The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Wal-Mart Stores, Home Depot, E I Du Pont De Nemours, Dow Chemical and Johnson & Johnson
The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Wal-Mart Stores, Home Depot, E I Du Pont De Nemours, Dow Chemical and Johnson & Johnson
Republicans need President Donald Trump to get tax reform back on track. Lawmakers widely agree on the need for a major tax-code cleanup, but they are tied in knots over how. The main proposal, by House Speaker Paul Ryan, has taken a beating from many of the party’s erstwhile allies in the business community, not to mention a growing number of Republicans. But it’s unclear what the critics could support in its place, with lawmakers offering a host of competing proposals. That’s creating a big void that Trump, now working on a new tax-reform plan of his own, can fill — by resuscitating Ryan’s so-called border adjustment plan or perhaps with an entirely new vision for the tax code. “I’m waiting to see what’s coming out of the White House because, at the end of the day, the most powerful voice is going to be the president’s,” said Rep. Mike Kelly, a Republican member of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. Republicans have yearned for presidential leadership after trying for years, unsuccessfully, to launch reform from Capitol Hill when President Obama was more interested in other issues. “If you’re going to get tax reform done, the president has to lead,” said Rep. Jim Renacci, another Republican tax writer. Trump is set to address Congress on Tuesday, where he’s expected to lay out his legislative agenda, and the administration says its tax plan will be ready within weeks.The most immediate, and difficult, question facing Trump is whether to throw his weight behind Ryan’s border adjustment plan, which would essentially tax imports but not exports. It would be hugely embarrassing if his proposal were discarded at virtually the outset of lawmakers’ tax-reform debate. But it faces considerable obstacles in the Senate, where the No. 2 Republican John Cornyn, Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch and other influential Republicans have major concerns with the proposal. Sen. Lindsey Graham has said the plan wouldn’t get 10 votes from his colleagues. Trump’s own advisers have been deeply divided over the proposal. The president raised eyebrows when he told Reuters the border adjustment plan could create “a lot more jobs,” while stopping short of outright endorsing the plan. His press secretary Sean Spicer subsequently told reporters the proposal “benefits our economy, it helps the American workers, it grows more jobs, it grows the manufacturing base.” Ryan, who has been quietly lobbying the administration on the proposal, quickly trumpeted Trump’s remarks in a blast to reporters.Advocates like Ryan warn the entire tax-reform effort will implode without the border adjustment plan, because lawmakers have no other obvious way to raise the $1 trillion it would generate to finance tax cuts, and certainly no alternative that won’t create its own enemies. They also want the president's bully pulpit — including perhaps his Twitter account — to overcome organized opposition to the plan from retailers, apparel companies and other big importers. Business leaders are likewise pulling Trump in both directions, with the heads of Dow Chemical, Caterpillar, Boeing and other border-adjustment supporters meeting with him this week. Their conversation with him followed Trump’s meeting last week with the heads of the Gap, Best Buy, Walgreens and other retailers pushing him to kill the proposal. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the administration is working behind the scenes with Republicans in both chambers to develop a consensus plan. “We’re working very closely with Paul Ryan and we’re working very closely with Senate leadership and we’re going to have a combined plan,” he told Fox Business News. “When we go to pass this, we’re going to have a plan that we all agree with.” Asked about the border adjustment proposal, Mnuchin said: “These are complicated issues,” pointing to the plan’s uncertain effects on the U.S. dollar. “We are taking this all into account, and I can assure you when we come out with the plan, we will have very carefully thought through all of these issues.” Speaking Friday at a conference for conservative activists, Trump said: “We are going to massively lower taxes on the middle class, reduce taxes on American business and make our tax code more simple and much more fair for everyone.” But Trump has hardly been a consistent leader on taxes. During his presidential campaign, he repeatedly rewrote his own tax-reform proposal, sometimes taking multiple positions on various tax issues — leaving Republicans in Congress to wonder what he’d be willing to really fight for.What’s more, Trump is still working with a skeleton crew on the issue. Neither Mnuchin nor economic adviser Gary Cohn are considered tax experts, and many key tax positions at Treasury — including assistant secretary for tax policy and deputy assistant secretary for international tax affairs – remain unfilled.That’s raised questions among tax watchers about how detailed his plan will be or how much it will differ from his previous proposals. There are other challenges. Though the border-adjustment issue has dominated the tax reform debate in Washington, it’s only the beginning of the controversy. The House plan is chockablock with contentious ideas, including dumping a century-old tax break for corporate borrowing and plans to expand the standard deduction – which the housing and charitable sectors fear will hurt their bottom lines by making the mortgage interest and charitable deductions less attractive. Republicans are unlikely to get much support from Democrats, thanks to the GOP’s plans to slash taxes on the rich, which means they will have little room for error, particularly in the Senate. And their bid to repeal Obamacare has gotten bogged down, eating up precious time and political capital, while other must-do items like raising the debt limit and reauthorizing a children’s health program loom. Meanwhile, other administration controversies threaten to push tax-reform aside even more. Many assume Republicans’ fallback plan is to simply cut taxes, a far easier task politically than tax reform. Any overhaul will necessarily create winners and losers, while there are only winners when it comes to tax cuts. Both George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan muscled big tax cuts through Congress in their first year in office. In an op-ed today, a former campaign adviser urged Trump to focus on simply cutting taxes. “What’s needed is a net tax cut for business,” wrote Stephen Moore. “Lawmakers shouldn’t get bogged down on the issue of how to ‘pay for’ it.”The difference this time is the debt is far higher, with the CBO predicting the government will be running trillion-dollar deficits for the foreseeable future beginning in six years. That will not only raise the hackles of deficit hawks. If Republicans cut taxes without doing much to clean up the code, that will leave less revenue available for any future overhaul — which could force them to choose between their love of tax cuts and their desire for tax reform.
The Dow notched up a record streak of gains over a holiday shortened week.
The president signed the measure with the CEOs of U.S. firms such as Lockheed Martin and International Paper standing behind him.
Oval Office 12:07 P.M. EST THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all very much for being here. We have tremendous people standing behind me, and the biggest in the world in terms of manufacturing and business. Some of the people involved are Ken Fisher and Ken Frazier, Chairman and President, CEO of Merck. Alex Gorsky, Chairman, CEO of Johnson and Johnson. Marillyn Hewson -- and she has been very tough to deal with but that’s okay -- (laughter) -- she’s a very tough negotiator, President of Lockheed Martin. Gregory Hayes, Chairman and CEO, United Technology. Andrew Liveris, my friend Andrew, Chairman and CEO of Dow Chemical Company. Mario Longhi, the President, CEO, United States Steel Corporation. Juan Luciano, Chairman, President, CEO of Archer Daniels Midland Company. Denise Morrison, President of Campbell’s Soup Company. Lee Styslinger III, Chairman and CEO of Altec, Inc. Mark Sutton, Chairman, CEO of International Paper. And Inge Thulin, Chairman, President of 3M Company. And we have made tremendous progress with these great business leaders -- amazing progress. They’re getting together in groups and they’re coming up with suggestions about their companies and how to bring jobs back to the United States. And I think it will be a fantastic day for the country. And we met yesterday, and -- I met with these folks and some more. Excessive regulation is killing jobs, driving companies out of our country like never before. Although, I must say, I think we’ve stopped it to a large part, Marillyn, right? MS. HEWSON: Right. THE PRESIDENT: Reducing wages and raising prices. I’ve listened to American companies and American workers. I’ve been listening to them for a long time. I’ve been listening to them complain for a long time. But today, this executive order directs each agency to establish a regulatory reform task force, which will ensure that every agency has a team of dedicated -- and a real team of dedicated people to research all regulations that are unnecessary, burdensome and harmful to the economy, and therefore harmful to the creation of jobs and business. Each task force will make recommendations to repeal or simplify existing regulations. The regulatory burden is for the people behind me and for the great companies of this country, and for small companies -- an impossible situation, we’re going to solve it very quickly. They will also have to really report every once in a while to us so we can report on the progress, and so we can come up with some even better solutions. This executive order is one of many ways we’re going to get real results when it comes to removing job-killing regulations and unleashing economic opportunity. We’ve already issued an order which says that for every one new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated. So that in itself is going to be tremendous, but what we’re doing is much more than even that. Every regulation should have to pass a simple test: Does it make life better or safer for American workers or consumers? If the answer is no, we will be getting rid of it and getting rid of it quickly. We will stop punishing companies for doing business in the United States. It’s going to be absolutely just the opposite. They’re going to be incentivized for doing business in the United States. We’re working very hard to roll back the regulatory burdens so that coal miners, factory workers, small-business owners, and so many others can grow their businesses and thrive. We cannot allow government to be an obstacle to government opportunity. We are going to bring back jobs and create more opportunities to prosper, maybe more than ever before in our country. We’ve made tremendous strides over the last short period of time. This is -- I guess we’re four weeks into it. I think for four weeks I’ve done a good job, wouldn’t you say? (Laughter.) But again, I want to thank these great business leaders. Some of them are with us and the White House, and they’ve had tremendous success -- Reed and Jared and so many others -- in business. And they’re helping us sort out what’s going on, because really, for many years, even beyond -- long beyond Obama, President Obama -- I will say that it’s been disastrous for business. This is going to be a place for business to do well and to thrive. And so with the signing of this executive order, I would like to just congratulate everybody behind me. And, Andrew, I’d like to thank you for initially getting the group together. MR. LIVERIS: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. President. THE PRESIDENT: Really a fantastic job you’ve done. MR. LIVERIS: Thank you. (The executive order is signed.) THE PRESIDENT: Should I give this pen to Andrew? Dow Chemical. (Laughter.) I think maybe, right? (Applause.) MR LIVERIS: Thank you. THE PRESIDENT: That means a lot of jobs. Thank you, everybody. Thank you very much. END 12:12 P.M. EST
President Donald Trump on Friday ordered federal agencies to begin identifying rules for elimination — a move he presented as part of his larger assault on regulations he said damage the economy.Trump’s move may not have much immediate effect, but it continues an anti-regulatory push that began on the first day of his administration. The executive order he signed in the Oval Office Friday directs each federal agency to set up a "regulatory reform task force" to review an agency's existing regulations and search for rules to repeal or modify. The task forces in particular will be directed to "focus on eliminating costly and unnecessary regulations," according to a White House official.Trump previewed the move in a speech earlier in the day at the Conservative Political Action Conference.“We have begun a historic program to reduce the regulations that are crushing our economy — crushing,” Trump told the CPAC crowd at National Harbor, Md. “And not only our economy, crushing our jobs because companies can’t hire. We’re going to put the regulation industry out of work and out of business.”The president previously issued an order directing agencies to identify two regulations for repeal for every rule that is written, prompting outcries from environmentalists, labor unions and consumer advocates. Several groups have sued to block that order, although it is not yet clear they will have the standing in court until a regulation is repealed because of it.Trump's new regulatory review process likely will face similar opposition from those groups, but could prove much harder to challenge, so long as the government cites other evidence for the need to repeal each regulation.The orders come on top of one of the Trump administration’s first acts upon his inauguration issuing a blanket freeze on regulatory actions across the government, similar to the stoppage imposed when Barack Obama first took office.Trump said in his CPAC speech that he is not entirely against regulation.“I want to protect our environment. I want regulations for safety. I want all of the regulations we need, and I want them to be so strong and so tough,” he said. “But we don’t need 75 percent of the repetitive, horrible regulations that hurt companies, hurt jobs, make us noncompetitive overseas with other companies from other countries.”Trump’s critics promptly dismissed that statement.“Cognitive dissonance, thy name is Donald Trump,” Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said in a statement.The president is expected to issue further executive orders on more specific environmental regulations soon.That includes long-rumored orders directing EPA to begin the process of repealing key Obama-era EPA regulations curbing greenhouse gas emissions from the nation’s power plants as well as a contentious rule defining which waterways fall under federal jurisdiction.Lifting the Interior Department’s moratorium on new coal mining leases on federal land is also expected to be a priority once Ryan Zinke is confirmed to lead that department next week. The moratorium was imposed by a secretarial order and can be lifted easily, whereas the EPA rules will take up to a year or more to formally unwind through the federal regulatory process.Tara Palmeri and Nick Juliano contributed to this report.
