Trump says he will visit Japan, South Korea, China in November U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday he will visit Japan, China and South Korea in November in a tour that may also include Vietnam and the Philippines for regional summits. -Nikkei

The Changing Role of Democracy in Asian Geopolitics This trend can be seen on three levels. -Carnegie

First, civic movements in places like Hong Kong and Taiwan are applying greater pressure to deepen democratic practices as a defense against Chinese influence.

Second, many Asian democracies are beginning to forge greater security cooperation among themselves, sometimes in an apparent attempt to offset China’s military power.

And third, several Asian democracies are exploring ways to strengthen democracy support across borders.


China's Washington envoy says U.S. should stop threats over North Korea China’s ambassador to Washington on Friday called on the United States to refrain from making threats over North Korea, which a day earlier launched another missile over Japan into the Pacific Ocean. -Reuters

China has a message for India and Japan: Form partnership, not alliance China is closely tracking Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s high-profile visit to India, and the Chinese state media has referred to efforts by the two countries to forge closer ties. -Hindustan Times

XI-ISM >> ‘Unity and victory’: 19th congress to see Xi-ism consolidated Xi Jinping's grasp on power is complete. Now comes a celebration of his leadership as China wonders where his ideology will take it in the next five years -Asia Times

The China Puzzle -NYT

NO CONTRADICTION HERE; NOTHING TO SEE >> China’s Communist Youth League opens Twitter account amid crackdown on internet access Social media platform will help Beijing expand its ‘ideological battlefield’ beyond national borders –SCMP

“If you believe Twitter is a good thing, please tell me why [the Chinese government] doesn’t allow its people to use [it]?” another asked.


More clashes at Chinese University over independence posters Chinese University has become the main battleground of a renewed independence movement in Hong Kong -SCMP


SNAP IT-SAN >> Abe poised to dissolve Lower House for snap general election The Japanese political world was rocked Sunday after media reports emerged that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to dissolve the Lower House as early as Sept. 28 and call a snap election to take advantage of a disorganized opposition. -The Japan Times 


A Naval Blockade Is the Best Option to Cut Off North Korea The new UN sanctions are too weak, but they could be a first step in ending illegal trade by sea. -Bloomberg 

How North Korea evades UN sanctions Smuggling and front companies are just two of the methods Pyongyang uses to get around embargoes to pursue its nuclear weapons programme, according to UN and US reports -SCMP


Taiwan to participate in US Navy drill Taiwanese observers will participate in parts of the anti-submarine exercise, such as boarding US helicopters engaged in drills -Taipei Times

Taiwan president calls for closer cooperation with Asia on digital economy -Edge Financial Daily

President wants more foreign nationals to study in Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) stated on Friday her administration's commitment to allowing more foreign nationals to study in Taiwan, during a reception for a delegation of Malaysian alumni of local universities. -Focus Taiwan


Death by dam for the Mekong Laos' Pak Beng dam, developed by China and supported by Thailand, has divided riparian nations over how best to manage the river's resources -Asia Times

Philippines must give foreign investors far more room: planning minister -Reuters

Myanmar state media says China backs crackdown on Rohingya The United Nations says Myanmar's campaign against Rohingya Muslim insurgents represents 'ethnic cleansing' -Asia Times  

Cambodia’s Crumbling Democracy As democracy is dismantled, will Cambodians return to the streets? When tens of thousands of opposition supporters took to the streets of Phnom Penh shouting “Hun Sen, step down!” in wake of the disputed 2013 general election -The Diplomat



Asia's multinationals are hoarding cash like never before Tencent, Alphabet, others quickly eclipsing Japan Inc. as stashers -Nikkei

Trump move to block chipmaker deal bad for America – Xinhua

State of the Blockchain: China hits the cryptocurrency market hard However, amidst the current uncertain investment climate, it appears that the Chinese government has not made an official statement. Other major Chinese cryptocurrency exchanges such as Huobi have not received clear notice to cease operations, according to cnLedger. -Tech-in-Asia

The missing trade war against China’s digital protectionism Tech companies don't have a chance of competing right now. -Endgadget

China's Zhongwang, Aleris extend merger deadline amid U.S. probe Zhongwang USA, an investment firm backed by a Chinese aluminum tycoon, and its acquisition target Aleris Corp (ALSD.PK) have decided to extend a deadline to complete their merger by two weeks, according to representatives of the two companies. -Reuters

Lotte Retreats From China as Beijing-Seoul Dispute Dents Business -Dow Jones Newswires

Beyond Airbnb: Minpaku market poised for growth Firms look to cash in as law outlines rules for short-term lodgings -The Japan Times

Taiwan is to lift a 14-year ban on beef imports from Japan, Sweden and the Netherlands, Ministry of Health and Welfare officials said on Friday. -Taipei Times

Samsung to back self-driving cars with $300m fund South Korean giant speeds up investments in rising industry -Nikkei

China’s Southeast Asia obsession continues as JD expands to Thailand -Tech-in-Asia


BOJ replaces foreign traders as biggest buyer of Japanese shares Cumulative purchases higher for first time since start of Abenomics -Nikkei

When the world turns Japanese Tokyo is still treating the symptoms of weak wage growth, shying away from the causes It’s become a global tendency, Reinhart argues. The International Monetary Fund’s recent upgrade of growth projections for developed economics, including Japan, masks the problem. -The Japan Times

S&P Sees No Major Short-Term Issue That Would Affect South Korea’s Rating -Fortune

GEOPOLITICAL DRAWDOWN >> Foreigners sell $3.25b of Korean stocks and bonds in Aug. Foreign investors offloaded South Korean stocks and bonds worth $3.25 billion in August due to security jitters and profit-taking, the central bank said Wednesday. -The Korean Herald

The Rapidly Expanding Global Liquefied Natural Gas Market And don't forget that current low prices today are locking in the infrastructure that will only command more natural gas use as we move forward. For example, just a few year ago, Asian LNG prices were 5-6 times higher than gas prices in the U.S. They are now less than double. Moreover, developing countries (especially historically coal-based China and India) want to use gas not just because it's a clean fuel but because gas plants are cheaper and faster to bring online to support renewables. -Forbes





STAY OUT OF MIDTOWN >> 18 to 28 September 2017 -72nd Session of the UN General Assembly

U.N. braces for Trump World leaders are waiting to see whether a president who has often ripped the United Nations can play global statesman. -Politico


Trump Signals He Will Choose Approach on Iran That Preserves Nuclear Deal -NYT

‘Amnesty Don’? Trump tests the faith of supporters with talk of immigration deal -The Washington Post

Ross: North Korea problem won't stop U.S. from cracking down on China trade Working with China to solve the problem of North Korea's nuclear program does not hinder the United States' ability to get tough on Beijing's trade policy, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Thursday. -Politico

"The primary responsibility of the president is to protect the American people, so that has to be the sine qua non,” Ross said. But, he added, there is “nothing logically inconsistent with that and having a trade policy that’s better economically for us.”

