Trade Tensions, Tiananmen, South China Sea, GitHub, Motivate, Downtown
Marc Ross Daily
June 4, 2018
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross
Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia
Marc Ross Daily = Business News at the Intersection of Global Politics + Policy + Profits
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✔️ Trade tensions intensify as allies rebuke US, testing Trump ahead of G7
✔️ US-China $100bn trade war nears as talks end without deal
✔️ Decades after Tiananmen, China has tightened control
✔️ France, Britain to sail warships in contested South China Sea
✔️ Microsoft is reportedly buying GitHub
ROSS IN THE NEWS
Last Friday, I joined Iain Begg, a London School of Economics professor, and LIU Baocheng, the director of University of International Business and Economics, on CGTN's World Insight program to discuss the Trump administration's plan to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on the EU, Canada, and Mexico.
World Insight Anchor Tian Wei lead a discussed focused on Trump's attempt to protect American jobs and how this action is risking relations with Washington's top allies.
A great look at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and American politics with perspectives from Brussels, Beijing, and DC.
You can watch the 18-minute discussion here: http://bit.ly/2sC9WEn.
Trade tensions intensify as allies rebuke US, testing Trump ahead of G7: WSJ reports, the Trump administration showed no sign of backing down from restrictive tariffs in the face of pushback from allies and China over the weekend, isolating the US and complicating the president’s meeting later this week with leaders of Washington’s staunchest partners. Top finance officials from the Group of Seven leading nations met in Canada, where the non-US members issued a public rebuke of Washington’s new steel and aluminum tariffs. Those six—the host Canada, along with France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the UK—adopted a formal statement Saturday expressing their “unanimous concern and disappointment.”
WP: Trump thinks he’s saving trade. The rest of the world thinks he’s blowing it up.
“Trump’s actions create a feeling of chaos and lawlessness. America is no longer abiding by basic due process and commitments made to other nations,” said Jennifer Hillman, a former commissioner at the U.S. International Trade Commission.
Trump and allies set for showdown over trade: Bloomberg reports, Trump is headed for a showdown with America’s allies at a Group of Seven summit this week in Quebec, with the European Union and Canada threatening retaliatory measures unless he reverses course on new steel and aluminum levies. Trump changes his mind often enough that US allies and rivals alike hope he’ll do just that on tariffs in the next few days. An all-out trade war may become unavoidable if he doesn’t.
Trump’s trade war demands a robust response: Theresa May is left looking weaker and needier than ever, hoping that simply being polite will somehow see us through.
The Times - Alex Massie
FT: US-China $100bn trade war nears as talks end without deal
Reuters: Talks end with China warning trade benefits at risk if US imposes tariffs
AP: China says trade deals are off if US raises tariffs
Bloomberg: China opens Europe charm offensive as Trump stokes trade dispute
Decades after Tiananmen, China has tightened control: FT reports, democracy advocates say hopes that a more liberal system would evolve have evaporated.
China’s ZTE was built to spy and bribe, court documents allege: Sydney Morning Herald reports, ZTE, the Chinese telecommunications company bidding for major contracts in Australia, and at the centre of Donald Trump’s trade war with Beijing, was established partly as a front for military intelligence and has been linked to corruption in 18 countries, according to explosive court documents filed in the US.
China increasingly challenges American dominance of science: WP reports, the United States spends half a trillion dollars a year on scientific research — more than any other nation on Earth — but China has pulled into second place, with the European Union third and Japan a distant fourth. China is on track to surpass the United States by the end of this year, according to the National Science Board.
Reuters: Japan looks to launch driverless car system in Tokyo by 2020
SCMP: France, Britain to sail warships in contested South China Sea to challenge Beijing
SCMP: US will ‘compete vigorously’ in South China Sea, Mattis warns Beijing
AP: US-led NATO exercise starts in Baltics, Poland
"Canada takes part in Sabre Strike 18, while non-NATO member Israel participates for the first time"
Trump’s envoy to Germany wants to ‘empower’ conservatives — but he doesn’t appear to mean Merkel: WP reports, Richard Grenell’s remarks leave room for interpretation, but the comments were widely criticized both in the United States and in Europe for politicizing diplomacy with a core U.S. ally and as a further blow to transatlantic relations.
US ambassador seeks to ‘empower’ Europe’s right wing: FT reports, Trump loyalist Grenell breaks diplomatic etiquette by taking position on party politics.
