US lawmakers ask Trump to keep tariffs off PPE, vaccine equipment | Coronavirus pandemic News

Personal protective equipment imported from China could face Trump’s trade war tariffs if exclusions are allowed to expire.

A bipartisan group of 75 United States lawmakers is urging the Trump administration to extend exclusions from import tariffs on medical products imported from China, including face masks, hand sanitising wipes and examination gloves as the country continues to battle record numbers of COVID-19 cases.

In a letter to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the legislators said failure to extend the exclusions beyond December 31 would hurt small businesses already suffering from stay-at-home orders aimed at containing the spread of the new coronavirus.

They said they recognised that the exclusions were granted in part to give US companies more time to diversify their supply chains out of China. But companies needed more time to complete those efforts given continuing travel restrictions, they said.

“Extending exclusions before they expire will help with pandemic

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Gold prices skid lower to start week as U.S. coronavirus vaccine rolls out

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Gold futures on Monday were under selling pressure as a rollout of the experimental coronavirus cure began in the U.S. and as some uncertainty centered on another round of COVID-19 relief aid out of Congress hurt the yellow metal’s bullish thesis.

However, weakness in the dollar, off 0.5%, as measured by the ICE U.S. Dollar Index was capping downside for bullion and other precious metals priced in the U.S. unit.

Gold’s slide comes ahead of the last meeting of the Federal Reserve, which could also serve as a catalyst for commodities and financial markets broadly.

“Gold is struggling again today and broken back below $1,830 this morning where it had been seeing some support over the last week or so,” wrote Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda, in a daily note.

Video: The two things that would make Federated’s top strategist put

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Dollar falls as vaccine progress boosts risk appetite; sterling up more than 1%

LONDON (Reuters) – The dollar fell at the open of European trade on Monday, with progress on COVID-19 vaccines lifting risk appetite, while the British pound rose more than 1% after Britain and the European Union agreed on Sunday to carry on with Brexit negotiations.

FILE PHOTO: Pound and U.S. dollar bills are seen in this illustration taken January 6, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

The United States launched its first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine to distribution centres on Sunday, raising hopes for a swift recovery from the global coronavirus-induced economic downturn.

The dollar was down around 0.2% against a basket of currencies at 90.621 at 0804 GMT, staying within December’s ranges but not far from its lowest since 2018.

The risky Australian and New Zealand dollars were also up, close to their strongest since 2018. At 0821 GMT, the Aussie – a liquid proxy for risk – was up 0.4%

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European stocks and U.S. equity futures climb on COVID-19 vaccine optimism and stimulus-deal hopes

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European stocks traded higher on Monday, alongside U.S. equity futures, with investors encouraged by COVID-19 vaccine progress and hopes for a stimulus deal out of Washington. No collapse in Brexit talks also lifted sentiment.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.9%, after the index logged a 1% loss last week, snapping a five-week winning streak. The German DAX and the French CAC 40 were up over 1% each.

Gains were less pronounced for the FTSE 100 index which rose 0.5% as the pound surged against the dollar, last up 1.5% to $1.3431. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, agreed on Sunday to go “the extra mile” to reach a post-Brexit trade deal.

The two said that discussions would continue as the legal deadline of Dec. 31 looms. And while Johnson pointed out that both sides

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China’s dry ice equipment sector in full swing to meet US COVID-19 vaccine transport needs

Global Times

By Yin Yeping Source: Global Times Published: 2020/12/13 19:43:40

China’s dry ice equipment suppliers in full swing

As US President Donald Trump hailed the launch of COVID-19 vaccines, dry ice and its machine suppliers in China are working in full swing to respond to soaring demand for the cold chain, in which ice dry plays an indispensable part, with some companies’ export orders to the US jumping by an unprecedented 10 to 20 times year-on-year.

Industry insiders predicted that the shortage of dry ice will be further worsened with the launch of more vaccines, and it may not be eased within half a year.

Pfizer’s vaccine should be stored at -70 C, pushing up demand for dry ice, which has widely been used in the delivery of deep sea fish, beef and imported fruit – products that often have high requirements for transport temperatures.

