The Week Ahead: Zuckerberg Continues His Apology Tour and Strict Privacy Rules Arrive in the E.U.


The Week Ahead

Also, a public comment period on proposed tariffs on Chinese imports ends, and Disney tries to kick a Memorial Day slump with a new “Star Wars” movie.

Testimony by the Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg before Congress in April was open to the public, including protestors. His meeting with European Parliament leaders on Tuesday will be behind closed doors, though a transcript will be released.CreditTom Brenner/The New York Times

Here’s what to expect in the week ahead:

TECHNOLOGY

Mark Zuckerberg visits Europe in the latest stop on his apology tour.

The Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg travels to Brussels on Tuesday to meet with members of the European Parliament. He should expect a suspicious audience: Europe has been critical of the social network’s privacy policies, its influence on elections, and the spread of misinformation and inflammatory content on its platform. Unlike Mr. Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress last month, the meeting in Brussels will be held behind closed doors, a decision that has been criticized by officials who wanted him to respond to questions publicly. A transcript of the meeting will be released afterward.

— Adam Satariano


TRADE

The Trump administration faces trade deadlines.

The public comment period for the $50 billion of tariffs that President Trump has threatened to impose on China draws to a close on Tuesday, and the Treasury Department faces a deadline to send the White House its recommendations for restrictions on Chinese investments over concerns of intellectual property violations. Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary, said Sunday that the tariffs were temporarily off the table after three days of what he described as positive trade negotiations with China. However, tariffs and investment restrictions could come back into force if American negotiators do not achieve their desired results in the ongoing trade talks.

— Ana Swanson


RETAIL

Target will report first quarter results in a mixed earnings season for retailers.

Target is expected to report first quarter results on Wednesday. Quarterly results from other big retailers have painted a mixed picture of the industry. Last week, Macy’s blew away expectations with a big increase in sales, raising investors’ hopes that the company’s restructuring efforts were paying off. But first quarter sales from Nordstrom and J.C. Penney disappointed investors, and Walmart’s operating profits remained under pressure even as its e-commerce business rebounded.

— Michael Corkery


ECONOMY

Fed minutes will be released, and scrutinized for hints about rate hikes.

The Federal Reserve will release the minutes of the most recent meeting of its Open Markets committee on Wednesday. The committee held interest rates stable at the two-day meeting that ended May 2, but analysts will be looking for any hint that rising inflation could prompt the Fed to ultimately raise rates more quickly than expected. After it raised its benchmark interest rate in March to a range of 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent, indications were that officials were leaning toward three rate increases this year instead of four.

— Jim Tankersley


ECONOMY

Home sales are expected to remain strong.

Two reports are expected to show that home sales remained elevated in April, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg, despite rising interest rates and tax changes that removed incentives for homeownership. Sales of new homes, which make up about 10 percent of all sales, hit a four-month high in March, and revisions have shown that home sales throughout the first quarter were stronger than initially reported. The Census Bureau will report Wednesday on sales of new homes, and the National Association of Realtors will report Thursday on sales of existing homes.

— William P. Davis


BANKING

Deutsche Bank shareholders get an opportunity to voice their displeasure.

Deutsche Bank will hold its annual meeting on Thursday in Frankfurt and, considering that the bank’s stock price has fallen by a third since last year’s gathering, the shareholders are not likely to be a happy bunch. Paul Achleitner, the supervisory board chairman, will probably bear the brunt of the abuse because of a messy management shake-up that raised questions about his oversight. But he still has enough support to survive a motion to oust him.

— Jack Ewing


TECHNOLOGY

Strict new privacy rules go into effect, if you live in the E.U.

The world’s most sweeping data privacy regulations go into effect across the European Union on Friday. The rules intend to make it harder for companies to harvest data on the more than 500 million people living in the 28-nation bloc. The law requires organizations to get permission from their users before collecting any personal information, and companies could face steep fines — of up to 4 percent of global revenue — for noncompliance. But enforcement will be a challenge: Oversight falls to whichever country has a company’s European headquarters within its borders, and many of those countries have small data-protection agencies. The data protection office in Ireland, with a budget of 7.5 million euros, equivalent to about $8.8 million, will be responsible for overseeing tech giants including Facebook, Google, Twitter, Microsoft and Apple.

