Why Biden’s billionaire minimum income tax can be a tough sale

Josh Gottheimer, DN.J., speaks to reporters on November 4, 2021 in Washington.

Elizabeth Frantz | Reuters

President Joe Biden has proposed a new tax on the super-rich as part of his 2023 federal budget, which aims to reduce the deficit by about 60 360 billion.

Some experts say it is unlikely to gain traction in Congress.

According to a White House fact sheet, the “billionaire minimum income tax” calls for a 20% tariff on households with a net worth of more than $ 100 million, affecting the top 0.01% of earners.

The 20% tax applies to “gross income”, which includes the taxable earnings and so-called unrealistic capital gains, or the increase in assets, the option to pay installments, and the credit to avoid double taxation on the same assets, as outlined by the US Treasury Department. .

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The administration says the plan will raise about 60 360 billion over the next decade. However, the proposal has already faced pushback.

“The billionaire tax and how they’ve put it forward doesn’t make much sense,” Republican Josh Gottimer, vice president of the Caucus, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Wednesday.

“I don’t really think the proposal is going anywhere,” he added.

Senate Democrats introduced a similar billionaire tax in October to fund their domestic spending agenda. However, the proposal failed to garner widespread support within the party.

I think it’s going to be a tough sale for him, really.

Howard Gleckman

Senior Fellow of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.

Moreover, if the levy survives the negotiations, some policy experts say it could face legal challenges and the extra burden of fighting IRS law enforcement.

According to Howard Gleckman, a senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, the Biden version of the billionaire tax bill could create administrative challenges for some taxpayers, such as business owners who fall above the 100 million threshold.

“Their assets are in their business,” he explained. “And it’s very difficult to value those assets.”

Many European countries have abandoned similar taxes because of their understanding of the value of personal assets, Gleckman said.

“I think it’s going to be a tough sale for him, to be honest,” he said, pointing to the pushback within the Democratic Party.

The budget includes other revenue increases that affect individuals, such as the increase in the top marginal tax rate, higher tariffs on capital gains for those earning more than $ 1 million, and the transfer of property among others as a sale.

However, many of these provisions have already been overturned, and Democrats have limited time to pass their legislative agenda before the focus shifts to the midterm election campaign.

Walgreens, AMD, Dell and many more

A pedestrian wearing a protective mask walks past a Walgreens store in San Francisco, California.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Check out the companies that made headlines in the midday transaction.

Walgreens – The drugstore chain is down nearly 5% after the company reported its quarterly results. Despite recording a beat on earnings, it did not raise its forecast for the year.

Baidu – Shares of technology company down nearly 7%. Baidu was added to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s list of US-traded Chinese stocks that could be listed if the Internet search agency fails to disclose financial audits to US regulators.

The chipmaker lost 7.1% after the AMD-Barclays stock was weighed down and its price target dropped from $ 148 to $ 115. The bank cited “cyclical risks across several end markets”, including as contributors to PC and gaming downgrades.

The share price of computer equipment companies fell after Dell Technologies and HP-Morgan Stanley downgraded Dell to equal weight and HP to lower weight. The bank cited ongoing macro uncertainty and a “cautious hardware approach” as reasons for the downgrade. Dell is down 5.4%, while HP is down 5%.

PVH – Calvin Klein’s share price fell 6.4% after Morgan Stanley dropped the stock from overweight to equivalent weight. “We expect the stock to be range-bound for the time being,” the firm said.

Amylyx Pharmaceuticals – The stock lost 13.5% after the Food and Drug Administration panel voted not to approve an experimental ALS drug made by Amylyx. The panel said the study’s data failed to prove that the drug was effective in fighting the disease.

Occidental Petroleum – Shares rose nearly 2% after CEO Vicky Halub bought 14,191 shares of his own company. The move comes after Warren Buffett’s recent performance buy-in stock

UBS – The bank’s stock rose 1.2% after Goldman Sachs started UBS with a buy rating. Goldman said the rise of fintech is positive for the banking industry.

– CNBC’s daughters Machel, Sarah Minn and Samantha Subin contribute to the reporting

Globalization is not over, don’t just invest in countries ruled by dictators

Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine is not a death knell for globalization but a wake-up call for investment risks in non-democratic countries, Texas hedge fund manager Kyle Bass told CNBC on Thursday.

