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Asked to Serve, Some CEOs Say No More to Trump

First it was the leader of a major U.S. pharmaceutical, then the CEO of an athletic gear company, and before the day had ended, the chief executive of a $170 billion tech giant. Three of the nation’s top executives resigned from a federal panel created years ago to advise the U.S. president.

Now, others are pushing for more executives to refuse to serve President Donald Trump after what many believe to be an inadequate response to a rally of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left one dead and dozens injured.

 

Announcing his resignation Monday, Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier cited the president’s failure to explicitly rebuke the white nationalists.

He wrote on Twitter that “America’s leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which runs counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal.”

The response from the president was swift, throwing a jab at Frazier, a highly respected executive and one of only four African Americans to head a Fortune 500 company, according to the Executive Leadership Council.

 

Trump tweeted that at least Frazier will now “have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!”

The response, and the speed in which it arrived, caught many off guard.

 

William Galston, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said he couldn’t “think of a parallel example” of any president responding as viciously as Trump to a CEO departing an advisory council.

 

“Usually, certain niceties are observed to smooth over a rupture,” said Galston, who served as a domestic policy aide in the Clinton administration.

 

Within hours, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, who has felt some blowback for his support of the president, resigned from the same panel, saying his company “engages in innovation and sports, not politics.”

Plank did not specifically mention Trump or Charlottesville, but said his company will focus on promoting “unity, diversity and inclusion” through sports.

 

But Intel CEO Brian Krzanich was more specific when he resigned a short time later, writing that while he had urged leaders to condemn “white supremacists and their ilk,” many in Washington “seem more concerned with attacking anyone who disagrees with them.”

The president followed up later in the day, tweeting that Merck “is a leader in higher & higher drug prices while at the same time taking jobs out of the U.S. Bring jobs back & LOWER PRICES!”

 

Drugmakers have come under withering criticism for soaring prices in the U.S., including by Trump, though he has yet to act on a promise to contain them.

 

The exchange lit up social media, with many people lauding Frazier and blasting the president. There was also a push online seeking more resignations from the remaining executives on the same panel, just over 20 of them.

 

Trump eventually made a statement condemning bigotry Monday afternoon at a press conference, but already, other executives came to Frazier’s support.

 

Unilever CEO Paul Polman wrote on Twitter, “Thanks @Merck Ken Frazier for strong leadership to stand up for the moral values that made this country what it is.”

Frazier was not the first executive to resign from advisory councils serving Trump.

 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk resigned from the manufacturing council in June, and two other advisory groups to the president, after the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement.

Walt Disney Co. Chairman and CEO Bob Iger resigned for the same reason from the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum, which Trump established to advise him on how government policy impacts economic growth and job creation.

 

The manufacturing jobs council had 28 members initially, but it has shrunk since it was formed earlier this year as executives retire, are replaced, or, as with Frazier, Musk, Plank and Krzanich, resign.

 

“We’ve learned that as president, Mr. Trump is behaving exactly as he did as a candidate,” Galston said. “He knows only one mode: When attacked, hit back harder.”

 

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Difficult Negotiations Ahead as NAFTA Talks Begin in Washington

The first round of negotiations between the US, Canada and Mexico begins this week on what President Donald Trump has called “the worst trade deal ever.” He blames the 2-decades-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) for the loss of millions of manufacturing jobs in the US. Trump has vowed to scrap the agreement, unless the US gets a ‘fair deal.’ But trade experts warn that failure is not an option, especially when the stakes are so high. Mil Arcega reports.

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China: US ‘Baring of Fangs’ on Trade Will Hurt Both Sides

A decision by the United States to investigate China’s trade practices is a unilateralist “baring of fangs” that will hurt both sides, China’s state news agency Xinhua said Tuesday.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday authorized an inquiry into China’s alleged theft of intellectual property that administration officials said could have cost the United States as much as $600 billion.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will have a year to look into whether to launch a formal investigation of China’s trade policies on intellectual property, which the White House and U.S. industry lobby groups say are harming U.S. businesses and jobs.

“While it is still too soon to say that the United States intends a showdown with China on trade, it is no exaggeration that the latest baring of fangs on Washington’s part against China, like all the other unilateral moves by Washington, will hurt not only China, but the United States itself in the long run,” Xinhua said.

Xinhua said while Chinese exporters could be the first to suffer from trade sanctions, the pain would soon spread to U.S. industries and households, adding that China was willing to resolve any disputes between the two sides through dialogue. 

