Labor Market Strong
The US economy added 313,000 new jobs in the month of February, the most since mid-2016. Employment gains were robust and sectors previously thought to be under pressure, such as trucking and factory jobs, showed resilience. Markets had heretofore been cautious after Fed chairman Jerome Powell hinted at an earlier than expected rate rise, but strong labor numbers have sent stocks and bonds upwards.
Trump Signs Tariffs
Trump signed the tariff order on metals this week but allowed for more leniency for current trade allies. This was a change in his previous stance of enacting the tariffs on all countries. The wiggle room for Mexico and Canada comes with the condition that there will continue to be negotiations on NAFTA and creating a more beneficial deal for the US. The tariffs will be enacted on March 16th and will charge a tax of 25% and 10% on steel and aluminum respectively.
Trump to meet Kim Jong-Un
In a move that defies years of conventional foreign policy, Donald Trump has accepted an invitation from North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un to discuss the potential rolling back of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. Trump will be the first sitting US president ever to meet with a North Korean leader. The unexpected detente comes after months of inflammatory rhetoric and nuclear threats between the two leaders and follows an easing of relations between North and South Korea.