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    The Latest on the Group of Seven summit (all times local): 12:40 p.m. European Council President Donald Tusk has promised EU retaliation if the U.S. makes good on its threats to impose tariffs on French wine. Just before leaving for the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France, U.S. President Donald Trump again threatened new taxes on French wine in response to a French measure taxing internet companies. Tusk said that 'the last thing we need and want is confrontation with our best ally, the United States.' But he said France can count on EU loyalty for one of its most valuable exports. ___ 12:35 p.m. European Council President Donald Tusk says this year's Group of Seven summit will be an 'unusually difficult' meeting of the leaders of some of the world's most powerful democracies. The summit begins Saturday in the southern French resort town of Biarritz. Tusk warned in particular against trade wars, which he said could lead to a global recession. Other threats include climate change, and technology that is developing more quickly than the ability to regulate. He warned that it could be the last moment to restore unity among the G-7 countries. ___ 12:25 p.m. France is pressing the White House to endorse a global pledge at the Group of Seven summit to better fight against the spread of hate speech on the internet. Cedric O, a French official in charge of digital economy, told reporters that the other six nations in the G-7 have already backed the pledge, as have Google and Facebook. The U.S. didn't endorse a similar pledge after the mosque attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, earlier this year. O said the pledge includes a commitment to fight terrorist and hate speech on the internet, transparency on the process, and defense of freedom of expression. ___ 11:50 a.m. Hundreds of protesters are marching as Group of Seven leaders arrive in the French resort town of Biarritz. Protesters planned to cross into Spain from the French border village town of Hendaye. As the march began, they held cardboard signs aloft with pictures of Earth, protesting against climate policies they blame on the world's G-7 countries. French President Emmanuel Macron, the host, put the Amazon fires at the top of the agenda for the weekend meeting. ___ 11:30 a.m. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has arrived for the Group of Seven summit amid escalating tensions with South Korea. South Korea canceled a deal to share military intelligence, mainly on North Korea, after a trade dispute between the two countries. Relations between two countries, both allies of the U.S., are at their lowest point since they established diplomatic ties in 1965. Abe's plane touched down in the French seaside resort on Biarritz on Saturday morning. ___ 11:05 a.m. Germany says that impeding a trade deal between the European Union and South American trade bloc Mercosur won't help reduce the destruction of rainforest in Brazil. On Friday, Group of Seven summit host French President Emmanuel Macron threatened to block the recently agreed trade deal with Mercosur, which also includes Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. Ireland joined in the threat. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has made clear she shares Macron's concern about the fires. But her government said in an emailed response Saturday to a query about the threat to the Mercosur deal that its trade section 'includes an ambitious sustainability chapter with binding rules on climate protection,' in which both sides committed to implementing the Paris climate accord. It added: 'the non-conclusion (of the deal) is therefore from our point of view not the appropriate response to what is currently happening in Brazil.' ___ 10:55 a.m. German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the Group of Seven leaders 'cannot be silent' in the face of fires sweeping parts of Brazil's Amazon and will call for everything to be done to stop fires in the rainforest. Germany is backing French President Emmanuel Macron's call to discuss the fires at the weekend's French-hosted G-7 summit. Merkel said in her weekly video message released Saturday: 'Emmanuel Macron is right — our house is burning, and we cannot be silent.' She said leaders are 'shaken' by the fires and that they will discuss 'how we can support and help there, and send a clear call that everything must be done so that the rainforest stops burning.' Amid a series of policy and trade disagreements, which she didn't address explicitly, Merkel said that 'talking to each other is always better than about each other — and the G-7 is an excellent opportunity for that.' ___ 10:30 a.m. World leaders and protesters are converging on the southern French resort town of Biarritz for the G-7 summit. French President Emmanuel Macron is the host of the summit, which begins Saturday and has emptied out the town famed for its beach on the last week of the summer break. He has downplayed any expectations of a unified front from the leaders of the Group of Seven democracies. U.S. President Donald Trump arrives later in the day. At last year's meeting, Trump left early and repudiated the joint statement from Air Force One. At the top of the agenda are climate change - and especially the fires burning in the Amazon - and a global economy teetering on the edge of recession.
