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Ryanair’s UK pilot union threatens strike action over promotion system

DUBLIN ( ) – The union representing Ryanair (RYA.I) pilots in Britain, the airline’s largest market, has threatened possible strike action unless the company implements a transparent system to manage promotions and transfers, according to a letter seen by .

Ryanair in December recognized trade unions for the first time in its ,上海足浴夜网联系方式Mabel,32-year history, but has since then struggled to reach agreement on the terms of the recognition with some unions and it faces several threats of strike action.

Industrial action in Britain, Ryanair’s first market to agree a formal union recognition agreement, could be particularly damaging. The airline has experienced minor disruption du上海夜生活网e to industrial action in Germany and Portugal, but has so far avoided a major stoppage.

Ryanair’s Irish union two weeks ago threatened possible strike action unless the airline agre,上海夜生活桑拿会所Fabi,es to new working practices.

In the letter to Chief Executive Michael O’Leary, dated May 24, the BALPA union demanded a seniority system to “provide transparency and fairness to decisions made by management which have a very large impact on the lives of our members and their families.”

Ryanair and BALPA representatives are due to meet to discuss the issue in June, a BALPA spokeswoman confirmed on Wednesday.

The union has said it wants transparent systems for involuntary base transfers, command upgrades and the allocation of annual leave and promotion.

“If it is not possible to immediately ne,上海夜哪里艳遇Kaiden,gotiate the introduction of such a Seniority Agreement, it is our intention to escalate this matter as a matter of urgency, to seek sanction for industrial action up to and including strike action should that be necessary,” the letter said.

The letter requested a positive response to the letter “on or before” Tuesday, May 29.

A spokesman for Ryanair said the airline did not comment on negotiations with its staff.

Foxconn looks for its next act but faces risks as it diversifies

TAIPEI/SHENZHEN, China ( ) – Foxconn, the Taiwanese contract manufacturer that rose to global prominence as the manufacturer of the Apple iPhone, is trying to reinvent itself as smartphone sales plateau and Apple Inc diversifies its supplier base.

The company, which kicked off a three-day event on Wednesday to celebrate its 30 years doing business in China, already does much more than assemble goods for others.

It’s a top global producer of display screens, thanks to the acquisition of Sharp Corp. Its far-flung activities include autonomous car startups and investments in cancer research.

But with its stock down almost 20 percent since late last year, Foxconn, Taiwan’s second most valuable company with a market cap of $51 billion, is under pressure to show that it can convert new initiatives into growth.

The Sharp purchase and a handful of more recent deals -including an agreement announced this week for Sharp to buy Toshiba Corp’s personal computer business for $36 million – indicates that a push into producing its own branded products is one part of the strategy.

Just as important, though, is a plan to provide integrated solutions for businesses that include both sophisticated hardware and software services such as cloud computing, Foxconn chairman Terry Gou announced at the company’s 30 year anniversary celebrations in Shenzhen on Wednesday.

This “new business model” that could be especially appealing to smaller companies and institutions like hospitals, who have sophisticated technical requirements that they often have trouble handling on their own, Louis Woo, special assistant to Foxconn chairman Terry Gou, told in an interview.

“We have built data centers for many of our customers, but we’re not known to provide data center services,” Woo said. “In the future since we’re having all these pieces, we can put them together to provide a technical service to a business customer.”

The company is also betting that it can package its traditional expertise to sell “smart manufacturing” services, included fully automated factories, to other industrial companies.

Woo acknowledged that none of this would happen overnight – a view shared by skeptical analysts.

“Right now, with the contract manufacturing, it’s very hard to switch to a new model,” said Vincent Chen, an analyst at Yuanta Investment Consulting in Taipei.

And it has to be careful to keep current customers onside, in particular Apple – which is estimated to still generate around half of Foxconn’s total revenue.

“There will definitely be risks,” in pursuing so many different areas, said Boyce Fan, an analyst at Trendforce. “But this will be key for Foxconn to find the next growth opportunity.”

FOCUS ON TECH AND HEALTH-TECH

This attempt to pivot toward a new business model comes as trade disputes between the United States and China ratchet up.

“I don’t think the current conflict between the United States and China is about trade, it’s about technology,” Foxconn’s chairman Terry Gou said in a video that was broadcast at the ceremony on Wednesday in Shenzhen.

“Regardless whether we are talking about aeroplanes, ships or semiconductors, the United States is ahead of China so China needs to focus on designing and manufacturing technology,” he said, noting that this was Foxconn’s focus.

He added that, among other things, Foxconn recently bought 20,000 textbooks about AI for all of its employees to study, including line workers and office secretaries.

Gou also touted healthcare as a major new opportunity at Wednesday’s o,上海夜哪里艳遇Barney,pening ceremony.

The company’s technical strengths are in Sharp’s high-resolution imaging and displays, which use the next-generation 8K standard and have ready applications for medical imaging devices such as endoscopes.

Gou has also touted the possibility of smart toilets that can double as health diagnostic devices, Woo said, with sensors feeding data to the cloud for analysis. That would play to Foxconn’s strength in 5G wireless communications equipment.

Such efforts won’t come cheap, and Foxconn is laying the financial and political groundwork for its next chapter with a Shanghai IPO for one of its main subsidiaries, Foxconn Industrial Internet.

The $4.3 billion IPO will provide funding for initiatives in smart manufacturing, cloud computing, data centers and 5G technology, among other areas. A number of Chinese state-owned companies are expected to participate in the deal.

FII currently generates a big chunk of revenue from making,上海高端夜生活在那里Barbara, comparatively mundane components such as smartphone casings and frames. And for all the talk of healthcare and cloud and AI, most of the IPO proceeds are earmarked for smart manufacturing.

Sharp is also selling $1.8 billion worth of new shares to buy back preferred stock, issued to banks in return for a financial bailout.

Meanwhile, the parent company has huge capital needs for the core display business, with new plants in China and the U.S. expected to cost almost $20 billion between them.

THE XIAOMI MODEL?

It is still unclear how hard Foxconn will push its own products in the mainstream consumer electronics business, a hyper-competitive arena where sophisticated marketing is crucial.

Fan at Trendforce says Foxconn could do more deals to acquire established brands. “It will use whatever branding there is already,” he said, rather than try to build a Foxconn brand. The company earlier this year added to it上海夜生活s brand portfolio with the acquisition of Belkin, a well-known U.S. maker of computer accessories.

Chen, the Yuanta analyst, said Chinese smartphone juggernaut Xiaomi could be a model for Foxconn to emulate.

He said Xiaomi is not only selling its phones and other products but also has a range of services to go with them, offered through their own stores.

But Woo expressed caution: “We’re still look,上海夜生活Talon,ing at how to go about doing that without any direct conflict with our current customers,” he said.

