web analytics
a

Facebook

Twitter

Copyright 2015 Libero Themes.
All Rights Reserved.

8:30 - 6:00

Our Office Hours Mon. - Fri.

703-406-7616

Call For Free 15/M Consultation

Facebook

Twitter

Search
Menu
Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Trump, Donald J" (Page 64)

Trump Administration Considers a Drastic Cut in Refugees Allowed to Enter U.S.

WASHINGTON — The White House is considering a plan that would effectively bar refugees from most parts of the world from resettling in the United States by cutting back the decades-old program that admits tens of thousands of people each year who are fleeing war, persecution and famine, according to current and former administration officials.

In meetings over the past several weeks, one top administration official has proposed zeroing out the program altogether, while leaving the president with the ability to admit refugees in an emergency. Another option that top officials are weighing would cut refugee admissions by half or more, to 10,000 to 15,000 people, but reserve most of those spots for refugees from a few handpicked countries or groups with special status, such as Iraqis and Afghans who work alongside American troops, diplomats and intelligence operatives abroad.

Both options would all but end the United States’ status as a leader in accepting refugees from around the world.

The issue is expected to come to a head on Tuesday, when the White House plans to convene a high-level meeting in the Situation Room to discuss at what number Mr. Trump should set the annual, presidentially determined ceiling on refugee admissions for the coming year.

“At a time when the number of refugees is at the highest level in recorded history, the United States has abandoned world leadership in resettling vulnerable people in need of protection,” said Eric Schwartz, the president of Refugees International. “The result is a world that is less compassionate and less able to deal with future humanitarian challenges.”

For two years, Stephen Miller, Mr. Trump’s top immigration adviser, has used his considerable influence in the West Wing to reduce the refugee ceiling to its lowest levels in history, capping the program at 30,000 this year. That is a more than 70 percent cut from its level when President Barack Obama left office.

The move has been part of Mr. Trump’s broader effort to reduce the number of both documented and undocumented immigrants from entering the United States, including numerous restrictions on asylum seekers, who, like refugees, are fleeing from persecution but cross into the United States over the border with Mexico or Canada.

Now, Mr. Miller and allies from the White House whom he placed at the Departments of State and Homeland Security are pushing aggressively to shrink the program even further, according to one senior official involved in the discussions and several former officials briefed on them, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to detail the private deliberations.

White House officials did not respond to a request for comment.

John Zadrozny, a top official at United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, has argued for simply lowering the ceiling to zero, a stance that was first reported by Politico. Others have suggested providing “carveouts” for certain countries or populations, such as the Iraqis and Afghans, whose work on behalf of the American government put both them and their families at risk, making them eligible for special status to come to the United States through the refugee program.

Advocates of the nearly 50-year-old refugee program inside and outside the administration fear that approach would effectively starve the program, making it impossible to resettle even those narrow populations. The advocacy groups say the fate of the program increasingly hinges on an unlikely figure: Mark T. Esper, the secretary of defense.

Barely two months into his job as Pentagon chief, Mr. Esper, a former lobbyist and defense contracting executive, is the newest voice at the table in the annual debate over how many refugees to admit. But while Mr. Esper’s predecessor, Jim Mattis, had taken up the refugee cause with an almost missionary zeal, repeatedly declining to embrace large cuts because of the potential effect he said they would have on American military interests around the world, Mr. Esper’s position on the issue is unknown.

The senior military leadership at the Defense Department has been urgently pressing Mr. Esper to follow his predecessor’s example and be an advocate for the refugee program, according to people familiar with the conversations in the Pentagon.

But current and former senior military officials said the defense secretary had not disclosed to them whether he would fight for higher refugee admissions at the White House meeting next week. One former general described Mr. Esper as in a “foxhole defilade” position, a military term for the infantry’s effort to remain shielded or concealed from enemy fire.

A senior Defense Department official said that Mr. Esper had not decided what his recommendation would be for the refugee program this year. As a result, an intense effort is underway by a powerful group of retired generals and humanitarian aid groups to persuade Mr. Esper to pick up where Mr. Mattis left off.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_156824220_b0f4dcc4-05c8-477e-8e23-3c948c177a83-articleLarge Trump Administration Considers a Drastic Cut in Refugees Allowed to Enter U.S. United States Politics and Government United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J Refugees International Refugees and Displaced Persons Miller, Stephen (1985- ) Mattis, James N Iraq Esper, Mark T Defense Department Afghanistan

For two years, Stephen Miller, Mr. Trump’s top immigration advisor, has used his influence to reduce the refugee ceiling to its lowest levels in history.CreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

In a letter to Mr. Trump on Wednesday, some of the nation’s most distinguished retired military officers implored the president to reconsider the cuts, taking up the national security argument that Mr. Mattis made when he was at the Pentagon. They called the refugee program a “critical lifeline” to people who help American troops, diplomats and intelligence officials abroad, and warned that cutting it off risked greater instability and conflict.

“We urge you to protect this vital program and ensure that the refugee admissions goal is robust, in line with decades-long precedent, and commensurate with today’s urgent global needs,” wrote the military brass, including Admiral William H. McRaven, the former commander of United States Special Operations; General Martin E. Dempsey, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Lt. General Mark P. Hertling, the former commanding general of Army forces in Europe.

They said the even the current ceiling of 30,000 is “leaving thousands in harm’s way.”

Gen. Joseph L. Votel, who retired this year after overseeing the American military’s command that runs operations in the Middle East, also signed the letter. In an interview, he noted that the flows of refugees leaving war-torn countries like Syria is one of the driving forces of instability in the region.

“We don’t do anything alone,” General Votel said of American military operations overseas, which is regularly helped by Iraqi nationals who become persecuted refugees. “This is not just the price we pay but an obligation.”

Mr. Mattis privately made the same arguments in 2018 and 2019 as he tried to fight back efforts by Mr. Miller to cut the refugee cap, which had already been reduced to 50,000 by Mr. Trump’s travel ban executive order.

Joined by then-Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson and Nikki R. Haley, the United Nations ambassador at the time, Mr. Mattis succeeded in keeping the cap at 45,000 for 2018. The next year, Mr. Miller tried to persuade Mr. Mattis to support a lower number by promising to ensure the program for the Iraqi and Afghans would not be affected. But Mr. Mattis refused, and pushed for the program to remain at 45,000 refugees. But with Mr. Tillerson gone, Mr. Miller succeeded in convincing the president to drop the ceiling to 30,000.

In his announcement last year, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo argued that because of a recent surge of asylum seekers at the southwestern border, there was less of a need for the United States to accept refugees from abroad.

“This year’s refugee ceiling reflects the substantial increase in the number of individuals seeking asylum in our country, leading to a massive backlog of outstanding asylum cases and greater public expense,” Mr. Pompeo said at the time.

Now, a year later, Mr. Miller and his allies have repeatedly made that same argument in urging that the number go even lower.

Barbara Strack, who retired last year as chief of the Refugee Affairs Division at the federal Citizenship and Immigration Services, said the United States used to be a model for other countries by accepting refugees from all over the globe. After America began accepting Bhutanese refugees from Nepal, she said, other countries followed suit.

“Very often, that leadership matters,” she said. “That is something that is just lost in terms of who the United States is in the world and how other governments see us.”

