The daily business briefing: September 4, 2018

Harold Maass
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Nike taps Kaepernick for 'Just Do It' ad campaign

Nike is making former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick one of the faces of its 30th anniversary "Just Do It" ad campaign. Kaepernick protested against police mistreatment of African Americans by kneeling during the national anthem. Kaepernick's attorney, Mark Geragos, announced the news via Twitter on Monday, and Kaepernick posted a Nike ad featuring his face and wrote: "Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything. #JustDoIt." Kaepernick is suing the National Football League, accusing owners of conspiring to keep him off the field. He is a civil rights hero to many, but critics responded to news of the Nike move with calls for a boycott. Some posted photos and videos showing them burning Nike shoes and other gear. [The Associated Press, Bloomberg]


Trump hits back at union leader with Labor Day tweet

President Trump on Labor Day criticized Richard Trumka, president of the largest federation of labor unions in the U.S., saying he had represented the AFL-CIO "poorly." Trump's comments came a day after Trumka said that the president had done more to hurt workers than help them. Trumka also questioned an earlier Trump tweet saying it was unnecessary to keep Canada in the North American Free Trade Agreement. Trump responded via Twitter, saying: "Some of the things he said were so against the working men and women of our country, and the success of the U.S. itself, that it is easy to see why unions are doing so poorly." Trump later added: "The Worker in America is doing better than ever before!" [Reuters]


Stocks under pressure due to trade tensions and global manufacturing data

Global stocks were mixed on Tuesday, weighed down by concerns about ongoing trade tensions and reports of slowing manufacturing in China and Europe. U.S. stock futures, however, pointed to a higher open as trading resumes after the long Labor Day weekend. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.1 percent higher, while those of the broader S&P 500 index gained 0.2 percent. European shares were mostly flat, while Asia's MSCI index and Tokyo's Nikkei blue-chip index dropped by 0.7 percent. Trade will remain a concern as negotiations on revisions to the North American Free Trade Agreement resume on Wednesday between the U.S. and Canada. President Trump on Saturday said Canada "will be out" of the deal unless it's fair to the U.S. [The Associated Press, Reuters]


Report: Twitter CEO overruled staff call to ban Alex Jones

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey overruled a decision by his staff to ban conservative conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. Dorsey's staff had called for following the leads of Facebook and Google's YouTube, which barred Jones, host of the Infowars show, from their platforms. Dorsey reportedly stepped in as he had in other decisions on how to handle other high-profile users accused of violating Twitter's terms of service, including alt-right leader Richard Spencer. Twitter called the claims that Dorsey overruled staff and made unilateral decisions on Jones "totally false." Twitter did suspend Jones and Infowars for a week last month for violating its rule against inciting violence after Jones retweeted a link to a video calling for supporters to ready their "battle rifles" against the media and others. [The Wall Street Journal, Business Insider]


Argentina announces export tax in latest move to stem currency crisis

Argentina's president on Monday announced emergency measures to address the South American nation's currency crisis. President Mauricio Macri said the government would impose a new tax on exports to help reduce a budget deficit. "What we have to face is a basic problem, which is we cannot spend more than we have," Macri said. "This is not just another crisis. It has to be the last." The peso fell on Monday despite the announcement. It has lost nearly 50 percent against the dollar this year. The country's central bank last week raised the country's benchmark interest rate from 45 percent to 60 percent in an attempt to stop the dive. Argentina also is trying to get the International Monetary Fund to speed up the release of $50 billion in bailout money. [The New York Times, CNN]