web_CEOs duck trade wars

A year ago, American chief executives and company chairs fell over themselves in their haste to leave Donald Trump’s business councils after the US president’s equivocations over the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. Since then, American CEOs have also publicly opposed Mr Trump on a range of other issues, including same-sex marriage, gun control and immigration.

But, argues Andrew Edgcliffe-Johnson, corporate America’s leaders have remained oddly reticent on an issue that threatens their cost bases and supply chains: Mr Trump’s stoking of a possible trade war with China.

Campaigning on social issues is all very well, Andrew writes, but in doing so CEOs have forgotten to make the case for the very rules-based international order that has previously allowed their companies to thrive.

Janan Ganesh writes that, notwithstanding the legal jeopardy in which several of Mr Trump’s former aides find themselves, the president’s fate will be settled by politics, not the law.

Betsy Atkins, a member of the board of Volvo Cars, offers some ways in which her counterparts on the board of Tesla can mitigate the damage caused by the compulsive tweeting of Elon Musk.

Yousuf Nazar, a former head of Citigroup’s global emerging markets investments, argues that new Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan faces a substantial challenge in reforming his country’s under-performing economy.

What you’ve been saying

What do you say now, Mr Corbyn?: letter from Emeritus Prof Chris Hamnett, King’s College London, UK
Given the massive hyperinflation in Venezuela, the crippling food shortages and the 95 per cent devaluation of the bolívar, could Jeremy Corbyn confirm whether he still sees Venezuela as an economically well run socialist paradise that Britain should aim to emulate?

In response to Lula da Silva’s vision of Brazil is a damaging fiction, Santa Esmeralda says:
The political system in Brazil has been hijacked by a plethora of micro parties in congress which only exist to sell their votes to the highest bidders […] The main symptom of this malady is the extreme fragmentation of congress, along with the undue power of sparsely populated agro-states to influence congress.

To anyone who feels hopeless — know that you are not alone: letter from Peter Gartrell, Washington DC, US
The Financial Times did a great service to its readers by publishing such an honest account of one person’s struggle to balance work, life and mental health. The author, furthermore, should be commended for sharing his story. The article is an important reminder of our collective responsibility to look out for the wellbeing of co-workers, friends and family members, which starts with clearly communicating a willingness to listen without judgment.

Today’s opinion

Imran Khan must reform Pakistan’s rent-seeking economy Successive governments have relied on foreign money to help them ride out crises

Asia’s dating apps reflect a rich mix of cultures
From Malaysia to Japan, societies use technology to reflect or defy prevailing values

Donald Trump’s future will be settled by politics, not the law
Despite so many scandals, the court of public opinion is the one that really matters

Business leaders need to speak up for business as usual
Corporate America is failing to make the case for the international economic order

Three ways the Tesla board can mitigate Elon Musk’s damage
The SEC is in a difficult quandary as it investigates the ill-advised tweet

Instant Insight: Donald Trump’s dangerously bad day
The US presidency enters a new and more treacherous phase as the Mueller probe closes in

Lombard: Countrywide tests the canard that old dogs can’t learn new tricks
Estate agency turns to bank of family and friends for a cash injection

FT View

The FT View: Justice unleashes both its barrels at Trump
It is vital that the Mueller investigation is allowed to run its course

The FT View: Plunge in the UK deficit provides limited relief
The good news is real, but insufficient to fund quality public services

The Big Read

The Big Read: Nicaragua — Daniel Ortega’s last stand?
As deadly protests against the president continue, critics say he now resembles the dictator he replaced

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