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Sat, 25th February 2017

Anirudh Sethi Report

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Archives of “Supreme Court of the United States” Tag

Beijing Blasts Washington for Plans to Launch High Taxes on Chinese Steel

On Friday, the US Commerce Department announced its plans to raise import tariffs for the Chinese stainless steel products from 63 percent to 190 percent citing a probe that found they were selling on US market at dumping-level price.

“China is disappointed that the United States continued to launch high taxes on Chinese steel export products and calls into question the unfair way the US conducted its investigation,” Wang said, as quoted by the South China Morning Post newspaper.

The United States did not take into the account the evidence previously submitted by the Chinese steel manufacturers and avoided cooperation with the Chinese government, violating the rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the Chinese official underlined.

This is a second blow for the Chinese steel importers in the recent months. The European Commission imposed in January anti-dumping duties on Chinese stainless steel tubes and pipe butt-welding fittings to protect its industry from steel overcapacity.

According the European Commission, Chinese imports will be taxed with duties ranging from 30.7 to 64.9 as its investigation commission confirmed that Chinese stainless steel products had been sold in Europe at dumping prices.

US court refuses to immediately restore Trump travel ban

A U.S. appeal court late on Saturday denied a request from the U.S. Department of Justice to immediately restore a immigration order from President Donald Trump barring citizens from seven mainly Muslim countries and temporarily banning refugees.

The court ruling dealt a further setback to Trump, who has denounced the judge in the state of Washington who blocked his executive order on Friday. In tweets and comments to reporters, the president has insisted he will get the ban reinstated.

 Trump says the temporary immigration restrictions on citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, and on all refugees, are necessary to protect the United States from Islamist militants. Critics say they are unjustified and discriminatory.

The judge’s order and the appeal ruling have created what may be a short-lived opportunity for travelers from the seven affected countries to get into the United States while the legal uncertainty continues.

In a brief order, the appeals court said the government’s request for an immediate administrative stay on the Washington judge’s decision had been denied. It was awaiting further submissions from Washington and Minnesota states on Sunday, and from the government on Monday.

The government’s appeal says the decision by judge James Robart in Washington poses an immediate harm to the public, thwarts enforcement of an executive order and “second-guesses the president’s national security judgment about the quantum of risk posed by the admission of certain classes of (non-citizens) and the best means of minimizing that risk”.

Trump denounced the “so-called” judge in a series of tweets on Saturday and told reporters: “We’ll win. For the safety of the country, we’ll win.”

IRAQI FAMILY

The president’s Jan. 27 order has drawn criticism even from U.S. allies and created chaos for thousands of people who have, in some cases, spent years seeking asylum in the United States.

Iraqi Fuad Sharef, together with his wife and three children, spent two years obtaining U.S. visas, and had packed up to move to America last week, but were turned back to Iraq after a failed attempt to board a U.S.-bound flight from Cairo.

US jettisoning ‘One China’ would trigger geopolitical earthquake

In the less than two weeks since his inauguration, U.S. President Donald Trump has taken a series of controversial actions that have rocked the world.

But he has not yet offered any clue about his real intentions regarding the so-called One China policy, which is a matter of great concern to East Asia. 

 Trump indicated his willingness to reconsider this long-established principle, which, simply put, means Taiwan cannot become an independent nation.

If the U.S. abandons its commitment to this principle, it would be a historic policy shift that could violently shake East Asia’s security architecture and the structure of economic relations among countries in the region. 

One beginning

On Jan. 23, the online Japanese-language version of South Korea’s JoongAng Ilbo newspaper carried an intriguing article on the issue written by one of its columnists.

In the article, titled “Trump: ‘How about Three Chinas?'” the author, quoting a source who has contacts within Trump’s inner circle, said Trump, after being elected, asked former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger whether he should maintain the “One China” policy. Kissinger reportedly floated the idea of three Chinas instead of two.

The Uncanny Similarities Between President Trump And FDR

Trump and Roosevelt: two peas in a pod?

For the record, I voted for Donald Trump. Not that I was in love with the guy. It was really a matter of default. On the Oklahoma state ballot, I had the choice of Hillary “Crimes Against Humanity + Here Comes World War III” Clinton, the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Mr. Trump. I chose Trump, a populist, sometimes demagogue and buffoon, but a real outsider who might shake the establishment up.

It is still early, but no one can say that the first two weeks of Trump’s administration have been boring or predictable. He loudly called the outgoing CIA director, John Brennan, a liar and said that the agency’s Russia dossier was all fake news. John F. Kennedy said just as much in private and paid the ultimate price for his honesty. Trump has apparently kept on his own private security services, since getting elected, to avoid the same fate as JFK.

President Trump canceled the Transpacific Partnership (TPP), which was bad for everybody involved, except the transnational corporations who bribed, extorted and blackmailed some Pac Rim countries into signing on. But even America’s corporate owned Senate and Congress were resisting. Why? Because a signatory country gives up its national sovereignty to a corporate picked “international arbitration commission”.

