Business Briefs – May 22, 2019

Mnuchin: Further Tariffs on China ‘Another 30-45 Days Away’

BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is studying how proposed tariff increases on roughly another $300 billion in Chinese imports will affect consumers and is at least a month away from enacting them, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday.

Washington earlier this month hiked existing tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, prompting Beijing to retaliate, as talks to end a 10-month trade war between the world’s two largest economies stalled.

President Donald Trump has threatened to slap tariffs of up to 25% on an additional listing of Chinese imports worth about $300 billion.

Retailers, Shoppers Could Feel More Pain If Tariffs Spread

NEW YORK (AP) – An escalating trade war between the U.S. and China could mean higher prices on a broad array of products from toys to clothing. But some retailers will be less equipped to handle the pain than others, leaving consumers to carry the load. Target and Walmart are best positioned to absorb the costs by using clout with their suppliers or judiciously increasing prices on a broad array of items. The losers will be the ones that have been struggling all along, including mall-based clothing stores.

Judge Rules Qualcomm Violated Antitrust Law in Chip Market

NEW YORK (AP) – A federal judge has ruled that Qualcomm violated antitrust laws and must renegotiate its deals with smartphone makers that use its chips. Qualcomm says it will appeal. If Qualcomm suffered a big hit to its profitability, that could mean less spending on research and development — a knock to an American tech icon as the U.S. embarks on a politically sensitive race with China to update to 5G, a new wireless technology. Phone prices aren’t likely to change, though.

U.S., China Appear to Brace for Long Haul in Trade Dispute

WASHINGTON (AP) – With negotiations on hold and tariffs piling up, the United States and China appear to be bracing for a prolonged standoff over trade. China is airing Korean War films to arouse patriotic fervor and offering tax cuts to Chinese companies threatened by U.S. export controls. In the U.S., Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says he’s spoken to Walmart and other companies about ways to ease the pain for U.S. consumers.

3 Chinese Airlines Seeking Boeing Compensation Over 737 Max

BEIJING (AP) – China is stepping up pressure on Boeing Co. for compensation over the grounding of its 737 Max jetliners and a role in approving changes after fatal crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia. On Wednesday, Air China and China Southern Airlines joined China Eastern Airlines in seeking compensation from the aircraft maker. China Eastern made the request last month. Air China says it also wants compensation for delays in delivery of new planes.

Threat or Promise? E-Auto Boom Could Cost Industry Jobs

ZWICKAU, Germany (AP) – Volkswagen has employed generations of local workers in Zwickau, eastern Germany, to make combustion engine cars. Now it’s changing to make only electric cars, in a shift that some see as a promise for the future but others fear will mean thousands have to retrain or move, affecting the local community.

U.S. Blacklisting of Huawei Prompts Global Firms to Follow Suit

(The Washington Post) – Chinese telecom giant Huawei faced new threats to its business Wednesday as some European firms followed the U.S. tech industry in suspending dealings with the company.

Two British telecom companies, Vodafone and a unit of BT Group, said they would suspend plans to include Huawei telephones in their upcoming high-speed 5G networks. And in a potentially more consequential blow, U.K. chip designer Arm Holdings, an important supplier to Huawei, said it was “complying with the latest restrictions set forth by the U.S. government.”

Mnuchin Says Tubman $20 Bill Design Delayed Past 2020

WASHINGTON (AP) – Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the redesign of the $20 bill to feature 19th century abolitionist leader Harriet Tubman has been delayed. The decision to replace Andrew Jackson, the nation’s seventh president, with Tubman on the $20 bill had been made by Mnuchin’s predecessor, former Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, who had served in the Obama administration.