James S. Brady Press Briefing Room 2:58 P.M. EST MR. SPICER: I was thinking about not doing a briefing today, and then I saw Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon give that talk and I thought they were infringing on my ratings, so we figured we had to do something to keep up our record. It’s been another busy day today. This morning, after receiving his daily intelligence briefing, the President welcomed some of the world’s top business and manufacturing leaders to the White House to continue the administration’s effort to engage with the private sector to create jobs and expand opportunities for America’s workers. The 24 CEOs spent the morning in working sessions with the Vice President, Cabinet members and key aides, and came together with the President to brief him on their discussions and recommendations. The group discussed the need to roll back burdensome regulations that are stifling economic growth. The CEOs thanked the President for the actions that he’s already taken to address the issues, and the President pledged to do even more, both through the executive branch and by working with Congress to pass legislation that will help further economic growth and job creation. The business leaders recommended that the administration take a multifaceted approach to tax and trade policies, including tax reform, toward which Secretary Mnuchin said that progress is continuing to be made. The President committed to working to lower taxes and level the playing field with other countries when it comes to trade and taxation. The group held a lengthy discussion about the need to invest in the American worker to prepare for the manufacturing jobs of the future, especially the key role of vocational schools in training the workforce of the 21st century. The CEOs and administration officials agreed that public-private partnerships will be the cornerstone of a robust plan to rebuild the nation’s crumbling infrastructure. The President committed to streamlining a permitting process that is holding back so many key projects. At the end of the discussion, the group expressed their excitement for having a true partner in economic growth in the White House, and Andrew Liveris, the CEO of Dow Chemical, even said that this is probably the most pro-business administration since the Founding Fathers. The President conveyed his intention to assemble the industry leaders on a regular basis to discuss progress towards these important goals. A full list of the participants is available. This afternoon, the President spoke with Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau by phone. We’ll have a readout on that call soon. Right now, many of you just came from the President, who is involved in another listening session with leaders in the fight against domestic and international human trafficking, including representatives from International Justice Mission and United Way. Their expertise will be invaluable to the President as he engages with members of Congress to raise awareness about, and push through, legislation aimed at preventing all forms of the horrific and unacceptable practice of the buying and selling of human lives. Human trafficking is a dire problem, both domestically and internationally. And solving this epidemic is a huge priority for the President. Dedicated men and women from across the federal government have focused on this for some time, and the President is committed to continue working with these organizations and departments. A participant list for this listening session is also going to be available. The President this evening will attend a dinner with the Business Council. Today in Mexico, Secretaries Tillerson and Kelly had productive meetings at the Cabinet level with officials from the Mexican government. They were forward-looking meetings focused on finding common-ground ways to advance both of our countries’ security and economic wellbeing. Both sides had a candid discussion on the breadth of challenges and opportunities as part of the U.S.-Mexico relationship. The conversation covered a full range of bilateral issues, including energy, legal migration, security, education exchanges, and people-to-people ties. The parties also reiterated our joint commitment to maintaining law and order at our shared border by stopping potential terrorists and dismantling the transnational criminal networks that are moving drugs and people into the United States. Under this President there is no mistaking that rule of law matters along both sides of our border. Both Secretary Tillerson and Secretary Kelly are meeting with President Peña Nieto this afternoon. That will be a continuation of the productive dialogue that is setting our two countries down a pathway to greater security and long-term prosperity. Looking ahead to our upcoming schedule, tomorrow the President will welcome President of Peru for a working-level visit. The President of Peru is in town for a separate visit and requested a meeting with the President. There will be a spray at the top of that. Further guidance will be provided later today. The President will also speak at CPAC tomorrow. I know the President is looking forward to addressing this group of conservative-committed individuals. Our nation’s governors are starting to gather in Washington this week for a meeting of the National Governors Association. The President and the First Lady will welcome the governors to the White House on Sunday evening. The Vice President and members of the Cabinet will also be in attendance. While the governors are in town, they will be meeting with members of the Cabinet, White House staff, and other Secretaries including Kelly, Price, and Secretary Chao have also set up a series of meetings. The President, Vice President, and senior White House staff will also participate in a portion of the business session of NGA’s winter meeting that takes place on Monday morning. Next week, of course, the President will give a joint session address before both Houses of Congress. He’s currently working closely with the speechwriting team on presenting his vision to Congress and the American people. I’ve got a few updates that I want to just -- as we’re now a few days out. The theme of the address will be the renewal of the American spirit. The address will particularly focus on public safety, including defense, increased border security, taking care of our veterans, and then economic opportunity, including education, job training, healthcare reform, jobs, and tax and regulatory reform. With that, I’d be glad to take a few of your questions. Q Two questions. First, the White House said previously that that travel ban was pushed quickly out of necessity for national security, and now we’re hearing there’s these repeated delays while the new one is being drafted. How do we reconcile those two talking points? That’s question one. And then secondly, the President said today that the deportations taking place under his watch are a military operation. Secretary Kelly said the military won’t be involved in deportations. Did the President misspeak? MR. SPICER: So I’ll take the latter first. The President was using that as an adjective. It’s happening with precision, and in a manner in which it’s being done very, very clearly. I think we’ve made it clear in the past, and Secretary Kelly reiterated it, what kind of operation this was. But the President was clearly describing the manner in which this was being done. And so just to be clear on his use of that phrase. And I think the way it’s being done, by all accounts, is being done with very much a high degree of precision and a flawless manner in terms of making sure that the orders are carried out, and it’s done in a very streamlined and efficient manner. I’m sorry, the first part was? Q The first one was about the travel ban. MR. SPICER: Yeah. And I think, look, we have made it very clear that we believe that the first one was done in compliance with U.S. code and the authority granted to the President. This time, the order is finalized. What we are doing is now in the implementation phase of working with the respective departments and agencies to make sure that when we execute this, it’s done in a manner that’s flawless. And so it’s not a question of delaying, it’s a question of getting it right. We’ve taken the Court’s opinions and concerns into consideration, but the order is finalized. It’s now awaiting implementation. What we want to do is make sure that we’re working through the departments and agencies so that any concerns or questions are handled on the front end. But we are acting with appropriate haste and diligence to make sure that the order is done in an appropriate manner. Q I want to ask you about a comment that the Treasury Secretary made today. He was asked if we should assume that the tax plan that the President is about to roll out will take effect in 2018. He said, and I’m quoting, “I think we’re looking at that.” So my question to you is, would the President accept a tax proposal that deals with the timeline of implementation in 2018 but not 2017? MR. SPICER: So, Secretary Mnuchin also made it very clear that his goal is to have this wrapped up by August and implemented. The question is, or what you’re referring to is what year it actually takes place? Q Right. MR. SPICER: Right, so whether it’s retroactive to tax year 2017 or fiscal year '17. And I think as the details get -- Q (Inaudible.) MR. SPICER: Yeah, we’ll have more details on that as it moves forward. I think there’s two issues -- fiscal year '17 and calendar year '17. And, for taxpayers, it’s obviously calendar year 2017 that they’re probably most concerned with, and I think the President, as we work with Congress, will have those details to be able to flush out. I want to go to our first Skype seat of the day. Neil Vigdor with Hearst Connecticut Media Group. Q Good afternoon, Sean. Thanks for taking my question. I appreciate it. Connecticut’s governor directed police chiefs across the state Wednesday to avoid taking any special action against undocumented immigrants, including honoring immigration detainer requests from ICE. What will the repercussions be for this state in terms of federal funding it receives from the Trump administration? And secondly, does the President’s executive order on sanctuary cities apply to those that are undeclared sanctuary cities? MR. SPICER: Well, Neil, I think there’s a couple things. The idea that Governor Malloy would not want the law followed as enacted by Congress or by the Connecticut legislature in any fashion seems to be concerning, right? Whether you’re a governor or mayor or the President, laws are passed in this country and we expect people and our lawmakers and our law enforcement agencies to follow and adhere to the laws as passed by the appropriate level of government. So it’s obviously concerning, I think, and it’s troubling that that’s the message that he would send to his people and to other governors. Because we are a nation of laws, and I think that people need to understand that whether it’s the laws that he passes as the Governor of Connecticut or the laws that are passed through Congress and signed by the President, there’s a reason that our democracy works. It’s because the people speak, our representatives at every level pass a law, and the executive in that particular branch of government signs or vetoes it, and then we live by those rules. And the idea that you can decide which laws to agree or not to agree with, or follow or not follow, undermines our entire rule of law. And so I would suggest that that is not a great sign to be sending to the people of Connecticut and the people of this country, that a particular governor chooses not to follow the duly-passed laws of this nation. With respect to sanctuary cities, I think this is an area that the American people by huge amounts support. They recognize their tax dollars shouldn’t be spent supporting programs and activities to which people are not entitled to. And so I think the President has been very clear on this -- that if you are a sanctuary city, declared or undeclared, if you are providing benefits or services, we are going to do everything we can to respect taxpayers and ensure that your states follow the law. April. Q Sean, on the bathroom issue, there was a different comment from the President about, you know, if people like Caitlyn Jenner wanted to use this bathroom in Trump Tower, she could now. What’s happened? MR. SPICER: No, I think that’s -- so just to be clear, the President was asked -- at one point Caitlyn Jenner was in Trump Tower, and he said, that’s great. That’s consistent with everything he’s said. It’s a states' rights issue. And that’s entirely what he believes -- that if a state wants to pass a law or rule, or an organization wants to do something in compliance with the state rule, that’s their right. But it shouldn’t be the federal government getting in the way of this. I mean, if you look at this, the law that was passed in 1972 did not contemplate or consider this issue. Number two, the procedure for this guidance letter that was done through the Obama administration was not properly followed. There was no comment period. There was no input from parents, teachers, students or administrators. None. So if we think about how this was implemented last administration, there was zero input, there was zero comment period offered. Teachers and students never had any say in how this was implemented. Number three, there’s a reason that the Texas court had this matter enjoined. It’s because it didn’t follow the law and it had procedural problems. Four, as I mentioned, it’s a states' rights issue. And then five is, I think that we do have to recognize that children do enjoy rights, from anti-bullying statutes that are in almost every state, and that there’s a difference between being compassionate for individuals and children who are struggling with something and wanting to make sure they’re protected, and how it’s being done. And I think that the President has a big heart, as we’ve talked about in a lot of other issues, and there’s a big difference. Personally, he addressed this issue when it came up with respect to one of his properties. But he also believes that that’s not a federal government issue. It’s an issue left to the states, and it’s an issue that -- I mean, there’s a reason in August of last year that the court enjoined this, because it hadn’t followed the law and it hadn’t -- the procedure, the comment period and the solicitation of opinions and ideas wasn’t followed. It was jammed down the process. And so we’re actually following the law on this one, and I think that’s the way it’s supposed to be done. John. Q If I could just follow on what April said. The Human Rights Campaign -- Q I wasn’t finished, I’m sorry. Q Well, I’m following on your question. Let me follow -- Q I understand that, but -- MR. SPICER: Why don’t we let April follow on and then we’ll get to John, Kristen and Brian. Q Yeah. So I have one on -- I have something on another issue really fast, then John can do that. On the HBCU executive order, we understand the executive order that’s coming out sometime later this month, it’s supposed to open -- you’re working out issues of opening an office specifically to take the HBCU initiative out of the Department of Education and bring it directly under the purview of the White House. Who will be heading that? Have you figured that out? Have you also figured out how you will build that office out? Because from what I understand, that is one of the big pieces of this. MR. SPICER: Well, respectfully, that’s why it hasn’t been issued yet. We’re working it through the process. Obviously, that is something that we’re committed to getting done by the end of Black History Month. So our days are numbered, but there’s a commitment by the President and the staff to really focus on this issue and give it the proper respect that it deserves. So if you’ll bear with us a couple more days, I promise you we’ll have more to say on that. Q So it will be a department with the full -- MR. SPICER: No, no, I just want to be clear, I’m not going to get into the details. Sort of my blanket statement on non-issued executive orders. But I do know that there is a commitment by the President and the staff that he has been very clear with us that he wants that done by the end of this month for obvious reasons. Now John. Q Let me get back to where we were. The Human Rights Campaign, in responding to rescinding the guidance last night, said that this is not a states' rights issue, it’s a civil rights issue, and therefore is in the purview of the federal government. Do you disagree that this a civil rights issue? MR. SPICER: It’s not a -- it’s a question of where it’s appropriately addressed. And I think there’s a reason -- like, we’ve got to remember, this