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Nissan Takes Another Hit as C.E.O. Hiroto Saikawa Leaves

Westlake Legal Group 09nissan-facebookJumbo Nissan Takes Another Hit as C.E.O. Hiroto Saikawa Leaves Saikawa, Hiroto Japan Ghosn, Carlos Automobiles

YOKOHAMA, Japan — In less than a year Nissan has lost its chairman to a financial misconduct scandal; its profits have plummeted; and its ties to Renault, often seen as crucial for its future, have fallen apart. And now, its embattled chief executive is leaving in the shadow of a pay scandal.

The departure of the executive, Hiroto Saikawa, follows months of speculation about his ability to manage the Japanese carmaker since it was rocked by the arrest last year of its former chairman, Carlos Ghosn.

The resignation was announced less than a week after Mr. Saikawa said he had received payments from Nissan well beyond his earnings — an admission that echoed the charges that led to Mr. Ghosn’s fall.

“As the auto industry is facing a big transformation, the question is who should be running the company?” said Nissan’s chairman, Yasushi Kimura, speaking at a hastily arranged news conference at Nissan’s headquarters in Yokohama. “Replacing the top executive of the company will enable it to be a leader in the auto industry.”

After the news conference, once the board members had left, Mr. Saikawa stepped into the room and faced the crowd of reporters alone. He apologized for leaving the company before he could fulfill his promise of putting it back on track.

During his tenure, Mr. Saikawa said, problems had plagued the company. “We are seeing a lot of repercussions for what we have done in the past,” he said. “I should have clarified and ironed everything out.”

The comments seemed more defiant than contrite, and expressed some bitterness over his predicament. Over more than 30 minutes, he repeatedly listed his accomplishments at the company, including setting up a new corporate governance system. His largest regret, it seemed, was not continuing on in the position.

The departure takes effect Sept. 16. Nissan is considering a list of 10 candidates for his successor, Masakazu Toyoda, who leads the company’s nomination committee, told reporters. A decision is expected by the end of October.

Nissan’s chief operating officer, Yasuhiro Yamauchi, will serve as interim chief executive, Mr. Toyoda said.

Mr. Kimura said that when Mr. Saikawa asked the company’s board to find his successor as soon as possible, the directors agreed unanimously that “it was better for him to resign immediately.”

News of Mr. Saikawa’s departure came after Nissan’s board received a briefing on the results of a nearly yearlong investigation into the company’s governance. The inquiry was prompted by Japanese prosecutors’ arrest of Mr. Ghosn on suspicion of financial misconduct, including underreporting his compensation by tens of millions of dollars. He denies any wrongdoing.

In June, shareholders approved a slate of governance reforms, marshaled through by Mr. Saikawa, intended to address what it described as an overconcentration of power in the hands of Mr. Ghosn, who presided over the company’s alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi.

Since Mr. Ghosn’s November arrest, Nissan’s internal inquiry had expanded to include other aspects of the company’s business, including the compensation of Mr. Saikawa and other top executives.

Speculation that Mr. Saikawa would resign had swirled since Thursday’s public admission that he and other executives had received unearned compensation as a result of what he described as an error by the company. He was once a loyal deputy to Mr. Ghosn who has been withering in his criticism of his former boss since the arrest.

The allegation was first disclosed in June, when Greg Kelly, a former Nissan senior executive, accused Mr. Saikawa of using a stock-based compensation plan to increase his pay. Mr. Kelly has been charged with conspiring to underreport Mr. Ghosn’s compensation, an allegation he denies.

In a summary of Nissan’s internal investigation shared with reporters Monday, the company said that the overpayments to Mr. Saikawa totaled more than 47 million yen, or about $440,000, after taxes. Mr. Ghosn and Mr. Kelly, as well as an additional six directors and executives, also benefited from the stock scheme, which it said had been manipulated by Mr. Kelly on behalf of Mr. Ghosn without the knowledge of the other beneficiaries.

In his comments Monday, Mr. Saikawa admitted that he had asked Mr. Kelly to find a way to increase his compensation, but said he had not realized the executive would do something “against the rules.”

A representative for Mr. Ghosn said the accusations that he was involved in the stock-based scheme were “a shameful attempt from Nissan to use Mr. Ghosn as a scapegoat,” adding that the company’s treatment of Mr. Saikawa constituted a “double standard.”

A representative for Mr. Kelly did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Even before the revelation of the scheme, Mr. Saikawa had been fighting an uphill battle to keep his position at Nissan in the face of deteriorating profits and a difficult relationship with Renault. Global vehicle sales were down 6 percent in the last quarter, insiders said morale at Nissan has plummeted and top talent has left the company as employees lost faith in Mr. Saikawa’s ability to lead.

Renault had no immediate response to Nissan’s news.

Whether Mr. Saikawa’s resignation begins a new era between Renault and Nissan remains to be seen. Relations have been fraught since Mr. Ghosn’s arrest, and tensions over the future of the alliance flared regularly, despite efforts by Renault’s chief executive, Jean-Dominique Senard, to cultivate a personal relationship with Mr. Saikawa, with whom he said he spoke nearly every day by phone.

A top issue facing Mr. Saikawa’s successor will be how to strengthen the alliance as the global auto industry rapidly consolidates, with giants like BMW and Daimler cooperating on crucial innovations like autonomous driving technology. Analysts say that only by combining forces can Nissan and Renault afford the huge technology investments necessary to avoid obsolescence.

Renault and Nissan have acknowledged they still need each other to survive and thrive. But Mr. Senard told Renault shareholders recently that “a tense climate” reigned between his company and Nissan.

On his way out on Monday, Mr. Saikawa could not resist taking one last swing at Mr. Ghosn and Mr. Kelly, whom he blamed for his fate.

“They should feel bad about this,” he said. “But they haven’t expressed any apology for creating the situation at Nissan. I want Mr. Ghosn and Mr. Kelly to feel bad about this situation that they have created.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Nissan Takes Another Hit as C.E.O. Hiroto Saikawa Leaves

Westlake Legal Group 09nissan-facebookJumbo Nissan Takes Another Hit as C.E.O. Hiroto Saikawa Leaves Saikawa, Hiroto Japan Ghosn, Carlos Automobiles

YOKOHAMA, Japan — In less than a year Nissan has lost its chairman to a financial misconduct scandal; its profits have plummeted; and its ties to Renault, often seen as crucial for its future, have fallen apart. And now, its embattled chief executive is leaving in the shadow of a pay scandal.

The departure of the executive, Hiroto Saikawa, follows months of speculation about his ability to manage the Japanese carmaker since it was rocked by the arrest last year of its former chairman, Carlos Ghosn.

