Pompeo announces 'Indo Pacific' plans

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday announced $113 million in new technology, energy and infrastructure initiatives in emerging Asia at a time when China is pouring billions of dollars in investments into the region.

Amid increased U.S. trade frictions with China, Pompeo’s announcement sought to build on President Trump’s “Indo Pacific” strategy that aims to cast the United States as a trustworthy partner in the region.

Pompeo said the United States was seeking a “free and open” Asia without domination by any one country, in what appeared to be a reference to China’s growing economic clout and heightened tensions in the disputed South China Sea.

“Like so many of our Asian allies and friends, our country fought for its own independence from an empire that expected deference,” Pompeo told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce business group. “We thus have never and will never seek domination in the Indo-Pacific, and we will oppose any country that does.”

Pompeo said he would visit Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia this week, where he planned to announce new security assistance.

— Reuters


Caesars to take sports bets in N.J., Miss.

Caesars Entertainment will begin taking sports bets at two of its casinos in New Jersey this week and in Mississippi next month, joining rivals in jumping into the business after a Supreme Court decision cleared the way for legal wagering on athletic contests.

The Bally’s and Harrah’s casinos in Atlantic City, N.J., will open sports books on Tuesday and Wednesday, while the Horseshoe Tunica and Harrah’s Gulf Coast resorts in Mississippi will follow in mid-August, Caesars said in a statement Monday.

The Las Vegas-based resort operator plans to soon begin taking sports bets on mobile devices throughout the state of New Jersey and from inside the casinos in Mississippi. Caesars is using technology provided by casino supplier Scientific Games Corp.

Gambling operators are piling into the sports betting business after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in May that allowed states to legalize such wagers. Casinos and race tracks have typically been given the right to take such bets in the handful of states that have now approved it. Many of them have chosen to partner with operators of betting shops or online gambling sites in Europe, where sports betting has been legal for years.

— Bloomberg News

Also in Business

T-Mobile US named Nokia to supply it with $3.5 billion in next-generation 5G network gear, the firms said on Monday, marking the world's largest 5G deal so far and concrete evidence of a new wireless upgrade cycle taking root. No. 3 U.S. mobile carrier T-Mobile — which in April agreed to a merger with Sprint to create a more formidable rival to U.S. telecom giants Verizon and AT&T — said the multiyear supply deal with Nokia will deliver the first nationwide 5G services.

Georgia's governor has made good on his vow to restore a jet-fuel tax cut that had been controversially killed by state GOP lawmakers irate over Delta Air Lines' decision to cut ties with the National Rifle Association. In a statement Monday, Republican Gov. Nathan Deal ordered the collection of the state's 4 percent sales tax on jet fuel to be suspended. Earlier this year, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle effectively killed a proposed sales tax exemption on jet fuel to punish Delta for ending a discount program for NRA members after the school shooting in Parkland, Fla.

Kroger is considering expanding a ban on Visa credit cards imposed by one of its subsidiaries, in the latest signal that retailers are preparing a fresh battle over the $90 billion they pay in swipe fees every year. The largest U.S. supermarket chain, Kroger said its Foods Co. Supermarkets unit in California will stop accepting Visa cards at 21 stores and five fuel centers.

Coming today

8:30 a.m.: The Labor Department releases the employment cost index for the second quarter.

Before the market opens: Pfizer reports quarterly financial results.

After the market closes: Apple reports quarterly financial results.

— From news services