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US Senate unanimously passes TRILLION dollar coronavirus package

The bill passed by a vote of 96 to 0, showing unanimous bipartisan support for the bill.

The vote ends days of deadlock and debate over provisions for American people and businesses

It’s now sent to the House Of Representatives for the next stage of debate.

The emergency legislation is the largest economic relief bill in US history.

The package is expected to provide one-time direct payments to Americans of $1,200 per adult making up to $75,000 a year.

The payments extend to $2,400 to a married couple making up to $150,000, with $500 payments per child. 

The benefit is reduced by $5 for each $100 the taxpayer makes, assisting poorer workers.

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The legislation is the product of crisis compromise between a bitterly divided political system in America.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said that the House of Representatives vote will be “a good debate on the floor.”

Speaking to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday about fears the bill doesn’t go far enough, she said: What is important is for us to recognize the good that is in the bill, appreciate it for what it does. Don’t judge it for what it doesn’t because we have more bills to come,

“At the start of all this we had two bills, which were about emergencies … and the emergency isn’t over, but the focus was on those two bills. Now we’re mitigating for the damage of it all to the health and to the livelihood of the American people,

She added: “That is in this bill. And then we will go forward for recovery. Emergency, mitigation, recovery.

”And again all along the way still addressing the emergency and mitigation needs by focusing on how we build the economy in a positive way as we meet the health needs of the American people.”

She has said she’s “very pleased (…) congressional Democrats were able to turn upside down the bill that was presented at the beginning of the weekend.

“It was a trickle-down, corporate bill. It is now a bubble-up, workers bill and we’re very proud of that.”

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The package is intended as relief for an economy falling fast into recession.

This comes along with America facing a devastating toll from an infection that’s killed nearly 20,000 people worldwide.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is reticent to allow the unprecedented aid to continue for too long, as the bill costs half the annual federal budget.

He said: “We’ve anticipated three months. Hopefully, we won’t need this for three months.”

The US currently has 64’180 cases of Coronavirus based on available testing.

As of Thursday, 897 have died after contracting the virus.

New York remains the most afflicted state, with its dense population leading to over 30’000 cases.

Michigan, California and Washington are all around the 2’500 mark, as the pandemic rages across the US.

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Donald Trump hints US economy may reopen despite deadly Coronavirus spread

The President wants the stock markets to start trading again after he was said to be privately concerned about the effects the pandemic will have.

In a series of tweets, he announced his intentions to urge markets to resume business as usual.

He posted on Sunday night: “We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself.

“At the end of the 15 day period, we will make a decision as to which way we want to go.”

The Washington Post claims that Trump has been seeking advice on whether the restrictions put in place because of the virus should be scaled back.

The effects of the closures has led to unemployment rates skyrocketing in the states.

Presidential advisers are starting to push Trump to bring back normality and send workers back to their jobs after the 15 day period.

The President wants the stock markets to start trading again after he was said to be privately concerned about the effects the pandemic will have.

In a series of tweets, he announced his intentions to urge markets to resume business as usual.

He posted on Sunday night: “We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself.

“At the end of the 15 day period, we will make a decision as to which way we want to go.”

The Washington Post claims that Trump has been seeking advice on whether the restrictions put in place because of the virus should be scaled back.

The effects of the closures has led to unemployment rates skyrocketing in the states.

Presidential advisers are starting to push Trump to bring back normality and send workers back to their jobs after the 15 day period.

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  • Trump row ERUPTS as senate fails to move forward with coronavirus bill

Stocks have plummeted since the outbreak of Coronavirus in the United States.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 38 percent after hitting an all time high last month.

The index lost 538 points on Monday over a lack of knowledge over Trump’s coronavirus bill.

This has wiped out any gains that the President made since he was elected in 2016.

Trump’s urges to the market contradict the US Surgeon General’s warnings of the pandemic escalating.

Dr Jerome Adams said on Monday morning: “I want America to understand – this week, it’s going to get bad,

This is how the spread is occurring. So we really, really need everyone to stay at home,

“I think that there are a lot of people who are doing the right things, but I think that unfortunately we’re finding out a lot of people think this can’t happen to them.”

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Senator Lindsey Graham has gone against the President’s stance in public.

He tweeted: “When it comes to how to fight #CoronavirusPandemic, I’m making my decisions based on healthcare professionals like Dr. Fauci and others, not political punditry.

“There is no functioning economy unless we control the virus.”

The senator was elected Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 3rd 2019.

US Economists warn the pandemic could lead to economic devastation worse than any for decades.

Jason Furman, economic adviser to President Obama, said: “There is a real danger that the economic crisis that comes out of this health crisis is worse than what we expected in 2008.”

The US currently has 43,651 cases of Coronavirus based on available testing.

At least 545 have died after contracting the virus, while only 295 recovered.

READ MORE

  • Trump row ERUPTS as senate fails to move forward with coronavirus bill

Stocks have plummeted since the outbreak of Coronavirus in the United States.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 38 percent after hitting an all time high last month.

