More US corporate giants warn tariffs will mean price hikes
By TOM KRISHER and JOSH BOAK
AP Business Writers
Thursday, September 27
DETROIT (AP) — From Ford to Walmart to Procter & Gamble, a growing number of iconic American companies are warning that President Donald Trump’s tariffs on U.S. imports are raising their costs and prices.
Jim Hackett, CEO of Ford, the second-largest U.S.-based automaker, said Wednesday that Trump’s taxes on imported steel and aluminum will cost Ford $1 billion through 2019.
Likewise, Walmart, America’s largest retailer, has told the administration that Trump’s latest round of taxes — on $200 billion of Chinese imports — could increase prices for its shoppers. Walmart specifically mentioned items ranging from car seats, cribs and backpacks to hats, pet products and bicycles.
Procter & Gamble, the consumer products giant, has warned of both potential price increases and job losses as a result of the tariffs.
In the meantime, drinking Coca-Cola is costing more because of Trump’s tariffs. Macy’s, too, has warned of likely price increases. So has Gap.
On Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell took on the issue at a news conference after the Fed announced its latest interest rate hike. Asked about the Trump tariffs forcing up prices for America’s consumers, Powell agreed that Fed officials are hearing from businesses about forthcoming higher costs.
“You don’t see it yet,” the chairman said, referring to the data the Fed studies.
But, Powell acknowledged, “the tariffs might provide a basis for companies to raise prices in a world where they’ve been very reluctant to and unable to raise prices.”
At his own news conference Wednesday in New York, Trump rejected any notion that his tariffs posed an economic risk, echoing assertions by his administration that consumers would barely notice the new taxes.
“It’s had no impact … on our economy,” the president said after meetings with foreign leaders at the United Nations General Assembly.
Hackett, in a television interview Wednesday, revealed the $1 billion estimate that he said Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs are costing Ford. He said the figure is a year-over-year increase from March through 2019.
Ford buys most of its metals from U.S. producers, which have raised prices this year as a result of the tariffs on foreign competitors, the company has said.
Hackett’s boss, Executive Chairman Bill Ford, said Thursday the company has met with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to give input on trade policies.
Ford wants decisions to be made because it takes years for the capital-intensive auto industry to develop and build vehicles, he said.
“Our business runs a lot better when we have certainty and we don’t have big gyrations because our lead times are long,” Ford said.
Other automakers that produce vehicles in the U.S. are experiencing the same price increases as Ford, said IHS Markit Senior Analyst Peter Nagle. While they may be absorbing the increased costs at present, eventually they’ll have to pass at least some of the costs on to customers, he said.
“They’re maintaining pricing discipline now just because the consumer can’t support those higher prices,” Nagle said. But if the tariffs stay in place for the remainder of Trump’s term, “obviously some of those costs would have to start being passed along to the consumer here.”
Ford wouldn’t comment specifically on price increases but said it will “continue to make the necessary decisions to remain competitive.”
The Trump administration imposed a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and 10 percent tariff on aluminum from some countries, including China, in March. It added Canada, Mexico and the European Union in June. The administration justified the tariffs by calling foreign steel and aluminum a threat to U.S. national security.
Ahead of the tariffs, U.S. metals producers raised prices as companies tried to buy before the tariffs went into effect, Nagle said. He said steel prices are up 25 percent since the tariffs began, and he expects that to rise to near 30 percent next year.
Automakers would either raise sticker prices or cut discounts on new cars, trucks and SUVs, Nagle said. The administration also is studying 25 percent tariffs on imported vehicles, also based on national security concerns. Those tariffs would raise prices, slow auto sales and could cut U.S. economic growth in half by 2020, Nagle said. Other countries also are likely to retaliate on imports from the U.S.
“You can’t have a trade war without automotive,” he said.
Boak contributed from Washington. AP Economics Writer Paul Wiseman also contributed from Washington.
AP Source: Trump signs spending plan, avoiding shutdown
By CATHERINE LUCEY and KEN THOMAS
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump signed an $854 billion spending bill on Friday to keep the federal government open through Dec. 7, averting a government shutdown in the weeks leading up to the November midterm elections.
Trump signed the legislation to fund the military and several civilian agencies without journalists present, according to a White House official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the action. The House and Senate approved the spending plan earlier this week.
Trump’s signature avoids a shutdown before the Nov. 6 elections that will determine control of Congress. But he has expressed deep frustration that the bill does not pay for his long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. GOP leaders had warned Trump a shutdown could be deeply damaging to Republicans, but Trump had made the case a shutdown could, in fact, be beneficial.
The spending plan includes $675 billion for the Defense Department and increases military pay by 2.6 percent, the largest pay raise in nine years.
Uber, Cabify drivers block road in Spain to protest new rule
Thursday, September 27
MADRID (AP) — Hundreds of Uber and other drivers are blocking a central artery in Madrid to protest the Spanish government’s plan to approve new rules limiting the operations of app-based ride-hailing services.
The drivers, who work for companies including Uber and Cabify, brought traffic in the capital’s Paseo de la Castellana to a standstill Thursday as they moved slowly toward the entrance to the Development Ministry.
