Lawmakers approve $2T in coronavirus relief as pandemic continues to grip U.S.
Catch up on the top industries and stocks that were impacted, or were predicted to be impacted, by the comments, actions and policies of President Donald Trump and his administration with this weekly recap compiled by The Fly:
1. STIMULUS BILL: President Trump signed a $2T coronavirus relief bill on Friday, CNBC's Jacob Pramuk reported. The House earlier passed the stimulus package, which is believed to be the largest in the U.S. History and that includes one-time payments to individuals, strengthened unemployment insurance, additional healthcare funding and loans and grants to businesses to deter layoffs, the author noted. The relief bill got through the Senate unanimously on Wednesday night.
2. GM, FORD DRAW TRUMP'S IRE: On Friday, General Motors (GM) and Ford (F) bore the brunt of the president's frustration as both automakers were instructed to speed up production of ventilators in a series of tweets. President Trump said that "as usual with 'this' General Motors, things just never seem to work out. They said they were going to give us 40,000 much needed Ventilators, 'very quickly'. Now they are saying it will only be 6000, in late April, and they want top dollar. Always a mess with Mary B." He then added that GM "must" start making ventilators "now" and Ford should "get going on ventialtors, fast," while making an unclear reference to invoking the Defense Production Act.
After the tweetstorm, Ventec Life Systems announced General Motors will build VOCSN critical care ventilators at GM's Kokomo, Indiana manufacturing facility with FDA-cleared ventilators scheduled to ship as soon as next month. "Depending on the needs of the federal government, Ventec and GM are poised to deliver the first ventilators next month and ramp up to a manufacturing capacity of more than 10,000 critical care ventilators per month with the infrastructure and capability to scale further," the companies reported. Meanwhile, Ford VP of Communications Mark Truby tweeted a company statement that reads in part: "Ford is pulling out all the stops to quickly and safely provide vitally needed equipment for patients, first responders and healthcare workers...We have team working flat-out with GE Healthcare to boost production of simplified ventilators, and with 3M to increase the production of powered air purifying respirators."
3. TARIFF PAYMENTS MAY BE DEFERRED: The Trump administration is debating whether to defer payments of duties on imported goods from around the world for three months, Jenny Leonard of Bloomberg reported earlier this week, citing people familiar with the matter. However, the talks involving the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and other government agencies about suspending tariffs for a three-month period led to push back from domestic industry associations, Leonard added.
4. APPLE WATCH EXCLUDED FROM CHINESE IMPORTS TARIFF: Apple's (AAPL) request for Apple Watches to be excluded from a 7.5% U.S. tariff on Chinese imports has been approved by the U.S. Trade Representative, Bloomberg's Jenny Leonard reported. President Donald Trump imposed a 15% tariff on a list of goods in September that included the Apple watch, but cut in half those tariffs as part of an initial trade deal with Beijing that went into effect February 15. Apple had argued that the Apple Watch should be exempted because "it is not strategically important or related to 'Made in China 2025' or other Chinese industrial programs."
5. EPA BACKS DOWN ON BIOFUEL WAIVERS: The EPA will not appeal a court ruling that would sharply reduce its use of waivers exempting refineries from the nation's biofuels regulation, according to Reuters. A decision by the administration not to appeal the ruling marks “a big win for the U.S. corn lobby and a blow to the oil industry,” the report added. Companies that may be impacted by this news include Archer Daniels (ADM), Green Plains Partner (GPP), Bunge (BG), and Pacific Ethanol (PEIX).
"Week in Review" is The Fly's weekly recap of its recurring series of "Trump Effect" exclusive stories.