President Donald Trump said on Monday that China is ready to come back to the negotiating table and the two countries will start talking very seriously.Politicsread more
The escalating trade war between Washington and Beijing dominated discussions at the G-7 gathering in France.Politicsread more
China's state media is putting up a brave front as the country's trade war with the U.S. escalated sharply over the weekend.China Economyread more
The latest round of tariff announcements in the last few days means that by the end of the year, essentially all Chinese goods exported to the U.S. will be subject to duties.China Economyread more
U.S. stock futures surged Monday morning after President Trump said China is ready to come back to the negotiating table following a phone call Sunday and the two countries...Marketsread more
As Washington and Beijing continue to up the ante in their protracted trade fight, the potential of a recession in the U.S. is now "the biggest concern," according to Standard...US Economyread more
Tensions stemming from the U.S.-China trade war escalated sharply over the last few days, with much happening as Asian markets were shut down for the weekend.China Economyread more
Clouding the G-7 gathering, which represents the world's major industrial economies, are the tit-for-tat tariffs between Washington and Beijing.Politicsread more
Neither the U.S. nor China wants to be seen as the party that derailed trade talks, says William Reinsch of Center for Strategic and International Studies.World Economyread more
China said Friday it will be resuming 25% duties on U.S. autos, and a further 5% on auto parts and components.Asia Marketsread more
World leaders, environmental groups and celebrities have publicly decried the vast swaths of forest being destroyed by the fires.World Newsread more
The government's top ethics watchdog disclosed Tuesday that it had refused to certify a financial disclosure report from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
In a filing, the Office of Government Ethics said it wouldn't certify the 2018 annual filing by Ross because he didn't divest stock in a bank despite stating otherwise. The move could have legal ramifications for Ross and add to pressure for a federal probe.
"The report is not certified," OGE Director Emory Rounds said in a filing, explaining that a previous document the watchdog received from Ross indicated he "no longer held BankUnited stock. " However, Rounds said an Oct. 31 document "demonstrates that he did" still hold the shares and as a result, "the filer was therefore not in compliance with his ethics agreement at the time of the report."
A federal ethics agreement required that Ross divest stock worth $1,000 to $15,000 in BankUnited by the end of May 2017, or within 90 days of the Senate confirming him to the Commerce post. He previously reported selling the stock twice, in May 2017 and in August 2018, as part of an annual disclosure required by OGE.
However, Ross didn't sell the stock in the agreed upon time period in 2017 and then made the two filings indicating he did, the Center for Public Integrity first reported in December 2018. The nonprofit, which obtained the OGE documents, claimed Ross's failure to sell the stock was "the latest in a series of inaccurate statements and omissions in Ross' personal financial statements."
OGE guidelines allow the Justice Department to impose civil fines or take criminal action in cases where an individual "knowingly" files false information.
"While I am disappointed that my report was not certified, I remain committed to complying with my ethics agreement and adhering to the guidance of Commerce ethics officials," Ross said in a statement Tuesday. He said the BankUnited stock he owned was awarded when he was a director of the Florida-based bank from 2009 and 2014.
Ross, a billionaire, said the "100 shares were worth approximately $3,700, an amount that federal regulations deem de minimis and below the threshold of a possible conflict of interest. Therefore, even if a BankUnited matter had come before the Department while I owned the shares — and I have not been made aware of any such matter — I would not have been disqualified from working on it."
The Commerce secretary further explained that the shares "were held in book entry form by BankUnited's stock transfer agent. I previously reported selling the shares on May 31, 2017, based on a mistaken belief that the agent executed my sell order on that date. As soon as I learned that the shares had not been sold, I again took action to direct their sale and disclosed the sale of these 100 shares on October 31, 2018, correcting the only known error in my annual report."
There have been calls before for an investigation on stock-related issues involving Ross, including claims he may have violated a criminal conflict of interest law.