Cellphone Spying, Industrial Goods, Trade War, Shopping Malls, Mark Zuckerberg

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Cellphone Spying, Industrial Goods, Trade War, Shopping Malls, Mark Zuckerberg

Marc Ross Daily
April 4, 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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TOP FIVE

✔️ US suspects cellphone spying devices in DC

✔️ Trump lays out tariff plans for Chinese industrial goods

✔️ China strikes at US farming as soybeans enter trade war

✔️ Zuckerberg will speak to the House on April 11

✔️ Shopping malls moving more toward overall experience

GEOECONOMICS

US suspects cellphone spying devices in DC: AP reports, for the first time, the US government has publicly acknowledged the existence in Washington of what appear to be rogue devices that foreign spies and criminals could be using to track individual cellphones and intercept calls and messages. The use of what are known as cellphone-site simulators by foreign powers has long been a concern, but American intelligence and law enforcement agencies — which use such eavesdropping equipment themselves — have been silent on the issue until now. The devices work by tricking mobile devices into locking onto them instead of legitimate cell towers, revealing the exact location of a particular cellphone. More sophisticated versions can eavesdrop on calls by forcing phones to step down to older, unencrypted 2G wireless technology. Some attempt to plant malware.

McMaster denounces Putin and his “pernicious form of aggression.”

India is rushing to complete its ambitious infrastructure plan before the next elections, and is spending a record $18 billion this year to build highways and improve roads across the nation.

62: For the first time since gaining independence in 1947, India now spends more on defense than its former colonial power in the UK. 

Italy: Sergio Mattarella, Italy’s president, will today start talks aimed at giving his country a government. An election last month bequeathed it a hung parliament. Perhaps the least unnatural solution would be an all-populist coalition between the biggest party, the Five Star Movement and the hard-right League. 

US market futures are in the red amid escalating trade tensions between the US and China.

Trump lays out tariff plans for Chinese industrial goods: FT reports, the Trump administration revealed plans for a 25 percent tariff on 1,333 Chinese products ranging from industrial robots to locomotives in retaliation for what it said had been decades of state-backed intellectual property theft by Beijing. The list released on Tuesday covers imports worth some $50bn last year and represents the most aggressive US trade response to China’s actions since President Richard Nixon normalized diplomatic relations in the 1970s.

LAT: Trump administration ramps up trade war with China by releasing list of new tariffs

AP:
US proposes tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports

Pro-tip: These are "proposed tariffs"

China strikes at US farming as soybeans enter trade war: Bloomberg reports, soybeans have finally entered the US-China trade war. China’s Ministry of Commerce on Wednesday said it plans to impose 25 percent duties on imports of the commodity in addition to other U.S. agricultural produce including wheat, corn, cotton, sorghum, tobacco and beef. They’re among 106 products ranging from aircraft to chemicals targeted by Beijing in retaliation against proposed American duties on its high-tech goods.

The US exported almost $14 billion of soybeans to China last year, over a tenth of total exports to the Asian country. 

WP: China fires back at Trump, vows to impose tariffs on more US products, including soybeans

SCMP: China slaps extra 25 percent tariffs on 106 US imports as trade war nears


FT: Trade wars of 2018 have just begun

Question for the White House - where are we going with all this? The US is trying to stop China's well-laid economic growth plans, which it almost certainly won't be able to do. And what happens if China dumps US stocks, or stops buying US debt? What happens when Chinese stop buying iPhones, Buicks, and Nikes. 

AMERICAN POLITICS

Special Counsel Robert Mueller informed Trump’s attorneys last month that he is continuing to investigate the president but does not consider him a criminal target at this point, according to three people familiar with the discussions. 

Politico: The most powerful lobbyist in Trump’s Washington. Hint: It’s not Corey Lewandowski. https://politi.co/2q1jbNJ

Since Gary Cohn quit and Trump announced his plan to institute a new round of tariffs, the S&P 500 is down roughly 5%. This number to the downside will grow today.

