Buffett sees economy ‘a little softer,’ says several Berkshire businesses impacted by coronavirus

“It’s strong, but a little softer than it was six months ago, but that’s over a broad range,” Buffett told CNBC’s Becky Quick in a “Squawk Box” interview. And there again, that was affected by the tariffs, too, because people front-ended purchases, all kinds of things.” The “Oracle of Omaha” said that the Trump administration’s tit-for-tat trade war and, increasingly, the coronavirus threaten corporate America’s bottom line. During the interview, Buffett pointed to several macroeconomic headwind


“It’s strong, but a little softer than it was six months ago, but that’s over a broad range,” Buffett told CNBC’s Becky Quick in a “Squawk Box” interview.
And there again, that was affected by the tariffs, too, because people front-ended purchases, all kinds of things.”
The “Oracle of Omaha” said that the Trump administration’s tit-for-tat trade war and, increasingly, the coronavirus threaten corporate America’s bottom line.
During the interview, Buffett pointed to several macroeconomic headwind
Buffett sees economy ‘a little softer,’ says several Berkshire businesses impacted by coronavirus Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-24  Authors: thomas franck
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, number, softer, coronavirus, economy, affected, china, war, little, buffett, berkshire, businesses, kinds, virus, sees, impacted, growth, impact


Buffett sees economy 'a little softer,' says several Berkshire businesses impacted by coronavirus

Billionaire Warren Buffett said Monday that while the U.S. economy still looks healthy, it isn’t as robust as it was even half a year ago thanks to headwinds like the Trump administration’s trade war and the burgeoning coronavirus.

“It’s strong, but a little softer than it was six months ago, but that’s over a broad range,” Buffett told CNBC’s Becky Quick in a “Squawk Box” interview. “You look at car holdings —rail-car holdings, moving goods around. And there again, that was affected by the tariffs, too, because people front-ended purchases, all kinds of things.”

“Business is down but it’s down from a very good level,” added the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, speaking from the conglomerate’s headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska.

The “Oracle of Omaha” said that the Trump administration’s tit-for-tat trade war and, increasingly, the coronavirus threaten corporate America’s bottom line.

“Tariffs — the tariff situation was a big question mark for all kinds of companies. And still is to some degree. But that was front and center for a while. Now, coronavirus is front and center,” he said.

During the interview, Buffett pointed to several macroeconomic headwinds that when combined, appear to have weighed on U.S. growth over the last year.

Fourth-quarter GDP growth in the U.S. was 2.1% and 2.3% for 2019, the slowest year of growth in three. That number is expected to slump further in the first quarter of 2020 due to the impact of Boeing’s 737 Max crisis and the impact of the novel coronavirus.

Buffett said several Berkshire businesses were feeling an impact from the deadly virus, which has now spread beyond China and threatens to disrupt the global economy.

“We have maybe 1,000 Dairy Queen franchises in China … [and] a great number of them are closed. But the ones that are open aren’t doing any business to speak of,” Buffett said. “I’ll guarantee you that a very significant percentage of our businesses one way are affected by it. But they’re being affected by a lot of other things, too.”

“I mean our much bigger holding is Apple. We own 5.6% of Apple and the company came out and said that [the virus is] affecting not only its stores but all kinds of things, supply chains,” he added. “I find that a certain number of our companies have supply chain arrangements that are being affected by this.”

Buffett’s comments on Monday came amid reports that the coronavirus outbreak in countries outside China has worsened, especially South Korea and Italy, which reported a spike in the number of confirmed cases in recent days. South Korea raised its coronavirus alert to the “highest level” over the weekend, with the latest spike in numbers bringing the total infected there to more than 750.

Despite these worries, Buffett did say that he was a net buyer of stocks for the moment and that he still recommends buying equities over the long term.

Subscribe to CNBC PRO for exclusive insights and analysis, and live business day programming from around the world.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-24  Authors: thomas franck
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, number, softer, coronavirus, economy, affected, china, war, little, buffett, berkshire, businesses, kinds, virus, sees, impacted, growth, impact


Home Forums

    • Forum
    • Topics
    • Posts
    • Last Post

Coronavirus outbreak in China spurs supply chain shifts that began during trade war

An employee works on a truck production line at a factory in Zhangjiakou in China’s northern Hebei province on January 13, 2020. The new coronavirus outbreak in China has hit global supply chains hard and spurred sourcing away from the world’s manufacturing hub — a shift that started amid the U.S.-China tariff fight. As business activity and transportation has been restricted in many Chinese cities, companies unable to fulfill contractual obligations are applying for force majeure certificates i


An employee works on a truck production line at a factory in Zhangjiakou in China’s northern Hebei province on January 13, 2020.
The new coronavirus outbreak in China has hit global supply chains hard and spurred sourcing away from the world’s manufacturing hub — a shift that started amid the U.S.-China tariff fight.
As business activity and transportation has been restricted in many Chinese cities, companies unable to fulfill contractual obligations are applying for force majeure certificates i
Coronavirus outbreak in China spurs supply chain shifts that began during trade war Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-20  Authors: huileng tan
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, yuan, chinese, trade, certificates, council, xinhua, war, supply, worlds, spurs, chinas, unable, coronavirus, chain, companies, shifts, china, began, outbreak


Coronavirus outbreak in China spurs supply chain shifts that began during trade war

An employee works on a truck production line at a factory in Zhangjiakou in China’s northern Hebei province on January 13, 2020.

