The daily business briefing: May 24, 2018
Trump backs 25 percent tariff on auto imports, NFL owners approve rules with team fines for anthem protests, and more
Trump backs 25 percent tariff on auto imports
At President Trump's request, the Commerce Department on Wednesday started an investigation into whether imported automobiles and vehicle parts represent a threat to national security. Trump wants to impose a 25 percent tariff on imported vehicles. "There is evidence suggesting that, for decades, imports from abroad have eroded our domestic auto industry," Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement. Trump is threatening the levies as negotiators press Canada and Mexico to accept new auto rules in the North American Free Trade Agreement. "Core industries such as automobiles and automotive parts are critical to our strength as a nation," Trump said.
NFL owners approve fines for teams whose players kneel during anthem
NFL team owners on Wednesday unanimously adopted new rules, including fines, for teams whose players do not "show respect for the flag and the anthem," Commissioner Roger Goodell said. Some players in recent seasons have chosen to kneel during the national anthem in silent protest of mistreatment of African-Americans by some police. The new rules allow players to stay in the locker room during the anthem, but require those on the sidelines to stand. Several players criticized the new rules as a violation of their right to free speech, saying protesting injustice is patriotic. "Everyone loses when voices get stifled," Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Malcolm Jenkins said.
Uber to end Arizona self-driving car tests after fatal accident
Uber announced in an internal email on Wednesday that it is shutting down testing of self-driving cars in Arizona. About 200 safety drivers and other Uber employees will lose their jobs in the state. The move came after a crash in March in which one of the ride-hailing service's self-driving cars struck and killed a woman who was walking her bike across a street. The car had a human backup driver who did not see the woman in time to avert the accident. Uber executive Eric Meyhofer wrote in the email that Uber would be shifting its focus on testing self-driving cars to Pittsburgh and San Francisco, its headquarters city.
U.S. stocks struggle for footing as North Korea concerns offset Fed minutes
U.S. stocks made small gains on Wednesday as investors expressed cautious optimism after the Federal Reserve released minutes from its latest meeting suggesting that higher inflation won't necessarily lead to faster interest rate hikes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 0.2 percent, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.3 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively. Early Thursday, U.S. stock futures struggled for footing as fresh concerns about the fate of the planned June meeting between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un offset the dovish Fed minutes. Dow and S&P 500 futures edged up by 0.1 percent, and Nasdaq-100 futures rose by 0.2 percent.
Deutsche Bank to slash more than 7,000 jobs
Deutsche Bank announced Thursday that it would cut its workforce from 97,000 to "well below" 90,000 to reduce costs. The reductions will come largely in its stock trading arms in New York and London as Germany's largest lender refocuses on its global investment banking operations in Europe. Deutsche Bank is struggling to restore steady profitability after facing high costs, low earnings, and issues with regulators. It replaced its CEO last month after three years of annual losses, and new CEO Christian Sewing has shifted away from riskier operations and back to its core European and German customer base.