“You don’t have to paint it with a brush extension,” Heyman, founder of Capital Management, told Squawk Box in an interview, when asked if he thought of an interconnected economy with a few barriers to global trade. Effectively finished. “You have to say, every country run by an authoritarian dictator should be re-examined and probably not invested.”

“You have to say, every country run by an authoritarian dictator should be re-examined and probably not invested.”

Kyle lives

Heman is the founder of Capital

In a letter to shareholders, Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, a fierce critic of the Chinese Communist Party, wrote that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had “put an end to the globalization we have experienced over the past three decades.”

Russia’s economic isolation

Russia has been facing rapid and sharp economic reactions since late last month after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale military strike on neighboring Ukraine. Hundreds of Western businesses have shut down operations inside the country, in addition to government sanctions on Russian officials, financial institutions and oligarchs.

What was once the 11th largest economy in the world is expected to shrink sharply and enter a recession in response to Western economic isolation. The International Finance Institute estimates that Russia’s economy could shrink by 15% this year.

China is trying to show neutrality

China has not officially condemned Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, and U.S. officials have warned Beijing that it will suffer “consequences” if it supports Russia. EU leaders will meet with top Chinese officials, including President Xi Jinping, on Friday. They are expected to press China to remain neutral in the war.

“I think institutional investors need to bring to light the fiduciary responsibilities because anyone who has invested in Russia has lost everything,” Bass said. “China is on the edge of that razor. … If they make the wrong decision to openly side with Russia here and submit themselves to US sanctions, then US investment in China is questionable.”

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China has become an important market for many American companies in the decent decades, Buss noted, as it has become the world’s second largest economy. It is not only an important link in the global supply chain, but also a major consumer market.

Putin’s war is a lesson for China

However, Bass said the differences between the way US defense and intelligence officials view China were “never as wide as they are on Wall Street.”

“Ultimately, what Putin has taught us is that we need to look at authoritarian dictatorships and really reconsider if the negative convexity – or the negative risk – that we are associating with these potential countries is worth the investment.” Bus Dr.

What Putin has taught us is that we need to look at authoritarian dictators and really reconsider if there is a negative upheaval. “

Kyle lives

Heman is the founder of Capital

Bass said he had long believed that the United States and China would eventually become economically separate because the two countries’ foundations were “so hostile to each other.”

“What Putin has done is accelerated. I think in the next year or two, we’re going to learn if that risk was really worth it. I think those who took that risk will realize that they weren’t. It’s not worth it,” he said. .

US auto sales forecast Q1 2022 chips, looks dark due to inflation

New Jeeps unveiled at a car dealership in New York City on October 05, 2021.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

Automakers are likely to report sharp sales declines for March and the first quarter, with industry analysts saying car dealers have fewer – and often more expensive – choices due to the ongoing shortage of new vehicles.

U.S. auto sales forecasts from Cox Automotive, Edmunds, and JD Power / LMC Automotive show that first-quarter sales of cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs were probably below 3.3 million, down 14% from the first quarter of 2021.

For some automakers, the fallout could be even worse. Edmunds expects General Motors, Honda, Nissan, and Volkswagen to report annual sales declines of more than 20% for the first quarter, while Ford’s position is somewhat better.

But while sales are declining, prices are rising: TrueCar Analysts say the average selling price of a new car in the U.S. probably rose 15.4% in March from a year earlier, to about $ 43,500.

Consumer concerns about inflation – including higher gas and car prices – have probably played a role in the decline in projected sales in the quarter, which included an expected 24% drop in March. But the biggest reason is the thin supply of new cars amid the global shortage of semiconductor chips.

“Gas prices skyrocketed for consumers in March, but the lack of inventory finally led to disappointing new car sales in the first quarter,” said Jessica Caldwell, executive director of Insights at Edmunds.

Edmonds’ forecast calls for a 15.2% year-over-year decline in first-quarter auto sales. The company said inventories are very thin, with only 20-day gas-powered vehicles and 21-day priced electric vehicles available. Automakers typically aim to keep adequate vehicles for 60 to 70 days.

Caldwell noted that while automakers are still struggling with covid-related supply-chain disruptions, they may now face additional supply challenges in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Charlie Chesborough, a senior economist at Cox Automotive, noted that U.S. auto sales traditionally increased in March with the onset of spring in most parts of the United States. He thinks consumer demand will probably be stronger now – if only carmakers had more cars to sell.