The new coronavirus outbreak in China has hit global supply chains hard and spurred sourcing away from the world’s manufacturing hub — a shift that started amid the U.S.-China tariff fight.

As business activity and transportation has been restricted in many Chinese cities, companies unable to fulfill contractual obligations are applying for force majeure certificates issued by China’s Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

Companies that present such certificates to the counterparties of their deals could — depending on the clauses of their contracts — be absolved from paying penalties for being unable to fulfill agreed upon terms due to circumstances beyond their control. China’s total trade reached 30.51 trillion Chinese yuan ($4.4 trillion) in 2018.

Since it announced the availability of these slips at the end of January, the council has issued 1,615 of these certificates in just two weeks, Xinhua state news agency reported, citing data from the council. Those certificates cover a total contract value of 109.9 billion Chinese yuan ($15.8 billion) worth of goods that could be cancelled or for which fulfillment could be deferred, Xinhua reported.

Most of the applications for the force majeure certificates had been from Chinese exporters, although there were a few inquiries from importers, Reuters reported, citing an unnamed source.

The demand for these slips — which Xinhua reports stretches over 30 sectors — underscores the impact that extended city shutdowns and factory closures have on international supply chain, trade and shipping in China.

Dun and Bradstreet estimate that there are around 22 million businesses — or 90% of all active businesses in China — within the regions impacted by the new coronavirus, now formally named COVID-19. This in turn, would impact at least 56,000 companies around the world with suppliers either directly or in the first and second tiers, said the commercial data and analytics consultancy.

It’s not just manufactured goods but raw materials, such as those used in garment making, that have been hit, said Stanley Szeto, executive chairman at Lever Style, a clothing manufacturer. China is the world’s largest cotton producer.

Besides being unable to ship, companies are also unable to take delivery of what they had previously ordered as copper and liquefied natural gas traders.

For instance, “LNG demand has fallen off a cliff since January,” commodity consultancy Wood Mackenzie said bluntly in a recent report.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-20  Authors: huileng tan
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, yuan, chinese, trade, certificates, council, xinhua, war, supply, worlds, spurs, chinas, unable, coronavirus, chain, companies, shifts, china, began, outbreak


Home Forums

    • Forum
    • Topics
    • Posts
    • Last Post

Airlines’ Seattle turf war heats up with American, Alaska expansion–and tech workers are the prize

An American Airlines plane at left, leaves a gate area near an Alaska Airlines plane, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle. Going abroadThe unusual Alaska-American agreement would allow Alaska to book its travelers on American’s flights abroad from the West Coast. In its announcement, American unveiled plans to fly nonstop from Seattle to technology hub Bangalore, India, starting in October. The new service would launch almost a decade after American ended


An American Airlines plane at left, leaves a gate area near an Alaska Airlines plane, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle.
Going abroadThe unusual Alaska-American agreement would allow Alaska to book its travelers on American’s flights abroad from the West Coast.
In its announcement, American unveiled plans to fly nonstop from Seattle to technology hub Bangalore, India, starting in October.
The new service would launch almost a decade after American ended
Airlines’ Seattle turf war heats up with American, Alaska expansion–and tech workers are the prize Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-18  Authors: leslie josephs
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, tech, heats, expansionand, americans, india, seattle, turf, west, international, bangalore, alaska, airlines, prize, war, workers, american, flights, coast


Airlines' Seattle turf war heats up with American, Alaska expansion–and tech workers are the prize

An American Airlines plane at left, leaves a gate area near an Alaska Airlines plane, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle. Ted S. Warren | AP

Airlines are stepping up their battle over Seattle, where the spoils are high-spending corporate travelers from technology giants like Amazon and Microsoft and millions of other passengers at one of the country’s fastest-growing airports. The latest shot fired in the turf war came last week when American Airlines and Alaska Airlines announced a plan to expand their partnership to include American’s international flights from the West Coast, just weeks before reciprocal frequent-flyer benefits were set to be scaled back at the end of February. That agreement between Seattle’s hometown airline and international giant American formed after Delta spent years beefing up service from Seattle, which is one of its most profitable hubs. The surprise agreement also came after Delta swooped in last September with plans to buy a 20% stake in American’s longtime partner LATAM, a move that would increase Delta’s presence in American’s hub in Miami. The American-Alaska deal “can be seen as a competitive reply to Delta’s very bold, recent incursion onto American’s Miami turf,” said Craig Jenks, founding president of Airline/Aircraft Projects, a New York aviation consulting firm.

Going abroad

The unusual Alaska-American agreement would allow Alaska to book its travelers on American’s flights abroad from the West Coast. In its announcement, American unveiled plans to fly nonstop from Seattle to technology hub Bangalore, India, starting in October. Bangalore is one of Amazon’s top three business-travel markets, said Brett Catlin, Alaska’s head of network planning and alliances. The new service would launch almost a decade after American ended its flights to India. “India is a grossly under-served market, despite the number of businesses with a major presence in both India and the West Coast,” Vasu Raja, American’s senior vice president for network strategy, said in a news release. “By adding Seattle to Bangalore, we’re giving customers from more than 70 U.S. cities access to India in one stop or less — versus the two, three or four stops they’d have to make to get there in the past.” American also announced a flight between Seattle and London Heathrow, starting in March 2021, adding to flights on the route that American’s trans-Atlantic partner British Airways offers from Seattle.

