Business Briefs – May 17, 2019

Countertops and Rubber Bands: U.S. Pursues Obscure Trade Cases

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump’s high-profile trade offensives have grabbed headlines and rattled financial markets around the world. He’s battling China over the industries of the future, Canada and Mexico into reshaping North American trade and threatening to tax cars from Europe. But his trade warriors are fighting dozens of more obscure battles — over laminated woven sacks from Vietnam, dried tart cherries from Turkey, rubber bands from Thailand and many others.

U.S. Economic Sanctions on Huawei Could Backfire

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Trump administration’s newly announced plan to restrict exports to Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei for national security reasons doesn’t just up the ante in the China trade war. It could also hurt U.S. suppliers and accelerate Beijing’s drive toward greater technological independence.

Walmart Warns That Higher Tariffs Will Mean Higher Prices

NEW YORK (AP) – Walmart is warning that higher tariffs on imports from China will mean higher prices. The comments came after the nation’s largest retailer reported its best sale performance at its established U.S. namesake stores for the fiscal first quarter in nine years.

Trump Disclosure Shows Major Resorts Held Steady

NEW YORK (AP) – President Donald Trump’s financial disclosure form shows revenue held steady last year at several of his major hotels and resorts. His Doral golf course and club in Miami generated about $76 million in revenue last year, about $1 million more than in 2017. Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, took in nearly $23 million, a drop of more than $2 million.

Pinterest Reports Smaller Q1 Loss But Guidance Drags Stock

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Pinterest, fresh off its initial public offering, is reporting a smaller loss in the first quarter, boosted by higher revenue, but its revenue outlook was below expectations and shares slumped in after-hours trading. The company, which runs a digital pinboard and shopping tool, said Thursday that its net loss was $41.4 million, 33 cents per share, in the January-March period.

Salesforce Pledges Skill Training As Part of Trump Program

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Business software company Salesforce says it aims to provide skills training to 1 million people as part of a Trump administration push to boost career opportunities among Americans. Salesforce chairman Marc Benioff doubled his initial 500,000 person pledge during a Thursday event at its Indianapolis offices with President Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump. The San Francisco-based company says its free online platform Trailhead will offer tech training needed for Salesforce positions.

NTSB: Autopilot Was In Use Before Tesla Hit Semitrailer

DETROIT (AP) – The National Transportation Safety Board says Tesla’s Autopilot semi-autonomous driving system was in use when one of its cars drove beneath a semitrailer in Florida in March, killing the driver. The crash involving the Tesla Model 3 is strikingly similar to a 2016 crash near Gainesville, Florida, that also killed the driver.