The investigation is likely to cast a shadow over U.S. relations with China, its largest trading partner, just as Trump is asking Beijing to put more pressure on North Korea to give up its nuclear program.

Ken Jarrett, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, said in a statement Tuesday that trade and North Korea should not be linked, and said the investigation was a sign of growing U.S. discontent with Chinese trade practices.

“The president’s executive order reflects building frustration with Chinese trade and market entry policies, particularly those that pressure American companies to part with technologies and intellectual property in exchange for market access,” he said. “Chinese companies operating in the United States do not face this pressure.”

“We support actions that recognize the importance of U.S.-China commercial ties but which also encourage progress toward a more equitable trading relationship,” he said.

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Merck CEO Pulls Out of Trump Panel, Demands Rejection of Bigotry

The chief executive of one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies resigned on Monday from a business panel led by Donald Trump, citing a need for leadership countering bigotry in a strong rebuke to the U.S. president over his response to a violent white-nationalist rally in Virginia.

The departure of Merck & Co Inc CEO Kenneth Frazier from the president’s American Manufacturing Council added to a storm of criticism of Trump over his handling of Saturday’s violence in Charlottesville, in which a woman was killed when a man drove his car into a group of counter-protesters.

Democrats and Republicans have attacked the Republican president for waiting too long to address the violence, and for saying “many sides” were involved rather than explicitly condemning white-supremacist marchers widely seen as sparking the melee.

A 20-year-old man said to have harbored Nazi sympathies as a teenager was facing charges he plowed his car into protesters opposing the white nationalists, killing Heather Heyer and injuring 19 people. The accused, James Alex Fields, was denied bail at an initial court hearing on Monday.

Merck’s Frazier, who is black, did not name Trump or criticize him directly in a statement posted on the drug company’s Twitter account, but the rebuke was implicit.

“America’s leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy,” said Frazier.

Trump immediately hit back, but made no reference to Frazier’s comments on values, instead revisiting a longstanding gripe about expensive medicines. Now he had left the panel, Frazier would have more time to focus on lowering “ripoff” drug prices, Trump said in a Twitter post.

The outrage over Trump’s reaction to the Charlottesville violence added to a litany of problems for the president.

Opponents have attacked him for his explosive rhetoric toward North Korea and he is publicly fuming with fellow Republicans in Congress over their failure to notch up any major legislative wins during his first six months in office.

Trump was specifically taken to task for comments on Saturday in which he denounced what he called “this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.”

Under pressure to take an unequivocal stand against right-wing extremists who occupy a loyal segment of Trump’s political base, the administration sought to sharpen its message on Sunday.

The White House issued a statement insisting Trump was condemning “all forms of violence, bigotry and hatred, and of course that includes white supremacists, KKK (Ku Klux Klan), neo-Nazi, and all extremist groups.” Vice President Mike Pence also denounced such groups on Sunday.

Trump’s attorney general, Jeff Sessions, tried to defend the president over his reaction, appearing on a series of morning television talk shows on Monday.

Asked about the president’s words and lack of direct condemnation of white nationalist groups, Sessions defended Trump’s statement and said he expected him to address the incident again later on Monday.

Speaking to ABC News, Sessions also said the attack on counter-protesters “does meet the definition of domestic terrorism.”

Trump was scheduled to meet with Sessions and Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray on Monday morning to discuss the Charlottesville incident, the White House said in a statement.

International responses were muted. Asked about Trump’s reaction to the violence, a spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May said that what the president said was a “matter for him.”

“We are very clear … We condemn racism, hatred and violence,” he added. “We condemn the far right.”

Court hearing by video

Authorities said Heyer, 32, was killed when Fields’ car slammed into a crowd of anti-racism activists confronting neo-Nazis and KKK sympathizers, capping a day of bloody street brawls between the two sides in the Virginia college town.

Fields appeared in Charlottesville General District Court by video link from Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail. He was being held there on a second-degree murder charge, three counts of malicious wounding and a single count of leaving the scene of a fatal accident. The next court date was set for Aug. 25.

The U.S. Justice Department was pressing its own federal investigation of the incident as a hate crime.

“We’re bringing the full weight of the federal government to bear on investigating and prosecuting that individual,” Pence told NBC News in an interview that aired on Monday.

More than 30 people were injured in separate incidents, and two state police officers died in the crash of their helicopter after assisting in efforts to quell the unrest.

The disturbances began when white nationalists converged to protest against plans to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, the commander of rebel forces during the U.S. Civil War.

