House of Lords, Kim-Trump Summit, P&G, Amazon Prime, 420, Ikea

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House of Lords, Kim-Trump Summit, P&G, Amazon Prime, 420, Ikea

Marc Ross Daily
April 19, 2018
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia

Marc Ross Daily  = Global Business News at the Intersection of Politics + Policy + Profits

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✔️ Oil at 4-year high

✔️ Lords votes to amend Brexit bill

✔️ How aging aircraft may dictate Kim-Trump venue

✔️ P&G slogs through ‘difficult’ markets for sales growth

✔️ 100 million people globally are now paying for Amazon Prime


CGTN - American: Just how close is the US to a trade war with China? I was on CGTN-America last evening for an interview with Mike Walter on the state of US-China commercial relations.

Trade war? 

Not really.

More like a trade irritation.

You can watch the clip here:


Oil at 4-year high ahead of OPEC-Russia meeting: FT reports, energy stocks and crude-linked currencies rally as investors eye longer production curbs

How the US positioned its warships to trick Russia ahead of Syrian strikes: Navy Times reports, the guided-missile destroyers Donald Cook and Winston Churchill never fired a shot in Friday’s allied airstrikes against Syria, but as it turns out, they were key to the mission’s success. 

UK's House of Lords votes to amend Brexit bill over customs union

Bloomberg: May defeated in Lords on Brexit, signaling more challenges ahead

Former UK PM David Cameron says he doesn’t regret holding the Brexit vote in 2016, but still wishes the country had voted to remain.

Germans divided over impact of globalization: study

Angela Merkel snubs Emmanuel Macron on plan for EU monetary fund: FT reports, Chancellor sticks to party line and disappoints French president ahead of reform summit.

Macron is rightful heir to the spirit of 1968: Today’s protesters want to cling on to the past, not seize the future.
FT - Philip Stephens

Macron wants to save Europe. He’ll need to save France first: Bloomberg reports, the French president heads to Washington in hopes of gaining support for his ambitious agenda.

China conducts war games, and Taiwan is the target: NYT reports, China carried out live-fire military drills in the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday, its state news media reported, an exercise intended to show the growing strength of its navy and deliver a message to self-governed Taiwan, which China claims as its territory. 

WSJ: Trump says he’ll walk out of Kim meeting if it’s ‘not fruitful’

NYT: Meet me in Mongolia: How aging aircraft may dictate Kim-Trump venue

What’s inside made-in-China electronics should worry federal customers, study says: WP reports, the U.S. government is dangerously vulnerable to Chinese espionage or cyberattack because of its dependence on electronics and software made in China, a risk that threatens to grow as Beijing seeks global technological dominance, according to a study for a congressionally chartered advisory commission. Information technology products made by enterprises owned or influenced by China could be modified to work poorly, conduct espionage or otherwise interfere with government operations, said the report for the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, which is scheduled to be released Thursday. Much of the government’s annual $90 billion in spending on information technology is devoted to Chinese products, offering Chinese officials an opportunity to seed U.S. government offices with spyware and electronic backdoors that could be exploited for cyberattacks, said Jennifer Bisceglie, chief executive of Interos Solutions, which conducted the study.

WSJ: China wary of Qualcomm’s $44 billion NXP deal amid tensions with US

NYT: Huawei and ZTE hit hard as US moves against Chinese tech firms

Bloomberg - Daniel Moss: US earns more in China than trade numbers reveal: That leaves American companies vulnerable to retaliation by Beijing. It also gives them more reason to defuse trade tensions. The huge missing ingredient in the trade deficit number is the business done in China by American companies. General Motors Co. sells more cars in China than at home. There are more Apple Inc. iPhones used in the Middle Kingdom than in the U.S. Overall, China subsidiaries of U.S. companies sold $223 billion of stuff in 2015, reckons Deutsche Bank AG. 

The timeline for a potential U.S.-China trade war: 

May 1, exemptions to the tariffs on imported steel and aluminum expire.

May 22, the public comment period ends for another $50 billion worth of tariffs, and the Trump administration can announce a final list of targets.

August 18, potentially the deadline for the administration to act on an investigation into Chinese trade practices. But there’s a provision for a 180-day delay after that.

NAFTA: Negotiators from Canada, Mexico and the United States are hoping to wrap up their talks for a revised North American Free Trade Agreement with a preliminary deal within the next three weeks.


