Leonardo da Vinci, SpaceX, Pennsylvania Democrats, David Beckham

Marc Ross Daily February (1).png

Leonardo da Vinci, SpaceX, Pennsylvania Democrats, David Beckham

Marc Ross Daily
March 4, 2019
Curation and commentary from 
Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia 

Marc Ross Daily  = News + Analysis at the Intersection of Globalization + Disruption + Politics


✔️ US, China close in on trade deal

✔️ Venezuela opposition leader Juan Guaidó plans return

✔️ Japan okays research using human cells in animals

✔️ House Democrats to probe claims of Trump obstruction

✔️ Glory Glory Man United? The paradox of profits without trophies


US, China close in on trade deal: WSJ reports, China and the US are close to completing a trade deal, though hurdles remain. Both countries could lift some tariffs imposed last year, and Beijing would agree to ease restrictions on American products.

A formal agreement could be reached at a summit between Trump and Xi, probably around March 27, after Xi finishes a trip to Italy and France.

The two sides continue to negotiate over issues involving Chinese industrial policy the US argues gives Chinese domestic firms an advantage, especially state-owned enterprises.

NYT: US and China near a trade deal to drop tariffs

The Trump administration is close to a trade deal with China that would roll back tariffs on both sides of the Pacific but may do little to achieve the substantive changes to China’s economy that the United States initially set out to win.

The agreement under discussion would expand markets for American financial services firms and farmers, in part by requiring that China buy large amounts of energy and farm goods, like liquid natural gas and soybeans.

Noah Smith: Trump should take aim at China’s joint-venture rule: The partnerships required to do business in the country are a cover for stealing US know-how. 

Huawei executive files suit over Canadian detention: WSJ reports, Meng Wanzhou claims her legal rights were violated when she was detained at Vancouver International Airport in December following an extradition arrest request from the US.

Nikkei: Five things to expect from China's top political meeting: Slowing growth and geopolitical tensions to dominate discussions at the National People's Congress.

China convened on Sunday its once-a-year meeting of the country's two top political bodies to set the nation's direction for the coming year.

The country's foremost political advisory body, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, kicked off the nearly two week-long meeting, preceding the National People's Congress on Tuesday.

Economic slowdown

Trade war with the US
Foreign policy

On Tuesday morning, Premier Li Keqiang’s work report will set targets for gross domestic product expansion, the fiscal balance, inflation and other factors. The domestic policy mix will be defined by the three so-called “critical battles,” launched in 2017, against pollution, financial risks, and poverty.

China's legislature will vote next week on a highly-anticipated bill that will bring "a fundamental change" for foreign investors in a move that could help ease US trade tensions.

Nikkei: China hails 2019 as a 'critical year' to realize Xi's goals

Nation's biggest political meetings of the year kicked off on Sunday.

China says it needs a ‘proper increase’ in defense spending: Bloomberg reports, Beijing said it would need to increase its military spending to protect itself.

Mark Helprin: The US is ceding the Pacific to China: While Washington’s focus is elsewhere, Beijing plays the long game—that means preparing for war.

South Korea to seize on world's first full 5G network: Nikkei reports, SK Group and KT lead the pack in new services like holographic streaming.

Philippine Navy looks to join rescue bid for Subic shipyard: Nikkei reports, admiral prefers South Korean or US bidders to preserve strategic facility

NYT: After India loses dogfight, questions arise about its ‘vintage’ military

An aerial clash last week with Pakistan was a rare test for the Indian military — and it left observers a bit dumbfounded.

As America strengthens ties with India to help counter China, critics say its military faces challenges, including aging hardware and low funding.

AFP: Modi and Imran bask after 'good' Kashmir crisis

Venezuela opposition leader Juan Guaidó plans return: WSJ reports, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó said he plans to return to Venezuela on Monday in a move that directly confronts President Nicolás Maduro’s authority and could end with Mr. Guaidó in jail.

US considers emergency economic aid for Venezuela: FT reports, financial assistance would be dependent on Nicolás Maduro standing down.

Pressure on Kenny over Facebook lobby claims: The Times reports, Enda Kenny is being pressed to say whether he used Ireland’s presidency of the EU to lobby other member states on behalf of Facebook after “explosive” allegations about his alleged inappropriate relationship with the social media giant emerged over the weekend. 

Brexit bribe? UK PM May unveils $2.1 billion fund for Brexit-backing towns: Reuters reports, British Prime Minister Theresa May will on Monday set out plans for a 1.6 billion pound ($2.11 billion) fund to help to boost economic growth in Brexit-supporting communities with ministers denying it was a bribe to win support for her EU exit deal.