Trump wants to end ‘horrible’ South Korea-U.S. trade deal. Koreans disagree. South Korea’s trade community is on the defensive after President Trump’s renewed call to terminate a free-trade agreement with the country, which many experts here see as a puzzling move during an inopportune time of heightened tensions over North Korea’s nuclear and missile program. -The Washington Post


NAFTA partners shoot down U.S. flirtation with 'sunset' proposal Canada and Mexico pushed back Thursday against a U.S. proposal to incorporate a provision in NAFTA 2.0 that would automatically terminate the trade agreement after five years unless all three countries agree before then to renew it. -Politico

65 Percent of Mexicans View U.S. Negatively, Survey Finds -NYT

THE PROSECUTOR FROM IPANEMA >> President Temer of Brazil Faces New Corruption Charges The new charges cap an extraordinarily busy couple of weeks for Mr. Janot, whose term expires on Friday. He filed charges accusing Mr. Temer’s two predecessors, Dilma Rousseff and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, of running a scheme that siphoned billions of dollars from Brazil’s treasury. -NYT

Peru's Congress ousts cabinet as political crisis deepens Peru’s opposition-controlled Congress ousted center-right President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski’s cabinet in a vote of no-confidence early on Friday, pitching the copper-producing Andean country into its worst political crisis in years. -Reuters




Trump Blocks China-Backed Bid to Buy U.S. Chip Maker The rare move by the White House to block a deal for Lattice Semiconductor could signal more aggressive scrutiny of China’s deal-making ambitions. -NYT Deal Book

Apple is facing questions from the U.S. Senate on the privacy protections in iPhone X and Face ID Sen. Al Franken wants to know how Apple will handle law enforcement requests. -recode

Google and Facebook Fret Over Anti-Prostitution Bill’s Fallout Google and Facebook Inc. are among companies opposing a Senate bill aimed at squelching online trafficking of children, a stance that makes the Silicon Valley giants uneasy allies of a website accused of providing an advertising platform for teen prostitution. -Bloomberg

Steve Case warns tech firms to be 'careful' about growing backlash in Washington Steve Case on Thursday warned big tech companies to be "careful" about the changing sentiment toward the industry in Washington and encouraged them to look for ways to create opportunity outside of Silicon Valley. -Politico

U.S. election agency seeks comment after Facebook cites Russian ads -Reuters

Portland probe finds Uber used software to evade 16 government officials -Reuters

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has introduced a new set of voluntary guidance for self-driving cars Chao said the Department of Transportation is already working on version three of the guidance, which will be released in 2018. -recode

Union Power Is Putting Pressure on Silicon Valley’s Tech Giants Organizers have unionized 5,000 contract workers at Apple, Facebook, Yahoo!, and more. -Bloomberg


North Korea missile test leaves stocks unimpressed; yen wilts -Reuters

Robots Are No Match for the Human Bond Trader The former head of Citigroup Inc., Vikram Pandit, reckons three out of 10 bank staff will be replaced by a machine. -Bloomberg 





Regulating Across the Digital Divide Most rules governing global trade were built to regulate the cross-border distribution of goods and services in traditional industries. But the rapid growth of the digital economy has exposed regulatory shortcomings that, unless addressed, could widen the gap between developed and developing economies. -Project Syndicate


EU: Juncker sees window of opportunity for reform The "wind is back in Europe's sails", European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has said in his annual state of the union address. -BBC

In his speech of more than an hour, during which he switched from English to French to German, Mr Juncker said member states "chose unity" and the union was "slowly but surely gathering momentum"

UK offers to maintain defence and security cooperation with EU UK is not trying to blackmail the EU by threatening not to cooperate if it fails to get economic deal it wants, says Michael Fallon -The Guardian

LABOR STRIKES BACK >> Hardliners protest French labor reform after Macron chides 'slackers' Tens of thousands of hard-left trade unionists marched through French cities on Tuesday to protest against President Emmanuel Macron’s labor law reforms -Reuters

UK public sector unions threaten strikes over wage cap The head of the UK's biggest union says strikes in the public sector are "on the cards." The government has stood firm on its pay cap, but rising inflation and political weakness are undercutting its austerity policies. -BBC

Theresa May wins second Brexit battle in parliament MPs back motion to give Tories a majority on parliamentary committees. -Politico.eu

Commentary: Merkel’s moral authority sets direction for Europe -Reuters

ELECTION WATCH >> Is Angela Merkel's huge lead in German pre-election polls accurate? Voter polls in the US and UK got it wrong with Donald Trump and Brexit. So how confident are experts in Germany that the chancellor's lead in public opinion surveys will hold up? DW asked the pollsters themselves -DW

Why some Catalans want to break away from Spain Politicians are cautious ahead of a disputed referendum. That’s not the case out on the streets. -Politico.eu

EU and Poland go head-to-head over logging in ancient forest The Commission says Warsaw is illegally logging in protected Białowieża forest. -Politico.eu

VIDEO OF THE WEEK >> Riding in a Cab with Yanis Varoufakis Despite vastly different histories, cultures, and economies, the UK and Greece have at least one thing in common: both have provoked the ire of Brussels. -PS (video)


Russia: Moscow does not want to escalate situation around U.S. diplomats – agencies Moscow does not want to escalate the situation around U.S. diplomats in Russia, Russian news agencies cited Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying on Tuesday after talks with U.S. Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon in Helsinki.  -Reuters

China and Russia Warn the U.S. Not to Seek North Korean Regime Change -Bloomberg


Turkey signs deal to get Russian S-400 air defence missiles -BBC

Mass Trial Over Turkey’s Coup Plot Becomes an Arena of Emotion When it began in August, the largest mass trial of those accused of masterminding last year’s failed coup in Turkey had all the signs of a show trial. -NYT

Syria war: 'Russian air strikes' kill dozens in Deir al-Zour -BBC

Qatar, neighbors trade barbs at Arab League over boycott Tensions flared after Qatar’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sultan bin Saad al-Muraikhi discussed the boycott in his opening speech despite the Gulf dispute not being on the agenda. -Reuters


