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Trump links US border wall to NAFTA renegotiation, warns Mexico ‘must stop drug, people flows’

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President Donald Trump on Sunday explicitly linked his proposal to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico to ongoing NAFTA negotiations, renewing a warning that the flow of illicit drugs and immigrants from the country “must stop.”

Via Twitter, the president ripped the U.S.’s southern neighbor for doing “very little, if nothing” to stem illegal immigration and narcotics from flowing across the border. He repeated a threat he made earlier this year, warning that successful trade pact renegotiations may hinge on Mexico making efforts to secure its side of border.

Trump also took aim at the outlines of a deal to legalize the status of legions of illegal immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children, and called on Congressional Republicans to exercise a “nuclear option” to toughen immigration. Last fall, Trump canceled the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, colloquially referred to as DACA.

With increasing regularity, the president has gotten more aggressive in his negotiating tactics. On several occasions, he’s hinted at trying to force Mexico to pay for the proposed border wall, an idea that Mexican officials have emphatically rejected.

Just last week, Defense Secretary James Mattis spoke with Trump about using military funds to pay for the proposed wall, in the wake of the president signing a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill that fell short of fully funding the president’s request for border security. The budget busting legislation alienated many conservatives, and put Trump on shaky footing with some of his most ardent supporters.

For much of 2017, the White House floated the idea of a border adjustment tax on Mexican goods, a proposal that met stiff resistance in Congress before it was ultimately killed in tax reform talks.

Meanwhile, talks to renegotiate the trade pact between the U.S., Canada and Mexico have gotten increasingly contentious. In theory, a NAFTA termination letter would start the countdown for a 6-month process to abrogate the pact. However, some think Washington could use such a move to gain leverage over Canada and Mexico.

In January, Mexico threatened to leave the negotiations altogether if Trump triggered the process to withdraw from the pact.

–Reuters and CNBC’s Amanda Macias contributed to this article.



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‘Risk of civil unrest’ around election

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday said the company has been taking steps to address the increased risk of potential civil unrest associated with the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election.

“I’m worried that with our nation so divided and election results potentially taking days or weeks to be finalized, there is a risk of civil unrest across the country,” Zuckerberg said on a call discussing Facebook’s third-quarter earnings. “Given this, companies like ours need to go well beyond what we’ve done before.”

Zuckerberg noted steps that Facebook has taken in response to this increased risk. This includes helping users register to vote, providing users with accurate information about the election, banning new political ads one week prior to the election, blocking ads that try to delegitimize the election results and banning problematic content, such as groups focused on the QAnon conspiracy theory and Holocaust denialism.

“This is not a shift in our underlying philosophy or strong support of free expression,” Zuckerberg said. “Instead it is a reflection of the increased risk of violence and unrest.”

Facebook is not alone in these concerns. Walmart on Thursday also removed guns and ammunition from sales floors in stores where those items had been displayed because of isolated incidents of “civil unrest” in some areas around the U.S.

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Dow futures fall more than 300 points as Apple and Amazon shares decline after earnings

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U.S. stock futures fell in early morning trading Friday after some of the technology heavyweights came under pressure following their quarterly reports.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 355 points. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq-100 also traded in negative territory.

Shares of Apple fell more than 4% in extended trading after the tech giant reported a 16% decline in iPhone sales and failed to offer investors any guidance for the quarter ahead. Amazon dipped 1.87% even after the e-commerce giant reported blowout third-quarter results with a big beat on the top line.

Wall Street staged a modest rebound on Thursday on the back of better-than-expected U.S. gross domestic product and jobless claim data. The 30-stock Dow gained more than 100 points for its first positive day in five, while the S&P 500 rose 1.2% to snap a three-day losing streak. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.6%.

Still, major averages are on pace to post their worst weekly performance in months. The Dow is down 5.9% week to date, on pace for its worst week since March 20. The S&P 500 has fallen 4.5% this week, headed for its worst week since June 12.

Volatility remained elevated as investors grappled with rising new cases of the coronavirus in the U.S. and abroad. The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX), also known as Wall Street’s “fear gauge,” touched a high of 41.2 Thursday, its highest level since June 15.

“Pre-election market volatility is not unusual and has arisen around swirling questions about elections, COVID-19, and economic and earnings growth,” Paul Christopher, Wells Fargo’s head of global market strategy, said in a note Thursday. “This indigestion triggered declines in the S&P 500 Index.”

The Dow and the S&P 500 are also set to post their second straight month of losses as Wall Street wraps up a turbulent October. The 30-stock average is down 4% this month, and the S&P 500 has lost 1.5%. The Nasdaq outperformed, rising just 0.2% in the same period.

Shares of Alphabet soared more than 7% in extended trading after the Google parent company posted quarterly results that topped Wall Street expectations. Meanwhile, Twitter dropped more than 14% after the social media company reported user growth that fell short of expectations.

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Amazon (AMZN) earnings Q3 2020

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