Meanwhile, logistic disruptions due

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Oil Climbs Toward $47 on U.S. Vaccine Rollout, Tanker Explosion

(Bloomberg) — Oil advanced toward $47 a barrel before the rollout of the first Covid-19 vaccine in the U.S. and as news of another tanker explosion in the Middle East raised concerns over the region’s stability.

Futures rose 0.6% in New York after losing 0.5% on Friday. First deliveries of the Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech SE vaccine will be made Monday after the drug gained emergency authorization last week, with President Donald Trump and other officials offered the shot as part of a plan to ensure continuity of government.

A ship was hit by an explosion near the Saudi Arabian port city of Jeddah on Sunday, according to the United Kingdom Marine Trade Operations. The incident highlights the potential for supply to be disrupted in the region and comes three weeks after an oil tanker was damaged in a possible attack at the Saudi terminal of Shuqaiq.

chart: Oil has climbed amid vaccine breakthroughs

© Bloomberg
Oil has climbed

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Emerging Markets Look to Vaccine Rollout, Stimulus for Next Spur

(Bloomberg) — Emerging markets are closing in on the final phase of 2020 with investors anticipating further stimulus while keeping a close eye on the rollout of vaccination programs.

a screen shot of a computer: A visitor views the electronic board displaying stock activity at the Brasil Bolsa Bacao (B3) stock exchange in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Thursday, May 18, 2017. Brazil's Ibovespa Index tumbled 7.9 percent, the most since August 2011, as political crisis returned to the country after last year's impeachment process.

© Bloomberg
A visitor views the electronic board displaying stock activity at the Brasil Bolsa Bacao (B3) stock exchange in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Thursday, May 18, 2017. Brazil’s Ibovespa Index tumbled 7.9 percent, the most since August 2011, as political crisis returned to the country after last year’s impeachment process.

Continued support from central banks and optimism that coronavirus vaccine developments will sustain a global economic recovery next year have fueled a rush to riskier assets, sending gauges of developing-nation stocks, currencies and bonds to six straight weeks of gains.


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While at least 10 central banks in developing economies are scheduled to set monetary policy this week, none will be as closely watched as the Federal Reserve. The

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COVID-19 Vaccine Advancement Drives Emerging Market Optimism In November

The year looks like it’s ending on an optimistic note as emerging markets are holding strong overall, according to our Emerging Markets Equity team. The team outlines reasons 2021 could bring brighter days and offers highlights of news and events driving emerging markets during the month of November.

Three Things We’re Thinking About Today

  1. We are of the opinion that there are a number of high-level reasons to be positive on emerging markets (EMs) based on a combination of a Joe Biden presidency and a Republican Senate in the United States. First, we believe this election result is likely to cap US interest rates for longer and therefore weaken the US dollar, thereby inducing a flow of money into EMs, further benefiting those countries. Second, we could expect a softer policy stance toward China. Under Biden, we could see some resolution to the China-US relationship and a form of peace
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Vaccine misinformation on social media amid COVID ‘a huge problem’

Social media posts containing vaccine misinformation not only have increased since the pandemic began, they’re more likely to coexist alongside less extreme content, effectively normalizing them and possibly delaying wider acceptance of a COVID-19 vaccine, experts told ABC News.

Dr. Doreen Brown, 85, receives the first of two Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine jabs administered at Guy's Hospital in London, Dec. 8, 2020.

© Victoria Jones/AP
Dr. Doreen Brown, 85, receives the first of two Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine jabs administered at Guy’s Hospital in London, Dec. 8, 2020.

Analysts with Graphika, a firm that tracks social media misinformation, said that members of the anti-vaccine community, some already with large followings, have since absorbed individuals previously entrenched in similar groups tied to wellness or alternative medicine or unfounded conspiracy theories.


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Melanie Smith, head of analysis at Graphika, said anti-vaccination communities now engage online more with posts about pop culture, celebrities and politics, producing tailored messages that can amplify their cause. Posting a wider array of content is a strategy used by other fringe

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