guidance was enjoined last August by a court. It hasn’t been enforced. There was no comment period by anyone -- by the Human Rights Campaign, by teachers, parents, students. Nobody had any input of this. And it seems to me a little interesting that if this was any other issue, people would be crying foul that the process wasn’t followed. The reality is, is that when you look at Title IX, it was enacted in 1972. The idea that this was even contemplated at that is preposterous on its face. But that doesn’t mean that the President -- the President obviously understands the issue and the challenges that especially young children face. He just believes that this is a state issue that needs to be addressed by states, as he does with a lot of other issues that we’ve talked about. And so this is -- we are a states' rights party. The President on a lot of issues believes in these various issues being states' rights. I don’t see why this would be any different. And again, if you go through it, it’s not just -- it’s how the guidance was issued, it’s the legal basis on which it was ordered. It fell short on a lot of stuff. It wasn’t us that did this; it was the court that stepped in and said that they hadn’t followed the procedure of the law back in August of last year and enjoin the case. Q I understand all that, I’m just wondering if -- does the White House disagree with the position that this is a civil right? MR. SPICER: Well, I think it’s not a question of whether it’s a civil right, it’s where is it appropriately addressed. And as I noted, it’s appropriately addressed at the state level. Kelly. Q Can I follow on that? Sean, does the President believe, personally believe that any student who is transgender should be able to use the bathroom of their choice? His personal belief? MR. SPICER: The President believes it’s a states' rights issue. And he’s not going to get into determining -- I understand what you’re asking, Kelly. And I think that, as April pointed out, when the issue came to one of his own properties he was very clear. But again, what he doesn’t want to do is force his issues or beliefs down -- he believes it’s a states' rights issue -- Q But the public may want to know where the President is on this issue. MR. SPICER: I understand that, and I think that he is very sympathetic to children who deal with that and that this is up to states and schools within a particular district to address how they want to accommodate that, and not sort of be prescriptive from Washington. That’s what the President believes. Zeke. Q Thanks, Sean. You mentioned that this order was enjoined by a court and there was criticism about the process. That exact same criticism has been levied on the administration’s first executive order, on the travel ban. I mean, can you help us square the circle here? Why are you relying on that same “enjoined by a federal court” criticism of the process for one but not the other? MR. SPICER: Well, I think there’s a big difference. There’s no way that you can read Title IX from 1972 -- anybody -- and say that that was even contemplated back then. It just -- there’s nobody that is possibly suggesting that the law that was passed in 1972 did that. Number two, there was zero comment period put forward on this guidance, which is in violation of how it was executed, okay? And so there’s a big difference -- hold on, hold, on let me answer the question, Zeke. There is also a strong reading when you read 1182 U.S. Code that it is very clear that the President does have the authority. So they are very much apples and oranges issue. One, it’s very clear that the President is told by Congress in U.S. code that he has the authority to do what’s necessary to protect the American people. And there’s no way that anybody above a fifth grade reading level could interpret that different. There is a difference between looking at a statute from 1972 and saying that something was complicated back then. Not only that -- again, it’s a multifaceted thing. When you look at how the guidance was issued, there was a zero comment period. Nobody was able to weigh in on that situation back then. And so when you’re talking about forcing schools to make a huge accommodation from the federal level, and schools, parents, teachers, kids were not able to have any input in that decision from Washington, I think it’s a very, very clear difference. John Gizzi. Q Thank you, Sean. Just going back two weeks, in a story that got relatively little attention at the time -- Chuck Cooper, a very distinguished lawyer, asked that his name be withdrawn when he was on the periphery of being named U.S. Solicitor General. So my question is a two-parter. First, can you confirm or deny the administration is now vetting Mr. Miguel Estrada, who was a former nominee for the Court of Appeals, as Solicitor General before the visa delay case gets to the Supreme Court? And second, Mr. Cooper said that he did not want to go through the same experience that Jeff Sessions, his good friend, did when he had the confirmation hearings and the vote in the Senate. Does that make the President a little bit discouraged about getting the nominees he wants for some very important positions? MR. SPICER: Well, thanks, John. And I’d say - on the first part, as you know -- and I’ll give you the same answer we give executive orders -- we don’t comment on personnel decisions until they’re made, until they’re finalized. So I’ve got nothing for that. On the second part, what I would say is that the President is very confident we have a deep bench of folks who -- during the transition, we talked about this -- a number of people who have expressed a huge interest in joining the President in fulfilling this agenda. And that list is robust and long. However, that being said, I think for folks who have to go through the Senate confirmation and to watch what has happened to some of these fine individuals -- the delay tactics, the tearing apart of their personal lives -- it is discouraging for some of these people, I think, in terms of Mr. Cooper and others who are looking at the process saying, I would like to be part of this administration, help fulfill this vision and this agenda, but this is what I’m going to have go through. So while this is somewhat of an isolated case, I definitely understand what he’s talking about here. And I think those are few and far between, but I think that when you realize what is happening largely at the expense of Senate Democrats, in terms of dragging these people through a very, very delayed and arduous process for purely political points, I think that there are some people who could look at the process and potentially say I don't want to serve. Luckily, we've not come to that beyond a handful of folks. Largely, people have huge desire and are willing to make great sacrifice -- both financially and personally -- to serve in the administration because I think they understand what potential change this President is bringing to this country and to the city. But I understand his point. Q This morning, the President talked about, as he often does when he talks about immigrants, he talks about really bad dudes. MR. SPICER: Yeah. Q You talked about precision. The Homeland Security Secretary this morning insisted there won’t be mass deportation. MR. SPICER: Right. Q Is it the President’s intent or desire, as some advocates worry, that people who are here illegally with something as simple as a traffic violation, that those people will be subject to deportation? Yes or no? MR. SPICER: Well, I think everybody who is in this country for obvious reasons -- if you overstay a visa, if you commit a crime, you can't -- by the very nature of you not being legal, you can be subject to deportation. That's by definition. Being in this country is a privilege, not a right, if you are a visitor. And I think we have a right to make sure that the people who are in this country are here for good and peaceful processes. And as I’ve said over and over again, there is a big difference. The President recognizes that there are millions of people in the country who are not here legally, and that we have to have a very systematic and pragmatic and methodical process of going through those individuals to make sure that the people who pose a threat to public safety or have a criminal record are the first that are gone. What we've done -- just to be clear -- is to untie the hands of ICE and Border Patrol agents and say, your job is to enforce the law -- first and foremost to figure out who poses a threat to us. But in the previous administration their hands had been tied. There was exception after exception after exception. And the fact of the matter is, is that we have to -- we are a nation of laws, and we have to have a system of legal immigration that is respected. So I’m not going to be prescriptive in terms of what ICE’s job is. But needless to say, their job and their mission is to protect the country and to enforce our borders and our immigration laws. And the President has basically instructed them to carry out their mission. And so the priorities, as we've discussed over and over and over again, is to do that is in accordance with the law but also prioritizes those people that pose a threat. I’m going to go to Roby Brock from the Talk Business & Politics in -- where is he from? Arkansas. Q Thanks, Sean. Roby Brock with Talk Business & Politics here in Arkansas, the home of the rowdiest town halls in the nation. I have a question on medical marijuana. Our state voters passed a medical marijuana amendment in November. Now we're in conflict with federal law, as many other states are. The Obama administration kind of chose not to strictly enforce those federal marijuana laws. My question to you is: With Jeff Sessions over at the Department of Justice as AG, what’s going to be the Trump administration’s position on marijuana legalization where it’s in a state-federal conflict like this? MR. SPICER: Thanks, Roby. There’s two distinct issues here: medical marijuana and recreational marijuana. I think medical marijuana, I’ve said before that the President understands the pain and suffering that many people go through who are facing especially terminal diseases and the comfort that some of these drugs, including medical marijuana, can bring to them. And that's one that Congress, through a rider in 2011 -- looking for a little help -- I think put in an appropriations bill saying the Department of Justice wouldn’t be funded to go after those folks. There is a big difference between that and recreational marijuana. And I think that when you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states around this country, the last thing that we should be doing is encouraging people. There is still a federal law that we need to abide by in terms of the medical -- when it comes to recreational marijuana and other drugs of that nature. So I think there’s a big difference between medical marijuana, which states have a -- the states where it’s allowed, in accordance with the appropriations rider, have set forth a process to administer and regulate that usage, versus recreational marijuana. That’s a very, very different subject. Shannon. Q What does that mean in terms of policy? A follow-up, Sean. What does that mean in terms of policy? MR. SPICER: Shannon. Glenn, this isn’t a TV program. We’re going to -- Q What is the Justice Department going to do? MR. SPICER: Okay, you don’t get to just yell out questions. We’re going to raise our hands like big boys and girls. Q Why don’t you answer the question, though? MR. SPICER: Because it’s not your job to just yell out questions. Shannon, please go. Q Okay. Well, first, on the manufacturing summit, was the AFL-CIO invited? And then, yeah, I did want to follow up on this medical marijuana question. So is the federal government then going to take some sort of action around this recreational marijuana in some of these states? MR. SPICER: Well, I think that’s a question for the Department of Justice. I do believe that you’ll see greater enforcement of it. Because again, there’s a big difference between the medical use which Congress has, through an appropriations rider in 2014, made very clear what their intent was in terms of how the Department of Justice would handle that issue. That’s very different than the recreational use, which is something the Department of Justice I think will be further looking into. I’m sorry, Shannon, what was the first part? Q Was the AFL-CIO invited to the manufacturing meeting today with the CFOs? Because they are part of this manufacturing -- MR. SPICER: Right. I think this was just focused on people who actually -- they were not, I don’t believe, part of this one. As you know, that we’ve had union representation at other meetings. I think this was specifically for people who are hiring people and the impediments that they’re having to create additional jobs, hire more people. And obviously, while the President values their opinion -- and that’s why they’ve been involved in some of the past -- this was specifically a manufacturing -- people who hire people, who manufacture, who grow the economy, who grow jobs. And that is a vastly different situation. Andrei. Q I specifically sat here next to John to have -- MR. SPICER: One can see -- Q You know me. (Laughter.) Thank you. A question on Russia. Secretary Tillerson and General Dunford have had meetings with their Russian counterparts. Is the President pleased with the results of the meetings? MR. SPICER: Yes. Q And what comes next? MR. SPICER: Yeah, both of them had an opportunity to meet with their counterparts in different locations, ironically on the same day. I believe that was yesterday. And they both had very, very productive discussions. The President was very pleased with the outcome of that, and so I would refer you back to both General Dunford and Secretary Tillerson on those. Q You started discussing the where and when for the summit for the leaders meeting? MR. SPICER: I don’t have any updates on that, but I’ll look into that. Cecilia. Q Sean, I just want to follow up. I want to clarify, make sure I understand what you said. You said, you will see greater enforcement of it? MR. SPICER: I would refer you to the Department of Justice -- Q But you said, you said there will be greater enforcement. MR. SPICER: No, no. I know. I know what I -- I think -- then that’s what I said. But I think the Department of Justice is the lead on that. It is something that you should follow up with them, but I believe that they are going to continue to enforce the laws on the books with respect to recreational marijuana versus -- Q Okay. And my real question if you don’t mind. MR. SPICER: That first one was pretty real. Q Ivanka Trump was in the White House today for a meeting on human trafficking. She had this meeting on CEOs. We saw her in a smaller session here at the White House today. What exactly is her role here? MR. SPICER: I think her role is to be helpful and provide input on a variety of areas that she has deep, passionate concerns about, especially in the area of women in the workforce and empowering women. She is someone who has a lot of expertise and wants to offer that, especially in the area of trying to help women. She understands that firsthand. And I think because of the success that she’s had, her goal is to try to figure out -- and the understanding that she has a businesswoman -- to use her expertise and understanding to empower and help women have the same kind of opportunity and success that she’s had. So -- Q But still not a formal role? MR. SPICER: No, nothing more than you’ve seen now. I think, last night, the meeting that she had in Baltimore was one that was done on her own. There’s areas that she’s cared very passionately about before her time in the White House, or before her father coming to the White House, rather. And now that her father is in the White House, she continues to seek a platform that helps empower and lift up women, and give them opportunities and think of ways that they can be -- Q Sean, thanks. On the human trafficking meeting today, the President said, well, when you talk about solving this kind of problem, that’s a nice word, but it’s really -- he suggested that, more likely, he could just help out on that problem. What’s his definition of success in this? What’s his goal? Is he looking at stronger criminal penalties? MR. SPICER: Well, Dave, I think that’s, as I read out earlier, that the President understands that this is a serious problem both for adults, but particularly for children who are being sold both domestically and internationally, and it’s why we brought these groups in. It’s to make sure that we figure out how do we make that number as close to zero as possible and that we institute policies both domestically, but then abroad, and working with our partners to figure out how