U.S. Economy Strong, E.U. and Japan Plan Free Trade Deal
July 07, 2017
The E.U. and Japan plan to put a free trade agreement into force within the next two years. The EPA is facing a lawsuit from 5 States over a pesticide. The U.S. economy continues to do well, with a strong dollar and labor market.
- States’ lawsuit pushes for controversial pesticide to be banned. The suit claims that the EPA has a duty to ban chlorpyrifos, a pesticide that has been linked to health issues in humans. Following his appointment, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt decided not to ban the substance, saying that he “needed to provide regulatory certainty to the thousands of American farms that rely” on the substance. Critics, and those in the suit, claim that this is jeopardizing public health. The states involved are New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia. [The Hill]
- The E.U. and Japan embrace free trade. The two nations, some of the largest economic areas in the world, have announced a trade deal together. The move is seen as an embrace of globalization and a reaction to the death of the Trans Pacific Partnership. The deal has been four years in the making and could take up to two more years to finalize and put into effect. Some of the most difficult areas for negotiators to work through were related to agriculture and the automotive industry. Japan secured a decrease in tariffs for their carmakers, while the E.U. managed to get Japan to sync its regulatory framework with theirs. Both sides will lower their agricultural tariffs. There are still potential issues which could cause the deal to fall through, however, political leaders on both sides are pushing strongly for success. [WSJ]
Economic Indicators & News
- U.S. employment rises above expectations. Employment rose by 222,000 jobs in June, when only 179,000 jobs were expected. May’s numbers were also revised up by 14,000. Growth was led by the healthcare, hospitality, and professional business sectors. Unemployment did, however, creep up to 4.4% from 4.3%. [Business Insider]
- Dollar continues to strengthen and likely lead to interest rate hike. The Dollar rose to two-month highs against the Yen and a one-week high against the Pound Sterling, largely driven by a strong jobs report. These results are further evidence for the Fed to use as support for an increase in interest rates in December. [Reuters]