Categories for Business

27,459. 8/16/2019

BUSINESS/TECHNOLOGY/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Having dinner tonight with Tim Cook of Apple. They will be spending vast sums of money in the U.S. Great!”

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, August 16, 2019 6:04 pm

27,434. 8/15/2019

BUSINESS/ECONOMY/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Walmart, a great indicator as to how the U.S. is doing, just released outstanding numbers. Our Country, unlike others, is doing great! Don’t let the Fake News convince you otherwise.”

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, August 15, 2019 3:18 pm

27,115. 8/1/2019

BUSINESS/DEFENSE/TECHNOLOGY/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The Pentagon is slamming the brakes on its mega-competition to award a $10 billion cloud computing contract after President Donald Trump suggested the Defense Department might have rigged the contest in favor of Amazon, a frequent target of his criticism. Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who assumed his post July 23, is now reviewing accusations of unfairness in the fiercely fought competition, the Pentagon announced Thursday [8-1-19], marking the president’s latest incursion into the arcane world of Defense Department contracting. Oracle has reportedly waged an aggressive lobbying campaign to push back on the competition, now pitting Amazon against Microsoft, including talking with members of Congress and preparing a graphic that made its way to the president’s desk.”

Jacqueline Feldscher, “Pentagon puts $10B contract on hold after Trump swipe at Amazon,” Politico, August 1, 2019 5:35 pm

26,842. 7/23/2019

BUSINESS/DEMS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/TRUMP PEOPLE: “History will record last week as a moment when President Trump turned to raw racial appeals to attack a group of nonwhite lawmakers, but his attacks also underscored a remarkable fact of his first term: His rhetorical appeals to white working-class voters have not been matched by legislative accomplishments aimed at their economic interests. As Mr. Trump was lashing out at Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna S. Pressley, House Democrats were passing a minimum wage bill with scant Republican support and little expectation of Senate passage. On the same day, the president issued a perfunctory announcement naming Eugene Scalia, a corporate lawyer and the son of Antonin Scalia, the former Supreme Court justice, as his new secretary of labor on the recommendation of Senator Tom Cotton, a hard-line Arkansas conservative.”

Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman, “Trump Relies on Populist Language, but He Mostly Sides With Corporate Interests,” The New York Times online, July 23, 2019

26,750. 7/19/2019

BUSINESS/TAXES/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Trump’s tax cuts have been very good to big banks. For foreign-owned banks, they could get even better. The cuts allowed America’s largest banks to save an estimated $16 billion collectively in taxes last year, a windfall that helped those firms reward shareholders through stock buybacks and dividend payments. The savings flowed largely from changes to the corporate rates, which fell to 21 percent from 35 percent under the new law. For years, domestic banks’ effective tax rates had been higher than those of many other companies’, so when they fell, those institutions enjoyed outsize benefits. Foreign-owned banks reaped benefits as well, though the structure and reporting of their global financial operations make them more difficult to quantify. Late last year, they won a potentially lucrative victory in a proposed Treasury Department regulation that puts into effect a part of the 2017 tax law that established a global minimum tax on multinational corporations. Analysts say the proposed regulation, which companies must apply even though it has not been made final, could allow foreign banks to largely avoid the minimum tax.”

Jim Tankersley and Peter Eavis, “Foreign-Owned Banks’ Results Could Sweeten Further Under Tax Law,” The New York Times online, July 19, 2019

26,685. 7/18/2019

BUSINESS/PENTAGON/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Trump said on Thursday [7-18-19] that he was looking ‘very seriously’ at intervening in the hard-fought commercial battle for a $10 billion Pentagon cloud computing contract for which Amazon, a company he has frequently attacked, is seen as the leading contender. For the president to weigh in on the award of a major government contract would be highly unusual, raising questions of improper political influence, but the stakes are high and Amazon’s competitors have been lobbying aggressively. Mr. Trump has long carried on a one-sided feud with Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder, over some of the company’s business activities and also over what the president refers to as ‘The Amazon Washington Post,’ though Mr. Bezos owns the newspaper personally, not as a corporate asset…In fact, the contract has not yet been awarded and has been the subject of a monthslong competition involving Amazon, Microsoft, Oracle and IBM.”

