Jobs report, China tariffs, NATO expansion: 3 things to watch in D.C. this week

Yahoo Finance Contributor Kevin Cirilli joins the Live show to discuss the latest political news from Washington, D.C., this week.

Video Transcript

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JARED BLIKRE: Welcome back. From jobs report on Friday to the Biden administration possibly easing China tariffs, there is a lot to watch this week. And joining us now to break it down is Yahoo Finance's Kevin Cirilli. And Kevin, what are investors in for in the next few days?

KEVIN CIRILLI: Well, look, it's not just investors it's Main Street as well. Recession woes will be on full display this week, Jared, especially as the Fed gets ready to release its minutes on Wednesday and as we get that jobs report on Friday. Now, most economists anticipate that the US economy added somewhere between 200,000 and 250,000 jobs last month. It comes at a time in which inflation has reached the highest that it's been in four decades and as the central bank has raised its rates, the largest rate hike, mind you, since 1994.

So a lot of jobs data numbers to be crunched at the end of the week. And of course, the Fed minutes, when we'll get some information as to how the central bank made that decision for the rate hike. I'm going to be listening as well to President Biden when he's in Ohio, really again, putting that economy in full focus.

JARED BLIKRE: Well, and speaking of President Biden, he's considering some relief from those Chinese tariffs enacted years ago. What could that include? And what kind of impact would that bring to possibly lowering inflation, which is something that everybody wants here?

KEVIN CIRILLI: Jared, we here in the United States, especially as we focus on the economy, we have to remember that the Chinese economy has also been struggling, particularly as the Communist Party struggled to contain COVID-19, new waves of the virus. And so supply chains have been impacted as well as a host of other industries.

And so earlier today, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen spoke with her counterpart in China, Vice Premier Liu He for the first time since October. And reportedly, the administration and Secretary Yellen are considering lifting some of those Trump-era tariffs. Remember, they turned four years old this week. And so billions of dollars worth of tariffs could be lifted at a time in which the US is trying to figure out the best way to combat inflation.

Now, this also comes at a time in which President Biden has been strategizing, trying to come up with an Indo-Pacific trade partnership with US strategic partners and allies in that region, and as Taiwan, a democracy mind you, has warned that unless the United States strengthens its ties to Taiwan, China could try to have some type of economic takeover of that incredibly important democracy in the region.

JARED BLIKRE: Yeah. And finally here, two new countries on the verge of being added to NATO, that would be the Scandinavian countries of Finland and Sweden. Is this some kind of attempt to try and curb Russia's sphere of influence, which I guess was originally the purpose of NATO vis a vis the USSR?

KEVIN CIRILLI: Yes. And it's a big win not just for President Biden and that NATO expansion, but also for really everyone in the National Security Council and the diplomatic community to have two nations now joining the 30-nation alliance of NATO. Remember, ahead of the meeting last week in Madrid, there were many NATO skeptics who thought that NATO was not going to be able to expand or even, for that matter, really counter Russia's aggression against Ukraine, Russia's war against Ukraine.

Now we're learning that two countries, Finland and Sweden, are set to join NATO. And in addition to that, NATO has said that they are willing to have 300,000 rapid response troops to be on high alert, so to speak, as it relates to the conflict that has emerged between Russia and the Ukraine. That's a dramatic sign of strength and steadiness for this incredibly important alliance.

JARED BLIKRE: All right, we've got to leave it there. But thank you for all that useful information, Yahoo Finance contributor Kevin Cirilli.