“Low unemployment, relatively low interest rates – the conditions are right for high sales,” Chesborough said. But, he said, sales will remain weak until automakers are able to increase the number of cars in dealers’ lots.

“Make no mistake,” he said, “this market is stuck in low gear.”

CIA Director William Burns tested positive for Covid after the Biden meeting

CIA Director Bill Burns testifies alongside National Intelligence Director Avril Haynes during a House (Election) Intelligence Committee hearing on the diversity of the intelligence community on Capitol Hill, Washington, on October 27, 2021.

Elizabeth Frantz | Reuters

WASHINGTON – CIA Director William Burns tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday, the intelligence agency said.

Burns, who has been fully vaccinated and encouraged against Covid-19, last met with President Joe Biden on Wednesday morning in a “socially distance meeting and wearing an N-95 mask.”

“Their interaction is not considered as close communication as defined by the CDC guidelines, and Director Barnes is sharing news of his positive testing outside of the abundance of transparency,” the intelligence agency wrote in a statement.

Burns will continue to serve as CIA director, but will work from home. He will return to the office after a negative test and being isolated for five days. The agency said Burns had mild symptoms.

Burns’ positive test followed two more virus cases in Biden’s orbit.

On Sunday, White House Deputy Press Secretary Karin Jean-Pierre said he had tested positive for Covid-19. White House Press Secretary Jane Sackie tested positive for the virus a few days after she tested positive for the virus, which prevented her from traveling to Belgium and Poland with Biden.

Saki said at the time that Biden was not considered a close contact after two social distance meetings.

Earlier this month, a second gentleman, Doug Emhoff, tested positive for Covid-19. Following positive test results, the White House said Vice President Kamala Harris would avoid a scheduled event “out of sheer caution.”

Biden, 79, received his fourth dose of the coronavirus vaccine on Wednesday.

How Atlassian’s dual-CEO structure has helped the company improve

Atlasian founder and co-CEO, Scott Farquhar, left, and Mike Cannon-Brooks.


In this weekly series, CNBC looks at the companies that made the list of the inaugural Disruptor 50, 10 years later.

In early March, associate software maker Atlasian published a blog post titled “Atlasian stands with Ukraine”, outlining the company’s plans to support employees and customers in the region and announcing that it was “stopping selling all new software to Russia.”

The post was signed by co-CEOs Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brooks. They lag behind in content and key points. But Farquhar did most of the work, freeing Canon-Brooks.

This is one of the many benefits of having two people at the top of a company. The atypical structure has helped Australians take the 20-year-old firm to the top of the competitive software industry, with products so well-known that it can be difficult for large companies to move.

In 2013, Atlassian landed on CNBC’s inaugural Disruptor 50 list of private companies, ahead of the 2015 Nasdaq debut. The stock has risen nearly 1,000% since then, compared to a 124% increase for the S&P 500 over the same period.

The two had the same job for 20 years in the same company, they were born one month apart, they became parents three months apart, they were the best men in each other’s marriages and they owned property next to each other in Sydney. “Our stock ticker is the team, and so, yes, that’s what we’re carrying,” Farquhar said.

But they are different people. Canon-Brooks is a long-haired idealist who owned a US basketball team and tried to take over the Australian utility company AGL Energy. His comments were obscene. Farquhar is clean and careful when speaking. Rich Wong Farquhar, an early investor in Accel, called it more analytical.

“Mike is a kind of irrational man,” Farquhar said. “That’s the way the world should be.” “Mike, it’s not over yet.”

Early VC luck

Farquhar and Cannon-Brooks became friends in the late 1990’s after doing the same course at the University of New South Wales. When they graduate the technology bubble bursts and they form a business in the face of a lack of job opportunities. Initially it provides support for another company’s application server. Then it changes direction and starts creating its own software. The first edition of Jira, a tool for tracking problems and projects, appeared in 2002.

Within about five years, many Excel-supported start-ups adopted Cumin. “It was already a standard you had to integrate your software with,” Wang said. The company expanded its portfolio with the launch of the document-collaboration service Confluence in 2004 and the acquisition of the 2012 team messaging app Hipchat. Along the way, Atlasian has released versions of Cumin for a variety of employees.