Prized growth


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-18  Authors: leslie josephs
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, tech, heats, expansionand, americans, india, seattle, turf, west, international, bangalore, alaska, airlines, prize, war, workers, american, flights, coast


Home Forums

    • Forum
    • Topics
    • Posts
    • Last Post

Senate votes to limit President Trump’s ability to wage war against Iran

The U.S. Senate backed legislation on Thursday to limit President Donald Trump’s ability to wage war against Iran, rebuking him after a strike against an Iranian military commander and Tehran’s retaliation last month raised fears of broader regional conflict. Eight of Trump’s fellow Republicans joined Democrats to pass the war powers resolution by 55-45. Trump has promised a veto and there is not expected to be enough support in the Senate to muster the two-thirds majority to override. Republica


The U.S. Senate backed legislation on Thursday to limit President Donald Trump’s ability to wage war against Iran, rebuking him after a strike against an Iranian military commander and Tehran’s retaliation last month raised fears of broader regional conflict.
Eight of Trump’s fellow Republicans joined Democrats to pass the war powers resolution by 55-45.
Trump has promised a veto and there is not expected to be enough support in the Senate to muster the two-thirds majority to override.
Republica
Senate votes to limit President Trump’s ability to wage war against Iran Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-13
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, senate, trumps, senator, president, republicans, resolution, pass, war, limit, iran, vote, ability, send, wage, month, votes


Senate votes to limit President Trump's ability to wage war against Iran

The U.S. Senate backed legislation on Thursday to limit President Donald Trump’s ability to wage war against Iran, rebuking him after a strike against an Iranian military commander and Tehran’s retaliation last month raised fears of broader regional conflict.

Eight of Trump’s fellow Republicans joined Democrats to pass the war powers resolution by 55-45. The measure would require Trump to remove U.S. troops engaged in hostilities against Iran unless Congress declares war or passes a specific authorization for the use of military force.

Trump has promised a veto and there is not expected to be enough support in the Senate to muster the two-thirds majority to override. Republicans in the chamber hold 53 of the 100 seats and rarely vote against the president.

Opponents said the resolution’s passage would send the wrong message to Tehran.

“We need to send a message of firmness, and not weakness,” said Senator Jim Risch, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Democratic Senator Tim Kaine, a lead sponsor of the resolution, disputed that. He said the vote showed strength and reflected the importance of Congress weighing in on the decision to deploy U.S. troops.

“If we’re to order our young men and women in uniform to risk their lives and health in war, it should be on the basis of careful deliberation,” he said.

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed a similar resolution last month, but there are enough differences between the Senate’s version and the House’s that it must pass that chamber again before it can be sent to Trump’s desk.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-13
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, senate, trumps, senator, president, republicans, resolution, pass, war, limit, iran, vote, ability, send, wage, month, votes


Home Forums

    • Forum
    • Topics
    • Posts
    • Last Post

Trump and Bloomberg escalate their personal war on the campaign trail

Michael Bloomberg and Donald Trump Getty ImagesWASHINGTON — President Donald Trump called Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg a “mass of dead energy” and “a loser” on Thursday in a series of rancorous, personal tweets. The former New York mayor then did something few Democratic presidential candidates have been willing to, so far: Respond in kind. But as Trump increasingly shifts his energy toward his reelection campaign, the prospect of running against Bloomberg is clearly preoccup


Michael Bloomberg and Donald Trump Getty ImagesWASHINGTON — President Donald Trump called Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg a “mass of dead energy” and “a loser” on Thursday in a series of rancorous, personal tweets.
The former New York mayor then did something few Democratic presidential candidates have been willing to, so far: Respond in kind.
But as Trump increasingly shifts his energy toward his reelection campaign, the prospect of running against Bloomberg is clearly preoccup
Trump and Bloomberg escalate their personal war on the campaign trail Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-13  Authors: christina wilkie
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, insults, trail, willing, president, democratic, escalate, presidential, campaign, personal, war, opponents, york, bloomberg, trump


Trump and Bloomberg escalate their personal war on the campaign trail

Michael Bloomberg and Donald Trump Getty Images

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump called Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg a “mass of dead energy” and “a loser” on Thursday in a series of rancorous, personal tweets. The former New York mayor then did something few Democratic presidential candidates have been willing to, so far: Respond in kind. In a tweet quoting Trump’s insult, Bloomberg called the president a “carnival barking clown.” The back-and-forth barbs represent an escalation of what is already a deeply personal clash between Bloomberg and Trump, two New York billionaires who for decades belonged to elite Manhattan social circles. Bloomberg has yet to appear on a single presidential primary ballot, but his massive ad spending, growing online meme operation, rising poll numbers and personal biography appear to be making him an especially worrisome opponent to Trump. The president has tweeted more about Bloomberg in recent weeks than about any other Democratic candidate. Since Tuesday, Trump has tweeted insults about Bloomberg at least five times, mocking his golf game, his height, and his debating skills. (Bloomberg is 5′ 8,” and Trump is 6’3″.)