The State Department was once the main steward and champion of the refugee resettlement program, but under Mr. Trump, that has changed, as the president and Mr. Miller have made clear that they view it with disdain. The top State Department official now in charge of refugees is Andrew Veprek, a former aide of Mr. Miller’s at the White House Domestic Policy Council who — along with Mr. Zadrozny — was a central player in 2017 in efforts to scale back refugee resettlement as much as possible.

That has left the Defense Department as the last agency that could potentially preserve the refugee program. Its proponents inside the administration say they feel a sense of desperation waiting to see whether Mr. Esper will become its advocate.

“The strength of D.O.D.’s argument would really make a difference,” Ms. Strack said. “There just needs to be an acknowledgment that this admin. would be walking away from a longstanding, bipartisan tradition of offering refuge to the most vulnerable people around the world.”

That sense of foreboding has intensified in recent weeks, as Mr. Miller has locked down the process for determining the refugee ceiling, to guard against leaks and cut down on opportunities for officials to intervene to save it. Normally, cabinet-level officials would be informed in advance of the options to be discussed at a meeting like the one scheduled on Tuesday.

This time, officials have been informed that their bosses will learn what numbers the White House is proposing only when they sit down at the table and are asked to weigh in.

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

Trump Administration Considers a Drastic Cut in Refugees Allowed to Enter the U.S.

WASHINGTON — The White House is considering a plan that would effectively bar refugees from most parts of the world from resettling in the United States by cutting back the decades-old program that admits tens of thousands of people each year who are fleeing war, persecution and famine, according to current and former administration officials.

In meetings over the past several weeks, one top administration official has proposed zeroing out the program altogether, while leaving the president with the ability to admit refugees in an emergency. Another option that top officials are weighing would cut refugee admissions by half or more, to 10,000 to 15,000 people, but reserve most of those spots for refugees from a few handpicked countries or groups with special status, such as Iraqis and Afghans who work alongside American troops, diplomats and intelligence operatives abroad.

Both options would all but end the United States’ status as one of the leading places accepting refugees from around the world.

The issue is expected to come to a head on Tuesday, when the White House plans to convene a high-level meeting in the Situation Room to discuss at what number Mr. Trump should set the annual, presidentially determined ceiling on refugee admissions for the coming year.

“At a time when the number of refugees is at the highest level in recorded history, the United States has abandoned world leadership in resettling vulnerable people in need of protection,” said Eric Schwartz, the president of Refugees International. “The result is a world that is less compassionate and less able to deal with future humanitarian challenges.”

For two years, Stephen Miller, Mr. Trump’s top immigration adviser, has used his considerable influence in the West Wing to reduce the refugee ceiling to its lowest levels in history, capping the program at 30,000 this year. That is a more than 70 percent cut from where it was when President Barack Obama left office.

The move has been part of Mr. Trump’s broader effort to reduce the number of both documented and undocumented immigrants from entering the United States, including numerous restrictions on asylum seekers, who, like refugees, are fleeing from persecution but cross into the United States over the border with Mexico or Canada.

Now, Mr. Miller and allies at the Departments of State and Homeland Security who worked with him at the White House and he has placed in those departments are pushing aggressively to shrink the program even further, according to one senior official involved in the discussions and several former officials briefed on them, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to detail the private deliberations.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_156824220_b0f4dcc4-05c8-477e-8e23-3c948c177a83-articleLarge Trump Administration Considers a Drastic Cut in Refugees Allowed to Enter the U.S. United States Politics and Government United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J Refugees International Refugees and Displaced Persons Miller, Stephen (1985- ) Mattis, James N Iraq Esper, Mark T Defense Department Afghanistan

For two years, Stephen Miller, Mr. Trump’s top immigration advisor, has used his influence to reduce the refugee ceiling to its lowest levels in history.CreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

White House officials did not respond to a request for comment.

John Zadrozny, a top official at United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, has argued for simply lowering the ceiling to zero, a stance that was first reported by Politico. Others have suggested providing “carveouts” for certain countries or populations, such as the Iraqis and Afghans, whose work on behalf of the American government put both them and their families at risk, making them eligible for special status to come to the United States through the refugee program.

Advocates of the nearly 50-year refugee program inside and outside the administration fear that approach would effectively starve the program, making it impossible to resettle even those narrow populations. The advocacy groups say the fate of the refugee program increasingly hinges on an unlikely figure: Mark T. Esper, the secretary of defense.

Barely two months into his job as Pentagon chief, Mr. Esper, a former lobbyist and defense contracting executive, is the newest voice at the table in the annual debate over how many refugees to admit. But while Mr. Esper’s predecessor, Jim Mattis, had taken up the refugee cause with an almost missionary zeal, repeatedly declining to embrace large cuts because of the potential effect he said they would have on American military interests around the world, Mr. Esper’s position on the issue is unknown.

The senior military leadership at the Defense Department has been urgently pressing Mr. Esper to follow his predecessor’s example and be an advocate for the refugee program, according to people familiar with the conversation in the Pentagon.

But current and former senior military officials said the defense secretary had not disclosed to them whether he would fight for higher refugee admissions at the White House meeting next week. One former general described Mr. Esper as in a “foxhole defilade” position, a military term for the infantry’s effort to remain shielded or concealed from enemy fire.

A senior Defense Department official said that Mr. Esper had not decided what his recommendation would be for the refugee program this year. As a result, an intense effort is underway by a powerful group of retired generals and humanitarian aid groups to persuade Mr. Esper to pick up where Mr. Mattis left off.

In a letter to Mr. Trump on Wednesday, some of the nation’s most distinguished retired military officers implored the president to reconsider the cuts, taking up the national security argument that Mr. Mattis made when he was at the Pentagon. They called the refugee program a “critical lifeline” to people who help American troops, diplomats and intelligence officials abroad, and warned that cutting it off risked greater instability and conflict.

“We urge you to protect this vital program and ensure that the refugee admissions goal is robust, in line with decades-long precedent, and commensurate with today’s urgent global needs,” wrote the military brass, including Admiral William H. McRaven, the former commander of United States Special Operations; General Martin E. Dempsey, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Lt. General Mark P. Hertling, the former commanding general of Army forces in Europe.

They said even the current ceiling of 30,000 is “leaving thousands in harm’s way.”

Gen. Joseph L. Votel, who retired this year as commander of United States Central Command, also signed the letter.

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

Pence’s Stay at Trump Resort in Ireland and Trump’s G7 Plans Draw Democrats’ Scrutiny

Westlake Legal Group 06dc-oversight-facebookJumbo Pence’s Stay at Trump Resort in Ireland and Trump’s G7 Plans Draw Democrats’ Scrutiny United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump Organization Trump National Doral Miami (Doral, Fla) Pence, Mike ireland House of Representatives House Committee on the Judiciary House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Ethics and Official Misconduct Conflicts of Interest

House Democrats, furious over President Trump’s continued promotion of his branded properties for government business, said on Friday that they would scrutinize whether two recent cases would violate the Constitution’s ban on presidents profiting from domestic or foreign governments.

Two chairmen acting in tandem sent letters to the White House, the Secret Service and the Trump Organization asking for documents and communications related to Vice President Mike Pence’s decision to stay this week at Mr. Trump’s resort in Ireland during an official visit, as well as Mr. Trump’s recent statements promoting Trump National Doral, near Miami, as a possible site for the Group of 7 summit of world leaders next year.

