January 06, 2020

U.S.-EU Trade Talks Vexed by Drums of a Real War
(Bloomberg) -- Want to receive this post in your inbox every day? Sign up for the Terms of Trade newsletter, and follow Bloomberg Economics on Twitter for more.The drums of war beating in Washington sound a lot more ominous than the kind accompanying tariff threats.That doesn’t mean the escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran won’t have consequences for other relationships or global trade. They could well contribute to the revival of trade conflicts that markets have convinced themselves are in the rear-view mirror now that 2020 is upon us.But no trade or strategic relationship is likely to be tested faster or harder than the already fragile one with Europe.The Trump administration’s decision to abandon the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that European Union powers were co-signatories to was a pre-existing source of tension, with European companies caught in the sanctions crossfire. Now that Iran has pulled the plug as well in the wake of the killing of a top Iranian general, things are unlikely to get better. Also causing friction were Trump’s now frozen plans to levy tariffs on imported cars and more live ones to target champagne and other French products over France’s digital services tax. Duties imposed in relation to a long-running trade feud between Airbus and Boeing haven’t helped either. Those issues look episodic compared to what seems a lot like a broader breakdown in trans-Atlantic relations. It doesn’t take much digging to establish that many in the Trump administration view the powers in Europe and institutions of the EU with an instinctive contempt. Trump, after all, has repeatedly called the EU (officially a U.S. ally) worse than China (an officially designated existential rival) on matters including trade. What irks the president and people close to him most may be Europe’s defense of technocratic multilateralism and EU officials’ refusal to bow to Trump’s tariffs and other efforts to pressure them into even pretending to make a deal on American terms (an art China may well have mastered). European officials, meanwhile, view Trump’s attack on the World Trade Organization and other pillars of the rules-based order as a peculiar populist’s tantrum. Spend any time discussing trans-Atlantic relations with European officials and the emotion you run into quickly is bemusement. They relay specific complaints about the U.S.’s refusal to engage in meaningful discussions about issues like reforming the WTO or the willingness of Washington to allow the withering of potentially substantive efforts to create a joint front to take on China over industrial subsidies and other common complaints. But hanging over it all like a thunderhead is a broader European perplexion with a one-time friend’s life choices.None of that is likely to be improved by what is developing between the U.S. and Iran. Charting the Trade WarThe U.S. Chamber of Commerce is warning that American businesses and consumers are bearing the brunt of the trade war and is calling on the administration to change course. Crunching Commerce Department data, it concludes that more than half of U.S. states are facing retaliatory tariffs on at least 25% of their exports to the EU and China.Today’s Must ReadsJust a phase | The Chinese trade delegation including Vice Premier Liu He plans to sign the first phase of its trade deal with the U.S. in Washington on Jan. 15. Service charge | The euro-zone economy edged gradually away from stagnation at the end of 2019 as services picked up to counter moribund manufacturing. Brexit countdown | Companies most exposed to the uncertainty surrounding the U.K.’s exit from the EU have reduced hiring and investment and lost a substantial fraction of their market value Change the channel | Turkey’s president said warships will be able to use a planned multibillion-dollar canal bisecting Istanbul, possibly undercutting a 20th-century agreement. USMCA support | Some Democratic presidential candidates are supporting the USMCA agreement while at least one other is distancing himself from the new North American trade deal.Economic AnalysisChina boost | China’s economy showed stronger momentum in December for the first time in eight months, according to a range of early indicators, and Bloomberg Economics expects growth to improve in early 2020. World in 2030 | Bloomberg Economics’ 10-year growth forecasts paint a picture of continued weakness, with aging populations, barriers to immigration, and weak productivity capping growth potential.Coming UpJan. 7: U.S. trade balance Jan. 8: France trade balance Jan. 9: Germany trade balance Jan. 14-16: EU trade chief Phil Hogan plans trip to Washington Jan. 15: Trumps plans to sign phase-one deal with ChinaLike Terms of Trade?Don’t keep it to yourself. Colleagues and friends can sign up here. We also publish Balance of Power, a daily briefing on the latest in global politics.For even more: Subscribe to Bloomberg All Access for full global news coverage and two in-depth daily newsletters, The Bloomberg Open and The Bloomberg Close.How are we doing? We want to hear what you think about this newsletter. Let our trade tsar know.To contact the author of this story: Shawn Donnan in Washington at sdonnan@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Brendan Murray at brmurray@bloomberg.net, Zoe SchneeweissFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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