Trade Commission Will Hear Solar Tariff Case, and Nafta Talks Begin


Here’s a look at what’s coming up this week.

ENERGY

An usual tariff petition could disrupt the solar market.

An unusual trade case that could upend the domestic solar market is set for a hearing on Tuesday before the United States International Trade Commission in Washington. Petitioners in the case — two American affiliates of overseas solar equipment manufacturers — are seeking steep tariffs on foreign-made cells and modules to counteract the low price of imports, often from Chinese manufacturers. Much of the domestic solar industry stands against the petitioners, as does one of the parent companies, which is Chinese. A number of proceedings could follow over the next few months. But the final decision could wind up with President Trump. Diane Cardwell

RETAIL

Home Depot is expected to report strong results.

After department stores revealed a string of lackluster earnings last week, Home Depot, one of the sturdiest retailers in America, will report results on Tuesday. The home improvement giant is expected to post strong profits, as it continues to ward off competition from Amazon. On Thursday, Walmart will report its results. Investors will look to see whether the nation’s biggest retailer can continue to grow its e-commerce and grocery business amid intense competition. Michael Corkery

ECONOMY

The Fed’s minutes may shed light on its interest rate debate.

The Federal Reserve will release minutes of its July 26 meeting on Wednesday afternoon, providing more details on the decision to reduce the central bank’s $4.5 trillion in asset holdings. The Fed signaled at the meeting that it “expects to begin implementing its balance sheet normalization program relatively soon,” with a gradual unwinding of the huge bond portfolio that it had accumulated under its quantitative easing programs. The minutes should also shed light on the internal debate over how much to raise the Fed’s short-term interest rate target, and when, in light of inflation numbers that have continued to run below the 2 percent the Fed aims for. Neil Irwin

TRADE

In Nafta talks, the United States is likely to push for broader authority.

All the discussion about renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement finally will become a reality on Wednesday, when formal talks between the United States, Canada and Mexico begin in Washington. The first round could be tense at times, as Mr. Trump has called for changes to Nafta that would dramatically reduce the United States’ trade deficits with its neighbors to the north and south. The Trump administration has promised “a much better deal” for Americans.

In laying out the administration’s objectives last month, the United States trade representative said he would push to eliminate unfair subsidies and to give the nation broader authority to crack down on an influx of cheap products. Alan Rappeport

ECONOMY

Industrial production data may hold clues to economic momentum.

On Thursday at 9:15 a.m., the Federal Reserve will release the latest data on industrial production in July. Economists are looking for a rise of 0.2 percent, compared with a 0.4 percent increase in June. Manufacturing and mining have been showing signs of life lately, and this data may be an early indicator of economic momentum in the third quarter. Nelson D. Schwartz

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13 August 2017 9:45 pm
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