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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Trump, Donald J" (Page 25)

What We Know About Iran Shooting Down a U.S. Drone

Westlake Legal Group whatweknow-facebookJumbo What We Know About Iran Shooting Down a U.S. Drone United States International Relations United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J Strait of Hormuz Persian Gulf Iran Gulf of Oman Drones (Pilotless Planes)

Iran shot down an American spy drone early Thursday. On that, the United States and Iran agree.

The crucial matter, though, is whether that drone ventured into Iranian airspace, as Tehran asserts, or whether it stayed in international airspace, as the United States asserts.

  • The drone was unmanned and unarmed. The RQ-4A Global Hawk drone is essentially a high-altitude robot used for surveillance over the ocean and coastal areas.

  • The drone was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile. Both United States Central Command and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps say the high-altitude drone was shot down by a surface-to-air missile. That is a demonstration by the Iranians that they have that capability, something the United States will take note of in the future.

  • This escalates the crisis in the Persian Gulf. Ever since President Trump pulled the United States out of a nuclear agreement between Iran and five other nations last year, and hit Iran with sanctions that have largely choked off their oil exports, the two adversaries have gone back and forth toward increased conflict. The United States says that last week Iran attacked two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, a charge that Iran denies.

  • Did the drone venture into Iranian airspace? This is key. In the battle for global public opinion, and more important, for rallying allies, this question will have to be answered. So far, the United States has not given a precise location for the drone beyond saying it was over the Strait of Hormuz.

Where U.S. Said Drone Was Shot Down

Source: Department of Defense

  • Why did Iran shoot down the drone? There are many theories here, and some depend on whether the drone actually ventured into Iranian airspace. If it did, then it was the Americans, and not the Iranians, who were being provocative. If the drone was in international airspace, then Iran just raised the stakes significantly.

  • What happens next? Mr. Trump is meeting with top officials at the White House to determine how to respond. Watch this closely: The American response will probably provide a clue as to whether the drone was in Iranian airspace or over international waters.

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Senate Blocks Trump Administration’s Arms Sales to Gulf Nations in Bipartisan Rebuke

WASHINGTON — The Senate voted to block the sale of billions of dollars of munitions to Saudi Arabia on Thursday, in a sharp and bipartisan rebuke of the Trump administration’s attempt to circumvent Congress to allow the exports by declaring an emergency over Iran.

In the first of a series of three back-to-back votes, Republicans joined Democrats to register their growing anger with the administration’s use of emergency power to cut lawmakers out of national security decisions, as well as the White House’s unflagging support for the Saudis despite congressional pressure to punish Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after the killing last October of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

No other foreign policy issue has created as large a rift between Mr. Trump and Congress, and the vote to block the arms sales deepens the divide. It is the second time in months that members of President Trump’s own party have publicly opposed his foreign policy, with both the House and Senate approving bipartisan legislation this spring to cut off military assistance to Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen using the 1973 War Powers Act, only to see it vetoed in April.

While the Democratic-controlled House is also expected to block the sales, Mr. Trump has pledged to veto the legislation, and it is unlikely that either chamber could muster enough support to override the president’s veto.

“This vote is a vote for the powers of this institution to be able to continue to have a say on one of the most critical elements of U.S. foreign policy and national security,” said Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee and lead sponsor of the resolutions of disapproval. “To not let that be undermined by some false emergency and to preserve that institutional right, regardless of who sits in the White House.”

The White House announced the sales late last month, and invoked an emergency provision in the Arms Export Control Act to allow American companies to sell $8.1 billion worth of munitions in 22 pending transfers to the three Arab nations. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are waging an air war in Yemen that has come under sharp criticism from Congress and human rights organizations.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_154916613_ed9986e6-bdf8-48b5-ac5c-a061dc8388cf-articleLarge Senate Blocks Trump Administration’s Arms Sales to Gulf Nations in Bipartisan Rebuke United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Senate Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman (1985- ) McConnell, Mitch Khashoggi, Jamal Graham, Lindsey Arms Trade

People inspected the damage after a neighborhood in Sana’a, Yemen, was hit by a Saudi-led airstrike last month.CreditYahya Arhab/EPA, via Shutterstock

Members of Congress from both parties have been holding up arms sales from American companies to Persian Gulf nations and trying to end American military support for the Saudi-led coalition that is fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen, which has resulted in what the United Nations calls the world’s worst man-made humanitarian disaster.

By declaring an emergency over Iran, the administration was able to override those holds.

“If we let this emergency declaration go without protest, without a vote, I don’t know that we’re ever getting the power to oversee arms sales back as a body,” said Senator Christopher S. Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, and one of the authors of the resolution.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had pushed hard for the emergency designation, over the objections of career Foreign Service officers and legislators, arguing the sales would support allies like Saudi Arabia to counter Iran and its partner Arab militias — though some of the munitions would take years to produce and deliver.

Some Senate Republicans endorsed the administration’s position on Thursday, arguing that rejecting the arms sales would be overly blunt with unintended consequences at a time when tensions with Iran have escalated.

The question the Senate will consider, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader said, “is whether we’ll lash out at an imperfect partner and undercut our own efforts to build cooperation, check Iran, and achieve other important goals, or whether we’ll keep our imperfect partners close and use our influence.”

But the administration’s argument ultimately fell flat even for some of the president’s closest allies, like Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, who co-sponsored the legislation with Mr. Menendez.

“While I understand that Saudi Arabia is a strategic ally, the behavior of Mohammed bin Salman cannot be ignored,” Mr. Graham said. “Now is not the time to do business as usual with Saudi Arabia. I am also very concerned about the precedent these arms sales would set by having the administration go around legitimate concerns of the Congress.”

The original legislation Mr. Menendez and Mr. Graham introduced would have forced senators to vote on 22 separate resolutions of disapproval, one vote for each arms sale. But a deal struck with Mr. McConnell narrowed that number down to three — and also ensured that the Foreign Relations Committee will take up a bill sponsored by Mr. Menendez that would curtail the ability of the president to use emergency authority to sell arms.

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Iran’s Gambit: Force the World to Rein In Trump

The Trump administration has portrayed Iran’s recent moves, including its threat to resume stockpiling low-enriched uranium in violation of the nuclear agreement, as proof that Iran is an implacable rogue state, bent on acquiring nuclear weapons, that can be contained only through the threat of military force.

Iran has indeed often acted as a regional provocateur, but in this case some nonpartisan experts on Iran and on United States policy in the Middle East see something different.

They say Iran appears to be pursuing a provocative but calibrated strategy to counter what its leaders see as a potentially existential American threat — as severe economic sanctions strangle the economy and cut off vital oil revenues — as well as to preserve the nuclear agreement.

In doing so, Iran is falling back on tactics associated with its reputation as a rogue state, including asymmetric military escalation, like threatening oil shipments, though Iran denies American accusations that it attacked tankers last week, or the downing of an American drone on Thursday (in disputed circumstances), and nuclear blackmail. It is doing so, analysts say, because such tactics are part of the basis of Iranian power and because the United States has closed off other avenues for responding.

“Iran lashing out is a way for it to show the rest of the world, ‘Look, we’ve been acting in a relatively restrained manner in the year since Trump pulled out of the deal. But now we can’t,’ ” said Dina Esfandiary, a Harvard University expert on Middle Eastern security issues.