The index lost 538 points on Monday over a lack of knowledge over Trump’s coronavirus bill.

This has wiped out any gains that the President made since he was elected in 2016.

Trump’s urges to the market contradict the US Surgeon General’s warnings of the pandemic escalating.

Dr Jerome Adams said on Monday morning: “I want America to understand – this week, it’s going to get bad,

This is how the spread is occurring. So we really, really need everyone to stay at home,

“I think that there are a lot of people who are doing the right things, but I think that unfortunately we’re finding out a lot of people think this can’t happen to them.”

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READ MORE

  • Merkel nightmare as economist says coronavirus will cost BILLIONS

Senator Lindsey Graham has gone against the President’s stance in public.

He tweeted: “When it comes to how to fight #CoronavirusPandemic, I’m making my decisions based on healthcare professionals like Dr. Fauci and others, not political punditry.

“There is no functioning economy unless we control the virus.”

The senator was elected Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 3rd 2019.

US Economists warn the pandemic could lead to economic devastation worse than any for decades.

Jason Furman, economic adviser to President Obama, said: “There is a real danger that the economic crisis that comes out of this health crisis is worse than what we expected in 2008.”

The US currently has 43,651 cases of Coronavirus based on available testing.

At least 545 have died after contracting the virus, while only 295 recovered.

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Merkel nightmare as economist warns coronavirus will cost Germany BILLIONS

Clement Fuest, President of the world-renowned Munich based think tank the Ifo Institute for Economic Research, offered his gloomy prognosis the day after Mrs Merkel introduced tough new lockdown restrictions, including a ban on meetings of more than two people except for families. Out of more than 330,000 COVID-19 cases worldwide, Germany currently has 24,774 according to the latest World Health Organization figures published today, a rise of 3,311 on the day before, with 94 deaths. In a report published on Monday, the Ifo said the pandemic would inflict hundreds of billions of euros’ worth of damage in the form of lost productivity, resulting in skyrocketing unemployment, and imposing massive strains on the state budget.

The costs are expected to exceed everything known in Germany from economic crises or natural disasters in recent decades

Clement Fuest

He said: “The costs are expected to exceed everything known in Germany from economic crises or natural disasters in recent decades.”

Mr Fuest added: “It is therefore worthwhile to use almost every conceivable amount for health policy measures.

“The goal must be to shorten the partial closure of the economy without compromising the fight against the epidemic.

“Strategies are needed that can link production resumption with further containment of the epidemic.”

He explained: “If the economy comes to a standstill for two months, costs can range from €255 to €495billion depending on the scenario.

“Economic output then shrinks by 7.2 to 11.2 percentage points in the year.”

The best case scenario assumed economic output would decline to 59.6 percent for two months, recover to 79.8 percent in the third month and finally reach 100 percent in the fourth month, the report argues.

Mr Fuest said: “With three months of partial closure, the costs already reach €354 to €729billion, which is a 10.0 to 20.6 percentage point loss in growth.”

Ifo calculations suggest a single week’s extension of the lockdown will cause additional costs of between €25 and €57 billion and therefore a decrease in growth of 0.7 to 1.6 percentage points.

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Therefore an extension from one to two months pushes costs up by up to to 230 billion euros, or 6.5 percentage points of growth.

Mr Fuest added: “The crisis also leads to massive upheavals on the job market.

“These dwarf the situation at the height of the financial crisis.”

In the various scenarios considered by the Ifo, up to 1.4 million full-time jobs could be lost.

Without taking into account extensive planned guarantees and potential Europe-wide rescue packages, public budgets will be burdened by an additional 200 billion euros.

Mr Fuest said: “For overall economic stabilisation, however, the reduced income from taxes and additional expenditure, especially for transfers, are desirable and necessary.”

Speaking last week Mrs Merkel, who it was today confirmed had tested negative for COVID-19, said during a live broadcast to the nation: “The situation is serious. Take it seriously.

“Since German unification, no, since the Second World War, there has been no challenge to our nation that has demanded such a degree of common and united action.

“I truly believe that we will succeed in the task before us, so long as all the citizens of this country understand that it is also THEIR task.

“I also want to tell you why we also need YOUR contribution and what each and every person can do to help.”

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Coronavirus EU: Italy’s plight shows bloc can’t cope, says expert ‘Good times only system’

Barney Reynolds, a partner at Shearman and Sterling LLP, was talking after Italy’s Prime Minister welcomed the European Central Bank’s announcement of a £680billion (750billion euros) bond buying stimulus package intended to help economies struggling to cope in the face of the outbreak, which has hit his country harder than anywhere in Europe. The scheme will inject cash into the system by buying extra government and corporate bonds until the end of the year at the earliest. However, Mr Reynolds, co-author of a paper published last month, Managing Euro Risk, told Express.co.uk he saw huge drawbacks.

None of the EU27 had agreed politically to integrate the eurozone, with the massive resultant risk to both themselves and the rest of the world, as outlined in his paper, Mr Reynolds explained.

