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Donald Trump urged Chinese president Xi Jinping to buy more US agricultural produce to help him win re-election, according to an explosive book from his former national security adviser John Bolton.

When the US and Chinese leaders met in Osaka last year, Mr Trump stunned his team by asking Mr Xi for help winning critical agricultural states, according to the memoir, The Room Where It Happened, which is scheduled for release on Tuesday.

In an excerpt published by the Wall Street Journal, Mr Bolton wrote the US had no strategy to deal with China and that policy was created in a “completely chaotic way”.

The US president has slammed Mr Bolton and urged his team to try to block publication. The Department of Justice on Wednesday filed for an emergency restraining order on publication and requested a court hearing for Friday.

Publisher Simon & Schuster described the latest move by the justice department as a “frivolous, politically motivated exercise in futility” since hundreds of thousands of copies had already been distributed to booksellers. (FT, WSJ)

Coronavirus digest

  • Small businesses in the US that took rescue loans from the federal government are facing potential delays in finding out if they will have the debt forgiven.

  • Angela Merkel has urged fellow EU member states to reach agreement on the bloc’s future budget and the post-coronavirus recovery fund before the summer break. Banks have rushed to borrow a record €1.3tn from the European Central Bank at deeply negative interest rates.

  • Fitch has cut its outlook for India‘s credit rating to negative. The credit rating agency said India’s economy was likely to contract 5 per cent this financial year.

  • African companies locked out of western supply chains have turned to friends in Silicon Valley and China to secure supplies to help fight Covid-19.

Follow our live coronavirus coverage here and our regularly updated virus tracker.

In the news

US upends global digital tax plans Washington has thrown into disarray plans for a new global tax framework for technology companies after suspending talks with European countries — and warning them of retaliatory measures if they press ahead with their own taxes. The EU countries vowed to pursue their own digital tax plans on Thursday. (FT)

Powell warns Congress against withdrawing stimulus The comments by the chair of the Federal Reserve were to the House financial services committee and come amid a heated debate on Capitol Hill about whether to renew $600 per week in emergency unemployment insurance enacted during the crisis. The aid expires in July. (FT)

Former police officer charged with murder Garrett Rolfe, a white law enforcement official, was charged with felony murder and 10 other charges after twice shooting Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old black man, outside a Wendy’s fast-food restaurant on Friday night in Atlanta. Tim Scott, the sole black GOP senator, unveiled a Republican bill to reform police practices in the US. (FT)

Consumer brands rethink stereotypes Within hours of an announcement from PepsiCo that it was ditching its Aunt Jemima baking ingredients label, Mars said it was reviewing the Uncle Ben’s trademark and ConAgra Brands said it was evaluating the future of the Mrs Butterworth’s packaging. Meanwhile, the record label behind Drake and Ariana Grande told staff it would stop using the “antiquated” term “urban” in its business. But the decision was made without the support of top black executives. (FT)

Wall Street takes aim at Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Blackstone’s Stephen Schwarzman and David Solomon of Goldman Sachs have donated to the campaign to elect Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, a former CNBC television journalist, in the June 23 Democratic primary election in Ms Ocasio-Cortez’s congressional district. (FT)

Hertz halts share sale The bankrupt car rental group said it had suspended a controversial $500m fundraising after facing scrutiny from US securities regulators. Hertz launched the stock sale on Monday after getting approval last week from bankruptcy court. (FT)

Uber breaks into public sector with California deal The agreement will allow residents of Marin County, in the San Francisco Bay area, to book rides on public minibuses through Uber’s app. The contract could lay the ground for Uber to sell its software as a service to public transport officials across the world. (FT)

Shares in Wirecard plunge The German payments group said auditors at EY could not confirm the existence of €1.9bn in cash, and that “spurious cash balances” may have been provided by a third party. (FT)

EU probes Fiat Chrysler-PSA deal The investigation of the $50bn merger was launched after the two carmakers failed to offer any concessions to the European Commission to assuage worries over their potential dominance of the lucrative small commercial vans market. (FT)

JD.com shares jump on ‘homecoming’ debut Shares in the Chinese ecommerce group jumped almost 6 per cent on its trading debut in Hong Kong after raising nearly $4bn in the second-largest share sale globally this year. JD.com follows another Chinese internet company NetEase, which recently raised about $2.7bn in a Hong Kong secondary offering. (FT)