She said Tehran had settled on a “two-prong strategy of showing that they, too, can apply pressure by being a pain but also saying, ‘We’re willing to talk.’ ”

And because Iran cannot defy American might on its own, it may be hoping to coerce European and Asian nations to rein in the United States.

[On Thursday, Iran shot down a U.S. surveillance drone, which it says was flying over Iranian airspace.]

The result, the experts say, is an Iranian strategy, rational but risky, that increases the likelihood of the nuclear agreement’s collapse and even of outright war in the hopes of compelling the world to avert both.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 20inti-iran2-articleLarge Iran’s Gambit: Force the World to Rein In Trump Uranium Trump, Donald J Persian Gulf Nuclear Weapons McGurk, Brett H Iran European Council on Foreign Relations Europe Embargoes and Sanctions

An Iranian technician at the uranium conversion facility just outside the city of Isfahan in 2007. Iran agreed in 2015 to limit its stockpile of energy-grade uranium.CreditVahid Salemi/Associated Press

Iran’s threat to stockpile low-enriched uranium can be seen as a microcosm of its apparent strategy, and of the predicament facing the country.

Iran had agreed, as part of the 2015 nuclear pact, to keep its stockpile of energy-grade uranium, enriched just enough for use in power plants, at or below 300 kilograms, or around 660 pounds.

In return for this and other restrictions, Iran received a reduction in the economic sanctions that had devastated its economy and, implicitly, a lowering of the threat of conflict with the United States, theoretically making a nuclear weapons program less appealing.

The Trump administration has removed these incentives. It has reimposed sanctions, put pressure on other countries to break from the deal and has increased military pressure on Iran, most recently by deploying an additional 1,000 American troops to the region.

The administration has also curtailed Iran’s options for disposing of its excess energy-grade uranium. In May, it revoked authorization for Iran to sell the uranium abroad, as it had done under the nuclear agreement. Though Iran has largely disposed of the uranium by reprocessing it, the revocation underscored perceptions that Iran was being goaded into violating the agreement.

As the costs of keeping the nuclear agreement in place rose, Iran came to bear all of its obligations with ever-fewer of its upsides — along with overwhelming economic and military pressure from the United States.

At first, Tehran managed those costs in the apparent hope that European diplomats eager for peace and Asian economies hungry for oil would step in.

But the country’s calculus appeared to change in recent weeks, said Ellie Geranmayeh, an Iran expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations. Its recent provocations, she said, appear aimed at pushing those burdens out to European and Asian governments.

“Creating a sense of urgency among the Europeans, as well as Chinese and Russians” is meant to compel those governments to rein in the United States on Iran’s behalf, she said.

So, for example, implied Iranian threats against oil tanker traffic in the Persian Gulf — whether or not Iran was behind the attacks on tankers there — would mostly harm the Asian and European economies that rely on those shipments.

It may also be a warning to American allies in the Middle East.

“This is a direct message to the Saudis and the Emiratis that if Iran is being squeezed, its share of the oil market is being squeezed, then other major oil suppliers are also going to feel the squeeze,” Ms. Geranmayeh said.

“They could be hoping that the Emiratis and Saudis could press the U.S. administration to cool down its strategy,” she added.

This strategy also fits with Iran’s threat to expand its stockpile of energy-grade uranium.

The threat puts credibility to Iran’s argument that it cannot be expected to deliver its half of the deal unreciprocated in perpetuity.

And it appears calculated to create a crisis just large enough to pressure European and Asian powers to step in and rein in the United States, Ms. Geranmayeh said, but small enough to be easily defused.

It would preserve Iranian adherence with what arms control experts consider the deal’s most important provisions, such as inspections of nuclear facilities and prohibitions on weapons-grade uranium. Tehran, far from gathering the nuclear material in secret, announced it to the world weeks in advance. Experts say it could be easily reversed.

In a Twitter post, Gérard Araud, until recently the longtime French ambassador to Washington, called Iran’s threat, “A reaction limited not to antagonize the Europeans and not to give a pretext for a military intervention,” adding, “Iran was politically obliged to react sooner or later to the U.S. sanctions.”

Still, even if Iran says its goal is to preserve international restrictions on the very program it is threatening to expand, the move implies a threat to return to the pre-agreement days of nuclear blackmail and brinkmanship.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talks to reporters about the attacks on tankers in the Persian Gulf area. The United States has blamed Iran.CreditWin Mcnamee/Getty Images

Supporters of Mr. Trump’s approach have argued that confrontation with Iran was inevitable, given the country’s disruptive behavior in the wider Middle East, making Mr. Trump wise to try to force Tehran’s capitulation.

But critics say that undermining the nuclear agreement only increases the country’s incentives to project power abroad.

Brett McGurk, until recently the Trump administration’s presidential envoy to the coalition fighting the Islamic State, warned earlier this month in Foreign Affairs that American strategy was all but forcing Iran to escalate in response.

“Ever-increasing sanctions” and other American pressures on Iran, he wrote, offered “no plausible on-ramp for Iran to enter negotiations” and, “if carried to their logical conclusion,” pointed to regime change.

Mr. Trump has invited talks with Iran’s leaders, and though he has said he does not seek regime change, some of his top officials have, and it remains unclear who has the final say. The possibility would give Iranian leaders every incentive to fight back, rather than back down and invite their own destruction.

Even if Iranians conclude that regime change proponents are bluffing — and past American hints at a possible military intervention in Venezuela have so far come to nothing — sanctions still put the country at severe risk.

In short, experts said, the United States, by its strategy and its sheer power, has closed off virtually all peaceful avenues for Iran to respond.

Unlike China, Iran can hardly counteract American economic pressure by putting its own sanctions or tariffs on the United States. Nor can Iran hope to match the United States diplomatically, as it has no seat on the United Nations Security Council and no network of global allies.

While some countries have called Washington the irresponsible party in the crisis, Tehran has found that persuading the world to blame the United States is not enough. European and Asian governments have their own feuds with the Trump administration and have struggled even with matters that concern them directly.

By increasing the stakes of the crisis in the Gulf region, Iran is hoping to force it onto global agendas, experts said. But it is risky, akin to a game of chicken in which the strategy is not to compel the other side to blink, but to make bystanders feel so endangered by the looming collision that they will intervene.

“From the perspective of officials in Iran, they tried being reasonable and calling for dialogue in maintaining the deal,” Ms. Esfandiary said. “They’ve said again and again, ‘If you were in our shoes, what would you do?’ ”

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A Trio of Unlikely Partners: Kim, Xi and Trump

WASHINGTON — President Trump revels in his friendships with the leaders of China and North Korea, but can seem jealous when his two friends spend time with each other. He once griped that President Xi Jinping of China encouraged a visiting Kim Jong-un of North Korea to take a harder line in his nuclear diplomacy with the United States.

So when the Chinese president announced a surprise visit to North Korea this week, Mr. Trump reacted by rushing to nail down his own date with Mr. Xi — an “extended meeting” in Osaka, Japan, a week later. “Had a very good telephone conversation with President Xi,” an eager Mr. Trump said on Twitter.

It was only the latest move in what has become a kind of strongmen’s dance, involving a trio of unlikely partners whose motives for getting together are deeply divergent but whose interests occasionally harmonize. Their phone calls, letters and face-to-face meetings reveal how the power balance among the three fluctuates, depending on the geopolitical winds and their own domestic political circumstances.

