These three things are going to have an effect on the wider world.
1. Trump looms large
US president-elect Donald Trump’s interview with The Times at the weekend (it was also in Germany’s Bild) is reverberating around the world this morning.
Timeline for Brexit
- January 15, 2019
Shares in German car makers BMW , Daimler and Volkswagen are down on Trump’s comments that he could impose a border tax of 35 percent on vehicles imported from abroad to the US market.
In the interview Trump said:
“If you want to build cars in the world, then I wish you all the best. You can build cars for the United States, but for every car that comes to the USA, you will pay 35 percent tax. I would tell BMW that if you are building a factory in Mexico and plan to sell cars to the USA, without a 35 percent tax, then you can forget that.”
Meanwhile, the Kremlin has said it was too early to comment on a proposal by Trump to do a deal with Moscow on nuclear arms cuts in exchange for Washington lifting sanctions imposed on Moscow over the Ukraine crisis.
2. The Chinese and the Swiss
Chinese President Xi Jinping is holding talks with Swiss officials today before attending the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos tomorrow, a first for a Chinese leader.
China and Switzerland forged a free trade agreement in 2014 and Swiss companies count China among their most important markets.
Germany’s embassy in Beijing on Monday urged China to take action to open its markets to foreign companies to counter rising global protectionism. Xi is expected to promote “inclusive globalisation” in his keynote address to political leaders, chief executives, and celebrities in the Swiss Alps this week.
Meanwhile tensions are building ahead of the meeting of the Davos summit. According to campaigners inequality is so stark that a small group of men own the same wealth as half the world.
According to research by Oxfam, the eight billionaires have riches equivalent to the wealth of the world’s 3.6bn poorest people.
The eight billionaires named in the report are Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who has a personal fortune of $75bn according to Forbes; Inditex founder Amancio Ortega ($67bn), veteran investor Warren Buffett ($60.8bn) Mexico’s Carlos Slim ($50bn), Amazon boss Jeff Bezos ($45.2bn), Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg ($44.6bn), Oracle’s Larry Ellison ($43.6bn) and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg ($40bn).
3 Things That Will Change the World Today
3. Northern Ireland could torpedo May’s Brexit plans
Northern Ireland’s devolved government is on the brink of collapse after a split in the power-sharing coalition.
Sinn Fein has until 5pm today to nominate someone to succeed Martin McGuinness as Deputy First Minister. If the party refuses to do so, the Stormont Executive will cease to exist, forcing the British government to call an election.
British prime minister Theresa May could face a legal challenge if she attempts to trigger Article 50 without a devolved government in place in Northern Ireland.
If parties refuse to resume power-sharing after any election, the British government may have to reinstate direct rule from Westminster.