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    Trump-Vance Administration Could Herald New Era for Dollar

    Both candidates on the Republican ticket have argued that the U.S. currency should be weaker to support American exports.Donald J. Trump’s selection of Ohio Senator J.D. Vance to be his vice-presidential nominee pairs him with a kindred spirit on trade, taxes and a tough stance on China. But it is their shared affinity for a weak dollar that could have the most sweeping implications for the United States and the global economy.In most cases, Mr. Trump likes his policies to be “strong,” but when it comes to the value of the dollar, he has long expressed a different view. Its strength, he has argued, has made it harder for American manufacturers to sell their products abroad to buyers that use weaker currencies. That’s because their money is worth so much less than the dollars that they need to make those purchases.“As your president, one would think that I would be thrilled with our very strong dollar,” Mr. Trump said in 2019, explaining that U.S. companies like Caterpillar and Boeing were struggling to compete. “I am not!”The dollar has been the world’s dominant currency since World War II, and central banks hold about 60 percent of their foreign exchange reserves in dollars, according to the Congressional Research Service.The United States has maintained a “strong dollar” policy since the 1990s, when Robert E. Rubin, the Treasury secretary at the time, declared that he did not view it as a threat to the ability of American business to compete abroad. The United States avoids taking measures to steer the strength of the dollar, and Treasury secretaries tend to argue that currency values should be determined by market forces. When countries, such as China, have acted to weaken their currencies, the U.S. has shamed them as currency manipulators.It is not clear how Mr. Trump would go about weakening the dollar. His Treasury Department could try to sell dollars to buy foreign currency or try to persuade the Federal Reserve to just print more dollars.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    I.M.F. Sees Signs of Cooling in U.S. Economy

    The International Monetary Fund warned that inflation remained stubbornly high and that protectionism posed a risk to the global economic outlook.The United States economy is growing more slowly than expected and inflation remains stubbornly high around the world, two developments that pose risks to the global economy, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday.The I.M.F.’s most recent World Economic Outlook report underscored the lingering vulnerabilities that could derail a so-called soft landing for the world economy — one in which a global recession is avoided despite aggressive efforts by central banks to tame rapid inflation by making it more expensive to borrow money.The new report said the I.M.F. still expected growth in global output to hold steady at 3.2 percent in 2024. That would be unchanged from its April projections. The fund also expected growth to be slightly higher next year, at 3.3 percent. However, the closely watched projections included several caveats and warned that the global economy was in a “sticky spot.”Most notable were signs of weakness in the United States, which has helped power the global recovery from the pandemic. The I.M.F. now expects the United States economy to grow more slowly than it did previously as a result of weaker consumer spending and a softening job market.The report forecast that U.S. economic growth would increase to 2.6 percent in 2024 from 2.5 percent in 2023, a slight downgrade from its previous projection of 2.7 percent. “The United States shows increasing signs of cooling, especially in the labor market, after a strong 2023,” Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, the I.M.F.’s chief economist, said in an essay that accompanied the report.Global inflation is still expected to ease to 5.9 percent this year from 6.7 percent in 2023. But the I.M.F. noted that prices for services remained hot. That could force central banks — which have raised interest rates to their highest levels in years — to keep borrowing costs elevated longer, putting growth at risk for both advanced and developing economies.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Caterpillar Factory in Mexico Draws Complaint of Labor Abuses

    The Biden administration declined to pursue a union complaint of labor abuses in Mexico, raising new concerns about offshoring.Over the past few years, as major manufacturers have announced plans to ramp up production in Mexico, labor unions have raised concerns that American jobs will be sent abroad.Now, the concerns have prompted the United Automobile Workers union, a prominent backer of President Biden, to criticize an administration decision not to pursue accusations of labor abuses by a Mexican subsidiary of Caterpillar, the agriculture equipment maker.In late June, the administration informed a group of unions that it would not pursue a complaint that the subsidiary had retaliated against striking union members by making it difficult for them to find alternative employment, a form of blacklisting.The government’s ability to police such violations, under a provision of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the successor to the North American Free Trade Agreement, is meant to reduce the incentive for American employers to move jobs to Mexico in search of weaker labor protections. The U.A.W. argues that, by declining to use its authority under the trade agreement in this case, the Biden administration may be encouraging companies to relocate work.Caterpillar workers in Mexico “face harassment and blacklisting for daring to stand up, with no help from the U.S.M.C.A.,” Shawn Fain, the president of the U.A.W., said in a statement. The U.A.W. was among several labor groups that brought the complaint.The Biden administration would not comment on the complaint, but pointed to two dozen other cases it had pursued under the trade agreement. Caterpillar did not respond to requests for comment.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Republican Party Rejects Free-Market Economics in Favor of Trump’s Signature Issues