The world’s largest contract manufacturer is planning long term, Gou said on Wednesday.

“Our future plan isn’t a ten year plan, it’s a thirty year plan.”

Written by shyw on July 29, 2017 Categories: zpdmrxls Tags: , ,

Sorrell plots comeback with new listed company after WPP exit

( ) – Martin Sorrell is staging a comeback just six weeks after he was ousted from WPP (WPP.L), using the same formula as in the 1980s when he transformed a little-known shell company into the world’s biggest advertising group.

One of Britain’s best known businessmen, Sorrell said he would invest 40 million pounds ($53 million) of his own money into Derriston Capital DERR.L while institutional investors have pledged 150 million pounds to buy marketing companies.

T上海夜生活论坛he London-listed group will be renamed S4 Capital, in reference to four generations of Sorrell’s family, while he will become executive chairman.

Its next moves are likely to be closely watched in an industry facing questions over whether the ad guru’s model is still the best way to deliver adverts, marketing, research data and media buying in a digital world.

WPP and its peers have struggled in recent years as major consumer goods groups such as Unilever trimmed spending on marketing and took so,上海夜网千花Tallulah,me services in house, while consultancies such as Accenture have stepped up competition and Facebook and Google dominate the online ad market.

“S4 Capital is a company that aims to build a multi-national communication services business focused on growth,” the 73-yea,上海会所夜网Hal,r-old said. “There are significant opportunities for development in technology, data and content.”

The new company, which has raised 51 million pounds through Sorrell and institutional investors including Lombard Odier, Miton, a Rothschild investment unit, Schroders and Toscafund, is in early talks over a number of potential acquisitions.

The group is looking to buy assets in the faster growing part of the industry such as technology and data which can be used to maximize the effectiveness of advertising, while markets such as India could also be of interest.

TRIED AND TESTED

Taking charge of a listed shell company repeats the tactic Sorrell used in the 1980s when he took a stake in Wire and Plastics Products, a maker of shopping baskets, and used it as a vehicle to buy some of the most famous advertising agencies such as JWT and Ogilvy & Mather.

Derriston Capital is a little-known two-year-old listed shell company set up to invest in medical technology.

Over 30 years Sorrell built WPP into a company with 200,000 staff in 112 countries by adding market research groups, media buyers, and public relations firms such as Finsbury.

Worth 16 billion pounds, WPP returned millions to shareholders, including its CEO, and dominated the industry for decades. According to Thomson data, Sorrell is still the eighth biggest investor in WPP, with a 1.4 percent stake.

Sorrell had vowed to break down the barriers at WPP to make it easier for clients to get all the services they needed from a,上海夜生活群Quaid, small team, rather than from a range of people among the more than 400 agencies it owned.

Starting again should make it easier to mould a business more aligned to the needs of today.

WPP competes with U.S. groups Omnicom (OMC.N) and IPG (IPG.N), France’s Publicis (PUBP.PA) and Japan’s Dentsu, while thousands of small independent companies provide everything from ads for mobile phones to creative work and data analytics.

Sorrell quit WPP after the board opened an investigation into an allegation of personal misconduct.

The company has not given any details and Sorrell has denied any wrongdoing. He told staff he had stepped down because the disruption was putting too much pressure on the business.

Investors find little appetite for consumer staples

( ) – The consumer staples index .SPLRCS, the S&P 500’s biggest laggard for 2018, could have further to fall and may even look less appealing as a defensive play in the event the economy turns sour.

The sector, which includes suppliers of so-called recession-proof items ranging from toilet paper and toothpaste to canned soup and cookies, has fallen 13 percent in 2018, on track for its first annual decline since 2008, while the S&P 500 .SPX is up 1.7 percent year-to-date.

Investors have been turning away from staples companies because they are grappling with changing consumer preferences, fierce competition and other obstacles to raising prices even as their costs swell.

On top of this, the sector – long viewed as a defensive play partly because of its high dividends and predictable growth rate – faces tough competition from fixed income investments while U.S. Treasury yields are rising, and from other equities as most industry groups are generating faster earnings growth.

“We think the sector will remain under pressure, especially as investors have better opportunities elsewhere,” said Sameer Samana, global equity and technical strategist at Wells Fargo Investment Institute in St. Louis.

Consumers are showing less loyalty to food and household brands than ever before, according to Burns McKinney, a portfolio manager at Allianz Global Investors in Dallas. As a result shoppers are more easily drawn toward cheaper store-brands for goods such as toilet paper, putting pressure on brand names.

A growing preference for healthier, fresher food is keeping people away from pre-packaged staples. Health concerns are also hurting tobacco companies such as Altria (MO.N) as smokers increasingly favor cigarette alternatives.

And, as brick and mortar retailers face tough competition from online retailers such as Amazon.com (AMZN.O), they are putting pressure on product suppliers to keep prices low.

For example, Procter & Gamble (PG.N), the world’s largest consumer goods maker, in April pointed to pressure from struggling retailers in addition to higher transportation costs and rising commodities prices when it reported disappointing fiscal third-quarter financial results.

Wal,上海晚上耍女人的地方Jacob,l Street currently expects 2018 earnings growth of 11.4 percent in the staples sector, down from the 11.6 percent expected on April 1 and slower than all but two of the S&P 500’s 11 other major sectors, according to Thomson data.

The broader S&P is expected to report earnings growth of 22 percent for 2018.

(Graphic: Consumer staples have become cheaper – reut.rs/2J39edo)

“We’re right now in an earnings driven market and there are other sectors that have a much better earnings outlook,” said John Praveen, chief investment strategist at Prudential International Investments Advisers LLC in Newark. “I don’t see the catalyst for this sector to do well in the near term.”

The consumer staples sector currently trades at 19 times earnings on a 12-month trailing basis, indicating a roughly 10 percent discount to the S&P 500’s multiple of 21, according to Wells Fargo’s Samana. He adds that the “the trough for staples” typically happens when the sector trades at a 20 percent to 30 percent discount to the rest of the market, implying a multiple of 15 to 17.

To be sure lower valuations and a weak economy could eventually give some support to staples.

“We would get interested if valuations lowered to levels that compensated investors to take on the risk of the sector,” said Samana. “They don’t trade all that cheap compared to the market right now.”

Staples stocks tend to perform better than the broader market in a weak economy as investors bet that even if consumers have to cut back on spe,上海夜网推油Sabina,nding they still need to buy things like toilet paper, soap and food basics. But Prudential’s Praveen sees the U.S. economy staying strong through 2018 and 2019.

But some investors like Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago, say current valuations could present an opportunity.

“They’re reasonably priced. It doesn’t mean they’re screaming cheap. You can start to accumulate them here,” said Nolte.