They plan to repeat their protest on Friday, when the government is expected to pass a decree giving local governments the power to limit licenses for the ride-hailing services.
On Wednesday, the companies offered free rides in several Spanish cities. The move furthered angered taxi driver unions, which have been demanding a ratio of one ride-hailing car to 30 public taxis.
U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $4.3 Million in Ohio to Boost Business Development and Job Growth
WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $4.3 million in grants to the State of Ohio to help support local innovation and other economic growth efforts.
“The Trump Administration is committed to spurring innovation efforts among students at colleges around the country,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “These projects will help support Ohio businesses and workers by providing the education and training necessary to succeed in the global economy.”
“Ohio workers can compete with anyone in the world, and the investments announced today for Shawnee State University and Ohio University will help ensure workers and students in Southeast Ohio secure the resources they need to remain competitive,” said Senator Sherrod Brown. “I’m happy to see EDA recognize the strength of Ohio workers and Ohio universities, and I support any effort that invests in Ohioans and grows our state’s economy.”
The EDA investments announced today are:
· Shawnee State University will receive $2.7 million to renovate the Shawnee State University Kricker Innovation Hub. The Hub will serve as an innovation accelerator, facilitating local job creation and entrepreneurship. According to grantee estimates, this project is expected to create 200 jobs, retain 40 jobs, and spur $2 million in private investment.
· Ohio University will receive $1.6 million to support the Building Opportunities Beyond Coal Accelerating Transition (BOBCAT) Network which assists communities that have been impacted by the decline of the coal industry. This project will utilize development resources and regional collaboration to accelerate the region’s economic diversification through entrepreneurial growth, workforce development, and identification of infrastructure investment needs.
These projects were made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission. EDA funds the Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment, and create jobs.
These projects are funded under the 2018 Assistance to Coal Communities (ACC 2108) program, through which EDA will award funds on a competitive basis to assist communities severely impacted by the declining use of coal through activities and programs that support economic diversification, job creation, capital investment, workforce development, and re-employment opportunities.
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.
AEP Ohio Customers to Receive $607 Million in Bill Credits and Future Rate Reductions Through Tax Settlement
GAHANNA, Ohio, Sept. 27, 2018 – AEP Ohio has filed a settlement with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) that outlines $607 million in customer benefits from the tax savings created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. AEP Ohio, the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel, PUCO staff, and several groups representing industrial and commercial customers have signed onto the agreement.
“Since Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, AEP Ohio has been committed to seeing that our customers benefit from these savings. This settlement provides customers with $263 million in immediate rate reductions.” said Julie Sloat, AEP Ohio president and chief operating officer. “The collaborative effort of these groups to work through this complex issue was critical to arriving at a beneficial outcome for our customers.”
Bill credits totaling $263 million will begin following the PUCO’s approval of the settlement and will continue for the next 6 years. These savings are in addition to $66 million in tax reductions that have been reflected in customer bills since January.
An additional $278 million will be credited over the next 20 years through the Distribution Investment Rider, which allows AEP Ohio to continue making distribution system upgrades, building a smarter energy grid and providing more reliable service to its customers.
A residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity can expect a total bill reduction of $3.65 per month.
This settlement addresses AEP Ohio’s responsibilities under the PUCO’s order for utility companies across the state to provide customers with benefits from tax savings under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by Congress in 2017. The stipulation is available on the PUCO’s website.
About AEP Ohio
AEP Ohio is based in Gahanna, Ohio, and is a unit of American Electric Power. AEP Ohio provides electricity to nearly 1.5 million customers. News and information about AEP Ohio can be found at AEPOhio.com.
American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity and custom energy solutions to nearly 5.4 million customers in 11 states. AEP owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a more than 40,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP also operates 224,000 miles of distribution lines. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning approximately 26,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP’s utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.
Planning for a future retirement can be difficult – you have to actively plan how to set aside chunks of your hard earned paycheck and make sound investments to best prepare you for the retirement you want. A recent study from financial technology company SmartAsset has found the places where people are in the best position to save for retirement. The study examined 401(k) and pension performance, as well as local economic conditions and access to financial advisors in counties across the country.
According to the study, Delaware County ranked as one of the top places in Ohio to save for retirement. For a look at how it compared to other top counties in Ohio, check out the table and infographic below:
Additional details on the study, including the full methodology and iinfographic, can be found here: https://smartadvisormatch.com/best-places-to-save-for-retirement/Ohio
Consolidated Cooperative Supports Area Growth with Loan to Local Business
DELAWARE, Ohio – Consolidated Cooperative has awarded a low-interest economic development loan to DK Architects, which is expanding in the Delaware area.
DK Architects, owned by David Kerr of Columbus, Ohio, is restoring the former Stratford Methodist Episcopal church, built in 1843, into a home office, as well as lease space. The near $1 million project is expected to create several new jobs in the Delaware area.
DK Architects’ project emphasis is in retail, restaurant, office, medical, and industrial, with a specialized focus on veterinary hospital design.
