White House Weighs North Korea Options
July 06, 2017
Following the successful launch of an ICBM, the White House is pushing for more sanctions against the nation. The Education Department is also facing a lawsuit brought by 18 states regarding for-profit colleges. Meanwhile, the trade deficit has fallen and the labor market continues to be strong.
- U.S. to pursue more sanctions against North Korea. Following their first successful intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch, Ambassador Nikki Haley proposed a Security Council resolution that would target currency and oil inflows to the nation. Both Russia and China vetoed the measure, with Russian diplomats justifying their vote by asserting that the U.S. was pushing to escalate the issue. Ambassador Haley has signaled that she will refocus her efforts on targeting nations who support Pyongyang, specifically China. The PRC currently accounts for 90% of North Korea’s trade and is its only ally. Russia and China have both advocated for the U.S. and North Korea to enter talks on a “freeze-for-freeze” basis, meaning that the North would halt its nuclear program and the U.S. would stop joint military exercises with South Korea. [WSJ]
- 18 States challenge Department of Education policy. The Education Department froze the implementation of rules created by the Obama Administration that would have punished for-profit educational institutions that use deceptive recruiting tactics and charge high prices for unaccredited degrees. The institutions have been found to have cheated the federal government and student out of billions of dollars through federal loan programs. The DeVos-led Department of Education has pushed back against the suit, arguing that the rules did not take the for-profit college’s interests into account. She has further argued that the suit is purely politically motivated. The states involved in the suit are Massachusetts, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia. [WSJ]
Economic Indicators & News
- Jobless claims surprise analysts by rising for third week. The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose to 248,000, which is a 4,000 increase, and 5,000 above expectations. The number of claims is still below 300,000, which is the threshold for a healthy labor market. It is the 122 consecutive week that they have been below that marker; the longest stretch since 1970. [Reuters]
- U.S. trade deficit falls in May. The gap in imports to exports narrowed by 2.3% in May and now stands at $46.51 billion. Imports fell by 0.1%, while exports rose by 0.4%. Exports were at their strongest since April of 2015. They are expected to continue growing, as the U.S. dollar weakens slightly and the world economy continues to improve. [Fox Business]