Under the TPP, any company can take any country’s laws to this “unbiased” group of corporate jocks and claim that they are an “infringement on trade”. Think GMOs, agricultural chemicals, cultural and religious laws, subsidies to promote national industries and infrastructure; media and internet regulations; medicine and social security; environmental, worker and civilian safety laws, taxation, and on and on. Once this unelected, corporate board rules against any and all national laws, then the signatory country’s legislature is required to abolish those law and regulations, in the name of “free trade”.

Federal Judge Grants Partial Block Of Trump Immigration Order

Symbolic war broke out between the Judicial and Executive branches shortly before 9pm on Saturday evening, when federal judge Ann Donnelly in the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn issued an emergency stay halting Trump’s executive order banning immigrants from seven mostly Muslim nations entering the US, and temporarily letting people who landed in U.S. with valid visa to remain on US territory, saying removing the refugees could cause “irreparable harm”.

The court’s ruling was in response to a petition filed on Saturday morning by the ACLU on behalf of the two Iraqi men who were initially detained at JFK International Airport on Friday night after Trump’s ban, and were subsequently granted entry into the US.

The ACLU issued the following statement following the court ruling:

 A federal judge tonight granted the American Civil Liberties Union’s request for a nationwide temporary injunction that will block the deportation of all people stranded in U.S. airports under President Trump’s new Muslim ban. The ACLU and other legal organizations filed a lawsuit on behalf of individuals subject to President Trump’s Muslim ban. The lead plaintiffs have been detained by the U.S. government and threatened with deportation even though they have valid visas to enter the United States.

Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project who argued the case, said:

“This ruling preserves the status quo and ensures that people who have been granted permission to be in this country are not illegally removed off U.S. soil.”

ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero, had this reaction to the ruling:

“Clearly the judge understood the possibility for irreparable harm to hundreds of immigrants and lawful visitors to this country. Our courts today worked as they should as bulwarks against government abuse or unconstitutional policies and orders. On week one, Donald Trump suffered his first loss in court.

However, while some media reports present the court ruling as a wholesale victory over Trump’s order, the stay only covers the airport detainees and those currently in transit, and it does not change the ban going forward.

Judge Donnelly has ordered the federal government to provide a list of all people currently held in detention. Where the stay falls short is that according to the ACLU’s lawyer, there still can be no new arrivals from countries under the ban, but the ACLU and other organizations are working to file additional suits to roll back other portions of the order.

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A detailed read of Judge Donnelly’s ruling, per Josh Blackman, reveals that the order states that petitioners have shown a “strong likelihood of success” and that their removal would violate the Due Process and Equal Protection clause, and cause irreparable injury. (Note, this order only applies to those already in the country, and thus protected by the Constitution; the same analysis does not apply to those outside the United States).

As a result, the court issues what is effectively a nationwide stay, enjoining all of the named respondents, including President Trump, Secretary Kelly, and the acting director of the CBP, from the “commission of further acts and misconduct  in violation of the Constitution as described in the Emergency Motion for Stay of Removal.

The key part is what they are enjoined from doing:

Emerging Markets -An Update

Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said he won’t seek a second term.
Korea’s parliament voted 234-56 to impeach President Park.
Czech National Bank raised the possibility of negative rates to help manage the currency.
A Brazilian Supreme Court justice removed Senate chief Renan Calheiros from his post, but was later overturned by the full court.
Brazil central bank signaled a possibly quicker easing cycle.

In the EM equity space as measured by MSCI, UAE (+6.2%), Poland (+6.0%), and Mexico (+5.9%) have outperformed this week, while Czech Republic (-0.6%), Hong Kong (-0.2%), and China (+0.6%) have underperformed.  To put this in better context, MSCI EM rose 2.8% this week while MSCI DM rose 2.8%.
In the EM local currency bond space, Brazil (10-year yield -60 bp), the Philippines (-59 bp), and Indonesia (-40 bp) have outperformed this week, while India (10-year yield +20 bp), China (+5 bp), and Czech Republic (-1 bp) have underperformed.  To put this in better context, the 10-year UST yield rose 3 bp this week to 2.41%. 
In the EM FX space, BRL (+3.1% vs. USD), COP (+2.9% vs. USD), and CLP (+2.8% vs. USD) have outperformed this week, while EGP (-2.3% vs. USD), CNH (-0.8% vs. USD), and SGD (-0.7% vs. USD) have underperformed.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said he won’t seek a second term.  He cited family reasons.  The next chief executive will be selected in March by a committee of 1,200.  China has veto power over the final selection, and so it’s clear that another establishment leader will be chosen. 

Court tells govt: Spell out figure – Lens on withdrawal sum; govt bares retention plan

The Supreme Court today directed the government to spell out by December 14 a minimum weekly withdrawal limit that banks cannot deny to customers, after the Centre said the previously announced Rs 24,000-a-week limit was a “ceiling, not a minimum”.

Many banks have been refusing this amount citing a cash crunch and forcing customers to settle for sums ranging anywhere between Rs 3,000 and Rs 10,000, senior counsel and Congress politicians Kapil Sibal and P. Chidambaram had earlier told the court.

