The path for tax reform put forward by House Speaker Paul Ryan and fellow House Republicans would appear — at least at first blush — to offer a clear answer: taxing imports but not exports, in a reversal of current policy that imposes corporate income taxes on exporters but not overseas producers with goods bound for the U.S.
Proponents go so far as to suggest that this is a neat way for Trump to shift the tide of trade without provoking a trade war by slapping punitive tariffs on goods from China and Mexico.
While the economic impact of the proposal is much more complicated, the immediate fate of the House GOP tax reform may rest on what Trump's working-class supporters find more alarming: anti-competitive U.S. tax policy or higher prices at Wal-Mart (WMT).
The National Retail Federation has begun sounding the alarm about the House GOP plan released in June, when a clean sweep in the election for Republicans seemed like a distant long shot.
Here's why retailers are girding for a fight: While cutting the statutory corporate tax rate to 20% from 35%, the House plan would no longer allow businesses to deduct the cost of imports from taxes. That means retailers such as Wal-Mart, Amazon (AMZN), Costco (COST), Dollar Tree(DLTR) and Starbucks (SBUX) would have to pay a tax equal to 20% of the cost of the clothing, televisions, toys and coffee they import.
The nation's freight rail operator says it needs 100,000 more cars to meet strong demand for power during cold winter months
China is suffering from a major shortage of trains to transport coal, a situation that follows a pause in construction of new rail cars and the scrapping of many old ones due to oversupply and weak demand over the past three years.
Beijing has embarked on a campaign to eliminate excess capacity in a number of industrial sectors, with coal and iron both set for sharp reductions. Much of the excess was built to feed China's hungry economy during years of breakneck growth, when annual expansion routinely reached 10% or more.
But a new phase of slower growth, sluggish demand and trade barriers overseas have prompted Beijing to reduce capacity in a bid to shore up sagging prices. Coal prices have jumped sharply as a result of those reductions, compounded by strong demand for electricity during the cold winter months.
As a result of those factors, the country now faces a shortage of about 100,000 rail cars for coal transportation, according Guo Yuhua, a senior official at China Railway, operator of the country's passenger and freight rail systems. He said that with a few exceptions, freight capacity is now being completely utilized on most of China's rail lines, creating a transportation crisis.
To address the shortage, China Railway has deployed 20,000 flatbed rail cars, and another 20,000 open cars, Guo said.
China Railway shipped 170 million tons of coal in October, up 6.6% from a year earlier. Beijing has set a reference shipping price of 15.51 fen (2.25 U.S. cents) per ton of coal, and the operator can charge up to 10% more than that rate based on demand.
The Bohai-Rim Steam-Coal Price Index, which measures domestic thermal coal prices, has risen more than 60% from the beginning of the year after the government ordered mines to cut production to trim overcapacity and fight pollution. This has led to a coal shortage heading into winter when demand typically peaks.http://m.english.caixin.com/m/2016-12-01/101021480.html?m_referer=aHR0cDovL20uY29tcGFuaWVzLmNhaXhpbi5jb20vbS8yMDE2LTEyLTAxLzEwMTAyMTMyNC5odG1sP2Zyb209c2luZ2xlbWVzc2FnZQ==
Russia plans to cut its oil output from November-December levels as a part of its agreement to stabilize global oil market together with OPEC, Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters on Thursday.
Novak said a day earlier Russia was ready to cut oil production by up to 300,000 barrels per day in the first half of 2017 as a part of its agreement with OPEC.
"It will be an equal approach, an equal cut by all (Russian) companies, but we will work out (details) additionally... In general, there is an understanding that this (cut) should be equal in percents for all," Novak said. He did not elaborate.
Rosneft is Russia's top oil producer, followed by Lukoil, Surgutneftegaz and Gazprom Neft. Rosneft and Gazprom Neft declined to comment, while Lukoil and Surgut did reply to Reuters requests seeking a comment.
Russia's oil output set a new post-Soviet era record high in October, rising 0.1 percent from September to 11.2 million barrels per day (bpd).