Posts belonging to Category Industry



Europe ready to retaliate if U.S. imposes auto tariffs

EU has a list of potential retaliation targets ready

European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said on Wednesday that the EU has a list of potential retaliation targets ready in case U.S. President Donald Trump imposes auto tariffs on the bloc’s member states. Malmstrom told reporters after a meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer that they did not speak specifically about auto tariffs, but focused instead on regulatory cooperation issues and ways to enable EU countries to import more American soybeans and liquefied natural gas.

Malmstrom did not specify the U.S. products on which the EU would levy retaliatory tariffs, as consultations with member states would need to take place, but she said the list could include “all kinds” of products.

“It could be cars, it could be agriculture, it could be industrial products – it could be everything. And we will do that, but hope we don’t have to get to that situation,” she said.

World’s longest sea bridge to open in China

The 55km bridge links Hong Kong and Macau to the Chinese mainland

The world’s longest sea bridge is set to open this week, linking the cities of Hong Kong and Macau to the Chinese mainland as part of a broader contentious plan to integrate the special administrative regions into China.

The $20bn Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge officially opens on Tuesday in a ceremony that Chinese president Xi Jinping is reportedly planning to attend. Officials are billing the 55km bridge as a key part of the Greater Bay Area plan, a campaign to connect Hong Kong and Macau to 11 Chinese cities to form a high-tech region to rival Silicon Valley.

The bridge links Hong Kong’s Lantau island to Zhuhai on the southern coast of Guangdong province and the gambling hub of Macau, a popular tourist spot for Chinese visitors.

Pivot Bio Secures $70M Investment

The company focuses on nitrogen-producing microbes

Pivot Bio, a synthetic biology company working on nitrogen-producing microbes, announced yesterday that it has completed a Series B round of financing totaling $70 million led by Bill Gates’ innovation investment fund, Breakthrough Ventures.

Breakthrough Ventures is a $1 billion fund with famous investors like Gates and other high-profile billionaires like Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson. The fund focuses on innovation aimed at addressing different areas of environmental concern, with recent investments in a company working to decrease carbon in the concrete industry, a group working on a nuclear-fusion reactor that could produce net-positive energy and, in the agriculture space, the investment in Pivot.

Pivot plans to invest the funding in bringing its first microbial product to market in 2019, but the company also has future plans—exploring new markets like Canada and Brazil, as well as funding research into a seed treatment application and moving beyond just corn to add microbial products for crops like wheat and rice.

http://www.forbes.com

China says U.S. trying to force it to submit on trade

The United States and China imposed fresh tariffs on each other’s goods on Monday as the world’s biggest economies showed no signs of backing down from an increasingly bitter trade dispute that is expected to hit global economic growth. Soon after the new duties went into effect, China accused the United States of engaging in “trade bullyism” and said it was intimidating other countries to submit to its will, the official Xinhua news agency said, reiterating China’s willingness to fight if necessary.

But Beijing also said it was willing to restart trade negotiations with the United States if the talks are “based on mutual respect and equality,” Xinhua said, citing a white paper on the dispute published by China’s State Council. U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods and retaliatory tariffs by Beijing on $60 billion worth of U.S. products took effect at midday Asian time, though the initial level of the duties was not as high as earlier feared.

http://www.reuters.com

Saudi Arabia invests $1 billion in electric carmaker Lucid Motors

A serious rival to Tesla

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has agreed to invest more than $1 billion in Lucid Motors, adding to the emerging competition facing U.S. electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc. The funding will enable Silicon Valley-based Lucid to achieve the commercial launch of its Lucid Air electric vehicle in 2020, PIF said in an announcement on Monday. Lucid joins Daimler-owned  Mercedes, BMW and Volkswagen’s  Audi and Porsche divisions in the battle for dominance in the market for premium battery cars.

In August, Tesla founder Elon Musk said the Saudi sovereign wealth fund could help him to take his company private. The Lucid investment, which PIF said is more than $1 billion but did not give an exact figure, is also part of Saudi Arabia’s plan to build an environmentally friendly economy, to diversify the kingdom away from reliance on crude oil.

