Two of America’s biggest steel manufacturers — both with ties to Trump administration officials — have successfully objected to hundreds of requests by American companies that buy foreign steel to exempt themselves from President Donald Trump’s stiff metal tariffs.
They have argued that the imported products are readily available from American steel manufacturers. Charlotte, North Carolina-based Nucor and Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel have objected to 1,600 exemption requests filed with the Commerce Department over the past several months. To date, their efforts have never failed, resulting in denials for companies that are based in the U.S. but rely on imported steel.
Cities’ Offers for Amazon Base Are Secrets Even to Many City Leaders
Jared Evans, a member of the Indianapolis City-County Council, is proud that the city is among 20 finalists for the planned second headquarters of Amazon. He does, however, have one question: What financial incentives did his city dangle in front of Amazon? “What have I been told?” Evans said. “Absolutely nothing.” Across the country, the search for HQ2 is shrouded in secrecy. Even civic leaders cannot find out what sort of tax credits and other inducements have been promised to Amazon. And there is a growing legal push to find out, because taxpayers could get saddled with a huge bill.
Disney’s Streaming Service Starts to Come Into Focus
Little is known about Disneyflix, as some in Hollywood are calling the Netflix-style streaming service that Disney plans to introduce next year. How much will subscriptions cost? Disney has given hints but no specifics. The name, rollout strategy, menu of movies and television shows — all a mystery. But one aspect is becoming clear: The service’s success or failure will depend a great deal on Disney executive Ricky Strauss, who was recently given creative oversight of the service’s programming. He has the power to “greenlight” new series and movies and will develop the service’s “strategic content vision," according to Disney.
Menial Tasks Ease AI’s Way Into Workplace
There is no shortage of predictions about how artificial intelligence is going to reshape where, how and if people work in the future. But the work-changing projects of AI are not yet commercial products. A more humble version of the technology, instead, is making its presence felt in the back office. New software is automating mundane office tasks in operations like accounting, billing, payments and customer service. The technology is in its infancy but will get better. So far, often in pilot projects focused on menial tasks, AI is freeing workers from drudgery more often than it is eliminating jobs.
Partisan Worry as Couple Buys a Local Paper
The Santa Clarita Valley Signal is typical of many small-town newspapers, filled with articles about water use and traffic accidents. For decades, it has been a source of information about the Santa Clarita Valley in Los Angeles County. But in June, the Paladin Multimedia Group sold the paper to a former publisher of The Signal, Richard Budman, and his wife, Chris. The ownership change, amid a contested race in the 25th Congressional District, has produced some consternation — as did a tweet by Budman in July proclaiming that “we have to fight” to keep the district in Republican control.
Warts and All? That’s the Risk When a Founder Is the Face of a Company
Commercials for Dollar Shave Club, the subscription toiletries company, are known for two things. There’s that zany sense of humor. And then there’s the reliable presence of the company’s founder, Michael Dubin. Dubin became familiar to viewers thanks to a 2012 YouTube video in which he extolled his razor blades with the help of a toddler and someone in a bear suit. The ad went viral. Founders and other executives have long been enlisted to star in commercials for their companies. Even so, using the head of the company as the face of the company can be a fraught strategy.
Bankruptcy Booms Among Older Americans
For a growing share of older Americans, traditional ideas about life in retirement are being upended by a dismal reality: bankruptcy. The signs of trouble have been building for years. Now, new research sheds light on the scope of the problem: The rate of people 65 and older filing for bankruptcy is three times what it was in 1991, and the group accounts for a greater share of all filers. Driving the surge is a shift of financial risk from government and employers to individuals, who are bearing an ever-greater responsibility for their financial well-being as the safety net shrinks.
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