Meng Wei, NDRC spokesperson said, with measures to ensure stable growth

    -China will continue with current macro, fiscal and monetary policies to help boost the domestic economy, with added focus on consumption in rural areas, the NDRC said.

    -The commission underlined that any fallout from the trade dispute was manageable as China's economy is resilient.

    -The gove

  • 2019-05-16 06:22

    By Iris Ouyang

    BEIJING (MNI) - China's Ministry of Commerce said Thursday the country is not aware of any specific U.S. plans to send trade negotiators to Beijing for further talks.

    Here are some highlights from the weekly MOFCOM press briefing:

    --"China isn't aware of any U.S. plan to come to China for negotiations," said MOFCOM spokesperson Gao Feng.

    --Gao stressed China will "have to react" if the U.S. insists on escalating the trade dispute.

  • 2019-01-28 16:00

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The U.S. Treasury Monday estimated it will borrow $365 billion of net marketable debt in the first quarter of 2019, assuming a $320 billion cash balance on March 31.

    Previously, the Treasury estimated it would borrow $356 billion in the quarter, with a $320 billion cash balance at the end of March.

    The larger borrowing estimate was "driven primarily by a lower than previously assumed opening cash balance," the Treasury said.

    In the fourth quarter of 2018, Treasury borrowed $426 billion, while the end-of-quarter cash balance was $402 billion.

  • 2019-01-16 15:00

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following is the text of the summary section of the Federal Reserve's summary of economic conditions report, or Beige Book, released Wednesday:

    Overall Economic Activity

    Economic activity increased in most of the U.S., with eight of twelve Federal Reserve Districts reporting modest to moderate growth. Nonauto retail sales grew modestly, as several Districts reported more holiday traffic compared with last year. Auto sales were flat on balance. The majority of Districts indicated that manufacturing expanded, but that growth had slowed, particularly in the auto and energy sectors. New home construction and existing home sales were little changed, with several Districts reporting that sales were limited by rising prices and low inventory.

  • 2018-12-12 03:52

    BEIJING (MNI) - China had no information to share yet on the detainment of former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig in China this week, foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said when pressed by reporters Wednesday

    "I have nothing to provide on the media reports," Lu said when asked.

    Several media reports cited the International Crisis Group saying that its North East Asia Senior Adviser Kovrig has been detained in China.

    The unconfirmed reports of Kovrig's detention on Monday came out as a Canadian court weighed whether to grant bail -- subsequently granted on Tuesday

    -- to Meng Wanzhou,a senior executive at Chinese tech giant Huawei, who was held

    in Vancouver under a U.S.

  • 2018-10-31 13:15

    By Luke Heighton

    FRANKFURT (MNI) - Appropriate central bank responses to any downturn in the world economy caused by trade disputes are unclear, Swiss central bank governor Thomas Jordan said on Wednesday.

    Here are key points from the speech in Berne, Switzerland:

    -- The optimal monetary policy response for a central bank is in the case of a negative supply shock or an abrupt and hefty rise in tariffs is therefore "not immediately obvious", Jordan said, and it is difficult to predict how central banks would behave "in the event of a fully fledged trade war".

    -- Current tariff impositions "will not plunge the world into a recession. Any such fears are exaggerated".