Jan 23, 2019

Corporations are fleeing global chaos

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Companies around the world are changing their tunes and addresses — uprooting supply chains and moving their headquarters to get ahead of unsettled global chaos.

Driving the news: Dyson said Tuesday it would move its headquarters from the U.K. to Singapore — not because of Brexit, according to its founder, leading Brexit advocate Sir James Dyson, but to "future-proof" the business.

Yes, but: The company is part of a growing pattern.

  • Japan-based Panasonic executive Laurent Abadie said the company would shift its EU headquarters out of the U.K. to Amsterdam, citing "Brexit-related concerns like access to free flow of goods and people."
  • Steve Madden said last year on an earnings call with analysts that it was "aggressively shifting production out of China" and said the company will source 16% of its tariffed goods from countries other than China.
  • Foxconn, Apple's biggest iPhone supplier, is looking to push production out of China and into India — a move that could "lower prices by allowing Apple to avoid a tariff that adds 20% to devices imported from China."
  • Unilever sought to move its headquarters to Rotterdam from London last year, but met strong resistance from shareholders.

Watch this space: More than half of the 48 financial services companies in EY's Brexit tracker said they are considering moving some of their operations and or staff out of the U.K., thanks to Brexit uncertainty.

Why it matters: “Those are big calls," Carlos Gutierrez, a former Commerce secretary and former CEO of Kellogg who now chairs Albright Stonebridge Group, tells Axios. "Moving a supply chain is a big investment, and putting together a supply chain is a big investment to start with."

  • “I doubt these companies will go back,” even if tensions ease, Gutierrez said.

Be smart: Behind the scenes firms are continuing to plan for a "'no-deal' scenario," Omar Ali, U.K. Financial Services Leader at EY, wrote in the company's Brexit tracker report. "The closer we get to March 29 without a deal, the more assets will be transferred and headcount hired locally or relocated."

Go deeper: Brexit is giving us a grim preview of gridlock gone worse

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U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll passes 9,500

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Recorded deaths from the novel coronavirus surpassed 9,500 in the U.S. Sunday evening, per Johns Hopkins data. The death toll in the U.S. has risen over 1,000 every day since April 1.

Why it matters: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on Sunday that this upcoming week will be "the hardest and saddest week of most Americans' lives" — calling it our "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment."

Go deeperArrowUpdated 13 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 1,270,069 — Total deaths: 69,309 — Total recoveries: 259,810Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 335,524 — Total deaths: 9,562 — Total recoveries: 17,266Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Surgeon general says this week will be "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment." The USDA confirms that a Bronx zoo tiger tested positive for coronavirus.
  4. 2020 latest: "We have no contingency plan," Trump said on the 2020 Republican National Convention. Biden says DNC may have to hold virtual convention.
  5. States updates: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state is "literally going day-to-day" with supplies.
  6. World update: Queen Elizabeth II urges the British people to confront pandemic with "self-discipline" and "resolve" in rare televised address.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Scoop: Inside the epic White House fight over hydroxychloroquine

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The White House coronavirus task force had its biggest fight yet on Saturday, pitting economic adviser Peter Navarro against infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci. At issue: How enthusiastically should the White House tout the prospects of an antimalarial drug to fight COVID-19?

Behind the scenes: This drama erupted into an epic Situation Room showdown. Trump's coronavirus task force gathered in the White House Situation Room on Saturday at about 1:30pm, according to four sources familiar with the conversation. Vice President Mike Pence sat at the head of the table.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 49 mins ago - Health