Today’s DealBook Briefing was written by Andrew Ross Sorkin on the road, and Michael J. de la Merced and Jamie Condliffe in London.
Trump’s secret trade weapon: the U.S. economy
With growth rates hitting levels unseen in a decade, President Trump is betting that the U.S. can weather any short-term shocks from his battles with China, Europe and other trading partners.
Exhibit A: German automakers are reportedly open to eliminating car tariffs between the U.S. and Europe, because of how important American consumers are to their business. That would be a triumph for Mr. Trump.
One concern: Some economists think U.S. growth is peaking — so Mr. Trump’s economic cushion could deflate just as the trade shocks hit.
Elsewhere in trade news: Small gadget makers could be hurt by the fight with Beijing. And average Chinese workers don’t appear to blame America for the trade fight.
Corporate America is still tied up with U.S. immigration policies
President Trump has signed an executive order to end the practice of separating children from their parents at U.S. borders. It’s not yet clear how much will change.
For now, American business remains caught up in the controversy:
• Airlines have asked the government not to use their flights to carry children it has separated from their parents.
• Walmart declared itself “surprised” that one of its old stores was now a migrant shelter, though property records suggested that was a possibility.
• Dell, Motorola and HP could join Microsoft in facing criticism for working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
How the White House could catch up to Europe on data privacy
Perhaps realizing that the U.S. isn’t leading the international debate on the topic, the White House is said to be considering an equivalent to Europe’s General Data Privacy Regulation.
More on how the administration could move, from Shannon Vavra, Kim Hart, and David McCabe of Axios:
One option is an executive order directing one or more agencies to develop a privacy framework. That could direct the National Institute of Standards and Technology, an arm of the Commerce Department, to work with industry and other experts to come up with guidelines, according to two sources.
What to expect: Gail Slater, a White House adviser on cyber issues, told Axios that U.S. rules wouldn’t mirror Europe’s. So don’t count on a “right to be forgotten.” The White House also wants to ensure that any rules aren’t too onerous for smaller businesses.
Instagram finally takes on YouTube
The photo-sharing platform announced a new video portal yesterday, IGTV, that will let its users post long videos. More from Daisuke Wakabayashi and Sheera Frenkel of the NYT:
IGTV will feature videos shot vertically to fill the screens of smartphones versus the landscape orientation of televisions and computer monitors. In addition, it was reaching out to the new stars of today’s digital video world — social media stars with millions of followers on YouTube and Instagram.
Jamie Condliffe’s take: The company says that IGTV won’t have ads at first, but given how much money there is in video advertising, don’t expect that to last. YouTube shares ad revenue with content creators; Instagram could do something similar.
Elsewhere in video news: Apple’s forthcoming service plans to stream children’s shows from Sesame Workshop.
What will Gary Cohn do next?
President Trump’s former economic adviser has plenty of options. He seems to be ruling out Wall Street — he told a recent conference that he’d “done the markets world.” Instead, he’s reportedly looking at entertainment — or Bitcoin. (A cryptocohn, anyone?)
But there’s a problem, according to Bill Cohan of Vanity Fair:
He was able to score conversations with senior executives at Silicon Valley firms after leaving the White House, according to the person who knows him well. But once the idea of Cohn, a Trump acolyte, was “socialized” internally, it quickly became apparent that he would not be welcome.
How Amazon learned to love D.C. lobbying
Jeff Bezos once distanced his company from Washington. But as Amazon has become a power in the land, things have changed. A lot. The WSJ sets out just how much:
Amazon now has an army of nearly 100 lobbyists at more than a dozen lobbying firms working on a list of issues including taxes, trade, government procurement, internet policy, drone regulation, grocery rules, music licensing and, more recently, food stamps. Last year, the company spent $13 million on lobbying, five times as much as it spent five years earlier, putting it just behind some of last year’s biggest corporate lobbyists, including Google and AT&T.
Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase have picked Atul Gawande, a prominent surgeon who writes for The New Yorker, as C.E.O. of their health care venture. His claim to fame: influential analyses of overspending in American medicine. One piece caught the eye of Berkshire’s Charlie Munger.
Walmart plans to hire 2,000 people in tech this year. (VentureBeat)
The speed read
• SoftBank’s Masa Son wants big deals fast and often. A fellow director is worried. (WSJ)
• Britain is investigating the sale of an Airbus and Boeing supplier to a Chinese-owned rival. (NYT)
• Match Group, which owns Tinder, has bought Hinge, a dating app that calls itself an anti-Tinder. (Bloomberg)
• Tilray, a big producer of federally licensed medical cannabis and accessories, filed to go public on the Nasdaq. (Tilray)
Politics and policy
• The publisher of the National Enquirer has been subpoenaed in the investigation into Michael Cohen. (NYT)
• California’s legislature beat back an effort by a Democratic lawmaker to weaken its net neutrality bill. (Verge)
• Congress refused to cancel $15 billion in spending, defying President Trump. (Bloomberg)
• Tesla has sued a former employee whom Elon Musk accuses of stealing data and making false claims to the media. (CNBC)
• A new favorite of tech companies: convertible debt. (Recode)
• A.I. relies on mathematical tricks known as deep learning. There may be a better way. (NYT)
• The Federal Trade Commission will look at tech giants like Google and Facebook as part of a broad review. (Axios)
Best of the rest
• A big one-day loss at Deutsche Bank has raised questions about its financial controls. (Bloomberg)
• U.S. home prices are likely to rise. Blame low supply. (WSJ)
• Start-ups are good for the economy. Too bad they’re disappearing in the U.S. (Quartz)
You can find live updates throughout the day at nytimes.com/dealbook.
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