AFP: Turkey inflation surges again to over 12 percent
The Times: Revealed: plans for Doomsday Brexit: Food, petrol and medicines would run out in a no-deal scenario. http://bit.ly/2sEuuMf
NYT: Brexit nightmare: 17-mile traffic jams at the Dover border
Reuters: Ireland gives Britain two weeks to produce Brexit border proposals
Reuters: Trump can probably pardon himself, but has no plan to: Giuliani
How Mnuchin keeps a steady grip in a tug of war on trade: NYT reports, this weekend, some of those countries hit back, as finance ministers from the six other nations attending the Group of 7 meeting in Canada issued an unusual rebuke over America’s trading practices and the use of tariffs against allies. The statement said that tariffs “undermine open trade and confidence in the global economy” and called on Mr. Mnuchin to make their worries known to Mr. Trump. The scolding laid bare the uncomfortably familiar spot that Mr. Mnuchin finds himself in: trying to be a voice of moderation and a statesman in an administration that sees diplomatic norms and protocols as signs of weakness.
Bloomberg: Kudlow says don't blame Trump as China warns of trade pullback
National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow likened the ongoing trade spat between the United States and Canada to a "family quarrel," and said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau overreacted to the US decision to impose tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from Canada.
US businesses express alarm as tariffs push up steel costs: FT reports, users of raw materials say jobs and investment put at risk.
Victoria Guida (@vtg2): A tariff is actually the U.S. government charging a U.S. buyer to buy a foreign good. It's not charging the foreign country anything.
Trump goes it alone: running the White House not like a president, but a CEO: Guardian reports, from North Korea to Kim Kardashian, the US president has dispensed with the ‘adults in the room’ and is going it alone.
NBC: Joe Biden steams into midterm campaigns as 2020 question looms
The former vice president is likely to decide on another presidential bid by year's end.
Inside tip, he's running.
AFP: Societe Generale, Unicredit say no plans to merge
Reuters: China's Xiaomi plans $3 billion CDRs in blockbuster July IPO: sources
AFP: Bayer to ditch Monsanto name after mega-merger
"The company name is and will remain Bayer. Monsanto will no longer be a company name," chief executive Werner Baumann told journalists during a telephone conference.
Nikkei: Nissan to halt development of new diesel engines
"Another automaker clearly signals the industry's shift to electric vehicles"
Google will not renew a contract with the Pentagon for artificial intelligence work when the deal expires next year.
Apple kicks off its annual developers conference today.
“Emulate George Washington, not Vladimir Putin,” an investor told Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook’s ill-tempered annual shareholder meeting.
CNBC: Bitcoin has found a bottom after plunging 60% from December highs, says technician
Microsoft is reportedly buying GitHub, the world's biggest computer-code repository.
Lyft is said to be in talks to buy Motivate, the owner of New York City’s bike-sharing program.
Marc Jacobs lost his way in fashion, and put the kibosh on his label’s IPO in the process.
Sears has announced plans to close 72 more stores this year, including 48 Sears stores and 15 Kmarts.
Lessons in disruption from the leaders of luxury: Creatives, investors and chief executives joined the FT this week in Venice to discuss the new rules of business. https://on.ft.com/2sFcX6G
WP: Do the dismal box-office returns of ‘Solo’ signal a problem for the Star Wars franchise?
OTD: In 1940 the Allied evacuation from Dunkirk came to an end.
[Wednesday] Today: 74th anniversary of D-Day
Farm-to-table in the shadow of downtown Detroithttps://nyti.ms/2xxHr0n
The 10 best musical moments in The Americanshttp://bit.ly/2sFXMtU
The Atlantic: Why no one answers their phone anymorehttps://theatln.tc/2HjosWO
Telephone culture is disappearing.
WP: Steph Curry’s record night gives Warriors a 2-0 series lead
Warriors in two. The series is over.
Hockey: Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals is tonight. The Capitals lead the Golden Knights 2 to 1.
China won’t play in this World Cup. It still hopes to profit. NYT reports, leaping into the void left by the West gives Chinese companies a way to promote their brands globally — and to flaunt their patriotism. Wanda, one of China’s largest entertainment and movie-theater companies, signed a $150 million global partnership with FIFA at the height of the corruption scandal two years ago — a deal that Wanda’s chief executive, Wang Jianlin, said hinged on FIFA’s woes. “Because some Western companies dropped out, we got the opportunity,” Wang told reporters at the time. “If more Chinese brother companies become FIFA sponsors like Wanda, we will join forces to advance the interests of China soccer.” Over the past 18 months, brothers like Hisense (electronics), Vivo (smartphones), Mengniu (dairy products) and Yadea (electric scooters) have answered the call.
"Beijing has made no secret of its soccer ambitions. Over the past few years, President Xi Jinping has vowed to turn China into a “soccer superpower” that will host, qualify for and, by 2050, hopefully win the World Cup. The last goal seems almost ludicrously unattainable: China’s men’s team languishes at No. 73 in the world rankings, behind juggernauts like Curaçao and Cape Verde."