Mnuchin slaps down Thunberg’s fossil fuel concerns
Q: Does Greta Thunberg’s call for an end to fossil fuel investment threaten US economic growth?
“Is she the chief economist…that’s a joke” says Mnuchin sarcastically.
After she goes and studies economics in college, she can come and explain it to us, he adds.
Mnuchin and Javid to discuss Huawei this weekend
Q: The UK is planning to use Huawei equipment in its 5G networks – is that sensible?
Mnuchin says he’ll be meeting Sajid Javid in London this weekend, when this will be discussed.
Ross: EU auto tariffs are still an option
Q: What’s happening with the threat of tariffs on EU auto industry?
Wilbur Ross says the US has not abandoned the option of imposing these tariffs, they’re still available to be used if necessary.
We are eager to reach a resolution with the EU, he adds. But president Trump has said the tariffs are still an option if we go down a different route.
Mnuchin on US-French tax row
Donald Trump left Davos yesterday, but several member of his cabinet are still here – and they’re holding a briefing now.
Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin, commerce secretary Wilbur Ross and Eugene Scalia are here.
Mnuchin speaks first, outlining about how Donald Trump’s tax cuts and deregulations have been good for growth (this has been a regular theme from the US this week).
Mnuchin adds that Trump met an enormous number of CEOs, and also held a meeting about WTO reform.
On the US-French tax spat, Mnuchin confirms that presidents Trump and Mnuchin reached an agreement under which the digital sales tax will be postponed this year.
We’ll continue to have discussions at the OECD on the wider issue, Mnuchin adds.
With a political crisis brewing in Italy, prime minister Giuseppe Conte has pulled out of Davos.
Conte’s coalition is looking shaky, following the resignation of foreign minister Luigi Di Maio – a move that has hurt Italian bonds:
Introduction: Brexit and trade worries
Good morning from the third day of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
With barely a week until Brexit, UK chancellor Sajid Javid will attempt to reassure British business leaders as they face choppy waters ahead.
Javid is speaking at the CBI’s traditional lunch on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum. He’s expected to talk up the “opportunities of Brexit”, saying:
With the Brexit question settled, we have the chance to move forward and tackle the hard problems facing our economy.
To level up and spread opportunity; to raise the potential of our country; and decarbonise our economy.”
Businesses are alarmed, though, by Javid’s talk of diverging from the EU after Brexit.
Trade tensions are also bubbling away here. France and the US have reached a temporary truce in their dispute, with Paris dropping its digital sales tax (to avoid tariffs on its car sales).
Angela Merkel is speaking later, while Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó is expected to appeal for help from Davos attendees.
Plus tonight we hear from billionaire philanthropist George Soros.
- 9am Davos time: Session on taxing the digital economy with French finance minister Bruno Le Maire
- 9.30am Davos: Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó speaks
- 10.30am Davos: Microsoft chief Satya Nadella speaking about inclusive growth
- 12.30pm Davos: Sajid Javid speaks at CBI business leaders lunch
- 2.15pm Davos: Special address by German chancellor Angela Merkel
- Evening: George Soros’s annual Davos speech