Scott Shane and Karen Weise, “Trump Says He May Intervene in Huge Pentagon Contract Sought by Amazon,” The New York Times online, July 18, 2019

26,678. 7/18/2019

BUSINESS/DEMS/GOP/HOUSE OF REPS/LEGISLATION/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday [7-18-19] passed legislation to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by October 2025, a big win for workers and labor groups, even as it remained unlikely the bill would pass a Republican-controlled Senate. The move comes at a time when the $15 minimum wage fight, first started by fast-food workers in New York in 2012, has been gaining momentum around the country with several states and large private-sector employers that hire entry-level workers. Cities and states including Seattle, San Francisco, New York state, California, Arkansas and Missouri have raised their minimum wage. Over the past year, employers like Amazon.com Inc and Costco Wholesale Corp have raised their base wages to $15 an hour while others like Target Corp have committed to going up to that level by the end of 2020. Even some opposed to the move like fast-food chain operator McDonald’s Corp said recently it would no longer fight proposals to raise the federal minimum wage.”

Nandita Bose, “House passes bill to raise federal minimum wage to $15 an hour,” Reuters, July 18, 2019 9:17 am

26,659. 7/17/2019

BUSINESS/ECONOMY/TAXES/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The five largest banks in the United States reaped tens of billions of dollars in profits in the first half of the year, thanks in part to a strong economy and to the lingering effects of President Trump’s tax cuts. Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo have all seen their tax rates decline to 22 percent or less as a result of the cuts, compared with rates of around 30 percent three years ago, one of the most consistent sources of strength apparent in quarterly earnings reports issued this week. JPMorgan’s tax rate fell to just under 15 percent in this year’s second quarter, although the bank said it would probably inch higher later in the year. Wells Fargo’s tax rate for the quarter was just over 17 percent, and Bank of America’s was 18 percent. The reduced rates helped offset a general decline in Wall Street trading revenue and added some pep to what would have otherwise been unremarkable quarterly performances by most of the banks.”

Emily Flitter, “Big U.S. Banks Are Earning Billions. Trump’s Tax Cuts Are Helping.,” The New York Times online, July 17, 2019

26,610. 7/15/2019

BUSINESS/STEVE MNUCHIN/TECHNOLOGY/TREASURY/TRUMP PEOPLE: “Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Monday [7-15-19] that he had ‘very serious concerns’ about cryptocurrencies, including the one being developed by Facebook, the latest indication that Washington is preparing to exert its power over digital currencies. In a briefing at the White House, Mr. Mnuchin said cryptocurrencies posed a national security threat because they can be used to fund illicit activities. He also said that the Trump administration was ‘not comfortable’ with Facebook’s plans to begin a digital payment system, called Libra. The warnings come after similar comments by President Trump, who said in a series of Twitter posts last week that he was ‘not a fan’ of cryptocurrencies and that their value was volatile and ‘based on thin air.’ Mr. Trump warned Facebook that it must seek a banking charter and follow all bank regulations if it wants to be in the digital currency business. The Trump administration has said little about cryptocurrencies in the past two years, despite their growing popularity.”

Alan Rappeport and Nathaniel Popper, “Cryptocurrencies Pose National Security Threat, Mnuchin Says,” The New York Times online, July 15, 2019

26,515. 7/12/2019

BUSINESS/CHINA/TECHNOLOGY/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The chairman of Huawei said Friday [7-12-19] the Chinese tech giant has yet to see any benefit from President Donald Trump’s promise to allow U.S. companies to sell some components to the company and called on Washington to remove it from a security blacklist. The ‘unjust and unfair’ decision to add Huawei Technologies Ltd., the biggest maker of network equipment for phone companies, to a list that restricts exports is hurting its U.S. suppliers and global customers, Liang Hua told a news conference. American officials accuse Huawei of facilitating Chinese spying, a charge the company denies, and see it as a growing competitor to U.S. technology industries. Its founder, Ren Zhengfei, said in June the company has cut sales forecasts by $30 billion over the next two years due to curbs on access to U.S. chips and other components. Trump promised last month to allow some sales to Huawei but said it will stay on the ‘entity list’ until talks over Washington’s tariff war with Beijing are concluded…Despite the U.S. export restrictions, Huawei revenue grew in the first half of this year, Liang said. He declined to give details ahead of the release of financial results later this month.”