  • The world economy is getting shakier by the day, the Amazon has burned its way to the center of the climate change debate, and the leaders of the world's leading democracies will sit around a single table, theoretically charged with coming up with solutions for the biggest problems of the day. Except that U.S. President Donald Trump is largely uninterested in international agreements, and some G-7 leaders are seriously hobbled at home by political scandal, low poll numbers or lame duck status. Welcome to the annual Group of Seven summit, which begins Saturday in the southern French resort town of Biarritz. French President Emmanuel Macron, the host, has already made clear that he has little expectation that Trump will join any statement on fighting climate change even as the issue shot to the top of the agenda with the widespread fires in the Amazon. He already rejected Trump's request to let Russia rejoin the group five years after being expelled over its seizure of Crimea. And he is trying to hold together the European line on the Iran nuclear deal over U.S. objections. Macron abruptly put the Amazon fires on the agenda and threatened to block a European Union trade deal with several South American states, including Brazil. Ireland joined in the threat. German Chancellor Angela Merkel disagreed, with her office saying Saturday that blocking the Mercosur deal won't reduce the destruction of rainforest in Brazil. 'The situation is difficult because on subjects like trade, Iran or the climate, for the first time in a long time the seven are not unanimous,' Macron told reporters earlier this week. 'That's why I wanted to avoid pointless declarations. Despite that, I think this work is indispensable because we have to exchange with the United States, because we have to find convergences, because I think it's in our interest to rebuild coordination.' At the same meeting last year, Trump left early and repudiated the final statement in a tweet from Air Force One. This year, Macron said, there will be no final statement. In her weekly address, broadcast Saturday, Merkel did not address the discord. 'Talking to each other is always better than about each other — and the G-7 is an excellent opportunity for that.' Lowered expectations are nothing new for the G-7, but this year's intent seems to be just to avoid diplomatic catastrophe, salvage the possible, and show voters that their leaders have a role on the world stage. 'When you have a figure whose positions, whose whims, whose interests seem to change on a dime, it's impossible to plan coordinated policy on that basis. I think what we're seeing is most countries now just trying to wait this out. There's going to be no advancement on the big things that really matter,' said Tristen Naylor, a researcher focused on international summits. 'There's going to be no big moves on climate change as a united front of seven countries. There's going to be no progress when it comes to the elimination of protectionist trade barriers. It's simply not going to happen. So the best that they can do is just tread water, stop things from becoming worse. That I think is what success at this G-7 will look like,' Naylor said. All eyes will be on the dynamic between Trump and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, two figures who relish the unpredictability they have sown. Merkel is in her last term of office. Canadian leader Justin Trudeau, up for re-election this fall, is at the center of a political scandal. Macron himself is deeply unpopular at home, and the yellow vest protesters who have plagued him since last year have followed him to Biarritz. Even this beautiful resort town is rather grumpy at being locked down during the final week of summer break for most of France. The appropriately named Bellevue congress center where the leaders will gather Saturday night overlooks the beach beloved by surfers and swimmers alike. It is entirely empty. ___ Geir Moulson contributed to this report from Berlin.
  • President Donald Trump arrived Saturday in France for an international summit with the leaders of the globe's economic powers as he confronts the consequences of his preference for going it alone, both in a sharply divided United States and an interconnected world. The meeting of the Group of Seven nations — Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the U.S. — in the beach resort town of Biarritz comes at one of the most unpredictable moments in Trump's White House tenure, with his public comments and decision-making increasingly erratic and acerbic of late. Trump, growing more isolated in Washington, faces a tepid reception on the world stage, where a list of challenges awaits. Anxiety is growing over a global slowdown , and there are new points of tension with allies on trade, Iran and Russia. Fears of a financial downturn are spreading, meaning the need for cooperation and a collective response is essential. Yet Trump has ridiculed Germany for its economic travails at a time when he may have to turn to Chancellor Angela Merkel and others to help blunt the force of China's newly aggressive tariffs on U.S. goods. Those trade penalties, combined with the economic slowdown, have raised political alarms for Trump's reelection effort . Before he left Washington, Trump declared that U.S. businesses with dealings in China are 'hereby ordered' to begin moving home. There was no immediate explanation of just what he expected or what authority he had to make it happen. He also imposed higher tariffs on Chinese imports. 