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Jobs report, China tariffs, NATO expansion: 3 things to watch in D.C. this week

·Contributor
·3 min read

President Biden is scheduled to travel to Ohio on Wednesday during a week where the global economy will be in full focus.

From the release of the Fed meeting minutes and jobs report data this week to foreign policy with China and NATO allies, here are three things to watch at the intersection of politics and business:

Recession woes

Investors and policymakers who are worried about the nation dipping into another recession will glean more economic data this week from the Federal Reserve's meeting minutes, released on Wednesday, followed by Friday’s jobs report.

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 04:  U.S. President Joe Biden speaks at the White House on July 04, 2022 in Washington, DC. Biden and first lady Jill Biden were hosting a Fourth of July BBQ and concert with military families and other guests on the south lawn of the White House. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks at the White House on July 04, 2022, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

The Fed's meeting minutes could shed light on its decision to raise rates by 75 basis points last month — the largest rate hike since 1994.

As the nation battles the highest inflation in more than four decades, the Fed is expected to continue to raise interest rates at their meeting at the end of July, but some worry that raising rates too much will tip the economy into a recession.

Meanwhile, the June jobs report is in focus as the Biden administration pushes back against speculation that the economy is heading into another recession. Economists anticipate that the U.S. added between 200,000 to 250,000 jobs in June.

U.S.-China tariffs

President Biden may lift some Trump-era tariffs against Chinese goods as early as this week in an effort to bring inflation down, Bloomberg reported.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen spoke with her Chinese counterpart Vice Premier Liu He on Tuesday morning in their first meeting since last fall. The two discussed the economic relationship between the U.S. and China as well as tariffs issued four years ago by former-President Trump on billions of dollars worth of Chinese imports.

Department of the Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testifies during a Senate Finance Committee hearing to examine President Joe Biden's proposed budget request for fiscal year 2023, on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, June 7, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Department of the Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testifies during a Senate Finance Committee hearing to examine President Joe Biden's proposed budget request for fiscal year 2023, on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, June 7, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

China’s economy has struggled this year, particularly after the Chinese Communist Party issued lockdowns to deal with a surge in COVID-19 cases.

At the same time, the Biden administration has continued to hold preliminary conversations about an Indo-Pacific trade agreement with U.S. allies and strategic partners in the region.

Taiwan has also pursued a trade agreement with the United States. Taiwan officials have warned that should the U.S. not strengthen economic ties with Taipei, it would be at risk of a Chinese economic takeover, according to Politico.

NATO expansion

Finland and Sweden signed accession protocols earlier Tuesday morning, pushing the nations closer toward joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Finland's Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto, left, Sweden's Foreign Minister Ann Linde, right, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg attend a media conference after the signature of the NATO Accession Protocols for Finland and Sweden in the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Tuesday, July 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)
Finland's Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto, left, Sweden's Foreign Minister Ann Linde, right, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg attend a media conference after the signature of the NATO Accession Protocols for Finland and Sweden in the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Tuesday, July 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)

Should the United States and the other 29 NATO allies ratify Finland's and Sweden's bids to enter the organization, it would mark the largest expansion of NATO since the 1990s.

Last week, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that NATO plans to put 300,000 troops on “high readiness” as a result of Russia’s war with Ukraine. The move signals a massive increase from the 40,000 troops currently in its rapid reaction force.

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