Bu上海夜网t even if investors do look more kindly on the staples secto,上海夜生活网419Paisley,r in economic downturn, the sector’s may be “less of a port in the storm” than in the past, said Wells Fargo’s Samana.

Obama meets with national security team on Syria, Islamic State

WASHINGTON ( ) – President Barack Obama met on Friday,上海足浴夜网联系方式Easton, with his national security team to discuss the fight against Islamic State and the war in Syria, the White House said.

had reported that in the meeting Obama and his advisers would consider military and other options in Syria as Syrian and Russian aircraft continue to pummel the city of Aleppo and other targets, U.S. officials said.

U.S. officials said they considered it unlikely that Obama would order U.S. air strikes on Syrian government targets, and they stressed that he might not make any decisions at the National Security Council meeting.

A readout of the meeting released by the White House noted that the United States had broken off bilateral talks with Russia on reaching a ceasefire in Syria. It said Obama directed his team to continue multilateral talks with “key nations” to seek a diploma,上海夜哪里艳遇Ebba,tic resolution to the civil war.

The brief summary made no mention of other U.S. options in Syria.

U,上海021夜网Balthazar,.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will return to Syria talks on Saturday, three上海夜生活论坛 weeks after the failure of their painstakingly drafted ceasefire.

Kerry has pointedly avoided new bilateral negotiations with Lavrov, and his invitation to the Turkish, Saudi, Qatari and Iranian foreign ministers to join them for talks in Lausanne, Switzerland, will broaden the discussion to include the most powerful backers of Syria’s government and rebels.

Pressure is rising for a halt to a ferocious, three-week-old Syrian government offensive to capture the rebel-held eastern zone of Aleppo, where the United Nations says 275,000 civilians still live and 8,000 rebels are holding out against Syrian, Russian and Iranian-backed forces.

Amid election jitters, many big funds stay aggressive but cash tempts

BOSTON/LONDON ( ) – Stocks are listing, bonds are drifting and suddenly gold is back in vogue. Global investors appear to be facing the prospect that next week’s U.S. presidential election may not play out as they have been expecting.

Until last Friday, when the FBI said it had re-opened a probe of Democrat Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, the prevailing view among the investment set had her coasting to victory. And most investors have said in surveys they were more comfortable with that outcome than a victory by Republican Donald Trump.

Now, though, several polls depict an ever-tightening race as the clock counts down to Election Day on Tuesday, although the latest /Ipsos poll showed Clinton still with a 6-point lead.

Investors generally see Clinton as a known quantity who would not make major changes that would upend financial markets, while Trump’s positions have been difficult to nail down.

Yet against the tumultuous political backdrop, some of the biggest American stock funds remain either too sanguine, too confused or too focused on extending the bull market to guard against an Election Day result that could shock the world like the Brexit vote did in June.

U.S. large-cap mutual funds, which oversee $4 trillion in assets, are heading into the showdown for the White House with only a thin layer of cash to absorb any potential shocks from the stock market.

Gerry Sullivan, who runs USA Mutuals’ $234 million Barrier Fund, said it would be hard to reposition his portfolio even if he knew the election results ahead of time.

“There is so much confusion,” Sullivan said.

U.S. funds that invest in stocks with large market capitalizations are not showing any drastic moves toward precaution. Overall, they have only 3.1 percent of their assets dedicated to cash, according to the latest data from Morningstar Inc. These same funds held more cash, about 3.4 percent, before Barack Obama ,上海夜生活乌托邦Macey,defeated John McCain in 2008.

Multi-asset investors are more defensively positioned, especially those outside the United States, according to the latest asset allocation poll. Funds in Europe held 8.1 percent of their portfolios in cash in late October, while U.K.-based funds had some 9.6 percent of their holdings parked on the sidelines.

“Investors are holding higher-than-normal levels of cash,” said Mark Haefele, global chief investment officer for UBS Wealth Management in London, who oversees around $2 trillion in assets. “That’s one way of hedging the uncertainty.”

Nonetheless, Haefele said: “We’ve not seen significant de-risking around the election, but we have seen generally a consistent level of caution in the global client base.”

With uncertainty about the outcome on the rise, a risk-off mood has enveloped markets around the world.

The S&P 500 index has declined for eight days in a row, its longest losing streak since the market crash in October 2008, while a benchmark for global stocks, the MSCI All-World Index, has dropped for seven of the last eight sessions. Both sit near four-month lows.

Safe-haven bonds, recently under pressure from expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve is on track to raise interest rates this year, have seen only a modest boost in the meantime, but gold has surged to a one-month high near $1,300 an ounce.

“The trades you’re seeing in the market at the moment will go further in the event of a Trump victory,” said Mike Bell, global market strategist at JP Morgan Asset Management in London. “You’d expect more downside to U.S. equities, the dollar and Treasury yields.”

NOT AN “INVESTABLE EVENT”

More than half of the stock and bond fund managers polled by Northern Trust in the third quarter said they expected the election to cause a large increase in market vo上海夜生活网latility. Prices for certain S&P 500 index options expiring in the days after the election indicate a market swing of between 2 and 4 percent, in either direction, by then.

Still, portfolio managers sitting on a lot of cash, some with more than 20 percent of assets, say the stockpile is not a sign of worry about the outcome of the race.

“It’s due to the diminished risk-reward profile of investment opportunities in a mature profit cycle,” said Meggan Walsh, a portfolio manager at the $18 billion Invesco Diversified Dividend Fund. “We do not feel the election is an investable event.”

Some value-oriented large-cap fund managers say the stock market is over-valued and they are on high alert for a market correction as the election coincides with a bull market nearing completion of its eighth year.

“It can be tempt,上海夜生活去哪玩Hadrian,ing to forget that nasty downturns happen with some regularity, and there is never a bell rung to announce their arrival,” portfolio managers Arik Ahitov and Dennis Bryant recently warned investors in the $800 million FPA Capital Fund.

After Britain surprised the world with a vote to leave the European Union, the S&P 500 Index tumbled nearly 4 percent on June 24. It soon recovered, however, and had regained record territory by mid-August.

Even in Britain, the referendum’s unexpected outcome has yet to show it has long-lasting effects for investors outside of the currency market, where the British pound has sunk to a three-decade low against the dollar. London’s FTSE 100 index is up around 14-percent from its post-Brexit trough.

The FPA Capital Fund managers had nearly 28 percent of the fund’s $800 million in assets in cash during the th,上海夜网邀请码Caitlin,ird quarter. They see the stock market as too expensive and are ready for a high level of panic, if that happens, according to their October letter to investors.

“An elevated level of forced selling, combined with a lack of liquidity, might result in challenges for many fully invested products such as index funds, many ETFs, and funds that have no to very low levels of cash cushions,” the FPA Capital Fund portfolio managers said.

