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U.S. trade deficit soars to $64B, highest in 12 years



The gap between what the United States buys from the rest of the world and what it sells widened to its highest level since 2008, as imports jumped by a record amount in July.

Data from the U.S. Department of Commerce released Thursday showed that the American trade gap reached $63.6 billion US during the month.

That’s the highest figure since the same month 12 years ago, during the depths of the financial crisis.

The U.S. economy imported $231.7 billion worth of goods from the rest of the world during the month, the highest amount ever and a 10.9 per cent increase from June’s level.

American exports also rose 8.1 per cent to $168.1 billion.

U.S. President Donald Trump has long complained that the trade gap is a sign that other countries are taking advantage of the U.S. by sending more products to the U.S. than they buy from U.S. companies. So his foreign and economic policies have been built around tariffs and import bans designed to making it harder and more expensive to import products, and try to incentivize companies to build items in America.

Canada has been targeted in a number of sectors, most recently aluminum, after Trump slapped a 10 per cent tariff on aluminum products imported from Canada, despite the fact that U.S. aluminum producers can’t produce enough of the metal to satisfy demand.

‘Long way to go’ before trade hits pre-pandemic levels

Trump’s trade policy does not seem to have succeeded in slowing the flow of imports. The U.S. trade deficit with China ballooned 11.5 per cent to $31.6 billion in July, while the goods deficit with Mexico hit a record high of $10.6 billion.

The U.S. trade gap actually hit a record of $80 billion for the month if only goods are factored in. But the U.S. consistently exports more services than it imports, which brought the overall trade gap down.

The United States ran a deficit in goods trade of $80.1 billion in July, the highest on record. The U.S. surplus in services, such as banking and insurance, declined to $17.4 billion, the smallest services surplus since August 2012 and a reflection in part of the decline in airline travel during the pandemic.

TD Bank economist Sohaib Shahid says the numbers show the impact that the coronavirus has had, and continues to have, on the world’s largest economy.

“Exports and imports of goods and services still remain below the levels seen last year, down 20 per cent and 11 per cent from July 2019, respectively,” he said. “There is still a long way to go before trade reaches pre-pandemic levels.”

Rubeela Farooqi, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, says she expects the uncertainty to continue for a while yet.

“A strong and sustained rebound in trade flows is uncertain given a still weak global growth and demand backdrop,” Farooqi said.


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COVID-19 on flights: More trips added to B.C.’s exposure warning list



Several more flights have been added to B.C.’s COVID-19 exposure list, with passengers being warned they should self-monitor for symptoms of the disease.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control posted details about the latest flights Monday evening. All four are domestic and either departed from or landed at Vancouver International Airport.

The flights most recently added to the BCCDC’s list are:

  • Sept. 18 – Air Canada flight 122 from Vancouver to Toronto (rows 13 to 19)
  • Sept. 19 – Air Canada flight 303 from Montreal to Vancouver (rows four to eight)
  • Sept. 22 – Air Canada flight 304 from Vancouver to Montreal (rows 22 to 28)
  • Sept. 24 – Air Canada flight 123 from Toronto to Vancouver (rows 20 to 24)

Passengers seated in the specified rows may be at a greater risk of exposure to the coronavirus, the BCCDC says.

More than 50 flights have been added to the BCCDC’s exposure warning list so far this month. Last week, Health Canada said there was no confirmed COVID-19 transmission on domestic flights within Canada, or on international flights to or from Canada.

Health officials in B.C. no longer directly contact people who were seated near someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19. Instead, health authorities post notices online about flights with confirmed cases.

Source: – CTV News Vancouver

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COVID-19 in B.C.: Vancouver care home dealing with second outbreak – CTV News Vancouver



A second outbreak of COVID-19 has been declared at a West End seniors’ home.

Haro Park Seniors Centre said in an email to families Tuesday that a resident from the Amber Lane area tested positive for the disease at St. Paul’s Hospital.

The care home says there are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the building.

“As a result of the outbreak being declared, we will be in full outbreak protocols as we were in the spring,” the email from the care home reads.

Haro Park says its team is fully stocked with personal protective equipment and disinfecting products and says it is “well prepared.”

All social visits from family are suspended until further notice.

A previous outbreak of the coronavirus at Haro Park was declared over in May. Eleven residents died and dozens more got sick after the first case at the facility was detected and announced on March 18.

At the time, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry described the outbreak as one of B.C.’s “first and most difficult care facility outbreaks.”

On Monday, Henry announced three new health-care facility outbreaks had been detected, including a second outbreak at Holy Family Hospital. Health officials said there were 13 active outbreaks in long-term care or assisted living facilities and three in acute care facilities.

Tuesday’s COVID-19 update will be delivered in a written statement sometime in the afternoon.

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Disney to lay off nearly 28K workers at California, Florida locations due to coronavirus



U.S. President Donald Trump would not say during his first debate with former Vice President Joe Biden Tuesday if he will urge his supporters to stay calm in the event of a contested election in November.

Asked by moderator Chris Wallace, Trump said he is urging people to be poll watchers to stop fraudulent activity both in polling places and with mail-in ballots, which Trump has repeatedly said will be a “disaster.”

“I hope it’s going to be a fair election. If it’s a fair election, I am 100 per cent on board,” Trump said. “But if I see tens of thousands of ballots being manipulated, I can’t go along with that.”

“What does that mean?” Wallace asked. “Does that mean you’re going to urge your people to take to the streets?”

“It means you have a fraudulent election,” Trump replied.

“These people aren’t equipped to handle it, number one. Number two, they cheat,” he continued.

Biden, when asked the same question, promised to not declare victory until the election results are independently certified.

“Here’s the deal: we count the ballots,” he said. “Some of these ballots in some states can’t even be opened until Election Day. And if there’s thousands of ballots it’s going to take time to do it.”

Trump also said he’s counting on the Supreme Court to settle any dispute in the final electoral count. By that time, the court will likely include Trump’s third nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, creating an unbreakable conservative majority if the Republican-led Senate votes to confirm her before Nov. 3.

“I’m counting on them to look at the ballots, definitely,” he said. “I hope we don’t need them in terms of the election itself, but for the ballots I think so.”

Trump has already refused to confirm whether he’ll accept a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the election.

For months, the president, Attorney General Bill Barr and other fellow Republicans have argued that mail-in ballots — which is being expanded or introduced in nearly every state due to the novel coronavirus pandemic — will lead to widespread fraud, while providing little concrete evidence. They have voiced support for solicited absentee ballots, which Trump himself has used to vote.

Click to play video 'US Presidential debate: Biden presses Trump to release his tax returns after Trump claims he’s paid ‘millions’'While Trump tried to point to examples of election fraud during the debate, those were full of mischaracterizations. A story about a group of Trump’s so-called poll watchers being turned away from an office in Philadelphia, for example, was due to many reasons beyond hiding fraud, local media has pointed out.

Biden pointed out during the debate that members of the military have been voting by mail since the Civil War, and refuted Trump and Republicans’ arguments that mail-in voting will lead to widespread fraud.

“Why is it for them somehow not fraudulent,” Biden asked, speaking of military members. “It’s the same process. It’s honest.”

Biden closed by promising that not only would he accept the results if he loses, but so would Trump.

“Once the winner is declared and all the ballots are counted, all the votes are counted, that’ll be the end of it,” he said.

“If we get the votes, he’s going to go. He can’t stay in power. It won’t happen. So vote,” he said earlier, directly addressing the camera.



Source: – Global News

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