'Tariffs are working out very well for us,' Trump said. 'People don't understand that yet.' Earlier, he had made light of a sharp drop in the financial markets in reaction to his latest trade actions. His tongue-in-cheek tweet speculated that the Dow's plunge could be tied to the departure of a lower-tier candidate in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. In recent days, Trump has sent mixed signals on a number of policy fronts. At one point, he moved to simmer the trade conflict with China in order to ease the impact on American consumers during the holiday shopping season. At another, he flip-flopped on the need for tax cuts to stimulate an economy that Trump publicly insists is rocketing. Feeding Trump's anxiety, aides say, is his realization that the economy — the one sturdy pillar undergirding his bid for a second term — is undeniably wobbly. Now the president who has long eschewed multilateralism hopes to use his time in Biarritz to rally global leaders around the need to do more to promote economic growth. He engineered a late change to the summit agenda, requesting a working session on global economic issues. For the world leaders, it was the latest example of unpredictability from Trump. After two-and-a-half years of Trump's presidency, traditional American allies have come to expect the unexpected. Increasingly they are looking elsewhere for leadership. 'They have figured out how to deal with this president,' said Jon Alterman, a senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. 'I think what we're going to see out of this summit is, on the one hand, an effort by countries and the leaders to align with the president, but also an understanding that we'll have to do more without the U.S. president.' The annual G-7 summit has historically been used to highlight common ground among the world's leading democracies. But in a bid to work around Trump's impulsiveness, French President Emmanuel Macron has eschewed plans for a formal joint statement from this gathering. Last year's summit, hosted by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, ended in acrimony when Trump felt he had been slighted by Trudeau after the president left the meeting. Trump tweeted insults at Trudeau from aboard Air Force One as he flew to a summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un. Trump withdrew his signature from the statement of principles that all seven nations had agreed to. At his first G-7 summit in 2017, Trump's strong feelings against climate change roiled the gathering in Italy. Trump has made his 'America first' priorities clear at every turn. At a recent campaign rally in New Hampshire, the crowd roared with approval when Trump said: 'I'm the President of the United States of America. I'm not the president of the world.' Addressing the global slowdown isn't the only pressing challenge that Trump has discovered requires joint action. For more than a year, his administration has struggled with persuading European leaders to repatriate captured fighters from the Islamic State group. So far his entreaties have been met with deaf ears. Alterman and Heather Conley, the Europe expert at CSIS, both said Macron appeared to be trying to fill the void left by Trump on the world stage, noting the French leader's recent efforts to try to reduce tensions between the U.S. and Iran. Many of the summit proceedings will take place behind closed doors, in intimate settings designed for the leaders to develop personal relationships with one another. Trump, White House aides said, was looking forward to meeting with new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson , the brash pro-Brexit leader whose election he'd backed. Trump has scheduled individual meetings with several of his counterparts, including Macron, Trudeau, Merkel, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Other topics on the agenda will be the clashes between police and pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong; Iran's renewed nuclear enrichment and interference with shipping in the Strait of Hormuz; and the Islamic State prisoners currently imprisoned by American-backed Kurdish forces in Syria. Increasingly fearful of an economic slowdown's potential to diminish his 2020 electoral chances, Trump intended to press leaders about what can be done to spur growth in the U.S. and abroad, as well as to open European, Japanese and Canadian markets to American manufacturers and producers. Trump has imposed or threatened to impose tariffs on all three markets in his pursuit of free, fair and reciprocal trade. It is unclear what substantive steps could be taken by the leaders to address the global slowdown, and much of that discussion stands to be dominated by disagreements on Trump's trade policies. While on French soil, Trump also intends to raise with Macron and the other leaders the issue of a digital services tax that France has imposed on major technology companies such as Google and Facebook despite Trump's threats of retaliatory tariffs on French wine. The Trump administration says the tax targets and discriminates against U.S. businesses. The European Council's president, Donald Tusk, has promised European Union action if the U.S. follows through. ___ Colvin reported from Washington. ___ Follow Miller on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ZekeJMiller and Superville at http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap
