Experimental feature

Listen to this article

Experimental feature

Sign up to receive FirstFT by email here

US President Trump’s effort to replace Obamacare is over— at least for now. The health bill collapsed on Monday night after two Republican senators joined a list of dissenters. The bill’s collapse blindsided Mr Trump, who reportedly told a group of Republican senators ahead of the defections that its failure would leave them facing political peril. The president has responded to the defeat of another signature campaign pledge by calling on Congress to pass a repeal-only plan. But that has almost no chance of passing either, since it could leave millions without cover and leave insurance markets in turmoil. 

The Trump administration also declared that reducing US trade deficits with Canada and Mexico was the top priority for its renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. “If you look at what’s going on or the success of other nations — even in Europe — you look at some of those countries, one in particular, it’s not fair to the United States,” Mr Trump said, in an apparent swipe at Germany. 

Separately, the White House concluded that Iran remains in compliance with the 2015 nuclear agreement, but signalled that it was preparing to take a tougher stance on Tehran over other non-nuclear issues. (FT, NYT, WSJ)

In the news

Netflix boosts offshore viewers
The streaming service has more subscribers outside the US than in its home market. The boost helped Netflix to report better than expected audience growth and prompted a near-11 per cent after-hours jump in its shares. Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings is pushing for a rapid expansion of the service in Europe. (FT)

Russia ready to retaliate against US
Russia’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday that Moscow reserved the right to take retaliatory measures against the US after a meeting in Washington ended without a deal on returning seized Russian diplomatic property. The two diplomatic compounds were seized in December over the alleged involvement of Russian diplomats in hacking the 2016 presidential elections. (Reuters)

Ireland’s economy just got smallerA new measure of economic activity has resulted in the Irish economy  being a third smaller than expected. Dublin’s current account surplus has also become a deficit and its debt level is some 25 per cent higher than previously thought. (FT) 

Reebok gets political
Adidas-owned Reebok has mocked US President Donald Trump for his comments to France’s first lady Brigitte Macron that she was in “such good shape”. The sports-shoe maker responded that there was only one situation in which it was appropriate for a man to make such comments to a woman. (Bloomberg)

Trump threatens Venezuela
The US president has threatened to impose sanctions if Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro presses ahead with plans to create a Constituent Assembly, which would have the power to rewrite the constitution and annul the opposition led-legislature. Venezuela’s opposition has called for a nationwide general strike over the issue and a presidential election. (FT, Reuters) 

EU limits dinghy sales to Libya
The EU has imposed limits on the export of inflatable boats and outboard motors to Libya in an attempt to thwart smugglers sending refugees and migrants across the Mediterranean. The restrictions will also apply to such goods if they are transiting through the EU to Libya — a move that would, in theory, affect China where many are manufactured. (Jazeera) 

The day ahead

Goldman Sachs reports
The company was the lone major US lender to underperform last quarter because of weak trading performance — but both Citigroup and JPMorgan reported shrinking revenues last week from their trading businesses, which may hint at a broader problem. Goldman reports its results on Tuesday. (FT)

Tour de France resumes
The race starts up again after a day of rest. It is the final week before the race finishes in Paris on Sunday. (BBC)

Keep up with the important business, economic and political stories in the coming days with the FT’s Week Ahead.

What we’re reading

Acapulco struck by wave of crime
An estimated 150 business owners have been killed in Acapulco since January 2016 and as many as 2,000 local businesses have closed in the past two to three years, according to the local Chamber of Commerce. The tropical surf paradise, once a glitzy getaway for Hollywood starlets, is being crippled by a wave of brutal gang violence that is engulfing Mexico. (FT)

End of the line for China’s railway diplomacy?China’s ability to build high-speed railways  more cheaply than its competitors gave the technology a central place in Beijing’s “One Belt, One Road”, its ambitious scheme to win diplomatic allies and open markets across more than 65 countries between Asia and Europe by funding and building infrastructure. But two years after the plan was announced, several of the projects have been abandoned or postponed, and their failure has stoked public animosity and left countries with mountains of debt. (FT) 

Globalisation’s rise and fall 
Globalisation is falling out of fashion. A populist backlash has swelled a wave of soul-searching among economists, one that had already begun to roll ashore with the financial crisis. How did they fail to foresee the repercussions? (Guardian) 

Family matters in JapanWhen families hold sway their businesses have an edge over rivals, according to surveys of Japanese companies. Companies controlled by the founder’s son-in-law, not only outshine those run by unrelated successors, but even do better than those run by other family members. (NAR)

Burying Isis’s dead
The Pentagon estimates there are several thousand bodies of Isis members in Mosul, Iraq. In death, what do men who have “murdered, raped and pillaged” deserve? This investigation shows the city’s inhabitants have an obvious answer: not much. (Atavist)

Video of the day

Lucy on years of corporate nonsense
Columnist Lucy Kellaway has been writing on the strange and indecipherable language of chief executives and their companies for more than 20 years. She looks back at a career of deriding the hot air and asks: has it made any difference? (FT)

Get alerts on World when a new story is published

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2018. All rights reserved.

Follow the topics in this article