Mr. Trump’s call with Mr. Xi — initiated by Mr. Trump, according to China’s state media — suggested he did not want to be left on the sidelines in a negotiation that he views as one of his marquee foreign-policy projects. But it also turbocharged the stock market on the day the president formally opened his re-election bid, since investors viewed it as a sign that the United States and China might finally settle their debilitating trade war.

If anything, Mr. Xi faces even greater pressure than Mr. Trump from the tariffs, not to mention the angry protesters who have taken to the streets of Hong Kong. And for Mr. Kim, who is still nursing the wounds of his failed summit meeting with Mr. Trump in February, the Chinese president’s long-sought visit, which was set to begin Thursday, is another step in his return to the world stage.

Given all these crosscurrents, it seemed inconceivable that the timing of Mr. Xi’s visit to Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, was accidental. Administration officials said they expected the Chinese leader to try to make headway with Mr. Kim on the nuclear talks and then use that as leverage with Mr. Trump in the trade negotiations, when they meet at the Group of 20 gathering in Osaka.

Mr. Xi himself stoked those expectations, publishing a rare article on Wednesday in the North Korean ruling party’s official newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, in which he said China was willing to draw up a “grand plan” with the North Koreans that would “realize permanent peace” on the Korean Peninsula.

“If Xi can’t say something to Trump on trade, it would suggest that his visit to Pyongyang was for naught,” said Jonathan D. Pollack, an expert on China and North Korea at the Brookings Institution. “Xi, like everyone else in Asia, is trying to reposition himself in light of a very unpredictable American president.”

Yet on both fronts, the Chinese president faces an uphill battle.

Mr. Kim’s talks with Mr. Trump in Hanoi, Vietnam, broke down after it was clear there was a chasm between the North Korean and American positions — one that China can hardly bridge.

And while there are also signs that the trade war is causing economic damage in the United States — particularly among farmers and manufacturing workers — the president himself seems sanguine that tariffs are a political winner, allowing him to continue to drive a hard bargain with China.

There is no question Mr. Xi’s position has weakened since May 2018, when he played host to Mr. Kim in the Chinese city of Dalian, a month before Mr. Trump met the North Korean leader for the first time in Singapore.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_156690894_2404890c-32a3-4cdc-a42d-04eb50e250b2-articleLarge A Trio of Unlikely Partners: Kim, Xi and Trump Xi Jinping United States International Relations United States Trump, Donald J North Korea Kim Jong-un China

President Trump departing Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews. Mr. Trump reacted to the Chinese president’s surprise visit to North Korea by rushing to nail down his own date with Mr. Xi.CreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

At that time, Mr. Trump had yet to impose tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese exports. And he was counting on Mr. Xi’s support to give teeth to United Nations sanctions against the North. Mr. Trump said he suspected that Mr. Xi, whom he described as a “world-class poker player,” had advised Mr. Kim to play hardball, in part to give Beijing leverage in its trade talks with Washington.

“There was a different attitude by the North Korean folks after that meeting,” he said. “I can’t say that I’m happy about it.”

Now, Mr. Xi is dealing with a Chinese economy that is flagging, in part because Mr. Trump imposed the tariffs, and an unprecedented show of defiance in Hong Kong, where the Chinese government has been blindsided by enormous demonstrations against the local government’s proposed extradition law.

That, as much as any competitiveness with Mr. Trump, could explain Mr. Xi’s decision to become the first Chinese leader to visit Pyongyang in 14 years.

“He’s looking for ways to bolster his standing,” said Kurt M. Campbell, who served as assistant secretary of state for East Asian affairs under President Barack Obama. “It does secure his stature and standing as a leader, and there aren’t many other places he can do that.”

Mr. Xi, analysts said, will scarcely relish his visit to North Korea. He is staying barely two days and avoided scheduling the trip on dates that would have had greater historic resonance, like June 25, the date in 1950 that North Korea invaded the South, or Oct. 19, the date in 1950 when China entered the war on the North’s side.

“There’s not a lot of love here, to say the least,” Mr. Pollack said. “In that sense, it is something of a minimalist visit, though Kim will try to milk it as much as possible, and Xi might try to milk it for his own purposes.”

While Mr. Xi has been far less fulsome than Mr. Trump about his personal relationship with Mr. Kim, the United States and China are largely in sync on North Korea. Both want Mr. Kim to avoid provocations like nuclear tests or missile launches. Both have supported draconian sanctions as a way to pressure him. American officials have said they believe Mr. Xi can play a constructive role with Mr. Kim.

What is less clear is how much good will that will buy Mr. Xi with Mr. Trump on trade. Early in his presidency, Mr. Trump offered to delay some of his most aggressive moves as long as China was helpful in pressuring the North. But after Singapore, where he claimed to have developed his own rapport with Mr. Kim, he abandoned that linkage, imposing a 25 percent tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Mr. Trump’s relationship with Mr. Kim has waxed and waned as well. The North Korean leader recently sent Mr. Trump a letter that the president described as “beautiful.” But it contained no proposals for how to restart the stalled negotiations over its nuclear program.

Mr. Trump’s rally on Tuesday in Orlando may have offered a glimpse of his current feelings for his two friends. He said nothing about Mr. Kim, with whom, he once told supporters, he had fallen in love. But he did say he had spoken at length with Mr. Xi — “terrific president, a great leader of China.”

“We’ll see what happens,” he added, “but we are going to have a good deal and a fair deal or we’re not going to have a deal at all, and that’s O.K., too.”

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Deutsche Bank Faces Criminal Investigation for Potential Money-Laundering Lapses

Federal authorities are investigating whether Deutsche Bank complied with laws meant to stop money laundering and other crimes, the latest government examination of potential misconduct at one of the world’s largest and most troubled banks, according to seven people familiar with the inquiry.

The investigation includes a review of Deutsche Bank’s handling of so-called suspicious activity reports that its employees prepared about possibly problematic transactions, including some linked to President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, according to people close to the bank and others familiar with the matter.

The criminal investigation into Deutsche Bank is one element of several separate but overlapping government examinations into how illicit funds flow through the American financial system, said five of the people, who were not authorized to speak publicly about the inquiries. Several other banks are also being investigated.

The F.B.I. recently contacted the lawyer for a Deutsche Bank whistle-blower, Tammy McFadden, who publicly criticized the company’s anti-money-laundering systems, according to the lawyer, Brian McCafferty.

Ms. McFadden, a former compliance specialist at the bank, told The New York Times last month that she had flagged transactions involving Mr. Kushner’s family company in 2016, but that bank managers decided not to file the suspicious activity report she prepared. Some of her colleagues had similar experiences in 2017 involving transactions in the accounts of Mr. Trump’s legal entities, although it was not clear whether the F.B.I. was examining the bank’s handling of those transactions.

The same federal agent who contacted Ms. McFadden’s lawyer also participated in interviews of the son of a deceased Deutsche Bank executive, William S. Broeksmit. Agents told the son, Val Broeksmit, that the Deutsche Bank investigation began with an inquiry into the bank’s work for Russian money launderers and had expanded to cover a broader array of potential misconduct at the bank and at other financial institutions. One element is the banks’ possible roles in a vast money-laundering scandal at the Danish lender Danske Bank, according to people briefed on the investigation.