  • Ewan McGregor is reprising his 'Star Wars' role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in a new series, one of the many splashy projects that Disney is banking on to make its new streaming platform competitive. The as-yet untitled Disney Plus show drew big cheers when it was announced Friday at the D23 Expo fan event, as did a 'Lizzie McGuire' reboot with original star Hilary Duff playing a grown-up version of the title character. The audience of about 6,000 at a convention center adjacent to Disneyland also voiced enthusiasm for another 'Star Wars'-related series, 'The Mandalorian,' which its producers said is set in an unexplored time for the space saga and features new characters. Disney Plus had a receptive crowd, with expo attendees lining up to buy discounted subscriptions before the showcase. But it laid out a two-hour banquet of show trailers and stars to further whet fans' appetite, starting with a performance by cast members of the new 'High School Musical' series and appearances by McGregor, Duff, Kristen Bell, Anna Kendrick and others. 'It's been four years of saying, 'I don't know'' when he was asked about the long-discussed Obi-Wan project, McGregor said. 'Now I can say, 'Yes, we're going to do it.'' Among the movies set for the streaming service launching Nov. 12: the holiday comedy 'Noelle,' starring Kendrick, Bill Hader and Billy Eichner, and a live-action remake of 1955's animated film 'Lady and the Tramp,' with Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux voicing the canine couple. Yvette Nicole Brown, who hosted the Disney Plus showcase, also stars. Disney is reaching into its library for the streaming service with classic projects and updates on them, like 'Lady and the Tramp.' But it's also relying on brands that were acquired by Disney, including Marvel, Pixar, Fox's entertainment businesses, and 'Star Wars' home Lucasfilm, making it a formidable newcomer. 'Ms. Marvel,' ''Moon Knight' and 'She-Hulk,' derived from Marvel comics, are being developed as live-action series for Disney Plus, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige announced. Also coming is 'What If...?' an animated series that imagines alternate Marvel universe realities, such as Peggy Carter as Captain America. 'Monsters At Work' is a series inspired by the Pixar movie 'Monsters, Inc.' with a new cast of monsters and starring Ben Feldman and Aisha Tyler in its voice cast. Among the other programs for Disney Plus, which is launching with a $7 monthly price tag (pricing to vary outside the United States): — 'Diary of a Female President,' a comedy series about a Cuban-American girl's middle-school experience and her path to becoming the U.S. president. Tess Romero plays Elena, with Gina Rodriguez producing and guest-starring as the adult version. — 'The World According to Jeff Goldblum,' a National Geographic series in which the actor explores such things as sneakers, ice cream and synchronized swimming. — 'Encore!' from executive producer Bell, which gives former castmates of high school musicals the chance to perform together again and revisit their teenage insecurities. — 'Forky Asks a Question,' with Tony Hale reprising his role from 'Toy Story 4' in new Pixar animated shorts about the inquisitive toy. __ Lynn Elber can be reached at lelber@ap.org and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lynnelber
  • The Latest on the escalating trade war between the U.S. and China, the world's two largest economies (all times local): 12:35 a.m. President Donald Trump is pushing back against those questioning whether he has the authority to order American companies to cut trade ties with China. Trump on Friday morning tweeted that he 'hereby ordered' U.S. companies to seek alternatives to doing business in China. The White House did not cite what authority the president could use to force private businesses to change their practices. But at midnight, as he was flying to France, the president tweeted again, saying that those who 'don't have a clue' about presidential powers should look at the Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977. He added, 'Case closed!' The law says the president is authorized 'to regulate international commerce after declaring a national emergency' if there is an 'extraordinary threat' to the nation. ___ 6:55 p.m. The Consumer Technology Association, a trade group that runs the annual Consumer Electronics Show, says 'enough is enough' when it comes to escalating tariffs in the U.S. trade war with China. The CTA said in a statement Friday that President Donald Trump's tariffs are the worst economic mistake since the 1930 Smoot-Hawley Act raised tariffs just as the world was sliding into the Great Depression. The group says it is clear that tariffs are not moving the U.S. toward a deal with China, and that it is time to end the trade war and come to an agreement. The CTA represents more than 2,200 companies in the technology industry. __ 5:05 p.m. President Donald Trump says products coming from China that were slated to be hit with a 10% tariff on Sept. 1 will now face a 15% tariff. Trump also says goods and products currently being taxed at 25% will be taxed at 30% starting Oct. 1. Trump's comments come after China said it would pursue new tariffs of 5% and 10% on $75 billion of U.S. products. The tariffs would take place in two steps, just as the U.S. said it would do earlier this month in imposing 10% tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods. The rising tensions between