Internationally this was a momentous week. Donald Trump removed America’s support from the G-7 Summit Statement, creating tension with some of America’s most powerful allies. Trump also met with Kim Jong-un, the first time an American President has met with a leader from the Hermit Kingdom.
- On Friday Trump announced 50 billion dollars’ worth of trade tariffs on Chinese goods, again creating volatility across global markets.
- In addition to leaving the summit early, Trump also removed America from the joint statement issued by the summit. Initially, Trump had committed to signing the statement only to withdraw support after Justin Trudeau, Canada’s Prime Minister, publicly criticised Trump’s trade policy.
- Whilst at the G7 Summit on the weekend Donald Trump blatantly suggested that Russia be readmitted to the G-8 bloc.
- Donald Trump’s deal-making skills met their match this week when he met with Dear Leader, Kim Jong-un – Trump committed to ending military exercises in South Korea with nothing concrete from North Korea in return.
- Trump is under political pressure to come up with a nuclear deal that is stronger than the one Barack Obama struck with Iran.
- Mario Draghi said the euro-area economy is strong enough to overcome increased risk, justifying the European Central Bank’s decision to halt bond purchases and close an extraordinary chapter in the decade-long struggle with financial crises and recession.
- It has been discovered that Donald Trump’s charity was a cover for improper political activity and self-dealing. Follow the link for more information.
- Locally, the public-sector wage deal removed the risk of work stoppages but at a cost of R30bn more than budgeted. If government does not reprioritize spending, this will push the fiscal deficit back above 4.0% of GDP, taking the government back to the 2017 medium-term budget estimate.
- Eskom strikes have started to escalate causing load shedding in the height of winter as Eskom is considered an essential service the strike is illegal.
- In a bid to cut costs South African Airways may cut up to 1500 jobs.
- The Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, had to stand before parliament on Wednesday as her fitness to hold office has been called into question.