The resignation was announced less than a week after Mr. Saikawa said he had received payments from Nissan well beyond his earnings — an admission that echoed the charges that led to Mr. Ghosn’s fall.

“As the auto industry is facing a big transformation, the question is who should be running the company?” said Nissan’s chairman, Yasushi Kimura, speaking at a hastily arranged news conference at Nissan’s headquarters in Yokohama. “Replacing the top executive of the company will enable it to be a leader in the auto industry.”

After the news conference, once the board members had left, Mr. Saikawa stepped into the room and faced the crowd of reporters alone. He apologized for leaving the company before he could fulfill his promise of putting it back on track.

During his tenure, Mr. Saikawa said, problems had plagued the company. “We are seeing a lot of repercussions for what we have done in the past,” he said. “I should have clarified and ironed everything out.”

The comments seemed more defiant than contrite, and expressed some bitterness over his predicament. Over more than 30 minutes, he repeatedly listed his accomplishments at the company, including setting up a new corporate governance system. His largest regret, it seemed, was not continuing on in the position.

The departure takes effect Sept. 16. Nissan is considering a list of 10 candidates for his successor, Masakazu Toyoda, who leads the company’s nomination committee, told reporters. A decision is expected by the end of October.

Nissan’s chief operating officer, Yasuhiro Yamauchi, will serve as interim chief executive, Mr. Toyoda said.

Mr. Kimura said that when Mr. Saikawa asked the company’s board to find his successor as soon as possible, the directors agreed unanimously that “it was better for him to resign immediately.”

News of Mr. Saikawa’s departure came after Nissan’s board received a briefing on the results of a nearly yearlong investigation into the company’s governance. The inquiry was prompted by Japanese prosecutors’ arrest of Mr. Ghosn on suspicion of financial misconduct, including underreporting his compensation by tens of millions of dollars. He denies any wrongdoing.

In June, shareholders approved a slate of governance reforms, marshaled through by Mr. Saikawa, intended to address what it described as an overconcentration of power in the hands of Mr. Ghosn, who presided over the company’s alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi.

Since Mr. Ghosn’s November arrest, Nissan’s internal inquiry had expanded to include other aspects of the company’s business, including the compensation of Mr. Saikawa and other top executives.

Speculation that Mr. Saikawa would resign had swirled since Thursday’s public admission that he and other executives had received unearned compensation as a result of what he described as an error by the company. He was once a loyal deputy to Mr. Ghosn who has been withering in his criticism of his former boss since the arrest.

The allegation was first disclosed in June, when Greg Kelly, a former Nissan senior executive, accused Mr. Saikawa of using a stock-based compensation plan to increase his pay. Mr. Kelly has been charged with conspiring to underreport Mr. Ghosn’s compensation, an allegation he denies.

In a summary of Nissan’s internal investigation shared with reporters Monday, the company said that the overpayments to Mr. Saikawa totaled more than 47 million yen, or about $440,000, after taxes. Mr. Ghosn and Mr. Kelly, as well as an additional six directors and executives, also benefited from the stock scheme, which it said had been manipulated by Mr. Kelly on behalf of Mr. Ghosn without the knowledge of the other beneficiaries.

In his comments Monday, Mr. Saikawa admitted that he had asked Mr. Kelly to find a way to increase his compensation, but said he had not realized the executive would do something “against the rules.”

A representative for Mr. Ghosn said the accusations that he was involved in the stock-based scheme were “a shameful attempt from Nissan to use Mr. Ghosn as a scapegoat,” adding that the company’s treatment of Mr. Saikawa constituted a “double standard.”

A representative for Mr. Kelly did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Even before the revelation of the scheme, Mr. Saikawa had been fighting an uphill battle to keep his position at Nissan in the face of deteriorating profits and a difficult relationship with Renault. Global vehicle sales were down 6 percent in the last quarter, insiders said morale at Nissan has plummeted and top talent has left the company as employees lost faith in Mr. Saikawa’s ability to lead.

Renault had no immediate response to Nissan’s news.

Whether Mr. Saikawa’s resignation begins a new era between Renault and Nissan remains to be seen. Relations have been fraught since Mr. Ghosn’s arrest, and tensions over the future of the alliance flared regularly, despite efforts by Renault’s chief executive, Jean-Dominique Senard, to cultivate a personal relationship with Mr. Saikawa, with whom he said he spoke nearly every day by phone.

A top issue facing Mr. Saikawa’s successor will be how to strengthen the alliance as the global auto industry rapidly consolidates, with giants like BMW and Daimler cooperating on crucial innovations like autonomous driving technology. Analysts say that only by combining forces can Nissan and Renault afford the huge technology investments necessary to avoid obsolescence.

Renault and Nissan have acknowledged they still need each other to survive and thrive. But Mr. Senard told Renault shareholders recently that “a tense climate” reigned between his company and Nissan.

On his way out on Monday, Mr. Saikawa could not resist taking one last swing at Mr. Ghosn and Mr. Kelly, whom he blamed for his fate.

“They should feel bad about this,” he said. “But they haven’t expressed any apology for creating the situation at Nissan. I want Mr. Ghosn and Mr. Kelly to feel bad about this situation that they have created.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

“Bipartisan backlash”: What was Trump thinking with Taliban invite to Camp David?

Westlake Legal Group TrumpShrug “Bipartisan backlash”: What was Trump thinking with Taliban invite to Camp David? The Blog Taliban Pearl Harbor Mike Pompeo Kim Jong-un john bolton Japan Hassan Rouhani donald trump camp david 9/11

By this time, Americans have gotten used to the idea of negotiating with the Taliban in an effort to wind down the war in Afghanistan. The outrage over their role as protector of al-Qaeda before and after the 9/11 attacks has given way to a sense of inevitability that the Taliban will not be crushed out of existence, and a realization that a peaceful Afghanistan requires them to be integrated into the political system.

But why invite them to Camp David — in the same week as the 18th anniversary of 9/11? That’s a question being asked by both Democrats and Republicans after Trump revealed the plans over the weekend:

President Donald Trump is facing backlash after announcing he planned to hold a secret meeting with the Taliban at Camp David this weekend but canceled it over attacks overseas that left 12 dead, including one American.