The Charlottesville disturbances prompted vigils and protests from Miami to Seattle on Sunday, including some targeting other Confederate statues. Such monuments have periodically been flashpoints in the United States, viewed by many Americans as symbols of racism because of the Confederate defense of slavery in the Civil War.

In Atlanta, protesters spray-painted a statue of a Confederate soldier, and in Seattle, three people were arrested in a confrontation between protesters supporting Trump and counter-protesters, local media reported.

The web hosting company GoDaddy Inc said on Sunday it had given the neo-Nazi white supremacist website the Daily Stormer 24 hours to move its domain to another provider after the site posted an article denigrating Heyer. The Daily Stormer is associated with the alt-right movement.

Derek Weimer, a history teacher at Fields’ high school in Kentucky, told Cincinnati television station WCPO-TV he recalled Fields harboring “some very radical views on race” as a student and was “very infatuated with the Nazis, with Adolf Hitler.”

Fields reported for basic military training in August 2015 but was “released from active duty due to a failure to meet training standards in December of 2015,” the Army said.

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Guam’s Tourism Popularity Unhurt by North Korea Threats

Tourists haven’t been deterred from visiting the tropical island of Guam even though the U.S. territory has been the target of threats from North Korea during a week of angry words exchanged by Pyongyang and Washington.

Chiho Tsuchiya of Japan heard the news, but she decided to come anyway with her husband and two children. “I feel Japan and Korea also can get danger from North Korea, so staying home is the same,” said the 40-year-old.

Won Hyung-jin, an official from Modetour, a large South Korean travel agency, said several customers called with concerns, but they weren’t worried enough to pay cancellation fees for their trips.

“It seems North Korea racks up tension once or twice every year, and travelers have become insensitive about it,” Won said. His company has sent about 5,000 travelers to Guam a month this year, mostly on package tours.

The U.S. territory has a population of 160,000, but it attracted 1.5 million visitors last year. One-third of Guam’s jobs are in the tourism industry.

Guam is a key outpost for the U.S. military, which uses it as a base for bombers and submarines.

The island’s sandy beaches and aquamarine waters make it a popular getaway for travelers from Japan and South Korea. Guam is only about three hours by plane from major cities in both countries.

The number of South Korean travelers in particular has been growing lately because five low-cost airlines started flying to Guam from South Korea, said Antonio Muna, the vice president of Guam Visitors Bureau. This helped boost arrival figures to a 20-year high in July, Muna said.

The threats came in a week in which longstanding tensions between the countries risked abruptly boiling over. New United Nations sanctions condemning the North’s rapidly developing nuclear program drew fresh ire and threats from Pyongyang. President Donald Trump responded by vowing to rain down “fire and fury” if challenged. The North then threatened to lob missiles near Guam.

Kenji Kikuchi, 39, arrived from Japan last week and planned to leave Tuesday as scheduled. He was aware of the threat from reading the local newspaper and was a little worried. But he said North Korea’s missiles would fall in the water not on Guam. His 8-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter weren’t concerned.

“They talk about it, but they don’t care about it. So they like the sea and the pool,” he said. 

The Guam Visitors Bureau has heard reports of cancellations, but Muna said it doesn’t yet have any concrete figures on how many took place. Officials are still expecting a strong August, Muna said.

“Japan and Korea make over 90 percent of our arrivals. And they’re much closer to North Korea than Guam is,” Muna said.

The agency has been relaying assurances from the governor and defense officials that Guam is protected and safe, he said.

Trump told Guam’s Republican governor the global attention would send more tourists to the island.

“You’re going to go up like tenfold with the expenditure of no money,” he told Gov. Eddie Calvo in a telephone conversation Calvo posted Sunday on Facebook. Trump said he’d been watching scenes of Guam on the news, and “it just looks like a beautiful place.”

At a news conference Monday, Calvo said that Guam is in a “normal state of readiness and it’s business as usual.”

There is “no change in security threat levels.”

He told the reporters that “we are defended and will be protected.”

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Trump Set to Order China Trade Investigation

U.S. President Donald Trump is set to order his trade office to investigate whether China is stealing American intellectual property, but Beijing warned in advance that both countries would end up losers in a trade war.

Trump took a break from his working vacation at his golf resort in New Jersey to return to Washington to sign an executive order directing U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to investigate the alleged Chinese theft of American technology and intellectual property. Trump wants trade officials to look at Chinese practices that force American companies to divulge their proprietary intellectual information in order to do business in China.