The broader scope of the investigations and many details of precisely what is under scrutiny are unclear, and it is not known whether the inquiries will result in criminal charges. In addition to the F.B.I., the Justice Department’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section in Washington and the United States attorney’s offices in Manhattan and Brooklyn are conducting the investigations. Representatives for the agencies declined to comment.

Deutsche Bank has said that it is cooperating with government investigations and that it has been taking steps to improve its anti-money-laundering systems.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 00deutsche3-articleLarge Deutsche Bank Faces Criminal Investigation for Potential Money-Laundering Lapses United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Politics and Government Money Laundering McFadden, Tammy Kushner, Jared Federal Bureau of Investigation Deutsche Bank AG Banking and Financial Institutions

Tammy McFadden said Deutsche Bank managers had declined to send the government a suspicious activity report she wrote.CreditWillie Jr. Allen for The New York Times

Even so, the governmental scrutiny — from regulators, members of Congress and now the Justice Department and F.B.I. — has been a drag on the bank’s stock price, which is hovering near historic lows because of investors’ doubts about its future.

The congressional investigations are focused on Deutsche Bank’s close relationship with Mr. Trump and his family. Over the past two decades, it was the only mainstream financial institution consistently willing to do business with Mr. Trump, who had a history of defaulting on loans. The bank lent him a total of more than $2 billion, about $350 million of which was outstanding when he was sworn in as president.

Two House committees have subpoenaed Deutsche Bank for records related to Mr. Trump and his family, including records connected to the bank’s handling of potentially suspicious transactions. The president has sued to block Deutsche Bank and Capital One, where he also holds money, from complying with the subpoenas. A federal judge rejected Mr. Trump’s request for an injunction, and the president has appealed that ruling.

The Justice Department has been investigating Deutsche Bank since 2015, when agents were examining its role in laundering billions of dollars for wealthy Russians through a scheme known as mirror trading. Customers would use the bank to convert Russian rubles into dollars and euros via a complicated series of stock trades in Europe and the United States.

In early 2017, federal and state regulators in the United States and British authorities imposed hundreds of millions of dollars in civil penalties on Deutsche Bank for that misconduct, but prosecutors never brought a criminal case against the bank. That led some senior Deutsche Bank executives to believe they were in the clear, according to people familiar with their thinking.

By last fall, though, federal agents were investigating a wider range of anti-money-laundering lapses and other possible misconduct at the bank.

F.B.I. agents met this year with Val Broeksmit, whose father was a senior Deutsche Bank executive who committed suicide in January 2014. Mr. Broeksmit said he had provided the agents with internal bank documents and other materials that he had retrieved from his father’s personal email accounts.

Until his death, William Broeksmit sat on the oversight board of a large Deutsche Bank subsidiary in the United States, Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas, which regulators have criticized for having weak anti-money-laundering systems.

Many of the bank’s anti-money-laundering operations are based in Jacksonville, Fla., where Ms. McFadden was one of hundreds of employees vetting transactions that computer systems flagged as potentially suspicious.

Ms. McFadden worked in Deutsche Bank’s offices in Jacksonville, Fla. Current employees there have discussed the possibility of the building’s being raided by federal agents.CreditWillie Jr. Allen for The New York Times

Ms. McFadden told The Times that she had warned in summer 2016 about transactions by the Kushner Companies involving money being sent to Russian individuals. Other Deutsche Bank employees prepared reports in 2017 flagging transactions involving legal entities associated with Mr. Trump, including his now-defunct charitable foundation, according to current and former bank employees. In both instances, the suspicious activity reports were never filed with the Treasury Department.

Deutsche Bank officials have said that the reports were handled appropriately and that it is not uncommon for managers to overrule employees and opt not to file suspicious activity reports with the government.

There is no indication that Kushner Companies is under investigation. The company said any allegations regarding its relationship with Deutsche Bank that involved money laundering were false. A Trump Organization spokeswoman said that she had no knowledge of any Deutsche Bank transactions being flagged.

The federal Bank Secrecy Act requires financial institutions to alert the government if they suspect that transactions involve criminal proceeds or are being used for illegal purposes. Banks can face civil or criminal penalties for failing to file reports about transactions that are found to be illegal. In recent years, banks like JPMorgan Chase and HSBC have incurred such penalties.

Banks argue that when they err on the side of reporting potential problems, they end up flooding the government with false leads.

Former Deutsche Bank employees, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told The Times that the company had pushed them to rush their reviews of transactions and that managers sometimes created obstacles that discouraged them from filing suspicious activity reports.

Deutsche Bank has scrambled to toughen its anti-money-laundering procedures.

To address complaints about inadequate staffing, it brought in contractors to supplement its Jacksonville work force, although some employees said that the contractors were inexperienced and lacked the appropriate training.

Deutsche Bank also recently sent letters to hundreds of companies, warning that they could be cut off from the bank’s services if they did not swiftly provide up-to-date information about the sources of their money and the names of their business partners, according to bank employees who saw the letters. Deutsche Bank officials said the letters, first reported by the Financial Times, were part of their efforts to comply with “know your customer” rules, a crucial component of any bank’s anti-money-laundering efforts.

In Jacksonville, Deutsche Bank’s anti-financial-crime staff works in a white, three-story building surrounded by palm trees. The F.B.I. has a field office just down the road, clearly visible from the bank’s campus.

Bank employees recently have taken to joking that when the F.B.I. raids their offices, they will be able to see the agents coming.

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Fed Holds Rates Steady but Opens Door to a Cut

Westlake Legal Group 19DC-FED-01-facebookJumbo Fed Holds Rates Steady but Opens Door to a Cut Xi Jinping United States Economy Trump, Donald J Taxation Recession and Depression Powell, Jerome H Interest Rates Inflation (Economics) Federal Taxes (US) Credit and Debt Banking and Financial Institutions

WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve officials left rates unchanged at their June meeting but signaled that they were prepared to cut if trade tensions worsen and risks to the American economy intensify.

While the Fed still expects a strong labor market and inflation near its goal, “uncertainties about this outlook have increased,” according to the central bank’s post-meeting statement, released Wednesday. Fed officials marked down their assessment of overall economic activity, calling it “moderate” instead of May’s “solid.”

Fed Chairman Jerome H. Powell, in a news conference following the meeting, pointed to President Trump’s renewed trade war with China and softening global growth as reasons the Fed may shift away from it’s “patient” stance and move toward a rate cut in the coming months.

“In the weeks since our last meeting the crosscurrents have re-emerged,” he said, “raising concerns about the strength of the global economy.”

The policy-setting committee is increasingly divided. While the central official among the Fed’s 17 policymakers expects to leave rates unchanged this year, a growing number of decision makers expect to reduce rates.

And for the first time during his tenure, Mr. Powell did not have a unanimous vote on a decision to hold rates steady. James Bullard, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, dissented, indicating he wanted to lower rates at this meeting.

“A number of those who wrote down a flat rate path agree that the” case for additional accommodation has “strengthened” since May, Mr. Powell said. “We will use our tools as appropriate to sustain the expansion.”

The decision to hold rates steady came despite ongoing pressure from President Trump, who on Monday suggested he might demote Mr. Powell if the central bank did not move toward easing rates.