Republican and Democratic leaders sharply criticized the president over two main concerns: bringing members of the Taliban to the U.S.—specifically to Camp David, a presidential retreat for presidents used for administrations, and the timing of the meeting — just days before the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Some of this comes from Trump antagonists, such as Eric Swalwell and Justin Amash, who asked on Twitter, “How about we end the war without inviting the Taliban to dinner on the week of 9/11?” However, Liz Cheney isn’t exactly a Never Trumper, and she ripped the idea as well. Cheney did try to couch it in praise for Trump in changing his mind:

Rep. Liz Cheney, one of most powerful House Republicans whose father was vice president during the 9/11 attacks, said “no member of the Taliban should set foot” at Camp David.

“Camp David is where America’s leaders met to plan our response after al Qaeda, supported by the Taliban, killed 3000 Americans on 9/11,” said Cheney, R-Wyoming, on Sunday. “No member of the Taliban should set foot there. Ever. The Taliban still harbors al Qaeda.”

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) was less gracious:

The Washington Post sees this as a food fight between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton. Bolton won this round, their sources claim, but Pompeo’s winning the overall war, so to speak. Even with the cancellation of the Camp David meeting, Trump still plans to move forward on troop drawdowns, and the Camp David meeting was Trump’s idea to get more concessions:

But others said that Trump was likely to move ahead with the planned initial withdrawal, regardless of the apparent collapse of negotiations. One official familiar with White House deliberations cast Trump’s cancellation of the meeting — which the president said was in response to the death on Thursday of a U.S. soldier in a Taliban attack, one of 16 killed since the beginning of this year — as part of a broader victory for Bolton.

Trump was the main person pushing for the Camp David meeting, according to a senior administration official who, like others who discussed the sensitive issue, spoke only on the condition of anonymity. Comparing the initiative to Trump’s personal meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and his stated desire to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, this official said Trump thinks his personal style can persuade anyone, and that he has seen the possibility of a substantial Afghan withdrawal as a major plus for his reelection campaign.

While many in the administration have questioned the Taliban talks, Pompeo and Bolton have been at loggerheads over this issue and others, with Bolton, a well-known hawk, charging that Pompeo was trying to “box him out” of decision-making on Afghanistan.

Bolton had expressed his reservations about the deal at the time Khalilzad briefed Trump on its terms in late August, according to the official familiar with White House deliberations.

Trump’s meetings with Kim and proposed meeting with Rouhani are controversial for arguably giving rogue state leaders more credibility as statesmen. At least those cases involved actual state leaders, however, and the need to head off nuclear proliferation in the hands of rogues. The Taliban are neither state leaders nor nuclear threats. Why would the president of the US meet with them at all? It’s not diplomatically proportionate no matter where it takes place.

Hosting the Taliban at Camp David is not just diplomatically puzzling, it’s politically nutty. Americans might be tired of fighting in a tribal war in which the Taliban/Pashtun cannot be defeated, but that doesn’t mean Americans have forgotten 9/11 and the Taliban’s role in it. The best analogy to 9/11 is Pearl Harbor, and the war that started came to an end with a surrender by Japan on an American carrier off their shoreline, negotiated by our military. We didn’t invite Hirohito to Camp David for discussions. It’s true that Camp David has been used as the venue for peace negotiations in the past, but not with an antagonist who helped facilitate the murder of 3,000 American civilians with attacks on our largest city and our capital.

And scheduling it for the week of 9/11? That’s so tone-deaf that it calls into question the competency of everyone involved in it. A Trump-Taliban summit at Camp David is a dumb idea on any date but especially this week.   It’s getting bipartisan backlash because it deserves bipartisan backlash. Let’s hope it’s enough to convince the White House to take that page out of the playbook.

The post “Bipartisan backlash”: What was Trump thinking with Taliban invite to Camp David? appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group TrumpShrug-300x159 “Bipartisan backlash”: What was Trump thinking with Taliban invite to Camp David? The Blog Taliban Pearl Harbor Mike Pompeo Kim Jong-un john bolton Japan Hassan Rouhani donald trump camp david 9/11   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Embattled Nissan C.E.O. Hiroto Saikawa to Resign, Carmaker Says

Westlake Legal Group 09nissan-facebookJumbo Embattled Nissan C.E.O. Hiroto Saikawa to Resign, Carmaker Says Saikawa, Hiroto Japan Ghosn, Carlos Automobiles

YOKOHAMA, Japan — The embattled chief executive of Nissan, Hiroto Saikawa, will resign, the company said Monday, following months of speculation about his ability to manage the Japanese carmaker since it was rocked by the arrest last year of its former chairman, Carlos Ghosn.

Mr. Saikawa’s resignation takes effect Sept. 16, and the company is considering a list of 10 candidates for his successor, said Masakazu Toyoda, who leads the company’s nomination committee. A decision is expected by the end of October.

Nissan’s chief operating officer, Yasuhiro Yamauchi, will serve as interim C.E.O., Mr. Toyoda said.

Mr. Saikawa “had indicated recently his willingness to resign,” the company said in a statement.

Following the company’s news conference, Mr. Saikawa stepped forward and faced the room full of reporters alone. He apologized for leaving the company before he could fulfill his promise of putting the company back on track.

News of his departure came after Nissan’s board received a briefing on the results of a nearly year-long investigation into the company’s governance. The inquiry was a prompted after Japanese prosecutors charged Mr. Ghosn with financial misconduct, including underreporting his compensation by tens of millions of dollars. He denies any wrongdoing.

Nissan also faces charges in relation to Mr. Ghosn’s compensation and it has attempted internal governance reforms.

In the months since Mr. Ghosn’s arrest in November, Nissan’s internal inquiry had grown to include many other aspects of the company’s business, including the compensation of Mr. Saikawa and other top executives.

Speculation that Mr. Saikawa — a once-loyal deputy to Mr. Ghosn who has been withering in his criticism since the arrest — would resign had grown since Thursday, when he announced that he and other executives had received unearned compensation as a result of what he described as an error by the company.

The admission was blow to Mr. Saikawa. Nissan, a partner in a global carmaking alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi, has suffered with dismal performance and a crisis of confidence over the past year, and Mr. Saikawa has been struggling to put the company back on track.

Mr. Saikawa had long been fighting an uphill battle: The company’s profits dropped 94 percent in the last quarter, its alliance with Renault is coming apart at the seams, and many Nissan employees have lost faith in Mr. Saikawa’s ability to lead the company out of its most difficult crisis in years.

Renault had no immediate response to Nissan’s news.

Whether Mr. Saikawa’s resignation opens the way for a new era between Renault and Nissan remains to be seen. Relations have been fraught since Mr. Ghosn’s arrest, and tensions over the future of the alliance flared regularly, despite efforts by Renault’s chief executive, Jean-Dominique Senard, to cultivate a personal relationship with Mr. Saikawa, with whom he spoke by telephone nearly every day.