Tanzania steps up pressure on mining sector The Tanzanian government is coming down hard on the country’s extractive industries. President John Magufuli wants them to pay higher fees and help build a processing industry for Tanzania’s mineral resources. -DW

France urges Chad to hold elections -France24



Google appeals against huge EU anti-trust fine Tech giant Google has lodged an appeal against the 2.4bn euro fine (£2bn / $2.8bn) it was ordered to pay by the European Commission in June. -BBC

Amsterdam to increase tourist tax to reclaim city for residents Officials consider radical tax proposals to squeeze out low-spending visitors and prevent city becoming ‘Venice of the north’ -The Guardian

Murdoch Faces Wide-Ranging U.K. Probe Over Fox’s Bid for Sky -Bloomberg

Under scrutiny, Kaspersky Lab considers changes to U.S. subsidiary Moscow-based cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab said on Tuesday it is considering making changes to its subsidiary that sells products to the U.S. government, at a time when the company is facing allegations that it may be vulnerable to Russian influence. -Reuters


Can Macron and Merkel agree on how to fix the eurozone? -The Guardian

The Euro’s Narrow Path With Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the French presidential election, and Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union enjoying a comfortable lead in opinion polls ahead of Germany’s general election on September 24, a window has opened for eurozone reform. -Project Syndicate

Surmounting the German Surplus -Project Syndicate

Austria to issue controversial 100-year bond Austria has been putting out its feelers to see whether there is enough investor appetite for a 100-year bond sale. It's a first for the bloc of eurozone nations, and there has been no shortage of orders. -DW





On the Brink Could Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump goad each other into nuclear war? The New York channel consists mostly of two genial middle-aged men. They go everywhere together. (The North Korean government has diplomats work in pairs, to prevent them from defecting, or being recruited as spies.) –The New Yorker

THE BIG SLEEP >> Asia-Pacific economic ministers admit there will be no RCEP agreement by year-end -The Japan Times


A ‘China First’ Strategy for North Korea If China launched a military invasion of North Korea, it could work – and China would gain greater strategic parity with the US in East Asia. -Project Syndicate

China’s Shift to City-Led Growth Though China has achieved some four decades of rapid economic development, one powerful source of growth has yet to be fully tapped: urbanization. Now, the potential of cities as an engine of dynamism and increased prosperity is finally getting the attention it deserves. -Project Syndicate


Hong Kong independence banners present a real test of Carrie Lam’s political wisdom The government doesn’t want to see the start of a new academic year turn into a return to political strife in the city -SCMP


Threat of North Korean EMP attack leaves Japan vulnerable Pyongyang claims ability to trigger high-altitude electromagnetic pulse -The Japan Times

The Third Annual Eastern Economic Forum and the Japan-Russia Summit Why Japan and Russia won’t reach an agreement on the Northern Territories dispute. -The Diplomat

Five years after nationalization of three Senkaku islets, Japan still wary of intrusions by Chinese vessels into area -The Japan Times


Conservatives to push harder for nukes in South Korea -The Straits Times

Give South Korea a Break The last thing we ought to do is sow conflict and distrust between the two allies. Yet this is what Trump has done. Not surprisingly, there’s been plenty of pushback. The South Koreans were clearly angered, and so were many Americans. -The Washington Post


NO PRIZE FOR SECOND PLACE >> Mongolian parliamentarians voted Thursday to throw out the country's prime minister and cabinet over allegations of corruption and abuse of power a little over a year after a landslide election victory by the ruling party. -AFP


Finally, Strategic Clarity in the South China Sea. Is the Taiwan Strait Next? Routine FONOPS in the South China Sea are long overdue — as are Taiwan Strait passages. -The Diplomat

Taiwan activist to be tried for subversion in China in 'open' hearing -Reuters

Taiwan Dishes Out the Carrots to Attract Foreign White-Collar Workers The main provisions would relax current restrictions on the hiring of foreign professionals, improve their living conditions, and offer them tax and other incentives. -TheNewsLens

Population to peak at 23.65 million in 2021, report says -Taipei Times  


ELECTION WATCH >> Guide to Presidential Election 2017 In a matter of weeks, Singaporeans will elect their eighth president in the first-ever reserved election. Nur Asyiqin Mohamad Salleh brings you an A to Z guide on the presidency and the coming election -The Straits Times

Malaysian Leader, Under Corruption Cloud, Will Meet With Trump -NYT

ASEAN legislators 'alarmed by Cambodia crackdown' -The Jakarta Post

After insurgents' truce, Myanmar says 'we don't negotiate with terrorists' Myanmar on Sunday rebuffed a ceasefire declared by Muslim Rohingya insurgents to enable the delivery of aid to thousands of displaced people in the violence-racked state of Rakhine, declaring simply that it did not negotiate with terrorists. -Reuters

U.S. plans no real pressure on Myanmar as ethnic Rohingya flee military -The Japan Times



HAPPY PLANTS GROW TOGETHER >> China to Ban Sale of Fossil Fuel Cars in Electric Vehicle Push A ban on combustion-engine vehicles will help push both local and global automakers to shift toward electric vehicles, a carrot-and-stick approach that could boost sales of energy-efficient cars and trucks and reduce air pollution while serving the strategic goal of cutting oil imports. -Bloomberg

YOUR CHINA DREAMS NEVER ENDS >> Bridgewater to Launch Big Investment Fund in China, Three Decades in the Making Founder Ray Dalio’s fascination with China evolves into plans to raise billions of dollars, amass clout that has largely eluded outside hedge funds and banks -WSJ (subscription)

Trust issues? China targets a $3 trillion shadow banking industry As a flood of unregulated cash swirls through the Chinese economy, Beijing has been taking aim at the trust companies whose unrestrained lending practices are worrying regulators. -Reuters

Boeing Bets China Will Need $1.1 Trillion in Planes Over Next 20 Years -Bloomberg

Boeing Stock Rises on Report of Deal in China -NYT (1994)

Business and academics at risk of losing out as China tightens online censorship Latest restrictions on VPNs threaten access to websites that traders and scientists rely on to reach foreign customers and colleagues -SCMP

Chinese bank ban ‘threatens to tighten chokehold’ on trade with North Korea Ban applies across the board but cash and barter system offer ways around the sanctions, analysts say -SCMP

Japan Backs U.S. Proposal to Target North Korea's Oil Supplies -Bloomberg

Sorry, an Oil Embargo Won’t Lead to North Korea’s Capitulation Conventional wisdom on the effectiveness of oil embargoes is mistaken. -The Diplomat

