Trump bans TikTok in U.S, imposes 10% tariff on some Canadian aluminum
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. TRUMP BANS TIKTOK IN U.S.: On Thursday night, President Trump issued an executive order banning ByteDance's TikTok and Tencent's (TCEHY) WeChat in the U.S., saying "the spread in the United States of mobile applications developed and owned by companies in the People's Republic of China continues to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States." In response, TikTok, which is in deal talks with Microsoft (MSFT), said that it is "shocked" by the recent executive order, which the company claims "was issued without any due process." Meanwhile, the New York Times reported that TikTok is in discussions with at least three American companies, including Microsoft, regarding a potential acquisition of its business.
President Trump also said Microsoft can pursue an acquisition of TikTok, suggesting that the CEO of Microsoft "go ahead" with the deal, The New York Times' Ana Swanson and Mike Isaac reported previously. "It can't be controlled for security reasons by China," Trump said of TikTok, adding that he did not mind if Microsoft or another very secure, "very American" company bought it instead.
According to a separate report by CNBC's Jordan Novet, the President also suggested that the U.S. government should be reimbursed or "paid a substantial amount of money" from any sale of TikTok to Microsoft or another potential suitor. Trump said Monday that's "because without the United States they don't have anything, at least having to do with the 30%," which refers to Microsoft potentially acquiring TikTok only in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Last weekend, Microsoft confirmed that it has held talks with ByteDance to acquire TIkTok in the U.S.
2. DRUGS MADE BY U.S. MANUFACTURERS: President Trump signed an executive order mandating the federal government to buy certain drugs from U.S. manufacturers rather than foreign companies. The order requires the government to develop a list of "essential" medicines and purchase them, as well as other medical supplies, from domestic manufacturers. Publicly traded companies in the space include AstraZeneca (AZN), Bristol-Myers (BMY), Eli Lilly (LLY), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Merck (MRK), Novartis (NVS), Pfizer (PFE), Roche (RHHBY) and Sanofi (SNY).
A company with a well-known brand, but a much lower prominence than it once had, is back in the spotlight amid the push to re-shore American drugmaking. The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the circumstances around Eastman Kodak's (KODK) announcement of a $765M government loan to make drugs at its U.S. factories, Dave Michaels and Theo Francis of Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week, citing people familiar with the matter. The investigation is at an early stage and may not produce allegations of wrongdoing by the company or any individuals, sources told the Journal. How Kodak controlled disclosure of the loan is among the areas being probed, Michaels and Francis said.
3. 10% TARIFF ON SOME CANADIAN ALUMINUM: Trump said on Thursday that he will reimpose a 10% tariff on Canadian aluminum to help struggling U.S. producers, just a month after the two nations' new trade agreement went into effect, the New York Times' Ana Swanson and Ian Austen reported. Speaking at a Whirlpool factory in Ohio, the president said he signed a proclamation earlier in the day that would reimpose the levy on Canada, claiming that the country was "taking advantage of us as usual," the authors note. "To be a strong nation, America must be a manufacturing nation and not be led by a bunch of fools," Trump said. "That means protecting our national industrial base." Publicly traded companies in the aluminum space include Alcoa (AA), Century Aluminum (CENX), Kaiser Aluminum (KALU), and Arconic (ARNC).
4. TRUMP POST TAKEN DOWN OVER COVID INFO: Facebook (FB) took down a video post from President Trump's personal page that included a segment from a Fox News interview during which Trump claimed that children are "almost immune" to the novel coronavirus, NBC News' Dylan Byers reported on Wednesday. "This video includes false claims that a group of people is immune from COVID-19 which is a violation of our policies around harmful COVID misinformation," Andy Stone, a Facebook policy spokesperson, said.
Twitter (TWTR) also took down the video for violating its rules against coronavirus misinformation and that the @TeamTrump account would have to remove the post before it could tweet again, The Wall Street Journal's Deepa Seetharaman reported.
Meanwhile, Ryan Mac of BuzzFeed reported that for a couple of months at least, a feature of Facebook's Instagram has been "treating hashtags" related to President Trump and "presumptive Democratic presidential nominee" Joe Biden in unusually varying ways. "Searches for Biden also return a variety of pro-Trump messages, while searches for Trump-related topics only returned the specific hashtags, like #MAGA or #Trump - which means searches for Biden-related hashtags also return counter-messaging, while those for Trump do not," BuzzFeed added.
"Week in Review" is The Fly's weekly recap of its recurring series of "Trump Effect" exclusive stories.