Today, Zira exceeds her status as a market leader, Silicon Valley darling, and surpasses heavyweights with decades of experience selling in enterprises. According to an estimate by researcher IDC, Atlasian controlled more shares than any other company in the market for software transformation, configuration and process management tools in 2020 than Microsoft, IBM and Broadcom. Atlasian’s revenue in the market grew by about 22% year-over-year, faster than the overall division, which expanded from about 15% to $ 4.8 billion, according to IDC data.

Part of Momentum comes from programmers who try out free Atlasian software before paying for it. The strategy goes back to the founders.

“Our exposure to software started with things like games,” Farquhar said. “Back then, games had different business models. You could buy your PlayStation shrink-wrap. If you look at the ID software, they came up with a shareware model. Try it before you buy. We thought it was a great way. Sell the software, because You must try before you buy. In SAP, there is no attempt. You will see what it looks like, because it takes so long to implement. ” (SAP offers free trials for some of its products.)

Atlassian is the first or soon to sell software with a freemium offer, Farquhar said, adding that cloud file sharing app maker Dropbox has made it even more popular. And in the late 1990’s, Red Hat, which later acquired IBM, released CDs with distribution of the open-source Linux operating system and allowed people to download them for free.

For the first eight years, venture capitalists avoided the practice of assembling a squadron of salespeople to make deals, due to a lack of funds. Now, though, there are few employees who pursue selected business opportunities, Farquhar said.

Focusing less on selling strictly and more on delivering products that people actually want to use has led to a stronger financial profile. Atlasian WisdomTom enjoys the fifth widest gross margin of all 76 components of the Cloud Computing Fund, at 83%.

That situation has caught the eye of investors.

“In my 33 years of working history, I have seen a handful of companies that have tried to do this without any internal sales force or external sales force. All I can say about Atlasian is that they are the most successful,” said Founder and Managing Partner of Catalyst Private Wealth. Brendon Canton, which had $ 91 million in Atlasian stock at the end of 2021, is the largest position at that time.

Key CNBC Disruptors: Where Are They Now?

Like many other cloud stocks, Atlasian is not really profitable. Connanton said that thanks to the relatively rare sales team of Canon-Brooks and Farquhar, it would be easier to turn Atlasian into a real money maker than his peers.

A more prominent feature of Atlassian’s 7,000-person organization is the group that actually makes the company’s accessories. Engineering, product and design report to Canon-Brooks. Farquhar oversees legal, human resources, finance, sales, marketing, and customer support groups. “I’m like grandparents,” Farquhar said. “I’m leaving him to deal with mood swings and screams.”

When they talk about responsibility, they consider both efficiency and enjoyment. You don’t want someone who is good at managing a job but doesn’t like to do it and vice versa, says Canon-Brooks.

Marketing and sales have been reported to Canon-Brooks for 15 years, and Engineering once reported to Farquhar. And they both deal with their confidence as they choose to embark on their play activities. They are on vacation. Last year Farquhar took a three-month vacation in a caravan with family around northwestern Australia. “We had to travel somehow,” he said. “I think other CEOs will have to retire or resign to be able to take such a long break.”

Mizuho analyst Greg Muskovitz said the structure contributed to Atlasian’s success.

“I think it has helped, having two strong executives at the very top who have an eye on at least all the important issues,” he said. Other technology companies have appointed CEOs in pairs, including Autodesk, Seridian, Oracle, Salesforce, SAP and Workday. Waymo, Alphabet’s autonomous-driving subsidiary, recently moved to the co-CEO route.

The strategy has a mixed history, Muskovitz said, but it did not work well at all on handset maker BlackBerry. According to one account, the relationship between co-CEO Jim Balsili and co-founder Mike Lazaridis “cooled down,” and the two resigned.

Founder effect

What makes Atlasian different is the founders of both Canon-Brooks and Farquhar, Wang said, an Excel investor. Their combined knowledge helps them move faster, he said.

Wong hinted at a $ 384 million acquisition of the 2017 task-management app Trelo, the company’s biggest deal yet. It was a shock to Trelo, as Atlasian’s Cumin was seen as a competitor, said Stella Garber, who was marketing at Trelo at the time.

“I think the founders were convinced to say, ‘I know we could have made it, but it will take our time, and if we like it now and pay for the acquisition, it will really expand the company,'” Wong said. .