Associated Press, “‘Unjust and unfair’: China’s Huawei calls on Trump to lift export restrictions,” USA Today, July 12, 2019 10:38 am

26,427. 7/10/2019

BUSINESS/PENNSYLVANIA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “I was just informed by Marillyn Hewson, CEO of Lockheed Martin, of her decision to keep the Sikorsky Helicopter Plant in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, open and humming! We are very proud of Pennsylvania and the people who work there….”

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, July 10, 2019 7:06 pm

26,426. 7/10/2019

BUSINESS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “….Thank you to Lockheed Martin, one of the USA’s truly great companies!”

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, July 10, 2019 7:06 pm

26,403. 7/9/2019

BUSINESS/ELECTION/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/TRUMP PEOPLE: “President Donald Trump on Tuesday [7-9-19] blasted ‘the radical left’ for using economic boycotts as a political tactic despite his own long history of supporting such strategies. The president was responding to recent calls for a boycott of Home Depot because of the financial support that retired co-founder Bernie Marcus has shown for him. Marcus said last month he will back Trump in the 2020 election…Trump has frequently shown support for conservative activists attempting to punish corporations. In recent years, he has spoken or tweeted approvingly of boycotts of the NFL and Nike because some football players have declined to stand for the national anthem before games. ‘If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our country, you will see change take place fast,’ he wrote on Twitter in September 2017.”

David Cohen, “Frequent boycotter Trump blasts liberals for calling for Home Depot boycott,” Politico, July 9, 2019 11:29 pm

26,383. 7/9/2019

BUSINESS/CHINA/TECHNOLOGY/TRADE DEALS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The Trump administration is following through with plans to allow American companies to continue doing business with Huawei, the Chinese telecom equipment giant, just weeks after placing the company on a Commerce Department blacklist. On Tuesday [7-9-19], Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the administration will issue licenses for American companies that want to do business with Huawei ‘where there is no threat to national security.’ And another top official suggested the move would allow chip makers to continue selling certain technology to Huawei. The comments confirm President Trump’s surprise announcement last month, after a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, that the United States would relax restrictions on Huawei as part of an effort to restart stalled trade talks with China. Weeks earlier, the Commerce Department said it had placed the company and its dozens of affiliates on a list of firms deemed a risk to national security, effectively barring it from buying American parts and technologies without seeking United States government approval.”

Jim Tankersley and Ana Swanson, “Trump Administration Will Allow Some Companies to Sell to Huawei,” The New York Times online, July 9, 2019

26,131. 6/28/2019

BUSINESS/PRISONS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “When Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) held its annual meeting in April, activists insisted it stop financing private prison companies. On Wednesday [6-26-19], Bank of America did exactly that, distancing itself from a sector that has triggered protests over its links to the Trump administration’s immigration policy and concerns about detention center conditions. Hector Vaca, one of the activists at the April annual meeting, declared victory. Next, he hopes to get SunTrust Banks Inc (STI.N) to cut ties with private prisons. SunTrust did not respond to a request for comment. In the past, companies usually waited for controversies to lose steam and avoided taking a stance by declining to provide public comments, making changes slowly or not at all. Crisis communications experts say that companies are forced to act more quickly in today’s fast-paced news and social media environment.”

Melissa Fares, Imani Moise, “When controversies hit, wait-and-see no longer works, U.S. companies find,” Reuters, June 28, 2019 1:42 pm

26,023. 6/25/2019

BUSINESS/CHILE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/TRUMP BUSINESS: “A Chilean mining company whose owner has business ties to President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner was able to clear significant ‘roadblocks’ in the early days of the Trump administration in order to reverse Obama-era restrictions that prevented it from mining near protected land in Minnesota, The New York Times reported Monday. The Times, citing government emails and calendars it reviewed, said the Trump administration worked in early 2017 with the mining company, Antofagasta, in order to clear certain hurdles so the company could operate a copper mine near the Boundary Waters, ‘a vast landscape of federally protected lakes and forests along (Minnesota’s) border with Canada.’ According to the paper, the newly granted access to the mines has drawn criticism ‘because of an unusual connection’ between Andrónico Luksic, whose family owns the mining company, and Trump and Kushner, who serve as senior advisers to the President and rent their Washington, DC, home from Luksic for $15,000 a month.”

