"Collusion is not a crime, but that doesn’t matter because there was No Collusion."
Marc Ross Daily
August 2, 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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✔️ Trump looks to more than double tariffs on China imports
✔️ Defense bill aims to counter China
✔️ Corporate Japan's capital spending plans reach 38-year high
✔️ “This election is very simple. It’s an up-or-down vote on impeachment.”
✔️ Kroger is launching a grocery delivery service dubbed Kroger Ship
OTD: In 1990 Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait
Troops open fire on protesters as election divides Zimbabwe: The Times reports, deadly violence erupted on the streets of Zimbabwe’s capital yesterday as troops used automatic weapons, tear gas and water cannons in a brutal crackdown on crowds protesting against the overwhelming victory of the ruling party in parliamentary elections.
France: Dominic Raab, the Brexit secretary, meets Nathalie Loiseau, the French minister for European affairs.
Politico: Trump tariffs sting farmers, businesses from sea to shining sea
The Times: US ‘blackmail’ on tariffs will not work, says China
Trump threatens to double tariffs on Chinese imports, but stops short of actually doing it: LAT reports, a week after moving to ease trade tensions with the European Union, the administration said it would consider imposing a 25% tariff on certain Chinese imports, up from the 10% Trump proposed last month. Senior administration officials on Wednesday expressed frustration that China has responded to US tariffs with retaliation rather than capitulation.
“We have been very clear about the specific changes China should undertake,” said US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. “Regrettably, instead of changing its harmful behavior, China has illegally retaliated against U.S. workers, farmers, ranchers andbusinesses.”
US mulls boosting China tariffs to 25%: WSJ reports, the White House, seeking to ratchet up pressure on Beijing and prod China into further negotiations, said it would consider more than doubling its proposed tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25%.
Chinese goods may face higher tariffs as US anger grows: NYT reports, the administration said it would consider raising tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese products to 25 percent from 10 percent as China’s currency declines.
Trump looks to more than double tariffs on China imports: FT reports, US president calls on trade rep to consider increase to 25%.
Trump officials consider more than doubling tariffs on Chinese goods: LAT reports, the deliberations could be a sign that Trump is looking to intensify pressure in the trade standoff with Beijing.
Defense bill aims to counter China: WSJ reports, Congress passed a defense-policy bill that some lawmakers say is tougher on China than any in history, as a bipartisan movement to confront Beijing gathers steam.
Chinese investor gives up purchase of German toolmaker: Nikkei reports, Merkel government was set to veto deal on national security concerns.
West begins to close door on Chinese investment: FT reports, Beijing perceives it is harder to do US deals — and that Europe is also tightening up.
Massive US defense policy bill passes without strict China measures: Reuters reports, the US Senate passed a $716 billion defense policy bill on Wednesday, backing President Donald Trump's call for a bigger, stronger military and sidestepping a potential battle with the White House over technology from major Chinese firms.
Nikkei: Corporate Japan's capital spending plans reach 38-year high
Outlays estimated at $176 billion, driven by electric vehicles and construction
Nikkei: Aussie beef prices rise as China loses appetite for US meat
Australia's population is growing at the fastest pace of any major developed country. Head count will hit 25 million this month—an incredible three decades sooner than the government had predicted in 2005.
Mike Pompeo's plan to deny China exclusive rights to the Indo-Pacific region: The National Interest reports, Mike Pompeo says he wants a "free and open" Indo-Pacific region. Australia is the security key to making that a reality.
Madrid begins talks with Catalan separatist leaders: AFP reports, Spain's new Socialist government held talks with Catalonia's separatist executive on Wednesday in the first such meeting in seven years as tensions eased but sharp divergences remained over the region's self-determination drive.
"Collusion is not a crime, but that doesn’t matter because there was No Collusion." -- DJT
End it now: Trump urged AG Sessions to end the Russia investigation “right now,” renewing public pressure on the nation’s top law-enforcement official to halt the probe.
Trump calls on Sessions to stop Mueller's Russia probe, raising specter of attempted obstruction: LAT reports, the tweet was the president's most explicit post or statement to date seemingly aimed at getting his attorney general to end the probe.
Is a POTUS tweet an opinion or an order?!?
WP: Mueller offers to limit investigators’ questions for Trump in special counsel’s latest effort to secure presidentialinterview
Today: Trump will attend a campaign rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
Bob Woodward’s "FEAR: Inside the Trump White House," launching on September 11 is No. 1 on Amazon.
He's back: Barack Obama dipped into November's midterm election fight for the first time on Wednesday, endorsing 81 Democrats in 14 states with a focus on young, diverse candidates and lower-level races.
Not featured: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Comstock, running for reelection, won’t vote for a shutdown no matter how much Trump wants one: WP reports, Rep. Barbara Comstock said she supports President Trump’s border wall and almost always votes with her party, but the vulnerable Republican’s Northern Virginia district is home to tens of thousands of federal workers.
As the bizarre QAnon group emerges, Trump rallies go from nasty to dangerous: WP reports, hostility toward the media is nothing new. But the latest rally was attended by deranged devotees of a supposed government agent who supporters believe is waging war against the “deep state” that threatens the Trump presidency.