the world's two biggest economies unnerved investors already on edge Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 623 points Friday as companies and business groups urged the two countries to get to the negotiating table. __ 3:45 p.m. Two trade associations representing auto companies say the escalating tariff fight between the Trump administration and China is bad for the industry. Neither the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers nor the Association of Global automakers, however, addressed President Donald Trump's tweet about finding markets other than China. But the alliance says the tariffs are bad for consumers. It says the auto industry thrives with robust and competitive trading. Association of Global Automakers CEO John Bozella says tit-for-tat tariffs without meaningful negotiations put American jobs at risk. He says when China imposed tariffs last year, U.S. vehicle exports to the country were cut in half. The alliance represents most major automakers, while the global group speaks for manufacturers such as Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, Nissan and Subaru. ___ 2:30 p.m. The nation's largest retail trade group says that it would be unrealistic for U.S. retailers to exit China. The National Retail Federation made its comment in response to President Donald Trump's call Friday for U.S. businesses with operations in China to look for alternatives, as trade tensions between the world's two largest economies intensified. The NRF noted that its members have long been diversifying their supply chains but finding alternatives to China would be costly and take years. 'It is unrealistic for American retailers to move out of the world's second largest economy,' said NRF Senior Vice President of Government Relations David French. He noted that retailers' presence in China allows them to reach Chinese customers and also develop overseas markets. 'This, in turn, allows us to grow and expand opportunities for American workers, businesses and consumers,' French said in a prepared statement. ___ 1:55 p.m. Small business owners are baffled by President Donald Trump's suggestion that all U.S. businesses with operations in China find an alternative. Trump lashed out at Beijing Friday after it announced retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion in U.S. products. Peter Horwitz, the owner of Tiger Packaging, a paper and plastic products supplier based in Boca Raton, Florida, says there are supplies that he can get only in China, like vinyl gloves. He says we're living in a global economy and it makes bad business sense to cut out the world's second largest economy in China. _____ 1:35 p.m. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is urging the Trump administration and Beijing to return to the negotiating table with trade tensions escalating rapidly. China on Friday said that it was putting into place tariffs on $75 billion in U.S. products in retaliation for the Trump administration's latest planned tariff hikes. President Donald Trump lashed out at China and on Twitter is urging U.S. companies to consider an alternative to doing business in China. The business group said, 'We do not want to see a further deterioration of US-China relations. We urge the administration and the government of China to return to the negotiating table to complete an agreement that addresses concerns over technology transfer practices, intellectual property enforcement, market access, and the globally damaging impact of Chinese domestic subsidies.' _____ 11:46 a.m. Stocks are falling sharply on Wall Street after President Donald Trump said he would respond to China's latest tariff increase and called on U.S. companies to consider alternatives to doing business in China. Trump on Friday also ordered UPS, Federal Express and Amazon to block any deliveries from China of the powerful opiod drug fentanyl. The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank more than 300 points after the president made the announcements on Twitter. The stocks of all three companies the president mentioned also dropped as traders tried to understand what the implications for them were. Stocks had been wavering between gains and losses earlier after China said it would retaliate against the latest round of tariffs imposed by Washington with duties on $75 billion of U.S. products. _____ 11:30 a.m President Donald Trump says he wants U.S. companies with operations in China to begin looking for alternatives in response to retaliatory tariffs from Beijing. Trump on Friday said that he will respond in hours to an announcement Friday that China was retaliating to U.S. tariffs with a slate of its own protective measures. Trump is also ordering Fed Ex, Amazon, UPS and the U.S Postal Service to begin searching for fentanyl in all packages from China. Early on Friday, China said it would put into place tariffs on $75 billion in U.S. products in retaliation for the Trump administration's latest planned tariff hikes. _____ 10:10 a.m. China is putting into place tariffs on $75 billion in U.S. products in retaliation for the Trump administration's latest planned tariff hikes. China said Friday that it will also increase import duties on U.S.-made autos and auto parts. The retaliation pulled global markets into negative territory Tariffs of 10% and 5% will take effect on two batches of goods on Sept. 1 and Dec. 15. Beijing gave no details of what goods would be affected but the timing matches Trump's planned hikes.