A top issue facing Mr. Saikawa’s successor will be how to strengthen the alliance as the global auto industry rapidly consolidates, with giants like BMW and Daimler cooperating on crucial innovations like autonomous driving technology. Analysts say that only by combining forces can Nissan and Renault afford the huge technology investments necessary to avoid obsolescence.

Renault and Nissan have acknowledged they still need one another to survive and thrive. But Mr. Senard told Renault shareholders recently that “a tense climate” reigned between his company and Nissan.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Report: North Korea is perfecting its missile arsenal as talks with Trump slog on

Westlake Legal Group tk Report: North Korea is perfecting its missile arsenal as talks with Trump slog on Trump The Blog South Korea North Korea missile Kim Jong-un Japan arsenal

This is the second report in six weeks from a major paper alleging that the NorKs are taking military advantage of their pas de deux with Trump. In late July the WSJ pointed to satellite imagery suggesting that North Korea had quietly increased production of long-range missiles and fissile material while talks were playing out.

Today it’s the Times citing intelligence sources who believe Kim’s recent missile tests are helping him to hone his regional arsenal. Long-range tests remain off the table (for now) as a diplomatic concession to Trump but the shorter-range tests are useful to NK in perfecting weapons that threaten South Korea and Japan — and the tens of thousands of American troops stationed in those countries.

How useful is a negotiation to Side A if Side B is able to exploit the time involved to increase its leverage over the negotiation? At some point Side B will amass enough of an advantage that it can dictate terms, no? That’s the art of the deal.

American intelligence officials and outside experts have come to a far different conclusion: that the launchings downplayed by Mr. Trump, including two late last month, have allowed Mr. Kim to test missiles with greater range and maneuverability that could overwhelm American defenses in the region.

Japan’s defense minister, Takeshi Iwaya, told reporters in Tokyo last week that the irregular trajectories of the most recent tests were more evidence of a program designed to defeat the defenses Japan has deployed, with American technology, at sea and on shore…

“Kim is exploiting loopholes in his agreements with President Trump pretty brilliantly,” said Vipin Narang, a political-science professor at M.I.T. who studies North Korean weapon advances. “These are mobile-launched, they move fast, they fly very low and they are maneuverable. That’s a nightmare for missile defense. And it’s only a matter of time before those technologies are migrated to longer-range missiles.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has taken the lead in the effort to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons and missiles, has hinted to foreign counterparts in private meetings in recent weeks that he is fearful the administration is being strung along, according to Japanese and South Korean officials.

It’s easy to ignore news reports about North Korean short-range missile tests. They’ve been saber-rattling in this manner for ages; whenever Kim wants to “send a message,” they roll out something from their arsenal and fire it into the sea. Trump himself has shrugged off the recent short-range tests by insisting that Kim simply enjoys testing missiles. The point of the Times piece is that they’re not just popping off stuff they have on the shelf to remind the world that they should be feared. They’re testing new systems, starting with a solid-fuel missile that can be hidden easily and deployed in minutes instead of the hours it takes to deploy a more conventional liquid-fuel weapon. As noted in the excerpt, at least one missile they’ve tested recently may be a variation on a Russian model that flies low and can maneuver, rendering missile-defense systems potentially useless. They’re also experimenting with launch systems that can fire many more weapons at once than they’ve traditionally been able to launch. That’s another way to defeat missile defenses — throw so many darts at the enemy in one volley that they’re overwhelmed, unable to deflect them all.

Trump’s getting killed by critics over this report (“Kim has ridden Trump like a pony”) but it’s a rare case in which what seems like incompetence might actually be strategic. Not a good strategy, but a strategy regardless. It could be incompetence, of course: Maybe Trump really does believe that he and Kim are bros now, that they’ve developed a rapport, and that this is all going to lead to some diplomatic masterstroke in which Kim agrees to give up … something in return for sanctions relief. If so, Trump might let himself be strung along to the very end of his presidency. His most admirable quality as president is his reluctance to wage war. He’s not going to ignite a Korean apocalypse unless Kim gives him zero alternative. All the NorKs have to do is keep dangling talks at him and he’ll keep chasing that alternative.

But there’s a potential strategic explanation too. Maybe Trump has already stopped caring about denuclearization, recognizing it (correctly) as a pipe dream. At the end of the day he doesn’t care who’s threatened by North Korean nuclear devastation so long as it isn’t the U.S. That’s what “America First” means, right? In other words, it’s conceivable that he no longer regards his goal as a nuclear-free North Korea but rather a North Korean that can’t threaten the United States with its nuclear arsenal. In which case, what would happen if Kim agreed to an indefinite freeze on North Korean ICBM development — replete with UN inspections — in exchange for sanctions relief plus U.S. military withdrawal from South Korea and Japan? Kim would be offering Trump a devil’s bargain in which he’d guarantee America’s security in exchange for us recognizing his right to menace his next-door neighbors, Japan and South Korea, with nuclear war. That would extricate us from a mess in the Far East, and a diplomatic pretext for full withdrawal of American soldiers would appeal deeply to Trump’s isolationist tactics. He’s actually mused about withdrawing U.S. troops before, remember.

Is that the deal he’s waiting for or even trying to engineer, essentially an invitation to pull out of the region and tell South Korea and Japan, “Good luck”? No other country in the world would trust American security guarantees after that, but what does Trump care about that?

Exit question: Could Bolton and Pompeo convince Trump not to agree to those terms by successfully explaining that of course the North would continue secretly developing ICBMs even if they promised him they wouldn’t? Jury’s out, I think. Especially since Trump no longer seems to be listening to Bolton.

The post Report: North Korea is perfecting its missile arsenal as talks with Trump slog on appeared first on Hot Air.

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Joe Biden Calls Japan “Xenophobic” In Bizarre Rant

Westlake Legal Group joe-biden-caricature-620x443 Joe Biden Calls Japan “Xenophobic” In Bizarre Rant Xenophobic senile Primary Race Politics mental media bias Joe Biden Japan Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Election democrats campaign ally 2020

Joe Biden-Caricature by DonkeyHotey, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0/Original

In the time I publish this, Joe Biden will have committed three to five more gaffes, but we’ll land on a specific one today.

On Wednesday, he was in South Carolina stumping for his presidential campaign and he managed to not only slander a key ally, but then celebrate them for the bad thing he accused them of being. No, it doesn’t make any sense but this is Joe Biden we are talking about.

Joe Biden suggested during a campaign speech that “xenophobia” is keeping Japanese women in the job market.

