US Locked in 'Economic War with China'

White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon. (AFP Photo/Mike Theiler)
White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon. (AFP Photo/Mike Theiler)
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US Locked in 'Economic War with China'

White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon. (AFP Photo/Mike Theiler)
White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon. (AFP Photo/Mike Theiler)

White House chief strategist Steve Bannon said in an interview published Wednesday that the US is at "economic war with China" and dismissed the ratcheting up of tensions stemming from North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile activity as "just a sideshow."

In the interview with The American Prospect, a progressive publication, Bannon said "the economic war with China is everything," arguing the US needs to be "maniacally focused on that."

"If we continue to lose it, we're five years away, I think, 10 years at the most, of hitting an inflection point from which we'll never be able to recover," Bannon said.

"We're at economic war with China," Bannon told the Prospect. "One of us is going to be a hegemon in 25 or 30 years, and it's gonna be them if we go down this path. On Korea, they're just tapping us along. It's just a sideshow."

Meanwhile, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell to near a six-month low last week, pointing to a further tightening in the labor market that could encourage the Federal Reserve to lay out a plan to start unwinding its massive bond portfolio.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 232,000 for the week ended Aug. 12, the Labor Department said.

That was the lowest level since the week ended Feb. 25 when claims fell to 227,000, which was the best reading since March 1973. Data for the prior week was unrevised.
It was the 128th week that claims remained below 300,000, a threshold associated with a robust labor market. That is the longest such stretch since 1970, when the labor market was smaller. The unemployment rate is 4.3 percent.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims dropping to 240,000 in the latest week. The four-week moving average of claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 500 to 240,500 last week.



Saudi, British Companies Seek to Explore Sustainable Partnerships

Participants in the Great Futures Initiative conference which was recently held in Riyadh (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Participants in the Great Futures Initiative conference which was recently held in Riyadh (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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Saudi, British Companies Seek to Explore Sustainable Partnerships

Participants in the Great Futures Initiative conference which was recently held in Riyadh (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Participants in the Great Futures Initiative conference which was recently held in Riyadh (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Several major national companies are participating in the UK-Saudi Sustainable Infrastructure Summit in London on June 24-26.

According to information made available to Asharq Al-Awsat, the Federation of Saudi Chambers is seeking to mobilize the largest possible number of companies specialized in sustainable infrastructure to explore partnerships with the United Kingdom in green construction, smart cities, and technologies.

The summit will address topics that touch on the importance of Saudi-British cooperation in developing and financing sustainable infrastructure and development of cities, in addition to green technology and renewable energy initiatives.

Trade Exchange

The event will be followed by a meeting of the sectoral working groups on June 25 and an evening celebration of the tenth anniversary of the British-Saudi Business Council. The Sports Investment Forum will be held on June 26.

The value of trade exchange between Saudi Arabia and Britain exceeded 17 billion pounds ($21 billion), while the two countries aim to increase the volume of bilateral trade to $37.5 billion by 2030.

In May, Riyadh hosted the Great Futures conference, one of the initiatives of the Saudi-British Strategic Partnership Council, which is chaired by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

The conference sought to strengthen economic relations in several promising sectors, in addition to developing trade and mutual investment.

The two kingdoms explored opportunities through 60 initiatives in 13 sectors that enhance economic, trade and investment partnerships in all fields.

Speaking at the event in May, Saudi Minister of Commerce Dr. Majid Al-Qasabi said that the United Kingdom is the second largest exporter of services in the world, and that his country has promising opportunities and a will to diversify the economy.

He added that joint cooperation between the two countries covers various fields, with a focus on the commercial, financial, digital, cultural, educational and health sectors, as well as sports, tourism and entertainment.