When there is a problem on the Canon-Brooks turf, it is his decision. But when it comes to big things, he consults with Farquhar, because it will almost certainly affect both of them. There are plenty of examples like this in and around the company right now and it’s only natural that they split things up.

“The epidemic and Russia and Ukraine – Sydney floods right now,” Cannon-Brooks said. “Put these together, and there’s plenty of things to deal with in a growth BJ that aren’t just products.”

Farquhar said he and Canon-Brooks had a long conversation about what to do with their team-messaging app Stride, which came in 2017 when the Slack and Microsoft teams were gaining momentum.

“It was weird, in fact, because everyone was talking about how good the slack was. We were using steroids internally,” Farquhar said. “The product was actually better. The slack thing is amazing. It’s not really as good as we had. We had to make a decision.”

Eventually, Atlasian Stride and Hipchat shut down the Cloud and sold the intellectual property to Slack. It also bought an equity share of Slack, which has risen in value since Slack Stock appeared on the New York Stock Exchange in 2019.

When Cannon-Brooks and Farquhar were young, they could close office doors and talk to each other about a crisis, and they could have mountain biking or beer together for fun. Epidemics prevented them from seeing each other often in private. They’ve been good at connecting with Zoom, Farquhar said.

Canon-Brooks doesn’t have to massage what Farquhar says. Without prompting, he imagined what would happen if Farquhar left.

“I’m constantly explaining things that make me feel like I’m talking to someone,” he said. “Good idea, but let me tell you what happened in 2012.”

Sign up for our weekly, original newsletter that goes off the annual Disruptor 50 list, offering a closer look at companies like Atlassian before they go public, and founders like Cannon-Brookes and Farquhar who continue to innovate across every sector of the economy.

Machining start-up Hadrian Andreessen raises $ 90 million from Lux

Exterior of the company’s factory in Hawthorne, California.


Machine-parts start-up Hadrian has raised $ 90 million from a new round of funding led by automation venture firm Lux Capital and Andresen Horowitz as the company works to build a large automation plant to transform the space supply chain.

Chris Power, founder and CEO of Hadrian, told CNBC, “We’ve launched Factory # 1 and proven that we can build space and defense parts 10 times faster and more efficient than anyone else.”

The fundraising marks the second round of Hadrian’s capital Other investors in the round include Lachi Groom, Caffeinated Capital, Founders Fund, Construction Capital and 137 Ventures. Hadrian refused to determine the exact price after the power increase, but said it was between $ 200 million and $ 1 billion.

Los Angeles-based Hadrian is also adding Lux Capital partner Brandon Reeves and Andresen Horowitz partner Catherine Boyle to the board. Boyle said Hadrian’s ability to scale his approach was a key factor behind Andresen Horowitz’s investment.

“The speed at which they were able to build the factory was remarkable,” Boyle told CNBC.

Some of Hadrian’s new funding will go to the construction of Factory # 2, which is planned to be about 100,000 square feet in Torrance, California, near his current factory in Hawthorne, Power said, CEO. The company aims to open the Torrance factory by August, and continue to lease quickly. Hadrian, who had six employees less than a year ago and now has 40, expects to have about 120 employees by the end of this year, Power added.

Hadrian has three customers. The power companies did not disclose but specified that current customers all build rockets and satellites, for which Hadrian is making aluminum components. The company aims to soon expand its material offering to steel and other hard metals.

“We are not setting up a factory that is like a production line – we are building an abstract factory so that you can throw away any part and it comes out the other way. I can do any of these, “said Power.

Machine supply chain problems

A look inside the company’s factory in Hawthorne, California.


Hadrian seeks to centralize a supply chain that is divided between suppliers spread across the country. Citing his firm’s experience investing in space and defense companies, Boyle added that the current supply chain relies on “thousands of ma-and-pop machine shops” across the country. Hardware and aerospace companies often complain about this, he said.

Power estimates that there are about 3,000 of these small machine shops, which generate about $ 40 billion a year in high-precision components for space and defense agencies.

Josh Wolf, a partner at Lux Capital, further emphasized that these components vary greatly in demand, from “huge company” to “large custom” parts, not “owned by the company”.

According to a survey published last year by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, 2.1 million manufacturing jobs are expected to be incomplete by 2030. Additionally, the average age of machinists is increasing, Boyle says, a key stressor of labor shortages.

