Luckbox digest

China, Chips and Iron Man's Autos

By:James Melton

A weekly look inside Luckbox magazine

Why a resurgent trade war with China is a bad idea

Being tough on trade with China is popular with voters, even though many economists say tariffs ultimately raise prices for consumers. So, it's not surprising that the contenders for the White House are showing their willingness to engage in a trade war with that country.

us china trade wars
Image generated with Dall-e 3

Donald Trump says he plans to raise import duties on many of the country’s trading partners if he’s re-elected to the White House. Meanwhile President Joe Biden recently announced new tariffs on Chinese imports, with an emphasis on the green energy sector.

On May 10, The Wall Street Journal reported that tariffs on Chinese-made EVs will likely quadruple under the new tariff regime, jumping from 25% to 100%, or more. While that makes for a compelling headline, it’s important to note Chinese EV exports to the U.S. are already minimal. The EV-focused tariffs are therefore mostly symbolic and intended to send a message, as opposed to an actual punitive measure against China.

Is any of this good for the U.S. economy, or at least useful for modifying Chinese behavior? Probably not, Luckbox contributor Andrew Prochnow argues in a blog post out this week.

He says a flare-up in the trade war would almost certainly weigh on the U.S. stock market and could also spur a rebound in inflation. Read the whole story.

Microchip giant Intel bets big

Intel (INTC) reorganized its foundry division and is working hard to improve its capability to produce the world’s most advanced semiconductors.

Intel Robert Noyce

Intel is enhancing its in-house production capabilities and expanding its ability to serve external customers. This puts Intel in direct competition with contract foundries like Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) and Samsung Foundry (SSNLF).

The new foundry division—Intel Foundry—is a fully autonomous business unit within Intel. It has a strong focus on delivering advanced process and packaging technologies and a broad intellectual property (IP) portfolio. Intel strategically positioned the initiative to capitalize on the growing demand for semiconductor manufacturing outside Asia. That reflects the need for a more geographically diversified supply chain in the semiconductor industry. Read the whole story

Iron man's steel fetish

How do you make a dream car? When Chris Mazzilli and his team of experts took on the challenge of transforming six vintage classics for movie star Robert Downey Jr., restoration wasn’t enough.

1969 Mercedes Benz
Image courtesy of Dream Car Restorations/CMC Motors

Mazzilli, founder of Dream Car Restorations/CMC Motors, worked with his team to make each vehicle—which included a 1969 Mercedes Benz once owned by Downey’s mother—into a cleaner-greener version of itself. The project was the basis for Downey’s Max TV series Downey’s Dream Cars.

The Downey cars are like projects the shop has taken on for other clients, Mazzilli said. But Downey took things a step farther, Mazzilli told Luckbox. Read the whole story.

Read the latest edition of Luckbox magazine here.

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James Melton is managing editor of Luckbox magazine. @JDMeltonWriter

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