Sweden’s Trade Minister Ann Linde (S) considers there to be serious risks for Swedish companies if there is a trade war between the United States and China.
President Trump recently introduce duties on solar cells and washing machines, a measure aimed mainly at China. China responded by appointing an inquiry into price dumping of sorghum, an important export product from the US to China.
“We are worried about this… A protectionist action is often met by another, which also hits Swedish products,” says Ann Linde, and says that her staff have been in touch with the US to point out that Swedish companies employ Americans in all US states.
H&M’s shares dived on Friday after the fashion giant presented historically poor sales figures.
Analysts had calculated on average that the group’s sales would increase by almost 5 per cent in local currency in the fourth quarter, according to SME Direkt. However sales fell by 2 per cent.
The group’s sales were weighed down by the H&M brand’s physical stores which continue to be negatively affected by challenges posed by falling customer traffic due to a shift to online sales. There was also an imbalance in parts of the H&M brand’s compilation of its collection, something that chairman Stefan Persson addressed in an interview at the end of November.
In Dagens Industri (DI) today, owner Henrik Didner, comments that the market has changed more than H&M has realised and a new management is required to turn things around.
The company’s share price plummeted 13 per cent on Friday.
Swedish EU Affairs and Trade Minister Ann Linde was unable to hide her disappointment after the World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial meeting in Buenos Aires ended in a fiasco on Wednesday as member countries failed to reach agreement on a single issue.
Linde had hoped that advances would be made on e-commerce, fisheries and farming, but so was not the case. Among other things, a bid for broad agreement on new global rules for e-commerce ground to a halt as dispute arose over a moratorium on levying duties. A group of 70 WTO member countries will now work towards new rules.
“It’s unfortunate. There was a risk that we would move backwards, but instead we are at a status quo, which is a relief,” she has told DN.
Linde also said there was irritation among EU ministers, with some questioning why so much time is spent preparing for a meeting that leads nowhere.
We are a small, but qualified team of graduates in politics, economics, English and classics dedicated to providing quality news digests in English that offer readers a first-hand look at the most important topics covered by the Swedish press. Here you will find a selection of the articles that are published in our Swedish Press Review.