    Donald J. Trump’s presidency was a major turn away from the Republican Party’s long embrace of free-market economics. If the Republican platform is any indication, a second Trump term would be a near-complete abandonment.The 2024 platform, which was released last week and is expected to infuse the Republican National Convention that starts in Milwaukee on Monday, promises action on what have become Mr. Trump’s signature issues: It pledges to pump up tariffs, encourage American manufacturing and deport immigrants at a scale that has never been seen before.What it lacks are policy ideas that have long been dear to economic conservatives. The platform does not directly mention fiscal deficits, and, apart from curbing government spending, it does not make any clear and detailed promises to rein in the nation’s borrowing. Other policies it proposes — including cutting taxes and expanding the military — would most likely swell the nation’s debt.The Republican platform also does not mention exports or encouraging trade. And while the document insists that the party will lower inflation, long a pertinent issue for economic conservatives, it fails to lay out a realistic plan for doing that. Chapter One of the document, titled “Defeat Inflation and Quickly Bring Down All Prices,” suggests that oil-friendly policies, slashed government spending, decreased regulation, fewer immigrants and restored geopolitical stability will lower price increases. But few economists agree.In fact, many analysts have said Mr. Trump’s suggestions on the campaign trail so far could lift prices, particularly his proposals to deport immigrants en masse and apply tariffs of perhaps 10 percent on most imports and levies of 60 percent on goods from China.“Measures to reduce migration and to protect the economy through tariffs and trade blockages are all highly inflationary,” Steven Kamin, a former Fed staff official who is now at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, said in an interview last week. When it comes to both deficits and trade, he said, there is a “populist dismissal of the prescriptions of academics and elites.”We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Biden Announces Tariffs on Chinese Metals Routed Through Mexico

    The measure aims to close a loophole that officials said allowed metals made partly in China to come into the United States duty free.The Biden administration took steps on Wednesday to prevent China from circumventing American tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum by routing those imports through Mexico.The administration said it would impose tariffs on imports of Mexican metals that are partially made in China. American officials said the move would close a trade loophole that has allowed cheap, state-subsidized Chinese metals to circumvent existing U.S. tariffs.The United States will now impose a 25 percent tariff on Mexican steel that is melted or poured outside of North America before being turned into a finished product. Previously, that steel would have entered the country duty free.Mexican aluminum coming into the United States will face a tariff of 10 percent if it contains metal that has been smelted or cast in China, Belarus, Iran or Russia, said Lael Brainard, the director of the White House’s National Economic Council.Mexico, which recently increased its own tariffs on steel and aluminum from certain countries, will require importers to provide more information about where their steel products come from, the announcement said. The changes will take effect immediately.Officials in the Biden administration said the United States wanted to protect American factories that produce steel and aluminum, including those that have recently received new investments from government funds.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    One Obstacle for Trump’s Promises: This Isn’t the 2016 Economy

