Several companies announced business deals worth $250 billion between the United States and China in conjunction with President Donald Trump’s recent Asia tour.
One of the more prominent deals was forged with Boeing. The aerospace giant forged a deal worth $37 billion in sales of planes to the communist behemoth. It was not made clear if this deal is part of a previous announcement from Boeing to sell hundreds of jets to yet unrevealed buyers.
General Electric was also able to forge three separate deals in China valued at a total of $3.5 billion. In addition, Qualcomm was in discussions with Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo to purchase about $12 billion worth of semiconductors. Ford Motor Company will be investing $756 million in a joint venture with its Chinese partner Anhui Zotye Automobil to manufacture electric cars. This deal was already announced in August this year.
Some of the deals announced on Thursday have been in negotiations for a while, while other deals are only in the early stages, and the outcomes are far from assured.
Other deals in the works with China and US business include:
• A $83.7 billion investment by the China Energy Investment Corporation Limited in several shale gas and chemical manufacturing projects in West Virginia.
• Chinese state-run oil producer Sinopec has agreed to help develop Alaska’s liquefied natural gas sector. The deal, worth about $43 billion, is between Sinopec, the Bank of China and the China Investment Corp. It is estimated that about 12,000 jobs will be created during the construction of project.
• Chinese importers agreed to buy $5 billion worth of soybeans from US producers during 2018.
• Chinese e-commerce company JD.com said it will purchase $2 billion in food and agriculture products over the coming three years from the US, including $1.2 billion in Montana beef and Smithfield Foods pork.
The recall of older model Ford Mustangs was expanded to include over half a million vehicles suspected of having faulty passenger-side Takata-made airbags. Last month Ford was one of five car manufacturers asked by the US regulatory agency the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to enlarge the recall of cars with potentially defective airbags to beyond the limits of areas with high humidity.
Takata had warned that there was a possibility that inflators of the airbags could malfunction when exposed to high humidity for prolonged periods of time. They expressed concern that the malfunction could cause potentially deadly metal shrapnel to be shot out at passengers upon inflation of the airbags.
Before the expanded recall Ford had already recalled about 55,000 vehicles with problematic airbags. The NHTSA asked for the expanded recall when it learned that there were reports of airbag malfunctions outside the limited high-humidity areas. Driver-side airbag inflator events have been connected to at least five fatalities, none in Ford-made cars. Ford stated that it knew of one accident with an injury which might be linked to an airbag defect.
The recall includes 500,439 Mustangs from model years 2005-2008 and 2,050 of 2005 and 2006 niche two-seat sports car Ford GT.
After lingering in the US justice system for 12 years, a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit which accused the Ford Motor Company and IBM of aiding and abetting human rights violations in what was then apartheid South Africa.
US District Judge Shira Scheindlin justified the dismissal by explaining that the plaintiffs, who are black South Africans, did not show “relevant conduct” within the US by IBM and Ford to find the companies responsible.
IBM and Ford, in addition to other companies, were accused of helping the government of South Africa, which was practicing apartheid at the time; commit serious human rights violations including torture and murder, by selling military vehicles and computers to the security forces of the regime.
The lawsuit was brought under a 1789 law known as the Alien Tort Statute. This law allows non-US citizens to bring lawsuits against US entities who may have committed crimes violating international law. In April last year the US Supreme Court said that the law only covered laws broken in the US; or violations outside the US that “touch and concern” US territory “with sufficient force.”
The following August the federal appeals court in Manhattan asserted the Supreme Court’s decision, saying that the cases against IBM and Ford should be summarily dismissed.
This past April Judge Scheindlin allowed the plaintiffs to have just one more chance to try and meet the standards set by the Supreme Court’s decision. This past week Scheindlin announced that the plaintiffs did not meet that standard. She said that any supposed violations of international law were performed by the company’s South African subsidiaries, and off of US soil.
“It’s been 12 years. We’re devastated by the decision,” said Diane Sammons, a partner at Nagel Rice in Roseland, New Jersey, who represents some of the plaintiffs.
Last Sunday night Kia, the Korean car company, introduced its fifth in a series of videos featuring a trio of happy hamsters tooling around in Kia cars. This particular video shows us the loveable, if overweight hamsters (well, they are not overweight for hamsters, unless you think a hamster 6 feet tall and weighing in at about 250 pounds is overweight-but for hamsters they look just fine) getting into shape for an upcoming premiere. Take a look below and decide if you think a hamster should be as thin as these get by the end of their exercise regime.
The real question here is not if you think the rodents over do the workout, but if Kia is spending its advertising budget prudently. The data shows the answer to this question is a resounding yes. Sales have doubled during the past five years since Kia launched its furry creatures into the marketplace to sell their cars. And, as it turns out, for not that much money, really.
Let’s do some comparisons with other car makers and their ad budgets. Kia spent $4.3 billion in the past five years, or about 2.6 percent of revenue. Sounds like a lot of money, right? Wrong. General Motors spent, $24.2 billion, 3.5 percent of revenue, and Ford Motor coughed up $19.9 billion, about 3 percent of revenue. And honestly, which ads will you remember, the traditional Ford ads with cars whizzing through beautiful, but boring landscapes, or three giant hamsters under hairdryers clinching their ‘dos.