US Trade Envoy Says NAFTA Has ‘Failed’ Americans

U.S. President Donald Trump’s top trade official laid down a hard negotiating line for revamping the North American Free Trade Agreement on Wednesday, saying that major changes were needed to slash U.S. trade deficits and boost U.S. content in autos. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said NAFTA had “failed many, many Americans” and Trump was not interested in merely tweaking the 23-year-old pact, and would seek major changes that would…

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Trump Goes After Amazon, Again

President Donald Trump is renewing his attacks on e-commerce giant Amazon, and he says the company is “doing great damage to tax paying retailers.”   Trump tweets that “towns, cities and states throughout the U.S. are being hurt – many jobs being lost!” The president has often criticized the company and CEO Jeff Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post.   Many traditional retailers are closing stores and blaming Amazon…

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Defector: UN Sanctions Would Play Havoc With North Korean Economy

The impact of the latest round of U.N. sanctions leveled against North Korea could be greater than the projected $1 billion cut in its export revenue if fully implemented, a high-profile North Korean defector told VOA’s Korean Service, and this would deal a significant financial blow to a regime intent on advancing its nuclear and missile programs. “The new U.N. restrictions are perhaps the strongest sanctions ever imposed on Pyongyang…

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Brazil Lawmakers Seek $1B in Taxpayer Money for Election Campaigns

Brazilian lawmakers facing a dearth of financing for their re-election campaigns next year proposed on Tuesday creating a fund of 3.6 billion reais ($1.1 billion) in taxpayer money to help their parties foot the bills. The Supreme Court banned corporate donations to campaigns in 2015, drastically reducing political fund-raising. On top of that, a massive investigation into endemic corruption in the country has uncovered a web of political bribes and…

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Trump Orders Faster Permitting on Infrastructure Projects

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order to speed approvals of permits for highways, bridges and other major building efforts as part of his proposal to spend $1 trillion to fix aging U.S. infrastructure. The text of Trump’s executive order was not immediately available. Earlier, sources said it revoked an Obama-era executive order that required strict building standards for government-funded projects to reduce exposure to increased flooding…

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Tech Companies Ramp Up NAFTA Lobbying on Eve of Trade Talks

Technology companies, such as Microsoft and Cisco Systems, have ramped up lobbying ahead of talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, looking to avoid any future restrictions on cloud storage and to promote an international pact to eliminate technology goods tariffs. U.S., Mexican and Canadian negotiators are due to start talks on the 23-year-old trade pact on Wednesday. Farming and transportation groups have traditionally dominated lobbying on NAFTA,…

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Difficult Negotiations Ahead as NAFTA Talks Begin in Washington

The first round of negotiations between the US, Canada and Mexico begins this week on what President Donald Trump has called “the worst trade deal ever.” He blames the 2-decades-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) for the loss of millions of manufacturing jobs in the US. Trump has vowed to scrap the agreement, unless the US gets a ‘fair deal.’ But trade experts warn that failure is not an…

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China: US ‘Baring of Fangs’ on Trade Will Hurt Both Sides

A decision by the United States to investigate China’s trade practices is a unilateralist “baring of fangs” that will hurt both sides, China’s state news agency Xinhua said Tuesday. U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday authorized an inquiry into China’s alleged theft of intellectual property that administration officials said could have cost the United States as much as $600 billion. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will have a year to…

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Norway PM Doubles Down on Tax Cuts in Bid for Second Term

With four weeks to go before an election that is too close to call, Norway’s Conservative prime minister, Erna Solberg, pledged on Monday to cut taxes to boost growth and job creation if she was re-elected. In power as head of a minority coalition government since 2013, Solberg is attempting to become the first right-wing prime minister to win re-election since 1985. While taxes, unemployment and a rural backlash against…

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