SBUX, Schultz, Schmidt: More buzz that Steve Schmidt will advise a presidential bid by his longtime client, former Starbucks chief Howard Schultz, or another Democratic candidate in 2020.
Steve Schmidt will for sure work on a 2020 presidential campaign - book it.
Election 2020: Biden leads Trump in early 2020 match-up
A plurality of registered voters, 44 percent, said they’d choose Biden in the 2020 presidential election, while 37 percent of voters said they would vote for Trump.
Election 2020: "The best way to win in 2020 is to win in 2018. The goal is to make those people who are presidential-year voters into midterm-election voters." -- White House Political Director Bill Stepien
Election 2020 + Mueller: “We look at the front pages of daily key in-state newspapers every day. Compare and contrast that with what The Washington Post or New York Times is saying. It’s not on the 6 o’clock or 10 o’clock news every night. That’s what matters.” -- White House Political Director Bill Stepien
Inside the Trump 2020 campaign’s wild attempt to “Keep America Great”: Vanity Fair reports, the president is running his re-election campaign precisely the way he governs—playing three opposing power centers off each other, and listening mainly to his own instincts. It’s going to get ugly, and soon. “We’re going to call them out,” says Steve Bannon. “Kirsten Gillibrand, show us what you got. Elizabeth Warren? Kamala Harris? Howard Schultz? He’s going to cut through these guys like a scythe through grass.” http://bit.ly/2va8qLw
“This election is very simple. It’s an up-or-down vote on impeachment.” -- Steve Bannon
“Republicans will come home. Dude, you got Gorsuch and Kavanaugh back to back." At a minimum, Kavanaugh’s nomination "will ensure they don’t vote for Democrats.” -- Steve Bannon
Trump is doing what he loves most: running for president. His re-election effort is typically Trumpian: sprawling, disjointed, and bursting with confidence.
Average approval among the other political party:
GWH Bush 44%
GW Bush 23%
US Treasury embraces fintech: The US Treasury Department has issued a 222-page report that urges flexible regulation of financial-technology companies. The report's recommendations include support for regulatory sandboxes to let startups experiment.
Facebook has announced new tools that tallies time spent and nudges you when it’s time for a break.
Car sales: US auto sales slowed in July as rising interest rates, higher gasoline prices and falling demand for passenger cars
LAT: Tesla losses mount to $1.5 billion so far in 2018
Tesla will look to China for partial funding of its first factory there.
FT: Molson Coors sales go flat on North America declines
Hotel points: Starwood Preferred Guests, Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and Marriott Rewards are finally combined into a single program on August 18.
Google is working on a censored search engine for China.
WhatsApp outlined plans to begin selling advertisements and charging companies a service fee for interacting with customers on the platform.
Kroger is launching a grocery delivery service dubbed Kroger Ship in Cincinnati, Houston, Louisville, and Nashville.
Bloomberg: Huawei passes Apple in smartphone share for the first time
House of Fraser is teetering on the brink of collapse after a Chinese investor pulled out of a deal to buy a stake in the ailing department store and inject £70 million of funding.
Ocean plastic: More than 80% of marine plastic pollution comes from Asia
Degrading plastics emit greenhouse gases: study: AFP reports, a study in the journal PLOS ONE on Wednesday found that degrading plastics emit powerful greenhouse gases like methane and ethylene, and are a previously unaccounted-for source of these heat-trapping pollutants. Plastic water bottles, shopping bags, industrial plastics and food containers were all tested as part of the study.
QOTD: “It got to a point where it would be far easier to build a technology company that does marketing than to try to change a big legacy business into that.” -- Havas CEO David Jones on rethinking the traditional agency model.
What the team at a16z is reading this summerhttp://bit.ly/2MeyRGJ
Does packaging matter? In a world of e-commerce, brands no longer need packaging to catch shoppers' eyes. Instead, online platforms lets brands use photos, videos, user-generated content, and more to promote their goods.
Apps mean mobile phones are for texting, not talking: The amount of time people spend talking on their mobile phones has fallen for the first time as users switch to messaging apps.
CNN will say goodbye to Anthony Bourdain with a final season this fall: LAT reports, only one episode — a trip to Kenya with W. Kamau Bell, the host of CNN’s “United Shades of America” — was completed before Bourdain’s death. It will be the last to have Bourdain’s written narration. Four others set in Manhattan’s Lower East Side — in addition to the Big Bend area of Texas along the border of Mexico, the Asturias region of Spain and Indonesia — will be completed by the directors who filmed them for the show’s production company Zero Point Zero.
The world's most beautiful libraries – in pictures: In a new Taschen book, the Italian photographer Massimo Listri travels around the world to some of the oldest libraries, revealing a treasure trove of unique and imaginative architecture. http://bit.ly/2KjGWYS
LAT: NBA's hunt for revenue leads to gambling partnership with MGM Resorts in Las Vegas
OSU Football: BREAKING: Ohio State has placed Urban Meyer on paid administrative leave. Ryan Day will be the team’s acting head coach during the investigation.
OTD: In 1875 Britain’s first roller-skating rink opened in Belgravia, London
FA wants Southgate to be manager for 2022 World Cup: The Times reports, the FA is set to make Gareth Southgate an offer to extend his contract as England manager until the 2022 World Cup but admits that it will not be able to compete with a top Premier League club in terms of salary.