The 76-year-old Biden, drawing on his time working with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe while vice president, said that because Japan doesn’t allow many foreign workers to come in, women in the country must remain in the workforce.

“You cannot succeed as a country if you leave more than half of your brainpower on the sidelines,” Biden said Wednesday during a speech in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

“Japan is in a position where traditionally women are as well-educated as men, but the tradition was, once they had a child, they were to drop out of the job market,” he continued, noting that the traditional roles have changed under Abe.

“There’s an entire move, because they’re xenophobic — because they don’t want to invite other people from outside their country to come in and make up the workforce — they have fewer workers than they have a need for workers. And so, what they’ve done is they’ve decided to encourage women to stay in the job market,” Biden said.

What in the world is he trying to say? If he believes Japan is xenophobic, then wouldn’t that be something to chastise? Instead, he tacitly lauds it as a positive factor that gets more women into the workforce. I mean, is he making that case that America should curtail immigration so as to get more women into the workforce? If he’s not, then what the heck is the point of this story?

His campaign staffers have to be beating their heads against the wall at this point. It’s getting clearer that much like President Trump, Biden isn’t capable of moderating himself. But unlike President Trump, who’s made a conscious decision in his public comments to just give no hoots, Biden isn’t doing this on purpose. He wants to avoid rocking the boat and he simply can’t. The mental fortitude isn’t there.

Also, I’ll note that if Trump had said this about a major ally, it’d have been national news and he’d have been roundly condemned as destroying alliances. Joe Biden, who is leading the Democratic field and the odds on favorite to win, literally just called an ally xenophobic in public. This is magnitudes worse than Trump slagging some countries in private and the comments being leaked. Oddly enough though, the mainstream media didn’t even report this latest Biden screw up.

If Biden is this gaffe prone now, what’s it going to be like when he’s got Trump breathing down his neck? It will certainly make for some entertaining debates I suppose.

————————————————

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The post Joe Biden Calls Japan “Xenophobic” In Bizarre Rant appeared first on RedState.

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Japan and South Korea Feud, but Breaking Up Is Hard

SEOUL, South Korea — As tensions between Tokyo and Seoul have surged in recent months, South Koreans have shown their anger with their wallets. Japanese beer is going unsold. Shoppers are avoiding Uniqlo. An animated Japanese children’s movie called “Butt Detective,” whose protagonist has a predictably posterior-shaped head, bombed in South Korean theaters.

On Wednesday, Japan widened the wedge between the two Asian economic powerhouses even further. It formally removed South Korea from a “white list” of countries to which it extends preferential trade status.

But it will take more than new rules and consumer boycotts to drive apart the two American allies, at least when it comes to business. The two countries have become deeply intertwined over the decades, with a trade relationship now worth about $85 billion a year. Japan in particular holds considerable power as a main supplier of essential raw materials and components to South Korea’s high-tech economic machine.

Until that changes, a process that could take many years, the two countries have little choice but to stick together. Any serious attempt to break trade ties “would be a disaster,” said Rory Green, an economist specializing in South Korea and China at the London-based analyst TS Lombard.

“It’s something they’d have to look at doing over a number of years, slowly decoupling these heavily interlocked supply chains,” he said. “It’s not something that could happen painlessly.”

A South Korean company called Sejin Tech, for example, builds intricate machines with over 1,300 parts for packaging foods like soup and kimchi. While many of the components it uses are made in South Korea, some can be sourced only from Japanese companies.

Japan’s recent moves “have woken us up and created a momentum to teach us that Korean companies, including mine, rely too much on Japan’s industrial technologies,” said Lee Gahp-hyun, Sejin Tech’s chief executive.

“Perhaps Korean manufacturers including myself could have tried harder to develop our own Korea-made products to replace imports from Japan,” he added. “But businesses, especially small businesses, weren’t prepared for a situation like the political strife between Korea and Japan affecting them.”

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An animated Japanese children’s movie, “Butt Detective,” bombed in South Korea.CreditToei Animation

Many in South Korea are coming to terms with how much they depend on Japan.

That realization began sinking in last month, when Japan announced that it would tighten restrictions on the sale to South Korea of three chemicals used to make high-end computer chips and digital displays. Japan said it was concerned that importers had improperly handled the products, which have potential military applications, though officials have not offered proof.

Seoul painted the moves as an attack, motivated by disagreements over the historical legacy of Japan’s occupation of the Korean Peninsula before and during World War II.

One of those chemicals, known as photoresist, is critical for top-of-the-line products produced by Samsung Electronics, the giant South Korean maker of chips and gadgets, among others. Japan controls around 90 percent of the world’s supply. Getting permission to import the chemical could take up to three months, companies were told, sparking panic about the potential impact on global supply chains.

In the end, it was about a month before Tokyo issued the first approvals. But the implications were clear, said Yuichi Takayasu, a professor of economics at Japan’s Daito Bunka University.

Seoul “understood that if imports from Japan were to stop, they would no longer be able to make semiconductors,” he said. “Just aiming at that Achilles’ heel is a big threat to South Korea.”

South Korea’s removal from Tokyo’s white list is also intended to send a message rather than cause economic harm, Mr. Takayasu said. “It has a symbolic meaning. South Korea hates being downgraded.”

The change covers virtually all Japanese exports to South Korea other than food, clothes and products made from wood.

Its focus is on a list of more than 1,000 goods and technologies that could be used to produce weapons of mass destruction. That includes chemicals that can be used to make nerve gas or enrich uranium, and a long list of products essential to South Korea’s tech industry, from precision machine tools to advanced carbon fibers, some of which would be difficult, if not impossible, to source from other countries.

The Japanese government has emphasized that it would use its authority only to ensure that exports ended up in the right hands and were used for their intended purpose. For most buyers, the effect will “be at the level of a little increase in paperwork,” said Makoto Abe, a senior researcher at the Japan External Trade Organization, a trade promotion group affiliated with the Japanese government.

This time around, South Korean businesses are less concerned than after the first round of restrictions in July, according to Sanjeev Rana, a Korea technology analyst at the Hong Kong-based brokerage CLSA. Still, he said, when the white list was announced this month, companies began stockpiling critical supplies.

Protesters in Seoul denouncing Japan’s decision to rescind South Korea’s preferential trade status.CreditChang W. Lee/The New York Times

Some South Korean consumers have responded by starting boycotts and setting up websites that suggest local alternatives to Japanese products, and they say they have no plans to stop.

“People of all ages are participating in the boycott and enjoying it,” said Seo Kyoung-duk, a professor at Sungshin University in Seoul active in the boycott effort. “I think that, later on, this movement will be remembered in textbooks.”