“In a down market, cash helps mitigate losses and affords one the opportunity to buy when others are being forced to sell, generally the best time to buy.”

Buffett hits back at Trump over tax comments

( ) – Billionaire investor Warren Buffett denied on Monday an allegation by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump that he, like Trump, had taken “a massive deduction” that allowed him to avoid federal income taxes.

Buffett said he paid about $1.85 million in income tax in 2015, and that returns for previous years were similar in respect to contributions, deductions and tax rates.

Buffett said he was being audited by the Internal Revenue Service, but had “no problem” releasing his tax information.

Trump has refused to release his tax returns, citing ongoing audits by the IRS.

“I have paid federal income tax every year since 1944, when I was 13,” Buffett said in a statement, adding that “being a slow starter, I owed only $7 in tax that year.”

Buffett, ranked the world’s third-richest person by Forbes magazine, said he had copies of all 72 of his returns “and none uses a carryforward.”

Responding to an Oct. 1 New York Times story, Trump acknowledged dur,上海夜生活服务Larissa,ing the presidential-candidates’ debate on Sunday that he had used investment losses to avoid paying taxes.

Trump repeatedly said he was only taking advantage of tax provisions used by wealthy people who support Clinton. “I absolutely used it, and so did Warren Buffett …”, he said.

The Times reported that Trump’s declared loss of $916 million in 1995 was so large that he could legally have avoided paying any federal income taxes for up to 18 years.

Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRK,上海夜网推油Kai,a.N), said his 2015 tax return showed adjusted gross income of $11,563,931.

“My deductions totaled $5,477,694, of which allowable charitable contributions were $3,469,179. All but $36,037 of the remainder was for sta,上海夜生活论坛Talon上海夜网,te income taxes,” he said.

“The total charitable contributions I made during the year were $2,858,057,970, of which more than $2.85 billion were not taken as deductions and never will be. Tax law properly limits charitable deductions,” Buffett said.

Buffett said he had no problem releasing his tax information while under audit.

“Neither would Mr Trump – at least he would have no legal problem.”

Dutch Tata Steel urges EU to shield European market from cheap imports

AMSTERDAM ( ) – The European Union should take measures to shield the European steel market from a flood of cheap imports seeking a new destination as the United States impose tariffs on steel, the Dutch arm of Tata Steel said on Thursday.

“We should prevent a tsunami of cheap, low quality steel flooding the European market, now that it can’t make its way to the U.S.”, Tata Steel Netherlands director Theo Henrar told . “This could be done by imposing tariffs or quotas.”

Henrar said the U.S. would mainly hurt itself by imposing tariffs on European steel, as American manufacturers often have no alternative supplier.

From its factories in IJmuiden, near Amsterdam, Tata supplies high-quality steel to companies such as machine builder Caterpillar (CAT.N) and battery maker Duracell.

Tata also caters for carmakers and the packaging and bottling industry in the United States with products it says no domestic steel producer makes.

Henrar said it was too early to estimate the consequences for Tata Netherlands’ exports to the U.S., which yearly amount to around 500 million euro,上海夜生活Paisley,s ($584 million).

“We might see orders decline somewhat,,上海夜生活服务Paige, but we have long-running relationships with most of our customers and we expect to reach a solution with m,夜上海419龙凤论坛Easton,ost of them”, Henrar said.

“President Trump is mainly hurting the American steel industry and consumers by driving up prices上海夜生活.”

Written by shyw on July 19, 2017 Categories: yvrafybo Tags: , ,

Harley warns of hit from EU reprisal against Trump’s tariffs

( ) – Harley-Davidson Inc on Friday warned of a “significant impact” on its sales after the European Union revealed plans to increase dut,上海足浴夜网联系方式Kaia,ies on a range of U.S. imports, including big motorcycles, in reprisal for Washington’s new tariffs on EU metal exports.

After failing to win trade concessions, the Trump administration on Thursday withdrew the exemptions given to the steel and aluminum imports from the EU, Canada and Mexico from global tariffs that it imposed in March citing national security concerns.

The EU took the United States to the World Trade Organization to challenge the legality of the new tariffs and the Trump administration’s national-security justification. Brussels has submitted an eight-page list to the inter,上海仙霞路夜生活Barney,national trade body, covering goods it would hit with retaliatory measures.

The list includes U.S. exports running the gamut from big motorcycles like Harley’s, built on the home turf of U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, to “canoes”, “manicure or pedicure preparations” and even “sinks and washbasins, of stainless steel” 上海夜网— the proverbial kitchen sink.

“We support free and fair trade and hope for a quick resolution to this issue,” Harley said in a statement.

“We believe a punitive, retaliatory tariff on Harley-Davidson motorcycles in any of our major markets would have a significant impact on our sales, our dealers, our suppliers and our customers in those markets,” the statement said.

Harley said it was cu,上海夜生活Barbara,rrently evaluating options for managing anticipated cost increases following the EU’s proposed measure.

Shares of the Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based company were down nearly 2 percent in Friday afternoon trade.

Struggling to overcome a slump in U.S. demand, Harley has been aiming to boost sales of its iconic motorcycles overseas to 50 percent of total annual volume from about 43 percent currently. Europe, the Middle East and Africa accounted for little over 21 percent of its global retail sales in the last quarter.

When U.S. President Donald Trump took office last year he vowed to make Harley great again.

However, in late April, the company said Trump’s tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum would inflate its costs by an additional $15 million to $20 million this year on top of already rising raw material prices that it expected at the start of the year.

“We believe import tariffs on steel and aluminum will drive up costs for all products made with these raw materials, regardless of their origin,” the company said.

Factbox: Fiat Chrysler’s track record and challenges ahead

( ) – Fiat Chrysler (FCHA.MI) will present its next five-year business plan on Friday, the last under outgoing CEO Sergio Marchionne.

,上海夜网官方网站Octavien,

* FCA is set to become net cash positive by the end of 2018. However, heavy capital spending required to comply with stricter emissions rules will likely pressure margins in future.

* North America accounts for 75 percent of profits, helped by a shift to higher-yielding trucks and SUVs at the expense of unprofitable sedans. The move has put FCA on track to close the margin gap with U.S. rivals GM and Ford. NAFTA operating margins stood at 7.9 percent last year.

* Latin America demand and pricing are gradually recovering, with FCA set to benefit due to locally produced Jeeps and its Fiat product renewal. Profit margin上海夜生活s stood at 2 percent in 2017.

* Asia-Pacific, where FCA controls less than 1 percent of the market, remains a blind spot. FCA’s plan to use Jeep to expand in China,上海夜生活男人好去处Ida,, also via local production, has yet to bear fruit.

* FCA finally turned an annual profit in Europe in 2015 and operating margins recovered to 3.2 percent last year.