During the same period, Trump has barely mentioned any of the leading candidates for the Democratic nomination. Instead he has focused his tweets on his recent impeachment and on the prison sentence prosecutors recommended for his longtime friend and political advisor, Roger Stone, who was convicted late last year of seven felonies in connection with his activities during the 2016 presidential race. But as Trump increasingly shifts his energy toward his reelection campaign, the prospect of running against Bloomberg is clearly preoccupying the president. Bloomberg is willing and able to fight Trump on the same battlefields where Trump has always outdone his opponents: Net worth, mudslinging, attention-getting attacks and unbridled competitiveness. On both the campaign trail and in private, Trump touts his personal wealth as evidence of his superior intelligence and his business acumen. He also revels in his ability to fire off personal insults at his opponents, insults he then uses to animate his supporters at massive rallies. Trump also prides himself on his willingness to attack his opponents more viciously, and often effectively, than they attack him. In Bloomberg, however, Trump faces a direct challenge to core principles that underpin his entire political career, including his use of personal wealth as a measuring stick for power and importance, as well as his insistence that success in the private sector correlates directly to success in the White House.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-13  Authors: christina wilkie
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, insults, trail, willing, president, democratic, escalate, presidential, campaign, personal, war, opponents, york, bloomberg, trump


Home Forums

    • Forum
    • Topics
    • Posts
    • Last Post

Coronavirus outbreak will speed up US-China ‘decoupling’ more than the trade war, Milken Institute analyst says

The ongoing coronavirus outbreak is speeding up the so-called “decoupling” between the U.S. and China more than their trade war did, according to an analyst from the Milken Institute. “We talked about China and the U.S. decoupling. The coronavirus more than the trade war has sped some of that decoupling as countries, as businesses think about their supply chain for the long run,” said Curtis Chin, an Asia fellow at the Milken Institute, calling it an “increased disengagement” of both economies.


The ongoing coronavirus outbreak is speeding up the so-called “decoupling” between the U.S. and China more than their trade war did, according to an analyst from the Milken Institute.
“We talked about China and the U.S. decoupling.
The coronavirus more than the trade war has sped some of that decoupling as countries, as businesses think about their supply chain for the long run,” said Curtis Chin, an Asia fellow at the Milken Institute, calling it an “increased disengagement” of both economies.

Coronavirus outbreak will speed up US-China ‘decoupling’ more than the trade war, Milken Institute analyst says Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-12  Authors: weizhen tan
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, trade, chinese, institute, uschina, milken, outbreak, analyst, decoupling, coronavirus, china, technology, supply, war, speed, tariffs


Coronavirus outbreak will speed up US-China 'decoupling' more than the trade war, Milken Institute analyst says

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) and US President Donald Trump attend their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka on June 29, 2019.

The ongoing coronavirus outbreak is speeding up the so-called “decoupling” between the U.S. and China more than their trade war did, according to an analyst from the Milken Institute.

“We talked about China and the U.S. decoupling. The coronavirus more than the trade war has sped some of that decoupling as countries, as businesses think about their supply chain for the long run,” said Curtis Chin, an Asia fellow at the Milken Institute, calling it an “increased disengagement” of both economies.

“It can’t all be in China, we’ve seen some of the consequences of over reliance on just one key market,” he told CNBC at the Milken Institute’s Middle East and Africa Summit in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

Talk of the risk of the world’s two major powers “decoupling” surfaced as their trade battle, which began in 2018, heated up — leading to billions of dollars of tariffs imposed on each other’s goods. Sticky issues also included the U.S. accusing China of intellectual property theft and forced technology transfer.

Last year, the White House reportedly considered some curbs on U.S. investments in China such as delisting Chinese stocks in the U.S. In the arena of technology, ties between the countries also steadily worsened, and China was said to start efforts to wean itself off U.S. tech.

Chin said: “The reality is that the US and Chinese economies, from supply chains to investment and trade flows, will be intertwined for years to come. The coronavirus crisis, however, has underscored to the United States and all of China’s trading and investment partners the value of diversification away from China.”

Nomura in a note on Tuesday flagged China’s deep integration with the global economy — the Asian giant contributed to 12% of global trade last year. The supply chains of many companies, including U.S. businesses, are heavily dependent on manufacturing in China.

The U.S.-China trade war and its tariffs have hit some Asian economies as companies to scrambled to avoid duties, diverting trade flows. But there have also been winners.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-12  Authors: weizhen tan
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, trade, chinese, institute, uschina, milken, outbreak, analyst, decoupling, coronavirus, china, technology, supply, war, speed, tariffs


Home Forums

    • Forum
    • Topics
    • Posts
    • Last Post

Here’s the firepower the Pentagon is asking for in its $705 billion budget

An F/A-18 Hornet aircraft sits on the flight line as a wall of fire detonates behind it during an air show at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Oct. 3, 2010. WASHINGTON — The Defense Department is asking Congress for $705.4 billion in its fiscal 2021 budget, $13 billion less than what Congress gave the Pentagon in fiscal 2020. The White House released the broad details of President Donald Trump’s budget proposal for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1, which seeks a colossal $740.5 billion f


An F/A-18 Hornet aircraft sits on the flight line as a wall of fire detonates behind it during an air show at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Oct. 3, 2010.
WASHINGTON — The Defense Department is asking Congress for $705.4 billion in its fiscal 2021 budget, $13 billion less than what Congress gave the Pentagon in fiscal 2020.
The White House released the broad details of President Donald Trump’s budget proposal for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1, which seeks a colossal $740.5 billion f
Here’s the firepower the Pentagon is asking for in its $705 billion budget Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-11  Authors: amanda macias
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, congress, 705, pentagons, air, budget, oct, billion, wall, pentagon, fiscal, white, war, asking, heres, firepower


Here's the firepower the Pentagon is asking for in its $705 billion budget

An F/A-18 Hornet aircraft sits on the flight line as a wall of fire detonates behind it during an air show at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Oct. 3, 2010.