JAL partners with Tata group airline to expand India access -Nikkei

Rising labor costs, manpower shortages drive Nidec to AI Japanese electric motor maker revs up automation to cut down staffing needs -Nikkei

Cruise ship tourism steams ahead in Taiwan According to U.S.-based Cruise Lines International Association's Asia Cruise Trends 2016 Report, Keelung was the fifth busiest port in the region for ship visits behind Fukuoka, Singapore, Shanghai and Jeju Island in that order. -Asia Rising


Asia's foreign reserves reach record high Amid robust foreign investment, central banks battle to stabilize currencies -Nikkei

China’s huge currency rally could have further to go, analysts say China’s yuan has appreciated nearly 2 pc against the dollar this week, against a favorable backdrop and growing bearishness towards the greenback -SCMP

Bitcoin tumbles on report China to shutter digital currency exchanges -Reuters

Brief: Japanese tech giant GMO will start mining bitcoin -Tech-in-Asia

Foreigners buy up Japanese bonds as geopolitical tensions take hold Weekly data from Japan’s finance ministry issued on Thursday showed foreign investors bought a net 1.3592 trillion yen ($12.46 billion) of medium- to long-dated Japanese bonds in the week through Sept. 2. -Reuters

SE Asian economies get a lift from China. Later, they may get the bill -NASDAQ

"The large rise in ASEAN's exports to China have increased potential vulnerabilities to geopolitical risks"

Portfolio tweaks to cope with high geopolitical risk -The Straits Times

>> Americas Fridays




Trump’s zigzagging approach to North Korea veers toward military options -The Washington Post

Central Bankers’ Shifting Goalposts But central banks were made independent precisely because it was understood that they would be held accountable for achieving their own objective of maintaining price stability, regardless of the economy’s underlying growth rate. So why is it that central bankers would rather look at external issues than focus on their own area of responsibility? -Project Syndicate

The answer, it seems, is that they cannot quite explain their current approach.


SO, I WAS TELLING THE EMIR, EMIR >> Trump offers to personally mediate dispute between Qatar, other Arab countries -Politico

“While I do appreciate and respect the mediation, I would be willing to be the mediator,” Trump told reporters at a joint news conference alongside the emir of Kuwait.

Tillerson and Trump: On Morality Versus Realism Yet, busy as they are making short-term points against the president, the presumed keepers of the American conscience have missed the larger iterative interweaving of moral and strategic considerations between Trump and his secretary of state.  They have both affirmed America’s leadership role in the world while suggesting some new calibration. -Real Clear Defense

Washington begins to sour on Aung San Suu Kyi amid mounting ethnic violence in Burma -The Washington Post

U.S. appeals court rejects Trump's bid to bar most refugees -Reuters

Trump’s Looming Trade Crack-Up His fight with Seoul would leave the U.S. a loser. Congress needs to assert its authority to stop him. -WSJ (subscription)

How Trump Could Rebuild America In the United States today, with partisan polarization at record levels, there is still at least one policy goal on which there is broad consensus, not only among Republicans and Democrats, but also among business and labor leaders, states and cities, and ordinary citizens: infrastructure. -Project Syndicate

Free Trade With Korea Is Great for the U.S. If Trump likes good deals, he should stick with this one. And both rightly argue that South Korea is a key U.S. ally, and that walling off trade from key allies is a bad geopolitical move. -Bloomberg View  


Mexico Expels North Korean Ambassador Over Nuclear Tests -NYT

Bloc Party Blues: Why Brazil Might Leave BRICS The BRICS meeting occurs at a time of increased challenges for Brazil, and it is debatable how much the country can continue to contribute to the bloc. -The National Interest




Trump Shifts Labor Policy Focus From Worker to Entrepreneur -NYT

Two-thirds of Americans are now getting news from social media More Americans than ever are getting news from social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and even Snapchat. -recode

More than two-thirds of American adults — 67 percent, to be exact — “get at least some of their news on social media,” according to new data released Thursday by Pew Research Center. That’s up from 62 percent of American adults in 2016.

READ >> the survey here: Pew Research Center

Reid Hoffman has billions of dollars and one of the best networks in Silicon Valley. Here’s how he’s using them to take on Trump. Inside the tech mogul’s 2017 political playbook -recode

U.S. may need new law to address Russian ad buys on Facebook: senator U.S. legislation may be needed to require social media companies to disclose more about how their platforms are used for political advertising, a senior Democratic lawmaker said on Thursday -Reuters

Twitter to brief Congress on possible Russia-backed ads: U.S. senator Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) is expected to brief U.S. congressional investigators soon on whether Russia used its advertising platform to promote divisive social and political messages during the 2016 election, Senator Mark Warner said -Reuters

Amazon Plans Second Headquarters, Opening a Bidding War Among Cities Wanted: A place with a million people, a diverse population, good schools and malleable lawmakers. Room to accommodate up to 50,000 workers. Canadian provinces also welcome to apply. -NYT

Whirlpool's washer battle with Samsung, LG heats up at trade hearing Appliance giant Whirlpool Corp (WHR.N) on Thursday called on the U.S. International Trade Commission to impose “global safeguard” restrictions on imported washing machines to stop its South Korean rivals Samsung and LG from flooding the American market with cheap machines. -Reuters

CHECK OUT >> the witness list here United States International Trade Commission

Most-wanted Chinese tycoon applies for US political asylum Chinese real estate tycoon Guo Wengui, one of the ruling Communist Party’s most wanted exiles, has applied for political asylum in the United States, his lawyer said, in a move that could keep him out of Beijing’s grasp for at least several more years. -The Washington Post

The next oil major? Service firm Schlumberger's big bet on production The world’s largest oilfield services company, Schlumberger NV (SLB.N), is spending billions of dollars buying stakes in its customers’ oil and gas projects - investing in the same ventures it supplies with equipment and expertise. -Reuters


The State of Global Shale While the United States gears up for what is expected to be a record-breaking production year in 2018, the rest of the world remains far away from catching up to America’s runaway shale success. -The American Interest 

PROBABLY NOT >> Venezuela's Maduro says will shun U.S. dollar in favor of yuan, others -Reuters





North Korea Says It Tested a Hydrogen Bomb Meant for Missiles North Korea carried out its sixth and most powerful nuclear test in an extraordinary show of defiance against President Trump on Sunday, saying it had detonated a hydrogen bomb that could be mounted on an intercontinental ballistic missile. -NYT

