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Bloomberg Businessweek-Asia Edition 3/12/2018

Each issue of Businessweek features in-depth perspectives on the financial markets, industries, trends, technology and people guiding the economy. Draw upon Businessweek's timely incisive analysis to help you make better decisions about your career, your business, and your personal investments.

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Bloomberg Finance LP
50 Issues

in this issue

4 min
in brief

Americas ● Gary Cohn, the White House’s top economic adviser, resigned on March 6, five days after President Trump announced broad tariffs on aluminum and steel imports, a move Cohn strongly opposed. ▷ 37 The possible candidates to replace him include: Peter Navarro Currently the White House trade adviser, Navarro is the mascot for Trump’s anti-trade-deficit, anti-China policy. He’s denied that he’s under consideration. Larry Kudlow The longtime commentator for CNBC said he wouldn’t discuss the possibility during a March 7 interview with the network. He also said he opposed the president’s tariff plan. Kevin Hassett The chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers is the closest thing the administration has to a mainstream economist. Hassett gets bonus points for publicly supporting the president’s tariffs. Mick Mulvaney The director of the Office of Management and Budget has already taken…

7 min
going medieval on trade

Gary Cohn had one of the toughest jobs in Washington: restraining an impulsive president from waging a trade war he’s been itching to fight. Now that Cohn is leaving as director of Trump’s National Economic Council (page 37), the way is clear for the president to slap hefty tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from around the world. Trump also has a freer hand to punish China for its alleged theft of intellectual property. The U.S. is weighing restrictions on Chinese investments and tariffs on a broad range of Chinese imports, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News on March 6. Trump and the nationalists who have his ear, such as Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and trade adviser Peter Navarro, have a point. The U.S. steel and aluminum industries really…

1 min
game of chicken (and tires)

● 2009 After a U.S. labor union complaint, President Barack Obama imposes tariffs starting at 35 percent on Chinese car and light-truck tires for three years. ● 2010 With prices rising as much as 26 percent, Chinese tire exports to the U.S. are roughly halved. China retaliates by placing anti-dumping duties on U.S. chicken parts. ● 2012 Facing less competition, U.S.-made tire prices rise 3.2 percent. Meanwhile, the U.S. continues to import tires from other countries with cheaper labor costs. The tariffs expire in September. ● 2013 The World Trade Organization declares that China broke its rules with the chicken tariff. U.S. poultry farmers lost about $1 billion in sales to China. ALAMY (2); DATA: INTERNATIONAL TRADE CENTRE, BLOOMBERG GADFLY…

6 min
lucky or smart, chevron wins

In the control room of Chevron Corp.’s Scharbauer SE71 oil well, midway up a 150-foot rig in the heart of the Permian Basin, Operations Manager Scott Nash gives instructions to a contractor guiding a robotic arm screwing lengths of steel drilling pipe together. The procedure may save less than a minute per connection over the traditional way Chevron used to join pipe. And as recently as five years ago, the company wouldn’t have switched to such a high-tech solution, especially in this arid West Texas landscape, long considered a poor candidate for profitable exploration. But today the Permian is so important to Chevron’s fortunes that saving 10 seconds each time drill pipes are linked can translate into millions of dollars in cost savings across its huge operations there. For Chevron, which…

5 min
america’s biggest losers in a trade war

Donald Trump’s proposed steel and aluminum tariffs have made American corporate executives jittery. That’s because they can easily imagine other countries responding by trying to tax U.S. whiskey, Caterpillar Inc. excavators, and Boeing Co. jets. “God bless Boeing,” Trump said last February, right around the time he exclaimed, “I love Caterpillar.” A lot of good those warm feelings will do Boeing and Caterpillar: Both are big metal users and face competitive pressures from abroad that a trade war will only intensify. Trump insists he’s not backing down on slapping broad levies on steel and aluminum imports, even as a growing chorus of world leaders, corporate executives, and members of his own party criticize the strategy. Whether he’s too stubborn to admit error or actually believes his statement that trade wars are “easy…

4 min
moisturize this!

Men of the world, David Beckham has a message for you: Moisturize. “It’s the biggest thing,” he says in a London warehouse-turned-nightclub where he’s launching a grooming brand, House 99, in partnership with L’Oréal SA. The soccer superstar has long tapped his appeal both as a skilled midfielder and as a style icon with trendsetting hairdos to win endorsement deals from the likes of Adidas AG and Giorgio Armani SpA. In the L’Oréal venture, Beckham will pitch face creams, beard oil, and pomades designed to help buyers nail his slickbacks and pompadours. While men in the past might have balked at using, say, a $26 eye-brightening balm, “now it’s so accepted,” he says. “The majority of guys I know do look after themselves.” L’Oréal’s stable of brands such as Maybelline and…