The daily business briefing: July 2, 2018
Canada, U.S. Chamber of Commerce push back against Trump on trade, Tesla hits its Model 3 production target, and more
Canada, U.S. Chamber of Commerce push back against Trump on trade
Canada confirmed on Sunday that it had imposed tariffs on $12.6 billion worth of U.S. exports in retaliation for President Trump's levies on imported steel and aluminum. The steel tariff, which took effect on June 1, hits Canada hardest, because it was the biggest steel exporter to the U.S. by value last year. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said his government does not "relish" the trade battle but had no choice but to respond. "[As] Canadians, we're polite, we're reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around," he said in June. Canada's move came as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the nation's largest business group, prepared to launch a campaign on Monday to oppose Trump's trade policies, even though it is normally one of his allies.
Tesla finally hits Model 3 production target
Tesla essentially hit its elusive goal of producing 5,000 Model 3 electric cars in a week in the final week of its second quarter. The final Model 3 sedan actually rolled off the assembly line a few hours after the midnight deadline on Sunday. Tesla CEO announced the landmark in an email to employees, and said he expected the company to reach 6,000 Model 3 sedans per week next month. "I think we just became a real car company," Musk wrote. The Model 3 is Tesla's first mass-market vehicle, and ramping up production to a level necessary to make the mid-priced car successful is considered crucial to the company's future.
Seattle bans plastic straws, cutlery
Seattle on Sunday officially became the first major U.S. city to ban plastic drinking straws. The city banned most one-time use food items a decade ago, requiring them to be compostable or recyclable to protect the environment and reduce the amount of plastic reaching the oceans. It made an exception for plastic straws and cutlery, however, because there were no realistic alternatives. Now customers at grocery stores, restaurants, food trucks, and even institutional cafeterias will have to use compostable paper and plastic straws, or go without. City authorities will focus on spreading awareness at first, but then, failure to comply may result in a $250 fine.
Trump says he'll wait until after midterms to sign NAFTA deal
President Trump said Sunday that he wants to wait and seal a new NAFTA deal after the midterm elections, in which Democrats are expected to gain seats in the House and possibly regain a majority. Mexico and Canada have been locked in tense negotiations over a new version of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Both nations have hit the U.S. with retaliatory tariffs since Trump imposed levies on imported steel and aluminum, making the talks more difficult. "NAFTA, I could sign it tomorrow, but I'm not happy with it," Trump told the Fox Business Network in an interview. "I want to make it more fair." Trump also threatened new tariffs on imported cars.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom leads box office for 2nd week
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom led the box office for the second straight weekend with another $60 million in ticket sales, according to studio estimates released Sunday. The film now has grossed $264.8 million domestically and $932.4 million worldwide through its second weekend. Incredibles 2 was No. 2 in its third weekend in theaters, adding $45.5 million to bring its domestic total to $439.7 million. The Sicario sequel starring Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro came in third place with $19 million. The basketball comedy Uncle Drew featuring NBA All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Shaquille O'Neal trailed in fourth place with $15.5 million.