Earlier this month, South Korea responded to Japan’s announcement of its delisting by saying it would remove Japan from its own white list. But the move just drove home how unequal the relationship is, said Lee Cheol-woo, the director of marketing and technical relations at AMS, a small company in the South Korean city of Busan that exports goods to Japan. Many of Japan’s imports from South Korea could easily be found elsewhere, he said, and his company is beginning to lose customers.

Clients have begun asking him why Japanese buyers would “want to import from Korea now with all the new restrictions,” Mr. Lee said. “Japanese customers could replace your items with imports from Taiwan.”

At the moment, neither country can bear much economic pain. Japanese exports worldwide have been dropping since December on cooling global demand. South Korea’s sales abroad have fallen even more precipitously as an anemic smartphone market has left chips to stack up in the country’s warehouses.

South Korean companies are worried about being cut off. While large companies have the experience and resources to sort out the issues, smaller firms may not even be aware of what products are affected.

Data from Japan’s economy ministry shows that between 2007 and 2011, more than 96 percent of “illegal exports” were the result of misunderstanding or simple failure to comply with regulations. Less than 4 percent were intentional violations.

Trade promotion agencies, trade associations and chambers of commerce in South Korea are advising companies on how to deal with the new restrictions, including finding suppliers outside Japan and producing components locally.

Japanese companies will nevertheless remain a strong presence in South Korea. In Gumi, an industrial city around 150 miles from Seoul, a Japanese company called Toray built plants that make advanced materials for lithium ion batteries.

“Korea and Japan are bound to each other,” said Shim Kyu-jeong, an economic researcher at the city’s chamber of commerce.

“We cannot imagine the Gumi Industrial Park without Japanese companies.”

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Waning of American Power? Trump Struggles With an Asia in Crisis

WASHINGTON — For two and a half years, President Trump has said he is finally doing in Asia what he asserts his predecessor, Barack Obama, failed to achieve with a strategic pivot: strengthen American influence and rally partners to push back against China.

But as violence escalates and old animosities are rekindled across Asia, Washington has chosen inaction, and governments are ignoring the Trump administration’s mild admonitions and calls for calm. Whether it is the internal battles in India and Hong Kong or the rivalry between two American allies, Japan and South Korea, Mr. Trump and his advisers are staying on the sidelines.

The inability or unwillingness of Washington to help defuse the flash points is one of the clearest signs yet of the erosion of American power and global influence under Mr. Trump, who has stuck to his “America First” idea of disengagement, analysts say.

“Without the steady centripetal force of American diplomacy, disorder in Asia is spinning in all sorts of dangerous directions,” said William J. Burns, a deputy secretary of state in the Obama administration and the president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “The net result is not only increased risk of regional turbulence, but also long-term corrosion of American influence.”

All American administrations have limited ability to steer events abroad. Foreign governments often ignore requests from the United States. Since 2001, the nation’s long wars, especially in Iraq, have cost it credibility. And the emergence of China as an economic powerhouse and Russia as an anti-Western force means factors outside the Trump administration are contributing to the weakening of American power.

But critics say Mr. Trump’s policies — more focused on cutting American expenses abroad than on building partnerships — have sped that erosion and emboldened governments to ignore entreaties from Washington.

Indian troops are suppressing protests in the contested region of Kashmir after New Delhi ended the territory’s autonomous status, despite Mr. Trump’s offer last month to India and Pakistan to mediate the decades-old dispute.

South Korea announced on Monday that it was dropping Japan from a list of preferred trading partners, ramping up a conflict that jeopardizes Washington’s most important alliances in Asia. Mr. Trump’s top foreign policy officials had advised both nations to settle their differences, to no avail.

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Mr. Trump and his top officials have failed to send any strong signals on the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests. CreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times

And Chinese officials said this week that Hong Kong protesters were starting to show the first signs of “terrorism” — an indication that the Communist Party in Beijing could order tougher measures to end the unrest, even after the Hong Kong police fired tear gas at crowds during the 10th weekend of protests.

Official Chinese news organizations are linking the Trump administration to the protests and labeled an American diplomat, Julie Eadeh, who met with student leaders, a “black hand.”

Tweeting on Tuesday that the Chinese were moving troops to the border with Hong Kong, Mr. Trump issued no warnings other than: “Everyone should be calm and safe!”

“The inability to manage the issues shows some real weakness in the president’s actual commitment to the strategy or any forward diplomatic engagement in Asia,” said Michael J. Green, a senior Asia director for the National Security Council under President George W. Bush.

Mr. Green, now a professor at Georgetown University, added that while the Trump administration was carrying out some useful strategies or tactics in Asia, “it is striking how ineffective the administration is on this Japan-Korea issue and how quiet on Kashmir.”

Though Mr. Trump has embraced a hands-off approach since he took office, some officials, including Matthew Pottinger, the senior Asia director on the National Security Council, have worked to formulate a big-picture strategy on Asia, with the aim of bolstering competition with China.

They have pledged to spend money on regional programs as part of a “free and open Indo-Pacific” strategy, increased the rate of freedom-of-navigation operations in the South China Sea and started a campaign to try to persuade nations to ban the use of communications technology from Huawei, the Chinese company.

But critics say Mr. Trump weakens the American position through continual acts of self-sabotage, including abandoning the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-nation trade agreement that Mr. Obama had forged to create a united front against China.

Mr. Trump also lavishes praise on East Asia’s authoritarian leaders — he said that he and Kim Jong-un of North Korea “fell in love,” and that he and Xi Jinping of China “will always be friends.”

So far, he and his top officials have failed to send any strong signals on the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests. On Aug. 1, Mr. Trump employed the language used by Communist Party officials when he said Hong Kong has had “riots for a long period of time.”

“Somebody said that at some point they’re going to want to stop that,” he added. “But that’s between Hong Kong and that’s between China, because Hong Kong is a part of China.”

Analysts said those comments would be interpreted by Chinese officials as a green light to take whatever action necessary to quell the protests.

Mr. Trump said in June that the United States and China were “strategic partners,” and the administration has held back from taking certain actions that would upset Beijing — notably, imposing sanctions on Chinese officials for the mass detentions of Muslims and approving the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan.

Mr. Trump’s main goal with China has been to reach a trade deal to end the costly tariff war, though the two sides have escalated the dispute after failed talks, leading to stock market turmoil.

Mr. Trump has also stood back during the intensifying feud between South Korea and Japan. On Friday, Mr. Trump said, “South Korea and Japan have to sit down and get along with each other.”

