Business Briefs – May 24, 2018

Trump Administration Explores Tariffs on Autos, Auto Parts

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Trump administration is exploring whether tariffs are needed on auto imports, a move that comes as trade talks with Canada and Mexico have stalled. The U.S. and its partners remain far apart on rewriting the North American Free Trade Agreement, with the discussions at an impasse over rules for car production. The initiation of the trade investigation President Donald Trump ordered on Wednesday could be seen as an attempt to gain leverage.

Analysis Says Trump Budget Won’t Curb Deficits as Promised

WASHINGTON (AP) – The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says President Donald Trump’s budget plan won’t curb the spiraling budget deficit as it claims. The budget, released in February and mostly ignored since, promises spending cuts and economic growth that would cut the deficit to $363 billion in 10 years. CBO says the deficit will instead hit almost $1.1 trillion if all of the president’s policies are followed.

CEO, Board Members Quit Russian Metals Giant Amid Sanctions

MOSCOW (AP) – Russia’s aluminum maker Rusal says its CEO and seven board members have quit, a move that comes as the company is struggling to survive under the impact of U.S. sanctions. U.S. hit Rusal and its major shareholder, billionaire Oleg Deripaska, with sanctions cutting the company off from international financial institutions and spooking its international customers.

Europe Looks for Deeds, Not Words, From Italy’s Populists

ROME (AP) – Italy’s premier-designate Giuseppe Conte has spent his first day on the job finalizing his proposed cabinet list as European officials vow to judge deeds, not words, from a decidedly euroskeptic and populist Italy in their ranks. In a sign of the sort of change he wants to bring, Conte told reporters he would end the day by meeting with Italian savers who lost money when the small banks where they had stashed their life savings failed.

Gap Profit Misses Forecasts on Sales Slump at Namesake Brand

NEW YORK (AP) – Gap Inc. reported a first-quarter profit that missed Wall Street expectations, hurt by a deeper slump in demand for its namesake label. Its shares fell 7 percent in extended trading. The San Francisco-based chain said that overall sales at established stores rose 1 percent, dragged down by a 4 percent drop at Gap. Old Navy and Banana Republic both saw sales rise 3 percent.

Macron Wants to Make France Gateway to Europe for Tech Firms

PARIS (AP) – French President Emmanuel Macron is calling on tech leaders to invest in France, saying his innovation policies aim to make the country the gateway to Europe. His speech comes a day after he met Facebook, Microsoft, Uber, IBM and other CEOs to discuss personal data protection and taxes, among other issues.