  • President Donald Trump angrily escalated his trade fight with China on Friday, raising retaliatory tariffs and ordering American companies to consider alternatives to doing business there. He also blamed Jerome Powell, the man he appointed as chairman of the Federal Reserve, for the state of the domestic economy, wondering who was a 'bigger enemy' of the U.S. — Powell or Chinese President Xi Jinping. Even by the turbulent standards of the Trump presidency, his actions, all done via Twitter, were notable, sending markets sharply lower and adding to a sense of uncertainty on the eve of his trip to France for a meeting of global economic powers. Trump's move came after Beijing announced Friday morning that it had raised taxes on U.S. products. He huddled with advisers, firing off tweets that attacked China and the Fed. And he mockingly attributed a Wall Street drop of 573 points to the withdrawal of a marginal candidate from the Democratic presidential race. The Dow Jones average eventually closed down 623 points. The president attacked the Fed for not lowering rates at an informal gathering in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where no such action was under consideration. Powell, speaking to central bankers, gave vague assurances that the Fed would act to sustain the nation's economic expansion, but noted that the central bank had limited tools to deal with damage from the trade dispute. Trump said he would be raising planned tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese goods from 10% to 15%. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative also said existing tariffs on another $250 billion in Chinese imports would go from 25% to 30% on Oct. 1 after receiving feedback from the public. Late Friday night, Trump told reporters at the White House: 'I have no choice. We're not going to lose close to a trillion dollars a year to China.' He insisted: 'Tariffs are working out very well for us. People don't understand that yet.' The impact could be sweeping for consumers. 'With each percentage point added to the tariff hikes, it becomes more and more difficult for importers not to pass the costs on to the U.S. consumer,' said Wendy Cutler, a former U.S. trade negotiator now at the Asia Society Policy Institute. 'And this is not to mention the uncertainty that these increases contribute to the overall business environment.' Trump acted hours after Beijing said it would hike tariffs on $75 billion in U.S. imports, a move some economists fear could tip a fragile global economy into recession. The president appeared caught off-guard by China's tariff increase, and was angry when he gathered with his trade team in the Oval Office before departing for France, according to two people familiar with the meeting who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose closed-door conversations. Administration officials, including U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and adviser Peter Navarro, discussed potential retaliatory options. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, returning from vacation, joined by phone. Earlier Friday, the president said he 'hereby ordered' U.S. companies to seek alternatives to doing business in China. The White House did not cite what authority the president could use to force private businesses to change their practices. Trump's latest escalation will impose a burden on many American households. Even before he announced an increase Friday, J.P. Morgan had estimated that Trump's tariffs would cost the average household roughly $1,000 a year if he proceeded with his threats. Businesses large and small joined in a chorus of opposition to the intensifying hostilities. 'It's impossible for businesses to plan for the future in this type of environment,' said David French, senior vice president of government relations at the National Retail Federation. 'The administration's approach clearly isn't working, and the answer isn't more taxes on American businesses and consumers. Where does this end?' If Trump goes ahead with all the tariffs he's announced, they would cover just about everything China ships to the United States. China, for its part, slapped new tariffs of 5% and 10% on $75 billion of U.S. products in retaliation. Like Trump's, the Chinese tariffs will be imposed in two batches — first on Sept. 1 and then on Dec. 15. China will also go ahead with previously postponed import duties on U.S.-made autos and auto parts, the Finance Ministry announced. Trump tweets Friday included one declaring, 'Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing ... your companies HOME and making your products in the USA.' French, at the National Retail Federation, said it was 'unrealistic for American retailers to move out of the world's second largest economy. ... Our presence in China allows us to reach Chinese customers and develop overseas markets.' Jay Foreman, CEO of Basic Fun!, a Florida toy company that imports from China, said Trump's demand to American companies was outrageous. It was an 'unprecedented statement for a president to make to private business when there is no national security issue involved,' he said. The 13-month-long feud between the U.S. and China has been rattling financial markets, disrupting international trade and weakening prospects for worldwide economic growth. Washington accuses China of using predatory tactics - including outright theft of U.S. trade secrets - in an aggressive drive to turn itself into a world leader in cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence and electric cars. Twelve rounds of talks have failed to break the impasse, though more negotiations are expected next month. Chinese leaders have offered to alter details of their policies but are resisting any deal that would require them to give up their aspirations to become a technological powerhouse. The two countries are also deadlocked over how to enforce any agreement. China's announced tariff hikes — and Trump's response — are the latest signs that both countries are digging in. 