The Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the first time in more than a decade on Wednesday as it attempted to guard the record-long economic expansion against mounting global risks. The widely expected quarter-point move, the Fed’s first since it cut rates to near zero in 2008, is meant to protect the economy against the potentially harmful effects of a growth slowdown in China and Europe and uncertainty from President Trump’s trade war.
In the biggest blow he’s dealt to the renewable energy industry yet, President Donald Trump decided on Monday to slap tariffs on imported solar panels. The U.S. will impose duties of as much as 30 percent on solar equipment made abroad, a move that threatens to handicap a $28 billion industry that relies on parts made abroad for 80 percent of its supply.
President Donald Trump’s threatened 5% tariff on all Mexican imports could hit American farmers especially hard if Mexico retaliates with punitive duties on U.S. agricultural products. Farmers are already reeling from Trump’s drawn out trade war with China and fear further losses could be in their futures.
The latest report was a disappointing showing that will stoke fears the economy is softening as the Trump administration’s trade war with China and potentially Mexico escalates. The Federal Reserve has signaled that it would consider a rate cut in the event of economic weakness, and May’s data is likely to be an important factor in their decisions.
President Trump forged ahead Friday with plans to impose import penalties on Mexico, one of the United States’ largest trading partners, brushing aside apoplectic lawmakers, business groups and investors who feared the White House was expanding trade wars without any plan for eventual escape.