Rivalry and illusion shape Asia's connectivity contest In era of 'Belt and Road' initiative, India and Japan seek to blunt China's expansion -Nikkei


China's anger at West to overshadow tougher action on North Korea North Korea’s latest nuclear test is likely to pile more pressure on China to take tough action against its neighbor, but Beijing already doubts economic sanctions will work and says it is not its sole responsibility to rein in Pyongyang. -Reuters

19TH CONGRESS = OCTOBER 18 >> Congress a date with destiny for many Announcement suggests agreement has been reached on new leadership line-up with focus also on economic policy and livelihood issues -SCMP

China’s War on Dissent Detained activists have two choices: vanish or confess. -The Diplomat

How America's China watchers misread China Robert Lawrence Kuhn says analysts who see Beijing conducting a more muscular foreign policy and curbing freedoms at home have failed to account for the steps being taken to improve the rule of law -SCMP


Latest poll finds support rate for Abe Cabinet virtually unchanged at 44.5% On new Democratic Party leader Seiji Maehara, who was chosen Friday to lead the struggling main opposition party, 51.2 percent of respondents said they have no expectations for him, topping 40.3 percent who said they have certain expectations. -The Japan Times

Japan debates boosting defense against missiles As the threat from North Korea continues, calls have arisen to develop more capacity to destroy launch sites, as well as missiles that are in flight -Taipei Times

Abe and Putin to hold summit Thursday in Vladivostok Japan and Russia have agreed to conduct joint economic activities on and around four Russia-held, Japan-claimed islands off Hokkaido. One of the focuses of the summit will be whether they can agree to quickly start the projects. -The Japan Times


Star North Korean newsreader announces ‘perfect’ atomic blast to the world -SCMP

THINK TANK WATCH >> ROK-U.S. Strategic Forum 2017: Now and the Future of the ROK.-U.S. Alliance -CSIS

Trump Says He's Looking Into South Korea Trade Accord Future Trump’s administration had begun talks with South Korea to revise a trade deal signed in 2012 by the Obama administration, but they failed to agree on a way forward after joint meetings in August. The dialogue comes amid rising tensions with North Korea over Pyongyang’s missile tests. -Bloomberg


The Liberty Times Editorial: Democracy’s magnetism in Taiwan -The Liberty/Taipei Times

Government vows to help free Taiwanese detained in China The government will actively provide assistance to help free people who have been detained in China for unknown reasons as long as the families of the victims agree, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), Taiwan's top agency for dealing with China, said Wednesday. -Focus Taiwan

Presidential Office: Tax reform geared for investment, development -FocusTaiwan

Presidential Office spokesman Sidney Lin (林鶴明) said recently that the reforms will revolve around three main principles: 

1.     To ease the income tax burden on salaried people and middle and low-income earners;

2.   To ease the tax burden on small and medium-sized enterprises and start-up companies;

3.   To establish a competitive tax system in line with international trends.


Chinese fishing fleets threaten to inflame tensions in disputed seas Thousands of vessels head to South China Sea after ban on catching fish in the area is lifted, but their presence could anger neighbouring states -SCMP

Inverted flags, illegal migrants: how Malaysia-Indonesia ties took a turn for the worse -SCMP

During much of Indonesia’s early history, its egalitarian distribution of wealth and assets set it apart from its neighbors. But seven decades later, the legacy of equality is fading. If Indonesia is to remain one of Asia’s most robust economies, it is essential that its current leadership recommit to narrowing the socioeconomic gap. -Project Syndicate 

THE DUBAI EXPRESS >> Waiting for Yingluck Shinawatra Supporters crowded the streets to hear the verdict, but Yingluck never arrived. -The Diplomat

Hundreds are dead in Burma as the Rohingya crisis explodes again Hundreds of people have died in western Burma in clashes between insurgents and security forces, a dramatic escalation of the Rohingya crisis that has haunted the country’s transition to democracy and tainted leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s legacy. -The Washington Post

Cambodian opposition leader Kem Sokha arrested over alleged plot with U.S. -Reuters

S Korea competing for SE Asia projects Public construction in Southeast Asia is worth about NT$8 trillion, and the government is determined to help firms get a slice -Taipei Times



THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING >> China Inc. earnings rise on resource rebound, public spending Net profit rises 16% on previous year but sustainability concerns remain. Thanks to rising resource and property prices along with state-supported infrastructure spending. -Nikkei

Fosun's Inside Track In other words, Fosun is ready to start buying again. Or shifting up a gear, anyway, since it's unclear if the conglomerate ever really stopped buying. -Bloomberg Gadfly

Trump to decide on China-backed buyout of U.S. chipmaker Lattice Semiconductor Corp (LSCC.O) said in a filing Friday it will seek Trump’s approval for its proposed $1.3 billion sale to Canyon Bridge Capital Partners, gambling that the former real estate dealmaker will approve the tie-up against the advice of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which scrutinizes foreign deals for national security concerns. -Reuters

China doubles down on real-name registration laws, forbidding anonymous online posts China’s crackdown on Internet freedom is getting even more intense. Last Friday, the country’s top Internet censor announced a new set of regulations (link via Google Translate) meant to eliminate posts by anonymous users on Internet forums and other platforms. The Cyberspace Administration of China will start enforcing those rules on Oct. 1. -Tech Crunch

Article 15 of the Measures for the Administration of Internet Information Services stipulates that Internet information service providers shall not make, reproduce, publish or disseminate information containing the following: (1) opposing the basic principles as defined in the Constitution; (2) endangering national security (3) to damage national honor and interests; (4) to incite national hatred, ethnic discrimination and undermine national unity; (v) to undermine national religious policies and to promote cults and (6) spreading rumors, disrupting social order and destroying social stability; (7) spreading pornography, pornography, gambling, violence, murder, terror or abetting a crime; (8) insulting or slandering others and infringing upon others (9) Any other content that is prohibited by laws and administrative regulations.

