Business Highlights: GOP deficit plan, China trade

The top stories in the business world for the day.

Analysis of the GOP deficit plan by WH: Job loss, poorer children

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - The White House reviewed House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s plan to reduce the deficit. It came to the conclusion that 'the mathematics is simple but unforgiving'. The White House estimates that a 22% reduction in non-defense expenditures would make children poorer, veterans sicker and families hungry, while increasing the cost of housing. In a draft report obtained by The Associated Press, White House Budget Director Shalanda young says that 'there's no escaping the pain for working families and our future'. Joe Biden, the president of the United States and Republican lawmakers are in a heated debate over federal finances. McCarthy insisted that spending cuts were a prerequisite for increasing the legal borrowing authority of the government. Biden called on the government to keep budget discussions separate from any increase in the debt ceiling.

US trade envoy Tai: We are not trying to "decouple" from China

TOKYO, Japan (AP) - U.S. Trade Rep Katherine Tai said Washington does not seek to decouple its economy from China and that U.S. sanctions against Beijing were 'narrowly focused'. Tai told reporters that the U.S. is doing regular business with China. She has no immediate plans to travel to Beijing. Tai is making her fourth trip to Tokyo as USTR. The United States wants to expand and strengthen economic security collaboration with its Asian partners and allies. The issue has become more urgent due to the shortages of computer chip and other goods that occurred during the pandemic.

Yellen calls on the US and China to improve their relations as tensions increase

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen struck a conciliation tone when discussing strained U.S. China relations. She said that the nations 'need a way to coexist together. Yellen called on Thursday for cooperation to address 'urgent challenges around the world', while also supporting economic sanctions against China in order to promote U.S. national security interests. In a speech delivered at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, the Treasury Secretary urged for improved relations between China and the U.S. After the discovery of the Chinese surveillance balloon, the nations' relations have become increasingly strained. ___

Twitter removes blue checks for users who do not pay

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (AP) - This time it is real. Twitter users who are well-known have lost their blue checkmarks that verified their identity on the Elon Musk owned social media platform. Twitter finally started to fulfill its promise to remove blue check marks from accounts who don't pay the monthly fee. Twitter had approximately 300,000 verified accounts under the original blue-check system, many of which were journalists, athletes, and public figures.

Amazon wants to start with Virginia HQ2 project for incentives

FALLS CHURCH (VA) -- Amazon has requested nearly $153 in state incentives payments from Virginia. This would be the first payment since the tech giant committed to building a HQ complex in Virginia in 2018. Amazon has stopped work on the 350-foot helix-shaped building that will be at the center of its corporate campus. Virginia officials released the grant application on Wednesday. The grant request of $152.7 million was in line with Virginia's incentive package to attract Amazon. Amazon would receive $22,000 for every job created. Amazon claims that it has so far created almost 7,000 jobs.

Senators raise doubts about the nomination of Su as Biden Labor Secretary

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - President Joe Biden nominated Julie Su to be the next Labor Secretary. She was praised at her Senate confirmation as a 'champion of the working class'. However, key Democrats are unwilling to express their support for her nomination. This creates uncertainty regarding the prospects of her confirmation by the Senate. Su's performance as California's Labor Department head has been criticized by business groups. Senator Bernie Sanders, Democratic Chair of the Senate Labor Committee that heard her confirmation Thursday, stated the debate about her nomination is more about her willingness to stand up against 'corporate greed' Bill Cassidy is the panel's leading Republican. He claims she will unfairly favor unions.

BuzzFeed will close its news division and cut 15% from all staff

NEW YORK, NY (AP) - Pulitzer Prize-winning digital media company BuzzFeed is closing its news division and cutting about 15% of the entire staff. According to several media reports, CEO Jonah Peretti sent a memo to the staff stating that there would be cuts across all departments, including business, content and tech. BuzzFeed may also consider job cuts in certain international markets. Peretti wrote in a memo that he had'made a decision to overinvest in the news division', but that he failed to realize early enough that financial support was needed to sustain the operations.

Tesla's price reductions drag share prices down sharply

DETROIT (AP). Tesla shares fell sharply after the company's numerous price reductions across its model line this year, in an attempt to energize sales. Tesla's latest quarter saw American consumers cut back on spending for big-ticket items. This was due to an uncertain economic climate, high inflation and the collapse of two U.S. financial institutions. Tesla's sales did increase during the quarter, but revenue per sale dropped due to price cuts, and the first-quarter profits fell by 24%. Tesla shares closed lower on Thursday by 9.8%.

Judge refuses bail to Chinese businessman accused of $1B fraud

NEW YORK, NY (AP) - A New York Federal Judge has ruled that a self exiled Chinese man charged with a $1 Billion fraud case must remain in jail after she rejected a $25 Million bail package. In a written decision, Judge Analisa Torres stated that there is clear and convincing proof that Guo Wengui will not obey court orders. She also said that he would cause economic harm to his community if released. She claimed that he continued to promote fraudulent investment opportunities, even after funds from his businesses were seized last year. Guo was arrested on wire fraud and securities charges last month. He has pleaded innocent.

Alaska Airlines encourages its passengers to use mobile boarding cards

SEATTLE (AP), If you are flying with Alaska Airlines, then you will need to print your boarding passes at home or on your smartphone before you go to the airport. The airline is eliminating kiosks where travelers print their boarding passes. Alaska Airlines executives announced on Thursday that kiosks have been removed from nine airports, including Portland International Airport in Oregon. The goal, they say, is to reduce the congestion in check-in areas so that passengers can get to security checkpoints quicker. Alaska Airlines officials have said that employees of the airline can in an emergency print boarding cards for passengers who arrive at the airport with no boarding pass.

The S&P 500 fell 24.73 points or 0.6% to 4,129.79. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 110.39 points or 0.3% to 33,786.62. The Nasdaq Composite lost 97.67 or 0.8%, to 12,059.56. Russell 2000, an index of smaller companies, fell by 9.74 points or 0.5% to 1,789.70.