In both cases, the Democrats argued, Mr. Trump stands to benefit financially from American taxpayer dollars, and in the case of the potential summit in Doral, from foreign funds as well. The Constitution’s emoluments clauses prohibit presidents from accepting any payment from federal, state or foreign governments beyond their official salary.

“The committee does not believe that U.S. taxpayer funds should be used to personally enrich President Trump, his family, and his companies,” wrote Representative Elijah E. Cummings, Democrat of Maryland and the chairman of the Oversight and Reform Committee. The cases in question, he added, could be a conflict of interest.

In a letter of his own, Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York and the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, raised what could be a more troubling outcome for the president. He said his committee was considering potential violations of the ban on profiting from the presidency as part of its impeachment investigation.

“Potential violations of the foreign and domestic emoluments clauses of the Constitution are of grave concern to the committee as it considers whether to recommend articles of impeachment,” he wrote. The letter was also signed by Representative Steve Cohen, Democrat of Tennessee, who leads a relevant subcommittee.

The White House did not immediately comment on the letters.

Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence drew sharp criticism this week after the vice president and his coterie of family, aides and security stayed a night at the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in Doonbeg during a trip to Ireland, despite the fact that it was 181 miles from his meetings in Dublin. Government receipts for such stays usually run in the tens of thousands of dollars — or far more, depending on the size of the group and the length of stay.

Mr. Pence’s chief of staff initially told reporters that the vice president, who has family roots in Doonbeg, had chosen the accommodation at the “suggestion” of Mr. Trump. Facing a flurry of criticism for the choice, the vice president’s office later released a statement saying that “at no time did the president direct our office to stay at his Doonbeg resort.”

Mr. Cummings’s request asked for documents showing itemized expenses from the most recent Ireland trip, any communications related to Mr. Pence’s accommodations, and records related to Mr. Trump’s own stay at the Doonbeg resort during an official visit to Ireland in June.

Mr. Pence’s Ireland trip came just a week or so after Mr. Trump had raised the idea of hosting the next Group of 7 summit at his golf resort in Doral, Fla. Speaking to reporters at this year’s summit in France, he said the resort had “tremendous acreage” and buildings that could naturally house each national delegation.

“We haven’t found anything that could even come close to competing with it,” he said.

Most recently, the United States has hosted Group of 7 summit meetings at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland, under former President Barack Obama, and Sea Island, Ga., under George W. Bush.

Democrats and ethics experts have criticized Mr. Trump’s use of his private properties since he took office. In addition to his own frequent visits — with an expensive coterie of aides and security in tow — most of Mr. Trump’s cabinet members and about half of House Republicans have been seen at or spent money at Trump-branded properties, according to an independent tally. And a Center for Responsive Politics count found that close to $20 million has been spent since 2015 at the Trump hotels by political groups, including those of Mr. Trump.

Mr. Trump turned over management of his company, the Trump Organization, to his oldest sons and an executive through a trust. Most presidents have used a blind trust for their finances, but Mr. Trump’s family and a close associate controls his trust. He receives updates about its business and remains the trust’s sole beneficiary.

The latest examples of the administration’s use or plans to visit his private properties have pushed the president’s critics into a frenzy.

“The Doral situation reflects perhaps the first publicly known instance in which foreign governments would be required to spend foreign government funds at President Trump’s private businesses in order to engage in official diplomatic negotiations and meetings with the United States,” Mr. Nadler and Mr. Cohen wrote.

They asked the White House and Secret Service to hand over records or communications related to planning of the 2020 G7 meeting and the possibility of holding it in Doral.

The office of Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued its own blistering statement this week, calling the president’s properties “a cesspool of corruption.”

“President Trump is violating the Constitution by making money off his lavish, ritzy resort properties, ultimately prioritizing his profits over the interests of the American people,” it said.

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

Pence’s Stay at Trump Hotel in Ireland and Trump’s G7 Plans Draw Democrats’ Scrutiny

Westlake Legal Group 06dc-oversight-facebookJumbo Pence’s Stay at Trump Hotel in Ireland and Trump’s G7 Plans Draw Democrats’ Scrutiny United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump Organization Trump National Doral Miami (Doral, Fla) Pence, Mike ireland House of Representatives House Committee on the Judiciary House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Ethics and Official Misconduct Conflicts of Interest

House Democrats, furious over President Trump’s continued promotion of his branded properties for government business, said on Friday that they would scrutinize whether two recent cases would violate the Constitution’s ban on presidents profiting from domestic or foreign governments.

Two chairmen acting in tandem sent letters to the White House, the Secret Service and the Trump Organization asking for documents and communications related to Vice President Mike Pence’s decision to stay this week at Mr. Trump’s resort in Ireland during an official visit, as well as Mr. Trump’s recent statements promoting Trump National Doral, near Miami, as a possible site for the Group of 7 summit of world leaders next year.

In both cases, the Democrats argued, Mr. Trump stands to benefit financially from American taxpayer dollars, and in the case of the potential summit in Doral, from foreign funds as well. The Constitution’s emoluments clauses prohibit presidents from accepting any payment from federal, state or foreign governments beyond their official salary.

“The committee does not believe that U.S. taxpayer funds should be used to personally enrich President Trump, his family, and his companies,” wrote Representative Elijah E. Cummings, Democrat of Maryland and the chairman of the Oversight and Reform Committee. The cases in question, he added, could be a conflict of interest.

In a letter of his own, Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York and the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, raised what could be a more troubling outcome for the president. He said his committee was considering potential violations of the ban on profiting from the presidency as part of its impeachment investigation.

“Potential violations of the foreign and domestic emoluments clauses of the Constitution are of grave concern to the committee as it considers whether to recommend articles of impeachment,” he wrote. The letter was also signed by Representative Steve Cohen, Democrat of Tennessee, who leads a relevant subcommittee.

The White House did not immediately comment on the letters.

Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence drew sharp criticism this week after the vice president and his coterie of family, aides and security stayed a night at the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in Doonbeg during a trip to Ireland, despite the fact that it was 181 miles from his meetings in Dublin. Government receipts for such stays usually run in the tens of thousands of dollars — or far more, depending on the size of the group and the length of stay.

Mr. Pence’s chief of staff initially told reporters that the vice president, who has family roots in Doonbeg, had chosen the accommodation at the “suggestion” of Mr. Trump. Facing a flurry of criticism for the choice, the vice president’s office later released a statement saying that “at no time did the president direct our office to stay at his Doonbeg resort.”

Mr. Cummings’s request asked for documents showing itemized expenses from the most recent Ireland trip, any communications related to Mr. Pence’s accommodations, and records related to Mr. Trump’s own stay at the Doonbeg resort during an official visit to Ireland in June.

Mr. Pence’s Ireland trip came just a week or so after Mr. Trump had raised the idea of hosting the next Group of 7 summit at his golf resort in Doral, Fla. Speaking to reporters at this year’s summit in France, he said the resort had “tremendous acreage” and buildings that could naturally house each national delegation.

“We haven’t found anything that could even come close to competing with it,” he said.

Most recently, the United States has hosted Group of 7 summit meetings at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland, under former President Barack Obama, and Sea Island, Ga., under George W. Bush.

