WASHINGTON: US President Trump could announce tariffs on Chinese goods this week, a move that could inflame tension between the world’s top economies as the United States also face prospects of trade war with its closest allies, including the EU.
The US has accused China of forcefully transferring technology owned by the US companies to boost its own technological and economic development to justify its decision of tariffs on about 1,300 goods.
Last month, President Trump ordered to finalize this list of targeted goods that would be hit with a 25 percent tariff. One of Trump’s trade advisers said on Tuesday that the President was planning to impose tariffs on ‘subset’ of Chinese products that the administration had included in the original list of targeted products worth $50 billion announced in April, a news report said.
Quoting two unnamed sources, a news report said that it could be as soon as this week. The comments were seen as an indication that the Trump administration will go ahead with the plan to impose tariffs on Chinese goods in spite of improving ties between the US and China in the wake of cooperation Beijing extended to bring the North Korean leader to the negotiating table.
Following his successful summit with Korean Leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore this week, President Trump spoke about his personal friendship with Chinese President Xi Jinping, but said that China has not done enough to closing its border to trade with North Korea in recent months, an issue that has contributed to strain trade ties between the two countries.
The report said that while the original list of products that was identified by the Trump administration for tariff was likely to remain intact, the duties may be imposed on a smaller group of products from the list. According to the report, the administration is now considering a separate list of additional items that would be subject to more public input and on which tariffs could be imposed at a later date and would likely focus on items that China could promote for exports in future years as part of its Made in China 2025 plan.
Pakistan improves mechanism to handle AML/CFT issues
ISLAMABAD: The Finance Minister, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar said Friday that the Finance Ministry has improved institutional mechanisms for handling Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) issues.
Chairing a meeting here Friday in the wake of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Plenary meeting in Paris, the Minister expressed Pakistan’s strong resolve to keep up efforts on the counter financing of terrorism.
Foreign Minister, Abdullah Hussain Haroon and National Security Advisor Lt. General (retd) Nasser Khan Janjua, were also present on the occasion.
She added that the coordination between Central Bank, banking institutions, and law enforcement agencies have also been strengthened to curb money laundering and terror financing.
She invited participants to share their views and suggestions to further strengthen measures and put in place a strong implementation mechanism in this regard.
The participants while underscoring Pakistan’s resolve to further strengthen the AML/CFT regime emphasized and agreed on the formation of a high-level implementation committee to regularly oversee progress made by different agencies and departments engaged in the drive to counter financing of terrorism.
The meeting stressed inter-governmental cooperation as well as inter-agencies coordination for better results. The meeting was also briefed on the preparations by Pakistan’s delegation scheduled to attend FATF meeting at Paris.
Tax Amnesty Scheme receives good response
ISLAMABAD: Tax Amnesty Scheme was receiving encouraging results and its success would help to resolve the current account deficit and balance of payment issues.
This was stated by a spokesman of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Dr. Muhammad Iqbal on Friday while addressing a press conference here at FBR House. Muhammad Iqbal said the number of beneficiaries under tax amnesty scheme was increasing everyday.
He said under the scheme, the people could benefit by declaring their domestic and foreign assets as they would have to pay only a nominal tax under the scheme. To a question, the spokesman said the last date of the scheme was June 30 and he did not have any authority to extend the last date of the scheme.
Iqbal said keeping in view the benefits of tax amnesty scheme, the caretaker set up was also fully committed to ensuring the success of the scheme. He said government, as well as public representatives, were not eligible to take benefit from the scheme while people involved in different crimes were also not allowed to benefit from it.
Senate body discusses tax relief in FATA, Malakand
ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs on Friday discussed tax exemption for commercial enterprises in Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA), Provincially Administered Area (PATA) and Malakand Division.
The meeting of the committee was held here today under the chairmanship of Senator Farooq H. Naek and was attended by Senators Mian Muhammad Ateeq Shaikh, Muhammad Akram, Mohsin Aziz, Dilawar Khan, Khanzada Khan, Aurangzeb Khan, senior officers from the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Ministry of Finance.
Senator Mirza Muhammad Afridi, Senator Fida Muhammad, and Senator Shamim Afridi were specially invited for their valuable input regarding issues that came under discussion with regards to the people of FATA, PATA and Malakand Division.
The meeting commenced with consideration of a point of public importance raised by Senator Mirza Muhammad Afridi regarding utilization of Zakat Funds in the education and health sectors and details that revealed disbursement of those funds to FATA. However, the matter was deferred since secretary ministry of Finance was not present. The Committee took strict notice of this matter.
While discussing the issue of exemption to pensioners from filing tax returns on the public petition of Major (R) Ghulam Abbas, the Committee questioned Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, Member IR Policy FBR of the circumstances under which pensioners are taxed. He revealed that under FBR rules, pensioners are not taxed unless they possess taxable movable or immovable property; or if they accept other employment after retirement.
He further stated that the petitioner was not included in the tax list. Chairman Committee, expressed satisfaction and disposed off the petition; issuing directions for the petitioner to be informed of the decision.