WSJ: Gorsuch sides with liberal justices in immigration ruling

USTR Robert Lighthizer
 spent more than $917,000 to furnish the two trade offices near the White House, according to contracts reviewed by WP. 

I assume all this furniture was Made in America?!?

Across Midwest, farmers warn of GOP losses over Trump’s trade policy: NYT reports, China’s proposed tariffs on soybeans would hit hard in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, North Dakota and other states with highly competitive House and Senate races. After an initial round of tariffs on a modest share of American exports, the Chinese have displayed a more keen awareness of the electoral map and moved to punish those industries whose misfortune will be felt most intensely in states and districts pivotal in 2018.

Marco Rubio, darling of GOP establishment, hires a thorn in its side: NYT reports, as chief executive of the influential conservative think tank Heritage Action for America, Michael Needham waged years of unforgiving political warfare against the Republican Party establishment, deepening the divide between party leaders and grass-roots activists that helped elevate Donald J. Trump to the presidency. Now Mr. Needham is leaving his job there to become chief of staff for one of the Republican establishment's favorite sons, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. The move is certain to raise questions about whether Mr. Rubio, whose hopes of becoming president in 2016 were dashed by Mr. Trump, may be positioning himself for another run.

Germany at the White House: Trump will welcome Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany to the White House on April 27, 2018.

There are at least 100 buildings in San Francisco that are both over 240 feet tall and built on ground that has a very high chance of liquefying in an earthquake.

Facebook enlists conservative help to resist privacy rules: Politico reports, an email seeking US groups’ assistance against EU-style regulations came as Mark Zuckerberg was preparing to testify to Congress.


A Bon-Ton liquidation jeopardizes US mall owners already in trouble: CNBC reports, as Bon-Ton heads to liquidation, the shuttering of more than 200 regional department stores jeopardizes U.S. mall owners already struggling to fill empty stores.

A robot has been trained to achieve one of the most difficult tasks confronting humanity: assembling Ikea furniture.

FiveThirtyEight is moving from ESPN to ABC News. 

Walmart is making its website a little less like Walmart: WSJ reports, the retail giant will launch a redesigned site in May with higher-end brands in mind.

Walmart is a beast and is making a lot of wise moves.

Chinese money floods US biotech as Beijing chases new cures: Bloomberg reports, venture-capital funds based in China poured $1.4 billion into private US biotechnology firms in the three months ending March 31, accounting for about 40 percent of the $3.7 billion that the companies raised in the period overall, according to data provider PitchBook. 

P&G slogs through ‘difficult’ markets for sales growth: WSJ reports, Procter & Gamble reported weak sales growth in its latest quarter as the company continues to face challenges in its shaving business and other categories being disrupted by more nimble competitors. 

Procter & Gamble is buying Merck's consumer health business, giving P&G new vitamin and food supplements to add to its over-the-counter business. The deal is worth $4.2 billion.

Buying market share is a not a positive.

Sears opened its first-ever store in Chicago 93 years ago. This summer, it will close its last department store in the city.

Deck: Future of Retail

More than 100 million people globally are now paying for Amazon Prime.

Netflix plots $1bn European investment drive: FT reports, the streaming service will double production budget in the region in 2018.

Netflix, which has clashed with movie theaters, may be ready to get into owning cinemas to screen its original work.


Earbuds and tastebuds: Does chocolate taste better if you're listening to Pavarotti? Ad Age looks at how marketers are pairing music and sounds with different tastes.

The loos at Lollapalooza: Music festivals are using RFID bracelets and anonymized data to track and improve the user experience, like shortening the lines at the porta-potties.

The ultra-cheap phones even iPhone users will crave: WSJ reports, flip phones, and candy bars are back, with low prices, great battery life, and some modern conveniences.


AP: 420's long, strange trip to pot holiday began in California

Marc Ross

Based in Washington, DC, I specialize in thought leader communications and global public policy for public affairs professionals working at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and politics.

Clients hire me to ghostwrite, engage influencer networks, manage media relations, produce events, audit their communications infrastructure, consult on hiring, provide issue briefs and news generating talking points, as well as manage end to end communications projects where I assume a role of project leader and general contractor.

I work independently but provided access to a substantial global network of collaborators with expertise in websites, graphic design, audio, video, polling, data analytics, and research.

Using the latest tactics of an American political campaign with expertise shaped by being a practitioner of global business communications, I help clients tell their story and build trusted relationships with all necessary stakeholders.

Successful communications are all about STOCK = strategy, tactics, organization, consistency, and know-how.