Afternoon Coffee: Tariff Reckoning Day Coming May 1, Sainsbury’s Buys Walmart Subsidiary Asda

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The May 1 deadline for temporary steel and aluminum tariff exemptions is fast approaching, and not all U.S. allies can expect to emerge unscathed, according to Bloomberg. The trading partner that is sweating the most is the European Union, which had two high-profile leaders travel to Washington last week to lobby President Trump for a more lenient stance.

Sainsbury’s Acquisition

U.K. grocer Sainsbury’s has agreed to buy Walmart’s Asda for $10 billion, Reuters reports. The deal, which aims to generate savings and buying power to better compete with fast-growing discounters, would create Britain’s biggest supermarket group.

Logistics Via Hyperloop

People and governments have expressed much excitement about the potential of the so-called “hyperloop” to transform transportation, but less has been said about the technology’s potential application in the logistics space. Richard Branson’s Virgin Hyperloop One, however, is aiming to change that, with a new venture alongside DP World. The two companies are introducing a hyperloop for palletized cargo, TechCrunch writes. 

Chinese Factory Activity

And finally, an economic update: Factory activity in China slowed in April, with the official manufacturing purchasing managers index slipping to 51.4 from 51.5 in March, the Wall Street Journal reports. Weakening demand and continuing trade tensions with the U.S. are beginning to show up in Chinese economic data.

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