If the United States pursues the case, it could eventually ask the World Trade Organization to impose penalties on China or seek some other remedy.

Analysts says the investigation could heighten tensions between the United States and China and lead to a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies.

Trump has praised Chinese President Xi Jinping for recently voting with the United States at the U.N. Security Council to impose new sanctions on North Korea for its test missile launches and nuclear weapons development. Beijing announced Monday it is banning imports of coal, iron ore, seafood and other products from North Korea to comply with the new sanctions aimed at cutting Pyongyang’s export income by $1 billion annually.

But Trump has often complained about the chronic U.S. trade deficit with China, $347 billion in 2016 and mounting at a similar pace this year. The United States imports an array of consumer goods from China, with many of U.S. consumers’ favorite technology devices manufactured in China, such as Apple’s iPhones.

Meanwhile, major U.S. companies are reporting higher earnings in recent weeks, in part because of their Chinese operations. Caterpillar, a U.S. manufacturer of heavy construction machinery, said it expects the demand for its products to remain strong in China through the rest of the year.

Before Trump’s directive to Lighthizer, China warned against his action.

“There is no future and no winner in a trade war and both sides will be the losers,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying. “As we have emphasized for many times, the nature of China-U.S. trade relations is mutual benefit and win-win.

“Considering the importance of the China-U.S. relations,” she said, “China is willing to make joint efforts with the United States to keep trade and economic relations on sustained, healthy and stable development on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Are Immigrants Driving the Motor City?

Beside rows of rusting shipping containers, a decorative wrought iron fence surrounds Taquería Mi Pueblo, one of the first family-run Mexican restaurants in southwest Detroit, Michigan.

Its owner, Jalisco-native José de Jesús López, surveys the trees he planted and his ornamental roosters.

“Everything was abandoned, a dump over there,” he said, walking down Dix Street. When he first arrived as an undocumented immigrant in 1981, López recalls a drug-addict-infested lot and overrun lawn.

“Mexicantown,” as the area is affectionately and marketably called today, is one of Metro Detroit’s most vibrant dining scenes for locals and tourists — and a model for other immigrant neighborhoods.

Landing destination

Like López, many foreigners stumbled upon Detroit, viewing the city as an economically viable “second landing destination” — friendly to immigrants, but with cheaper housing and commercial space than traditional immigrant hubs like New York and San Francisco.

Through the 2008 recession and recovery, native-born residents fled. But immigrants kept coming, starting new businesses, hiring local residents and making their neighborhoods a safer place for children.

A June study by Global Detroit and New American Economy reveals that the city’s immigrant population grew by 12.1 percent between 2010 and 2014, at a time when the city’s overall population declined by 4.2 percent. Though the four-year increase in immigrants amounts to merely 4,137 individuals, the study claims the effects have been widely felt.

Watch: Beleaguered Detroit Relying on Immigrants to Revitalize City

“Immigrants are leading in the city’s recovery,” said Steve Tobocman, director of Global Detroit, “particularly in its neighborhoods like Mexicantown, in Banglatown, where new residents are moving in and helping to stabilize working-class communities by fixing up homes, opening up businesses, and creating more consumers.”

Depopulation, Tobocman adds, remains Detroit’s biggest challenge moving forward, while immigrants are “our best hope to rebuilding,” especially on the neighborhood level.

No ‘magic bullet’

According to Americas Society/Council of the Americas (AS/COA) and Fiscal Policy Institute, more than one-third of Detroit-area “Main Street” business owners were immigrants as of 2013.

But data measuring their economic contributions can be misleading, says Stanley Renshon, CUNY professor of political science.

“Any economic activity is grabbed by economists as positive,” Renshon told VOA. “Yes, you increase the overall financial numbers of the country, but the people who benefit most from that are the immigrants themselves, and that’s fine. We want them to prosper, but don’t tell me that what you’re doing is saving the country or the city or the town.”

Detroit’s ongoing struggles, including a long history of political corruption and one of the highest murder rates in the country, can’t be solved by new immigrants, he added.

Hurting American workers?

Last week, White House senior adviser for policy Stephen Miller announced the administration’s support for an immigration bill that would cut legal immigration by half.

Their premise that less-skilled immigrants take away work opportunities from native-born Americans is an “America first” message intended to resonate with President Donald Trump’s base in depressed rust belt towns like Detroit.