Investors seemed to find little new information in the Fed’s policy statement at 2 p.m. Shortly after the central bank announced its decision to leave rates unchanged, the S&P 500 was up 0.3 percent. Yields on government bonds — which are closely tied to monetary policy — declined, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury note falling to 2.04 percent.

The Fed hasn’t cut rates since the end of 2008, when the Federal Open Market Committee slashed them to near zero in an effort to stoke growth in the depths of the Great Recession. Between late 2015 and the end of last year, officials gradually raised their policy interest rate nine times to help keep the strong economy from overheating.

But Mr. Powell indicated early this year that the Fed was pivoting away from steady increases, adopting a patient stance instead as markets wobbled and growth showed signs of weakening. The federal funds rate is now at 2.25 to 2.5 percent, much lower than it has been in the later years of an economic expansion. That leaves the central bank with less room to cut rates come the next recession.

Congress charges the Fed with maintaining the maximum level of employment consistent with slow and steady inflation, and the central bank targets 2 percent yearly price gains — a level low enough to ward off deflation, which encourages cash hoarding, yet not harmful to consumers. The Fed hasn’t hit that target since formally adopting it in 2012, and inflation expectations have recently shown signs of slipping.

But the Fed’s job in managing the economy has been complicated by Mr. Trump’s trade fights, including a tariff war with China that could either worsen or de-escalate later this month after the president meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Group of 20 summit in Japan. The tensions have heightened uncertainty and may be weighing on business investment.

The Fed noted in its statement on Wednesday that “indicators of business fixed investment have been soft,” and said that “inflation for items other than food and energy are running below 2 percent,” reflecting downgrades to the language it used to describe investment and inflation following the early May meeting.

Against that worsening backdrop, officials indicated that they expected to cut rates next year, reducing the median Fed funds rate forecast to 2.1 percent for 2020.

Policymakers see rates returning to 2.4 percent in 2021 and hovering at 2.5 percent in the longer run, based on the median projection. That’s down from a longer-run expectation of 2.8 percent in March, suggesting the Fed would have even less room to cut rates in future recessions than previously thought.

Fed officials are working against a fraught political backdrop. The central bank is independent of the White House and Mr. Trump appointed Mr. Powell as its head, but the president regularly criticizes the central bank for lifting rates too many times last year. Mr. Trump ramped up those attacks this week, saying that Fed policy was putting the United States on an uneven playing field and hinting that he could consider the unprecedented move of attempting to demote Mr. Powell.

“They’re going to be making an announcement pretty soon, so we’ll see what happens,” Mr. Trump said, when asked by a reporter whether he would try to strip Mr. Powell of his chairmanship. “I want to be given a level playing field, and so far I haven’t been.”

A Fed spokesperson noted that the chairman can only be removed “for cause.” Mr. Powell said in a “60 Minutes” interview earlier this year that “the law is clear that I have a four-year term. And I fully intend to serve it.”

Investors saw a slim chance of a rate cut in June. Before the meeting, they saw an 80 percent chance of a rate cut in July.

The Fed slightly lowered its expectation for long-run sustainable unemployment to 4.2 percent, down from 4.3 percent in March. Officials also soured on inflation: The median one now sees a less-volatile price gauge closing out the year at 1.8 percent and 1.9 percent in 2020. The Fed had previously expected the gauge to hit its 2 percent target by the end of 2019.

Until today, there had never been a dissent under Mr. Powell’s watch — the last time someone voted against a decision was December 2017 under Chairwoman Janet L. Yellen, when the Chicago Fed President Charles Evans and Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari would have preferred easier policy.

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Trump Raises $24.8 Million in 24 Hours, Swamping Democrats’ First-Day Totals

Westlake Legal Group 19trump-fundraising-facebookJumbo Trump Raises $24.8 Million in 24 Hours, Swamping Democrats’ First-Day Totals United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Republican Party Republican National Committee Presidential Election of 2020 Campaign Finance

President Trump’s campaign announced Wednesday that he had raised $24.8 million over 24 hours as he kicked off his re-election bid, an enormous haul that punctuates the financial advantage he is expected to enjoy over his Democratic challengers in 2020.

Mr. Trump’s one-day total was more than any Democratic presidential candidate raised in the entire first quarter of 2019, though it included money that went to joint fund-raising committees with the Republican National Committee. It came as he held a huge rally in Orlando, Fla., on Tuesday night, telling throngs of cheering supporters that his new campaign slogan would be “Keep America Great.”

Democratic strategists have fretted for months that Mr. Trump will spend 2019 building up a large war chest while the 23 Democrats running for president raise far smaller sums and then use that money to bludgeon one another in the primary campaign.

Mr. Trump had already raised nearly $100 million for his re-election effort by the end of March, and had more than $40 million still on hand at that time. His campaign has spent millions of dollars on online advertising on platforms like Facebook and Google to find potential small donors, an investment that appeared to pay off handsomely on Tuesday.

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A spokesman for the R.N.C. said the $24.8 million figure was the total for the Trump campaign and its two joint fund-raising committees with the party, which can accept checks for larger sums. Republicans had organized a day of phone calls to major donors on Tuesday to maximize their fund-raising haul.

All told, $6 million was raised online, with an average contribution of $44; $8 million came from the phone-bank operation run jointly by the campaign and the R.N.C.; and $10.8 million came from larger donors to the R.N.C., a party official said.

One of the financial advantages an incumbent president enjoys is the ability to raise money in larger increments through the party.

Mr. Trump filed papers with the Federal Election Commission for his re-election campaign on Jan. 20, 2017, the day he was inaugurated, but his team considered Tuesday the public kickoff of his 2020 bid.

The single-day take of $24.8 million was nearly quadruple what former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. collected in the 24 hours after he officially declared himself a candidate, $6.3 million. Mr. Biden’s 24-hour total was the best of any Democrat in the race.

In fact, Mr. Trump’s haul was more than Mr. Biden, Senator Bernie Sanders, former Representative Beto O’Rourke, Senator Kamala Harris and Senator Elizabeth Warren raised in their first 24 hours as candidates — combined.

Mr. Sanders raised the most money of any Democrat in the first quarter of this year, $18.2 million, followed by Ms. Harris ($12 million) and Mr. O’Rourke ($9.4 million). Mr. Biden, who entered the race in April, has not yet filed a quarterly fund-raising report but told donors this week that his campaign had raised nearly $20 million so far.

Mr. Trump and his allies celebrated their fund-raising success on Twitter on Wednesday. “Crushing the competition,” wrote Brad Parscale, the president’s campaign manager.

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Fact-Checking Trump’s Orlando Rally: Russia, the Wall and Tax Cuts

Westlake Legal Group 18dc-factcheck-sub-facebookJumbo Fact-Checking Trump’s Orlando Rally: Russia, the Wall and Tax Cuts United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Politics and Government Orlando (Fla)

President Trump officially began his campaign for re-election on Tuesday at a rally in Orlando, Fla., touching on themes and promoting accomplishments that are likely to be staples of his appearances from now until Election Day. Here’s a fact-check of his remarks.

“Nobody’s been tougher on Russia than Donald Trump.”

Whether Mr. Trump has been “tougher” than any other president is subjective. But it’s worth noting that observers of American relations with Russia point to a disconnect between aggressive policies enacted by the Trump administration and not-so-tough language from Mr. Trump himself.

In his resignation letter in December, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis emphasized that his views on “treating allies with respect and also being cleareyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors” — Russia, for example — were not shared by Mr. Trump.