Just smile: In KFC China store, diners have new way to pay -Reuters

What You Don’t Know about Japan’s Sharing Economy -Disrupting Japan (Podcast)

China-Taiwan Tourism: A Bellwether for Stormy Seas Ahead? -TheNewsLens

India cabinet approves raising levy on luxury cars, SUVs The levy is part of a nationwide goods and services tax (GST) launched last month to replace a multitude of provincial and national levies in the biggest tax reform in 70 years. -Nikkei

Uber back running in the Philippines after it paid $9.6M in penalties -Tech Crunch

Cambodian government closes newspaper after tax row One of Cambodia's last independent newspapers, the Cambodia Daily, has announced it will close after the government ordered it to pay a huge tax bill. -BBC


OPEN WORLD ECONOMY >> China's Xi says BRICS must promote open world economy The BRICS group of emerging economies must promote trade liberalization and an open world economy, Chinese President Xi Jinping said at a business meeting on Sunday at the start of a three-day summit being held in southeastern China. -Reuters

CLOSED CAPITAL ACCOUNT >> China's ICBC will follow cabinet rules on overseas M&A -Reuters





TALK ON >> North Korea and US Leadership That short interval, which has since ended, was enough to inspire US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to declare that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was showing “restraint.” Perhaps, Tillerson concluded, Kim is ready to engage in dialogue. To some extent, he may be right. -Project Syndicate

Trump Says He Will Not Talk to North Korea. Experts Fear He Will. Some fear less that Mr. Trump is going to start a war with Mr. Kim than that he is going to stumble into a risky, unpredictable dialogue with him. -NYT

TALK OFF >> Russia's foreign minister warns Tillerson: New North Korea sanctions could be 'dangerous' The call followed a declaration earlier Wednesday from President Donald Trump that

“the U.S. has been talking to North Korea, and paying them extortion money, for 25 years. Talking is not the answer!” -Politico

High Risks and De Minimis Rewards Confront Investors Buying far out of the money puts or adding haven assets are smart ways to hedge these days. -Bloomberg


World in no rush to offer Trump help post-Harvey After Katrina, countries around the globe offered to help the U.S. After Harvey, only a few — Mexico and troubled Venezuela among them — have volunteered aid. -Politico

Tillerson moves toward accepting funding for fighting Russian propaganda The secretary of state came under pressure from Congress, which appropriated $80 million for countering messages from Islamist extremists — and Russia. -Politico

Russia-Linked Bots Hone Online Attack Plans for 2018 U.S. Vote -Bloomberg

U.S. retaliates against Russia, orders closure of consulate, annexes -Reuters

John McCain: It’s time Congress returns to regular order We are the country that led the free world to victory over fascism and dispatched communism to the ash heap of history. We are the superpower that organized not an empire, but an international order of free, independent nations that has liberated more people from poverty and tyranny than anyone thought possible in the age of colonies and autocracies. -The Washington Post


New Jersey Senator Menendez's graft trial could sway D.C. power balance -Reuters

Love of Coastal Living Is Draining U.S. Disaster Funds Yet this tiny sliver of land near the mouth of Mobile Bay is just as important as the battered metropolis to the debate over American disaster policy. That’s because the 14-mile-long island, home to only about 1,300 people, floods again and again, hurricane or no hurricane. And again and again, those homes are repaired and rebuilt, largely at the expense of U.S. taxpayers. -Reuters

The Militarization of the Hamptons Why is a heavily armed counterterrorism force patrolling the parties of the rich and famous? -Bloomberg


Mexico, Canada to stay in NAFTA even if U.S. leaves: minister -Reuters

“NAFTA will continue to regulate the relationship between Mexico and Canada,” Guajardo said at an event in Mexico City, noting that only Washington might consider leaving the accord.

A Scion of Mexico Fights Corruption, and Becomes a Target But the president needed more from the nation’s top business leaders, perhaps his most important allies. -NYT

Mexico president to visit China to boost trade amid NAFTA talks -Reuters




Samsung secures self-driving car permit in California -Reuters

Instagram Opens Up ‘Stories’ on Web to Fuel International Growth More than 80 percent of its users are outside the U.S., where the relative cost of internet and mobile data access is sometimes higher. Instagram’s focus on international growth could help it compete with Snap Inc., the owner of Snapchat, which focuses solely on more developed markets with more lucrative users. -Bloomberg

Tech executives urge Trump to protect Dreamers asserts that so-called DREAMers are critical to the future of American companies and that the nation’s economy stands to lose billions of dollars if their job security and residency status are revoked. -Politico

Yahoo must face litigation by data breach victims: U.S. judge -Reuters

OECD recommends Slim's entry to Mexico TV to spur competition -Reuters

Brazilian Judge Stymies Plan to Allow Mining in Amazon Region A federal judge in Brazil has temporarily halted a plan by President Michel Temer to allow mining in a large area of the Amazon forest -NYT


The Persistence of Global Imbalances -Project Syndicate

Oil falls after Harvey floods U.S. refineries -Reuters

More than 18 percent of U.S. Gulf output still shut in by Harvey –Reuters

About 18.5 percent of oil production in the Gulf of Mexico was shut in on Wednesday due to Tropical Storm Harvey.

Harvey’s Made the World’s Most Important Chemical a Rare Commodity -Bloomberg

Canada's Growth Surge Isn't Just a Win for Canada The strong quarter shows a global recovery (and vindicates the central bank's rate hike). -Bloomberg

Guatemala Political Crisis May Affect Growth: Central Bank Guatemalan economic growth may slow if a political crisis sparked by a dispute between President Jimmy Morales and the head of a U.N. anti-corruption body persists, the head of the central bank said on Thursday. -NYT





North Korea missiles: Trump warns 'all options' on table US President Donald Trump has said North Korea's latest missile launch signals "contempt" for its neighbours and the UN. -BBC

China must 'pressure' North Korea over weapons tests – May -BBC

Reports of Cash's Death Are Greatly Exaggerated Individuals see paper currency as a store of value and hedge against another financial crisis -Bloomberg


SO MUCH FOR GENTLEMEN Cs >> Juncker grades UK’s Brexit papers an F Speaking to top EU diplomats, the Commission president insists divorce must be settled before discussion of future relationship. -Politico.eu

Where German electoral contenders stand on Europe All mainstream parties run on pro-European tickets but disagree on the details. -Politico.eu

France’s Macron unveils foreign policy priorities in speech to ambassadors -France24

EU to UK: Don’t use Northern Ireland as bargaining chip in Brexit talks The EU objects to what it sees as UK attempts to link Northern Ireland issue to negotiations on future trade. -Politico.eu

Britain Must Accept the Hard Truth About Brexit The interim deal it desperately needs is one it won't like. -Bloomberg View

Scorned by Europe, Greece embraces China’s patronage, but at what price? While Europe was busy squeezing Greece, the Chinese swooped in with bucket-loads of investments that have begun to pay off. -NYT


GO WEST LITTLE GREEN MEN >> Putin's weird war gets ever riskier September will be a nervous month in Eastern Europe. On September 14, Russia will unleash what may be its largest military exercise since the Cold War. In Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and elsewhere, officials are openly concerned that the “Zapad (‘West’) 2017” drills near their borders will be used as cover for a military attack. -Reuters