* To boost profits further, FCA has been converting Italian plants to churn out higher-margin Alfa Romeos, Jeeps and Maseratis, while mass market models are either discontinued or moved to plants elsewhere in Europe. The popul,上海会所夜网Hallie,ar Fiat Panda hatchback is set to be moved to Poland, while output of the aging Fiat Punto will be discontinued.

In Portugal, trust in China is the art of the deal

LISBON ( ) – Utility company EDP may balk at the meager 5 percent premium offered for its shares by China Three Gorges (CT) but the battle for Portugal’s biggest business has largely played out already.

To some it looks like a lowball bid, but Portugal has welcomed the offer because it considers the Chinese firm’s pledge to keep EDP-Energias de Portugal intact more important than the price and it wants closer ties with a country that has plowed billions into its economy.

That openness to investment from China, including in strategic sectors like energy, stands out amid suspicions elsewhere in Europe about Chinese acquisitions.

The Chinese state-owned hydropower giant became EDP’s biggest shareholder in 2011. So when reports of merger talks between EDP and Spanish rival Gas Natural emerged in July 2017, it beat a path to the Lisbon government’s door.

A Gas Natural takeover would have threatened CTG’s ambition to use EDP to diversify beyond China, while Portugal’s Socialist government feared a European rival could break up the business, an industry source familiar with the talks and a political source with knowledge of the government’s position said.

“Nearly a year ago, Gas Natural approached EDP and that was the time when CT started to think about this move,” said one industry source with knowledge of CTG’s takeover bid.

“If CT has been a partner for more than six years, has invested in the company, in a strategic sector for Portugal, and has good relations with the government, it is natural that they talk,” the source said.

EDP and Gas Natural denied being in talks last year. But just over a month after the reports, Portugal added a clause to its takeover laws allowing shareholders with the same ultimate owner to combine all their voting rights.

Previously, the votes would have been capped at 25 percent, whatever the size of their combined holdings.

That could be crucial as CTG’s bid for EDP progresses. While it owns 23.3 percent, another Chinese state-owned company, CNIC, holds 5 percent, most recently buying 2 percent at the end of 2017.

CT [CYTGP.UL] in China and a spokesman for the Portuguese government did not respond to requests for comment.

‘PURELY POLITICAL’

CT first bought 21.4 percent of EDP in December 2011 for 2.7 billion euros ($3.2 billion), stepping in when Portugal privatized the company to raise funds after an international bailout to stabilize government finances.

The Chinese company has since invested some 2 billion euros i上海夜生活论坛n power ventures with EDP, which has a portfolio of renewable energy assets such as wind, hydro and solar ,夜上海论坛Jace,power in countries such as Brazil, the United States, France, Italy and Poland.

In April this year, there were reports of interest in EDP from another European utility, this time Engie. The French company declined to comment while EDP said at the time that no contacts had been established.

A few weeks later, CT launched its takeover bid. It offered 9.07 billion euros ($10.7 billion) for the rest of EDP on May 11, a premium of just 5 percent above the utility company’s share price before the offer became public.

EDP described the offer as too low, but left the door open to negotiations. Some analysts expect EDP to ask for a 20 to 30 percent premium but no other bidder has yet emerged and EDP shares are trading less than 5 percent above the offer price.

“It was predictable and there have already been conversations with the government for a long time,” said an industry source close to EDP who has knowledge of the talks.

“This is purely political,” the source said. “CT knew that there were many European companies looking at EDP, which is medium-sized and has interesting assets.”

In its bid announcement, CT made clear it saw EDP’s long-term future as a Portuguese company strengthened by CTG’s assets, with a large free float of shares that could potentially be used as a springboard for European expansion.

That will please the government, which wants to protect EDP’s 6,000 jobs in Portugal and keep its headquarters in the country.

“What matters to the government is the strategic importance of EDP to the country,” said Filipe Garcia, head of Informacao de Mercados Financeiros consultancy, adding that the takeover price was a secondary consideration for the government.

OPEN DOOR POLICY

Links between Portugal and China stretch back centuries to when the European nation controlled the port of Macau. In recent years, Lisbon has embraced Beijing’s belt and road initiative to invest in infrastructure linking Asia to Europe.

Chinese firms now own 25 percent of Portugal’s national grid, 27 percent of its largest listed bank, and all of its largest insurer and biggest private hospitals operator.

Prime Minister Antonio Costa also told parliament last week that the change to Portuguese takeover law last year was made with Chinese investors in mind.

“It was my initiative and aimed to ensure that Portugal would offer the same conditions to foreigners, namely Chinese, as Europeans,” Costa said.

The clause added on July 29, 2017, was designed to favor the “capture of foreign direct investment from, namely, foreign state entities…”, according to the text.

The combined shareholding of CT and CNIC, a Chinese state-owned investment company, now comes to 28.5 percent, close to the 33 percent needed to assure effective control of EDP. Under Portuguese law, company statutes can only be changed if two-thirds of shareholders vote in favor.

Costa denied in parliament the c,上海夜网推油Pablo,hange was made with CT in mind: “This was approved a year ago, when there was no takeover, nor any prediction of a takeover bid.”

‘BONDS OF CONFIDENCE’

When CT launched its offer, it was conditional on getting 50 percent plus one share, in line with Portuguese rules. However, market regulator CMVM said on May 23 it was waiving this requirement, effectively allowing CT to raise its stake in EDP, even if it doesn’t reach a simple majority.

“The Chinese have established bonds of confidence with Portugal,” a senior political source told . “There is mutual confidence and that changes everything.”

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi paid a well-timed visit to Lisbon on May 18. He hailed Portugal’s “open attitude” to foreign investment and promised Beijing would continue to encourage investment by Chinese firms in Portugal.

Chinese citizens have also poured 2 billion euros into Portuguese housing in the past few years, boosting a property market boom which has helped propel a strong economic recovery.

As Lisbon’s ties with CT have grown closer, its relationship with EDP has come under strain. The government was annoyed last year by what it saw as EDP Chief Executive Antonio Mexia’s openness to potential European suitors, political sources with knowledge of the government’s position said.

In January this year, EDP upset the government again when it stopped paying an extraordinary tax contribution energy companies have had to pay since Portugal’s 2011-14 debt crisis.

“I won’t comment,” the prime minister told reporters at the time. “I only regret the hostile attitude that EDP has maintained and which therefore represents a change in the stance it had towards the previous government.”

If CTG’s bid does succeed, the t,上海夜生活去哪玩Octavien,iming could be auspicious, with Chinese President Xi Jinping planning to visit to Portugal later this year.

“The visit may signal a new phase of strategic partnership between the two countries, with the signing of agreements,” Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva said after meeting his Chinese counterpart this month.