The day ahead

Weekly jobs data Initial jobless claims data, due on Thursday, are likely to show a fall to 1.3m for the week ended June 13, from 1.5m for the week ended June 6. (FT)

Johnson to welcome Macron for Resistance anniversary President Emmanuel Macron visits London to commemorate the 80th anniversary of wartime leader Charles de Gaulle’s broadcast on the BBC to rally France’s resistance movement. (BBC)

Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson, US business editor, will be interviewing Bob Moritz, chairman of PwC’s international network, on the FT’s LinkedIn page as part of Moral Money’s LinkedIn Live series. Tune in at 11:15am EST to hear Bob’s thoughts on how the crisis has changed the stakeholder capitalism discussion in boardrooms around the world.

Will the business of football survive the pandemic? Sports editor Murad Ahmed and business reporter Samuel Agini answer readers’ questions. Sign up to our Scoreboard business of sport newsletter.

What else we’re reading

Pandemic response risks widening US economic divide In terms of raw numbers, the US economic response to coronavirus has been overwhelming. But while Wall Street has been stabilised by the crisis-fighting measures and companies and the wealthy have received substantial tax benefits, the fate of America’s middle and lower-income households remains very much in limbo. (FT)

Currencies fall under the spell of stocks Currency analysts are lamenting an avalanche of cheap money from the Federal Reserve, which they say has created bizarre conditions in the market and caused exchange rates to track stocks, rather than economic fundamentals. (FT)

Biden will not revive the Atlantic alliance Supporters of Nato should not count on a secure future once Donald Trump has gone. Those who cherish it would be foolish to expect deliverance in the form of the Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, writes Janan Ganesh.

Ford gives America’s favourite truck a makeover Next week Ford will unveil a redesign of its popular Ford F-150 truck. Yet the manufacturer is haunted by last year’s mishandled launch of the Ford Explorer SUV, where quality problems led to diminished sales. (FT)

Lockdown love A global pandemic lockdown should have been a disaster for the dating app business. But since March online dating has exploded. “Women did feel a little bit more liberated, having more conversations with more people and more engagement without the pressure of having to meet in real life,” said Sharmistha Dubey, the new chief executive of Match Group, owner of Tinder, OKCupid and its namesake Match.com. (FT)

Inside Netflix’s race to restart filming Set by set, shot by shot, the global entertainment factory that is Netflix is reawakening from its pandemic slumber. On the Swedish set of a romantic comedy last month the directors even pulled off what would be near impossible in most of Covid-wracked Europe: a screen kiss. (FT)

Private equity steps in where others fear to tread KKR, which has about $207bn in assets under management, is one of a handful of mostly US-based private equity groups that have been snapping up stakes in companies such as cosmetics maker Coty. (FT)

We all have to confront systemic racism Having to explain the concept of racism to my four-year-old son, fearing that he would encounter it very soon, was probably the toughest, saddest thing I’ve had to do as a parent, writes Kwame Narh-Saam, an emerging markets equities sales-trader at JPMorgan Chase in London. Violence against black women can no longer be brushed aside, says Yousra Elbagir. (FT)

Paranoia creeps into homeworking The combination of working from home and the threat of redundancy in an economic downturn are potent conditions for paranoia. “If I [find] out I am left off an email I panic that it’s because my boss is forming a new team without me,” says one California-based product worker. (FT)

What is your favourite book of 2020 so far? Tell us your recommendation in this story and pick up a few tips for your own summer reading. We’ll publish a selection of the best responses on FT.com in our annual summer books series, which publishes on June 26.

Lawyers in a Crisis The latest part of this special report on the legal sector’s response to the pandemic looks at the accelerating move to virtual law and how doctors are helping solve health-related legal problems. Read the full report here. (FT)

Podcast of the day

Culture Call Tyler Mitchell is a 25-year-old photographer, film-maker and political artist who shot to fame when he photographed Beyoncé for the September issue of American Vogue in 2018. In this episode of Culture Call he talks about his work in the midst of a health pandemic and social protest on a scale not seen since the 1960s. (FT)


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