Putin's Budapest Bargain Is Built on Shaky Ground (Op-ed) It may look like Moscow’s ties with Budapest are strong. But looks can be deceiving -The Moscow Times


Iran rejects U.S. demand for U.N. visit to military sites -Reuters

Iran Building Weapons Factories in Lebanon and Syria, Israel Says Israel is using a visit this week by the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, to highlight concerns about what it says are Iran’s efforts to produce advanced, precision weapons in Lebanon and Syria. -NYT

UN chief Antonio Guterres: 'No plan B to the two-state solution' On his first visit to the West Bank as UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres spoke out against Israeli settlement building. He underscored his push for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. -DW

Jordan border crossing with Iraq to reopen in major boost to ties Jordan will open its main border crossing with Iraq on Wednesday for the first time since 2015 now that Iraqi forces have gained control of the main highway to Baghdad from Islamic State militants, officials said on Tuesday. -Reuters


EU, African states map (blurry) approach to migration crisis Leaders call for greater efforts but stop short of radical new measures. -Politico.eu

Angola's ruling MPLA party leads general election with 65% of the vote -France24

Qatar-Gulf crisis spreads to Africa The Qatar-Gulf crisis is now affecting Africa after Saudi Arabia called on a number of countries, including Somalia, to join its boycott of Qatar. However, not every country is prepared to obey orders from Riyadh. -DW



We don’t want a Balkanized Internet, says brexiting UK -Tech Crunch

Europe’s next competition clash: Online data Monopoly watchdogs appear to want to treat tech giants like state-owned water or energy utilities, which could be legally fraught. -Politico.eu

Europe’s antitrust watchdogs and the world’s tech giants are about to join battle once more — this time, over how the likes of Google, Facebook and Amazon harvest and sell European consumers’ data when they search, shop and socialize online.

Alphabet's Google acts to comply with EU antitrust order -Reuters

Germania questions state loan for troubled Air Berlin Privately owned carrier Germania has announced it's not willing to accept a state loan that the German government has promised to grant insolvent rival Air Berlin. It took legal action to stop the credit. -DW

BUBBLE WITH CHEESE >> Burger King launches WhopperCoin crypto-cash in Russia -BBC


Risk-Off Trades Shake Draghi's Policy Tightrope In two speeches last week, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi was careful not to mention how and when his institution will reduce its quantitative easing program. His reticence on this key policy issue hasn't stopped spreads on peripheral bonds climbing in the past month. -Bloomberg Gadfly

Euro rises to 18-month high against dollar The euro has hit $1.20 for the first time since January 2015 as the prospect of a US interest rate rise recedes. -BBC

What’s Next For Libya As Oil Production Slips Libya’s largest oilfield, Sharara, has not pumped new oil for a week as of Sunday, according to news emerging from the area. -OilPrice.com





North Korea Used Multiple-Rocket Launchers to Test Missiles -NYT

That would be far enough to reach major South Korean and American military bases, including those near the city of Pyeongtaek, about 60 miles south of Seoul.


HEADLINE OF THE WEEK >>Top anti-graft inspector at China's finance ministry under investigation for graft -The Straits Times

All you need to know about China’s sanctions on North Korea Beijing has slapped bans on some trade with its troublesome neighbour but with Pyongyang firing off yet another round of missiles on the weekend there’s debate over just how effective the curbs will be -SCMP

BEIJING MEETS BENTHAM>> The Dark Side of China's Tech Boom China’s tech giants are helping the state build a digital panopticon. -The Diplomat

PODCAST OF THE WEEK >> “How to Censor a Billion People” -Harvard on China (Podcast)


Is Hong Kong’s rule of law really under threat? Claims of political interference regarding the jailing of three student leaders involved in the Occupy protests strike at the very heart of Hong Kong’s identity -SCMP


Tokyo freezes North Korea-linked assets, including in China and Namibia The Cabinet on Friday approved the imposition of new unilateral sanctions on a number of companies and individuals from China, Namibia and North Korea in a bid to further pressure Pyongyang over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. -The Japan Times

Anniversary of China relations likely to be marked on Sept. 8 -The Japan News


Taiwan reiterates sovereignty over Taiping Island -Focus Taiwan

"Taiping Island is part of our country's territory," Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs

America Needs a Taiwan Strategy for the 21st Century The current framework for the trilateral relationship between Washington, Taipei and Beijing requires recalibration. -The National Interest

Former KMT chairwoman Hung slams ‘desinicization’ -Taipei Times


Deceptive lull in South China Sea -The Straits Times

China Is Weaponizing Water While much attention has been given to the nation’s fearsome new military hardware, a formidable component in its arsenal has largely escaped notice: dams. -The National Interest

As the U.S. steps back, Vietnamese wonder if China is taking control Domestically, China is one of the most sensitive issues for Vietnam’s. Much of the country’s small dissident community attacks the Communist Party on this issue, and perceived weakness regarding Beijing is often seen as its most vulnerable point. -The Washington Post

In Vietnam, Repression Threatens Growth A lack of democracy has an economic cost. -Bloomberg View

In Singapore, Chinese Dialects Revive After Decades of Restrictions -NYT

Cambodian - Japanese Ties: Preserving Cambodia’s Foreign Policy Autonomy Since the two nations signed a strategic partnership in 2013 trade and security cooperation has elevated. -ASEAN Today



China must improve business environment for manufacturing sector: Premier Li -Reuters

Here’s why incoming FDI is far more important to China than thought Accounting for just 2.5pc of the nation’s GDP, China doesn’t need FDIs – or so the thinking goes. Well, think again -SCMP

NOTA BENE >> Chinese Communist Party’s push for influence inside foreign firms stirs fears Companies are being pushed to amend their joint venture agreements to include language mandating CCP personnel be given management positions, that overhead expenses for such personnel be included in the company budget, and that board chairman and party secretary posts be held by the same person -Taipei Times

Cambridge University Press retains its honor -The Japan Times

Hyundai establishes new division to tackle slumping sales in China China sales of the group in July was down 37 percent on-year to 70,017 units -The Korean Herald

The carmaker said heightened Chinese consumer backlash over Seoul’s decision to deploy the US-led THAAD missile system caused the sales decline, with the fallout to persist in the second half of this year as well.