Administration officials say they do not want to be a mediator in the dispute, even though American security interests in the region could suffer — especially if Seoul and Tokyo end an intelligence-sharing agreement supported by Washington that is intended to help with North Korea containment. In late July, John R. Bolton, the national security adviser, called both sides to ask them to freeze their hostilities, and Mr. Pompeo made the same request of their foreign ministers at a summit in Bangkok.

South Korean and Japanese officials are ignoring the Americans. On Monday, Seoul said that not only was it ending a preferential trading partnership with Tokyo, but it was also naming Japan as the first nation on a new list of countries deemed to have bad export practices. Earlier this month, Japan announced that South Korea was no longer a preferred trading partner.

“By failing to act and assume leadership in the region, Trump is allowing nations with long, complicated histories to fall back into traditional rivalries,” said Jean H. Lee, a Korea expert at the Wilson Center.

“The more these nations feel the United States is an unreliable partner,” she added, “the more they will feel compelled to defend themselves. I’m already starting to hear growing calls in South Korea for their own nuclear weapons.”

In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pushed ahead with what appears to be a yearslong plan by Hindu nationalist politicians to control Kashmir, a majority-Muslim region.

Some Indian analysts say Mr. Modi might have accelerated the move because of remarks made by Mr. Trump after his meeting last month with Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan. Mr. Trump said that Mr. Modi had asked Mr. Trump earlier if he could mediate the Kashmir dispute. “If I can help, I would love to be a mediator,” Mr. Trump said.

That is a position welcomed by Pakistan, while India opposes outside involvement. India’s Ministry of External Affairs denied that Mr. Modi had any such conversation with Mr. Trump. Then on Aug. 5, the Indian government revoked Kashmir’s special status and began arresting top Kashmiri politicians — a complete rejection of Mr. Trump’s offer of mediation.

“There’s more the United States should do,” Asad Majeed Khan, Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, said in an interview on Monday. “The United States is perhaps the only country that can make a difference.”

John J. Sullivan, the deputy secretary of state, is traveling to India this week for meetings planned before the outbreak of the Kashmir crisis. It is unclear what he will say. Mr. Burns, his predecessor, said, “Modi’s India seems unfazed by any American concerns over the potential for escalation.”

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Japan Posts Surprising Growth, but Economic Threats Loom

TOKYO — Japan’s growth showed surprising strength in the three months that ended in June, but the country faces its most serious economic challenges in years.

Japan’s economy, the third largest in the world behind the United States and China, grew at an annualized rate of 1.8 percent in the second quarter of 2019, according to data released on Friday by the country’s cabinet. The figure exceeded economists’ expectations, which had been tempered by slowing global demand.

The results followed a growth spurt in the first quarter, at a revised rate of 2.8 percent, a phenomenon that many economists saw as a statistical fluke stemming from a drop in imports that enhanced the bottom line.

Friday’s report suggested Japan still has significant strengths despite a worsening global situation. Its consumers are spending and its businesses are investing, both healthy signs for a country with a population that is aging and whose numbers are shrinking.

But Japan is steeling itself for a run of economic challenges. Trade wars and slowing exports have weighed heavily on growth. Economists worry that an increase in the national consumption tax, slated for October, could tip the country into recession.

Whether that will happen remains a big question. Japan, which fell into a deep economic funk in the 1990s, has been performing above expectations for years. The turnaround followed the 2012 election of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who introduced a program of loose monetary policy, heavy government spending and changes aimed at expanding work force participation and loosening up an often sclerotic corporate culture.

Since then, Japan has enjoyed modest growth — broken only by a dip into recession in 2014 — defying critics who predicted it would be crushed by its steep public debts and anemic inflation, which erodes corporate profits.

Much of that success was underwritten by booming demand from a surging Chinese economy. As the global economic outlook dims, it is not clear how much longer Japan’s streak can be sustained.

Exports have steadily declined since December, and companies in key industries from autos to electronics have reported huge drops in profit after declining sales to China and weakened demand in the United States and Europe.

Japan’s electronics firms are major suppliers of components for high-end electronics to China, where factory workers transform them into products that are then shipped across the globe. But sluggish global economic growth has meant less demand for Chinese-made goods.

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Subarus awaiting shipment at a port near Tokyo. Mr. Abe has persuaded President Trump to hold off on a decision to impose duties on Japanese cars.CreditKoji Sasahara/Associated Press

Those problems have been exacerbated by the growing trade war between Washington and Beijing. Japan has so far managed to avoid the worst of President Trump’s tariff threats, with Mr. Abe persuading him to hold off on a decision to impose duties on Japanese automobiles until later this year.

But fears that China could use the value of its currency as a way to strike back at Mr. Trump have unsettled markets. They have led many investors to back Japan’s currency, the yen, which increased in value against other currencies. That could drive up the price of Japanese exports and further weaken demand for the country’s goods, as well as take a bite out of corporate profits.

Making matters worse, Japan’s government set off its own trade war in July when it decided to increase controls on the export to South Korea of certain chemicals used to make advanced electronic components, such as semiconductors and certain kinds of flat screens. Last week, Tokyo drastically expanded the scope of the controls by removing South Korea from a list of countries that enjoy simplified requirements for importing products and materials with potential military uses.

Companies like Samsung and LG, which are pillars of South Korea’s economy, rely on Japanese suppliers for components and materials used in a wide range of products from smartphones to refrigerators. Angry South Koreans responded with a boycott of Japanese goods, while the country’s companies announced that they would begin seeking suppliers outside Japan.

That might have only a temporary effect on Japanese manufacturers, Mr. Arita said, but “its effect on inbound tourism is a reason for concern.”

Economists also fear that the planned increase in Japan’s consumption tax could crush domestic spending. The last such rise, in 2014, derailed a promising growth streak and briefly threw the country into recession.

The impact this time is unlikely to be as severe, said Kazuyoshi Nakata, senior economist at Mitsubishi UFJ Research & Consulting, but “there’s a possibility” that the economy could shrink in the last three months of the year.

In the nearer term, the economy could get a boost this quarter as consumers buy big-ticket items hoping to get out ahead of the rise.

Given its challenges, the country’s economy has been remarkably resilient, said Izumi Devalier, chief Japan economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

“For a very export-driven economy, it’s actually holding up pretty well,” Ms. Devalier said. “Given the global collapse of exports, you’d expect Japan to be doing much worse.”

She added, “The big question going forward: Is there a straw that breaks that camel’s back?”

