- U.S. House of Representatives Overcomes Trump’s Defense Budget Veto
- Ant Group found a way to circumvent regulations
- UK Trade Minister: A free trade agreement will be signed with Turkey
U.S. House of Representatives Overcomes Trump’s Defense Budget Veto
The House of Representatives of the US Congress overcame the veto imposed by the country’s President Donald Trump on the draft defense budget for the 2021 fiscal year, according to DW.
322 congressmen voted for the document, while 87 voted against it. If the bill is again supported by the Senate, it will be the first ever case of lifting the veto imposed by the current US president.
On December 23, Donald Trump refused to sign the draft defense budget, which has already passed through both houses of Congress. He explained his decision by the fact that, from his point of view, the bill does not include “critical measures to protect national security.” At the same time, he called the document proposed to him for signing “a gift for Russia and China.”
The head of the White House demanded that provisions on the responsibility of social networks for the content of posts by their users be included in the bill. Trump supporters believe that with the help of such measures it will be possible to more effectively combat the propaganda of terrorism on the Internet. In turn, critics of such a proposal call it a violation of freedom of speech.
In addition, Trump criticized the proposal to rename some of the military bases, named after the warlords of the slave South during the American Civil War. The incumbent’s objections were also aroused by the document’s attempt to limit the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, South Korea and Germany.
The draft US defense budget for 2021 provides for the allocation of $ 740.5 billion to finance the activities of the Pentagon. It contains new sanctions on companies that facilitate the sale, lease or provision of pipe-laying vessels for the construction of the Nord Stream 2 and Turkish Stream gas pipelines.
At the same time, the document envisages further arms deliveries to Ukraine, a ban on cooperation between the American and Russian military and sanctions against Turkey for the purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems.
At the same time, the US House of Representatives supported Trump’s initiative to increase direct payments to citizens of the country in connection with the coronavirus pandemic from 600 to 2 thousand dollars.
Ant Group Found a Way to Circumvent Regulations
Ant Group wants to consolidate its financial operations in a holding company and be evaluated as a bank according to banking regulations.
According to Bloomberg’s report, the financial technology giant will move all its units that require a financial operation license to this new holding and apply when the regulatory authorities approve.
The operations that Ant Group plans to merge in the new holding company are asset management services, consumer loans, insurance, payment methods and the online loan company MYbank, one of Ant’s largest shareholders.
Under the financial holding structure, the company will be subject to more capital constraints, while more lending capacity will likely decrease.
With this new solution, Ant Group will be able to continue its operations in other financial sectors besides the payment systems sector.
The Bank of China warned Ant Group to abandon other financial operations and return to its main operation, payment systems, in a statement on Sunday.
As the company was preparing for one of the largest public offerings in the world in recent months, it was suddenly subject to repeated audits and investigations by Chinese regulatory agencies, and the IPO was stopped. The Wall Street Journal claimed that this decision was taken directly by Xi Jinping.
UK Trade Minister: A Free Trade Agreement Will be Signed with Turkey
Britain’s Ministry of Commerce announced that Turkey and Britain signed a free trade agreement. This will be the first trade deal the UK will sign after its trade agreement with the EU.
The agreement to be signed by the two countries will ensure the continuation of the current trade conditions between Ankara and London.
However, British Minister of International Trade Liz Truss said she was hopeful that a special agreement between the two countries would soon be reached.
“The deal we expect to sign this week locks in tariff-free trading arrangements and will help support our trading relationship. It will provide certainty for thousands of jobs across the U.K. in the manufacturing, automotive and steel industries,” Truss said in a statement.
“We now look forward to working with Turkey toward an ambitious tailor-made U.K.-Turkey trade agreement in the near future,’’ she added.
Last week Turkey welcomed the deal and said the preparations for the signing of the free trade agreement between Britain and Turkey have also reached their final stage.
Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan on Sunday said Ankara was following the Brexit process “minute by minute” in order to enact its FTA with Britain.
“Our aim is to sign the agreement as soon as possible,” Pekcan said after the Advisory Board Meeting of the ministry in the capital Ankara.
“Our own draft agreement is ready for signature,” the minister said. “Of course, because of our obligations with the EU, we were not able to sign a free trade agreement with the U.K. before the Brexit agreement,” she said.
The agreement to be signed with Turkey will be 5th in the trade volume since the Brexit Agreement. The trade volume between the two countries is around 19 billion pounds.