WASHINGTON — The Defense Department is asking Congress for $705.4 billion in its fiscal 2021 budget, $13 billion less than what Congress gave the Pentagon in fiscal 2020.

The White House released the broad details of President Donald Trump’s budget proposal for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1, which seeks a colossal $740.5 billion for national defense.

The Pentagon’s portion of the budget is composed of a $636.4 billion base and an additional $69 billion for overseas contingency operations funding, aka the war budget.

Under the Trump administration, the Pentagon’s budget has swelled from $670 in 2018 to $712 billion in 2020.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-11  Authors: amanda macias
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, congress, 705, pentagons, air, budget, oct, billion, wall, pentagon, fiscal, white, war, asking, heres, firepower


Home Forums

    • Forum
    • Topics
    • Posts
    • Last Post

Democrats get their first chance to choose their 2020 presidential candidate in Iowa, which has been at the center of Trump’s trade war

He received a U.S. Department of Agriculture market facilitation payment, part of more than $20 billion in aid the administration doled out to farmers in 2018 and 2019 to mitigate trade war damage. Iowa has an economy that Iowa State University economics professor David Swenson described as “growing but not necessarily thriving.” The trade war added to those pressures. In 2018 alone, tariffs lopped at least $1 billion and up to $2 billion off Iowa’s gross state product, according to an Iowa Stat


He received a U.S. Department of Agriculture market facilitation payment, part of more than $20 billion in aid the administration doled out to farmers in 2018 and 2019 to mitigate trade war damage.
Iowa has an economy that Iowa State University economics professor David Swenson described as “growing but not necessarily thriving.”
The trade war added to those pressures.
In 2018 alone, tariffs lopped at least $1 billion and up to $2 billion off Iowa’s gross state product, according to an Iowa Stat
Democrats get their first chance to choose their 2020 presidential candidate in Iowa, which has been at the center of Trump’s trade war Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-03  Authors: jacob pramuk
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, democrats, choose, iowa, center, going, chance, war, candidate, presidential, trade, state, president, economy, trumps, sen, trump


Democrats get their first chance to choose their 2020 presidential candidate in Iowa, which has been at the center of Trump's trade war

Farmer Ethan Crow in his home in Marshalltown, Iowa. Jacob Pramuk | CNBC

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa — Ethan Crow says he has endured a “rough” two years. The 32-year-old farmer, who grows crops such as corn and soybeans on land his family has held since the 1930s, has navigated a gantlet of wet land and low prices further depressed by President Donald Trump’s trade war with China. He received a U.S. Department of Agriculture market facilitation payment, part of more than $20 billion in aid the administration doled out to farmers in 2018 and 2019 to mitigate trade war damage. While Crow said the money has proved “pretty instrumental” in helping family farms survive, he added that his community would “so much rather have a good trade package instead of an aid package.” Crow expresses “cautious optimism” about the president’s “phase one” trade deal with China, which calls for $40 billion in Chinese purchases of U.S. agricultural goods every year. But he wants a quick resolution to an economic conflict that has made an already challenging environment for farmers even more precarious. “We’re acknowledging the fact that it’s going to take time, and in the meantime, we’ve still got to pay our bills and keep groceries on the table,” Crow said.

Tom Steyer (L-R), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) await the start of the Democratic presidential primary debate at Drake University on January 14, 2020 in Des Moines, Iowa. Spencer Platt | Getty Images

Iowa’s agriculture industry shows just one way the tumultuous three years of Trump’s presidency have shaped the state and the country. With Monday’s first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses, Democrats will start the process of choosing who will take on the president in November in what many White House hopefuls have described as the most consequential U.S. election in recent memory. Polls suggest four Democratic contenders — Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg — have a good shot to leave Iowa with the most delegates. A strong showing in the Hawkeye State can give candidates a bump in fundraising and legitimacy as they claw through early nominating states in their push to challenge Trump. Democrats have tried to appeal to potential Iowa caucus attendees who, like large shares of voters in their party nationally, tend to say they care most about health care or climate change. At the same time, they have refined their arguments against Trump, an incumbent buoyed by glowing voter views about the economy despite lackluster marks on most other issues. The candidates’ arguments in the final days before the caucuses show the weaknesses they see in Trump’s case for reelection. They have contended Trump has not done enough to rein in health-care costs, favored corporations over workers and consumers by cutting taxes and scaling back regulations, and brought the U.S. to the brink of war in the Middle East through reckless foreign policy, among other Democratic arguments.

Joe Biden campaign sign outside of a field office in Fairfield, IA. Jacob Pramuk | CNBC

In conversations with CNBC last week, Iowa voters mentioned a range of reasons for supporting a Democratic candidate. Bruce Ersland, a 67-year-old who lives outside Marshalltown, said after a Biden event that he leans toward supporting the former vice president. He noted that foreign policy helped Biden’s case, saying “we were a lot closer to war than people thought” following the U.S. killing of Iran’s top general in January. Solomon Smith, a North Liberty resident whose 17-year-old son convinced him to go to a Buttigieg town hall, said he supports the former mayor partly because he seemed “more middle class” than his rivals. Warren backers frequently mentioned her plans to root out government corruption. Sanders supporters most often cited his signature “Medicare for All” health-care plan.