Democrats and ethics experts have criticized Mr. Trump’s use of his private properties since he took office. In addition to his own frequent visits — with an expensive coterie of aides and security in tow — most of Mr. Trump’s cabinet members and about half of House Republicans have been seen at or spent money at Trump-branded properties, according to an independent tally. And a Center for Responsive Politics count found that close to $20 million has been spent since 2015 at the Trump hotels by political groups, including those of Mr. Trump.

Mr. Trump turned over management of his company, the Trump Organization, to his oldest sons and an executive through a trust. Most presidents have used a blind trust for their finances, but Mr. Trump’s family and a close associate controls his trust. He receives updates about its business and remains the trust’s sole beneficiary.

The latest examples of the administration’s use or plans to visit his private properties have pushed the president’s critics into a frenzy.

“The Doral situation reflects perhaps the first publicly known instance in which foreign governments would be required to spend foreign government funds at President Trump’s private businesses in order to engage in official diplomatic negotiations and meetings with the United States,” Mr. Nadler and Mr. Cohen wrote.

They asked the White House and Secret Service to hand over records or communications related to planning of the 2020 G7 meeting and the possibility of holding it in Doral.

The office of Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued its own blistering statement this week, calling the president’s properties “a cesspool of corruption.”

“President Trump is violating the Constitution by making money off his lavish, ritzy resort properties, ultimately prioritizing his profits over the interests of the American people,” it said.

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

Trump and Sharpie’s Maker Land in Different Kind of Storm

Westlake Legal Group 05dc-sharpie-facebookJumbo Trump and Sharpie’s Maker Land in Different Kind of Storm United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Pens and Pencils Newell Brands Inc Cross (A.T.) Company Alabama

WASHINGTON — The pen has never been mightier. President Donald Trump’s Sharpie pen, that is.

Mr. Trump’s suspected use of a signature black Sharpie to alter a hurricane map has prompted thousands of mocking tweets, late-night comedy jokes and a viral internet meme. It has also further fused a staple of American homes and offices with the image of a highly divisive president, showing that even a humdrum marker maker can be swept up in the constant furor surrounding the Trump White House.

Mr. Trump is a longtime user of the Sharpie pen, whose thick, bold imprint is a visual reflection of Mr. Trump’s blunt — some might say crude — style. Well before he was president, he regularly used the pens to sign autographs, write notes and mark up printed news articles before sending them back to their authors.

As president, Mr. Trump appears more enamored of the pens than ever, using them to sign his name to proclamations and legislation in his distinctive EKG-style signature. He has even had the company custom design a presidential version of its iconic pen, emblazoned with his signature, for his official use.

The free publicity Sharpie has enjoyed during the Trump era, and especially in the day since the appearance of the altered hurricane map, is almost impossible to calculate. But that attention has taken on a different tone this week, with some Trump critics even calling (perhaps jokingly) for a boycott of the pen maker, which is owned by the conglomerate Newell Brands.

In public, at least, the brand has not exactly reveled in the president’s embrace: The official Sharpie Twitter account has not mentioned Mr. Trump since his election. Representatives for the company and the White House did not offer comment.

The current frenzy erupted after Mr. Trump displayed a map in the Oval Office on Wednesday showing the early path of Hurricane Dorian, with what appeared to be a Sharpie-drawn line extending the projected storm path into the state of Alabama. Mr. Trump had been criticized for stating days earlier that the state was at risk from the storm when federal weather forecasters had said no such thing, and the doctored map appeared to be an effort to retroactively justify Mr. Trump’s tweet.

The story raged into another day on Thursday as Mr. Trump defended himself on Twitter, and his White House homeland security adviser, Peter Brown, issued an unusual statement appearing to accept responsibility for the larger flap. Mr. Brown said the president’s warnings on Sunday that Alabama was in danger from the storm were based on a briefing he had given the president that morning “that included the possibility of tropical storm force winds in southeastern Alabama.”

Since the altered map’s display on Wednesday, Twitter has been ablaze with ridicule of the apparently crude effort to align the facts with the president’s prior statement, including the emergence of a #sharpiegate hashtag and a viral meme in which other images are doctored with thick black lines, including one in which Mr. Trump’s face is crudely scrawled onto Mount Rushmore and another in which stick figures appear in bare patches of aerial photos of the crowd at Mr. Trump’s 2017 inauguration. Some of Mr. Trump’s critics also used the opportunity to poke fun at his prized policy priority: the wall.

Mr. Trump has made no secret of the fact that he was not satisfied with the government-issued pens he was given for official signatures when he first arrived at the White House.

“I was signing documents with a very expensive pen and it didn’t write well,” Mr. Trump said on an HBO special produced by the political website Axios. “It was a horrible pen, and it was extremely expensive. A government-ordered pen.” He said that he had pulled out a standard Sharpie pen and concluded that it not only “writes much better,” but also “costs almost nothing.”

“So, I called up the folks at Sharpie and I said, ‘Do me a favor, can you make the pen in black? Make it look rich?’” he said. He then held up one of several thick black markers bearing his own signature, in gold, for the camera.

Over the course of his presidency, close observers have noted what appeared to be Sharpie lines in Mr. Trump’s signature on legislation, notecards at official events and markings on prepared remarks.

As of May, the Rhode Island-based pen company A.T. Cross was still identifying itself as the official pen supplier to the White House, a relationship formalized by President Bill Clinton in the 1990s but which the company says began decades earlier. It is unclear whether Mr. Trump was criticizing the company’s sleek ballpoint pens when he talked to Axios.

But in January 2017, the White House reportedly ordered 150 of the company’s Century II black lacquer and gold rollerball pens, which currently start at a retail price of $116. (Purchased in bulk, standard Sharpie markers can retail for less than a dollar apiece.)

A recent post on the company’s website suggested that Mr. Trump had not abandoned the classic pens. It referred to the Century II as “Mr. Trump’s current favorite model.”

In his remarks to Axios, Mr. Trump seemed conscious of the publicity he was giving even then to the makers of his favorite pen. As he touted its wonders, he paused for a moment and interjected: “I don’t want to make this a commercial for Sharpie.”

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

A Thick Black Line on a Hurricane Map Lands Trump and Sharpie’s Maker in a Different Kind of Storm

Westlake Legal Group 05dc-sharpie-facebookJumbo A Thick Black Line on a Hurricane Map Lands Trump and Sharpie’s Maker in a Different Kind of Storm United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Pens and Pencils Newell Brands Inc Cross (A.T.) Company Alabama

WASHINGTON — The pen has never been mightier. President Donald Trump’s Sharpie pen, that is.

Mr. Trump’s suspected use of a signature black Sharpie to alter a hurricane map has prompted thousands of mocking tweets, late-night comedy jokes and a viral internet meme. It has also further fused a staple of American homes and offices with the image of a highly divisive president, showing that even a humdrum marker maker can be swept up in the constant furor surrounding the Trump White House.

Mr. Trump is a longtime user of the Sharpie pen, whose thick, bold imprint is a visual reflection of Mr. Trump’s blunt — some might say crude — style. Well before he was president, he regularly used the pens to sign autographs, write notes and mark up printed news articles before sending them back to their authors.

As president, Mr. Trump appears more enamored of the pens than ever, using them to sign his name to proclamations and legislation in his distinctive EKG-style signature. He has even had the company custom design a presidential version of its iconic pen, emblazoned with his signature, for his official use.