The Trump administration has indeed imposed sanctions, ordered a missile attack on Syria despite Moscow’s opposition and approved arms sales to Ukraine — actions that could be called “tough.”

Yet Mr. Trump himself has repeatedly denied or played down Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, contradicting his own intelligence agencies.

“My personal view is that his assertion would be laughable if it were not so dangerous,” Harley Balzer, a professor emeritus at Georgetown University and a Russia expert, previously told The New York Times.

Withdrawing American troops from Syria, where Mr. Balzer said Russia has accused a humanitarian relief group of being terrorists, “hardly sends a ‘tough’ message.”

This view seems to be shared by President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, who called Mr. Trump’s decision to withdraw American forces from Syria “correct.”

“In September, just before the election, the F.B.I. told President Obama about possible Russian interference and he did nothing because he thought that Hillary Clinton, crooked Hillary was going to win that’s why he did nothing. He did nothing.”

Mr. Trump is free to argue that President Barack Obama did not do enough in response to Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, as some Democrats have. But he is wrong that Mr. Obama did nothing at all.

Privately, Obama administration officials warned Russia against meddling and Mr. Obama confronted Mr. Putin directly at a Group of 20 summit meeting in China before the November 2016 vote. Publicly, intelligence agencies issued a joint statement in October 2016 that blamed Russia for hacked emails released on WikiLeaks and other websites.

After the election, Mr. Obama imposed sanctions on Russia and ejected from the United States 35 people who were suspected of being Russian intelligence operatives.


“We are building the wall. We’re going to have over 400 miles of wall built by the end of next year.”

Mr. Trump is once again mixing projects to replace existing barriers with construction of entirely new sectors of a wall along the southwestern border — and inflating the mileage.

The Customs and Border Protection agency has received funding for 258 miles of barriers: 175 miles from congressional appropriations, 30 miles from a Treasury Department asset forfeiture fund and 53 miles from the Pentagon’s coffers, according to an agency spokesman.

That’s 142 miles under what Mr. Trump claimed. Even that figure relies on counting replacement projects as new wall, on contracts that have yet to be awarded and on funding that is tenuous. The 40 miles funded in the 2017 fiscal year, for example, is to replace old barriers with new fencing, while a federal judge in May blocked Mr. Trump from using the Pentagon funds to build his wall.


We enacted “the biggest tax cut in history.”

Despite dozens of repetitions, this claim remains false. The $1.5 trillion tax cut, enacted in December 2017, ranks below at least half a dozen others by several metrics. The 1981 Reagan tax cut is the largest as a percentage of the economy and by its reduction to federal revenue. The 2012 Obama cut amounted to the largest cut in inflation-adjusted dollars: $321 billion a year.

“We are taking billions and billions of dollars in and — remember this, and you know it as well as I do — we have never taken in 10 cents from China. We would lose $500 billion a year with China.”

The United States had a trade deficit of $381 billion in goods and services with China in 2018. The United States has collected tariff revenue on imports since the 1700s. Data compiled by Factcheck.org shows that the United States collected more than $10 billion in customs duties on Chinese imports every year from 2010 to 2016.

“Since the election, we have created six million new jobs. Nobody thought that would be possible. They said it wouldn’t be possible.”

Mr. Trump is including almost three months when he was not yet president, but his figures are accurate. The economy added about six million jobs from November 2016 to May 2019. In the 28 full months since he’s been president, February 2017 to May 2019, the figure was about 5.4 million jobs.

Far from being previously impossible, the economy added about 6.1 million jobs in the 28 months before Mr. Trump took office.

“We have lifted more than six million Americans off of food stamps.”

Participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program did decline by about 6.9 million people from November 2016 to March 2019.

“The unemployment rate is the lowest rate it’s been in over 51 years. Think of that. And as I said before about African-American, I now say also about Hispanic-American and Asian-American unemployment have reached the lowest rates in the history of our country”

The unemployment rate was 3.6 percent in May 2019, the lowest since December 1969 when it reached 3.5 percent. The unemployment rate for Hispanics hit its lowest point, 4.2 percent, in May 2019. The rates for black Americans and Asian-Americans also reached their lowest points under Mr. Trump (5.9 percent in May 2018 and 2.2 percent in April 2019) but have since increased.


“V.A. choice for the veterans. They’ve been trying to get that passed also for about 44 years.”

The Veterans Choice Program was created in 2014 after the scandal of hidden waiting lists at the Department of Veterans Affairs, and allowed veterans to seek private health care funded by the government under certain conditions. Last June, Mr. Trump consolidated that and other existing programs, and expanded eligibility requirements.

“We are rebuilding the U.S. armed forces with $700 billion last year and $716 billion this year, far more than ever before.”

Those are not the largest military budgets in recent history, let alone all of American history. Even if inflation is not taken into account, Mr. Obama signed a $726 billion National Defense Authorization Act for the 2011 fiscal year. Adjusted for inflation, Congress authorized more money for the Pentagon every fiscal year from 2007 to 2012, during the peak of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We are “starting to remove a lot of troops” from the Middle East.

After Mr. Trump announced the withdrawal of 2,000 troops from Syria, The Times reported in March that the Pentagon was planning to cut its combat force to about 1,000 by May and then pause. In contrast, Mr. Trump in May ordered the deployment of 1,500 troops to the Middle East to counter Iran, and this week ordered the deployment of another 1,000 troops to the region.


Terminally ill patients would “go all over the world looking for a cure. Because the F.D.A. would not approve what we call Right to Try. What a beautiful name, right to try. After 44 years, I got it approved.”

A federal program known as compassionate use, or expanded access, has been in place since the 1970s. It allows patients with a serious disease or condition to obtain experimental medicines; the Food and Drug Administration says it authorizes 99 percent of the requests for expanded access that it receives.

Mr. Trump did sign a law last year that allows patients and doctors to ask drug companies directly for access to the experimental drugs, rather than wait for approval by the agency.

“For the first time in half a century, we’ve reduced the price of prescription drugs.”

Multiple analyses have shown that drug prices are still increasing, albeit at a slower pace than in previous years. For example, Rx Savings Solutions, a company that advises employers on how to reduce drug costs, found that drug companies increased prices on more than 2,800 medicines in the first quarter of 2019. The average increase was 8.6 percent, compared with 11.3 percent in the same period last year.


“We’ve ended the last administration’s cruel and heartless war on American energy. What they were doing to our energy should never be forgotten. The United States is now the number one producer of oil and natural gas anywhere in the world.”

The Energy Information Administration estimated that the United States became the largest producer of crude oil since 2013, according to the agency, undercutting Mr. Trump’s characterization of the Obama administration’s energy policies.

“We have among the cleanest and sharpest — crystal clean, you’ve heard me say it, I want it crystal clean — air and water anywhere on Earth.”

The United States ranked 27th out of 180 countries in an environmental performance review, compiled by Yale and Columbia University researchers in collaboration with the World Economic Forum in 2018. (Switzerland topped the list.) The index placed the United States at 10th for air quality and 29th for water and sanitation.

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Globalization Is Moving Past the U.S. and Its Vision of World Order

Westlake Legal Group 16globalization-facebookJumbo Globalization Is Moving Past the U.S. and Its Vision of World Order World Trade Organization United States Economy United States Trump, Donald J Labor and Jobs International Trade and World Market Europe China Beijing (China)

LONDON — If globalization were ever going to unravel, the beginning would probably feel something like this.

