Business News at a Glance
Posted June 22, 2018 9:50 p.m. EDT
Companies Get First Tariff Waivers, but Many More Are Left in Limbo
The Trump administration granted seven companies the first set of exclusions from its metal tariffs this week and rejected requests from 11 other companies, as the Commerce Department began slowly responding to the 20,000 applications companies have filed for individual products. The Commerce Department announced it had granted exclusions from the 25 percent steel tariffs to seven companies that requested an exemption for 42 products sourced from Japan, Sweden, Belgium, Germany and China. Some applications were rejected because they were deemed incomplete, according to decision memos. But several companies whose applications were denied faced objections from American steel-makers.
Lobsters, Small-Batch Whiskey and Trump’s Trade War
The effects of President Donald Trump’s trade war are beginning to ripple through the U.S. economy as steel tariffs disrupt domestic supply chains and global trading partners retaliate against a wide variety of U.S. products, such as peanut butter, whiskey and lobster. The cascade of tit-for-tat tariffs has spooked corporate executives, potentially slowing investment, and the Federal Reserve suggested this week that it might have to rethink its economic forecasts if the trade wars continue. On Friday, Trump only added fuel to the fire when he threatened in a tweet to impose a 20 percent tariff on all European cars.
Myths About Migrants Are Shaping Global Attitudes
Immigration is reshaping societies around the globe. Barriers erected by wealthier nations have been unable to keep out those from the global south who come searching for work and a better life. While immigrants have often delivered economic benefits to the countries taking them in, they have also shaken the prevailing order where the native-born often exaggerate both their numbers and their needs. While it is far from a consensus, on both sides of the Atlantic the proposition that immigration amounts to a large-scale threat is gaining ground on the right of the political spectrum.
Once Weak, U.S. Banks Ride High
What a time to be a bank. After making it through the annual, stress tests Thursday, the largest U.S. banks could soon be free to pay out as much as $90 billion in spare profits to their shareholders. That banks are in such a position highlights the remarkable change in fortunes for an industry that was on life support a decade ago. "You guys thought I was kidding when a few years ago I said you can have a golden age of banking,” Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, said this month, taking stock of trends in the industry.
Inside a Heist of U.S. Chip Designs, as China Bids for Tech Power
With a dragnet closing in, engineers at a Taiwanese chipmaker holding U.S. secrets did their best to conceal a daring case of corporate espionage. The devices they had contained designs from a U.S. company, Micron Technology, for microchips that have helped power the global digital revolution. According to Taiwanese authorities, the designs were bound for China. China has ambitious plans to compete head to head with the United States in the technology of tomorrow. The heist represents the dark side of that effort — and explain in part why the United States is starting a trade war with China.
OPEC, After Bolstering Prices, Considers Ramping Up Oil Production
Major oil-producing countries agreed Friday to jointly raise exports, a decision that has driven considerable division among them but could temper criticism from President Donald Trump. Officials from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, as well as other major producers like Russia, were set to increase their total output by around 1 percent of the global oil supply. Though a relatively small addition to the world energy market, the move nevertheless signals a willingness by international suppliers to address rising prices. Analysts estimated it would amount to as much as 1 million barrels a day of additional supply.
Airbus Tells Britain It Wants Details of a Brexit Deal, or Else
On Friday, the European aerospace giant Airbus, which makes commercial airliners like the A380 as well as military aircraft, delivered a stark warning to the British government: Give us more clarity on Brexit, or we might leave the country. The announcement, outlined in a published report and in remarks by a company executive, was unusually direct, offering a window into businesses' concerns as Britain runs out of time to make a deal with the European Union. Though few companies have spoken out, trade groups have warned repeatedly that notice of any agreement was needed to help plan for the future.