“How is it fair, or right or proper that if, say, you open up a new business in Detroit, that the unemployed workers of Detroit are going to have to compete against an endless flow of unskilled workers for the exact same jobs?” asked Miller during a White House press briefing Aug. 2.

Global Detroit’s Tobocman says Trump’s proposed policies won’t produce any new jobs and may cost the Michigan economy hundreds of millions of dollars.

“[Trump’s actions would choke] off a critical supply of talent, of investment, and of global connections that are critical to the future of Michigan, to us being a mobility capital for the world,” Tobocman said.

Detroit suffered an unemployment rate of 28.4 percent during the great recession, but had rebounded to 7.8 percent in June.

Banglatown

Following the likes of Mexicantown, Metro Detroit’s second-most populous foreign-born community, from Bangladesh, hopes to follow suit and create a cultural tourist destination of its own: Banglatown.

“You will hardly find any vacant spot right now,” said Ehsan Taqbeem, founder of Bangladeshi-American Public Affairs Committee (BAPAC), driving his Jeep Grand Cherokee past South Asian restaurants, fabric and fish shops in Detroit and neighboring Hamtramck.

“The value of the homes have gone up since [the recession], businesses have been thriving, and traffic has gone up tremendously,” he said.

Unlike Mexicantown, Banglatown is a concept still in its early stages. There are no traditional rickshaws carrying tourists down Conant Avenue — at least not yet.

But Taqbeem, who runs an automotive retrofitting service, along with other local business owners, sees the benefit of being a branded community in a global-minded city.

Mahabub Chowdhury, part-owner of Aladdin Sweets & Cafe, found success in nourishing his neighborhood and patrons, a majority of whom are non-Bangladeshis. One regular customer, whom he describes as a nice “American white person,” calls him directly.

“Sometimes his car is broken, and he calls us, ‘Can you pick me up from my house?’ And we go to his house and bring him to our restaurant,” Chowdhury said.

‘​Believing in Detroit’

In Mexicantown, Lopez’s eyes well as he recalls his early days on a Jalisco ranch, before finding eventual success in Detroit.

“My main dream was to be able to buy a truck for my dad,” Lopez said. “I worked all my life, and when I had the money, I didn’t have my father anymore.”

Now an American citizen, López, a father of four, says he accomplished the American Dream by creating something that will outlive him and provide for the community long after he has passed.

What Detroit still needs, he said, is more people to call it home. 

“That’s happening little by little,” Lopez said. “The greatest changes won’t happen overnight.”

“They happen slowly, and that’s part of believing in oneself, believing in Detroit,” he said.

 

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Beleaguered Detroit Relying on Immigrants to Revitalize City

Detroit, Michigan, knows hardship and recovery. One of the hardest hit areas in the country during the Great Recession, the Midwestern Rust Belt city has since found an ingredient to its economic revitalization through empowerment of its immigrant communities. But not everyone is convinced that the solution is viable or helps anyone beyond the immigrants themselves. Ramon Taylor has more.

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Electric Car Worry: Where Can You Charge It?

Around the world, support is growing for electric cars. Automakers are delivering more electric models with longer range and lower prices, such as the Chevrolet Bolt and the Tesla Model 3. China has set aggressive targets for electric vehicle sales to curb pollution; some European countries aim to be all-electric by 2040 or sooner.

Those lofty ambitions face numerous challenges, including one practical consideration for consumers: If they buy electric cars, where will they charge them?

The distribution of public charging stations is wildly uneven around the globe. Places with lots of support from governments or utilities, like China, the Netherlands and California, have thousands of public charging outlets. Buyers of Tesla’s luxury models have access to a company-funded Supercharger network. 

Charging stations scarce

But in many places, public charging remains scarce. That’s a problem for people who need to drive further than the 200 miles or so that most electric cars can travel. It’s also a barrier for the millions of people who don’t have a garage to plug in their cars overnight.

“Do we have what we need? The answer at the moment is, ‘No,’” said Graham Evans, an analyst with IHS Markit.

Take Norway, which has publicly funded charging and generous incentives for electric car buyers. Architect Nils Henningstad drives past 20 to 30 charging stations each day on his 22-mile (35-kilometer) commute to Oslo. He works for the city and can charge his Nissan Leaf at work; his fiancee charges her Tesla SUV at home or at one of the world’s largest Tesla Supercharger stations, 20 miles away.

