Business Highlights

Trump, Dems in tentative deal on North American trade pact

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats have reached a tentative agreement with labor leaders and the White House over a rewrite of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal that has been a top priority for President Donald Trump. That’s according to a Democratic aide not authorized to discuss the talks and granted anonymity. Details still need to be finalized and the U.S. Trade Representative will need to submit the implementing legislation to Congress. No vote has been scheduled.

Amazon says Trump’s ‘improper pressure’ doomed Pentagon bid

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon says President Donald Trump’s “improper pressure” and behind-the-scenes attacks harmed its chances of winning a $10 billion Pentagon contract. The Pentagon awarded the cloud computing contract to Microsoft in October. Amazon argues in a lawsuit unsealed Monday that the decision should be revisited because of “substantial and pervasive errors” and Trump’s interference. Amazon and its founder Jeff Bezos have been a frequent target of Trump. Bezos personally owns the Washington Post, which Trump has referred to as “fake news.” A Pentagon spokeswoman said Monday the decision to select Microsoft was made by career public servants and military officers and without external influence.

Fed is likely to reinforce a message of continued low rates

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve is expected to send a clear message when its latest policy meeting ends Wednesday: Interest rates will likely stay ultra-low for the foreseeable future. Behind that message is a view that has gained support at the Fed as the U.S. economic expansion has entered a record 11th year: That contrary to long-standing thinking, a robust job market won’t necessarily fuel high inflation. Fed policymakers appear to feel freer now to keep their benchmark short-term interest rate low.

World trade without rules? US shuts down WTO appeals court

GENEVA (AP) — Global commerce is losing its umpire and leaving countries unable to resolve trade disputes at the World Trade Organization. They will be subject instead to what critics call “the law of the jungle.” The United States seems to like it that way. Two of three judges on the WTO’s Appellate Body are to step down Tuesday at the end of their terms and rendering what amounts to the Supreme Court of world trade unable to issue rulings. President Donald Trump has blocked replacements from taking up their jobs.

GM lending $40M to startup company buying closed Ohio plant

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — General Motors has agreed to loan $40 million to a newly formed company that wants to make electric pickup trucks at a massive Ohio assembly plant GM shut down earlier this year. Documents filed last week show the agreement also would allow GM to buy back the plant up until next May. Lordstown Motors wants to begin making electric trucks at the former GM plant by late 2020.


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