    Donald J. Trump slapped tariffs on trading partners and cut taxes in his first term. But after inflation’s return, a repeat playbook would be riskier.When Donald J. Trump became president in 2017, prices had risen roughly 5 percent over the previous four years. If he were to win the race for the White House in 2024, he would be entering office at a time when they are up 20 percent and counting.That is a critically different economic backdrop for the kind of policies — tariffs and tax cuts — that the Republican contender has put at the center of his campaign.Mr. Trump regularly blames the Biden administration for the recent price surge, but inflation has been a global phenomenon since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. Supply chain problems, shifting consumer spending patterns and other quirks related to pandemic lockdowns and their aftermath collided with stimulus-fueled demand to send costs shooting higher.The years of unusually rapid inflation that resulted have changed the nation’s economic picture in important ways. Businesses are more accustomed to adjusting prices and consumers are more used to those changes than they were before the pandemic, when costs had been quiescent for decades. Beyond that, the Federal Reserve has lifted interest rates to 5.3 percent in a bid to slow demand and wrestle the situation under control.That combination — jittery inflation expectations and higher interest rates — could make many of the ideas Mr. Trump talks about on the campaign trail either riskier or more costly than before, especially at a moment when the economy is running at full speed and unemployment is very low.Mr. Trump is suggesting tax cuts that could speed up the economy and add to the deficit, potentially boosting inflation and adding to the national debt at a time when it costs a lot for the government to borrow. He has talked about mass deportations at a moment when economists warn that losing a lot of would-be workers could cause labor shortages and push up prices. He promises to ramp up tariffs across the board — and drastically on China — in a move that might sharply increase import prices.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Trump Eyes Bigger Trade War in Second Term

    The former president’s past tariffs raised prices for consumers and businesses, economists say. His next plan could tax 10 times as many imports.In March 2018, a day after announcing sweeping tariffs on metals imported from America’s allies and adversaries alike, President Donald J. Trump took to social media to share one of his central economic philosophies: “Trade wars are good, and easy to win.”As president, Mr. Trump presided over the biggest increase in U.S. tariffs since the Great Depression, hitting China, Canada, the European Union, Mexico, India and other governments with stiff levies. They hit back, imposing tariffs on American soybeans, whiskey, orange juice and motorcycles. U.S. agricultural exports plummeted, prompting Mr. Trump to send $23 billion to farmers to help offset losses.Now, as he runs for president again, Mr. Trump is promising to ratchet up his trade war to a much greater degree. He has proposed “universal baseline tariffs on most foreign products,” including higher levies on certain countries that devalue their currency. In interviews, he has floated plans for a 10 percent tariff on most imports and a tariff of 60 percent or more on Chinese goods. He has also posited cutting the federal income tax and relying on tariffs for revenue instead.Mr. Trump, who once proclaimed himself “Tariff Man,” has long argued that tariffs would boost American factories, end the gap between what America imported and what it exported and increase American jobs.His first round of levies hit more than $400 billion worth of imports, including steel, solar panels, washing machines and Chinese goods like smart watches, chemicals, bicycle helmets and motors. His rationale was that import taxes would revive American manufacturing, reduce reliance on foreign goods and allow U.S. companies to better compete against cheap products from China and other countries.Economists say the tariffs did reduce imports and encouraged U.S. factory production for certain industries, including steel, semiconductors and computer equipment. But that came at a very high cost, one that most likely offset any overall gains. Studies show that the tariffs resulted in higher prices for American consumers and factories that depend on foreign inputs, and reduced U.S. exports for certain goods that were subject to retaliation.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Get Ready for the Debate Like an Economics Pro

    What you need to know about the economy before Thursday’s showdown between President Biden and Donald J. Trump.President Biden.Doug Mills/The New York TimesFormer President Donald J. Trump.Haiyun Jiang for The New York TimesMany of the issues likely to dominate Thursday’s televised debate between President Biden and former President Donald J. Trump boil down to economics.Inflation, immigration, government taxing and spending, interest rates, and trade relationships could all take center stage — and both candidates could make sweeping claims about them, as they regularly do at campaign events and other public appearances.Given that, it could be handy to go into the event with an understanding of where the economic data stand now and what the latest research says. Below is a rundown of some of today’s hot-button topics and the context you need to follow along like a pro.Inflation has been high, but it’s slowing.Inflation jumped during the pandemic and its aftermath for a few reasons. The government had pumped more than $5 trillion into the economy in response to Covid, first under Mr. Trump and then under Mr. Biden.As families received stimulus checks and built up savings amid pandemic lockdowns, they began to spend their money on goods like cars and home gym equipment. That burst of demand for physical products collided with factory shutdowns around the world and snarls in shipping routes.Shortages for everything from furniture parts and bicycles to computer chips for cars began to crop up, and prices started to jump in 2021 as a lot of money chased too few goods.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More