“The average age of many mechanics is now in the mid-50s, and many have reached the stage where they are retiring or passing on the shops to the next generation,” Boyle said. “The question is: who will occupy those stores and who will be able to continue supplying the defense industry base?”

Boyle added that a secondary theme in the machining labor market is that Hadrian’s automation system “creates jobs for a new generation of mechanics.”

“There is a shortage of workers across high-skilled trades,” Boyle said.

Hadrian is tackling this with a method that allows the company to hire employees as machinists “who have never participated before,” Power said. He cites examples of rentals made from Hadrian’s Chick-fil-A or Walmart, with no prior experience in parts manufacturing.

“We’ve reached a point where they’re building spaceflight hardware within 30 days of joining Hadrian,” Power said.

Hadrian is teaming up with newly minted machinists who employ talent from a selection of meta, stripe, spacex, and others, with extensive experience in the field or software.

Why ‘Free’ Shipping is not free

Big carriers like FedEx, UPS and Amazon deliver a lot and none of these packages are shipped “free”.

“People like free shipping because the word free is very strong, even if people know it’s not really free because someone is paying for it,” Cara Buntin, owner of Cake to Remember at Etsy Shop, told CNBC.

More than 131 billion parcels were shipped worldwide by 2020, and parcel shipments are expected to double again in the next five years – possibly reaching 266 billion by 2026, according to Pitney Boyce.

“When consumers click on that ‘buy’ box, they often don’t see it [the] The labor that leads them to a box at the door, “Ellen Rees, a professor of sociology at UC Riverside and co-editor of” The Cost of Free Shipping: Amazon in the Global Economy, “told CNBC.

And those shipping costs are rising.

“Anyone can offer an Amazon Prime two-day shipping. It’s just the cost of … providing the service,” Dhruv Saxena, co-founder of third-party logistics company ShipBob, told CNBC. He estimates that this could cost a company anywhere from $ 25 to $ 35 for a typical two-day shipping rate.

Companies like Amazon, Walmart, Target and even Etsy benefit from scale economics because they generate massive online sales. According to the US Postal Service, this puts them at a disadvantage in achieving bulk discount rates.

When CNBC asked the postal service for information about how much money Amazon, Walmart, and Target provide services for sending packages, the department said there was no agreement, but “there could be an agreement with the negotiation rate to deliver the packages. However, we are sure the agreement exists.” Or I can’t deny it. “

This is due to dictating federal regulations Acknowledging the existence of a specific national service agreement “would be damaging and would result in confidential commercial information that would not be disclosed under good business practice,” the postal service said.

“A lot [small businesses] They’re under pressure, shutting down and shutting down because they can’t compete, “said Jack Alimahomed-Wilson, professor of sociology at California State University Long Beach and co-editor of” The Cost of Free Shipping: Amazon in the Global Economy. ” He told CNBC.

In a 2019 survey, three-quarters of independent retailers said Amazon’s dominance was a major threat to their survival, according to the local Self-Reliance Institute.

“It simply came to our notice then [carriers] Charge going or how much [packages] There are going to be costs when you run them, and that makes it difficult to offer free shipping because if you are not really careful you often end up with no profit, “Buntin said.

Watch the video above to learn why free shipping is a myth, what it costs companies to send parcels across the country, and how it affects consumer attitudes.

Gender-neutral X passports will be available in April

U.S. citizens will be able to select gender-neutral “X” as a marker in their passport books from April 11, the State Department said Wednesday.

It is announced on the eve of Transgender Day of Visibility, March 31 is an annual day that celebrates transgender people.

Jessica Stern, the US special envoy for LGBTQ rights, said adding an X gender marker to a US passport was “an important step.”

“The addition of the third gender identifier moves the United States forward to ensure our administrative measures for gender identity, gender expression and diversity of sexual characteristics among U.S. citizens,” he told a news conference Wednesday. “Issuing X gender markers in US passports does not create new definitions or rights. This policy change recognizes the true identity of the passport holder.”

The State Department announced in June that it would move to add a third gender identifier, but did not say when. Then, in October, it issued its first gender-neutral “X” passport.

Stern added that the update is important because people “do not always fit into the male or female category around the world.”

“The living reality of transgender, intersex, non-binary and gender-nonconforming individuals reflects that there is a broader spectrum of humanity in the passport than is represented by the binary gender title,” Stern said.

