Africa, Russia, China, Rick Pitino, Wes Anderson, The Americas
Marc Ross Daily
March 22, 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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✔️ 40 African nations sign continental free trade deal
✔️ Johnson compares Russian World Cup to 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany
✔️ The trade war that Trump always wanted starts Thursday
✔️ Designed in California, made in China
✔️ Rick Pitino insists he did nothing wrong
Campaign rhetoric on China becomes a "Tariffs Thursday" reality
The Trump administration is set to unveil a package of punishing measures just after high-noon today all aimed at China, including billions in new import tariffs (or better put - consumer taxes).
The White House is seeking to clamp down on what it says are improper Chinese trade practices and lax intellectual property rights by making it significantly more difficult for China’s companies to acquire advanced American technology or invest in American companies.
Few disagree on both sides of the Pacific that Beijing needs to do more to open its markets to foreign competition, improve intellectual property protection, and provide a level playing field for all businesses operating in the Middle Kingdom.
The disagreement is in how this all happens.
It is still unclear how a strategy of using tariffs will move the needle.
Not only will the American consumer feel the burden with fewer funds to spend, but companies operating with long-term vision also now need to create a new playbook,
MBA 101 tip, for companies to be successful, they need predictability and want to see problems fixed productively without friction.
Think solutions, not sanctions.
For me, it’s just not clear how tariffs get you to fix these problems.
Listed on the official White House schedule as "THE PRESIDENT signs a Presidential Memorandum targeting China’s economic aggression," this memo will change global business in ways unknown but known is in the fact that power of multinational corporations has peaked and the future American elections will never be the same.
Even with just hours to go, final details of Trump's plan, including the number of imports to be hit by tariffs, remain in flux and full of Twittersphere speculation.
Since Trump will just be singing a memo today, the tariffs won’t be imposed immediately, giving American business, lobbyists, and special interests an opportunity to comment and suggest which products should be subject to the duties. James Madison's faction theory will be in full effect in the nation's capital.
Trump’s metals tariffs are already taxing patience. The LAT reports, the Trump administration’s tariffs on imported steel and aluminum are set to take effect Friday, but the rollout is being criticized as confusing, rushed, and potentially crisis-inducing. Have fun dropping off products at the Port of Los Angeles next week, next month, next year.
Whatever the final details become, this issue will linger for years.
Not only do companies now face a two-sided problem of needing to engage both Beijing and DC in respected fashions, but it is hard to see how this action doesn't shape the 2018 and 2020 elections - being tough on China makes American voters feel good.
Also, be mindful that as the CW inside the beltway is all focused on US-China commercial relations, Brussels has a say as well.
As Trump makes "Ameican First" moves, the Europen Union is holding firm in the background. This memo will undoubtedly strengthen the EU. As the biggest trading block in the world, they can flex their power and be more selective, stable, and secure - all attributes global business likes.
Enjoy the ride.
Forty African nations sign continental free trade deal: FT reports, Nigeria one of 11 countries that refused agreement, saying it would devastate the economy.
Britain’s Boris Johnson compares Russian World Cup to 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany http://wapo.st/2GfGqx7
NYT: Trump plans to slap stiff tariffs and investment restrictions on China
WSJ: US, China sharpen trade swords
WSJ: Trump administration tells lawmakers China trade actions are needed
WP: The trade war that Donald Trump always wanted starts Thursday
US threatens new trade curbs on China over IP abuse: FT reports, the Trump administration plans to use new targeted tariffs to apply “maximum pressure” on China to stop it stealing the intellectual property of American business, according to the top US trade official. Business groups remain sceptical of the Trump administration’s plans, though many acknowledge that it is trying to tackle legitimate concerns. “It’s unclear right now what the strategy is for using tariffs in this case,” said Erin Ennis, senior vice-president for the US-China Business Council. “Companies want to see the problems that are identified in the case addressed . . . It’s just not clear how tariffs get you to fix that problem.” https://goo.gl/HtvJ9m
Caixin: China vows action if US imposes more tariffs
Beijing’s Foreign Ministry said in response, “China will certainly take all necessary measures to resolutely defend its legitimate rights and interests.”
China will respond by going after America's Heartland. First, comet the farmers - then come the suppliers to farmers - then come the suppliers to suppliers of farmers.
Does DJT realize they read Politico in Beijing? "China's potential retaliation is calibrated to hit states that helped elect Donald Trump in 2016, the people said. Mr. Trump won eight of the top 10 soy and hog-producing states, and seven of the top 10 sorghum states."