BlackRock promises selective fee cuts to capture growth

NEW YORK ( ) – BlackRock Inc (BLK.N), the world’s largest asset manager, on Tuesday said it would continue to reduce fees on a small group of its products with the highest growth potential, days after cutting fees on 11 exchange-traded funds.

Mark Wiedman, BlackRock’s global head of iShares and index investments, said at the company’s Investor Day that BlackRock is focused on areas where it can win or d,上海夜生活论坛Daisy,evelop new markets and whose customers are most sensitive to price. The company’s ETF brand is called iShares.

The fee cuts on Friday most deeply affected produc,上海夜网推油Faith,ts in the bond market, including an emerging-market bond exchange-traded fund and another one invested in municipal bonds. The company is locked in a tight battle for assets with, among others, the Vanguard Group, which is known for offering low-cost index funds. Together the companies collected more than 60 percent of the record $655 billion that moved into ETFs globally in 2017, according to Morningstar Inc.

BlackRock hopes to convert not just investors who are using index funds to replace stock and credit-picking managers but also institutional clients who might invest in individual bonds but prefer the convenience of a single trade.

“We see these as fast-growth areas and w,上海夜网官方网站Falkner,e want to capture that growth,” said Wiedman.

From 2012 to 2017, the average effective rate BlackRock charges across its assets dropped from $22.10 a year for every $10,000 under management to $19.10, according to BlackRock Chief Financial 上海夜网Officer Gary Shedlin.

But Shedlin said most of that decline came from changing product demand by clients, market movement and the effect of foreign-exchange conversion, areas the company does not control. All of BlackRock’s price cuts in that time period were offset by growth, he said.

They continue to spend roughly $1 billion a year on technology and will continue to aggressively put seed money into new products, which Shedlin described as one of the company’s best uses of cash.

Over time, investments in technology will result in more general and administrative expenses relative to revenue, but will likely be offset by relative declines in spending on compensation, boosting profit margins.

And the company’s dividends and buybacks continue as well, with the quarterly dividend rising nearly 9 percent to $3.13 a share, he said, pending approval by BlackRock’s board of directors and subject to market conditions.

The company reviewed its spending plans after a U.S. tax law passed last year, which sliced corporate and individual income rates.

Audi CEO named as suspect in German emissions probe

FRANKFURT ( ) – German prosecutors on Monday widened an emissions cheating probe into Volkswagen’s luxury carmaker Audi to include the brand’s Chief Executive Rupert Stadler among the suspects accused of fraud and false advertising.

Almost three years after Volkswagen admitted to falsifying U.S. diesel emissions tests, the Munich public prosecutor’s office s,上海夜生活网419Macey,aid it was now probing 20 suspects, and had on Monday searched the apartment of Stadler and one other board member.

The news came after Germany’s Bild am Sonntag reported up to上海夜生活论坛 a million Daimler cars had been found to contain illegal emissions devices, showing how the fallout from Volkswagen’s scandal continues to dog the industry.

“Since May 30, 2018 the chairman of the board of Audi AG Prof. Rupert Stadler as well as a further member of the management board are now named suspects,” the Munich prosecutor’s office said.

The probe could trigger a leadership crisis at Audi and its parent Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) where Stadler was in April elevated to the post of head of group sales.

Volkswagen declined to comment. Audi said it was fully cooperating with prosecutors. Stadler was in a board meeting and unavailable for comment.

Munich prosecutors said the two suspects were being investigated for suspected fraud and false advertising and for their alleged role in helping to bring cars equipped with illegal software on to the European market.

Stadler has been under fire ever since Audi admitted to using cheating software in November 2015 – two months after Volkswagen – but has enjoyed backing from members of the Porsche and Piech families who control Volkswagen and Audi.

Before becoming Audi CEO in 2007, Stadler was a confidant of, and former assistant to, then-Volkswagen chairman Ferdinand Piech, the scion of the group’s controlling Piech clan.

Audi, the b,夜上海论坛Easton,iggest contributor to Volkswagen’s profit, admitted in November 2015 its 3.0 liter V6 diesel engines were fitted with a device deemed illegal in the United States that allowed cars to evade emissions limits.

In March, Audi’s 20-strong supervisory board recommended that shareholders endorse Stadler as chief executive even as prosecutors raided Audi to investigate who was involved in the use of any illicit software deployed in 80,000 VW, Audi and Porsche cars in the United States.

Audi said last month it had disc,上海夜网邀请码Idaia,overed emissions-related problems with a further 60,000 cars.

Oil falls 2 percent, U.S. crude hits lowest since early April

NEW YORK ( ) – Oil prices fell about 2 percent on Monday, with U.S. crude touching its lowest level in nearly two months, breaking ,上海高端夜生活在那里Mace,below technical support levels as investors kept selling amid growing U.S. production, possible global supply growth and nagging trad,上海夜生活桑拿会所Mabel,e tensions.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 lost $1.50 a barrel, or 2 percent, to settle at $75.29 a barrel. U.S. crude CLc1 ended $1.06, or 1.6 percent, lower at $64.75 a barrel, after earlier touching $64.57, its lowest since April 10.

“We are breaking key levels of support now,” said Phillip Streible, analyst at RJO Futures in Chicago. “Once we started taking out $65.50 or so, it really started to accelerate. People are not really believing that the rally will continue,” he said.

Both benchmarks were pressured by the expectation th,上海夜玩网论坛Kai,at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which has led output cuts of about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) since January 2017, would soon boost output.

OPEC ministers from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Algeria, along with their counterpart from non-OPEC Oman, met unofficially in Kuwait on Saturday.

“It appears that some sellers may have delayed action ahead of the weekend and re-enter上海夜生活网ed the short side after a meeting between the Saudis and the other Arab producers failed to offer additional insight,” Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates said in a note.

OPEC meets formally on June 22. It is expected to agree to raise output to cool the market amid worries over Iranian and Venezuelan supply and after Washington raised concerns that the oil rally was going too far, OPEC sources familiar with the discussions told last month.

U.S. crude production climbed in March to 10.47 million bpd, a monthly record, the Energy Information Administration said last week.

“There’s been lot of talk about U.S. production continuing to rise. And it feels like once we hit Memorial Day, we hit a seasonal peak” for prices, which “ran up until the start of the summer season, and then hit a summer doldrums,” said RJO Futures’ Streible.

Last week, the week after Memorial Day, the U.S. crude contract lost about 3 percent after a decline of nearly 5 percent the previous week.

Data from market intelligence firm Genscape showed that between May 29 and June 1, crude inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma, storage hub and delivery point for U.S. crude futures rose 210,046 barrels, a potentially bearish signal, traders who saw the data said.

“The trade tariffs between EU, Mexico, and Canada and the friction with China are also weighing on crude oil,” said Bill Baruch, president of Blue Line Futures in Chicago.