'China is signaling yet again that it has no intention of backing off from the trade war, further reducing the likelihood of the U.S. and China agreeing on any sort of trade deal in the coming months,' said Cornell University economist Eswar Prasad, former head of the China division at the International Monetary Fund. Tariff increases on Sept. 1 apply to 1,700 items ranging from frozen sweet corn, dried beef and pork liver to marble, other building materials and bicycle tires, according to the Chinese Finance Ministry. Penalties that take effect Dec. 15 cover 3,300 items including coffee, cinnamon, industrial chemicals and scissors, the ministry said. Most of the goods are being hit for a second time, possibly reflecting Beijing's reluctance to hurt its own economy by extending penalties to imports needed by its own industries, according Mark Williams of Capital Economics. He said only $11 billion of the $75 billion of goods on the Chinese lists are being hit with penalties for the first time. Williams noted aircraft and integrated circuits — an important input for Chinese industry — still are exempt from retaliation. That reflects 'a desire to limit the damage that tariffs on U.S. goods could do to its own economy,' said Williams in a report. The Chinese said tariffs of 25% and 5% would be imposed on U.S.-made autos and auto parts on Dec. 15. Beijing had planned those tariff hikes last year but temporarily dropped them to keep the talks going. BMW, Tesla, Ford and Mercedes-Benz are likely to be the hardest hit by the Chinese auto tariffs. In 2018, BMW exported about 87,000 luxury SUVs to China from a plant near Spartanburg, S.C. It exports more vehicles to China than any other U.S. auto plant. Together, Ford, BMW, Mercedes and others exported about 164,000 vehicles to China from the U.S. in 2018, according to the Center for Automotive Research, a think tank in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Most of them are luxury cars and SUVs with higher profit margins that can cover higher U.S. wages. The exports are down from about 262,000 in 2017. Tesla, which is building a plant in China, last year got about 12% of its revenue by exporting about 14,300 electric cars and SUVs from California to China, according to Barclays. Most of Ford's exports are from the Lincoln luxury brand, but most of the vehicles it sells in China are made in joint-venture factories. ___ McDonald reported from Beijing. Associated Press writers Tom Krisher in Detroit, Anne D'Innocenzio in New York and Kevin Freking and Deb Riechmann in Washington contributed to this report.
  • A federal appeals court is temporarily protecting Qualcomm from an antitrust ruling that would have forced the mobile chipmaker to drastically change how it licenses key technology for connecting smartphones to the internet. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal granted a stay Friday in a high-stakes case that has pitted U.S. government agencies against each other while magnifying Qualcomm's pivotal role in an upcoming shift to ultrafast wireless connections, known as 5G. The latest twist will prevent the Federal Trade Commission from enforcing key provisions of a lower court ruling that said Qualcomm abused its portfolio of about 140,000 patents to stifle competition. The Justice Department, joined by the Defense and Energy departments, had taken the unusual step of urging the appeals court to stay, or put on hold, parts of that ruling in the interests of national security. They argued the ruling would hobble Qualcomm so severely that the San Diego company would have to curtail much-needed investments in the evolution to 5G, opening the door for China to gain an advantage in a critical area of technology. Qualcomm is a leader in the 5G, along with European-based Ericsson and Nokia and China's Huawei, a company that has been blacklisted by the Trump administration because of suspected ties to its home country's government. The shift to 5G during the next decade is expected to enable advances in robotics, wearable devices such as smartwatches and smart glasses, self-driving cars and communications. The appeals court cited concerns from the Justice, Defense and Energy departments and said Qualcomm had 'demonstrated the probability of irreparable harm' if U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh's ruling is immediately imposed. Qualcomm argued Koh's provisions would have unfairly eroded its revenue and potentially given away its technological secrets. The stay will prevent that from happening while Qualcomm pursues its appeal. Oral arguments are scheduled for January. Until then, the stay will allow Qualcomm 'to continue to invest in inventing the fundamental technologies at the heart of mobile communications at this critical time of transition to 5G,' said Don Rosenberg, the company's general counsel. The FTC expressed disappointment with the stay, but promised to monitor Qualcomm's business practices during the appeal. Qualcomm's stock shed $2.39, or 3%, to $74.76 in Friday's afternoon trading, primarily driven down by a widespread sell off in major technology companies as investors worried about how Trump's escalating trade war with China will affect the industry's future profits.