While clarifying on the matter, attorney-general Mukul Rohatgi said the government had no intention of replacing the entire volume of the old notes in new currency: it would leave a gap of Rs 1.5 lakh crore to promote cashless transactions.

 The bench of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud was hearing a batch of 32 petitions and applications from individuals, groups and political parties complaining about the hardship caused by demonetisation.

At the next hearing on December 14, the court will sift through them and frame the questions it needs to answer, including one on the constitutional validity of the demonetisation and the curbs on cash withdrawals.

Justice Thakur indicated that if necessary, the court might refer the matter to a five-judge Constitution Bench.

“We assume you (the government) are capable (of replacing the withdrawn currency). Your estimate shows you are in a position (to do so) but what has happened?” Justice Thakur asked.

Rohatgi said the government needed time till December 31.

“Are you agreeable that if there is a (lower) limit imposed by us, then no bank will deny withdrawal of the money? We will make sure that Rs 24,000 is withdrawn by each person?” the Chief Justice said.

Rohatgi clarified: “The Rs 24,000 limit is a ceiling, not a minimum limit.”

The bench then said: “If he (customer) has a legitimate right, then let there be a limit below which banks cannot deny.”

Rohatgi said the government would then have to rework the limit. “If not Rs 24,000, let it be Rs 10,000, but it must be given,” the Chief Justice said.

The court quizzed the government on the speed of currency replenishment. “How much money is being printed? How much is being infused?” it asked.

Rohatgi said the government had so far collected between Rs 11.5 lakh crore and Rs 12 lakh crore in old currency, having initially expected about Rs 10-11 lakh crore. “It (the government) may get another Rs 1 lakh crore.”

Justice Thakur said the court was conscious of the “larger objective” of the demonetisation but asked whether the government had “properly applied (its) mind” while undertaking the drive.

“Was there any material before you that were apprised? How much money will be lost? How we will meet the situation? Was there a plan (about what the) banks should have to take care of when a situation like this arises?” he asked.

“It is one thing to completely stop (the use of old notes) and another thing to intelligently regulate.”

Rohatgi acknowledged “some amount of inconvenience” to the people but cited the incentives for digital transactions that the government had announced yesterday by offering concessions at petrol stations and in insurance payments, among other things.

Supreme Court refuses to stay demonetisation move: 5 key takeaways

The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to stay the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8 but wanted the government to justify the drastic step through an affidavit. The court will examine its legality with reference to the provisions of the Reserve Bank Act.
 
Here are the latest developments on this issue:
 

1. The bench presided over by Chief Justice T S Thakur clarified that it did not intend to interfere in the economic policy of the government, but asked the Attorney General to file an affidavit explaining what steps the government had taken to ensure liquidity.

2. It asked the Centre to explain the steps it has taken or will take to deal with the chaos outside banks and ATMs following the demonetisation move and observed that people should not suffer.

Senior counsel Kapil Sibal said, “We are with the government incurbing the black money, but the inconvenience it is causing to the public is jeopardising their life.”

3. Everyone carrying Rs 500 or Rs 1,000 cannot be painted as a black money hoarder and will take up the case again on November 25 after government’s reply.
 

Volkswagen gets final approval for $15bn clean-diesel settlement

The court overseeing US civil claims against Volkswagen gave final approval on Tuesday to one of the biggest consumer settlements in American history, bringing to a close a central chapter in the emissions scandal.

One week after a three-hour hearing in which more than 20 opponents to the settlement voiced their complaints, US District Court Judge Charles Breyer gave a thumbs up to the $15bn settlement, saying it met the court’s requirement of being fair and adequate

“Given the risks of prolonged litigation, the immediate settlement if this matter is far preferable,” he said in the ruling. “As the Court stated at the outset, the priority was to get the polluting cars off the road as soon as possible.”

The settlement, announced in June, was the result of negotiations between VW, several US regulators, and lawyers representing almost half-million car owners.

Supreme Court asks RBI: 87 owe Rs 85000 crore, why not make their names public

Image result for supreme court indiaUnderlining that 87 persons owe more than Rs 85,000 crore to public sector banks (PSBs), the Supreme Court said on Monday that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) should not work in the interest of the banks but in the interest of the country which calls for disclosing the names of the biggest defaulters.

After going through a list of defaulters submitted in a sealed cover envelope by the RBI, a bench led by Chief Justice of India T S Thakur disclosed that there are 87 individuals who owe Rs 500 crore or more to the banks and bad loans on account of their default to repay totalled Rs 85,000 crore.

“See this amount…if we had asked for details of those who owe Rs 100 crore, this could be another Rs 1 lakh crore…why should we not put the names of these defaulters in public domain? The RBI publishes a list of wilful defaulters every year. It does not matter whether they are wilful defaulters or not but they certainly owe Rs 500 crore and more to the banks… people may have a right to know,” said the bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and L N Rao.

RBI was asked to explain the huge amount of loans written off by PSBs in the last five years after the top court took suo motu cognizance of The Indian Express report dated February 8, 2016, that Rs 1.14 lakh crore had been written off as Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) by 29 state-owned banks in the last three years.