“Your farms are going to hell”

While a low jobless rate and steady economic growth have buoyed Trump during his first term, few economic issues have created as much of a threat to those trends as trade. Iowa has an economy that Iowa State University economics professor David Swenson described as “growing but not necessarily thriving.” Gross domestic product grew 1.3% in the third quarter of 2019 from the second quarter, below the U.S. rate of 2.1%. The state had an unemployment rate of 2.7% in December. It was lower than the U.S. mark of 3.5% during the same month — itself near a 50-year low. While Iowa is associated with farming, the state’s economy is a lot more than agriculture. Des Moines and Iowa’s other largest metropolitan areas have enjoyed a boost from the technology and health-care sectors, Swenson said. Apple and Facebook, among others, have opened data centers in Iowa in recent years. However, the state’s manufacturing base has contracted. Stress in the agricultural economy that started before Trump’s tenure has weighed on Iowa’s economy. The trade war added to those pressures. In 2018 alone, tariffs lopped at least $1 billion and up to $2 billion off Iowa’s gross state product, according to an Iowa State study. The farm aid payments show Trump’s awareness of how trade could damage him politically. At a pre-caucus rally in Des Moines on Thursday, the president pointed to the new North American trade deal and the phase one agreement with China as evidence of what he has accomplished for Iowa. He argued Democrats would hurt farmers — a key constituency that Trump hopes to maintain amid trade angst. “We’re going to win the great state of Iowa and it’s going to be a historic landslide,” Trump predicted. “And if we don’t win, your farms are going to hell.” While the president carried Iowa by nearly 10 percentage points in 2016, the 2018 midterms showed he can still face backlash in the state. Democrats flipped two of Iowa’s four House seats that year in campaigns fueled by resistance to GOP efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, among other issues. Both of the House members who beat incumbent Republicans — Reps. Cindy Axne and Abby Finkenauer — have endorsed Biden and argued he can help candidates down the ballot. The state’s other Democratic congressman, Rep. Dave Loebsack, who will retire at the end of his current term, has backed Buttigieg.

Pete Buttigieg and his husband Chasten wave following a campaign town hall in North Liberty, Iowa on Jan. 27, 2020. Jacob Pramuk | CNBC


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-02-03  Authors: jacob pramuk
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, democrats, choose, iowa, center, going, chance, war, candidate, presidential, trade, state, president, economy, trumps, sen, trump


Home Forums

    • Forum
    • Topics
    • Posts
    • Last Post

How the US-China trade war has starved some Silicon Valley start-ups

Their venture funding in three rounds came from a mix of leading U.S. and China venture funds investing in early stage technologies. Fallout in Silicon ValleyIssues over national security threats and competition with China for future technology leadership are stopping the flow of China investment in tech companies. Kevin Lemarque | ReutersNevertheless, China venture investments and acquisitions in the U.S. face greater scrutiny by Washington, D.C. regulators, and start-ups are getting pinched. F


Their venture funding in three rounds came from a mix of leading U.S. and China venture funds investing in early stage technologies.
Fallout in Silicon ValleyIssues over national security threats and competition with China for future technology leadership are stopping the flow of China investment in tech companies.
Kevin Lemarque | ReutersNevertheless, China venture investments and acquisitions in the U.S. face greater scrutiny by Washington, D.C. regulators, and start-ups are getting pinched.
F
How the US-China trade war has starved some Silicon Valley start-ups Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-31  Authors: rebecca fannin, special to cnbccom
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, deals, trade, startups, investment, funds, valley, china, tech, technology, uschina, war, venture, chinese, starved, silicon, capital


How the US-China trade war has starved some Silicon Valley start-ups

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) and US President Donald Trump attend their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka on June 29, 2019. Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images

San Jose-based virtual reality start-up uSens was ramping up quickly until late last year when issues over the U.S.-China tech cold war intervened, and the fast-charging company hit a dead end. With patented computer vision technology for smart TVs, mobile devices and cars, an experienced team from Apple, Intel, Samsung, Oracle and Amazon, and $27 million in venture funding in the past three years, uSens had sealed a partnership with San Francisco-based Pico Interactive to bring interactive hands gesturing to its virtual reality headsets. The start-up, formed by CEO Anli He and her husband, CTO Yue Fei, had scaled up from their living room and a Kickstarter campaign in 2015 to 60 staff in Silicon Valley, three offices in China and $2 million in revenue. Their venture funding in three rounds came from a mix of leading U.S. and China venture funds investing in early stage technologies. Among them were cross-border investor IDG Ventures, Fosun Kinzon Capital, backed by Chinese conglomerate Fosun, and venture funds including Shenzhen-based Maison Capital and Lebox Capital in Beijing. Now uSens faces the prospect of shutting down after failing to raise more capital, despite having a term sheet for a new venture infusion. The start-up’s office was shut down in the U.S., and everyone was laid off except for one salesperson. Remaining staff, including the co-founders, moved to China. “Terrible things were happening,” said He, recalling the succession of events. “Now we are trying to survive.” She blames fallout from the U.S.-China tech cold war for investor reluctance, both from China and American funds, to put more money into her high-tech start-up. “It was too easy to get capital from China-backed venture capitalists that had investment branches in Silicon Valley and liked to invest in cross-border deals at pretty high valuations,” she noted, adding that “lots of Chinese investors withdrew from the U.S., and then U.S. investors decided not to invest, too,” in U.S.-China-rooted start-ups.