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Spiraling Trade Tensions Threaten Economy as Trump Pressures China

WASHINGTON — Global trade tensions escalated this week as the United States renewed its tariff war with China, sending major stock indexes tumbling as fears of an economic slowdown rattled investors around the world.

The S&P 500 index had its worst week of trading this year, as shares on exchanges from Tokyo to London fell on Friday — one day after President Trump announced new tariffs on another $300 billion worth of Chinese imports following stalled negotiations. Beijing’s response was swift and loud.

“China’s position is very clear that if U.S. wishes to talk, then we will talk,” Zhang Jun, China’s new ambassador to the United Nations, said Friday. “If they want to fight, then we will fight.”

As the two sides appeared to drift further from a deal, Japan and South Korea veered toward their own trade confrontation on Friday, injecting greater uncertainty into the region.

The disputes could exacerbate fears of a global economic slowdown and threaten to crimp the United States’ economic expansion, its longest on record. The European Central Bank is preparing to try to bolster the eurozone economy to help weather the slowdown in growth, while China has experienced its slowest economic growth in 27 years. On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the first time in over a decade to get ahead of possible downturns.

New hiring data released Friday showed the United States economy continued to chug along, with employers adding 164,000 jobs in July. But there were signs of cooling in the job market, complicating matters as the trade war begins to reshape the economy in ways that could run counter to Mr. Trump’s goals of strengthening it.

The Commerce Department announced Friday that the trade deficit with China fell in the first six months of the year compared with a year earlier, and the country fell from being the United States’ largest trading partner to being its third, after Mexico and Canada. However, the overall trade deficit increased. American exports of goods and services to the rest of the world were flat from the year before, while imports from the rest of the world grew.

In a campaign rally in Cincinnati on Thursday, the president was unbowed with his strategy.

“Until such time as there is a deal, we will be taxing the hell out of China,” Mr. Trump told a cheering crowd.

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“Until such time as there is a deal, we will be taxing the hell out of China,” Mr. Trump said at a campaign rally in Cincinnati on Thursday.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

“We definitely will take whatever necessary countermeasures to protect our fundamental right, and we also urge the United States to come back to the right track in finding the right solution through the right way” said Mr. Zhang, China’s U.N. ambassador.

After a series of missteps and misunderstandings, the United States and China appear to be nowhere close to a trade agreement at a time when trade barriers remain in place with other American partners. Mr. Trump’s rewrite of the North American Free Trade Agreement is still stalled in Congress, awaiting the support of Democrats. His threat of auto tariffs has not yet persuaded Japan or Europe to sign a trade deals with the United States, as he intended. And the European Union, India, China, Turkey and others have responded to Mr. Trump’s aggressive trade tactics by putting their own retaliatory tariffs on American products.

If the president’s newly threatened tariffs go into effect, the United States will have imposed levies on all of the goods it imports from China, which totaled $539.7 billion last year.

Mr. Trump said Friday that the new tariffs would go into effect on Sept. 1, leaving a window for the United States and China to try to work out their differences. But that appears to be a difficult task. Negotiators from the two countries continue to disagree over how the agreement would be enshrined in China’s laws, how many of Mr. Trump’s tariffs on China would be removed, and how many American goods China would purchase.

[You might feel the pinch of this round of tariffs. Here’s how.]

The president and his advisers insist the strategy is necessary to take on China’s long record of unfair trade practices, but the tariffs are taking a toll.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index fell 1.3 percent on Friday, and the Dow Jones industrial average dipped 0.4 percent. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.85 percent, its lowest level since 2016, in a sign of economic pessimism.

Myron Brilliant, executive vice president and head of international affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said that the president’s additional tariffs “will only inflict greater pain on American businesses, farmers, workers and consumers, and undermine an otherwise strong U.S. economy.”

“We are deeply disappointed that the two sides missed the opportunity in May to address the substantive disagreements between them and have not yet reached a comprehensive, enforceable agreement,” Mr. Brilliant said.

China has vowed to retaliate against American actions, but it remains unclear how exactly it would respond. Because many more goods flow from China to the United States than the other direction, China has not been willing or able to match Mr. Trump’s tariffs dollar for dollar.

But company executives say the Chinese government has used other painful methods to retaliate against them — surprise inspections, rejections for licenses and China’s move to construct a list of “unreliable entities” that Beijing has threatened to take action against. Beijing could also encourage a boycott of American goods or direct its state-owned companies to stop purchasing, for example, American soybeans or Boeing airplanes.

Steven Mnuchin, left, the Treasury secretary; Robert Lighthizer, the United States trade representative; and Vice Premier Liu He of China in Shanghai after trade talks stalled this week.CreditPool photo by Ng Han Guan

The United States-China trade dispute is not the only conflict that threatens global growth.

On Friday, Japan increased its controls over a broad swath of exports to South Korea, deepening a political standoff that has plunged relations to their lowest point in decades.

Japan said it would remove South Korea from a “white list” of countries that receive preferential treatment in importing Japanese products, a move that could slow supply chains in the technology industry.

South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in, threatened retaliation. “If Japan intentionally hurts our economy, it will also have to suffer big damage,” Mr. Moon said.

With the specter of the China conflict as a backdrop, Mr. Trump on Friday promoted his trade record in an event in the White House’s Roosevelt Room, where he announced that his administration had secured new access for American cattle ranchers to the European market. The agreement could triple the amount of beef that the United States can export duty-free to the European Union over the next seven years, to a value of $420 million, the United States trade representative said in a statement.

During the event, Mr. Trump paused to compliment the hats of the assembled cattle ranchers before lauding the new agreement as a “tremendous victory” for American farmers and European consumers.

“My administration is standing up for our farmers and ranchers like never before,” the president said. “We’re protecting our farmers. We’re doing it in many ways, including with China. You may have read a little bit about China lately.”

The announcement is welcome news for American beef producers who have found themselves pushed out of markets as Japan, Australia, Canada, the European Union and other countries have written new trade deals among themselves in recent years. But the limited agreement is unlikely to do much to distract from the uncertainty and volatility that Mr. Trump has stoked by pushing American trading relationships to their limits.

Mr. Trump suggested Friday that he would continue to pursue the type of trade policy that resulted in the agreement with the E.U. — one, he argued, that came about because of his tough trade posture, not in spite of it.

“Look, the E.U. has tremendous barriers to us, but we just broke the first barrier,” Mr. Trump said. “And maybe we broke it because of the fact that if I don’t get what we want, I’ll put auto tariffs. Because it’s all about the automobile, and it’s all about the tariffs.”

“If I don’t get what I want, I’ll have no choice but maybe to do that,” he added.

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