Good morning, and we start today by continuing to focus on Nancy Pelosi’s historic trip to Taiwan.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives vowed to “always” support the country and not “give up” on it during a meeting with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen.
“America has made a firm commitment to always support Taiwan, and this visit is a reminder of that,” Pelosi said today at the presidential office in Taipei.
The visit angered China, which announced it would begin military exercises with live fire in waters around Taiwan Thursday through Sunday after Pelosi left.
The exercise could be tantamount to blockading a country whose economic life is based on exports and heavily dependent on energy imports.
Meanwhile, the commercial implications of Pelosi’s trip have already begun. China Customs Administration suspended imports of more than 2,000 food products from Taiwan. The move was seen by observers as the start of Beijing’s campaign to punish Taipei for Pelosi’s visit.
But Tsai praised Pelosi’s visit “under such difficult circumstances” and said it bolstered public confidence in the strength of democracy in her country.
Pelosi, second in line to the presidency behind Vice President Kamala Harris, is the highest-ranking US politician to visit Taiwan in a quarter of a century. She has to leave for South Korea in the late afternoon.
Thanks for all your comments on this topic. Here’s a selection from FirstFT readers, presented ahead of Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan:
“We must stand firm with Taiwan and other democratic forces in Asia against intimidation by the Chinese Communist Party.” David Tran, MD, Washington, DC
“[The visit] makes the US look weak and fragmented, with “no one in charge” in the name of democracy.” Mitchell Harris, Sunapee, New Hampshire
“It’s a slippery slope if we allow China or any other country to influence our relations with other countries.” M. L. Thompson, Illinois Central
Foreign countries should not dictate the travel plans of politicians from other countries, regardless of political considerations. Ravi Ramdas, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Let Pelosi skip this trip, but if we’re serious about keeping Tawain our ally, send a bipartisan delegation this fall. Jeffrey Herrmann, St. Petersburg, Florida
Thank you for reading FirstFT Americas. Here’s the rest of the day’s news – Gordon
Five more stories in the news
1. Kansas voters reject state constitutional amendment banning abortion.
According to the Associated Press, voters in Kansas overwhelming majority rejected the so-called Republican “Appreciate Them Both” amendment, which would pave the way for legislators to ban or restrict abortion in the state. For news about the midterm primaries, see our live blogwho will keep you updated as results come in.
2 Bain Was Suspended From UK Government Contracts Boston-based global management consultant hit yesterday with a three-year ban from bidding for British government contracts due to his role in the South African “state capture” scandal. The UK has become the first Western country to impose such sanctions on Bain, and the US is already under pressure to follow suit.
3. Robinhood will cut staff by 23% The brokerage company announced yesterday that it is laying off 780 employees, almost a quarter of its staff. as part of the reorganization this will result in the closure of two offices. Robinhood’s stock has fallen nearly 75% since its public listing last year as the stimulus trading boom subsided.
4. Uber reports positive cash flow for the first time There was also better news from Uber, which fixed its first quarter with positive cash flow. The taxi booking app has burned $25 billion since it was founded 13 years ago in a bid for rapid global expansion, but reported yesterday that it had made $382 million in the three months to the end of June.
5. Chesapeake, the discoverer of shale deposits, refuses oil The company most associated with the dramatic ups and downs of the US shale industry is embarking on yet another gamble: it plans to sell valuable oil assets and double down on US natural gas. Demand for U.S. LNG exports skyrocketed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing sanctions on oil and gas from Russia.
The next day
OPEC+ meeting Oil-producing countries are meeting today to determine production levels after pressure from the US and other Western countries to increase production and lower prices ahead of northern hemisphere winter. Oil prices hovered around $100 a barrel ahead of the meeting.
Economic data Durable goods orders rose 1.1% in June from 1.6% in the previous month, according to economists polled by Refinitiv. Orders for durable goods unexpectedly rose in June due to a surge in orders for military aircraft and parts. But activity in the services sector is expected to weaken in July, according to the non-manufacturing index of the Institute of Supply Management.
Company income Biotech company Moderna, pharmacy chain CVS, media company The New York Times, sportswear company Under Armor and biotech group Regneron are among those reporting earnings before the call today. E-commerce site eBay, cleaning products maker Clorox, and insurance companies Allstate and MetLife all reported after the Wall Street shutdown.
ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting Southeast Asian foreign ministers will gather in Phnom Penh today to discuss the violence in Myanmar, the war in Ukraine and Beijing’s growing ambitions in the region. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov are planning to attend.
Join us on Saturday, September 3rd in person or online for FTWeekend for debates, tastings, performances and more. Listen to speakers including the winner of the Great British Bake-Off Nadia Hussain and psychotherapist Esther Pearl. Get £20 Off Your Festival Ticket using promo code FTWFxNews.
What else do we read
The killing of al-Qaeda member Ayman al-Zawahiri dealt a blow to the Taliban The assassination of the leader of al-Qaeda showed the ability of Washington conduct extensive surveillance and an attack in the heart of the Afghan capital and undermined the efforts of the government in Kabul to build confidence with foreign powers and gain international legitimacy.
America’s “friendshoring” experiment risks making enemies Seen from abroad, the Joe Manchin pivot and subsequent new deal on climate and clean energy is notable for offering one of the first apparently genuine examples of “friendshoring” — favoring strategic allies in building supply chains. seen in the wildwrites Alan Beatty.
Investors disappointed in hedge funds after historic losses Hedge funds head to one of their worst years of work ever, leaving investors frustrated at how many managers failed to make up for the sharp falls in the stock and bond markets. Funds like Daniel Loeb’s Third Point, which is suffering losses after betting on software company SentinelOne and electric car maker Rivian Automotive, are suffering.
How Abe’s assassination exposes the thin line between church and state in Japan
The close historical ties between Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party and South Korea’s Unification Church, or Moonies, are widely known but rarely discussed publicly. But the relationship between the two institutions now back in the spotlight following the assassination last month of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
How Listening to Continuous Noise Helped Millions of People Focus Lofi Girl’s music livestream aired continuously for 20,843 hours – more than two years – until YouTube abruptly put it on hold last month. These continuous streams are for people who are looking not for silence, but for peace, written by Dave Lee.
Carbonated water has been enchanting people since ancient times, writes Alice Lascelles, who best H2O bubble reviews for HTSI.