World nervously watches Trump’s Davos debut While his style still stirs nervousness, the president seemingly sought to smooth a rift with the U.K. and focus on U.S. achievements. -Politico

‘America First’ is a hard sell in Davos -The Washington Post

Trump threatens to take away more U.S. aid from Palestinians if they don’t negotiate with Israel President Trump threatened Thursday to write off the Palestinian leadership and withdraw further U.S. aid if Palestinians are not serious about negotiating peace with Israel, deepening a diplomatic rift and putting Trump’s hopes for a historic agreement on hold. -The Washington Post

THE TILLERSON FILE Tillerson’s State Overhaul Faces Mutiny as USAID Weighs Role The agency in charge of U.S. foreign aid has put Rex Tillerson on notice about rising frustration over his State Department redesign, the most visible sign yet of the confusion surrounding his bid to reshape American diplomacy. -Bloomberg

U.S. Approves New Tariffs on Solar Cells -JD Supra

GOP lawmakers condemn Trump’s tariff decision Prominent Republicans warned President Trump on Wednesday against taking further trade actions that could harm American workers, even as top administration officials meeting in Davos, Switzerland, rose to the defense of the president’s “America First” rhetoric on the eve of his arrival. -Bloomberg

CFIUS WATCH January 25, 2018 Hearing - Reform: Administration Perspectives on the Essential Elements -The Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

Brazilian court upholds corruption conviction of former president Lula, potentially ending his political career -The Washington Post




WHAT’S YOUR WASHINGTON STRATEGY? Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google spent nearly $50 million — a record — to influence the U.S. government in 2017 Immigration, net neutrality, taxes and Russia dominated tech’s agenda in the nation’s capital last year, per new reports. -Recode

Facebook, Google and Twitter told Congress they do not believe Russian trolls interfered in last year’s elections in Virginia and New Jersey The companies’ comments came in response to another round of questions from the Senate Intelligence Committee -Recode

Russian Trolls Are Only Part of the Problem The companies have misplaced their focus in the fight, concentrating too heavily on removing Russian content while ignoring the problematic articles and posts created and shared by American outlets and users. -NYT Opinion

NICE WRAPPING BUT NOTHING INSIDE SEC Weighs a Big Gift to Companies: Blocking Investor Lawsuits In its determination to reverse a two-decade slump in U.S. stock listings, a regulator might offer companies an extreme incentive to go public: the ability to bar aggrieved shareholders from suing. -Bloomberg

Caterpillar beats estimates on buoyant global demand Caterpillar Inc’s profit topped Wall Street forecasts for the seventh straight quarter on Thursday as equipment sales surged 35 percent on strong global demand for construction, mining and energy machines. -Reuters

WATCH THIS CASE Canadian Court Asserts Jurisdiction over Craigslist Based on Cloud-Based Virtual Presence in Canada  British Columbia (Attorney General) v. Brecknell, 2018 BCCA 5 (Jan. 9, 2018) -JD Supra

Using Drones and Netflix in the Andes, but Sidestepping Google Maps -NYT


$$$ The Treasury Doesn't Need a Dollar Policy It needs to be fiscally responsible and a prudent financial regulator. -Bloomberg 

Protectionism Can't Fix Trade Imbalances If Washington wants to reduce deficits, it must focus on capital. Donald Trump's administration this week announced new tariffs on solar panels and washing machines. It has hinted at more to come. The rationale for these measures is that they'll reduce American trade deficits -- in particular, the widening deficit with China -- and thus benefit the U.S. economy. Rather than take Washington’s assumptions at face value, however, we must consider how protectionism affects capital flows. -Bloomberg View