Mexico will join the European Union in seeking World Trade Organization involvement over U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum, its economy ministry said.

N.Y. Times endorses Clinton in White House race

WASHINGTON ( ) – The New York Times endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton for the White House on Saturday, saying she was more qualified than Republican presidential rival Donald Trump to handle the challenges facing the United States.

The newspaper described Clinton as “one of the most tenacious politicians of her generation” and said she had displayed a command of policy and diplomatic nuance while building a reputation for grit and bipartisan cooperation.

“A lifetime’s commitment to solving problems in the real world qualifies Hillary Clinton for this job, and the country should put her to work,” the Times said of the former secretary of state and U.S. senator from New York.

Clinton will face off against Trump on Monday night in the firs上海夜网t of three presidential debates, with opinion polls showing her once sizable lead over the New York businessman narrowing amid continued public doubts about her trustworthiness.

The Times said Clinton’s mistakes had distorted perceptions of her character, but praised her work restoring U.S. credibility in foreign affairs as secretary of state and on behalf of children, women and families throughout her career.

“Mrs. Clinton has shown herself to be a realist who believes America cannot simply withdraw behind oceans and walls, but must engage confidently in the world to protect its interests and be true to its values,” the newspaper said.,上海高端夜生活在那里Jackson,

It said Clinton,上海夜生活论坛Dakota,’s decision to use a private email server for government work as secretary of state deserved the scrutiny it has received in the campaign, but considered alongside the real challenges facing the United States it “looks like a matter for the help desk.”

Viewed against those challenges, Trump “shrinks to his true small-screen, reality-show proportions,” the Times said, promising another editorial on Monday explaining “why we believe Mr. Trump to be the worst nominee put forward by a major party in modern American history.”

The endorsement from the Times editorial board is no surprise. The last Republican the Times backed for the White House was President Dwight Eisenhower in 1956. But several newspapers with more conservative editorial boards, including the Dallas Morning News and Cincinnati Enquirer, also have recently endorsed Clinton.

The Times said Clinton’s best argument for the White House was her ability to rise to the challenges facing the country.

“The 2016 campaign has brought to the surface the despair and r,上海夜生活去哪玩Barbara,age of poor and middle-class Americans” facing the burdens of recession, technological change, foreign competition and war, it said.

“Over 40 years in public life, Hillary Clinton has studied these forces and weighed responses to these problems. Our endorsement is rooted in respect for her intellect, experience, toughness and courage over a career of almost continuous public service, often as the first or only woman in the arena,” the newspaper said.

UK steps into G7 trade dispute, warns of tit-for-tat dangers

LA MALBAIE, Canada ( ) – British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday warned both U.S. President Donald Trump and the European Union of the dangers of entering a tit-for-tat trade war over tariffs, urging both sides to instead focus on China’s,上海夜网邀请码Caitlin, excess steel production.

The Trump administration last week imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, the EU and Mexico, prompting retaliation and casting a shadow over a G7 summit in Canada that appeared likely to end without consensus.

A senior UK official said May was using a G7 discussion on the global economy to make her argument.

“Along with a number of other colleagues she believes the U.S. decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from some of its strongest allies is deeply regrettable,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“If we can’t find a way back from the current situation quickly, countermeasures from the European Union will be unavoidable.”

Trump has invoked a 1962 trade law to e,上海夜生活群Faith,rect protections for U.S. steel and aluminum producers on national security grounds, amid a worldwide glut of both metals that is largely blamed on excess production in China.

According to the official, May would tell the summit that “it is worth stepping back to recall that the West, led by the U.S., devised the global rules-based system to enable our citizens to benefit from globalization while providing reassurance that we would all play by ,上海夜生活论坛Quaid,a common set of rules.”

Whilst Britain has spoken out strongly against the U.S. tariffs, May has also been quick to point out that any EU retaliation must be proportionate and within existing rules.

“Rather than imposing tariffs on ea上海夜生活论坛ch other we should instead be increasing pressure on China to reduce its excess steel capacity,” the official said.

The British stance reflects May’s need to keep favor with the Trump administration as she looks for a bilateral trade deal to soften the economic impact of leaving the EU, and her island nation’s post-Brexit dependency on free commerce.

Asked whether she backed an EU plan to set its own duties of 25 percent on 2.8 billion euros ($3.3 billion) of U.S. exports, the official said the measures had not been finalised and that it was still being worked upon.

“If you tax trade through tariffs there’s no guarantee that domestic sources will replace it, plus the loss of trade undermines competition, it reduces productivity, it removes the incentive to innovate, and makes everyone poorer,” the official said.

Exclusive: Russia’s Deripaska empire bets on mid-summer plan to…

LONDON ( ) – The aluminium empire of Russian magnate Ole,上海夜生活去哪玩Pamela,g Deripaska is in close contact with the U.S. Treasury, but needs until mid-summer to come up with a plan to meet U.S. requirements to escape sanctions, the chairman of its holding company told .

The U.S. Treasury in April imposed sanctions against billionaire Deripaska and the eight companies in which he is a large shareholder, including the world’s second largest aluminium producer Rusal, in response to what it called “malign activities” by Russia.

Following pressure to soften its stance from business groups, Washington suggested it might lift the sanctions against Rusal and parent En+ if Deripaska cut his En+ stake to below 50 percent and introduced independent board members.

Under the current sanctions, U.S. businesses need to wind down aluminium trad,上海夜生活乌托邦Nadine,ing with Rusal by October, while trading in Rusal’s and En+’s shares and debt should be discontinued by June 5.

The U.S. Treasury Department gave Rusal a reprieve on Thursday by extending the divestiture deadline to Aug. 5.

En+ Chairman Greg Barker told he had asked the U.S. Treasury to extend the licence to carry on trading the shares until September while he works on a plan to get En+ and Rusal off the sanctions list.

“We are seeking an extension of the general licence to allow us the time to put together the remaining building blocs in order to present a finalised proposal to the U.S. government by mid-summer,” Barker said in a phone interview.

Deripaska controls 66 percent of En+, which in turn controls 48 percent of Rusal. D,上海夜网后花园Nadine,iscussions over reducing Deripaska’s stake could be complicated by the fact his ex-wife Polina also controls 5.8 percent of En+.

Related CoverageU.S. Treasury extends time to divest from EN+, Gaz Group, Rusal

Barker, who met Irish Business Minister Heather Humphreys on Thursday, is seeking the support of Ireland to persuade the Treasury to back the plan.

上海夜生活论坛“The Irish government has been very engaged with Rusal to find ways in which they can mitigate the impact of sanctions. I will be going (to Dublin) with a very clear message,” he told on Wednesday.