Designed in California, made in China: how the iPhone skews US trade deficit: Reuters reports, Trump often tweets from his iPhone about pressuring China to address its $375 billion trade surplus with the United States. But a closer look at the Apple smartphone reveals how the headline figure is distorted. https://goo.gl/ogykTQ
"Using a rough calculation, that implies the iPhone 7 series added $15.7 billion to the US trade deficit with China last year, about 4.4 percent of the total. That’s also about 22 percent of the $70 billion in cell phones and household goods the US imported from China."
Tariffs Thursday: The White House moved their timetable up by a day and President Trump plans to announce around $50 billion of tariffs on Chinese exports to the US today at 12:30 pm ET.
How the official White House schedule lists the event: 12:30 PM Trump signs a Presidential Memorandum targeting China’s economic aggression
BTW - this type of economic aggression allows Ford and GM to sell more cars in China than North America - allows Marriott to operate 90 hotels - provides Coca-Cola with manufacturing 40 plants - where Disney has a theme park.
Budget: Congressional leaders reached a deal on a $1.3 trillion government funding package, which will need to be passed before the end of Friday night to avoid a government shutdown.
Joe Biden can’t stop talking about beating up Donald Trumphttp://wapo.st/2HTen3H
@SenSasse: Total dysfunction. DC is about to add 1.3 TRILLION $ to your debt like it’s no big deal - and meanwhile both of our crazy uncles are fistfighting in the backyard. Happy Thanksgiving, America.
House leaders biggest 2018 fear = The lazy Republican: GOP members who haven't had a tough race in years are being warned to start running scared." http://politi.co/2pyqH1x
Why America is so scared of China’s biggest tech company: Bloomberg reports, US politicians may not be able to pronounce “Huawei,” but they’re convinced it’s a threat to national security. https://goo.gl/u4AAUu
Who’s afraid of Huawei? Security worries spread beyond the US: WSJ reports, concerns about Chinese telecom giant, world No. 1 in wireless equipment, sprout in Canada, Australia, and South Korea.
WSJ: After days of silence, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg admits to ‘mistakes’ with user data
Quick take on Facebook:
The Street won't care - $FB will be up tomorrow - big.
$FB's biggest challenge = State AGs, the FTC, + EU
Also, any $FB entry into China is delayed by at least 20 years.
Bloomberg (cover): Delete my account: Facebook is why we need a digital protection agency. It’s not just the Cambridge Analytica debacle. Ethics don’t scale. https://goo.gl/Z6KFtm
Best Buy will reportedly cut ties with Huawei, ending sales of its smartphones in its stores.
H&M launched its core brand on Alibaba’s giant online marketplace Tmal.
Chinese consumers are increasingly preferring to buy domestic: Credit Suisse: CNBC reports, Chinese consumers, especially the younger ones, increasingly favor local brands, a Credit Suisse survey has found. The bank, which released the Emerging Consumer Survey report Wednesday, found 19 percent of Chinese consumers surveyed saying local sportswear brands are worth paying for. That's an improvement from the 15 percent who said the same in 2010.
Meredith plans to sell Time, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, and Money.
Naspers and Tencent: South Africa's Naspers is selling 6% of its stake in the Chinese tech giant Tencent—a cash-in that's worth a cool $10.6 billion.
Bitcoin is at $8,999.
Jimmy Iovine is formally stepping down as the head of Apple’s music division.
Blackberry will license its car infotainment and security software to Jaguar's next-generation EVs as it seeks to expand its QNX operating platform.
Cost of American robots may undercut African labor inside 20 years.
Netflix's new typeface aims to cut cost while reflecting cinematic roots
The Americans: Inside its six-season journey to critical stardom and TV history https://goo.gl/1zkA9m
Alec Baldwin narrates a moving spot kicking off US Open’s 50th-anniversary https://goo.gl/FYvMhE
Isle of Dogs is often captivating, LAT film critic Justin Chang says, but cultural sensitivity gets lost in translation. https://goo.gl/mksVXP
How Wes Anderson perfected the music-nerd soundtrack: Charting the impact of the director’s use of music in his work across the last 20 years in anticipation of his latest film, "Isle of Dogs." https://goo.gl/PFtP2P
Defiant and wounded, Rick Pitino insists he did nothing wrong — and wants back in http://wapo.st/2IIezDM
IndyCar: Starting in 2019, all race, including the Indianapolis 500, will move to NBC.
The billionaires are coming for German soccer: An obscure rule that has kept big money from the pastime is losing support, while determined owners are finding a way around it. And fans are outraged. https://goo.gl/EUyi3v