Business News at a Glance

Posted May 13, 2018 9:16 p.m. EDT

In About-Face on Trade, Trump Vows to Protect ZTE Jobs in China

As China and the United States go toe-to-toe on trade, an unlikely obstacle has emerged: a second-tier Chinese electronics maker, ZTE. The company said last week that it had halted “major operating activities” after being penalized by the U.S. Department of Commerce. On Sunday, President Donald Trump surprised many in Washington when he indicated a willingness to rethink the punishment. In a tweet, Trump said he was working with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, to prevent the collapse of the company. "Too many jobs in China lost,” Trump wrote. “Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!”

Keyless Cars Are Convenient, But Can Lead to a Deadly Error

It seems like a common convenience: a car that can be powered on and off with the push of a button. But it can be deadly. Last year, Fred Schaub drove his Toyota RAV4 into the garage of his Florida home and went into the house with the wireless key fob, evidently believing the car was shut off. Twenty-nine hours later, he was found dead, overcome with carbon monoxide that flooded his home while he slept. More than two dozen people were killed by carbon monoxide nationwide since 2006 after a keyless-ignition vehicle was left running in a garage.

Disarray Plagues US Companies’ Efforts to Win Tariff Exemptions

For several weeks this spring, a handful of employees at a Texas steel manufacturer stopped producing pipes used to drill below the earth’s surface to concentrate on trying to win the company an exemption from President Donald Trump’s metals tariffs. Borusan Mannesmann Pipe U.S. filed 19 requests with the Commerce Department asking it to exempt the steel it imports from its parent company in Turkey. In the two months since the Trump administration’s steel and aluminum tariffs went into effect, the Commerce Department has been deluged with more than 8,200 exemption requests from companies that import foreign metals.

Silicon Valley Faces Regulatory Fight on Its Home Turf

The staging ground for one of the biggest regulatory fights facing the technology industry is far from Washington or Brussels, tucked into an alley about 30 miles from Silicon Valley. An office in Oakland, California, is the headquarters for backers of a proposed ballot measure that would provide consumers with increased privacy rights, including the ability to demand that companies do not sell their personal data. If the initiative, called The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, passes, privacy advocates say it will be one of the most meaningful checks in the country on the growing power of internet behemoths.

The Gender Pay Gap: How It’s Being Narrowed

New rules in Britain requiring companies to publish the extent of their gender pay gap have spurred a far-reaching debate over inequality in the workplace. Businesses — the vast majority of which pay men more than women — are increasingly being shamed into action. Companies in Britain are trying a variety of programs to close the divide. A law firm is giving female lawyers more flexible work schedules. A technology giant wants to increase the ranks of its female engineers. And a media company is recruiting greater numbers of women to mirror its client base more closely.