Flurry of electrifying announcements from the auto industry

Mercedes challenges Tesla with an all-electric SUV

Mercedes-Benz unveiled its first fully electric SUV today in Stockholm, the first in a long line of electric vehicles the automotive juggernaut will roll out over the coming years as part of its new EQ sub-brand. The EQC will run to 60 mph in under five seconds, go 200 miles between charges, and when it enters production in 2020, it will find itself in a world of increasingly fierce competition.

The EQC unveil comes amid a flurry of electrifying announcements from the auto industry. Later this month, Audi will debut its own electric SUV, the e-Tron. BMW just began taking orders for its upcoming iX3 electric SUV. Tesla is showing the production version of its gobsmacking, revived Roadster at the Grand Basel motor show in Switzerland this week. Jaguar is gearing up to start US deliveries of its much-lauded electric i-Pace later this year.

http://www.wired.com

Apple’s next big product

Smart glasses

Apple said earlier this week that it bought a small Colorado company that worked on lenses for augmented reality glasses.It’s pretty clear at this point that Apple is working on a pair of its own smartglasses. Of course Apple is working on new products in its $5 billion headquarters and research labs.

The company wouldn’t be as successful as it is if Apple CEO Tim Cook and his executive team weren’t constantly planning for three and five years into the future and asking themselves what computers could look like. It seems like the company has decided it will launch a pair of smartglasses that can impose digital information onto the real world through its advanced lenses.

http://www.businessinsider.com

New NAFTA agreement possible

Canada and U.S. Express Optimism

The United States and Canada are aiming to reach a deal by the end of the week that keeps the three-country North American Free Trade Agreement intact, as President Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada expressed optimism that the two countries could resolve their differences.

“I think Canada very much wants to make a deal,” Mr. Trump said from the Oval Office on Wednesday, sounding far more optimistic than just days before, when he announced a deal with Mexico and threatened to leave Canada behind.

http://www.nytimes.com

Saudi Arabia bought 5% stake in Tesla

The Saudi Public Investment Fund bought the shares in secondary markets

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund has acquired a significant position in Tesla shares, according to the Financial Times. The media outlet said the Saudi’s Public Investment Fund bought a 3 percent to 5 percent stake in the electric car maker, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.

The stake is worth $1.9 billion to $3.2 billion at the company’s current share price. The Saudi fund approached CEO Elon Musk about buying newly issued shares, the report said, but Tesla declined. Instead the Public Investment Fund bought the shares in secondary markets.

Reuters later confirmed the Saudi fund bought a stake “at just below 5 percent” of the company, according to a source familiar with the matter.

https://www.cnbc.com/

Tesla to go private

Stocks soar

Elon Musk has become one of the world’s most prominent chief executives, and a billionaire several times over, by boldly making big bets on ideas that few others thought possible.

He started a private rocket company that sends materials into space, andplans to send astronauts soon. He is creating machines to bore giant tunnels through the earth. And Tesla Inc., where he serves as chief executive, has succeeded in creating an Apple-like brand of electric cars.

Through it all, he has shown a maverick — some would say arrogant — management style. On Tuesday, he may have outdone himself.

In a terse and cryptic Twitter post, he declared that he was ready to take Tesla private. The stock market that made his company worth over $60 billion wasn’t worth the hassle.

http/www.nytimes.com

Artificial intelligence (AI) could create more jobs than it displaces

PwC suggested AI could create 558,000 Scottish posts by 2037

Over the same period 544,000 jobs could be lost as a result of automation – resulting in a net increase of 14,000. PwC said the new jobs could come from innovations such as drones, robotics and driverless vehicles. It argued that AI would create employment as productivity and real incomes rise, and new and better products are developed.

PwC’s latest Economic Outlook indicated that health, education and professional, scientific and technical services would benefit most, with manufacturing, transport and storage and public administration set to be the biggest losers. Its report suggested that the affect of AI on the jobs market would be most positively felt in London, followed by south-east England. Scotland came third in the list of 12 nations and regions.

http://www.bbc.com

EU warns Trump’s car tariffs threaten $300 billion of US exports

20% of US exports at risk

Nearly $300 billion of US exports could be hit by retaliatory tariffs if the Trump administration decides to penalize automobile imports from around the world, the European Union says.