  • British Airways pilots will go on strike for three days next month in a long-running pay dispute with the airline. Pilots' union Balpa announced Friday that the pilots will strike Sept. 9, 10 and 27. The airline lost a bid late last month in the Court of Appeal seeking a temporary injunction to prevent strikes by pilots based at London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports. The union accuses BA is making massive profits at the expense of workers who made sacrifices during hard times. BA says the union is 'destroying the travel plans of tens of thousands of our customers with this unjustifiable strike action.' The airline says it is pursuing 'every avenue' to avoid industrial action.
  • The Latest on the gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming (all times local): 12 noon. Some economists saw Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's speech in Jackson Hole as setting the stage for further interest rate cuts this year. A quarter-point rate cut reduction in September is considered all but certain. Some think the Fed will cut rates again in December. Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics notes that Powell 'warned that the downside risks have intensified in the three weeks since the July (Fed) meeting.' Brian Bethune, economics lecturer at Tufts University, says, 'We are looking for at least one rate cut in September, and the possibility of an additional rate cut in the fall is greater than 50%.' ___ 11 a.m. Reacting to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's speech in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, President Donald Trump, who has relentlessly attacked Powell and the Fed for its rate policies, kept up his verbal assaults on Twitter: 'As usual, the Fed did NOTHING!' Trump tweeted. 'It is incredible that they can 'speak' without knowing or asking what I am doing, which will be announced shortly. We have a very strong dollar and a very weak Fed. I will work 'brilliantly' with both, and the U.S. will do great.' Trump adds: 'My only question is, who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powel (sic) or Chairman Xi?' ___ 10:35 a.m. In the wake of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's speech in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, some analysts still foresee the likelihood of further interest rate cuts. 'I still think the Fed will cut the interest rate in September as an insurance policy,' says Sung Won Sohn, business economist at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. 'The cost of an economic recession is very high and painful so the Fed wants to do something in advance' to prevent an economic downturn. Sohn suggests that the Fed will feel the need to act because of rising threats from the trade war and the global slowdown and because it won't want to wait for those threats to worsen. ___ 10 a.m. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says President Donald Trump's trade wars have complicated the Fed's ability to set interest rate policies but offers no clear signal about further interest rate cuts. Speaking to a Fed policy conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Powell points to increasing evidence of a global economic slowdown and suggests that uncertainty from Trump's trade wars has contributed to it. He says the outlook for the U.S. economy remains favorable but that it continues to face risks. Powell reiterates that the Fed 'will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion.' The Fed cut rates last month for the first time in a decade, and financial markets have baked in the likelihood of further rate cuts this year. __ 7:20 a.m. Global stock markets are up ahead of a closely watched speech by the U.S. Federal Reserve chairman. Market benchmarks in London, Frankfurt, Shanghai and Tokyo are all higher on Friday. Futures for the Dow and the S&P 500 are up 0.2% and 0.3%, respectively. Investors are looking to Jerome Powell's speech Friday for signs of direction on interest rates after two regional Fed presidents said they see no need for a change. Investors expect a cut in September, the Fed's second in three months, to shore up U.S. economic growth amid a tariff war with Beijing and weakening global growth. 'Markets seem very clearly positioned for some very dovish guidance from Mr. Powell,' Jeffrey Halley of Oanda said in a report. 'It is a dangerous assumption to make.' ___ 12:05 a.m. Against the backdrop of a vulnerable economy, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell takes center stage Friday with the financial world seeking clarity on whether last month's first Fed rate cut in a decade likely marked the start of a period of easier credit. The confusion has only heightened in the days leading to the annual gathering of global central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, at which Powell will give the keynote address. Investors are looking for a clearer signal from Powell that he and other members of the Fed's interest rate committee support further rate cuts to counter a slowing global economy and calm turbulent markets.
  • Hungarian prosecutors say they have launched an investigation into a bribery scheme involving Microsoft's Hungarian office. The Central Investigative Chief Prosecution Office said Friday that its probe is focusing on 'fraud causing extraordinarily significant damages' and other crimes. Hungarian authorities request and received information about the case from the U.S. Justice Department. In July, the software company agreed to pay over $25 million in the United States to settle federal corruption charges involving the case in Hungary and other foreign offices. According to U.S. prosecutors, from 2013 through 2015, the company's Hungary office took part in a scheme to 'inflate margins' in connection with Microsoft software licenses sold to Hungarian government agencies. Savings were falsely recorded as discounts and used for corrupt purposes, prosecutors said.