Washington, DC

NYTimes –

Japanese officials are particularly concerned that a failure to reach a deal on TPP will allow China’s proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to gain steam. RCEP includes many countries involved in TPP talks but proposes significantly less stringent rules.

WSJ – Walgreens, Rite Aid End $9.4 Billion Merger

The FTC is currently operating with only 2 of its 5 members due to the slow pace of the federal nomination process. The deal is one of a notable string of mergers to fall apart in the last year due to regulatory concerns – something to keep in mind given the looming Sprint/T-Mobile merger negotiation.

CNN – Wilbur Ross speech cut short at German conference

The Commerce Secretary used his speech to echo the president’s unhappiness with Germany’s large trade surplus with the United States. President Trump is set to arrive in Germany for the G20 Summit just next week, where he may well receive further backlash for his protectionist views.

WSJ – Trump Promises Telecom Executives Less Red Tape

PCV notes that the meeting did not touch on corporate mergers, the top item on the docket for telecom execs. While Trump’s top antitrust pick, Makan Delrahim, enjoys wide bipartisan support, more direction from the top is desired.

China Daily – China prominent at Select USA

PCV personally attended a special session on what Chinese investors are looking for in terms of foreign opportunities. Assistance handling tax and red tape related barriers was high on the list of requests. Not to be ignored, however, was the trouble Chinese companies, especially small and medium sized businesses, have overcoming cultural barriers.

Live Updates from the SelectUSA FDI Summit

PCV is on the scene at the SelectUSA investment conference outside Washington, DC. The largest event of its kind, SelectUSA is host to investors, companies, officials from across the globe. Updates after the jump.

WSJ – Rural America Is Stranded In The Dial-Up Age

Expanding rural broadband connections is a priority for FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, who views expansion of this critical digital infrastructure to be a vital step to integrating far flung regions of the country with the modern economy.

WSJ – Trump Leans Toward Unwinding Climate Commitment

PCV notes that, were President Trump to renege on the accord, it would constitute the second major international partnership he pulled the U.S. from. President Trump pulled out from the TPP trade deal on his first day in office.

WSJ – Mike Dubke Quits as White House Communications Director

A successful communications reset would likely allow a GOP controlled government some leeway to speed up work on legislative priorities. How influential the shakeup will be remains to be seen, as President Trump ultimately enjoys communicating with the public directly through social media and rally-style events.

Makan Delrahim Committee Vote Set for Thursday

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a vote on the nomination of Makan Delrahim to lead the DoJ’s antitrust division. Mr. Delrahim would be in charge of reviewing all M&As, including the AT&T/Time Warner mega-merger. A link to a live stream will be available on Thursday here.

Bloomberg Politics – Sprint’s Pursuit of T-Mobile Gets New Hope in Trump’s Washington

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai told AEI earlier this month that he didn’t “claim to know in a vacuum what the optimal market structure of any particular marketplace is — what the right number of competitors should be.” This is a marked contrast from the approach of his predecessor, Tom Wheeler, who felt strongly about the need for 4 major players in the wireless market.

Washington Post – Trump to unveil plans for an ‘Arab NATO’ in Saudi Arabia

PCV notes that by making his first official foreign trip to Saudi Arabia, President Trump clearly shows his priority for partner in the Arab world. Saudi Arabia has made a concerted effort to establish a positive relationship with the inner circle of the administration after disillusionment with President Obama, a strategy that has come through in spades.

WSJ – Verizon Wins Bidding War for Straight Path Communications

The deal comes after Verizon almost doubled a previous AT&T offer. Straight Path has licensed high-frequency radio waves that many think are the future of mobile networks. Shares in the 9 man company jumped from $35 in March to over $220 yesterday at market close.

Variety – Why an FCC Vote May Trigger a Wave of Station Mergers

PCV believes the FCC Chairman is committed to broadcast rule modifications that reflect an updated view of voices in the digital marketplace. Not mentioned, but worthy to remember, is the Chairman’s longtime support of relaxing equally outdated foreign ownership restrictions for the US broadcast industry.

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