Rusal is the parent company of Aughinish Alumina in County Limerick, Ireland, which employs around 450 workers. The Askeaton-based company refines imported bauxite into alumina which is a major ingredient in the manufacturing of aluminium.

Ex-State Street executive cheated clients with secret fees: U.S….

BOSTON ( ) – A former State Street Corp (STT.N) executive directed a fraudulent scheme to overcharge several of the bank’s clients, including Kuwait’s sovereign wealth fund, by applying secret commissions to billions of dollars’ worth of trades, a U.S. prosecutor told jurors on Tuesday.

Ross McLellan, a former executive vice president, worked with others to overcharge customers using hidden fees that allowed State Street to earn millions of dollars, Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Frank told a federal jury in Boston.

In his opening statement at the trial’s start, Frank said McLellan, 46, and other executives overcharged customers despite promises the bank made to its large institutional clients that it would charge them low fees and act in their best interests.

“They lied to separate their clients from their money,” he said.

Frank said McLellan carried out the scheme with the help of two other executives, Edward Pennings and Richard Boomgaardt, who pleaded guilty in 2017 and agreed to testify against McLellan in hopes of receiving lenient sentences.

But Martin Weinberg, McLellan’s lawy,上海凤楼夜网Cade,er, said his client was innocent of the securities fraud and wire fraud charges he faces and that if anyone carried out a crime, it was Pennings and Boomgaardt alone.

He contended the two had a powerful incentive to change their stories because of their plea deals.

“Truth is the first casualty of this sort of cynical agreement,” he said.

The case followed a 2014 settlement between State Street and the UK Financial Conduct Authority in which the Boston-based bank paid a fine of 22.9 million pounds, or $38 million at the time, for charging six clients mark-ups on certain transactions.

In 2017, State Street agreed to pay $64.6 million to resolve related U.S. criminal and civil investigations and entered a deferred prosecution agreement.

In his opening statement, Frank told jurors that McLellan worked with Pennings and Boomgaardt from 2010 to 2011 to add the secret commission,上海夜网后花园Lake,s for trades made for the six clients, which were using the bank’s “transition management” business.

The service helps large institutional clients like pension funds move their investments betwee,上海足浴夜网联系方式Pablo,n and among asset managers or liquidate large investment portfol上海夜网ios with the objective of minimizing the costs of transitioning the investments.

The six clients included the Kuwait Investment Authority, one of the world’s biggest sovereign wealth funds, and Irish, British and Dutch pension funds.

Frank said McLellan also defrauded a New York-based unit of insurance company AXA SA(AXAF.PA) by applying hidden fees to trades conducted on its behalf.

China vows to protect its interests from ‘reckless’ U.S. trade threats

BEIJING ( ) – China lashed out on Wednesday at renewed threats from the White House on trade, warning that it was ready to fight back if Washington was looking for a trade war, days ahead of a planned visit by,上海夜生活桑拿会所Kade, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

In an unexpected change in tone, the United States said on Tuesday that it still held the threat of imposing tariffs on $50 billion of imports from China unless it addressed the issue of theft of American intellectual property.

Washington also said it will press ahead with restrictions on investment by Chinese companies in the United States as well as export controls for goods exported to China.

Its tougher stance comes as President Donald Trump prepares for a June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, whose key diplomatic backer is China, and as Washington steps up efforts to counter what it sees as Beijing’s efforts to limit freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.

The trade escalation came after the two sides had agreed during talks in Washington this month to find steps to narrow China’s $375 billion trade surplus. Ross is expected to try to get China to agree to firm numbers to buy more U.S. goods during a June 2-4 visit to the Chinese capital.

“We urge the United States to keep its promise, and meet China halfway in the spirit of the joint statement,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily news briefing, adding that China would take “resolute and forceful” measures to protect its interests if Washington insists upon acting in an “arbitrary and reckless manner”.

“When it comes to international relations, every tim上海夜生活网e a country does an about face and contradicts itself, it’s another blow to, and a squandering of, its reputation,” Hua said.

China has said it will respond in kind to threats by Trump to impose tariffs on up to $150 billion of Chinese goods.

It was not clear if the developments would have any impact on the planned visit to China by Ross. China’s Foreign Ministry referred questions to the Commerce Ministry, which did not reply to a fax seeking comment.

U.S. OFFICIALS ARRIVE

Several U.S. officials arrived in Beijing on Wednesday for talks.

They included Under Secretary of Agriculture Ted McKinney, the U.S. Trade Representative’s chief agricultural negotiator, Gregg Doud and Commerce Department Deputy Assistant Secretary Alan Turley, according to a U.S. embassy spokeswoman.

Related Cove,上海晚上耍女人的地方Idaleen,rageIMF official says trade frictions pose risk for China’s economyChina says does not want trade war but is not scared of oneSee more stories

“Over the next few days, the U.S. delegation of more than 50 people will discuss with China’s team on implementing a consensus,” China’s Commerce Ministry said in a statement.

Earlier, China’s state council, or cabinet, said it will cut import tariffs on a range of consumer items including apparel, cosmetics and home appliances from July 1, and would finalize a so-called negative list for foreign investment by the same date, following through on earlier pledges.

Trade war fears had receded after the Trump administration said it had reached a deal to put ZTE Corp back in business after banning China’s second-biggest telecoms equipment maker from buying U.S. technology parts for seven years.

The easing in tension had fueled optimism that agreement was imminent for Chinese antitrust clearance for San Diego-based Qualcomm Inc’s $44 billion purchase of Netherlands-based NXP Semiconductors NV, which has been hanging in the balance amid the trade dispute.

A team of Qualcomm lawyers that is expecting to meet with Chinese regulators ahead of Ross’s arrival remained in San Diego as of late Tuesday, a source familiar with the matter said.

“On hold now,” another person familiar with Qualcomm’s talks with the Chinese government said on Wednesday, declining to be identified as the negotiations are confidential.

“Trump is crazy. Crazy tactics might work, though,” the person added.

TARIFFS AND TACTICS

William Zarit, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, said the U.S. threat of tariffs appeared to have been “somewhat effective”.

“I don’t think it is only a tactic, personally,” he told reporters on Wednesday, adding that the group does not view tariffs as the best way to address the trade frictions.

“The thinking became that if the U.S. doesn’t have any leverage and there is no pressure on our Chinese friends, then we will not have serious negotiations.”

The Global Times, an influential ta,夜上海论坛Kailani,bloid run by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, said the United States was suffering from a “delusion” and warned that the “trade renege could leave Washington dancing with itself”.

Also on Tuesday, a White House official said the U.S. government plans to shorten the length of visas issued to some Chinese citizens as part of a strategy to prevent intellectual property theft by U.S. rivals.

Citing a document issued by the Trump administration in December, the official said the U.S. government would consider restrictions on visas for science and technology students from some countries.