Business & Tech

EU warns Trump it won’t negotiate under trade tariffs threat


Head of EU says it will not be threatened by Trump over tariffs

The head of the European Union’s executive commission has warned the United States that the bloc will not negotiate trade concessions under threat, a day after President Trump granted the EU only a one-month extension on steel and aluminum tariffs. EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told the European Parliament Wednesday that the exemption should be ‘‘unconditional and permanent.’’ Juncker added that ‘‘this should not happen between allies.’’ The 28-country EU has warned that it will retaliate if Trump goes ahead with the tariffs by May 31, a development that could set off a trans-Atlantic trade war. ‘‘We will continue our negotiations with the US, but we will refuse to negotiate under threat,’’ Juncker said. ‘‘We are now, pure and simple, calling for their withdrawal.’’ — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Tesla posted a record loss in the first quarter as it burns through cash

Tesla posted a record $709.6 million net loss in the first quarter and burned through $745.3 million in cash while struggling to crank out large numbers of its Model 3 mass-market electric car. The loss and cash burn announced Wednesday raised questions about the company’s future and whether it will be able to pay all of its bills by early next year without more borrowing or another round of stock sales. Tesla said its net loss amounted to $4.19 per share. Excluding one-time expenses such as stock-based compensation, the company lost $3.35 per share. Revenue grew by 26 percent from a year ago to $3.4 billion. The giant loss in a critical quarter for the 15-year-old company fell short of Wall Street estimates. Analysts polled by FactSet expected an adjusted loss of $3.54 per share. Revenue, however, exceeded estimates of $3.28 billion. In April, Tesla said it wouldn’t need to return to markets for more capital because it expected to generate cash from sales of the Model 3. But it has had trouble getting them out the door to several hundred thousand people who put down $1,000 deposits to order one. —ASSOCIATED PRESS


Bob Dylan partners with whiskey distillery to make Heaven’s Door

Music icon Bob Dylan is partnering with a distillery to make whiskey at a 140-year-old Tennessee church and bottle it under the name Heaven’s Door. News outlets report Dylan has partnered with Angel’s Envy Bourbon co-founder Marc Bushala in the venture. The New York Times first reported on the plan. Dylan recorded four albums in Nashville. The Tennessean reports Heaven’s Door’s first whiskey releases include a Tennessee straight bourbon whiskey, a double barrel whiskey, and a straight rye whiskey. The whiskeys initially will be available in Tennessee, Texas, California, Florida, New York, and Illinois. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


American companies added 204,000 workers last month


American businesses added 204,000 new workers last month, another sign of strength in the US labor market and economy. Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that hiring was strong across numerous industries, led by professional and business services, health and education, and restaurants and hotels. The ADP survey has shown monthly job growth of 200,000 or more for six straight months. ADP compiles hiring data from millions of companies that are clients of its payroll services. Its figures frequently diverge from the government’s report. A month ago, the government said private employers added 102,000 jobs in March, much lower than ADP’s initial March figure of 241,000, which was revised down to 228,000. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Tourists boost Mastercard

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Mastercard Inc. was a hit with tourists last quarter. Customers spent more with the firm’s plastic when they traveled abroad in the first three months of the year, aided by a weakening US dollar. Cross-border volume on Mastercard’s network climbed 32 percent in the quarter, the fastest clip in at least two years, the firm said Wednesday in a statement. A weaker US dollar boosts Mastercard’s profits outside the US, where the firm gets most of its revenue. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Hulu surpasses 20 million customers

Hulu’s streaming service has surpassed 20 million, thanks to interest in original programs like ‘‘The Handmaid’s Tale’’ and a live TV service. Hulu, which is owned by four media giants, has added at least 3 million customers since January, when the company said it had reached 17 million subscribers. Once primarily an outpost for TV reruns, Hulu scored its first original hit last year with an adaptation of ‘‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’’ Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel set in a dystopian future. The company just released the second season of the show and has renewed it for a third. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


CVS suspends share buyback

CVS Health Corp. said it is making progress on the regulatory review of its $68 billion deal to buy health insurer Aetna Inc., and has suspended its share buyback plan while waiting for the approval. Both CVS and rival Express Scripts Holding Co., which is being bought by Cigna Corp., are trying to get their megamergers approved by regulators, as drug middlemen combine with large insurers in the United States to offer a larger suite of medical services under one roof. The two deals are being reviewed by the Justice Department. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Ford expands recall of full-size vans over wiring problems

Ford is expanding a full-size van recall to fix wiring problems that could cause fires, and it is warning drivers to park the vans outside until they’ve been repaired. The company on Wednesday added 26,000 Transit vans from 2015 through 2017 to an October recall, bringing the total to almost 100,000 in North America. The recall covers vans with a trailer tow computer module. Water can enter the module and cause corrosion. That can cause an electrical short and an increased fire risk even if the ignition is off. Ford knows of two fires in Canada but no injuries. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Amazon offers to pass along discounts on credit card fees to retailers

Advertisement Inc. is offering to pass along the discounts it gets on credit card fees to other retailers if they use its online payments service, according to people with knowledge of the matter, in a new threat to PayPal Holdings Inc. and card-issuing banks. The move shows Amazon is willing to sacrifice the profitability of its payments system to spread its use. Swipe fees are a $90 billion-a-year business for lenders such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc., networks including Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc., and payment processors like First Data Corp. and Stripe Inc., which pocket a fraction of every sale when shoppers swipe cards or click “buy now.” The financial industry’s fees amount to about 2 percent of a typical credit-card transaction, or 24 cents for debit. — BLOOMBERG NEWS