Sign up to receive FirstFT by email here
Donald Trump has endorsed legislation that would dramatically reshape legal immigration to the US, slashing annual admissions in half and prioritising education and skills rather than family ties in deciding who can enter the country.
The proposal “will reduce poverty, increase wages and save taxpayers billions and billions of dollars,” said Mr Trump, speaking in the White House Roosevelt Room, named for former president Theodore Roosevelt, a descendant of 17th century Dutch immigrants.
Modelled on the Canadian and Australian immigration systems, the initiative comes as the Senate tries to rebound from its failure to pass a healthcare bill and still must approve legislation to raise the debt ceiling before the end of next month. Republicans also must agree on a budget and hope to overhaul the US tax code, goals that leave little time for immigration before the 2018 campaign season.
“It’s going to be very hard to get through Congress,” says Stephen Yale-Loehr, an expert at Cornell Law School. “Immigration is just as complicated as healthcare and tax reform.” (FT)
In the news
UK chief executives receive pay cut
The chief executives of Britain’s biggest listed companies saw their pay fall on average by nearly £1m last year, following pressure from investors and politicians over the generous packages. The average earnings of FTSE 100 chief executives dropped 17 per cent to $4.5m in 2016, according to an analysis by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and think-tank the High Pay Centre. Theresa May, prime minister, has promised to address this issue and recently warned of an “irrational, unhealthy and growing gap” between the pay of executives and workers. (FT)
Trump grudgingly signs Russia sanctions bill
Donald Trump has reluctantly signed legislation imposing sweeping new sanctions on Russia, while lashing out at the bill as “seriously flawed” and “unconstitutional”. Mr Trump said he had decided to sign the bipartisan bill, which sailed through both houses of Congress with broad support, “for the sake of national unity”. Meanwhile, Mr Trump also endorsed legislation that would halve legal immigration to the US and prioritise education and skills rather than family ties. (FT)
Breakthrough as scientists edit genes in human embryos
Scientists have for the first time corrected a genetic defect in newly created human embryos, demonstrating that contentious “gene editing” technology could prevent the transmission of some inherited diseases to future generations. The breakthrough marks a milestone but also raises the controversial prospect of “designer babies”, with genes edited to increase intelligence or athleticism. (FT)
‘London Whale’ has a new target
The US case against two former JPMorgan traders charged with concealing billions in losses fell apart because a key witness known as the London Whale shifted blame to chief executive James Dimon and other top executives. Four years after agreeing to testify against two former traders, Bruno Iksil changed his story, prompting prosecutors to drop the criminal case. (WSJ)
WannaCry hackers cash out
Twelve weeks after the WannaCry ransomware attack infected computers across the globe, the $140,000 paid by victims into bitcoin wallets has been withdrawn, probably via a bitcoin mixer, a process that obscures its trail from bitcoin to hard currency. (Quartz)
The day ahead
BoE rates decision
The Bank of England releases its inflation report alongside a decision on benchmark interest rates on Thursday. Since the central bank’s last quarterly report, views on its Monetary Policy Committee have become more delicately poised, with three of the eight officials voting to lift rates in June, though few observers expect a rise this time round. (FT)
Keep up with the important business, economic and political stories in the coming days with the FT’s Week Ahead.
What we’re reading
When Chinese chatbots go rogue
Social media platform Tencent removed a bot called BabyQ, co-developed by Beijing-based Turing Robot, after it appeared to go rogue, answering questions such as “ Do you love the Communist party? ” with a simple “No”. It also pulled XiaoBing, a chatbot developed by Microsoft, which was demonstrating similar characteristics. Here’s Anjana Ahuja on how robot behaviour is creeping beyond our control. (FT)
Can Japan provide answers to the west’s economic problems?
From “Brexit Britain” to Trump’s US, developed economies are seeking alternative models — might Japan be it? (FT)
Protecting global fish stocks
Much of the decline in global fish stocks, and the human rights abuses on the high seas, can be attributed to transshipment — the transfer of seafood catches between ships. Until recently, there was no global data on transshipment, but several new projects are creating the biggest and most accurate picture of the illegal activity date. (greenbiz)
Why do women bully each other at work? What’s behind the stereotype of the aggressive female boss? Research suggests that conditions in the workplace might be to blame, and that this is more likely to occur when women are a marginalised group in the workplace, have made big sacrifices for their career, or are already predisposed to show little camaraderie with other women. (Atlantic)
Mastering the MBA application essay
Writing the perfect MBA application essay involves brevity, a degree of literary panache, and total honesty. It also helps if you mention an extraordinary achievement. (FT)
Trump’s unsung victory
Even in the best-run White House (which this one, clearly, is not), the president’s staffers come and go, but a president’s judicial appointees preside for decades. And by this important measure the Trump White House is doing just fine, writes Jeffrey Toobin. (New Yorker)
Video of the day
How the developed world is losing out
The most important transformation of recent decades has been the declining weight of high-income developed countries in global economic activity. The change is all about the rise of Asia and, most importantly, of China. (FT)
Get alerts on when a new story is published