According to the Williams Institute of UCLA School of Law and Interact, an intersex advocacy group, non-binary and intersex Americans, who are not exclusively male or female, make up 1.2 million and 4 million people, respectively. Many of them have been unable to obtain IDs that accurately reflect who they are because of different state laws.

For example, fourteen states require proof of genital surgery to update gender identification on birth certificates.

People will be able to self-select their gender as “X” in their passport book and no additional documentation will be required, said Douglas Benning, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State.

The policy is consistent with the one announced by the department in June, which allows applicants to self-select their gender as male or female, if their gender does not match those listed in their other identification documents, they no longer need to provide a medical certificate.

The availability of gender-neutral alternatives in U.S. passports predates a long legal battle. Dana Jezim, a Colorado intersex resident who uses the gender-neutral pronoun, sued the State Department in 2015 when they refused a passport for failing to examine a man or woman in an application.

According to court documents, Zzyym (pronounced Zimm) wrote “intersex” on the box marked “M” and “F” and requested that an “X” gender be identified instead in a separate letter.

They will not be able to attend a meeting of the Intersex International in Mexico because the State Department has denied Zzyym’s passport.

The State Department will not confirm whether it received its first gender-neutral passport in October, citing privacy concerns. Lambda Legal, the LGBTQ law firm that represents Zzyym, has confirmed that they have received the first “X” passport.

At the time, Zaim said they had “almost burst into tears” when they received their passports. “I am delighted that other intersex and nonbinary US citizens will soon be able to apply for a passport with the correct gender identifier,” they said in October.

The Transportation Security Administration announced at a news conference Wednesday that it would also introduce new gender-neutral screening procedures. Jose Bonilla, chairman of TSA’s Inclusion Action Committee, said TSA was working with its manufacturing partners to develop advanced imaging technology, or AIT, a new algorithm for body scanners that would increase security and enable officers to provide gender-neutral screening. .

Transgender people have long called for a change in TSA policy, which some say is the result of aggressive investigations and abusive experiences. For example, TSA scanners often detect abnormalities in the body of a transgender person.

Bonilla says that in response to some criticism, the TSA is updating its methods to reduce aggressive pat-down, which often results in AIT scanners being triggered “in a sensitive area”.

The change will reduce the number of pat-downs for transport safety officials “and will be effective until the traveling public and gender-neutral AIT screening technology is deployed without compromising safety,” he said.

As the April 11 gender-neutral “X” became widely available, Stern said, the United States joins other countries in “recognizing their gender options in passports without additional verification beyond the individual’s own confirmation.”

“We hope that by doing this we will help other governments to make this option available to their own citizens,” he added.

Citizens of Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Nepal and New Zealand are allowed to choose any gender other than male or female in their passports.

International travel returns give birth to war for high-cost passengers

A Singapore Airlines A380 first class suite

Leslie Josephus | CNBC

Singapore Airlines unveiled its highest offer in the United States this week: a first-class suite with a bed, a swivel chair, a 32-inch touch screen and a desk equipped with an orchid. Each has 50 square feet, and two bathrooms for six passengers.

It’s a bet that travelers are willing to shell out for luxury cabins two years after the Covid epidemic lockdown that destroyed travel demand. Other airlines are taking similar steps with renovated cabins They were able to make some quick upgrades during the epidemic when they didn’t need many planes.

A roundtrip ticket on one of the Singapore Airlines suites from New York to Singapore, including stops in Frankfurt, Germany, was listed on the company’s website in early May for $ 17,143.37, including tax. The A380 is one of 78 new business-class seats converted to a 6½-foot bed on the same date for $ 6,362.87. Both cabins are at the top of the superjumbo plane.

Joey Cio, US regional vice president of Singapore Airlines, said passenger demand for upper-deck cabins was strong. Business-class seats on the plane are being sold before 343 economy seats, which is the opposite of a pre-epidemic trend, he said.

“Generally, people would prefer to go for economy class because it’s cheaper,” the CO told CNBC on the A380 before leaving for Frankfurt on Monday evening. “We see that more and more people are willing to pay for that place.”

