Business News at a Glance
Posted June 10, 2018 9:01 p.m. EDT
Trump Hates Tariffs, Except His Own
At the rockiest annual meeting of major Western powers in decades, President Donald Trump criticized the tariffs imposed on American goods as “ridiculous and unacceptable” and vowed to put an end to being “like a piggy bank that everybody is robbing.” Behind Trump’s outrage is his belief that the United States is at a disadvantage when it comes to global trade and is on the losing end of tariffs imposed by other nations. But to many of the country’s trading partners, the president’s criticisms ring hollow given that the United States places its own tariffs on goods such as trucks.
Near-Collapse of ZTE May Be China’s Sputnik Moment
China’s technological progress has been cast into doubt. The Trump administration gave ZTE, the world’s No. 4 maker of telecom gear, a stay of execution Thursday. ZTE, which had violated U.S. sanctions, agreed to pay a $1 billion fine and allow monitors in its headquarters. In return, the company will be allowed to buy the U.S.-made microchips it needs. China’s boom, it turns out, has been largely built on Western technology. Like the United States in 1957, watching as the Soviet Union launched the first human-made satellite, many people in China see how far the country has to go.
Tax Havens Blunt Impact of Corporate Tax Cut, Economists Say
The new corporate tax cuts are unlikely to stimulate the level of job creation and wage growth the Trump administration has promised, a trio of economists has concluded, because high tax rates were not pushing much investment out of the country. Instead, multinational corporations based in the United States and other countries have sheltered nearly 40 percent of their profits in tax havens, depriving their governments of tax revenues and enriching shareholders. That number suggests a large amount of what appears, to policymakers, to be investment pushed abroad is instead an accounting trick that tax cuts will not reverse.
Deal-Makers Brace for Ruling in AT&T-Time Warner Case
Disney’s offer to buy 21st Century Fox. CVS’ bid for Aetna. T-Mobile’s proposed merger with Sprint. The path for these blockbuster deals and others could be transformed in an instant Tuesday, when a federal judge is expected to issue his opinion on the government’s effort to block AT&T’s merger with Time Warner. It is one of the most influential antitrust cases in decades, enthralling Hollywood, Silicon Valley and Madison Avenue. If the merger is blocked, some executives are likely to slim down their deal aspirations. If the deal ends up going through, expect a cascade of mergers and acquisitions.
In Targeting Reporter, Justice Department Backs Trump’s Anti-Press Rhetoric
At the Justice Department, veteran journalists gathered Wednesday to hear Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein review the government’s policies on obtaining information from reporters. Barring certain circumstances, reporters would be told in advance of any attempt to obtain their records, he said. The journalists left under the impression that no changes were imminent. But 24 hours later, it seemed as if all bets were off. The revelation Thursday that the Justice Department had seized phone and email records from Ali Watkins, a New York Times journalist, raised concerns that the Trump administration was adopting an aggressive approach.
KKR Said to Be Near Deal to Acquire Envision Healthcare
KKR, the private equity giant, is near a deal to buy Envision Healthcare, a person briefed on the matter said Sunday, months after the company put itself up for sale as controversy over its hospital billing practices mounted. The deal, which would be one of the biggest by a private equity firm in recent years, reflects Wall Street’s continued interest in the health care industry. Envision, the product of a merger in 2016 of two hospital service providers, is one of the country’s biggest doctor-staffing companies, including for emergency room services. It also runs outpatient surgery centers.