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Trump expands tariffs on China by another $200 billion, threatens more

By this point, you should all know the drill . Another day, another massive tariff from the Trump administration. After rumors the past few weeks that the president was considering expanding tariffs to another $267 billion worth of imported goods from China , the administration announced today that it would expand them merely to another $200 billion worth of goods, which has the convenience of being a nice round number. In a White House statement , the president announced a 10 percent tariff to be implemented by September 24, which will then increase to 25 percent at the start of the new year. “For months, we have urged China to change these unfair practices, and give fair and reciprocal treatment to American companies. We have been very clear about the type of changes that need to be made, and we have given China every opportunity to treat us more fairly. But, so far, China has been unwilling to change its practices,” the statement said. Furthermore, the president said that any retaliatory action by China would result in immediate tariffs action and an expansion of tariffs to $267 billion worth of Chinese goods. Among the options that Chinese policy circles have been mulling is putting in place an export ban on critical components in U.S. supply chains , which could massively damage the ability of manufacturers and assemblers from building their products. China’s options for direct retaliation are limited, due to the sheer amount of exports China sends to the United States. China imports less from America than the value of goods included in these tariffs, and can no longer match them dollar-to-dollar.

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Google denies Trump’s claim that it did not promote his State of the Union address

Google is pushing back against a claim by Donald Trump that the search engine stopped promoting State of the Union livestreams on its homepage after his presidency began. Trump’s claim came in the from of a tweeted video , which was still pinned to the top of his profile when this post was published at 9:30 PM PST, Aug. 29, 2018, after Google’s refutation and multiple media reports of its inaccuracy. Hashtagged #stopthebias, the video appears to show that Google did not display links to livestreams of Trump’s first public speech to a joint session of Congress on February 28, 2017 or his first State of the Union on January 30, 2018, despite promoting Obama’s State of the Union addresses in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. #StopTheBias pic.twitter.com/xqz599iQZw — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2018 Google, however, says it did indeed highlight Trump’s first State of the Union in 2018, but that it usually does not include links on its homepage to a president’s first public address to Congress, so neither Obama nor Trump’s were featured. In a statement sent to BuzzFeed News , the company said “On January 30, 2018, we highlighted the livestream of President Trump’s State of the Union on the google.com homepage. We have historically not promoted the first address to Congress by a new President, which is technically not a State of the Union address. As a result, we didn’t include a promotion on google.com for this address in either 2009 or 2017.” Google statement to @JohnPaczkowski on Trump’s tweet pic.twitter.com/1w82mQqApg — Jon Passantino (@passantino) August 29, 2018 The video shared by Trump does not make a distinction between a president’s first public speech to a joint session of Congress and his first State of the Union address. A discrepancy in Google’s logo also suggests that at least one of the screenshots, which appear to have been taken from the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, was doctored. A Gizmodo commenter notes that one of the screenshots in the video Trump tweeted, from January 12, 2016, shows a version with the previous Google logo, not the sans-serif version introduced in September 2015 , which can be seen in a Wayback Archive’s screen capture from January 10, 2016 and other days from that month when a Google Doodle wasn’t featured. Capture from the video tweeted from President Trump’s account One of Wayback Machine’s captures on January 10, 2016 Furthermore, while a link to Trump’s State of the Union does not appear on archived versions of Google’s homepage from January 30, 2018, it does show up on a capture from 1AM on January 31 , as Twitter user @WrockBro notes. That may be because the Wayback Machine uses Greenwich Mean Time time stamps. Not only that, but also this: https://t.co/RfJIKpYGJX — en JPL (@WrockBro) August 30, 2018 The Wayback Machine capture linked by Twitter user @WrockBro Trump’s tweet is the part of his current onslaught against Google , other tech companies and mainstream media, which he accuses of having a liberal bias and burying news about his administration

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Trump rage-tweets Google alleging search ‘bias’

While several tech giants have found themselves in President Trump’s crosshairs since he took office, he has just unleashed what looks to be his most sustained attack on Google to date — firing off a couple of tweets at ~5.30am Washington DC time to rail against what he claims is algorithmic bias in the results the search engine serves up if someone types in “Trump News”. No, the president did not use the four-syllable word “algorithmic”. But presumably he hadn’t even inhaled his first Coke of the day yet. In his rage tweets, Trump makes the specific allegation that “96% of results on “Trump News” are from National Left-Wing Media”, without citing his source for the claimed datapoint. He then makes the further unsubstantiated claim that: “Google & others are suppressing voices of Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good.” The Guardian suggests the 96% claim is a reference to an article posted at the weekend by the website PJ Media whose self-described “not-scientific” study of the top 100 Google News results for the search term “Trump” apparently suggested “a pattern of bias against right-leaning content”. Trump ends the pair of tweets with a warning that the “situation will be addressed” — without specifying exactly what he plans to do. Which is pretty much trademark Trump Twitter policy-on-the-hoofing. Even as the wider political context around his administration, with  whispers of impeachment  in the air, implies that any loud public complaints by Trump about negative headlines related to himself are an attempt to distract attention from the legal hot waters now boiling around him. But whatevs. Here are the tweets in all their rage-filled glory: Google search results for “Trump News” shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake New Media. In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD. Fake CNN is prominent

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Washington hit China hard on tech influence this week

After months of back-and-forth negotiations, Washington moved rapidly this past week to fend off the increasing transcendence of China’s tech industry, with Congress passing expanded national security controls over M&A transactions and the Trump administration heaping more pressure on China with threats of increased tariffs . We’ve been following the reforms to CFIUS — the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States — since the proposal was first floated late last year. The committee is charged with protecting America’s economic interests by preventing takeovers of companies by foreign entities where the transaction could have deleterious national security consequences. The committee and its antecedents have slowly gained powers over the past few decades since the Korean War, but this week, it suddenly gained a whole lot more. Through the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018 , which was rolled into the must-pass National Defense Authorization Act and passed by Congress this week, CFIUS is gaining a number of new powers, more resources and staff, more oversight, and a charge to massively expand its influence in any M&A process involving foreign entities. Lawfare has a great summary of the final text of the bill and its ramifications , but I want to highlight a few of the changes that I think are going to have an outsized effect on Silicon Valley and the tech industry more widely. One of the top priorities of this legislation was to make it more difficult for Chinese venture capital firms to invest in American startups and pilfer intellectual property or acquire confidential user data. Congress fulfilled that goal in two ways. First, the definition of a “covered transaction” has been massively expanded, with a focus on “critical technology” industries. In the past, there was an expectation that a foreign entity had to essentially buy out a company in order to trigger a CFIUS review. That jurisdiction has now been expanded to include such actions as adding a member to a company’s board of directors, even in cases where an investment is essentially passive.

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