do we combat the trafficking of people. So it’s things that we can be forceful in terms of the rhetoric that the President uses, but also the enforcement tools that he uses both domestically and internationally. Trey. Q Thanks, Sean. Has the President been briefed at all on the situation at Standing Rock? And is he concerned that a stand-off with protesters could slow down his executive orders on pipelines? MR. SPICER: Our team has been involved with both the tribe and the governor there, and so we are not only -- we are constantly in touch with them. And I think we feel very confident that we will move forward to get the pipeline moving. And so we’ll have a further update on that, but I think we're in constant contact with the officials there. Kristen. Q Sean, thank you. Two topics I’d like to ask, but I wanted to start off by following on the transgender directive. Eight-two percent of transgender children report feeling unsafe at school. So isn’t the President leaving some of these children open to vulnerable -- to being bullied at school? MR. SPICER: No. I mean, there are bullying laws and policies in place in almost every one of these schools. Q Transgender children say their experience is -- MR. SPICER: But I don't think -- hold on -- Q -- not being able to use the bathroom that they feel comfortable using because of vulnerability to bullying. MR. SPICER: But again, you're missing the point here, Kristen. The President said literally it should be a state decision. He respects the decision of the state. So therefore -- Q So respecting kids is a states’ rights issue? MR. SPICER: No, no, that's not -- you're trying to make an issue out of something that doesn't exist. It was the court who stopped this in August of last year. So where were the questions last year in August about this? It wasn’t implemented correctly, legally, and the procedure wasn’t followed because the court found, at the time, that it didn't have the authority to do that. So you’re asking us why we're following the law that wasn’t followed. And the reality is -- Q Well, I'm asking you why you're reversing the Obama directive -- MR. SPICER: Hold on. No, no, we're not reversing it. Hold on. We're not reversing it. That is a misinterpretation of the scenario. The court stopped it. It enjoined it in August of last year because it wasn’t properly drafted, and it didn't follow the procedures, and there was no legal basis for it in a law that was instituted in 1972. So hold on -- for you to use those terms, frankly, doesn't reflect what the situation actually is and how it happened. That's just -- so to talk about us reversing something that was stopped by the courts. Q I understand that -- MR. SPICER: No, no, but -- Q -- but you're sending a message -- MR. SPICER: No, we're not. We're basically saying that it’s a states’ rights issue. If a state choses to do it, as I mentioned to April, when this circumstance came up at one of the President’s own properties, he was very clear about his position on this. So for you to turn around and say what message is the President saying, where was the message when he sent it last year? I think the message shows that he’s a guy with a heart that understands the trouble that many people go through. But he also believes that the proper legal recourse for this is with the states. He believes in the states’ ability to determine what’s right for their state versus another state. Q I understand what you're saying. But the LGBTQ community yesterday said they felt -- MR. SPICER: I understand what -- Q -- that what they perceiving is that those kids are not being respected. MR. SPICER: But there’s a difference what people may or may not feel and the legal process and the law. And the law right now doesn't allow for it under Title IX that was passed in 1972. And the procedure wasn’t followed. The court saw this in August of last year for a reason. And all we're doing is saying that the proper place for this is in the states. And so for you to suggest what message is this sending, it’s very simple: that it’s a states’ rights issue, and the states should enact laws that reflect the values, principles, and will of the people in their particular state. That's it, plain and simple. Q Moving on to Obamacare very quickly, former House Speaker John Boehner predicted that a full repeal and replace of Obamacare -- his words -- “is not going to happen.” He went on to say, “Most of the framework of the Affordable Care Act, it’s going to be there.” Do you think that he has a point? Are you going to -- MR. SPICER: Well, no, I think -- look, I think what we're going to end up with is something that I’ve talked about over and over again. We're going to end up with a more accessible plan that will allow people to see more doctors, have more providers, and drive costs down. Those are the two guiding principles that we're going to have in what the President is going to work with Congress to put forward on. That's it, plain and simple. Yes. Q Sean, on roads and highways in the United States, in many places around the country potholes and other issues are affecting the way in which Americans travel. And the President has said he would fix these issues during the campaign. What is the status on that? And has the President spoken to heads of DOT or other people? MR. SPICER: Well, I think the President is starting to address that through the budget process we talked about yesterday. It will be out in mid-March. And so the infrastructure projects and priorities that the President has talked about -- whether it’s air control, and our airports, or the roads and bridges -- will be something that he’s going to work with DOT, but also talk about in his budget. And you’ll see more in his joint address to Congress. With that, Laurel Staples of KECI-NBC in Montana. Q Montana has hundreds of miles of border with Canada. And according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, almost 1 million people come across that border into Montana each year. What are the administration’s plans to increase security on the Canadian border? And does the administration have any plans to build a wall there? (Laughter.) MR. SPICER: Well, we're obviously concerned -- thank you -- at all sorts of immigration in this country, whether it’s from our northern border or our southern border. I think the President understands that our southern border is where we have more of a concern in terms of the number of people and the type of activity that's coming over there in terms of the cartels and drug activity. But that doesn't mean that we're not paying attention to our northern border, as well. And we will continue to both monitor and take steps necessary at our northern border to ensure the safety of all Americans. Yes, sir. Q One question on the South China Sea and a follow-up on the Dakota Access Pipeline. This week was the first week, I believe, that the Trump administration launched freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea. Can you give us a sense of how frequently you are going to be doing those? And then on the Dakota Access Pipeline, a few weeks ago President Trump said he would try to negotiate a solution between the Standing Rock Sioux and Energy Transfer Partners. Why hasn’t the President intervened and tried to initiate those negotiations yet? MR. SPICER: So on the latter, our team has been in contact with all the parties involved. They have been working and communicating back and forth. So if we have an update on that -- but there has been work at the staff level between the parties. And then on the second -- on the first part, I’ve got no further update in terms of the frequency by which we will have stuff. Alexis. Q Sean, in the Reuters interview with the President, he described again his interest in seeing the nuclear arsenal expand in the United States. Can you describe what it is that the President has in mind -- the timeframe and how he would like to pursue that? MR. SPICER: Yes, let’s just be clear. He didn't -- what he was very clear on is that the United States will not yield its supremacy in this area to anybody. That's what he made very clear in there. And that if other countries have nuclear capabilities, it will always be the United States that has the supremacy and commitment to this. Obviously, that's not what we're seeking to do. The question that was asked was about other people growing their stockpiles. And I think what he has been clear on is that our goal is to make sure that we maintain America’s dominance around the world, and that if other countries cloud it, we don't sit back and allow them to grow theirs. Francesca. Q Sean, a domestic policy question and then a foreign policy question, if you will. You said yesterday that the President had named a task force on the voter fraud probe. When did he name that task force specifically? MR. SPICER: I think two weeks ago he announced that Vice President Pence would lead that task force, and that the Vice President and his team were starting to look at members to do that. Q So you were referring to the interview in which he said there would be a task force. MR. SPICER: That's right. Q Not that something has happened since then. MR. SPICER: That's correct. Q Okay. And then on foreign policy, the President had said in his Saturday campaign speech that the Gulf States would be paying for that safe zone in Syria. Which Gulf States was he referring to? Have any committed to paying for that? MR. SPICER: So if you look at the readouts that he’s had with several of the foreign leaders that is brought up and mentioned in almost every one of them. And I think he’s talked about the financing of the safe zones and the commitment that they need to make to those. And I think by and large, we've had widespread commitment. When we have an update on -- and I think that's an issue that's going to be ongoing at the Secretary of State level, as well, where you saw Secretary Tillerson follow up on that with numerous folks. We will have further updates on the funding of safe zones as we go forward. But there has been a general commitment by most of these heads of government to share in the President’s commitment to help fund these things. Can I go to Steve Gruber of WJIM in Michigan? Q Thank you, Sean. I greatly appreciate it. I’d like to talk to you more about tax policy, if I may. President Trump, of course, on the campaign trail talked a lot about tax policy and tax reform. That hasn’t happened yet, as we know. But I want to talk about something different. That's the border adjustability tax. With the manufacturers that were at the White House again today, states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, others have a great concern about this tax, and there seems to be a disconnect between some of the CEOs, some of the Republicans on Capitol Hill and the President as to whether or not this is appropriate. And I guess the question is: Could this tax have a chilling effect on manufacturing at a time when places like Ohio, and Michigan, and the Upper Midwest are trying to jumpstart the economy with manufacturing jobs? I wish for you to clarify, if you could, the President’s position. MR. SPICER: Yes, Steve, thank you. I think the President has been very clear from the beginning that there is no tax if companies manufacture in the United States. We are one of only a handful of countries that doesn't tax the imports that come into our country. Almost every other country operates their tax code under that system. And so what happens is we have a system by which companies abroad can send their products -- tax our products going into their country and institute an import tax, and then their products come into the United States with no import tax -- which, frankly, gives a disincentive to companies to stay in the United States, to manufacture in the United States, to hire in the United States. And it tilts the field against the American worker. And so the President is looking at tax policy that encourages manufacturing and job creation in the United States. And if you think about it -- Q So where is he on this border adjustability tax? MR. SPICER: Hold on. Q Where is he on this tax specifically? MR. SPICER: I understand that. And I think that what he is doing is he met yesterday with his team on the budget. He’s talked to Secretary Mnuchin and others who are working on a comprehensive tax reform plan. And remember, Steve, this isn’t something that's been done since 1986. And so as we look at it, part of that is to make sure that we lower our corporate tax rate, that we make it more attractive to manufacture and grow jobs in the United States, to make our companies more competitive with companies overseas that, frankly, have better tax treatment than our own companies who stay in the United States. So creating more of a playing field that encourages manufacturing and growing and creating in the United States. But make no mistake, if a company is in the United States already and expanding in the United States, it will be only to their benefit. Actually, if you think about it right now, the way the current tax code works, it almost incentivizes companies from leaving the United States, manufacturing, and expanding overseas, and then sending their goods and services back to the United States, which undermines our own economy, it undermines our workers. Q But the question is about components coming back in the United States being manufactured. MR. SPICER: I understand, Steve. Okay, I know that you're on the Skype, but we only do like one or two follow-ups. But the answer is, is that he’s working towards comprehensive tax reform, and we’ll have a plan out within the next few weeks that will address that. Yes. Q On the transgender guidance, the administration not only rescinded it, but sent a letter to the Supreme Court informing them about the change as they consider a related case. Does the termination of the guidance present an administration position on the way the Supreme Court should rule? MR. SPICER: I’m sorry, on? Well, obviously, we’re -- I’m sorry -- removing the guidance clearly does. The guidance that was put forward by the Obama administration, which clearly hadn’t been done in a proper way in terms of how they solicited, or, rather, didn’t solicit comments -- the guidance it puts forward obviously sends a signal to the Court on where the administration stands on this issue. Q Can I ask you about Syria? Two quick questions. First, the talks have started again, peace talks in Geneva. The man convening them, Staffan de Mistura, says he’s not detected a clear strategy on the political track from the administration. So what is the President’s thinking on that? And in particular, what’s his thinking on the future of President Assad, whether he can stay on in a transition or -- MR. SPICER: I will refer you to the State Department on the status of the talks. Q But the overall strategy comes from here. MR. SPICER: Right, I understand that. And that’s one of the things that the President, whether it’s safe zones or how we deal with Syria and the problems that -- Q What's the President thinking on Assad’s future? Just the key points. MR. SPICER: I understand that, thank you. Q One other question then on Syria, if you don’t mind. The fall of al-Bab in northern Syria, an important development on the battlefield, creates some space in that town that’s fallen to the Turks and opposition. Is that the sort of space that the President would like to see a safe zone? MR. SPICER: I don’t -- we’re not trying to be prescriptive right now in terms of the geographic location of a safe zone. It’s something that -- right now, the President’s goal is to get commitments from other world leaders, both in terms of the funding and the commitment to share in how we do that. So I don’t want to get -- we’re not looking to be prescriptive today in how it’s done. I think, overall, we need a greater commitment in the region to make sure that people are committed to a strategy and to safe zones to allow that to stop some of the human suffering that’s going on and create -- while the rest of the conflict ensues. And I think that we’ve got to dual-track this -- deal with the conflict as a whole and how we address it, how we deal with ISIS in combatting it, but then we also have to -- there’s a humanitarian piece to this as well with respect to the safe zones. And I think that we were looking at both pieces of this as well. Q Thanks, Sean. Since the election, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has expressed some disquiet about pulling out of the Paris agreement on climate change. And the President has also heard from some world leaders about that. Can you tell us, is the President still committed to pulling out of the Paris agreement on climate change? MR. SPICER: I think I will leave that to Secretary Tillerson. That’s a conversation that he’s having