France to set new €500 million digital tax for 30 tech giants: DW reports, France's finance minister will bring forward legislation this week for a 3 percent tax on companies including Google and Facebook. Public anger about tax avoidance by digital giants has prompted the move.

AFP: Macron calls for French reconciliation with Italy

French President Emmanuel Macron has launched a call for reconciliation with Italy following a diplomatic spat between the neighbors that saw Paris briefly recall its ambassador.

Relations between the two countries have fractured due to repeated clashes between centrist Macron and Italy's populist coalition government.

France and Italy to celebrate Leonardo da Vinci's anniversary together: DW reports, France's president has invited his Italian counterpart to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the artist's death. Emmanuel Macron hopes the gesture will help end a diplomatic spat between the neighbors.

Washington restores status of EU mission to US: DW reports, the US has announced a reversal of last year's sudden downgrading of the European Union's diplomatic status. The EU delegation in Washington has been restored to member state from international organization.


SpaceX rocket with an unmanned crew capsule blasted off on Saturday for the International Space Station, in a key milestone for Elon Musk’s space company and NASA’s long-delayed goal to resume human spaceflight from US soil later this year.

Japan okays research using human cells in animals: AFP reports, Japan has given the green light to a controversial research process involving implanting animals with human stem cells that could eventually help grow human organs for transplant inside animal hosts.


House Democrats to probe claims of Trump obstruction: FT reports, the Judiciary committee chair says he will seek dozens of documents this week.

WP: House Judiciary chairman says he will launch probe of Trump’s ‘abuse of power’

On Monday the House Judiciary committee will issue demands for documents from more than 60 people and entities. The targets include the president’s son Donald Trump Jr and the chief finance officer of Trump’s business empire, Allen Weisselberg. Other possible targets are John Kelly, Trump’s former chief of staff, and former White House counsel Don McGahn.

Mueller's final report will ignite an epic war over disclosure: Bloomberg reports, there will be a struggle in Congress, on cable TV and social media and probably in the courts over how much must be disclosed from what will begin as a secret report to Attorney General William Barr. There also will be an epic political fight over whether the findings implicate President Donald Trump in wrongdoing that may even merit his impeachment, as some Democrats say, or clear him after a 21-month investigation that he and other Republicans call a “witch hunt.”

Trump’s emergency declaration hits a major roadblock in the Senate: LAT reports, Republican Sen. Rand Paul has reportedly become the fourth senator on his side of the aisle to commit to voting for a Democratic-backed resolution to rescind Trump’s emergency declaration.

OTD: In 1861 Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated as American president for the first time.

WSJ: Trump’s job-approval rating ticks up, along with warning signs

Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll also finds Democratic primary voters looking for a nominee with aggressive policy ideas.

Trump’s job-approval rating, at 46%, is similar to those of Clinton and Obama at this point in their terms.

The poll also found the majority of Democratic primary voters are looking for a nominee with aggressive policy ideas.

Trump’s improved rating to an uptick in support from white men without a college degree.

Trump cumulatively leads a generic Democratic opponent, 46% to 40%, in four Midwestern states he carried in 2016—Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin—along with Pennsylvania, which borders the Midwest.

Trump trails a generic Democrat, 50% to 39%, in five Sunbelt states Democrats aim to flip in 2020: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas.

Pennsylvania Democrats wonder how far is too far left: NYT reports, some worry that Democrats’ momentum in the state could screech to a halt if the party’s eventual 2020 nominee strays far left.

Anne-Marie Slaughter: Today’s centrist candidates are not a cross-section of America: Those who espouse a new political middle ground are overwhelmingly affluent white men.

"Any effort to create a sustainable new coalition must reach across gender, race, ethnic, and generational lines. Otherwise “centrist independent” will become code for well-off white people who no longer feel comfortable in the Democratic party."

Death toll tops 20 after tornadoes hit Southeast: Storms swept through swaths of Alabama and Georgia; the most destruction appears to be in Lee County, Ala.


Vale chief steps down over deadly dam collapse in Brazil: FT reports, Fabio Schvartsman agrees to ‘temporary’ resignation under pressure from prosecutors.

HBO and Turner chiefs depart amid AT&T shake-up of WarnerMedia: FT reports, Richard Plepler and David Levy exits follow final approval for $80bn takeover.


Bloomberg: Spielberg says Netflix and theater films aren't equal for Oscars 


Glory Glory Man United? The paradox of profits without trophies: Can one of the world’s most profitable football clubs keep growing if it no longer wins the biggest competitions?

LA Galaxy unveils a statue of David Beckham.

AFP: Neymar hints at joining Real Madrid