“Water is there. ... It is liquid, and it’s salty, and it’s in contact with rocks."
Marc Ross Daily
July 26, 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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✔️ China denies Qualcomm delay linked to US tariff spat
✔️ Trump backs off new tariffs on EU
✔️ Startups and small businesses are endangered species
✔️ Coca-Cola said it is raising prices - trade disputes the cause
✔️ A watery lake is detected on Mars
AP: Man explodes small device outside US Embassy in Beijing
"The Beijing Police Department posted a statement on its website identifying the suspect only by his surname, Jiang, and said he was 26 years old and a native of Tongliao city in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia."
China flexes muscles by scuppering $44bn chip deal: FT reports, China’s inaction on regulatory approval for a deal involving a big US technology company has been seen as retaliation for US president Donald Trump’s tariffs on Chinese imports, although Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, said on Thursday that the deal was reviewed in accordance with the anti-monopoly law.
AP: China denies Qualcomm delay linked to US tariff spat
Mnuchin and Ross failed in their last-minute attempt to convince the Chinese not to lump the Qualcomm deal in with the wider Sino-American trade spat.
@marcorubio: .@CommerceGov does #China a favor & reverses ban on #ZTE buying chips from Qualcomm. And how did China return the favor? By blocking Qualcomm deal with NXP despite the begging & pleading from @USTreasury & Commerce Dept. We should reimpose ZTE ban.
US-China trade talks: More than a month since the last official talks on the China-US trade war, there are no talks at the moment to restart stalled negotiations between the two nations.
Xi to shake up propaganda, cyber chiefs as overseas image suffers: SCMP reports, China is shaking up its propaganda and internet leadership as it tries to improve the country’s image abroad and ensure online views toe the Communist Party’s line, two sources briefed on the changes told the South China Morning Post. As part of the shake-up, Chinese President Xi Jinping is installing allies in key posts, moves that could result in a loyal and effective team to improve China’s national image on the international stage just as it is coming under greater scrutiny from Washington to Canberra.
Chinese deals lose luster for officials across the US: WSJ reports, after a record 2016, Chinese direct investment plummets amid national-security concerns, failure to deliver on jobs. The result of both countries’ policies is a plunge in Chinese deal making. After tripling in a year to a record $46 billion in 2016, Chinese investment in the US fell to $2.1 billion during the first half of 2018, according to Rhodium Group, a New York-based research firm. If asset sales are factored in, the figure is negative, Rhodium found.
Politico: Trump backs off new tariffs on EU in retreat from trade war
"Steel and aluminum tariffs on the EU are still in place for now, as are the EU's retaliatory levies. They could all come off if the negotiations go well. The auto tariffs could get scrapped before going into effect, if things go well."
EU-US: "We agreed today to work together towards zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers and zero subsidies for the non-auto industrial goods," Trump announced at a press conference yesterday with the EU's Jean-Claude Juncker.
Trump’s commitment to that cease-fire remains provisional.
BBC: Trump and EU's Juncker pull back from all-out trade war
Putin to DC on hold: The White House announced that Trump will delay until next year a second meeting with Putin.
Brexit: The UK government plans to talk about no-deal planning a lot this summer, but Brussels might not be the intended audience.
Having spent two years claiming that “no deal is better than a bad deal”, Theresa May has finally got her government actively and, most importantly, visibly preparing for a no-deal Brexit.
Top American brands say the trade war is now eating into their profits: WP reports, some of the largest companies in America are reporting that they are suffering the sting of the Trump administration’s trade war, sounding alarm in an otherwise prosperous economy. Midway through the corporate earnings season, companies across a broad array of industries are citing tariffs, particularly those imposed on aluminum and steel, as the culprit for lower profits, higher prices for consumers and even sweeping changes in their planning and operations, such as moving production out of China.
Trump tariffs tear Republicans apart: Politico reports, Senate Republicans eager to take a harder line against President Donald Trump's escalating trade war are running smack into an unlikely obstacle: their House GOP colleagues. With Trump threatening $500 billion in additional tariffs on China and new levies on foreign cars, Senate Republicans are increasingly focused on writing legislation to tie his hands.
Farm groups go on anti-tariff blitz after Trump offers trade aid: Politico reports, farm groups are going on the offensive with a multimillion-dollar advertising and advocacy campaign against President Donald Trump's tariffs just days after the administration rolled out a $12 billion bailout for farmers harmed by a mounting trade war. The launch of the campaign also comes as Trump is due to be in Iowa on Thursday, where he is likely to reassure farmers growing increasingly anxious over trade retaliation that has targeted soybeans, pork and other major farm commodities. http://bit.ly/2LDXlf7
Today: USTR Lighthizer appears before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee.
WP: ‘I’m not going to be a punching bag anymore’: Inside Michael Cohen’s break with Trump
"The government has seized more than 100 recordings that [Michael] Cohen made of his conversations with people discussing matters that could relate to Trump and his businesses and with Trump himself talking"
Election 2018 House: Generic ballot poll from Quinnipiac says Dems are now up 12 points, 51-39 - they are flirting with wave territory again.
