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Trump says China agree to mitigate tariffs on US cars after trade war ceasefire

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Chinese President Xi Jinping has agreed to cut tariffs below the 40 percent level currently in place on US-made vehicles after the two countries had talks in Argentina.



Trump confirmed the situation on his tweeter handle stating that: “China has agreed to mitigate and remove tariffs on cars coming into China from the U.S. Currently the tariff is 40%”.

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During the meeting in Buenos Aires, the US agreed not to increase tariffs on January 1, as had been planned, while China agreed to immediately buy more agricultural products from US farmers.

If no broader deal is reached within 90 days, the US said it would hike tariffs on $200bn of Chinese goods from 10 to 25 percent.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said last week that he was examining all available tools to raise US tariffs on Chinese vehicles to the 40 percent level that China was charging on US-made vehicles.

A source reports that the Chinese state media on Monday cautiously welcomed the trade war truce on Monday, without mentioning the US January 1 deadline.

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Asian stock markets opened higher on Monday in the wake of the truce, with Tokyo rising by one percent and Hong Kong and Shanghai rising by more than two percent.

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Qatar to withdraw from OPEC come January 2019

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The Gulf nation’s Energy Minister Saad Sherida al-Kaabi has confirmed that Qatar is set to withdraw from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC),



The decision to quit the bloc of 15 oil-producing countries that account for a significant percentage of the world’s oil production was confirmed by Qatar Petroleum, the state oil company, on Monday.

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Al-Kaabi stated their goal when speaking at a news conference in the capital Doha “The withdrawal decision reflects Qatar’s desire to focus its efforts on plans to develop and increase its natural gas production from 77 million tonnes per year to 110 million tonnes in the coming years.”

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Qatar is the first Gulf country to leave the bloc of oil-producing countries.

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Kenya: Disagreement erupts over Sh30 billion oil pipeline loan

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Mystery surrounds a Sh30 billion commercial loan for a security system to guard a proposed crude oil pipeline after the Energy ministry confirmed it had been signed while the National Treasury disowned it following enquiries by the newsmen.



Treasury Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge said he was not aware of such a loan despite the Energy ministry, which signed the agreement early last year, maintaining that the contract had been submitted to his office.

Mr Thugge’s position that there was no such loan negotiation deepens the questionable circumstances under which government officials purportedly committed to borrow such a colossal sum of money for security years before the design of the proposed pipeline from the Turkana oilfields to the Lamu Port is submitted.

According to the seen copy of the commercial contract signed between Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Ltd, an Israeli security systems manufacturer, and then Ministry of Energy and Petroleum under Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter on February 15, 2017 at Nyayo House, Nairobi.

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The Petroleum docket has since been moved to the Mining ministry headed by Cabinet Secretary John Munyes.

Petroleum Principal Secretary Andrew Kamau, who signed the contract on behalf of the Kenyan government, did not deny its existence but said it was still being finalised by the Treasury.

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Mr Kamau defended the “early negotiations” for the loan long before Kenya’s crude pipeline specifics have been consolidated.

“Yes, the process is at Treasury. We already know the pipeline is 821 kilometres and how many pump stations will be there so there should be nothing wrong with planning its security. Don’t forget the loan is also for the security system for the existing pipeline,” Mr Kamau said.

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