with him as far as where we are on that. Q Sean, thank you very much. I just have a follow-up to the Syria question first. Do you have any timeline when it comes to when he wants to see those safe zones actually being built? And I wanted to go back to the executive order on immigration. You’ve talked about these dual-tracks, where you’re going to be doing the new executive order but also continuing to fight that in court. Can you give us a status update on where that legal fight is and what we should see happening? MR. SPICER: So with respect to the executive order, there are several courts that this is being fought in -- 10 or so -- and we continue to deal with that in all of those venues. And then again, I guess, the only way to say this is, then obviously on the dual-track side we have the additional executive order that we’ve talked about earlier that will come out and further address the problems. We continue to believe that the issues that we face specifically in the 9th district -- 9th Circuit, rather, that we will prevail on, on the merits of that. But on the other challenges that have come and the other venues and the others -- that we feel equally confident, as we did in Massachusetts and other venues. So it’s not a single-track system. And I’m sorry, I know you -- Q Have you made a decision yet about the Supreme Court taking it there? And then the other question was on the safe zones and the timeline. MR. SPICER: So with respect to the Supreme Court, I mean, we’ve got to continue to work this through the process. So right now it’s at the 9th Circuit. That’s the primary problem that we are addressing. And then we don’t have any timeline that I can announce today on Syrian safe zones. Q I just want to follow up to this morning’s meeting. And the President said that he gave authorization to a couple of countries to buy military equipment from the United States. Which countries was he referring to? And has he gone to Congress to ask for permission to do this? MR. SPICER: We’ll follow up and get a list for you on that. Jeff. Q Sean, if I could ask again about the delay of the executive order until the next week. Is the administration still trying to craft its legal argument to this to withstand scrutiny, or why again the delay? I’m not sure I understand -- MR. SPICER: Yeah, and I think I asked and answered this earlier. Q Sorry, I don’t understand the delay. MR. SPICER: Okay, then I’ll explain it to you. I think the President this time -- we were very careful to understand what the court’s concerns were and address them in the follow-up executive order. With respect to when we’re going to announce it, part of this is to make sure that we work with the appropriate departments and agencies on the implementation of it to make sure that it is executed and it continues to be executed in a flawless manner, and that it meets the intent that it would serve. We understand the challenges that may come, and so we want to do this in a manner that makes sure that the Hill, other members of Congress, the appropriate agencies and departments are fully ready to implement this when it’s issued. And so that’s it. There’s really nothing more to it. Q There also is some concern -- if I can follow up -- there also is concern inside the Justice Department and in Homeland Security by some officials this afternoon that we’re reporting that the White House is looking for them to help build this legal argument, to find a conclusion here. MR. SPICER: No, that’s not -- basically, you’re saying that we did our due diligence. We looked to the departments to ask them to review certain things. So last week it was we rushed stuff; this week, you’re saying that we are taking our time and -- Q Has it been more difficult than you thought it would be? MR. SPICER: No, that’s not true. I don’t think so. And I think you using continued unnamed sources -- I think it actually is a -- it will be implemented flawlessly because we’ve done the right thing and gone to these individuals, sought feedback and guidance, and done this in an unbelievably comprehensive way to ensure that departments and agencies that are going to be executing and implementing this fully are aware of what’s happening. But this has been done in a very, very comprehensive way. Yeah, sorry. Q Thank you, Sean. Melanie Arter, CNSNews.com. Former Labor Secretary nominee Andrew Puzder admitted that for a few years he unwittingly employed an illegal immigrant as a housekeeper. Is this administration committed to holding employers accountable when they employ illegal aliens? And how does the administration plan to do so? MR. SPICER: Yeah, I think that was -- that issue was something that Mr. Puzder was very forthcoming on. And when he recognized the situation that had occurred, he paid all the appropriate taxes and tried to help the individual go through the proper process. And so, yeah, we’re going to continue to make sure that we hold individuals in compliance with the law. And he did the right thing then, but whether it’s companies or individuals, I think, we are committed to making sure that people do what’s right. Yes, ma’am. Q Veronica Clearly, with Fox 5. I have two questions. Janet Evancho -- she sang the National Anthem -- she requested a meeting with the President. Her sister is transgender. Is he going to take that meeting, or meet with anyone from the transgender community during this conversation? MR. SPICER: Yeah, I think the President would be welcome to meet with her. Q The second question -- second question. Steve Bannon today called the media the opposition party. Last week, there was lots of conversation about the fake news and us being the enemy of the people. Some have said that this is really just a branding of the media, where he did that in the primaries, branding “Little Marco” and “Lyin’ Ted”. Is this -- MR. SPICER: Well, no, that was the President. Just to -- Q Right, of course. But is this a branding strategy to -- MR. SPICER: No, I think that’s what Steve believes. Q But this is real. MR. SPICER: Absolutely, of course, it’s real. I don’t think he’d go out -- Steve has been very clear about his position on the media and how he believes it distorts things. So I don’t think there’s -- Q From the whole administration? MR. SPICER: No, no. Hold on. I just said that that is what Steve’s view is. He’s made it several times, and I think he’s very clear on that. Sarah. Q Thanks, Sean. Back to the border adjustment tax. President Trump has told Reuters that he does support some form of a border tax. How does the President respond to critics that are saying the border adjustment tax will be passed on to lower-income and middle-class families in the form of higher prices for goods and higher prices for gas? MR. SPICER: Well, I think if you look at holistically -- I mean, the first thing to understand is that there is no tax if you’re manufacturing in the United States, so there can be no higher cost. But if you think about it right now, we have to look at this in a holistic way, which is, when a company chooses to leave our country and shed American jobs so they can move overseas, and then sell back to us at a lower price, there’s a big cost that comes to our economy and to our workers. And so we’ve got to look at this comprehensively. But if a company chooses to stay and grow in the United States, hire more people, it actually will be a net savings, if you think about it, because it will be the companies who are overseas, who have chosen to move out of the country who will face a higher cost under these kind of plans. And that’s a big difference. It will actually benefit consumers, benefit workers, and benefit out economy. And that’s -- when you really think about the economic impact about that, that benefits our economy, it helps our American workers, it grows more jobs, it grows the manufacturing base. And again, we are probably one of only a handful of developed countries that don’t have a tax system that looks at this. And so right now, it’s America and American workers and American manufacturing that are the disadvantage of the current regulatory and tax system, not the other way around. Thank you, guys. Have a great day. We’ll touch base tomorrow in some way. I will see you then. Tune in to CPAC to see the President. END 3:52 P.M. EST #15-02/23/2017
State Dining Room 10:57 A.M. EST THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you very much. It's a great honor to have everybody. And some of the great people in the world of business, many of you I know -- many of you I know from reading all of our wonderful magazines and business magazines, in particular. So it's an honor to have you with us today. Bringing manufacturing back to America, creating high-wage jobs was one of our campaign promises and themes, and it resonated with everybody. It was really something what happened. States that hadn’t been won in many, many years were -- they came over to our fold. A lot of it had to do with the jobs, and other reasons -- but jobs. And I'm delivering on everything that we've said. In fact, people are saying they've never seen so much happen in 30 days of a presidency. We've delivered on a lot. And I think Mark can explain, and Mark can probably say some of the things we're doing for the auto industry. We're going to be doing for many of the industries. As you know, the United States lost one-third of our manufacturing jobs since NAFTA. That's an unbelievable number and statistic. And 70,000 factories closed since China joined the WTO -- 70,000 factories. So when I used to give that statistic, I used to talk about and I always thought it was a typo. I said, it has to be a typo. I tell Wilbur -- Wilbur, that can't be right -- 70,000. Think of it, 70,000 factories. So you say, what are we doing? My administration's policies and regulatory reform, tax reform, trade policies will return significant manufacturing jobs to our country. Everything is going to be based on bringing our jobs back, the good jobs, the real jobs. They've left, and they're coming back. They have to come back. You've already seen companies such as Intel, Ford. Mark has been great. GM, Walmart, Amgen, Amazon, Fiat -- they came the other day; they're going to make a tremendous investment in the country. Carrier and many others announced significant new investments in the United States. For example, Ford is doing 700 million in Michigan, creating 700 new jobs -- is a vote of confidence. It was actually stated a vote of confidence. We have many other companies doing the same thing. Carrier, as you know -- and I got involved very late, almost like by two years late -- but many of the jobs that were leaving for Mexico, they're bringing back at least 800 jobs they're bringing back. And they actually never got to leave. I have no idea what they did with the plant in Mexico, but we'll have to ask them, because it was largely built. General Motors is investing $1 billion in U.S. plants, adding or keeping 7,000 jobs. And it's going to be investing a lot more than that over the next fairly short period. Lockheed Martin has -- they've just announced 1,800 new jobs, and U.S. plants are doing a great job, and we started negotiating with them a little bit on the F-35. They cut their price a little bit. Thank you very much. She's tough. (Laughter.) But it worked out well I think for everybody. And I think I have to say this: Marillyn, you've gotten a lot of credit, because what you did was the right thing. So we appreciate it. She cut her price over $700 million, right? By over $700 million. You think Hillary would have asked for $700 million? (Laughter.) Oh, boy, I hope you -- I assume you wanted her to win. But you know what? You're going to do great and you're going to make more planes. It's going to work out the same, or better. Walmart announced plans to create 10,000 jobs, and all of those jobs are going to be in the United States. Sprint and SoftBank is putting in $50 billion because of our election in the United States, over the next four years, to create 50,000 jobs. They've been terrific, by the way. And we have many others. Many of you are in the room, and you know exactly what I'm talking about. We have many, many other companies. And we're very happy. Today we have 24 CEOs from the largest manufacturing companies in the country and even in the world. They represent people just in this room, nearly $1 trillion of sales and 2 million employees, large majorities of which are in the United States. They share our commitment to bringing manufacturing back and to create jobs in this country, which has been the biggest part of my campaign. I would say the border, a big part. Military strength, big part. And jobs, big part. I don’t want to say which is most important. I guess we always have to say defense is maybe the most important. But many of you take care of our defense, you make great products. Nobody makes the products that we do for our military. Nobody. And, in fact, a couple of countries who were not allowed to buy from us, I gave them -- hello, Jeff -- I gave them authorization -- you can only buy from us. I want them to buy from us. They were getting planes from other countries because our -- and they’re allies. But they’re going to be buying from us from now on. And I just want to thank all of my people. My staff has been amazing. Gary, as you know -- you all know Gary from Goldman, Gary Cohn. And we’re really happy -- just paid $200 million in tax in order to take this job, by the way. (Laughter.) Which is very much unlike Gary. But he’s great. And he’ll be criticized by the media because he’s getting paid $197,000. They’ll say he really wanted that money -- which he gave up. I think he gave up -- did you give that up, Gary? I think so. MR. COHN: Yes. PARTICIPANT: It was one of those things. THE PRESIDENT: It was one of those things. That’s right. (Laughter.) I want to thank -- Wilbur has been so fantastic. I’ve known Wilbur for so long, and he’s a great guy, great negotiator, but a very fair negotiator. And he’s going to be doing things that -- the deals we have with other countries are unbelievably bad. We don’t have any good deals. In fact, I’m trying to find a country where we actually have a surplus of trade as opposed to -- everything is a deficit. With Mexico, we have $70 billion in deficits, trade deficits, and it’s unsustainable. We’re not going to let it happen. Can’t let it happen. We’re going to have a good relationship with Mexico, I hope. And if we don’t, we don’t. But we can’t let that happen -- $70 billion in trade deficits. And that doesn’t include the drugs that pour across the border, like water. So we can’t let that happen. With China, we have close to a $500-billion trade deficit. So we have to do something. I spoke to the President, I spoke to many people. We’re going to work on that very, very hard, and we’re going to do things that are the proper things to do. But I actually said to my people: Find a country where we actually do well. So far, we haven’t found that country. It’s just losses with everybody, and we’re going to turn that around. I want to thank Jared Kushner, who has been so involved in this, and all of my guys. We have a great team. We have a team of all-stars. And we’ve been credit -- we’ve really been given credit for that. Right now, Rex, who, as you know, he’s in Mexico -- I said, that’s going to be a tough trip, because we have to be treated fairly by Mexico. That’s going to be a tough trip. But he’s over there with General Kelly, who’s been unbelievable at the border. You see what’s happening at the border. All of a sudden for the first time we’re getting gang members out, we’re getting drug lords out. We’re getting really bad dudes out of this country and at a rate that nobody has ever seen before. And they’re the bad ones. And it’s a military operation because what has been allowed to come into our country -- when you see gang violence that you’ve read about like never before and all of the things -- much of that is people that are here illegally. And they’re rough and they’re tough, but they’re not tough like our people. So we’re getting them out. I thought what we could do is maybe we’ll start with Ken on my left, and we’ll go around the room and introduce yourselves to the press. Lots of media. One thing, we have lots of media. How are you? Treats me -- that’s one that treats me very nicely, one of the few. Hi. And we’ll just start around -- go around the room and then we’ll talk privately without the press, and we’re going to figure out how to bring many, many millions of jobs more back to the United States, okay? Ken, go ahead. MR. FRAZIER: Thank you, Mr. President, it’s good to be here. Ken Frazier from Merck & Co., Inc. MR. FIELDS: Thank you, Mr. President. Mark Fields, CEO of Ford Motor Company. MS. MORRISON: Thank you, Mr. President. Denise Morrison from Campbell Soup Company. THE