Morning Consult: GOP voters grow more skeptical of election cybersecurity ahead of 2018 midterms
Today: Trump campaigns in Dubuque, Iowa
NBC: Trump approval sags in trio of Midwest states
"In Michigan, which Trump won by nearly 11,000 votes, 36 percent of registered voters approve of the president's job, while 54 percent disapprove."
"In Wisconsin, which he won by about 23,000 votes, another 36 percent give Trump a thumbs up, with 52 percent giving him a thumbs down."
There is no HRC on the ballot, just DJT.
If you are GOP Representative with a Whole Foods in your district, good luck.
Tech execs expected back on Capitol Hill in fall: Axios reprts, the Senate Intelligence Committee expects to host executives from Facebook, Twitter and Google for a hearing later this year on election interference.
WP: Time to break up Google and Facebook, says New York attorney general candidate
Big Tech's biggest challenge will come for state AGs and Brussels. Enjoy the ride.
Startups and small businesses are endangered species: Martin Chávez of Morning Consult writes. Google, Facebook, and Amazon collectively acquired a staggering 182 companies from 2013 through 2017, making the business practices of Rockefeller's Standard Oil seem in retrospect quaint and austere. http://bit.ly/2uOFEAc
BREAKING: Midland-based Chemical Bank to build a 20-story high-rise for 500+ employees in downtown Detroit for its new HQ.
Guardian: Facebook's China venture fails as record of approval for innovation hub vanishes
"The apparent about-face underlines the difficulty for companies operating in China, where they answer to a legion of ministries, local and central authorities, and regulators whose internal power struggles can derail new ventures like Facebook’s."
Facebook’s share price fell more than 20% in after-hours trading - revenues and daily active user numbers that fell short of analyst estimates.
NYT: Facebook starts paying a price for scandals
Reuters: US airlines' website changes to Taiwan references 'incomplete', says China
Apple vulnerable in US-China trade showdown: WSJ reports, the phrase on the back of iPhones—“Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China”—highlights a key reason for the company’s remarkable success but also shows how exposed it is to the escalating US-China trade fight. “They should be nervous,” said David Dollar, a China scholar at the Brookings Institution, who was the US Treasury’s top official in Beijing during the Obama administration.
Huawei to raise annual R&D budget to at least $15 billion.
Samsung is opening a new DC space near Eastern Market that will include offices as well as room for events.
FiscalNote plans to acquire news organization CQ Roll Call from The Economist Group.
Tommy Hilfiger's new line of smart clothing rewards you for wearing it - pair with the Tommy Jeans Xplore iOS app over Bluetooth users will compete in challenges in the app to earn points.
Toyota is doubling down on its investment in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, planning a range of SUVs, pick-ups and commercial trucks around 2025.
Sonos priced its IPO to raise ~$105 million (with shares set to open between $17 and $19).
Coca-Cola said it is raising prices on its carbonated sodas in North America. The move was in response to rising costs, including higher freight rates, and metal prices after the US placed tariffs on Chinese imports earlier this year.
Bloomberg: Dior brought back the saddle bag with a global Instagram blitz
LVMH sees new, revived products as key to keeping up with rivals
Traffic made worse by ride-sharing: A new study says that services like Uber and Lyft actually make traffic worse in major cities as consumers use their services rather than opting for mass transit options. Services like UberX and Lyft, the study argues, put 2.8 new vehicle miles on the road for every 1 mile of personal driving they replace. Read the report here: http://bit.ly/2uOGaOG
CEO pay: The CEOs running S&P 500 companies cumulatively made $10 billion in 2017, 44% higher than usually reported, according to an Axios analysis of SEC filings.
The big reason = a surge in CEOs cashing in stock in a hot market.
A watery lake is detected on Mars, raising the potential for alien life: NYT reports, the discovery suggests that watery conditions beneath the icy southern polar cap may have provided one of the critical building blocks for life on the red planet.
“Water is there. ... It is liquid, and it’s salty, and it’s in contact with rocks. There are all the ingredients for thinking that life can be there, or can be maintained there if life once existed on Mars.” -- Enrico Flamini, the former chief scientist of the Italian Space Agency who oversaw the research.
The big business of being Gwyneth Paltrow: NY Magazine reports, inside the growth of Goop — the most controversial brand in the wellness industry. https://nyti.ms/2uQroqk
Eater: The 18 best new restaurants in Americahttp://bit.ly/2LCO0EA
Bavel, Los Angeles
Bywater American Bistro, New Orleans
Carnitas Lonja, San Antonio
Cote, New York
Dialogue, Los Angeles
Elda, Biddeford, ME
Frenchette, New York
Hai Hai, Minneapolis
Hello, Sailor, Cornelius, NC
Majordomo, Los Angeles
Nyum Bai, Oakland
Maydan, Washington DC
Theodore Rex, Houston
True Laurel, San Francisco
Pacific Standard Time, Chicago
NHL: 2018 China Games will see the Boston Bruins play the Calgary Flames in Shenzhen on September 15 and 19.
Surfs up: Vans US Open of Surfing starts July 28.