RUSSIA SANCTIONS FOREVERMORE
REUTERS - Senior U.S. Republican and Democratic senators will introduce legislation on Tuesday seeking to impose a wide range of sanctions on Russia over its cyber activities and actions in Syria and Ukraine.
The legislation is sponsored by Republican Senator John McCain and Democrats Ben Cardin and Robert Menendez, all influential legislators on foreign policy matters. Aides said several other senators, both Democrats and Republicans, are also expected to sponsor the legislation, increasing its chances of becoming law.
According to a preliminary summary of the legislation seen by Reuters, the bill would impose visa bans and freeze the assets of people "who engage in significant activities undermining the cybersecurity of public or private infrastructure and democratic institutions" or assist in such activities.
It would also impose secondary sanctions on those who engage with the Russian defense or intelligence sectors, which could affect international companies doing business with Russia. It also puts into law sanctions on Russia that President Barack Obama imposed via executive order late last month.
U.S. lawmakers have long called for a tougher response to Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region and intervention in the Syrian civil war on behalf of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Their impatience has increased since U.S. intelligence agencies said Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a campaign to try to sway the 2016 presidential election in favor of Republican businessman Donald Trump.
The bill also sets new sanctions over Ukraine and Syria, including putting into law four executive orders from the Obama administration sanctioning Russia over its actions in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. Among other things, it would mandate sanctions on investments of $20 million or more in Russia's ability to develop its petroleum and natural gas resources.
The bill is being introduced a day before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee holds its confirmation hearing for Trump's nominee to be secretary of state, former Exxon Mobil chief executive Rex Tillerson.
Many lawmakers from both parties have raised questions about the decades Tillerson spent working with Russia's government as an executive at the oil company, and his ties to Putin. His hearing, set for Wednesday and Thursday, is expected to largely focus on those issues.
|June, 18, 14:30:00|
|June, 18, 14:25:00|
|June, 18, 14:20:00|
|June, 18, 14:15:00|
|June, 18, 14:10:00|
|June, 18, 14:05:00|
IMF - Within the next few years, the U.S. economy is expected to enter its longest expansion in recorded history. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the approved increase in spending are providing a significant boost to the economy. We forecast growth of close to 3 percent this year but falling from that level over the medium-term. In my discussions with Secretary Mnuchin he was clear that he regards our medium-term outlook as too pessimistic. Frankly, I hope he is right. That would be good for both the U.S. and the world economy.
IMF - The near-term outlook for the U.S. economy is one of strong growth and job creation. Unemployment is already near levels not seen since the late 1960s and growth is set to accelerate, aided by a near-term fiscal stimulus, a welcome recovery of private investment, and supportive financial conditions. These positive outturns have supported, and been reinforced by, a favorable external environment with a broad-based pick up in global activity. Next year, the U.S. economy is expected to mark the longest expansion in its recorded history. The balance of evidence suggests that the U.S. economy is beyond full employment.
U.S. FRB - Industrial production edged down 0.1 percent in May after rising 0.9 percent in April. Manufacturing production fell 0.7 percent in May, largely because truck assemblies were disrupted by a major fire at a parts supplier. Excluding motor vehicles and parts, factory output moved down 0.2 percent. The index for mining rose 1.8 percent, its fourth consecutive month of growth; the output of utilities moved up 1.1 percent. At 107.3 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 3.5 percent higher in May than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector decreased 0.2 percentage point in May to 77.9 percent, a rate that is 1.9 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2017) average.
IMF - South Africa’s potential is significant, yet growth over the past five years has not benefitted from the global recovery. The economy is globally positioned, sophisticated, and diversified, and several sectors—agribusiness, mining, manufacturing, and services—have capacity for expansion. Combined with strong institutions and a young workforce, opportunities are vast. However, several constraints have held growth back. Policy uncertainty and a regulatory environment not conducive to private investment have resulted in GDP growth rates that have not kept up with those of population growth, reducing income per capita, and hurting disproportionately the poor.