PRESIDENT: Good soup. MS. MORRISON: Thank you. MR. HAYES: Thank you, Mr. President. Greg Hayes from United Technologies, the parent company of Carrier. THE PRESIDENT: Did you bring any more of those jobs back from Carrier? (Laughter.) But one thing he did -- you know, I told -- I said, you were given so much credit for that, and I heard, two days ago, that you’re selling far more Carrier air conditioners than you thought, just as a patriotic move. People are buying Carrier because of what you did -- bringing the jobs back to Indiana. MR. HAYES: That’s exactly right. It’s a great success. THE PRESIDENT: Right? So, I said that. I thought that was going to happen. Good. Thank you. MR. STYSLINGER: Thank you, Mr. President. Lee Styslinger with Altec, Inc. MR. GORSKY: Thank you, Mr. President. Alex Gorsky with Johnson & Johnson. MR. FARR: Thank you, Mr. President. David Farr with Emerson. St. Louis. MR. OBERHELMAN: Doug Oberhelman, executive chairman of Caterpillar. We have plenty of D10s available for you. THE PRESIDENT: I love those D10s. (Laughter.) I even like the D12. Are they still doing the D12? MR. OBERHELMAN: We’re doing a D11, and we have some of those around as well. THE PRESIDENT: Because the D12, I’m waiting for, you know. That’s going to be bigger than anything ever in history, right? But there’s nothing like what you do. The Caterpillars are the best. MR. OBERHELMAN: Thank you. THE PRESIDENT: And when we raise the dollar, and we let other people manipulate their currencies, it’s the one thing that stops you, Doug -- right? MR. OBERHELMAN: Well, we’ll take them on. Bring them on. THE PRESIDENT: Right, technology. No, but we have to give you a level playing field. MR. OBERHELMAN: We need a level playing field. THE PRESIDENT: We have to let other countries give you a level playing field. So, what a great company. I love Caterpillar. I’ve been driving them for a long time. MR. OBERHELMAN: Well, come out and see us, and we’ll put you in one. (Laughter.) THE PRESIDENT: Okay, good. I might do that soon. Go ahead. MR. KAMSICKAS: Jim Kamsickas, Dana Incorporated. Thank you. MR. LONGHI: Mario Longhi, with U.S. Steel, Mr. President. Thank you for the opportunity. THE PRESIDENT: And you’re going to be doing pipelines now. You know that, right? We put you heavy into the pipeline business because we approved, as you know, the Keystone Pipeline and Dakota. But they have to buy -- meaning, steel, so I’ll say U.S. Steel -- but steel made in this country and pipelines made in this country. MR. LONGHI: 100 percent, Mr. President. We’ll be there. THE PRESIDENT: So the pipe is coming from the U.S. MR. LONGHI: By the way, when you come drive trucks, come up to Minnesota and our mines. You’re going to see us running up there. THE PRESIDENT: Good. I’ll do it. I’ll be out there. MR. FETTIG: Mr. President, thank you. Jeff Fettig, Whirlpool Corporation. THE PRESIDENT: Yep, good. MS. HEWSON: Thank you, Mr. President. Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin Corporation. I just want to thank you for this opportunity that we’ve spent this morning in the working groups, and the opportunity to talk to you today about generating jobs. We’re very excited about the fact that this is one of the first actions that you want to take on. So thank you very much. THE PRESIDENT: Good. Well, thank you, and thank you for what we did. Lot 10, we call it. Lot 10 -- 90 planes. It was 90 planes out of 3,000, but it was not doing so well, and now it’s doing great. Right? MS. HEWSON: That’s right, Mr. President. THE PRESIDENT: Okay, good. MS. HEWSON: And we welcome you to Fort Worth to see those aircraft on the production line. THE PRESIDENT: Good. Very good. Thank you, Marillyn. MR. IMMELT: Mr. President, good to see you again. Jeff Immelt with GE. THE PRESIDENT: Good. Hi, Jeff. MR. IMMELT: Great to be here. Look forward to really working you on creating more manufacturing jobs. THE PRESIDENT: Jeff actually watched me make a hole-in-one, can you believe that? Should you tell that story? MR. IMMELT: We were trying to talk President Trump into doing "The Apprentice." That was my assignment when we owned NBC. President Trump goes up to a par 3 on his course, he looks to the three of us and says, “You realize of course I’m the richest golfer in the world.” That’s a comment, then gets a hole-in-one. (Laughter.) THE PRESIDENT: Crazy. MR. IMMELT: I have to say, you know, I’ve seen the magic before. (Laughter.) THE PRESIDENT: It’s so crazy that -- no, I actually said I was the best golfer of all the rich people -- (laughter) -- to be exact. And then I got a hole-in-one. MR. IMMELT: That’s what you said. THE PRESIDENT: So, it was sort of cool. Thank you. Thank you very much. MR. BROWN: Thank you, Mr. President. Bill Brown from Harris Corporation. And thank you for coming to our headquarter location in Melbourne, Florida twice. Thank you. THE PRESIDENT: Absolutely. Thank you. MR. WEEKS: Wendell Weeks, Corning Incorporated. Thank you. MR. FERRIOLA: Thank you, Mr. President. John Ferriola, Nucor Corporation. THE PRESIDENT: Great. MR. ALTHOFF: Thank you, Mr. President. Don Althoff with Veresen, Inc. MR. SUTTON: Good morning, Mr. President. Mark Sutton, chairman and CEO of International Paper. THE PRESIDENT: Great. Bob Craft is a big fan of yours. You know, that right? MR. LEIMBACH: Thank you, Mr. President. Keith Leimbach, CEO of LiveOps, representing the services industry in a manufacturing form. THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I know. MR. LEIMBACH: Let’s remember to bring those services jobs back as well. THE PRESIDENT: Good. We will. MR. LIVERIS: Good morning, Mr. President. I’m Andrew Liveris, Dow Chemical. Thank you for the opportunity, and bringing the language of business back to the White House, and I’m here to make chemistry sexy again. (Laughter.) THE PRESIDENT: And I want to thank you for your help. You’ve been great. Thank you, Andrew, very much. Nobody knows Ivanka. (Laughter.) MR. THULIN: Good morning, Mr. President. Inge Thulin, 3M. THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Reed, thank you also. Thank you. Say it again, please. MR. THULIN: Inge Thulin, 3M. Good morning. THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Great company. MR. DELL: Good morning, Mr. President. Great to be back. It’s Michael Dell, with Dell Technologies. THE PRESIDENT: Hi, Michael. Nice to see you. MS. NOVAKOVIK: Good morning, Mr. President. Phebe Novakovic, General Dynamics. THE PRESIDENT: Great. MR. LUCIANO: Good morning, Mr. President. Juan Luciano, Archer Daniels Midland. THE PRESIDENT: Great. Great companies. Jared. So, Jared, maybe I’ll let you take over for a little while, and we’ll then -- we’re going to then go through the room very, very carefully. We’re going to find out how we bring more jobs back. And thank you to the press and the media. We really appreciate it, and we’ll see you later. Thank you very much. END 11:12 A.M. EST
3 TRUTHS about Trump’s W.H. -- U.S. gets chilly reception in Mexico -- MNUCHIN says tax reform by Aug... we say no way -- THE JUICE: Obama hosts party at new digs, COSTA to guest host WASH WEEK
Listen to Playbook in 90 Seconds http://bit.ly/2ltzZeD ... Subscribe on iTunes http://apple.co/2eX6Eay ... Visit the online home of Playbook http://politi.co/2f51JnfPRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP will go on "Fox and Friends" Feb. 28 -- the morning of his speech to a joint session of Congress.Good Thursday morning. Well, we got through about half the week before Donald Trump caused an uproar over his decision to withdraw protections for transgender students. The move, which his Education Secretary Betsy DeVos reportedly disagreed with, showed three key truths about Trump’s nascent presidency. First, the power resides at the White House. Trump isn’t showing deference to his Cabinet picks, as some in Washington had hoped he would. Two, Trump is continuing to deliver for his base. The order, which puts him squarely in the middle of the culture wars, will be extremely popular on the right, particularly among evangelicals who came out in big numbers for Trump. It’s also another example of Trump not caring about expanding his coalition. Three, Trump is using precious political capital to take on issues Congressional Republicans would prefer he ignore. They'd rather him use his juice to pass tax reform, or rewrite health care laws. As Republicans across the country continue to face screaming constituents at town halls, Trump's focus on transgender bathrooms doesn’t give them anything to say to people worried about losing their health care. NOTE -- Trump only tweeted twice yesterday. It seems like he's eased up on blasting his unvarnished opinions -- for now. Republican leaders have begged him to pump the breaks on Twitter.THE NEWS OF THE DAY, NYT A1 -- “Trump Rescinds Rules on Bathrooms for Transgender Students,” by Jeremy Peters, Jo Becker and Julie Hirschfeld Davis: “President Trump on Wednesday rescinded protections for transgender students that had allowed them to use bathrooms corresponding with their gender identity, overruling his own education secretary and placing his administration firmly in the middle of the culture wars that many Republicans have tried to leave behind. In a joint letter, the top civil rights officials from the Justice Department and the Education Department rejected the Obama administration’s position that nondiscrimination laws require schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms of their choice. That directive, they said, was improperly and arbitrarily devised, ‘without due regard for the primary role of the states and local school districts in establishing educational policy.’“The question of how to address the ‘bathroom debate,’ as it has become known, opened a rift inside the Trump administration, pitting Education Secretary Betsy DeVos against Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Mr. Sessions, who had been expected to move quickly to roll back the civil rights expansions put in place under his Democratic predecessors, wanted to act decisively because of two pending court cases that could have upheld the protections and pushed the government into further litigation.” http://nyti.ms/2kPD3Tw GOOD ONE, STEVE -- “Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Sees Tax Overhaul by August: Economic growth at 3% or higher is also among Trump administration’s ambitious goals, he says,” by WSJ’s Rebecca Ballhaus and Nick Timiraos: “Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin laid out ambitious goals to secure a U.S. tax-code overhaul by August and to deliver economic growth at rates not seen in more than a decade. … Mr. Mnuchin said the administration was working with House and Senate Republicans to smooth over differences among them on tax policy, with the aim of passing major legislation before Congress leaves for its August recess. He added, ‘that’s an ambitious timeline. It could slip to later in the year.’ …“The House GOP plan doesn’t count solely on growth. It also features limited deductions and a border-adjustment provision that taxes imports and removes taxes from U.S. exports. The plan is projected to generate about $1 trillion over a decade. The border adjustment provision has run into criticism from large retailers and other importers. U.S. senators have piled on, too, leaving the idea in trouble without a major presidential push that hasn’t happened and might never come. Mr. Mnuchin said the administration is ‘looking seriously’ at the House plan that includes border adjustment and was well aware of concerns raised by specific industries. The Treasury Department had its own concerns, he added, ‘about what the impact may be on the dollar’ from a border-adjusted tax.” http://on.wsj.com/2l2UQ4Z -- COME ON, MAN! … -- This is the most ambitious timeline envisioned by the biggest optimists on Capitol Hill. Congress isn’t planning to turn its focus to tax reform until the summer, and this deal won’t get done in a few months -- mark our words. The 1986 tax reform bill was introduced in December of 1985 and didn’t get to Ronald Reagan’s desk until October of 1986. That was a much less partisan time, a simpler business climate and a world without Twitter and cable television. Here is some suggested reading, Secretary Mnuchin. http://amzn.to/2lyF0Ru ON THE WORLD STAGE -- “Top U.S. Officials Get Chilly Reception in Mexico,” by WSJ’s Felicia Schwartz and Jose de Cordoba in Mexico City: “Top U.S. officials arrived for talks here Wednesday to find a defiant Mexican government refusing to accept President Donald Trump’s tougher immigration and deportation policies. ‘I want to make it emphatically clear that neither Mexico’s government or the Mexican people have any reason to accept provisions that have been unilaterally imposed by one government on the other,’ Mexico’s Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said at a ceremony on Wednesday. ‘We won’t accept it because we don’t have to,’ he added, in an apparent reference to U.S. plans to return illegal migrants to Mexico, regardless of their nationality. Mr. Videgaray’s declaration spelled trouble for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, who a White House official said were sent to ‘talk through the implementation’ of Mr. Trump’s guidelines.” http://on.wsj.com/2kPv4WvTHE NEW STATE DEPARTMENT -- “In first month of Trump presidency, State Department has been sidelined,” by WaPo’s Carol Morello and Anne Gearan: “The Trump administration in its first month has largely benched the State Department from its long-standing role as the preeminent voice of U.S. foreign policy, curtailing public engagement and official travel and relegating Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to a mostly offstage role. ... The most visible change at the State Department is the month-long lack of daily press briefings, a fixture since John Foster Dulles was secretary of state in the 1950s. The televised question-and-answer session is watched closely around the world, and past administrations have pointed proudly to the accountability of having a government spokesman available to domestic and foreign press almost every day without fail. Tillerson has also been notably absent from White House meetings with foreign leaders. ... Tillerson has not taken the usual complement of beat reporters with him on either of his foreign trips so far, opting instead for small ‘pools.’ ... The former ExxonMobil chief executive has made no speeches beyond a well-received address to State Department employees on his arrival and has held no news conferences.” http://wapo.st/2lNtbta --“Tillerson looking for ways to raise his public profile,” by Nahal Toosi: “Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has asked his aides to find ways to improve his media profile, a request that comes as U.S. diplomats increasingly worry about the direction of the State Department and whether their new boss has enough influence with President Donald Trump. A State Department official said Tillerson’s aides have asked staffers at the agency to draft a paper laying out ways he can engage with reporters, who have been given almost no access to the new Cabinet member. ... Meanwhile, several dozen Trump-appointed political staffers have arrived in Foggy Bottom, many of whom are still learning the ropes and are wary of engaging with the civil servants. ‘It’s like high school,’ said the State official familiar with Tillerson’s media request. ‘The Trump people all sit together at the tables at lunch.’” http://politi.co/2l23Jvs --“Rex Tillerson Is Already Underwater: In just a month, the tough-talking CEO has been pushed to the margins. Here’s how a potentially strong secretary of state can salvage his term,” by Aaron David Miller and Richard Sokolsky in POLITICO Magazine: http://politi.co/2m9STbQPALACE INTRIGUE -- “Trump’s open door Oval Office,” by Annie Karni: “When Omarosa Manigault, the former ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ antihero-turned-White House adviser, needs to talk to President Donald Trump, she simply strolls into the Oval Office. As assistant to the President and director of communications for the office of public liaison, Manigault enjoys what Trump aides refer to as walk-in privileges — meaning she doesn’t need an appointment or permission to pop her head in and consult with the leader of the free world. Her level of easy access marks a break from the previous administration, where President Barack Obama and his gatekeeper chiefs of staff kept at bay the number of aides, even senior officials, who simply walked in without an appointment. In contrast, Trump may have set up the most accessible Oval Office in modern history.