Devan Cole, “NYT: Ivanka Trump, Kushner have ‘unusual connection’ with Chilean company owner that worked with administration to secure mining lease,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, June 25, 2019 10:42 pm

25,992. 6/25/2019

BUSINESS/CHILE/ENVIRONMENT/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/TRUMP BUSINESS: “In the waning months of the Obama administration, a Chilean conglomerate was losing a fight with the United States government over a copper mine that it wanted to build near a pristine wilderness area in Minnesota. The election of President Trump, with his business-friendly bent, turned out to be a game-changer for the project. Beginning in the early weeks of Mr. Trump’s presidency, the administration worked at a high level to remove roadblocks to the proposed mine, government emails and calendars show, overruling concerns that it could harm the Boundary Waters, a vast landscape of federally protected lakes and forests along the border with Canada. Executives with the mining company, Antofagasta, discussed the project with senior administration officials, including the White House’s top energy adviser, the emails show. Even before an interior secretary was appointed to the new administration, the department moved to re-examine leases critical to the mine, eventually restoring those that the Obama administration had declined to renew.”

Hiroko Tabuchi and Steve Eder, “A Plan to Mine the Minnesota Wilderness Hit a Dead End. Then Trump Became President.,” The New York Times online, June 25, 2019

25,835. 6/18/2019

BUSINESS/ECONOMY/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “‘ECB officials see Rate Cut as primary tool for any new stimulus’ @business”

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, June 18, 2019 9:09 am

25,826. 6/17/2019

BUSINESS/CHINA/TECHNOLOGY/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Huawei, the embattled Chinese technology giant, is slashing its sales expectations for this year by around $25 billion as the Trump administration’s clampdown on the firm takes a bite out of its business. At an event on Monday [6-17-19] at Huawei’s headquarters in Shenzhen, the company’s chief executive, Ren Zhengfei, said he expected annual revenue to come in at about $100 billion both this year and next before recovering in 2021. Last year, Huawei took in more than $105 billion in sales, helped by its fast-growing smartphone business. Mr. Ren said in January that he predicted another bumper year in 2019, with sales jumping to $125 billion. But that was before the United States last month cut Huawei off from the American chips, software and other parts that go into its handsets and telecommunication equipment, saying that the company represented a threat to national security.”

Raymond Zhong, “Huawei Chief Predicts Sales Will Flatline After Trump Crackdown,” The New York Times online, June 17, 2019

25,738. 6/14/2019

BUSINESS/IVANKA/JARED KUSHNER/TRUMP BUSINESS: “In their second year of government service, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner reported income from their companies and investments of as much as $135 million, according to their annual financial disclosure reports made public on Friday [6-14-19]. All told, the couple’s real estate holdings and other investments were worth as much as $786 million, down slightly from 2017. Their total annual income was between $29 million and $135 million, a range that was lower than what they reported in 2017. Mr. Kushner’s partial ownership of his family-run real estate business, Kushner Companies, has drawn criticism from ethics experts, particularly as the firm has solicited investments from foreign sources, including in the Middle East, where Mr. Kushner is a top White House liaison. Although Mr. Kushner held on to the bulk of his stake in the company, which he once ran, he sold some of his assets to a trust controlled by his mother. One of those divested assets was his share in Kushner Companies’ flagship property at 666 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.”

Jesse Drucker and Agustin Armendariz, “Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner Report Up to $135 Million in 2018 Income,” The New York Times online, June 14, 2019

25,706. 6/13/2019

BUSINESS/CHINA/TARIFFS/TRADE WAR/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “More than 600 companies and trade associations, including Walmart and Target, have signed a letter telling President Donald Trump that an escalating trade war with China will hurt families, jobs and the U.S. economy. The letter, dated Thursday [6-13-19] and organized by a business coalition called Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, comes as the US. Trade Representative’s office is set to hold public hearings Monday that will consider extending the 25% tariffs to practically all Chinese imports not already hit with levies, including toys, shirts, household goods and sneakers. Trump has already imposed 25% tariffs on $250 billion of goods from China. The letter calls for the White House to remove the tariffs, saying they will have ‘a significant, negative long-term impact on American businesses, farmers, families and the U.S. economy.’”