To top off the misfortunes, venture capital firm Digital Capital Horizon, run by Stanford physics professor Shoucheng Zhang, dropped out of the picture as a potential source of funds when the professor, a friend of the founding couple, died in a suicide in December 2018 after a long battle fighting depression.

Fallout in Silicon Valley

Issues over national security threats and competition with China for future technology leadership are stopping the flow of China investment in tech companies. In the process, stifling cross-border U.S.-China collaboration that has long fueled next-generation innovations is being stifled. The outbreak of the coronavirus is taking its toll, too, as travel to and from China for firms active in the Mainland is being restricted. Jay Eum, co-founder and managing director of TransLink Capital in Palo Alto, California, points to three roadblocks to continued China investment in U.S. tech. Angel investment from China has “completely dried up,” while minority investments by VCs have become “extremely difficult.” The parade of acquisitions by China’s tech titans such as Alibaba and Tencent over the past few years is gone and most such deals “are not even attempted anymore.” He sums it up this way, China has “become a negative for all start-ups in the ecosystem. China is off limits.” uSens is hardly the only Silicon Valley-type start-up with China connections that is caught in a cash crunch. Dozens of high-tech start-ups in the U.S. are stuck in getting to the next level of growth without more capital from their previous Chinese sources. These start-ups are victims of heightened political tensions over China’s rise as a tech superpower contender and potential risks to America’s global leadership. Venture capital deals in the U.S. with at least one China investor fell to 163 deals and $6.5 billion of investment in 2019, according to private equity data tracking firm Preqin in London. That’s down from 236 deals in 2018, which had amounted to $10.8 billion. This China-to-U.S. venture boom started in 2014, when 157 deals totaling $2.7 billion were tallied up and grew rapidly.

Fueling the rush were several well-known, privately held Chinese VC firms such as CSC Upshot, ZhenFund and Kai-Fu Lee’s Sinovation Ventures, Chinese conglomerate Tencent, financial institution Ping An, accelerator TechCode in Beijing, numerous angel investors and state-owned funds such as Shanghai International Group’s Sailing Capital. They targeted deep tech sectors important to global competitiveness such as artificial intelligence, robotics, autonomous vehicles, virtual reality and gene editing, according to a new report by the New York-based Rhodium Group, which tracks U.S.-China investment trends. Now all including tech giant Tencent, one of the more active investors in leading edge U.S. technology companies as a backer of Tesla and Uber, has pulled back.

Trump crackdown

Investment from China into U.S. start-ups slowed last year after the Trump administration in August 2018 stepped up vetting of deals over national security issues in American critical technologies, such as artificial intelligence and autonomous navigation that could be used for military purposes. The Rhodium Report notes that the U.S. has not found any “smoking gun” evidence that Chinese VC in the U.S. has led to leakage of sensitive U.S. technology to China that could harm national security.

President Donald Trump meets with China’s President Xi Jinping at the start of their bilateral meeting at the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, June 29, 2019. Kevin Lemarque | Reuters

Nevertheless, China venture investments and acquisitions in the U.S. face greater scrutiny by Washington, D.C. regulators, and start-ups are getting pinched. In November 2018, the Trump administration introduced pilot regulations to expand the scope of foreign investment transactions reviewed by CFIUS (the Committee for Foreign Investments in the U.S.), requiring notifications and clearance for transactions in emerging technology sectors such as AI, autonomous vehicles, robotics and augmented reality. This stepped-up scrutiny was extended to include deals involving minority stakes below 10%, which takes in venture deals, many of them from China. The vetting also encompasses detailed information on venture fund structures and board seats, and has led to greater caution by U.S. venture firms about inviting limited partners with Chinese citizenship, the Rhodium report notes. Additionally, lawmakers passed new export controls in August 2018 to introduce new safeguards under the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act. The act modernizes and broadens the authorities of the President and CFIUS to review and take action involving national security concerns over foreign transactions in emerging U.S. technologies such as machine learning, advanced battery technology, gene editing, nanotechnology and augmented reality that could be leaked to foreign entities such as through joint ventures with Chinese firms. Uncertainty over how emerging and foundational technology are defined and long, cumbersome reviews of transactions have delayed and stopped funds to cash-strapped start-ups that are hanging on. Final regulations by the Department of the Treasury are set to become effective by February 13, 2020. Meanwhile, some China acquisitions involving U.S. companies that were made several years ago are now under retroactive reviews. For instance, a deal by Shanghai-based social media service Musical.ly to buy short video app TikTok in 2017 is being re-examined by CFIUS, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S.