Missile Tension Deters Tourists From Visiting South Korea Travel to the nation plunged almost 41% -Bloomberg

Japan's Power Players Are Multiplying New electricity retailers offer discounts, bundled services, even credit cards. -BloombergView

Western Digital group to offer $17.4 billion for Toshiba chip unit -Japan Today

McDonald’s to shutter 169 outlets in India Fast food chain McDonald’s said on Monday it planned to shut all 169 of its restaurants in India’s northern and eastern regions, escalating a dispute with its local partner and potentially putting thousands of workers out of jobs. -Reuters

The U.S. company said it was “compelled” to take the action because its partner Connaught Plaza Restaurants Pvt Ltd (CPRL) had breached the terms of their franchise agreements.

Samsung heir's jailing heralds reform drive: Analysts -The Straits Times

FINTECH WATCH >> Razer ready to deliver on Twitter offer to PM Lee Razer chief Tan Min-Liang told The Straits Times yesterday that the company is now working on a proposal for a nationwide e-payment system that it intends to submit to the Prime Minister's Office in the coming weeks. -The Straits Times

China's JD.com invests in Indonesia's Go-Jek amid SE Asia push: sources -Reuters

JD in $500m joint venture talks with Thailand's Central Group This would see the Chinese battle for the Southeast Asia market heat up considerably, with a focus shifting west from Indonesia where JD has been concentrating its efforts. -Technode

Philippines says will lift Uber suspension if hefty fine paid -Reuters


BOJ price goal looking like tall order / But companies not interested in more easing -The Japan News

China’s Misguided Exchange-Rate Machinations -Project Syndicate

PetroChina profit surges on higher oil prices PetroChina's revenue rose 32% to CNY975.91 billion from CNY739.07 billion, on higher prices of crude oil, natural gas and other products as well as an increase in sales volume, it said. -MW

The New Thing in Chinese Oil? America There's a new kid on the block, muscling in on crude sales to China. America is rapidly carving out a niche for itself, stepping in to fill the gap left by falling supplies from OPEC countries. -Bloomberg

Third time lucky for Hong Kong bourse as gold futures trading gets off to a glittering start The two new gold futures has over 29,074 contracts in their first seven weeks of trading, which has helped stock brokers to diversify their income source. -SCMP

Geopolitical Risk Tracker >> Americas Fridays




Low world inflation dogs central bankers, even as economies grow The world's top central bankers gather in Jackson Hole, their confidence bolstered by a sustained return to economic growth that may eventually allow the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan to follow the Federal Reserve in winding down their crisis-era policies.

STRAIGHTEN THIS PHILLIP GUY’S CURVE OUT>> Yet in one key area, none of the world's central banks has found the answer. Inflation remains well below their two percent targets, stoking a debate about whether they are missing signals of a less than healthy economy and the need for a slower path of "rate normalization", or that they simply don't understand how inflation works in a globalized world. -Reuters  

Who Wants to Deregulate Finance? -Project Syndicate


Trump Widens Rift With Congress as Critical Showdowns Loom -NYT

Can Trump Deal with North Korea and China? Today, as President Donald Trump threatens new trade barriers against China, on which the United States must depend to help rein in an increasingly dangerous North Korea, these two issues have become closely connected. Yet US officials seem no closer to figuring them out. -Project Syndicate 

Poll: 61 percent of Americans have little to no confidence in Trump’s ability to handle international crisis -PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll

A ‘win’ in Afghanistan includes peace talks with the Taliban, say U.S. officials in Kabul -The Washington Post

John McCain’s fan club The veteran senator has mentored many senators — from both parties — to carry on his foreign policy worldview –Politico

In the Year of the Deciding Vote, one Democrat’s corruption trial could change the Senate — or not -The Washington Post


House Speaker Ryan says rates must be permanent in tax reform U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday rejected speculation that future tax legislation could include temporary tax cuts for businesses, saying macro-economic elements of tax reform including rates must be permanent. -Reuters

America's permanent export emergency For 23 years, presidents have had to use emergency powers to control risky national-security technologies. Trump just became the latest. Will Congress ever fix it? -Politico

Free trade support for the Trump administration The Trump administration just announced an investigation into Chinese actions to coerce the transfer of intellectual property from American companies and individuals, as well as steal it outright. But this is a good initial response to predatory Chinese economic policies. -AEI

BED TIME FOR GONZO >> The Media Is Trump's Evil Empire Now, a policy of containment, preferably rollback, of the mainstream media occupies that central role. -Politico


Labor Wants to Make Nafta Its Friend. Here’s the Problem. Union officials are pinning their hopes on President Trump’s nationalist pronouncements, betting he can deliver what President Bill Clinton failed to put on the table nearly a quarter-century ago: real protection against cheap Mexican labor. -NYT

Why Florida Farmers Want to Kill Nafta As U.S. trade representatives sit down with their Canadian and Mexican counterparts to renegotiate Nafta, fruit and vegetable farmers have emerged as a staunch component of the anti-free-trade movement. -Bloomberg

Brazil's farm lobby to demand broader tax renegotiation program -Reuters




INTERMEDIARY LIABILITY >> Holding Backpage.com accountable That’s why I recently introduced the bipartisan Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act —to ensure websites that knowingly facilitate sex trafficking can be held liable and that victims can get justice. This bill simply clarifies Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act — the clause that courts credit to giving third-party providers blanket immunity from crimes committed through their websites. -U.S. Senator Rob Portman

Web hosting company ordered to turn over information on anti-Trump website Judge imposes safeguards, but data on 'innocent' users would still end up with government. -Politico

NO WORRIES GETTING ¥ OUT OF JAPAN >> SoftBank and Fund to Invest $4.4 Billion in WeWork -NYT DealBook

“We are thrilled to support WeWork as they expand across markets and geographies and unleash a new wave of productivity around the world,” Mr. Son

OR TAIWAN >> In wake of Foxconn deal, Wisconsin and Illinois vie for jobs -Reuters

Apple to build Iowa data center, get $207.8 million in incentives -Reuters


Knowing Where to Look 10 Years After Start of Financial Crisis -NYT

Bond Routs, Stock Surges: Jackson Hole Can Be Messy for Markets -Bloomberg

BRENT + WTI GO THEIR OWN WAY >> This Critical Oil Price Divergence Could Boost US Exports The gap between the two most important oil benchmarks has widened recently, a symptom of the shifting oil supply/demand dynamics between the U.S. and the rest of the world. -OilPrice.com

Mexico's Oil Output Falls Below 2 Million Barrels Per Day Mexico's crude oil output has fallen below 2 million barrels per day for the first time since comparable records were kept starting in 1990. -NYT