— Adam Satariano


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Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo in “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”CreditJonathan Olley/Lucasfilm, via Associated Press

MEDIA

Disney hopes new “Star Wars” can break its Memorial Day slump.

Memorial Day weekend has been on the decline as a reliable, bonanza sales period for Hollywood. “Baywatch” (Paramount) got stranded on a sand dune last year. “Alice Through the Looking Glass” (Disney) fizzled in 2016. “Tomorrowland” (Disney) drew yawns from ticket buyers in 2015. Film quality has played a role, but moviegoing habits have also changed.

Disney will try again when “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” about a younger Han Solo, arrives on Thursday. “Solo,” which cost roughly $250 million to make and $150 million to market, will test demand for the galactic franchise, arriving a just five months after “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” (Installments had previously been spaced a year or more apart.)

Box office analysts have high hopes, predicting that “Solo” will earn between $140 million and $160 million at theaters in North America over the holiday weekend. The record for the period belongs to “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End,” which took in $140 million in 2007, or $172 million in today’s dollars.

— Brooks Barnes

Editorial: The Trump Administration Sabotages the Census


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President Trump with Wilbur Ross at the White House last week.

Credit
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

In a last-minute move that would give Republicans an advantage in maintaining control of the House of Representatives, the Trump administration is reinstating a question about citizenship to the 2020 census. Coming from an administration that has expressed incredible hostility toward immigrants, the change was not surprising, but it’s galling nonetheless.

The commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, announced the decision late Monday, less than a week before the Census Bureau, which his agency oversees, is supposed to send a final list of questions for the 2020 census to Congress. If the decision stands — the attorney general of California, Xavier Becerra, has filed a lawsuit seeking to block it, and other elected officials are preparing to do so, too — it would be the first time in nearly 70 years that the federal government has asked people filling out census forms to list their citizenship status.

This is important because the census count determines how many House seats each state gets. The census is also used to determine how more than $600 billion in federal spending is allocated across the country, including Medicaid, food stamps and grants to schools. Asking about citizenship will reduce responses from immigrant families, which are already less likely than others to answer government surveys and are today terrified by President Trump’s anti-immigrant policies and rhetoric. An inaccurate count is likely to provide more representation to states with fewer immigrants and relatively higher response rates and take seats away from states like California where response rates would be relatively lower. Given the geography of American politics, that would probably lead to more power for Republicans, and less for Democrats. Experts say response rates will fall even from citizens and permanent residents because they may have family members who are undocumented immigrants.

Mr. Ross’s decision was based on the disingenuous argument that the Department of Justice needs to know the citizenship status of residents in each census tract so it can better protect the rights of minority voters under the Voting Rights Act. Even putting aside the laughable notion that this administration cares about minority voting rights, this argument is bunkum — the Justice Department has been enforcing that law without access to such data for decades. The last census that asked people to report their citizenship status was conducted in 1950, 15 years before the Voting Rights Act became law. What’s more, the Justice Department already has access to citizenship data through the American Community Survey, which is conducted every year.

The timing of this change is highly suspect. It comes too late to be included in a field test of the 2020 census that the government is conducting right now with 275,000 households in Providence County, R.I. In his memo, Mr. Ross sought to downplay concerns that the citizenship question would reduce response rates by claiming there was no “empirical evidence” to back up that argument. Yet, by seeking to insert the question so late in the process, he himself has prevented officials from empirically testing how people will react to it.

The evidence that does exist shows that the concerns about the citizenship question curbing participation are legitimate. The Census Bureau reported in a September memo that its surveyors were encountering significant resistance from immigrants about providing personal information to the government because they feared it would not be kept confidential. “The immigrant is not going to trust the census employee when they are continuously hearing a contradicting message from the media every day threatening to deport immigrants,” one Arabic-speaking respondent told the bureau.

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