Airlines around the world are hoping to benefit from this trend. This is important for airlines as they seek to return to profitability in the face of new challenges, such as labor shortages, the recent rise in fuel prices, the new Covid-19 variant and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Premium Outperform

Over the past decade, airlines have been looking for new ways to accommodate passengers in more spacious seats, including the front suite of the plane and a new business class or premium economy, a Rumier seat with more seating in standard coaches. And in front of the plane.

While business travel demand is still about 40% below the 2019 level, so-called premium leisure travelers are again particularly important as a way to increase revenue.

Glenn Hawenstein, president of Delta Air Lines, told a JPMorgan industry conference earlier this month that “at first we thought people would only pay if their company paid for these products and services.” “What we’ve got in the epidemic is a massive hunger from consumers who want to sit on better products and services.”

He said Delta wants to expand these offers further in the future.

“Margins on premium products are significantly higher, and that’s exactly where we’re going as an airline,” said Hoenstein.

Rival JetBlue Airways has made its Mint Business Class a central part of its London service from New York, which it expects to expand with flights from Boston in the coming months.

Singapore Airlines A380 First Class Suite

Leslie Josephus | CNBC

Delta’s premium seat offer has grown exponentially compared to 2019, partly because the airline has restored some of its older planes with more spacious seats, spokesman Drake Castaneda said.

Carriers are banking on trans-Atlantic voyages especially this year, as several countries on both shores of the sea The Covid lockdown has eased in recent months after two years of weak demand.

Growing schedule

Now carriers are ramping up for a big summer, bringing with them some of the larger jetliners they used as epidemic salvage for domestic routes, with fares much higher on international routes.

According to flight data firm OAG, the airline’s trans-Atlantic capacity in July, measured by seats, is 10% lower than pre-epidemic July 2019 – but 170% higher than last year.

United say they expect its trans-Atlantic capacity to increase by 20% from 2019 in July. It is a Boeing 767-300ER flying with a high number of premium seats – 46 Polaris Business Class, 22 premium economy, 43 extra legrooms and 56 standard coaches – from Newark, New Jersey and Boston to London.

The rent has also gone up. Fare-tracking site Hopper says international flights are currently $ 810, up 25% from the beginning of the year when Omicron transmissions are typically a seasonal stagnation and 2% shy compared to the 2019 level, while domestic fares have risen 40% since the start of the year and 8% from three years ago. .

Singapore Airlines’ latest business class cabin debuts in New York

Leslie Josephus | CNBC

“At the moment it does not seem that high air fares are having a significant impact on premium demand,” said Henry Hartvelt, a former airline executive and founder of travel consulting firm Atmosphere Research Group. “Premium customers will end up feeling the most airfare impact because they can afford premium travel.”

Long-distance trans-Pacific demand has been slow to return, especially due to the severe coveted lockdown in China.

The CO of Singapore says relaxed travel restrictions in other parts of Asia are helping to encourage new bookings, but travelers are showing interest in its smaller legs, such as the A380 from JFK to Frankfurt.

“We hope that through a good product we can meet more customers who have not chosen us in the past,” he said.

Low margin for error

Carriers were able to test more freely during the epidemic. Historically low travel demand and one of the countries that have opened their borders to patchwork airlines are looking for opportunities to increase revenue wherever they can.

Now, with rising U.S. jet fuel prices and the uncertainty of Russia’s war in Ukraine and its impact on Eastern Europe, airlines have lower margins for error. The closure has forced some carriers to fly long distances to avoid Russia.

Although United is still planning a strong trans-Atlantic schedule, the airline said last week that it would not operate non-stop flights between Washington’s Dulles and Berlin, New York and Prague or Denver and Tokyo as planned.

“United regularly adjusts to our schedule in response to a number of factors, including demand, cost and resources,” the airline said in a statement. “We look forward to bringing these routes back into our network as soon as the market allows.”

Some airlines are also restricted by air. For example, American Airlines said last month that it would further cut some international routes, such as Seattle-London, due to delays in Boeing 787 Dreamliner deliveries.

Since the start of the war, some travelers have been choosing Western European destinations for better trafficking over Eastern Europe.

“We have certainly seen a decline in bookings for Eastern Europe and an increase in Western Europe,” said Kendra Guild, director of product and management at SmarTours, which offers packages around the world.

He said customers are not canceling but bookings in the Czech Republic, Poland and Croatia have declined while countries including Portugal, Spain and Ireland are relatively strong.