“Along with Manigault, White House officials say, the list of aides with walk-in privileges includes chief strategist Steve Bannon, senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, chief of staff Reince Priebus, son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, and counselor Kellyanne Conway. White House Counsel Don McGahn has walk-in rights, as does senior communications aide Hope Hicks, and Keith Schiller, Trump’s longtime private security aide who followed him to the White House. Trump’s new national security adviser, Gen. H.R. McMaster, is also expected to be added to the informal list, according to a White House official. Press secretary Sean Spicer, often accompanied by Priebus, is another regular visitor to the Oval Office, as is chief economic adviser Gary Cohn and deputy chief of staff for operations Joe Hagin.” http://politi.co/2kPAq43-- CHRISTIE TURNED DOWN LABOR SECY: “Trump’s Apprentice-style hiring is upending Washington: The president goes on gut and instinct -- and he keeps offering Chris Christie jobs,” by Josh Dawsey and Eli Stokols: “After a meatloaf lunch at the White House last Tuesday, President Donald Trump made New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie an intriguing offer: Would he like to be secretary of labor? Christie said no, according to four people close to Trump who were briefed on the conversation, which was just the latest in a series of nudges Trump has given Christie about joining him in Washington. Christie has told Trump he is not interested and instead plans to join the private sector after he leaves Trenton next year, two people close to Trump said. ...“[Trump] cares, above all, about appearance, loyalty and a strength -- a word he often uses. ... While some of his choices are on a whim, he also likes to call dozens of people about potential hires, telling them what others said and asking them if they agree or disagree --and why. Last week, he asked TV anchors who visited the Oval Office for advice on filling the national security adviser position that opened up after Michael Flynn was ousted.” http://politi.co/2maE3ls THE JUICE … -- FORMER PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA hosted an open house for a few dozen White House alumni at his West End office space. Vice President Joe Biden was also on hand mingling with guests. SPOTTED: Denis McDonough, Susan Rice, Cecilia Munoz, Shaun Donovan, Josh Earnest, Broderick Johnson, Valerie Jarrett, Peter Velz, Jason Furman, Chase Cushman, Shailagh Murray, and Jeff Zients.-- PAUL RYAN headed to San Francisco yesterday afternoon after his daylong tour of the Texas-Mexico border.-- SNEAK PEEK -- WISCONSIN GOV. SCOTT WALKER will speak about his experience with protests this morning at CPAC at 9:45 a.m. He will urge lawmakers to stand up to protesters. According to remarks provided to Playbook, he will say: “The tipping point, however, was when protesters -- dressed liked zombies -- disrupted the Law Enforcement Torch Run for the Special Olympics. This was the moment when normal people could see that the protestors were not like them. I mean, who messes up an event for Special Olympics athletes?” Also at CPAC today: Kellyanne Conway at 9:10 a.m., Ted Cruz at 11:10 a.m., Betsy Devos at 12:50 p.m., Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon at 1:05 p.m. and VP Mike Pence at 7:30 p.m.-- FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: The Washington Post’s ROBERT COSTA will guest host PBS’s “Washington Week” on Friday. This week is the 50th anniversary of the program, which first aired on Feb. 23, 1967. --BRIAN FALLON, DAVID DRUCKER, JACK KINGSTON, and JASON KANDER have all been named CNN contributors.--BRIAN HOOK, a former assistant secretary of state for international organizations under Bush 43, has left the private sector to return to State and work for Secretary Rex Tillerson as senior policy advisor and director of the policy planning office, sources tell Daniel and Michael Crowley. He was previously an advisor at Beacon Global Strategies, where Marc Lampkin was recently named an advisor.-- ANNIE LOWREY, who covered economic policy for New York magazine, has been hired by The Atlantic. Another marquee hire in the Jeffrey Goldberg era.-- DEVLIN BARRETT is leaving the Wall Street Journal to join the Washington Post to cover largely the same issues he reported on at the WSJ: national security, DHS, FBI, terrorism and intel. Economic reporter Damian Paletta also recently left the Journal for WaPo. TOP READ -- KEN VOGEL, DAVID STERN AND JOSH MEYER: “Manafort faced blackmail attempt, hacks suggest” http://politi.co/2lNUnbi SCOOP -- “Chief digital officer steps down from White House job over background check,” by Tara Palmeri and Daniel Lippman: “White House Chief Digital Officer Gerrit Lansing was among the six staffers who were dismissed from the White House ... after being unable to pass an FBI background check, according to sources. A source close to Lansing said the issue with the background check was over investments. Lansing previously led the digital department for the [RNC] ... Lansing left Feb. 9; his official file says he left on his accord.” http://politi.co/2lGEhjk -- @VincentHarris: “Gerrit @lansing is stand up, hard working, smart, class act and it's sad for conservatives he’s not in White House.”MIKE DUBKE PROFILE -- NEW W.H. COMMS DIRECTOR -- Amy Elinski in Enquiry: “Dubke, a native of Hamburg, [New York], graduated from Hamilton with a degree in government. While here, he was involved in the College Republicans, The Spectator, and [the college radio station], and played on the men’s rugby team. ... When asked about his new appointment, Dubke told Enquiry: ‘I can say that I am excited and honored to be working in the White House. I’ll be taking my Hamilton cane to the West Wing in case relations with the media get out of hand.’” http://bit.ly/2lsq9cPBREITBART ON KATIE WALSH -- “Exclusive – Meet Deputy Chief of Staff Katie Walsh: The Woman Who Helps Coordinate Trump’s White House,” by Matt Boyle: http://bit.ly/2lynexE FIRST FAMILY -- “Ivanka Trump visits center for minority-owned businesses,” by AP’s Catherine Lucey: “Trump expanded her research on economic policy Wednesday with a visit to a program for business owners in Baltimore. The first daughter visited the Raymond V. Haysbert Center for Entrepreneurship at the Greater Baltimore Urban League, where she participated in a roundtable discussion with minority business owners, mostly from the Baltimore area. ... Trump’s visit to Baltimore came after she took her daughter to visit the Supreme Court on Wednesday. In a post on Instagram, she wrote: ‘Arabella and I visited the Supreme Court this morning and attended a hearing. I'm grateful for the opportunity to teach her about the judicial system in our country firsthand.’” http://apne.ws/2lNpCTT ... Ivanka’s Instas on her Wednesday travels http://bit.ly/2ltAcyh ... http://bit.ly/2lIYNQi --“Ivanka Trump Is Pushing Her $500 Billion Childcare Plan on Hill,” by Bloomberg’s Sahil Kapur, Shannon Pettypiece, and Stephanie Baker: “Trump has urged lawmakers writing a tax overhaul to include a deduction for child care expenses, but with a price tag of as much as $500 billion over a decade she may have trouble finding support in Congress. Members of the House and Senate met with the president’s eldest daughter in the Roosevelt Room at the White House last week to discuss her proposed child care tax benefit, according to a person with knowledge of the meeting.” http://bloom.bg/2kPw2ChNOTHING TO SEE HERE -- “GOP to bury House resolution on Trump conflicts,” by Rachael Bade and John Bresnahan: “House Republicans next week plan to derail a Democratic resolution that would have forced disclosure of President Donald Trump's potential ties with Russia and any possible business conflicts of interest, according to multiple House sources. Seeking to avoid a full House vote on the so-called ‘resolution of inquiry’ -- a roll call that would be particularly embarrassing and divisive for the right -- Republicans will send the Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) proposal to the House Judiciary Committee for a panel vote on Tuesday, two Democratic sources said. The GOP-controlled committee is expected to kill the resolution.” http://politi.co/2lyuMQTPICKING UP THE PIECES -- “David Brock, donors wade into state fights: Leading Democratic figures are mounting rival efforts to boost Democrats ahead of 2020 redistricting,” by Ken Vogel: “Brock, the self-described reformed right-wing hitman who became a key figure in Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful presidential campaign, has been named co-chair of the beefed-up board of SiX’s political arm SiX-Action, along with former Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis ... The new board also includes an operative who helped run Sen. Bernie Sanders’ populist campaign against Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination (Richard Pelletier), as well as a key official from Obama’s reelection (Buffy Wicks), a leading figure in the Black Lives Matter movement (Rashad Robinson of Color of Change) and an adviser to the influential progressive group MoveOn.org (Karine Jean-Pierre).” http://politi.co/2lHOVpI FASCINATING STORY -- ON NYT, A9 -- "F.B.I. Interviews Tell of Cleric’s Role in Plot to Bomb Plane," by Scott Shane. http://nyti.ms/2l2XNlVSPORTS BLINK -- HOW LONG CAN JT3 SURVIVE? -- SOMEONE CHECK CILLIZZA FOR A PULSE -- “Boo birds come out as Georgetown falls at home to lowly DePaul, 67-65,” by WaPo’s Gene Wang. http://wapo.st/2lObIR9KEEP AN EYE ON THIS -- “300 protest in Anaheim after videos show off-duty LAPD officer firing gun in dispute with teens,” by L.A. Times’ Matt Hamilton, Kate Mather, Melissa Etehad and Frank Shyong: “A day after an off-duty Los Angeles police officer fired his gun during a confrontation with a group of teenagers in Anaheim, videos purportedly showing the encounter spread online, prompting questions about the officer’s actions. No one was injured by the gunfire, but the footage -- posted on YouTube and Facebook -- sparked a flurry of phone calls and emails to Anaheim police, who are investigating the officer’s actions.” http://lat.ms/2l2R9Mo COOL TOOL – Bloomberg’s Trump Tracker: daily guide to the 45th president's administration: http://bloom.bg/2m9Zp2uAT THE WHITE HOUSE TODAY -- THE PRESIDENT is meeting with CEOs and members of his staff. Tax and trade team: Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin; top economic adviser Gary Cohn and his aides Jeremy Katz and Shahira Knight; top trade adviser Peter Navarro; Michael Dell, the CEO of Dell Technologies; Inge Thulin, CEO of 3M; Kenneth Frazier, CEO of Merck; Mark Fields, CEO of Ford; Alex Gorsky, CEO of Johnson & Johnson. ... Regulatory reform team: Budget Director Mick Mulvaney; senior policy advisers Stephen Miller and Andrew Bremberg; Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson; Whirlpool CEO Jeff Fettig; International Paper CEO Mark Sutton; Emerson Electric CEO David Farr; Harris Corp. CEO Bill Brown; and Campbell Soup CEO Denise Morrison. ... … Infrastructure team: Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao; Gary Cohn; former Bush Administration official DJ Gribbin; Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman; Corning CEO Wendell Weeks; Nucor Corp. CEO John Ferriola; US Steel CEO Mario Longhi; Veresen Inc. CEO Don Althoff; Archer Daniels Midland CEO Juan Luciano. Workforce of the future: Ivanka Trump; nominee for Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross; Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon; Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris; United Technologies CEO Greg Hayes; LiveOps CEO Keith Leimbach; Altec CEO Lee Styslinger; General Dynamics CEO Phebe Novakovic; assistant to the President, Reed Cordish; Dana CEO James Kamsickas.-- THE BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE sent a letter to Gary Cohn ahead of the meeting, detailing the regulations the business community does not like. http://bit.ly/2lbOIYY THE CABINET -- HOT DOCS -- NYT A13, “The Pruitt Emails: E.P.A. Chief Was Arm in Arm With Industry,” by Coral Davenport and Eric Lipton: “As Oklahoma’s attorney general, Scott Pruitt, now the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, closely coordinated with major oil and gas producers, electric utilities and political groups with ties to the libertarian billionaire brothers Charles G. and David H. Koch to roll back environmental regulations, according to over 6,000 pages of emails made public on Wednesday. ... Senate Democrats tried last week to postpone a final vote until the emails could be made public, but Republicans beat back the delay and approved his confirmation on Friday largely along party lines. The impolitic tone of many of the emails cast light on why Republicans were so eager to beat the release.” http://nyti.ms/2lxxIxq GOOD LUCK -- “How Trump’s campaign staffers tried to keep him off Twitter: The trick? Making sure his media diet included a healthy dose of praise,” by Tara Palmeri: http://politi.co/2l21UigTHE LOYAL OPPOSITION -- “Liberal group launches ‘Moscow Project’ to pressure Trump,” by Gabe Debenedetti: “Seeking to apply new pressure on President Donald Trump over his ties to Russia, the liberal Center for American Progress Action Fund is bringing on a former State Department official to run its new ‘Moscow Project,’ while advocating the creation of an independent investigation even while the Senate Intelligence Committee’s probes proceed. Max Bergmann — a former member of the State Department’s policy planning staff who was previously a speechwriter for Secretary John Kerry and a special assistant to the under secretary for arms control and international security — will lead the group’s efforts on Russia as political scrutiny mounts over alleged ties between Trump’s campaign and Russian intelligence. The organization is in the process of hiring more researchers and communications staff in its war room, which is run by former Harry Reid aide Adam Jentleson.” http://politi.co/2lsRLP4-- “Obama lawyers form ‘worst-case scenario’ group to tackle Trump,” by Isaac Dovere: “Top lawyers who helped the Obama White House craft and hold to rules of conduct believe President Donald Trump and his staff will break ethics norms meant to guard against politicization of the government — and they’ve formed a new group to prepare, and fight. United to Protect Democracy, which draws its name from a line in President Barack Obama’s farewell address that urged his supporters to pick up where he was leaving off, has already raised a $1.5 million operating budget, hired five staffers and has plans to double that in the coming months. They’ve incorporated as both a 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4), allowing them to operate as a nonprofit but participate in some forms of political advocacy as well.” http://politi.co/2mo6UyC-- "'They’re trying to turn Elizabeth into a boogeyman': Republicans are already trying to make Elizabeth Warren the face of the Democratic Party — and the 2018 midterms," by Burgess Everett and John Bresnahan. http://politi.co/2lO2Drw THE CLINTON BEAT -- “Hillary Clinton to speak at St. Patrick’s Day Dinner in Scranton,” by The Times Tribune’s Patrick Wilding: “When she arrives, 214 days will have passed since she last set foot in the Electric City. But on Friday, March 17, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton returns to Scranton. The former presidential candidate … was announced Wednesday evening as the 2017 keynote speaker for the Society of Irish Women’s 19th annual St. Patrick’s Day dinner celebration at Hilton Scranton and Conference Center.” http://bit.ly/2mfddFHVALLEY TALK -- NYT A1, “Inside Uber’s Aggressive, Unrestrained Workplace Culture,” by Mike Isaac: “[T]he focus on pushing for the best result has also fueled what current and former Uber employees describe as a Hobbesian environment at the company, in which workers are sometimes pitted against one another and where a blind eye is turned to infractions from top performers. Interviews with more than 30 current and former Uber employees, as well as reviews of internal emails, chat logs and tape-recorded meetings, paint a picture of an often unrestrained workplace culture. Among the most egregious accusations from employees, who either witnessed or were subject to incidents and who asked to remain anonymous because of confidentiality agreements and fear of retaliation: One Uber manager groped female co-workers’ breasts at a company retreat in Las Vegas. A director shouted a homophobic slur at a subordinate during a heated confrontation in a meeting. Another manager threatened to beat an underperforming employee’s head in with a baseball bat.” http://nyti.ms/2ma8sAt MEDIAWATCH -- “Kellyanne Conway sidelined from TV after Flynn debacle,” by CNN’s Dylan Byers: “Conway, once the most visible spokesperson for the Trump White House, was sidelined from television appearances for a week for making statements that were at odds with the administration’s official stance, White House sources told CNNMoney on Wednesday. Conway, who [was] scheduled to appear on Fox News on Wednesday night, has not given a television interview since early last week.” http://cnnmon.ie/2lNsEr7 -- OBAMA ALUMNI -- KATIE COURIC’s new podcast episode featuring her conversation with Jon Lovett and Jon Favreau, co-founders of Crooked Media and co-hosts of the podcast Pod Save America. Lovett told her: “When I say ‘hold Trump accountable,’ I mean impeachment, but I don’t say it.” Katie’s podcast is No. 6 on Apple’s top charts list. http://bit.ly/2lsYhp6 -- VANITY FAIR'S SARAH ELLISON: "MEGYN KELLY, MATT LAUER, AND THE BATTLE FOR THE FUTURE OF NBC" http://bit.ly/2lyGF9s--“The woman who helped build Michelle Obama’s brand is joining Instagram,” by Re/code’s Kurt Wagner: “Instagram has hired Kristina Schake, the deputy comms director for Hillary Clinton’s recent presidential campaign and the former comms chief for first lady Michelle Obama. She was also chief communications officer at L'Oreal for two years.” http://bit.ly/2l2bpxL --MATT NEGRIN started a campaign on yesterday’s NPR’s “All Things Considered” to get picked as the writer in residence at the Mall of America. 