It’s a very different landscape in New Berlin, Wisconsin, where Jeff Solie relies on the charging system he rigged up in his garage to charge two Tesla sedans and a Volt. Solie and his wife don’t have chargers at their offices, and the nearest Tesla Superchargers are 45 miles (72 kilometers) away.

“If I can’t charge at home, there’s no way for me to have electric cars as my primary source of transportation,” said Solie, who works for the media company E.W. Scripps.

Small percentage of electric vehicles

The uneven distribution of chargers worries many potential electric vehicle owners. It’s one reason electric vehicles make up less than 1 percent of cars on the road.

“Humans worst-case their purchases of automobiles. You have to prove to the consumer that they can drive across the country, even though they probably won’t,” said Pasquale Romano, the CEO of ChargePoint, one of the largest charging station providers in North America and Europe.

Romano says there’s no exact ratio of the number of chargers needed per car. But he says workplaces should have one charger for every 2.5 electric cars and retail stores need one for every 20 electric cars. Highways need one every 50 to 75 miles, he says. That suggests a lot of gaps still need to be filled.

Filling the charging gap

Automakers and governments are pushing to fill them. The number of publicly available, global charging spots grew 72 percent to more than 322,000 last year, the International Energy Agency said. Navigant Research expects that to grow to more than 2.2 million by 2026; more than one-third of those will be in China.

Tesla Inc., which figured out years ago that people wouldn’t buy its cars without roadside charging, is doubling its global network of Supercharger stations to 10,000 this year. BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen and Ford are building 400 fast-charging stations in Europe. Volkswagen is building hundreds of stations across the U.S. as part of its settlement for selling polluting diesel engines. Even oil-rich Dubai, which just got its first Tesla showroom, has more than 50 locations to charge electric cars.

But there are pitfalls. There are different types of charging stations, and no one knows the exact mix drivers will eventually need. A grocery store might spend $5,000 for an AC charge point, which provides a car with 5 to 15 miles of range in 30 minutes. But once most cars get 200 or 300 miles per charge, slow chargers are less necessary. Electric cars with longer range need fast-charging DC chargers along highways, but DC chargers cost $35,000 or more.

That uncertainty makes it difficult to make money setting up chargers, says Lisa Jerram, an associate director with Navigant Research. For at least the next three to five years, she says, deep-pocketed automakers, governments and utilities will be primarily responsible for building charging infrastructure.

There’s also the question of who will meet the needs of apartment dwellers. San Francisco, Shanghai and Vancouver, Canada, are now requiring new homes and apartment buildings to be wired for EV charging.

But without government support, plans for charging stations can falter. In Michigan, a utility’s $15 million plan to install 800 public charging stations was scrapped in April after state officials and ChargePoint objected.

Solie, the electric car owner in Wisconsin, likes Europe’s approach: Governments should set bold targets for electric car sales and let the private sector meet the need.

“If the U.S. were to send up a flare that policy was going to change … investments would become very attractive,” he said. 

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Report: Trump to Announce China Trade Practices Investigation

U.S. President Donald Trump will call Monday for his chief trade adviser to investigate China’s intellectual property practices, the website Politico reported, citing an unnamed administration official.

Trump had been expected to order a so-called Section 301 investigation under the 1974 Trade Act earlier this month, but action had been postponed as the White House pressed for China’s cooperation in reining in North Korea’s nuclear program.

Politico said it was not clear how much detail Trump would provide in his announcement, but that administration officials expected U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to open a Section 301 probe.

Officials at the White House and U.S. Trade Representative’s office were not immediately available for comment.

Trump has suggested he would go easier on China if it were more forceful in getting North Korea to rein in its nuclear weapons program.

While China joined in a unanimous U.N. Security Council decision to tighten economic sanctions on Pyongyang over its long-range missile tests, it is not clear whether Trump thinks Beijing is doing enough.

“We lose hundreds of billions of dollars a year on trade with China. They know how I feel,” he told reporters Thursday. “If China helps us, I feel a lot different toward trade.”

Trump will make a day trip to Washington Monday, briefly interrupting his 17-day August working vacation, a White House official said Friday.

Politico said the investigation would not mean immediate sanctions, but could ultimately lead to steep tariffs on Chinese goods.

In addition to the United States, the European Union, Japan, Germany and Canada have all expressed concern about China’s behavior on intellectual property theft. The technology sector has been especially hard hit in IP disputes.

Trump’s threat to investigate China’s intellectual property and trade practices is valid, but his administration may not be up to the delicate task of carrying out a new China probe without sparking a damaging trade war, U.S. business lobbyists said last week.