The free publicity Sharpie has enjoyed during the Trump era, and especially in the day since the appearance of the altered hurricane map, is almost impossible to calculate. But that attention has taken on a different tone this week, with some Trump critics even calling (perhaps jokingly) for a boycott of the pen maker, which is owned by the conglomerate Newell Brands.

In public, at least, the brand has not exactly reveled in the president’s embrace: The official Sharpie Twitter account has not mentioned Mr. Trump since his election. Representatives for the company and the White House did not offer comment.

The current frenzy erupted after Mr. Trump displayed a map in the Oval Office on Wednesday showing the early path of Hurricane Dorian, with what appeared to be a Sharpie-drawn line extending the projected storm path into the state of Alabama. Mr. Trump had been criticized for stating days earlier that the state was at risk from the storm when federal weather forecasters had said no such thing, and the doctored map appeared to be an effort to retroactively justify Mr. Trump’s tweet.

The story raged into another day on Thursday as Mr. Trump defended himself on Twitter, and his White House homeland security adviser, Peter Brown, issued an unusual statement appearing to accept responsibility for the larger flap. Mr. Brown said the president’s warnings on Sunday that Alabama was in danger from the storm were based on a briefing he had given the president that morning “that included the possibility of tropical storm force winds in southeastern Alabama.”

Since the altered map’s display on Wednesday, Twitter has been ablaze with ridicule of the apparently crude effort to align the facts with the president’s prior statement, including the emergence of a #sharpiegate hashtag and a viral meme in which other images are doctored with thick black lines, including one in which Mr. Trump’s face is crudely scrawled onto Mount Rushmore and another in which stick figures appear in bare patches of aerial photos of the crowd at Mr. Trump’s 2017 inauguration. Some of Mr. Trump’s critics also used the opportunity to poke fun at his prized policy priority: the wall.

Mr. Trump has made no secret of the fact that he was not satisfied with the government-issued pens he was given for official signatures when he first arrived at the White House.

“I was signing documents with a very expensive pen and it didn’t write well,” Mr. Trump said on an HBO special produced by the political website Axios. “It was a horrible pen, and it was extremely expensive. A government-ordered pen.” He said that he had pulled out a standard Sharpie pen and concluded that it not only “writes much better,” but also “costs almost nothing.”

“So, I called up the folks at Sharpie and I said, ‘Do me a favor, can you make the pen in black? Make it look rich?’” he said. He then held up one of several thick black markers bearing his own signature, in gold, for the camera.

Over the course of his presidency, close observers have noted what appeared to be Sharpie lines in Mr. Trump’s signature on legislation, notecards at official events and markings on prepared remarks.

As of May, the Rhode Island-based pen company A.T. Cross was still identifying itself as the official pen supplier to the White House, a relationship formalized by President Bill Clinton in the 1990s but which the company says began decades earlier. It is unclear whether Mr. Trump was criticizing the company’s sleek ballpoint pens when he talked to Axios.

But in January 2017, the White House reportedly ordered 150 of the company’s Century II black lacquer and gold rollerball pens, which currently start at a retail price of $116. (Purchased in bulk, standard Sharpie markers can retail for less than a dollar apiece.)

A recent post on the company’s website suggested that Mr. Trump had not abandoned the classic pens. It referred to the Century II as “Mr. Trump’s current favorite model.”

In his remarks to Axios, Mr. Trump seemed conscious of the publicity he was giving even then to the makers of his favorite pen. As he touted its wonders, he paused for a moment and interjected: “I don’t want to make this a commercial for Sharpie.”

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

Markets Soar on News of China Talks, but Hopes for Progress Are Low

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s decision to renew talks with China in the coming weeks sent financial markets soaring on Thursday, as investors seized on the development as a sign that both sides could still find a way out of an economically damaging trade war.

The rally sent the S&P 500 up more than 1 percent, underscoring just how much financial markets are subsisting on hopes and fears about the trade war. Shares fell through most of August, as Mr. Trump escalated his fight with China and imposed more tariffs, only to snap back on Thursday after news of the talks.

But expectations for progress remain low, and many in the United States and China see the best outcome as a continued stalemate that would prevent a collapse in relations before the 2020 election. Both Mr. Trump and President Xi Jinping of China are under pressure from domestic audiences to stand tough, and the talks will happen after Mr. Trump’s next round of punishing tariffs take effect on Oct. 1.

“Continuing to talk soothes markets a little bit,” said Eswar Prasad, the former head of the China division at the International Monetary Fund. “But the political cost to making major concessions is, I think, too high for either side.”

The skepticism stems in part from what is emerging as a familiar pattern for Mr. Trump, for whom China is both a source of leverage and a potential vulnerability heading into an election year. The president has so far imposed tariffs on more than $350 billion worth of Chinese goods and routinely shifts from blasting China and threatening additional punishment to trying to calm the waters in the face of jittery markets and negative economic news.

Over two weeks, Mr. Trump has called Mr. Xi an enemy of America, ordered companies to stop doing business in China and suggested the United States was in no rush to reach a trade deal. On Sunday, he moved ahead with his threat to eventually tax every golf club, shoe and computer China sends into the United States, placing tariffs on another $112 billion of Chinese goods.

Stock investors have zeroed in on the threat the trade war poses to the economy, buying and selling in tandem with Mr. Trump’s trade whims. Thursday’s rally was the fifth positive performance for the market in the past six sessions. It brought the S&P 500 to within striking distance — less than 2 percent — of its high of 3025.86, reached on July 26.

The coming weeks could result in more of the same, analysts say: tough words when the president wants to rally his base and a temporary cooling off when it seems to be hurting an economy that is one of his main arguments for re-election.

Mr. Trump and his advisers are wary of a potential challenge from Democrats who will try to paint the president as weak on China. Officials are cognizant that striking a deal based on the kind of limited concessions China is currently offering would most likely be a political liability in the president’s bid for re-election. Democrats, along with some Republicans, have previously accused Mr. Trump of buckling on China after he reached a deal that allowed ZTE, the Chinese telecom company, to avoid tough American punishment.

Yet as collateral damage from the trade war increases, Mr. Trump is facing pressure to relent. The bond market has been flashing warning signs of a potential recession, and both consumer confidence and the manufacturing sector have slowed.

The trade war is also clearly weighing on the Chinese economy, which is growing at its slowest pace in more than two decades. But China has responded defiantly, imposing retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion worth of American goods. The country is preparing to celebrate the 70th anniversary of its founding on Oct. 1, and analysts say Beijing would be unlikely to make concessions at such a politically delicate moment.

People familiar with Chinese economic policymaking have said in recent weeks that Chinese leaders remain interested in reaching a trade deal with the United States, but that they are wary of what appear to be ever-increasing demands from the United States and what they describe as frequent shifts in the American negotiating position.

The Chinese government continues to insist that it will not accept any agreement that is unequal, or that prevents it from pursuing economic policies that it needs for continued growth.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_155582679_66815fe9-9ca9-4f97-b920-88f171a63e8c-articleLarge Markets Soar on News of China Talks, but Hopes for Progress Are Low Xi Jinping United States International Relations United States Economy Trump, Donald J Stocks and Bonds Mutual Funds International Trade and World Market Federal Taxes (US) Economic Conditions and Trends Credit and Debt

Mr. Trump has imposed tariffs on more than $350 billion worth of Chinese goods. He plans to increase tariffs further in October and December.CreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times

While both countries have motivation to come to an agreement, each is still insisting the other will be the first to bend.