President Trump, the leader of the country that built the world trading system, continues to disrupt international commerce as a weapon wielded in pursuit of national aims. He has unleashed trade hostilities with China, placed tariffs on steel made by allies like Europe and Japan, and restricted India’s access to the American market. He vowed to hit Mexico with tariffs mere months after he agreed to a new version of a deal liberalizing trade across North America.

But globalization has become such an elemental feature of life that it is probably irreversible. The process of making modern goods, from airplanes to medical devices, has become so mind-bendingly complex, involving components drawn from multiple continents, that a few unexpected tariffs will not prompt companies to swiftly close factories in China and Mexico and replace them with plants in Ohio and Indiana.

What does appear to be ending is the post-World War II era in which the United States championed global trade as immunization against future conflict, selling the idea that the free exchange of goods was a pathway toward a more stable world order.

American administrations forged rules governing disputes, enabling countries to trade with diminished fear of capricious political intervention. In ceding this role, Mr. Trump has weakened the rules-based trading system while removing a counterweight to China, whose transactional approach to trade places scant value on transparency and human rights.

“One thing is really clear: There has got to be a reset in the world trading system,” said Swati Dhingra, an economist at the London School of Economics. “It’s all breaking at the seams at this point.”

The trade war unleashed by Mr. Trump has injected higher costs and confusion into the global economy, forcing businesses to anticipate the next venue for hostilities. American retailers and manufacturers voiced that complaint on Monday in testimony to the Office of the United States Trade Representative, ahead of Mr. Trump’s plans to put tariffs on a further $300 billion worth of Chinese imports.

“This is now the post-American world economy, one in which globalization is much more spotty,” said Adam S. Posen, president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. “The world is a riskier place, where access to markets is a lot less sure.”

In the Trump framing, the United States is best served by the unsentimental exploitation of its position as the world’s largest economy. It must brandish threats of limiting access to its market to force other countries to capitulate to its demands.

But the rest of the planet is increasingly refusing to play along, instead seeking alternatives to trade with a suddenly mercurial United States. This year, Europe and Japan set in motion a mammoth trade deal that generates fresh opportunities for their companies, while leaving American players at a disadvantage.

Under the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a separate trade deal forged by 11 countries, Japan agreed to open its heavily protected market to agricultural imports, handing American farmers a lucrative opportunity. Days into his presidency, Mr. Trump closed that window by renouncing American participation in the deal. Now, European farmers have secured their own broadened access to the Japanese market.

China has responded to Mr. Trump’s tariffs with levies on American goods, including soybeans, wood products, and machinery. At the same time, China has lowered tariffs on imports from countries like Germany and Canada, lifting the fortunes of American competitors in those nations, according to an analysis by Chad P. Bown at the Peterson Institute.

For example, China doubled duties on American agricultural and fish products to an average of 42 percent from 21 percent, Mr. Bown found. At the same time, China lowered average tariffs on the same wares from the rest of the world to 19 percent.

Mr. Trump has sold his trade war as a means of returning jobs to a forsaken American heartland. In his version, naïve presidents allowed other nations, especially China, to steal factory jobs from the United States. His tariffs will pressure multinational companies to bring those jobs back.

But if that story makes for rewarding politics, it rests on antiquated economic assumptions about the global marketplace.

Mr. Trump’s trade war will probably not increase the number of American jobs, although it has imperiled paychecks at auto plants and other factories that rely on imported components. What it will bring is higher prices for manufactured goods, economists say, along with uncertainty over the terms of trade. It is sapping vitality from an already weakening world economy.

Entire supply chains — expansive linkages of parts for factory goods — have formed across Asia, Latin America and Europe. The United States could recreate those supply chains at home, but at a far higher cost. In the meantime, American industries would be severely constrained.

The largest manufacturers use China as a base to sell products to the world, limiting their exposure to American levies. Caterpillar, the agricultural and construction equipment company, operates factories in China, but sells many of its finished products within Asia.

Companies that are inclined to leave China are more likely to move production to other low-cost nations like Vietnam rather than bring work back to the United States. Hasbro, the toy company, is considering shifting production to the United States, but GoPro, the maker of mobile cameras, is looking at Mexico.

A poll last month by the American Chamber of Commerce in China found that 40 percent of its member companies had moved factory operations out of China or were considering doing so. Among those leaving, fewer than 6 percent were going to the United States, while more than a third were focused on Southeast Asia or Mexico.

Companies that do resume making goods in American factories are likely to buy robots and other machinery, rather than hiring large numbers of Americans.

The calculus of technology and geography — never simple — has been rendered more complicated by Mr. Trump’s trade war. Canary, an oil field services company based in Denver, has been seeking to shift purchases of equipment from Chinese to Mexican suppliers to avoid American tariffs, its chief executive recently asserted.

Yet in refusing to rule out across-the-board tariffs on Mexican goods, Mr. Trump left the corporate world guessing about the commercial map. Where can a company invest without worrying about a fresh outbreak of trade hostilities? That question hangs over the world economy even after the president relented on threats to impose tariffs on Mexican goods.

“It’s not so much you don’t know where to go,” Mr. Posen said. “There is no place to go. In a world in which there is arbitrary use of commercial regulation by the United States, no cross-border investment looks to be as safe and useful as it used to.”

Companies are mostly hesitating, limiting orders and holding off on investments in the hope that time will bring clarity. A similar worry now discourages commerce in Britain, as it remains stuck in its Brexit quagmire. With no inkling on the rules that will govern future dealings between Britain and the rest of the European Union, investment is slowing.

But Brexit is a regional affair. Mr. Trump’s trade war is downgrading expectations for growth worldwide.

Globalization did not happen by government design, and it will not be dismantled by political predilections. Businesses will continue to tap world markets and trade across borders — a wealth-enhancing formula, even as many major economies have failed to equitably distribute the bounty, leaving communities vulnerable to job losses.

Still, the risks are considerable. Mr. Trump’s relentless focus on factory jobs has produced an unhelpfully nostalgic view of the American economy, Mr. Posen said, obscuring the reality that 80 percent of the country’s output comes from so-called services industries. China’s retaliation to Mr. Trump’s tariffs makes it harder for American accounting, legal services and engineering companies to crack the Chinese market.

The escalating trade war has dealt a potentially grievous blow to the workings of the global commercial system, and especially to its de facto referee, the World Trade Organization.

Many of Mr. Trump’s tariffs have come with the credibility-straining legal justification that they are required for national security. Trade experts have derided his approach as an existential assault on the concept of a rules-based trading system.

The dispute with Mexico elevates the fear. The Trump administration cited a domestic law created to enable presidents to cut off finance to rogue regimes, deploying a remedy for unfair trade — tariffs — as a cudgel in an unrelated dispute over immigration policy.

“This set of tariffs against Mexico is completely outside the W.T.O.,” said Meredith Crowley, an international trade expert at the University of Cambridge in England. “It’s just a big punch in the nose to the W.T.O.”

Among the institution’s members, the sense is deepening that its rules need updating. The organization was not built to address the disruptive force of China, a colossal economy that has subsidized key industries while pursuing a vast collection of global infrastructure projects known as the Belt and Road Initiative.