Trump’s tariffs are hurting American factories after prices skyrocket: Bloomberg reports, Here’s one way to assess Trump’s tariffs on imported steel and aluminum: America’s factories already aren’t feeling so great. The tariff announcement helped send a measure of raw-material prices paid to an almost seven-year high in March, the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing survey showed Monday. About 32 percent of the respondents’ comments related to the threat of duties, ranging from the potential for higher costs to concern about limited availability around production schedules, according to Timothy Fiore, chairman of the group’s factory survey committee.

China finds California wine pairs well with a trade war: NYT reports, retaliatory tariffs are a blow to exporters increasingly catering to young, newly wealthy Chinese looking for bottles with cachet. https://nyti.ms/2GRjpAM

@JoshuaGreen: New Chinese tariffs this morning could have bigeffect on US midterms. Per Bloomberg data, biggest soybean producers include Ohio, Iowa, Missouri, Indiana.

CA-GOV: 27 different candidates are slated to appear on California’s gubernatorial primary ballot on June 5. The top two vote-getters, regardless of party, will proceed to the general election this fall. The two top contenders are Democrats Gavin Newsom and Antonio Villaraigosa.

ENTERPRISE

WSJ: Fox says Disney could buy UK's Sky News

Amber Baldet, who was heading up JPMorgan Chase's Quorum blockchain team, is setting up her own business. 

BOF: Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren betting on denim revival

North Face is committing to having an equal number of men and women in all its advertising moving forward.

Shopping malls moving more toward overall experience and designers will probably try to squeeze more profits out of a smaller amount of retail space with more emphasis on mixed-use.

Martin Sorrell is being investigated for alleged improper use of company funds. The long-standing chief executive, under whose leadership WPP became the world’s largest advertising agency, denied wrongdoing but said the board was right to investigate.

Spotify stock closed its first day of trading at $149.01 giving the music streaming giant a market cap of around $26.6 billion.

Apple has snapped up John Giannandrea, Google's outgoing search and artificial intelligence engineering chief, to head up its own AI strategy. 

Western payments groups play long game in China: FT reports, mobile payments market is 50 times bigger than what the US offers.

Russian trolls: Facebook is banning 270 Facebook and Instagram accounts run by Russia's Internet Research Agency.

Mark Zuckerberg will speak to the House Energy and Commerce Committee on April 11. 

TRENDS

Recode: What this Silicon Valley VC learned on the ‘Rust Belt Safari’: There are plenty of ways for tech to play in the “comeback cities” of the heartland. http://bit.ly/2Efi3uc

I loathe the term Rust Belt.

20 percent: Percentage of renters who have no interest in owning a home, according to the latest from a semiannual Freddie Mac survey. 

CULTURE

NYT: Disgraced by scandal, Mario Batali is eyeing his second act

Mountain bike excursions, cheaper WiFi, and better food: Welcome to cruise 2.0 https://wapo.st/2pGhAwF

MLK: Fifty years ago today, the Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed as he was standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis.

SOTD

U2 - Pride ( In The Name Of Love) http://bit.ly/2H98gsR

SPORT

Sebastian Steudtner big wave surfing at Nazare, Portugal: Watch this http://bit.ly/2H8niyI

Philadelphia: It's the first time that the Super Bowl Champions and the NCAA Basketball Champion are from the same city.

March Madness: Ratings for Turner's coverage of the NCAA men's basketball national championship game sunk to a new low, down 28 percent from CBS' broadcast of last year's game. Carrying the game on cable was always going to mean fewer viewers than on broadcast, and the blowout didn't help.

Marc Ross

Based in Washington, DC, I specialize in thought leader communications and global public policy for public affairs professionals working at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and politics.

Clients hire me to ghostwrite, engage influencer networks, manage media relations, produce events, audit their communications infrastructure, consult on hiring, provide issue briefs and news generating talking points, as well as manage end to end communications projects where I assume a role of project leader and general contractor.

I work independently but provided access to a substantial global network of collaborators with expertise in websites, graphic design, audio, video, polling, data analytics, and research.

Using the latest tactics of an American political campaign with expertise shaped by being a practitioner of global business communications, I help clients tell their story and build trusted relationships with all necessary stakeholders.

Successful communications are all about STOCK = strategy, tactics, organization, consistency, and know-how.

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