“China and the US announced new round of trade talks and will work to make substantial progress,” Hu Xijin, the editor of the state-run Global Times, wrote on Twitter. “Personally I think the US, worn out by the trade war, may no longer hope for crushing China’s will. There’s more possibility of a breakthrough between the two sides.”

The Trump administration’s position is that the agreement must change China’s behavior, and that there is limited room for compromise. “This president is not about half-measures,” Peter Navarro, one of Mr. Trump’s trade advisers, said in August on Fox Business. “He can’t meet the Chinese halfway on this, because if you meet them halfway, they’ll only be stealing half as much as they’re stealing and killing half as many of Americans.”

The world’s two largest economies are resuming talks after a charged few months in which the United States and China went from being on the cusp of a deal to a near-breakdown in relations.

Negotiators had almost finalized an agreement in April, and were openly talking about a meeting where their two leaders would sign the deal. But China suddenly backed away from measures that would require it to change its laws, and Mr. Trump accused Beijing of breaking the deal and moved ahead with raising tariffs on the country.

The two sides again called a truce to escalating tensions in June, when Mr. Trump and Mr. Xi met personally in Osaka, Japan, during a Group of 20 summit. But the agreement quickly vanished. Mr. Trump grew frustrated with China’s failure to buy American agricultural goods — something the Chinese said they had never agreed to — and moved to further expand his tariffs.

China’s biggest request in the trade talks had been rolling back Mr. Trump’s tariffs, but those levies are now higher than ever. And American suspicions of China’s willingness to hold to an agreement — mistrust that led the United States to insist on a complex enforcement mechanism and changes to Chinese law — have only grown.

Still, there is little downside for any party in favoring talks over action.

As long as the American economy remains strong, Mr. Trump appears to have more to lose politically by giving into a weak deal with the Chinese than he does in persisting with his current approach. He could gain even more leeway to keep things status quo this month if the Federal Reserve cuts interest rates again to help insulate the American economy from the effects of a global slowdown and Mr. Trump’s trade war.

The Chinese are increasingly skeptical of the value of making further concessions, given their concern that Mr. Trump might go back on any deal he signs. But they have taken a pragmatic approach, “recognizing that openness to dialogue and engagement might not help much, but certainly cannot hurt,” Mr. Prasad said, adding, “There is still the hope that at least with further negotiations, at least even more trade and economic tensions can be staved off.”

For now, markets appear to be rewarding the promise to keep talking, even if hopes for an agreement are low.

The trade fight has clearly emerged as the top concern among investors this year. Some 51 percent of respondents to Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s monthly survey of global fund managers in August cited a worsening trade war as the top “tail risk” — a remote, but potentially deeply destabilizing threat — facing markets.

After a 1.8 percent drop in August, the recent rise has been a striking show of resilience. Annual expectations for corporate profit growth at S&P 500 companies have been falling for much of the year. The drop has been especially sharp for goods producing firms, as the global industrial economy has fallen into a slump many analysts have blamed on the trade war.

Still, stocks have managed to resume their climb, forcing some investors — particularly professionals whose performance is measured by how they stack up against important market indexes — to chase the rally.

“The narrative of ‘fear of missing out’ and ‘there is no alternative’ is resonating with investors,” said Ian Burdette, a senior managing director at brokerage firm Tribal Capital Markets. He added, “It seems significantly overdone, to me, from a fundamental perspective.”

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

Markets Soar on News of China Talks, but Hopes for Progress Are Low

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s decision to renew talks with China in the coming weeks sent financial markets soaring on Thursday, as investors seized on the development as a sign that both sides could still find a way out of an economically damaging trade war.

The rally sent the S&P 500 up more than 1 percent, underscoring just how much financial markets are subsisting on hopes and fears about the trade war. Shares fell through most of August, as Mr. Trump escalated his fight with China and imposed more tariffs, only to snap back on Thursday after news of the talks.

But expectations for progress remain low, and many in the United States and China see the best outcome as a continued stalemate that would prevent a collapse in relations before the 2020 election. Both Mr. Trump and President Xi Jinping of China are under pressure from domestic audiences to stand tough, and the talks will happen after Mr. Trump’s next round of punishing tariffs take effect on Oct. 1.

“Continuing to talk soothes markets a little bit,” said Eswar Prasad, the former head of the China division at the International Monetary Fund. “But the political cost to making major concessions is, I think, too high for either side.”

The skepticism stems in part from what is emerging as a familiar pattern for Mr. Trump, for whom China is both a source of leverage and a potential vulnerability heading into an election year. The president has so far imposed tariffs on more than $350 billion worth of Chinese goods and routinely shifts from blasting China and threatening additional punishment to trying to calm the waters in the face of jittery markets and negative economic news.

Over two weeks, Mr. Trump has called Mr. Xi an enemy of America, ordered companies to stop doing business in China and suggested the United States was in no rush to reach a trade deal. On Sunday, he moved ahead with his threat to eventually tax every golf club, shoe and computer China sends into the United States, placing tariffs on another $112 billion of Chinese goods.

Stock investors have zeroed in on the threat the trade war poses to the economy, buying and selling in tandem with Mr. Trump’s trade whims. Thursday’s rally was the fifth positive performance for the market in the past six sessions. It brought the S&P 500 to within striking distance — less than 2 percent — of its high of 3025.86, reached on July 26.

The coming weeks could result in more of the same, analysts say: tough words when the president wants to rally his base and a temporary cooling off when it seems to be hurting an economy that is one of his main arguments for re-election.

Mr. Trump and his advisers are wary of a potential challenge from Democrats who will try to paint the president as weak on China. Officials are cognizant that striking a deal based on the kind of limited concessions China is currently offering would most likely be a political liability in the president’s bid for re-election. Democrats, along with some Republicans, have previously accused Mr. Trump of buckling on China after he reached a deal that allowed ZTE, the Chinese telecom company, to avoid tough American punishment.

Yet as collateral damage from the trade war increases, Mr. Trump is facing pressure to relent. The bond market has been flashing warning signs of a potential recession, and both consumer confidence and the manufacturing sector have slowed.

The trade war is also clearly weighing on the Chinese economy, which is growing at its slowest pace in more than two decades. But China has responded defiantly, imposing retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion worth of American goods. The country is preparing to celebrate the 70th anniversary of its founding on Oct. 1, and analysts say Beijing would be unlikely to make concessions at such a politically delicate moment.

People familiar with Chinese economic policymaking have said in recent weeks that Chinese leaders remain interested in reaching a trade deal with the United States, but that they are wary of what appear to be ever-increasing demands from the United States and what they describe as frequent shifts in the American negotiating position.

The Chinese government continues to insist that it will not accept any agreement that is unequal, or that prevents it from pursuing economic policies that it needs for continued growth.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_155582679_66815fe9-9ca9-4f97-b920-88f171a63e8c-articleLarge Markets Soar on News of China Talks, but Hopes for Progress Are Low Xi Jinping United States International Relations United States Economy Trump, Donald J Stocks and Bonds Mutual Funds International Trade and World Market Federal Taxes (US) Economic Conditions and Trends Credit and Debt

Mr. Trump has imposed tariffs on more than $350 billion worth of Chinese goods. He plans to increase tariffs further in October and December.CreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times

While both countries have motivation to come to an agreement, each is still insisting the other will be the first to bend.