Associated Press, “Hundreds of Companies Decry Tariffs in Letter to Trump,” The New York Times online, June 13, 2019

25,697. 6/13/2019

BUSINESS/TARIFFS/TECHNOLOGY/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Donald Trump told reporters he met with Apple CEO Tim Cook at the White House today, though it was not immediately clear what the pair discussed. Cook’s visit comes as Trump is threatening to impose tariffs on roughly $300 billion worth of goods imported from China, including Apple’s flagship iPhone. The U.S. trade representative is currently in the process of determining what products will be spared. Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and senior adviser, praised Cook during a separate White House gathering today for his participation in the administration’s workforce development initiatives, saying ‘he’s been a real force on both the advisory board and in his commitment to lifelong learning generally.’ Cook has emerged as Apple’s highest profile and most effective lobbyist since Trump took office. The soft-spoken CEO has been willing to engage directly and publicly with Trump and his top advisers in a fashion that other tech leaders have largely sought to avoid. Google CEO Sundar Pichai was also spotted waiting to enter the White House Wednesday, according to POLITICO Playbook.”

Steven Overly, “Apple CEO Tim Cook meets with Trump as tariffs loom, “Apple CEO Tim Cook meets with Trump as tariffs loom,” Politico, June 13, 2019 3:36 pm

25,647. 6/12/2019

BUSINESS/ECONOMY/TARIFFS/TRADE DEALS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Donald Trump’s disruptive trade policies are the biggest threat to an otherwise healthy U.S. economy, business leaders said Wednesday [6-12-19]. ‘It’s just raising the risk of a bad outcome,’ Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase and chairman of the Business Roundtable, told reporters at a briefing to discuss the group’s latest quarterly survey of top corporate executives. The survey’s results showed increased anxiety about Trump’s handling of trade policy. The survey was conducted from May 16 to June 3, shortly after talks with China on a trade deal collapsed and Trump began taking steps to raise duties on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25 percent. He also has threatened to hit another $300 billion worth of Chinese goods with a 25 percent duty later this summer. Trump reached a deal with Canada and Mexico last month to lift duties on their steel and aluminum imports, easing North American trade tension. But he almost immediately began threatening Mexico with new tariffs over migrants crossing the border. Trump dropped his tariff threat last week after the two sides reached a deal.”

Doug Palmer, “Business leaders say Trump trade policies ‘scariest’ risk to growth,” Politico, June 12, 2019 4:26 pm

25,523. 6/7/2019

BUSINESS/CONGRESS/MEXICO/TARIFFS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “U.S. business groups warned President Donald Trump on Friday [6-7-19] that he risks losing his chance of achieving a major trade victory in Congress if he follows through on a plan to impose a 5 percent tariff on all Mexican goods starting Monday [6-10-19]. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been vocally opposed to Trump’s tariff plan since he announced it last week before heading to Europe. The business group estimates a 5 percent tariff on the approximately $350 billion worth of imports from Mexico would cost business about $17 billion in new taxes. If Trump follows through on plans to ratchet the tariff up to 25 percent over the next several months, that would increase the tax bill to $86 billion. Now, the group is joining forces with other organizations to highlight how such a move also jeopardizes congressional approval of the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement…The signatories include some of the most visible lobbying groups and trade associations in Washington, including the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Business Roundtable and the National Retail Federation.”

Doug Palmer, “Business groups warn tariffs imperil Trump’s USMCA trade deal,” Politico, June 7, 2019 4:55 pm

25,372. 5/30/2019

BUSINESS/ECONOMY/TRADE WARS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Markets sank again Wednesday [5-30-19] partially on fear of political chaos after Robert Mueller’s statement put more pressure on House Democrats to begin impeachment hearings against President Trump but mostly on persistent worries about the impact of Trump’s trade wars on a softening economy. The bond market is once again flashing recession signals. The Dow is off nearly 1400 points, or around 5 percent, since China talks fell apart and Trump tweeted on May 5 about his plans to tax everything the U.S. imports from China at 25 percent. The Nasdaq is off nearly 8 percent since its May 3 high, very close to 10 percent correction territory. The S&P is down close to 6 percent since May 3. The numbers are not bad enough to force Trump back to the negotiating table. But they are getting there. Pressure on Fed again — Markets are starting to place serious pressure on the Fed to cut rates and Trump may not be far behind them. Per HFE’s Jim O’Sullivan, futures markets now expect over 30 basis points of Fed cuts by the end of this year and 75 basis points by the end of next year.”

Ben White, “Markets in trouble,” Politico, May 30, 2019 8:00 am