The Union Bank Company, Ohio state historical tax credits, and Consolidated Cooperative are all coming together as a community to assist with the project.
The Consolidated Cooperative Revolving Loan Fund was established 20 years ago and has provided nearly $500,000 in low-interest loans to local businesses, with a goal of supporting area jobs and development.
With a history of more than 80 years of service to rural communities, Consolidated Cooperative provides service to more than 17,000 homes and businesses in Delaware, Franklin, Knox, Licking, Marion, Morrow, Richland, and Union counties. Consolidated serves an average of seven customers per mile of line, yet their electric rates remain competitive with neighboring investor-owned utilities that average more than 30 customers per mile of line.
In keeping with their commitment to provide the best possible service to their members, Consolidated Cooperative has grown into a multifaceted corporation, including subsidiaries offering Gas and Fiber Internet services.
Nurse’s Tragic Loss Gives Greater Meaning to Blythedale’s New Suicide Screening Program
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, each year nearly 45,000 Americans die by suicide and they’re not just adults.
Suicide has become the 2nd leading cause of death for children, adolescents and young adults ages five to 24-years-old, with kids suffering chronic pediatric illnesses experiencing an increased suicide risk.
In an effort to raise awareness and help prevent future tragedies, Blythedale Children’s Hospital is marking National Suicide Prevention Month in September by introducing its Suicide Prevention Screening and Risk Assessment Safety Plan.
“We have children who are often here for a month, sometimes even longer, and so there’s much more opportunity for things to come up, like thoughts of wanting to hurt themselves,” said Scott Klein, M.D., M.H.S.A., Blythedale’s Chief Medical and Clinical Services Officer. “So now, for any child that is admitted, we do an assessment which is a simple screening to identify those who may need extra support.”
This major initiative will teach Blythedale clinicians how to utilize preventative measures to identify warning signs and prepare next steps for pediatric patients at risk for suicide throughout all levels of Hospital care, including Inpatient, Day Hospital and Long Term Care units.
Peter1EDIT.jpgIts inception arose from the realization that Blythedale was not immune to the growing health threat of suicide, and experiencing what was happening in the media, schools and to Hospital staff or their family members.
“I think Blythedale’s always been ahead of other hospitals, on the forefront of bringing new tools in, and mental health and suicide prevention is definitely a top priority,” said Suzanne Bartlett, B.S.N., R.N., C.P.N, Director of Employee Health, PALS and BLS.
In May, Suzanne’s 25-year-old son, Peter, was taken by suicide. It was a heartbreaking loss felt by their family, friends and the entire community at Blythedale Children’s Hospital.
“Everybody knows somebody who’s had mental health issues and we just need to get rid of the stigma because what happened to Peter matters, every single person that suffers from this matters, and together we can make a difference,” said Suzanne. “This new program is going to be very helpful and will make a tremendous difference.”
Blythedale’s Suicide Prevention Screening and Risk Assessment Safety Plan will go into effect in the fall of 2018.
BLYTHEDALE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL
Blythedale is New York State’s only independent, specialty children’s hospital and one of only 16 pediatric specialty hospitals in the United States. Serving patients from birth through age 19, Blythedale has the combined staff, expertise and resources – including the largest pediatric therapy department in New York State – to provide exceptional comprehensive care for medically complex children and support for their families. Children are admitted for a variety of medical conditions, including respiratory, traumatic brain injuries, pulmonary hypertension, high tech feeding, complicated trauma, cancer rehabilitation, spinal cord disorders and genetic/neuromuscular disorders. The Hospital is comprised of an 86-bed inpatient unit, a 24-bed long-term care pavilion, and a Day Hospital program. Our goal is to help our patients achieve their rehabilitative goals and return to their families and communities.
Dave Yost’s Lie-Filled Ad Is A Monumental Strikeout
Yost Spot Takes Credit for Steve Dettelbach’s Cases
Cleveland, OH – Auditor Dave Yost released an ad built on disproven lies and exaggerations. In fact, the ad seeks to take credit for and copy the accomplishments and message that only Steve Dettelbach can honestly deliver in the race.
Dettelbach for Ohio Press Secretary Liz Doherty released the following statement:
“Dave Yost strikes out with three big lies in this ad.
“Strike one is the claim that he ‘helped convict 165 dirty politicians and cronies.’ It is patently false, unless Ohio has started electing lunch ladies, bus mechanics, and administrative assistants.
“Strike two is a swing and a miss – Yost taking credit for his opponent’s work. Nearly a dozen of the 165 ‘convictions’ Yost claims were secured by prosecutors working for – you guessed it – Steve Dettelbach!
“Strike three, Yost has done nothing but play politics for his entire career, from punishing his critics in Delaware County to protecting donors like ECOT to helping partisans gerrymander Ohio in a locked Columbus hotel room.
“Sadly, our campaign knows this is just the first inning, and there are more lies to come from Yost and his friends. We’re confident that Ohio voters will see Yost for the politicians he is and, on Election Day, pull him out of the game.”