“China and the US announced new round of trade talks and will work to make substantial progress,” Hu Xijin, the editor of the state-run Global Times, wrote on Twitter. “Personally I think the US, worn out by the trade war, may no longer hope for crushing China’s will. There’s more possibility of a breakthrough between the two sides.”

The Trump administration’s position is that the agreement must change China’s behavior, and that there is limited room for compromise. “This president is not about half-measures,” Peter Navarro, one of Mr. Trump’s trade advisers, said in August on Fox Business. “He can’t meet the Chinese halfway on this, because if you meet them halfway, they’ll only be stealing half as much as they’re stealing and killing half as many of Americans.”

The world’s two largest economies are resuming talks after a charged few months in which the United States and China went from being on the cusp of a deal to a near-breakdown in relations.

Negotiators had almost finalized an agreement in April, and were openly talking about a meeting where their two leaders would sign the deal. But China suddenly backed away from measures that would require it to change its laws, and Mr. Trump accused Beijing of breaking the deal and moved ahead with raising tariffs on the country.

The two sides again called a truce to escalating tensions in June, when Mr. Trump and Mr. Xi met personally in Osaka, Japan, during a Group of 20 summit. But the agreement quickly vanished. Mr. Trump grew frustrated with China’s failure to buy American agricultural goods — something the Chinese said they had never agreed to — and moved to further expand his tariffs.

China’s biggest request in the trade talks had been rolling back Mr. Trump’s tariffs, but those levies are now higher than ever. And American suspicions of China’s willingness to hold to an agreement — mistrust that led the United States to insist on a complex enforcement mechanism and changes to Chinese law — have only grown.

Still, there is little downside for any party in favoring talks over action.

As long as the American economy remains strong, Mr. Trump appears to have more to lose politically by giving into a weak deal with the Chinese than he does in persisting with his current approach. He could gain even more leeway to keep things status quo this month if the Federal Reserve cuts interest rates again to help insulate the American economy from the effects of a global slowdown and Mr. Trump’s trade war.

The Chinese are increasingly skeptical of the value of making further concessions, given their concern that Mr. Trump might go back on any deal he signs. But they have taken a pragmatic approach, “recognizing that openness to dialogue and engagement might not help much, but certainly cannot hurt,” Mr. Prasad said, adding, “There is still the hope that at least with further negotiations, at least even more trade and economic tensions can be staved off.”

For now, markets appear to be rewarding the promise to keep talking, even if hopes for an agreement are low.

The trade fight has clearly emerged as the top concern among investors this year. Some 51 percent of respondents to Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s monthly survey of global fund managers in August cited a worsening trade war as the top “tail risk” — a remote, but potentially deeply destabilizing threat — facing markets.

After a 1.8 percent drop in August, the recent rise has been a striking show of resilience. Annual expectations for corporate profit growth at S&P 500 companies have been falling for much of the year. The drop has been especially sharp for goods producing firms, as the global industrial economy has fallen into a slump many analysts have blamed on the trade war.

Still, stocks have managed to resume their climb, forcing some investors — particularly professionals whose performance is measured by how they stack up against important market indexes — to chase the rally.

“The narrative of ‘fear of missing out’ and ‘there is no alternative’ is resonating with investors,” said Ian Burdette, a senior managing director at brokerage firm Tribal Capital Markets. He added, “It seems significantly overdone, to me, from a fundamental perspective.”

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

Markets Soar on News of China Talks, but Hopes for Progress Are Low

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s decision to renew talks with China in the coming weeks sent financial markets soaring on Thursday, as investors seized on the development as a sign that both sides could still find a way out of an economically damaging trade war.

The rally sent the S&P 500 up more than 1 percent, underscoring just how much financial markets are subsisting on hopes and fears about the trade war. Shares fell through most of August, as Mr. Trump escalated his fight with China and imposed more tariffs, only to snap back on Thursday after news of the talks.

But expectations for progress remain low, and many in the United States and China see the best outcome as a continued stalemate that would prevent a collapse in relations before the 2020 election. Both Mr. Trump and President Xi Jinping of China are under pressure from domestic audiences to stand tough, and the talks will happen after Mr. Trump’s next round of punishing tariffs take effect on Oct. 1.

“Continuing to talk soothes markets a little bit,” said Eswar Prasad, the former head of the China division at the International Monetary Fund. “But the political cost to making major concessions is, I think, too high for either side.”

The skepticism stems in part from what is emerging as a familiar pattern for Mr. Trump, for whom China is both a source of leverage and a potential vulnerability heading into an election year. The president has so far imposed tariffs on more than $350 billion worth of Chinese goods and routinely shifts from blasting China and threatening additional punishment to trying to calm the waters in the face of jittery markets and negative economic news.

Over two weeks, Mr. Trump has called Mr. Xi an enemy of America, ordered companies to stop doing business in China and suggested the United States was in no rush to reach a trade deal. On Sunday, he moved ahead with his threat to eventually tax every golf club, shoe and computer China sends into the United States, placing tariffs on another $112 billion of Chinese goods.

Stock investors have zeroed in on the threat the trade war poses to the economy, buying and selling in tandem with Mr. Trump’s trade whims. Thursday’s rally was the fifth positive performance for the market in the past six sessions. It brought the S&P 500 to within striking distance — less than 2 percent — of its high of 3025.86, reached on July 26.

The coming weeks could result in more of the same, analysts say: tough words when the president wants to rally his base and a temporary cooling off when it seems to be hurting an economy that is one of his main arguments for re-election.

Mr. Trump and his advisers are wary of a potential challenge from Democrats who will try to paint the president as weak on China. Officials are cognizant that striking a deal based on the kind of limited concessions China is currently offering would most likely be a political liability in the president’s bid for re-election. Democrats, along with some Republicans, have previously accused Mr. Trump of buckling on China after he reached a deal that allowed ZTE, the Chinese telecom company, to avoid tough American punishment.

Yet as collateral damage from the trade war increases, Mr. Trump is facing pressure to relent. The bond market has been flashing warning signs of a potential recession, and both consumer confidence and the manufacturing sector have slowed.

The trade war is also clearly weighing on the Chinese economy, which is growing at its slowest pace in more than two decades. But China has responded defiantly, imposing retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion worth of American goods. The country is preparing to celebrate the 70th anniversary of its founding on Oct. 1, and analysts say Beijing would be unlikely to make concessions at such a politically delicate moment.

People familiar with Chinese economic policymaking have said in recent weeks that Chinese leaders remain interested in reaching a trade deal with the United States, but that they are wary of what appear to be ever-increasing demands from the United States and what they describe as frequent shifts in the American negotiating position.

The Chinese government continues to insist that it will not accept any agreement that is unequal, or that prevents it from pursuing economic policies that it needs for continued growth.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_155582679_66815fe9-9ca9-4f97-b920-88f171a63e8c-articleLarge Markets Soar on News of China Talks, but Hopes for Progress Are Low Xi Jinping United States International Relations United States Economy Trump, Donald J Stocks and Bonds Mutual Funds International Trade and World Market Federal Taxes (US) Economic Conditions and Trends Credit and Debt

Mr. Trump has imposed tariffs on more than $350 billion worth of Chinese goods. He plans to increase tariffs further in October and December.CreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times

While both countries have motivation to come to an agreement, each is still insisting the other will be the first to bend.