90-second audio http://n.pr/2m9QuOm ... Matt’s job application http://bit.ly/2laTdmp --“Cable Ratings: Rachel Maddow Posts Best Week Since 2008 as Fox News Dominates,” by The Wrap’s Brian Flood: http://bit.ly/2ma2Xle -- Vanity Fair Hive’s Cheddar show premieres today at noon. It’ll be 30 minutes with Jon Kelly and Cheddar’s Kristen Scholer, joined by Wall Street correspondent Bess Levin, special correspondents Sarah Ellison and Nick Bilton, staff writer Maya Kosoff, and writer T.A. Frank. http://bit.ly/2mo4BvASPOTTED: Jamie Dimon and four guests at Kapnos last night ... Nigel Farage in the green room at Fox News in D.C. ... At separate tables at the Four Seasons yesterday morning: Cathy Merrill Williams, George Will and James Rosen, Melissa Moss, Howard Gutman and Nicholas Perrins, Hilary Rosen ... Kimberly Suiters (@ABC7Suiters): “We wished him good luck & offered to buy a shot. What else does a #SupremeCourt nominee need? #Gorsuch @GreenPigVA” in Arlington -- pic http://bit.ly/2meDW5c WELCOME TO THE WORLD -- Jon Walter, director of Fox News’ “Special Report” with Bret Baier, and Erika Walter, press secretary of the Partnership for Public Service, have welcomed Roman Daniel Walter, who weighed in at 7 pounds, 7 ounces and measured 22 inches in length. Pic http://politi.co/2mnCXi9 --Sarah Charlop-Powers, CEO of the Natural Areas Conservancy of New York City and Dani Simons, director of comms and external affairs director for Motivate, the bike share company behind Citi Bike in NYC and Capital Bikeshare in DC, have welcomed Myles Alexander Charlop-Simons who was born on Feb. 13 in NYC. The three will live in Fort Greene in Brooklyn. Pic http://politi.co/2laP4Pu MARK SMITH, after 41 years of continuous employment, is retiring after spending the last 20 years as AP Radio White House correspondent. His last day is next Wednesday. He told us: “Plans for the next gig still being discussed, but likely to include some combination of writing, speaking, teaching and travel. ... Not sure I can be more specific about the next steps - I have some serious goofing off to do first - but the career’s been quite a ride. Seven presidents, six continents and a ringside seat to the march of history (and human folly). I’ve been very fortunate.”TRANSITIONS -- The ONE Campaign has hired Sally Canfield as its new senior director of U.S. gov’t relations. She is the former senior director for international gov’t affairs for the global pharmaceutical company AbbVie, and the former deputy chief of staff to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). http://bit.ly/2lxMzrH ... Sentinel Strategic Advisors has hired Laura Howard as associate for development and Carla Frank as manager of corporate engagement. Laura was previously deputy finance director for Speaker Paul Ryan’s political office and Carla was a deputy finance director at the DNC … Rich Ferraro, who most recently was senior director of comms and public affairs at Viacom, will now serve as GLAAD’s chief communications officer. Jim Halloran, who previously led Twitter’s global content management, was also named as GLAAD’s chief digital officer.HILLARY ALUMNI -- David Reid started this week at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck as a policy advisor. He previously was the D.C. and PAC finance director for Hillary for America. … M+R, a nonprofit communications and digital agency based in D.C., has hired Emmy Bengtson, previously deputy social media director at Hillary for America in Brooklyn, to join the firm’s social media outfit. Emmy is also an alum of the digital teams at Planned Parenthood and Obama for America.OBAMA ALUMNI -- Shannon Buckingham has rejoined the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities as the VP for comms and external affairs. She was previously the associate comms director at OMB. ... Sharon Parrott rejoined CBPP after serving as associate director for the education, income maintenance, and labor division at OMB. ... Aviva Aron-Dine has also joined the Center; she previously served as a senior counselor to Secretary Sylvia Burwell at HHS, and prior to that was acting deputy director and executive associate director of OMB.BIRTHDAY OF THE DAY: Jim Manley, senior director at QGA Public Affairs and a Harry Reid alum -- he “was sick and tired of winning so much under Trump that I needed to go to failed socialist Europe for a week” -- he’s celebrating tonight over dinner with friends in London -- read his Playbook Plus Q&A: http://politi.co/2lIF8zT BIRTHDAYS: Frank Luntz is 55 ... Michael Dell is 52 ... Lois Romano, former editor of WaPo’s Live, the pride of Brooklyn and a Politico alum … Jennifer Epstein, who studied history at Princeton ... Marissa Mitrovich, founder and editor of D.C.-based style blog Politiquette ... rising star Texas Tribune reporter Patrick Svitek is 25 (h/ts Matt Mackowiak) ... S.E. (Sarah Elizabeth) Cupp, the pride of Carlsbad, Calif. ... USAID’s Courtney Matson ... former Hillary for America press staffer Rebecca Chalif, spending her 31st in the Bay Area post torrential rains (h/t Lily Adams) ... Ellie Cohen, the pride of St. Louis and Correct the Record alum (h/ts Carla Frank and Anna Epstein) … Neil Levesque, executive director of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College (h/ts Liz Johnson and Jeff Grappone) ... Politico’s Tommy Mattocks (h/t Andrew Thorne) ... Charles Sweeney, speechwriter extraordinaire ... former de Blasio COS and DNC COO Amanda Howe ... Daniel Goetzel, O’Malley alum now director of innovation initiatives and corporate relations at Johns Hopkins, is 3-0 ... Hillary and Obama alum Gidon Feen ... Joe Berkofsky, CEO at NYC-based Puder PR (h/t Jewish Insider) ...Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Tex.) is 66 ... Nicole Sexton, alum of Steve Forbes’ presidential, Elizabeth Dole’s NRSC, and ONE Campaign now in NYC (h/t birthday boy Arjun Mody) ... Ana Serafin Smith, NRF’s senior director for media relations and an expert on consumer trends (h/t Robin Roberts) ...... Gayle Smith, newly appointed president and CEO of The ONE Campaign (starting in March) and former USAID administrator (h/t Ben Chang) ... Benjamin Sternfield Baum, director of admissions at St. John’s College, Annapolis ... Gary Karr, group director at WeissComm Group ... The Hill’s Molly Hooper … Derek Khanna, an RSC, Romney and R Street alum ... Mike Nixon, a son of Kansas City, Mo. ... Karl Frisch … Marie McGrory, producer at NatGeo Travel ... Nikki McArthur, a former Laura Bush speechwriter now an associate at Jones Day ... AT Johnston of House E&C ... Business Insider’s Reuben Ingber is 29 ... Jill Hudson, senior style writer for ESPN’s The Undefeated ... Lorin Meeks-Harris ... Bernie Robinson, partner at the Livingston Group ... Arjun Mody, policy director for the Senate Republican Policy Committee ... Dana Bohan, director at FTI Consulting ... former de Blasio COS and DNC COO Amanda Howe ... Bernard Craighead ... Charles Sweeney (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) ... Dwayne Marshall ... Natalia Arno ... Jake Decker ... Patrick Velliky, director of congressional affairs at Anthem ... Nate Goddard ... Zaina Shaath … actor Peter Fonda is 77 ... Josh Gad is 36 ... Dakota Fanning is 23 (h/ts AP)
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Dow Chemical, DuPont merger clearance from EU regulators could come shortly before April deadline--WSJ
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Total aims to decide this year whether to move forward with a second steam cracker at its refining and petrochemical complex in Port Arthur, Texas, executives said last week. The French oil major launched front-end engineering and design (FEED) for the 1 million mt/year ethane side cracker in September 2015, with plans to make the […] The post Many US cracker projects moving along as expected, earnings calls show appeared first on The Barrel Blog.
Dow Chemical (DOW) has agreed to divest its global ethylene acrylic acid (EAA) copolymers and ionomers business to SK Global Chemical.
Частично победу Трампа обусловило согласие тех людей по всей стране, которые устали от коррупции и культуры влияния, царящих в Вашингтоне. Его обещания "осушить это болото" отозвались в сердцах множества людей, которые возмущены некомпетентностью властей.
Американские компании Dow Chemical Co. и DuPont Co. объявили о слиянии. Объединение старейших корпораций станет одной из крупнейших сделок в мировой химической отрасли. На закрытие торгов 10 декабря совокупная капитализация компаний превысила $130 млрд.
В прошлой статье был общемировой отраслевой разрез, но весьма любопытно распределение секторов в общей выручке по странам мира, что позволит понять, какая страна в чем больше специализируется и кто удерживает больше всех доходов и активов? Кто в чем силен и слаб? Все публичные компании США с доходами более 50 млн из нефинансового сектора генерируют выручку почти 12 трлн долларов по всей планете, что составляет четверть от всех доходов публичных компаний мира. У японских компаний почти в два раза меньше доходов – 6.2 трлн, следом Китай – 3.5 трлн, Великобритания – 2.4 трлн, Франция и Германия по 2.1 трлн, Корея 1.8 трлн, у Индии и России по 1 трлн. Компании в ТОП 30 стран мира зарабатывают 42 трлн – 93.5% от всех доходов публичных компаний мира. В расчетах по доходам компаний учитывались 2012-2013 финансовые года без синхронизации по календарной дате. Будет правильно, если сравнить расчет по доходам с номинальным ВВП страны за 2012-2013 года. 2820 компаний из нефинансового сектора, имеющих американскую нац.принадлежность, которые генерируют 12 трлн доходов в год занимают около 76% от номинального ВВП США. Без индивидуальных предпринимателей и без малого-среднего бизнеса, также без некой части крупного бизнеса, который выведен с торгов или не представлен. Публичные компании из Японии имеют долларовую выручку больше, чем ВВП Японии в $ - 104% от ВВП. В расчет пошли даже больше компаний, чем в США – 2845 (В 10 с лишним раз больше, чем индекс Nikkei 225)! Это вполне понятно, т.к. из тех, кто представлен на торгах почти все имеют международной бизнес и доля иностранной выручки у японских компаний наибольшая среди крупнейших стран. В принципе, это то, что я и хотел, т.к. отчет по ВВП не даст полной картины, какие активы и доходы под контролем крупнейших нац.компаний. Аналогичная ситуация в Корее (159% от ВВП), Гонконге (200%) и Тайвани (190%) и Швейцарии (134%) . И это компании, предоставляющие публичные отчеты. Низкая доля нац.выручки компаний в % от ВВП в России, Китае, Индии, Бразилии, Мексике, Турции связана в большей степени с тем, что не развит фондовый рынок и мало компаний в публичном статусе. Высокая доля у Южной Африки и Тайланда по причине того, что почти вся выручка международная (сырьевая). В Финляндии из-за экспортной доли изделий из древесины и фактор Нокия. В США может показаться % к ВВП незначительным, учитывая количество транснациональных корпораций. В расчетах нет десятков и сотен тысяч компаний из среднего-малого бизнеса, которые определенную роль играют. В следующей таблице объем годовой выручки в млрд долл для всех публичных компаний в каждом отдельном секторе для ТОП 30 стран. Кстати, энергетический сектор в США имеет в 3,4 раза (!) больше выручки, чем в России. Но не только США опережают Россию, но и Китай (China Petroleum + PetroChina и остальные) и Англия (Royal Dutch Shell + BP и другие). У японских компаний также много выручки, но не за счет добычи, а за счет переработки и транспортировки (основной игрок JX Holdings). Сектор Materials - металлургия всех типов, химия (добыча, обработка), в том числе химическая промышленность, деревообработка, строительные материалы. Россия здесь в конце списка крупных стран, хотя казалось бы должно быть наоборот. Причина в том, что в России почти нет крупных химически концернов генерирующих высокую добавленную стоимость (типа немецкой BASF SE, американской Dow Chemical Co и EI du Pont). Чистая добыча полезных ископаемых приносит доход, но не сравнить с переработкой, обработкой, где на единицу затраченных ресурсов выхлоп намного больше. В Японии также, как и с энергетическим сектором. Более полутриллиона доходов не за счет добычи, а обработка + развитая химическая отрасль. Самая крупная металлургическая компания в Японии - Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal. На чистой добыче (Россия, Бразилия, Канада, Австралия) много дохода не поднять, а в основном бизнес делается на переработке и химии в этом секторе. Utilities - производство электроэнергии, распределение электроэнергии, газа, воды и прочие коммунальные услуги. В России 121 млрд дохода – это исключительно электроэнергетика (производство и распределение) . Огромная выручка во Франции и Германии (E.ON, GDF Suez, Electricite de France). Сектор здравоохранения безоговорочные лидеры США, с большим отставанием Япония, Германия и Швейцария. Промышленность, бизнес услуги, транспорт – США, на равных Япония, далее Китай, следом Корея и вместе Франция, Германия. По товарам длительного пользования потребительского назначения, авто и компоненты, медиа сектор и услуги – США, Япония, Германия, Франция, Китай. По рознице и товарам краткосрочного пользования – США, Япония, Англия, Франция. Также, как по доходам, но в виде доли от общей выручки в % для упрощенного визуального восприятия специализации стран. У Швейцарии энергетика из-за трейдиного энерго гиганта Glencore Xstrata. Если объединить весь несырьевой сектор, т.е. исключая из общих доходов Energy, Materials и Utilities, который прямо зависит от цен на сырье, то расклад такой. США – 7.1 трлн, Япония - 3.4 трлн, Германия - 1.2 трлн, Франция – 1 трлн, Англия 0.94 трлн, Китай 0.9 трлн, Корея 0.8 трлн. Но если в Китай включить Тайвань и Гонконг, то выйдет 1.8 трлн и 3 место после Японии. У России публичный несырьевой сегмент всего 0.14 трлн на уровне Индонезии, Бельгии и ниже, чем в Южной Африке. В % от выручки ниже Как видно, в России запредельное количество компании (82%), бизнес которых напрямую зависит от уровня цен на сырье. Тоже самое, что недавно делал по ИТ, но теперь по всем секторам сразу. В таблице доля выручки нац.компаний в общей выручке по секторам. Например, Consumer Staples у США = 34.2% - такая доля американских компаний от всех компаний планеты в секторе Consumer Staples. Собственно, по этой таблице наглядно видна специализация стран с точки зрения выборки публичных компаний. Более половины доходов по здравоохранению у США. Во всех без исключения секторах они абсолютные лидеры по выручке. Второе место у Японии, третье у Китая с учетом Гонконга и Тайвани. Самые дорогие компании планеты по отношению капитализация/выручка в Швейцарии и США. Самые дешевые в России, Корее, Бразилии, Италии и ... Японии. Примечательно, что не смотря на бурный рост рынка в Японии, по P/S они достаточно низко, но это исторически так сложилось, потому что японские компании убыточные обычно, либо на грани рентабельности работают. Но я специально выделил в последней графе сырьевой сектор, зависящий от цен на сырье (Energy, Materials и Utilities). Получается, что Россия оценивается также, как Китай, Индия и Бразилия, но более, чем в два раза ниже, чем Канада и Австралия. ИТ компании в Тайвани в среднем в 4 раза дешевле, чем в США. Наиболее дорогие компании по производству товаров краткосрочного пользования и их продаже в Китае и Англии среди ведущих стран. По производству товаров длительного пользования и авто в Германии стоимость компаний в два раза ниже, чем в США. Энергетический сектор в Японии почти ничего не стоит. Наиболее дорогие промышленные компании и из сферы бизнес услуг в США, далее Канада и Швейцария, а самые дешевые в Корее