The euro was higher in early trading yesterday, as markets stood by for the G7 meeting this Friday. \nForeign exchange markets were paying close attention to every remark from officials in the seven leading industrialized nations (G7), Haruya Ida, a currencies expert at Thomson Financial, said yesterday. \nPolitical and economic frictions generated by the sliding dollar are expected to dominate an upcoming meeting of G7 finance ministers, but there are as yet few signs the session will lead to their resolution. \nThe dollar plunged to an all-time low of 1.2898 euros to the dollar early last month but has lately showed some resistance, drawing strength from expressions of concern by central bankers and prospects for a rise in US interest rates. \nBut economists maintain that the trend is for a weaker dollar, notably as the US administration has displayed little discomfort with the fall in the currency. \nQuite the contrary. With a presidential election in November, a change in sentiment in Washington favoring a stronger greenback appears unlikely. \nUnder such circumstances, the gathering on Friday and Saturday of finance ministers and central bank governors from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US could easily expose their divergent interests. \nThe meeting is to take place in Boca Raton, Florida, on the Atlantic coast in the southeastern tip of the US. \nIn the opinion of some economists, Washington's trade partners last year tacitly approved a weak dollar policy even though it was not to their advantage, since a declining dollar increases the competitiveness of US exports. \nBut they nonetheless backed a statement at the last G7 finance meeting in Dubai in September calling for more flexibility in exchange rates in the hopes it would spur a recovery in the US that would in turn galvanize momentum elsewhere. \nBut sentiment changed when the dollar took a nosedive against the euro around the first of the year. \n"The Europeans are beginning to take fright from a degree of cooperation from which they see no way out," said analysts at the bank HSBC CCF in a research note. \n"The Americans are enjoying a devaluation of the dollar that strengthens their growth while having no troubling consequences -- no inflation, no increase in bond yields, no crisis of confidence in the dollar." \nAt Boca Raton, the Europeans should present a united front. They agreed late last month on a text in which they say they are "concerned about excessive exchange rate moves," signalling their discontent and anxiety. \nThe Japanese policy is clear, as articulated recently by Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki: the central bank must intervene against speculative dollar sales and thereby stem the fall of the currency. \nBut Europe and Japan are likely to have trouble getting their point across to the US, still the world's economic powerhouse and likely to reproach its partners for their sluggishness. \nFor US financial officials, who have said little about the dollar, the G7 meeting should be above all an occasion to insist that Washington's gaping budget deficit is not unusual from a historical perspective. \nWithout the support of the US a turnaround in current exchange market trends would be hard to contemplate, according to BNP Paribas analyst Alexandra Estiot. \nShe said the meeting this weekend should end with a vague statement that covers up differences and has no real impact on the market in the months to come.
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
CHINESE FIGHTERS: Beijing marked the US Cabinet member’s visit by briefly sending two warplanes across the median line of the Taiwan Strait yesterday morning President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday met with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar in the highest-level official meeting between the two nations since 1979. “It is a true honor to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from [US] President [Donald] Trump to Taiwan,” Azar said during the open portion of his courtesy call to the Presidential Office, which was streamed live online before Tsai and Azar held a closed-door meeting. “Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 has been among the most successful in the world, and that is a tribute to the open, transparent,
‘CROSS-STRAIT CONSIDERATIONS’: Groups said that the Ministry of Education’s policies excluded Chinese and students should not be blocked over political issues The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan. On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs. A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did
PARTNERSHIP AND LEARNING: A Princeton University health policy researcher said that the nation would be a ‘treasure trove’ of information for the US health chief US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar on Friday said he wants to learn about Taiwan’s “incredibly effective” response to COVID-19, even though the nation did things that the US has fumbled, such as having a unified strategy and citizens willing to wear masks. Azar leads a US delegation arriving today for a three-day visit to Taiwan. They are to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and health system leaders, and Azar is to give a speech to public health graduates. “The message of this trip is about Taiwan,” Azar said in an interview, deflecting a question about China.