“China and the US announced new round of trade talks and will work to make substantial progress,” Hu Xijin, the editor of the state-run Global Times, wrote on Twitter. “Personally I think the US, worn out by the trade war, may no longer hope for crushing China’s will. There’s more possibility of a breakthrough between the two sides.”

The Trump administration’s position is that the agreement must change China’s behavior, and that there is limited room for compromise. “This president is not about half-measures,” Peter Navarro, one of Mr. Trump’s trade advisers, said in August on Fox Business. “He can’t meet the Chinese halfway on this, because if you meet them halfway, they’ll only be stealing half as much as they’re stealing and killing half as many of Americans.”

The world’s two largest economies are resuming talks after a charged few months in which the United States and China went from being on the cusp of a deal to a near-breakdown in relations.

Negotiators had almost finalized an agreement in April, and were openly talking about a meeting where their two leaders would sign the deal. But China suddenly backed away from measures that would require it to change its laws, and Mr. Trump accused Beijing of breaking the deal and moved ahead with raising tariffs on the country.

The two sides again called a truce to escalating tensions in June, when Mr. Trump and Mr. Xi met personally in Osaka, Japan, during a Group of 20 summit. But the agreement quickly vanished. Mr. Trump grew frustrated with China’s failure to buy American agricultural goods — something the Chinese said they had never agreed to — and moved to further expand his tariffs.

China’s biggest request in the trade talks had been rolling back Mr. Trump’s tariffs, but those levies are now higher than ever. And American suspicions of China’s willingness to hold to an agreement — mistrust that led the United States to insist on a complex enforcement mechanism and changes to Chinese law — have only grown.

Still, there is little downside for any party in favoring talks over action.

As long as the American economy remains strong, Mr. Trump appears to have more to lose politically by giving into a weak deal with the Chinese than he does in persisting with his current approach. He could gain even more leeway to keep things status quo this month if the Federal Reserve cuts interest rates again to help insulate the American economy from the effects of a global slowdown and Mr. Trump’s trade war.

The Chinese are increasingly skeptical of the value of making further concessions, given their concern that Mr. Trump might go back on any deal he signs. But they have taken a pragmatic approach, “recognizing that openness to dialogue and engagement might not help much, but certainly cannot hurt,” Mr. Prasad said, adding, “There is still the hope that at least with further negotiations, at least even more trade and economic tensions can be staved off.”

For now, markets appear to be rewarding the promise to keep talking, even if hopes for an agreement are low.

The trade fight has clearly emerged as the top concern among investors this year. Some 51 percent of respondents to Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s monthly survey of global fund managers in August cited a worsening trade war as the top “tail risk” — a remote, but potentially deeply destabilizing threat — facing markets.

After a 1.8 percent drop in August, the recent rise has been a striking show of resilience. Annual expectations for corporate profit growth at S&P 500 companies have been falling for much of the year. The drop has been especially sharp for goods producing firms, as the global industrial economy has fallen into a slump many analysts have blamed on the trade war.

Still, stocks have managed to resume their climb, forcing some investors — particularly professionals whose performance is measured by how they stack up against important market indexes — to chase the rally.

“The narrative of ‘fear of missing out’ and ‘there is no alternative’ is resonating with investors,” said Ian Burdette, a senior managing director at brokerage firm Tribal Capital Markets. He added, “It seems significantly overdone, to me, from a fundamental perspective.”

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

Jason Greenblatt, a Designer of Trump’s Middle East Peace Plan, Is Leaving the Administration

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s special envoy for Middle East peace, Jason Greenblatt, will leave the administration, according to a senior Trump official, raising new questions about a long-delayed plan to resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Mr. Greenblatt has worked closely since early 2017 with Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, to design what Mr. Trump has called the “ultimate deal.” But their secretive plan has been delayed for several months, and it is unclear when it will be released — and whether Mr. Greenblatt will be around for the rollout.

Trump administration officials have said that the plan would not be released before Israel’s Sept. 17 election, which would determine the fate of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a close Trump ally who has overseen expansionist policies in the occupied West Bank. The vote, if close, could be followed by months of political jockeying to build a governing coalition, which could further delay the plan’s release.

On Thursday, the Trump official would say about the plan only that “the vision is now complete and will be released when appropriate.”

Mr. Trump had warm words for Mr. Greenblatt on Twitter. “Jason has been a loyal and great friend and fantastic lawyer,” Mr. Trump tweeted, praising his “dedication to Israel.”

By the time the administration’s peace plan is revealed, Mr. Greenblatt, formerly a longtime top lawyer to the Trump Organization, may have returned to private life. He accepted a huge pay cut in early 2017 when he took his White House job at an annual salary of about $180,000. His wife and six children have remained at their home in Teaneck, N.J. It is unclear whether Mr. Greenblatt will return to the Trump Organization after he leaves the government.

Westlake Legal Group all-the-major-firings-and-resignations-in-trump-administration-promo-1530825933054-articleLarge Jason Greenblatt, a Designer of Trump’s Middle East Peace Plan, Is Leaving the Administration United States International Relations Trump, Donald J State Department Palestinians Netanyahu, Benjamin Middle East Kushner, Jared Greenblatt, Jason D

The Turnover at the Top of the Trump Administration

Since President Trump’s inauguration, White House staffers and cabinet officials have left in firings and resignations, one after the other.

Mr. Greenblatt will remain on the job “in the coming period,” the Trump official said. The absence of a commitment to stay through the plan’s release is sure to stir doubts about its viability, which many regional experts and officials already doubt will break a decades-long stalemate between Israel and the Palestinians.

Some Trump administration critics expect it will be a largely political document meant to bolster Mr. Netanyahu, assuming he survives this month’s election, and to affirm Mr. Trump’s domestic standing with conservative Jews and evangelical Christians who support Israeli territorial expansion.

But Trump officials argue that their peace effort is a serious one that incorporates lessons from the mistakes of several past administrations, although they have so far provided few details beyond a call for major new economic development in Palestinian areas.

After Mr. Greenblatt’s departure, Avi Berkowitz, an adviser to Mr. Kushner, will become “more involved in the process,” the Trump official said. So will Brian H. Hook, the State Department’s special representative for Iran.

Mr. Hook has already worked closely on the Israel-Palestinian file, a reflection of the Trump team’s theory that Israel and its Sunni Arab enemies can unite against a shared adversary: Tehran’s Shiite-led government.

Mr. Hook joined Mr. Kushner and Mr. Greenblatt for a midsummer Middle East tour meant to build support for their proposal from Arab leaders, whose backing they hope to win for a peace initiative that is expected to demand far more concessions from the Palestinians than from the Israelis. The Trump administration has been closely aligned with Mr. Netanyahu’s government on security and territorial issues, while taking an openly adversarial stance toward Palestinian leaders.

“It has been the honor of a lifetime to have worked in the White House for over two and a half years under the leadership of President Trump,” Mr. Greenblatt said in a statement. “I am incredibly grateful to have been part of a team that drafted a vision for peace. This vision has the potential to vastly improve the lives of millions of Israelis, Palestinians and others in the region.”

Mr. Kushner added in a statement that Mr. Greenblatt “has done a tremendous job leading the efforts to develop an economic and political vision for a long sought after peace in the Middle East,” saying he would remain a “close friend and partner.”

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