He added: “Italy has a huge problem with non-performing loans (NPLs) and the lack of a market and appetite for its government bonds, the latter being key to it raising money to cover the costs of its state.

“There’s no eurozone or EU funding.”

As a result, Italy wanted the ECB to buy up its NPLs, Mr Reynolds said, which in itself would mean the ECB exchanging them for cash.

The consequence of such a move would be vast amount euros ploughed into the country’s financial system, adding up to hyperinflation when the market starts to recover, unless there was a way to get the cash out of the system again at that point.

Additionally, the banks were likely to be highly reluctant to buy back NPLs, meaning the ECB would not be able to offload them back again and would lack an obvious route to retrieve the money from the system.

Mr Reynolds said Italy was also wanting the ECB to buy its government bonds in order to enable it to issue debt into the eurosystem.

He added: “As a result of this the eurosystem is mutualising the risk exposure of each member state to the others, and achieving the mutualisation of debts covertly.

“I wonder whether Italian citizens know they’re so exposed to German government debt, or vice versa, and whether they’d sign up to this.”

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As for Schengen, which has been rendered all but unworkable in recent days with numerous countries imposing bans on visitors from outside the country, Mr Reynolds added: “The temporary dissolution of Schengen shows that when the chips are down national barriers go back up.

“So it’s a “good times only” system.

“That’s sort of okay for free movement, but in the context of money it isn’t at all okay.

“What it means is we can’t work out exactly when the breakpoint is in the system at which member states look after themselves and the Eurozone falls over.

“The Schengen precedent shows there is a pain point at which member states become member states again and protect themselves first, others second.”

Speaking to the Financial Times about the ECB’s intervention in accordance with the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), Mr Conte said: “The ESM was crafted with a different type of crisis in mind, so it must be adapted to the new circumstances so that we can make use of its full firepower.

“The route to follow is to open ESM credit lines to all member states to help them fight the consequences of the COVID-19 epidemic, under the condition of full accountability by each member state on the way resources are spent.”

So far, COVID-19 has claimed the lives of 41,035 cases of COVID-19 and 3,405 deaths – more even than China, where the outbreak started towards the end of last year.

Mr Conte said: “We are confronted with an exogenous, global shock that has no precedents in modern history.”

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EU warned not to use coronavirus as an excuse to delay Brexit transition ‘Absurd!

But privately, UK economists are understood to consider the idea of the EU using Covid-19 as an excuse as “absurd” – believing there is no reason why discussions should be derailed. Director-General Roberto Azevedo announced the drastic measures today, with all WTO staff told to work from home until the end of March. Pieter Cleppe, formerly of the Open Europe think tank, told Express.co.uk: “It is too early to tell, but it does increase the chance the UK will request an extension after all, given the already strained resources of the government.

“Then even if a deal is closed without the UK requesting an extension, much is likely to remain the same whereby the UK diverges gradually.”

However, the idea of any delay to the transition period is likely to prove enormously contentious, given the enormous resources at the bloc’s disposal, and other analysts have indicated any such move by Brussels would be regarded as an absurd excuse.

One legal expert: “It’s absurd to think that a few people either being ill or fearing getting ill prevents anything. It clearly doesn’t.

“It may prevent all sorts of other things, but not the negotiations.”

Article 184 of the Withdrawal Agreement states: “The EU and the United Kingdom shall use their best endeavours, in good faith and in full respect of their respective legal orders, to take the necessary steps to negotiate expeditiously the agreements governing their future relationship referred to in the Political Declaration of 17 October 2019 and to conduct the relevant procedures for the ratification or conclusion of those agreements, with a view to ensuring that those agreements apply, to the extent possible, as from the end of the transition period.”

After waiting for more than three years, Brexiteers are unlikely to happy at the prospect of any further delay, and will argue the commitments outlined above remain unaffected by the situation in respect of coronavirus.

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Mr Azevedo said: “In light of developments related to the COVID-19 virus and after meeting with UN agencies and observers in Geneva, we have taken a decision to suspend all meetings at the WTO until the end of April 2020.

“This decision will be reviewed as appropriate.

“Additionally, all WTO Secretariat staff (except on-site critical staff) are to work from home until the end of March 2020.

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“This decision will be reviewed by the end of March.”

The move was announced after discussions between the Director-General and the General Council Chair Ambassador David Walker of New Zealand.

Mr Walker has said he fully endorses the announced measures.

Meanwhile the WTO is reviewing alternatives for arranging virtual meetings to allow members to participate remotely.

The idea of a delay to the transition period was broached by Labour MP David Lammy earlier this week.

The Tottenham MP tweeted: “The government can’t negotiate the future of Britain’s trade with the EU in a few months during what could well become a global coronavirus pandemic.

“Boris Johnson needs to swallow his pride and put the national interest first.

“That means agreeing an extension with the EU.”

Next week’s scheduled trade talks between the UK and EU were cancelled in response to the escalating crisis.

A joint statement said: “Given the latest COVID-19 developments, UK and EU negotiators have today jointly decided not to hold next week’s round of negotiations in London, in the form originally scheduled.”

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