The Commission said global retaliation against US tariffs on auto imports would have a much bigger impact on the American economy than the backlash provoked by the Trump administration’s steel and aluminum tariffs this year. It estimated that $294 billion, or around 19% of total US exports last year, could be affected.

President Donald Trump has threatened to place a 20% tariff on all European cars coming to the United States if the European Union doesn’t remove its own trade barriers. In May, the US government launched an investigationinto imports of automobiles, including SUVs, light trucks and auto parts.

The type of investigation, known as Section 232, is meant to determine whether the imports are hurting US national security. It’s the same approach the Trump administration used before it slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imports earlier this year.

https://www.cnn.com/

Amazon Makes $1 Billion Splash in Health Care, Buying PillPack

Formidable challenge to pharmacy chains 

Amazon.com Inc. is buying its way into the heart of the U.S. health-care system, instantly shaking up a prescription-drug industry already in the midst of a broader transformation. Insurance companies and drug-benefit managers have struck a series of deals in recent months designed in part to thwart a potential big splash in the health world from Amazon. But the online retail giant’s decision to buy online pharmacy PillPack rapidly accelerates the threat posed to entrenched retailers, suppliers and middlemen.

Most immediately, the move represents a formidable challenge to pharmacy chains including Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and CVS Health Corp., the two largest drugstore chains in the U.S. Walgreens shares sank 8.5 percent at 10:49 a.m. in New York, while CVS shares shed 8.9 percent.

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Theresa May’s hopes of a post-Brexit trade deal with Trump in doubt

Trump launches European trade war

Theresa May’s plans for a quick post-Brexit trade deal with the US have been thrown into doubt after Trump announced plans to launch a trade war with Europe.

The president is reportedly planning to impose up to 25% tariffs on imported steel and 10% on aluminium in an attempt to save US industry.

“We are on the losing side of almost all trade deals,” Trump tweeted on Monday.

“Our friends and enemies have taken advantage of the U.S. for many years. Our Steel and Aluminum industries are dead. Sorry, it’s time for a change! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” 

http://www.businessinsider.com…  March 06, 2018

Trump announces plans for heavy tariffs on steel and aluminum imports

Ugly trade war with China

President Trump unveiled plans Thursday to slap hefty tariffs on global imports of steel and aluminum, catching much of his administration by surprise, sending stocks plunging and sparking widespread fears that he was leading the United States into an ugly trade war with China as well as key American allies. Trump said he would sign an order next week to impose 25% tariffs on steel imports and 10% duties on aluminum, using his authority under an obscure trade law provision that permits the president to take sweeping measures in the name of national security.

Trump has long been a critic of U.S. trade policies, and he was elected partly on the promise to revamp the way Washington does business with the rest of the world. On Thursday, Trump assured U.S. manufacturers that they will “have protection for a long time .… You’ll have to regrow your industries. That’s all I’m asking.” For months, administration officials with less nationalistic views on trade, such as chief economic advisor Gary Cohn, have tried to dissuade Trump from imposing broad tariffs in response to America’s big trade deficit and what the president views as the world taking unfair advantage of the U.S. The shift was reflected in the recent rise in influence of more hawkish advisors who share Trump’s skepticism of trade, including Peter Navarro.

http://www.latimes.com…  March 02, 2018

Stronger Economy Boosts Chance for Rate Hikes

 Republican tax cuts enacted in December boost growth

Federal Reserve officials at their January meeting believed that a brightening global economic picture and the effects of recently passed tax cuts had raised the prospect for solid growth and continued interest rate increases.

The minutes of the Fed’s Jan. 30-31 discussions showed that the officials were more optimistic about the economy than they had been in December. They noted a stronger U.S. and global economy as well as expectations that the Republican tax cuts enacted in December would boost growth.

The minutes said “a majority of participants noted that a stronger outlook for economic growth raised the likelihood that further gradual policy firming would be appropriate.”

http://www.memphisdailynews.com…  Febuary 22, 2018