Business News at a Glance

Posted July 24, 2018 9:44 p.m. EDT

To Ease Pain of Trump’s Trade War: $12 Billion in Aid for Farmers

The Trump administration announced Tuesday that it would provide up to $12 billion in emergency relief for farmers hurt by President Donald Trump’s trade war, moving to blunt the financial damage to U.S. agriculture and the political fallout for Republicans. The farm aid appeared calculated to show that Trump cares about farmers and is working to protect them from the worst consequences of his trade war. But the money was also an indication that Trump — ignoring the concerns of farmers, their representatives in Congress and even some of his own aides — plans to extend his tit-for-tat tariff wars.

U.S. Businesses Feeling Bullish, Despite the Surrounding Tumult

Potential perils are in plain sight: A tariff battle is alarming businesses. The annual federal deficit is heading toward $1 trillion. Credit card debt is soaring. And the synchronous wave that lifted every world economy at the year’s start has dissipated. However, such risks have done little to puncture the exuberant optimism that is encouraging U.S. businesses to ramp up hiring and consider new investment. The confidence is rooted only partly in data. It is also a sign of harder-to-measure sentiment. "Animal spirits are high,” said Tim Ryan, U.S. chairman of the global accounting and consulting firm PwC.

Its Eye on China, Britain Pushes Back on Foreign Takeovers

Britain on Tuesday joined a growing group of Western nations hardening their use of national security as a litmus test for Chinese investments, with the government in London unveiling a blueprint to sharply tighten its oversight of foreign takeovers. The proposal, which follows a pledge by Prime Minister Theresa May to protect sensitive industries, widens the scope of deals that Britain can thwart to protect its competitive edge. The new rules being suggested extend the government’s reach when it comes to foreign takeovers, lowering the threshold to include acquisitions of even small companies, intellectual property, individual assets or company shares.

Ivanka Trump Is Shutting Down Her Fashion Brand

President Donald Trump’s elder daughter said Tuesday that she was shutting down her namesake fashion brand more than a year after stepping away from the company amid concerns over how Donald Trump’s family might profit from his presidency. Ivanka Trump characterized the move as being driven by a commitment to the work she is doing as part of her father’s administration. When Trump earlier stepped away from her label, her representatives highlighted the move as evidence of her commitment to distance herself from her business. But she retained a financial interest in the brand.

EU to Offer Trade Proposals in Bid to Ease Tensions

European negotiators on Wednesday will present several ideas to the Trump administration for easing a trade clash with the United States, including forging a new deal among the world’s biggest automobile exporters. But these offers may fall short of appeasing President Donald Trump, who has expressed skepticism at past trade pacts and branded the European Union as a “foe.” As the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, meets with Trump in Washington on Wednesday, the two sides are pushing agendas that are increasingly at odds, threatening to turn allies into adversaries.

Facebook, Trying to Move Forward in China, Registers a Chinese Subsidiary

After a decade in which Facebook’s progress at courting China often seemed to stall, the social network finally gained an official status in the country — at least temporarily. Facebook has registered a subsidiary in the city of Hangzhou, according to a Chinese government filing, which said the company had gotten approval on July 18. The subsidiary was financed with an investment of $30 million. Yet late Tuesday, in a sign of possible complications, the corporate registration was taken down from the Chinese government website and some references to the new subsidiary appeared to be censored on social media.