Beijing has lavished credit around the world in exchange for promises that recipient governments use the cash to hire Chinese construction companies, willingly doing business with authoritarian regimes from Egypt to Iran.

In conducting his trade war outside the W.T.O. framework, Mr. Trump has ironically bolstered China’s mode of operation — one in which bottom-line concerns take precedence over labor and environmental standards, while national interests eclipse general principles.

“This is openly violating the rules of game,” said Ms. Dhingra, the economist.

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Fed Faces Tricky Choice Amid Looming Risks and Trump Pressure

Westlake Legal Group 19DC-FED-01-facebookJumbo Fed Faces Tricky Choice Amid Looming Risks and Trump Pressure Xi Jinping United States Economy Trump, Donald J Taxation Recession and Depression Powell, Jerome H Interest Rates Inflation (Economics) Federal Taxes (US) Credit and Debt Banking and Financial Institutions

WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve officials are expected to leave interest rates unchanged on Wednesday, but officials face a tough decision as economic data sends conflicting signals, trade tensions run high and political pressures mount.

Overall growth and consumer spending remain strong a decade into the economic expansion, but job gains are slowing, the factory sector is weakening and inflation is stubbornly below the central bank’s 2 percent goal. Officials aim for low and steady price gains, in part because they guard against economy-harming deflation.

President Trump’s trade spat with China has also escalated since the central bank’s early May meeting, magnifying the risk of a slowdown. Mr. Trump increased tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods only days after the Fed’s last gathering, and has threatened to tax an additional $300 billion worth of imports if he and President Xi Jinping cannot reach a deal. Mr. Trump said on Tuesday that the two leaders were set to talk at a Group of 20 meeting this month, at which point the trade outlook could either worsen or de-escalate.

Mr. Trump has not relented in his steady critique of the Fed, blasting it for keeping rates too high to his 61 million Twitter followers. Fed officials — who are independent of the White House — will overlook those comments, but his focus on the Fed will nevertheless pump up the visibility of their decision. The president intensified his line of attack on Tuesday, suggesting that he has prepared to try to demote the Fed chairman, Jerome H. Powell, if he does not move toward easing rates.

“They’re going to be making an announcement pretty soon, so we’ll see what happens,” Mr. Trump said, when asked by a reporter whether he would take the unprecedented step of trying to strip Mr. Powell of his chairmanship. “I want to be given a level playing field, and so far I haven’t been.”

Against that charged backdrop, most Fed watchers expect Mr. Powell and his colleagues to leave rates unchanged for now but signal that they are open to cutting them should the economic outlook worsen.

That could buy the Fed time to see how the China trade war plays out. Several economists said they expect a clear signal that a cut is coming soon, and a few think it is possible that officials will act as early as this week. Moving quickly could help the Fed prove that it is committed to its inflation target, and to stave off an economic slowdown before one becomes a reality.

“You take all of these factors together, and it starts to look like some recalibration of policy to get ahead of these risks seems warranted at this point,” said Julia Coronado, the founder of MacroPolicy Perspectives. She expects the Fed to leave rates unchanged in June while signaling preparedness for a cut in July, but also sees a chance of a move at this meeting. “It would make the message very clear,” she said.

The Fed will release its statement and a quarterly set of economic projections at 2 p.m., followed by a news conference with Mr. Powell at 2:30. A rate cut at this meeting is a little more than 20 percent priced into markets, based on data from the CME Group, and a move at the central bank’s July 31 meeting is at 85 percent.

The mere signal that a rate move is imminent would be a major shift in stance over the past six months. The Fed has not lowered rates since the end of 2008, when the Federal Open Market Committee cut them to zero in an effort to stoke growth in the depths of the Great Recession. From late 2015 to the end of last year, officials gradually raised their policy interest rate to help keep the strong economy from overheating.

Mr. Powell indicated early this year that the Fed was shifting away from steadily lifting interest rates, adopting a patient stance instead as markets wobbled and growth showed signs of weakening. The federal funds rate is now at 2.25 to 2.5 percent, much lower than it has historically been in the later years of an economic expansion.

Mr. Trump regularly argues that Mr. Powell, whom he chose to lead the Fed, made a mistake and lifted rates too many times last year. The president said last week that the central bank’s actions have put the United States at a disadvantage to China in the administration’s continuing trade spat, and on Tuesday tweeted that the European Central Bank’s turn toward added stimulus was “making it unfairly easier for them to compete against the USA” by weakening the euro against the dollar.

Political pressure creates a risk for the Fed, which operates independent of the White House. By lowering rates, officials could appear to be bending to Mr. Trump’s will, even if they are making the move for legitimate economic reasons. But that would be unlikely to deter the Fed from cutting rates if officials believed a move was warranted. Fed policymakers regularly say that they are focused on economic data and will make their decisions independent of the political atmosphere.

A decision to lower rates soon would not necessarily be the start of a full-blown cutting cycle, the kind that happens when the economy is entering a recession and the Fed tries to dig it out.

While there are many risks on the horizon, most real economic data still looks decent: the unemployment rate is at its lowest in nearly 50 years, and the economy is on track to have expanded at an above 2 percent pace in the second quarter, based on incoming data. Activity is slowing down, but the Fed always expected some moderation as fiscal policy stimulus from tax cuts faded.

Instead, these could be “insurance” rate cuts: moves taken pre-emptively to juice the economy just a little bit. The central bank took similar actions when risks threatened economic growth twice in the 1990s.

While many Wall Street economists expect such moves before the end of the year, some are not convinced a series of cuts is imminent.

“We think the hurdle for such cuts is likely to be higher than widely believed,” Jan Hatzius, the chief economist at Goldman Sachs, wrote in a note to clients. The Fed was able to resume rate hikes in the earlier episodes, but that might be harder now given pressure from the White House. “Overly hasty insurance cuts now might increase the risk that the funds rate gets stuck at too low a level if the economy remains resilient.”

There are risks to pushing rates too low at this point in the business cycle. The stock market reacts to hints of coming rate cuts with ebullience, and bond investors may react by seeking out ever-riskier investments that pay higher rates. Because the past three business cycles have died at the hands of bursting financial bubbles, such behavior worries Fed officials.

On the other hand, moving too slowly would come at a cost. Job market slowing usually comes when an economic cool-down is underway, so waiting to see proof of more pronounced weakness in hiring could mean waiting too long.

Tepid inflation is another concern. Prices climbed just 1.5 percent in the year through April, data from the Commerce Department shows, well below the Fed’s 2 percent goal. While officials expect that shortfall to fade with time, they have not hit their inflation target consistently since they formally adopted it in 2012, and inflation expectations are now sinking lower.

Consumer expectations for prices five to 10 years from now have dropped to record-low levels, based on preliminary June survey data from the University of Michigan. Weak expectations can create a self-fulfilling prophecy, weighing down real-world increases and preventing officials from achieving their targets.

But the difference between moving in June and July is a small one, economists and analysts say. Given the huge amount of data coming between the end of this week and the midsummer meeting, from news on trade to new jobs and inflation figures, they said it probably makes sense for the Fed to stay patient a little longer.

“The Fed will open the door to a rate cut, but it won’t quite walk through it,’’ said Gennadiy Goldberg, an interest rates strategist at TD Securities. “Given the recent data and lack of certainty on China, it does behoove them to wait for new information.”

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