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An Early Christmas for U.S. Farmers

December 13, 2019, 11:04 AM UTC

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Good morning.

Christmas came early to U.S. farmers, with President Trump reportedly signing off on a trade deal that would have China buying $50 billion in agricultural products in return for tariff relief. Under the reported deal, the U.S. would reduce existing tariffs on $360 billion in Chinese goods, and hold off another round of tariffs due to take place next week.

None of this addresses the big issues of equal treatment and intellectual property that led business to support Trump’s aggressive China trade policy. Instead, it’s a short-term economic and political fix, designed to ease the pain in both countries and help President Trump’s standing in key farm states.

The longer-term issues about intellectual property protection and access to Chinese markets remain unaddressed, likely until after the 2020 election. But financial markets took the agreement as good news.

Meanwhile, if you need help negotiating your salary, Fortune can pass on these tips, shared during a master class at this week’s Most Powerful Women NextGen Summit in California.

More news below.

Alan Murray


Brexit Britain

Boris Johnson's Conservatives won yesterday's general election with a landslide. So: Brexit will take place at the end of January, with a merely months-long timescale for subsequent U.K.-EU trade negotiations; the opposition Labour Party will not contest the next election under the hard-left Jeremy Corbyn; and nationalists won big in both Northern Ireland and Scotland, making it more likely that the United Kingdom will break up. Markets responded positively. BBC

Spending Deal

Democrats and Republicans have a tentative deal on federal government spending. Funding runs out in a week, by which time the two sides need to have nailed down the specifics and get President Trump to sign the agreement. The deal includes a compromise on funding for the Mexican-border wall. Wall Street Journal

Airbus Stamina

The world's longest commercial flight will use an Airbus, not a Boeing. Australian carrier Qantas said it would work closely with the European planemaking consortium on a deal for up to 12 A350-1000 aircraft for the Sydney-London route and others. However, it hasn't actually placed the orders yet, nor has it decided when the routes will commence service. Bloomberg

Oracle CEO

Oracle will not take on a second CEO to replace the late Mark Hurd, leaving Safra Catz as the software giant's sole chief executive. Executive chairman Larry Ellison said the next generation of leadership within the company would provide "the next CEO when Safra and I retire, which will be no time soon." Fortune


Console Wars

Microsoft has unveiled the Xbox Series X, its next-generation gaming console, which will go on sale during next year's holiday season. It's a blocky, monolithic design with impressive technical specs, but we still don't know how Sony will counter the move with a PlayStation 5—nor is it certain whether the future of gaming involves consoles at all. CNET

Warren v. Buttigieg

Democratic presidential hopefuls Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg are duking it out over the issue of corporate ties. Warren is targeting Buttigieg's couple of years working for McKinsey, and Mayor Pete is trying to get Warren to release her tax returns for the years in which she was a corporate legal consultant. Financial Times

Polish Resistance

Poland will not be part of the EU's net-zero emissions target for 2050, as it is unhappy about the level of funding it would receive from Brussels to transition away from fossil fuels—Poland currently relies on coal for four-fifths of its electricity. However, Hungary and Czechia, which had similar concerns, have signed up after negotiations. Guardian

Huawei Loss

The Norwegian telco Telenor has decided to go with Ericsson as the supplier for its 5G network rollout, instead of its 4G network partner, Huawei. Based on a "comprehensive and holistic" security and technical-quality evaluation, said Telenor CEO Sigve Brekke, "we have decided to introduce a new partner for this important technology shift in Norway." The U.S., which has been lobbying allies to shun Huawei's 5G tech, will be pleased. Reuters

This edition of CEO Daily was edited by David Meyer.