A fractured relationship

This increased focus on national security issues and competitive threats has led to a decoupling or split of venture capital firms and their spending to opposite coasts of the Pacific, China on one side and Silicon Valley on the other. In turn, long-time co-investment and collaboration is breaking apart and impacting the pace of technology innovation. Founders of U.S. tech start-ups are thinking hard about accepting Chinese venture capital and are carefully considering any offshore corporate structure to avoid being labeled as Chinese companies. Ben Sun, CEO and founder of medtech startup Evoco Labs in Menlo Park, makes AI-empowered hearing aids and his product was a hit at the recent Consumer Electronics Show. A former product engineer at Apple, he has a head start in raising capital and is now weighing his best options for sourcing venture money when he might have accepted China VC in the past. Venture capital and angel investment for U.S. start-ups with China connections — through teams combining U.S. and Chinese talents, R&D operations in both countries, and experience in both markets – has been hit. Several prominent U.S.-China venture and angel investor firms have retreated from U.S. investing and returned to Beijing including ZhenFund with $1 billion under management and Sinovation Ventures with $2 billion. Moreover, ZZ Ventures, a San Francisco venture shop investing in technology start-ups and backed by real estate developer Zhongzhi Enterprise Group, has shut down and is selling most of its U.S. portfolio companies. Former managing director Tracy Wang is staying put in the San Francisco Bay Area, and expects to soon launch a new, U.S.-focused fund Agate Capital Partners. Further capital crunches have cropped up as U.S.-anchored venture firms with Chinese limited partners have become more cautious about accepting more money from China for new funds. New restrictions keep foreign limited partners in funds from weighing in on prospective deals, getting access to investment data, and allow only U.S. citizens to become leading partners at venture firms on American turf. Start-ups that previously depended on China capital in the U.S. are now looking to alternative funding. “U.S. VCs are taking advantage of the funding gap while corporate VC arms from the Pacific Rim are jumping into the pool,” says Thomas Gaynor, a partner at law firm DLA Piper in Silicon Valley.

SoftBank Group Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son speaks during a press conference on November 6, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. Tomohiro Ohsumi | Getty Images


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-31  Authors: rebecca fannin, special to cnbccom
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, deals, trade, startups, investment, funds, valley, china, tech, technology, uschina, war, venture, chinese, starved, silicon, capital


Home Forums

    • Forum
    • Topics
    • Posts
    • Last Post

House of Representatives passes two measures limiting Trump’s ability to go to war with Iran

People participate in a protest in Times Square against military conflict with Iran on January 08, 2020 in New York. The Democratic-led House of Representatives voted on Thursday to approve two measures that will constrain President Donald Trump’s ability to go to war with Iran. One of the measures would block funding for any use of offensive military force in or against Iran without congressional approval. Democrats, wary of getting bogged down in a new Middle East conflict, have sought to requ


People participate in a protest in Times Square against military conflict with Iran on January 08, 2020 in New York.
The Democratic-led House of Representatives voted on Thursday to approve two measures that will constrain President Donald Trump’s ability to go to war with Iran.
One of the measures would block funding for any use of offensive military force in or against Iran without congressional approval.
Democrats, wary of getting bogged down in a new Middle East conflict, have sought to requ
House of Representatives passes two measures limiting Trump’s ability to go to war with Iran Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-30  Authors: tucker higgins
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, war, iran, ability, passed, force, passes, congress, 2002, authority, resolution, measures, representatives, trumps, rep, limiting, military, house


House of Representatives passes two measures limiting Trump's ability to go to war with Iran

People participate in a protest in Times Square against military conflict with Iran on January 08, 2020 in New York.

The Democratic-led House of Representatives voted on Thursday to approve two measures that will constrain President Donald Trump’s ability to go to war with Iran.

One of the measures would block funding for any use of offensive military force in or against Iran without congressional approval. It passed 228-175.

The other would repeal the 2002 resolution that authorized military force against the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq and has since been invoked by successive presidents pursuing fights against new enemies. It passed 236-166.

Tensions between the U.S. and Iran are still high following the deadly American strike on Gen. Qasem Soleimani, a top Iranian military official, earlier this month. That strike prompted the Iranians to retaliate with missile attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq.

Democrats, wary of getting bogged down in a new Middle East conflict, have sought to require Trump to seek authorization for future uses of military force.

Trump has threatened to veto both measures, though on Wednesday he took to Twitter to urge members of both parties to “vote their HEART.”

The first measure passed on Thursday, sponsored by Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., would block the Trump administration from using any federal funds for military force in Iran unless Congress first declares war. Presidential contender Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced a companion resolution in the Senate.

Khanna, alongside Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., had proposed a similar amendment to the annual must-pass defense spending bill, but it was not included in the final version that Congress approved late last year.

“The American government has spent trillions of taxpayer dollars fighting endless wars across the Middle East,” Khanna said in a statement after his measure passed. “Today, Congress passed two historic pieces of legislation to reassert our authority over matters of war and peace.”

The second measure, to repeal the 2002 Iraq war authorization, was led by Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., and co-sponsored by 131 Democrats, two Republicans and the independent Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan.

After her resolution passed, Lee said in a statement that it was “a historic step to reassert our Constitutional authority and stop our endless wars.”

“We cannot afford to leave outdated AUMFs on the books indefinitely,” she said. “It is past time for Congress to finally do our Constitutional duty and vote on matters of war and peace. That extends beyond the 2002 AUMF – we must now work to repeal the overly broad 2001 AUMF.”

The 2002 military force authorization is separate from the more expansive resolution passed in 2001, just days after the September 11 attacks, which authorized force against all those who “planned, authorized, committed, or aided” the individuals who coordinated the strikes.

The 2001 resolution has been used as an authority for 41 operations in 19 countries, according to a 2019 report by the Friends Committee on National Legislation, an anti-war advocacy group.

The 2002 resolution was used by the Obama administration as an “alternative statutory basis” for the campaign against the Islamic State and by the Trump administration to assert authority for the use of force in “Syria or elsewhere,” the report found.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-30  Authors: tucker higgins
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, war, iran, ability, passed, force, passes, congress, 2002, authority, resolution, measures, representatives, trumps, rep, limiting, military, house


Home Forums

    • Forum
    • Topics
    • Posts
    • Last Post