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In Game of Chicken, China Announces $60B Tariff Plan

Warns US to expect countermeasure if US follows through with trade threat

(Newser) - As Trump administration officials mull a possible 25% tariff on $200 billion of Chinese goods—up from the original 10% tariff being bandied about—China is taking its own steps in the newest round of trade threats. Bloomberg and CNBC report on joint statements from China's Ministry of Finance... More »

Trump Delays Tariffs on EU, Canada, Mexico

Decision on steel imports will be postponed 30 days

(Newser) - The White House said Monday it would postpone a decision on imposing tariffs on US imports of steel and aluminum from the European Union, Canada, and Mexico for 30 days, avoiding the potential for a trade battle with Europe as the US prepares for tense trade talks in China this... More »

Hundreds Sick From Cilantro Grown in Feces-Strewn Fields

Cyclospora cayetanensis is a single-celled parasite that causes the infection

(Newser) - The US is banning some Mexican cilantro thanks to the appalling conditions health officials recently found at multiple cilantro fields two hours southeast of Mexico City. Human feces and toilet paper have been found in the growing fields in Puebla, and the general lack of sanitation for workers has been... More »

Kim Jong Un: Don't Smoke Unpatriotic Cigarettes

Ie, foreign cigs, he says, per Yonhap report

(Newser) - In a call for patriotism, Kim Jong Un has barred his top officials from smoking cigarettes made outside North Korea, a source in China tells South Korea's Yonhap News . The insider, who is involved in trade with the country, says Kim doesn't see much need for foreign smokes,... More »

China Tops US in Global Trade

Chinese end America's post-war trading dominance

(Newser) - Hello, empire? China announced that it has surpassed the US in at least one economic category, becoming the world's top trading nation in goods. China says that last year its combined imports and exports barely edged out America's, $3.87 trillion to $3.82 trillion, the Guardian reports.... More »

'Dinosaur Smuggler' Pleads Guilty

Tyrannosaurus fossil sold for $1M

(Newser) - A man from Florida has admitted to smuggling some prehistoric cargo. Eric Prokopi yesterday told a Manhattan federal court that he'd "forwarded a few shipments of fossils of Mongolian origin from Great Britain to the US that were mislabeled." Among the shipments in question: a Tyrannosaurus bataar... More »

KFC Shuts Fiji Stores in Battle Over Ingredients

Chain says government won't allow imports it needs for coating

(Newser) - KFC has closed all three of its stores in Fiji after a fight over ingredients it needs for its secret coating, reports the BBC . The chicken chain says the military government hasn't let it import milk, herbs, and eggs since late last year. "The missing ingredients led to... More »

Obama: Cut Imported Oil by 1/3 by 2020

President wants to boost domestic production, biofuels

(Newser) - President Obama will put energy policy in the crosshairs today, calling for the United States to cut the 9.7 million barrels it imports each day by a third by 2020. But even given the precarious energy situations in the Middle East and Japan, notes the Washington Post, the president... More »

Obama Slaps Stiff Tariff on Chinese Tires

China threatens retaliation after president moves to protect US tire industry

(Newser) - President Obama has imposed tough new tariffs on the import of Chinese-made tires, the Wall Street Journal reports. The 35% import tariff comes in response to industry complaints that Chinese-made tires are flooding the US, jeopardizing thousands of jobs. China attacked the decision, saying it violated trade rules, and threatened... More »

Toilet Paper Shortage Gives Cuba a Pain in the . . .

(Newser) - Cuba is battling a toilet paper shortage, the Miami Herald reports. The country says the global financial crisis and recent hurricanes have forced it to shutter factories and cut down on electricity usage. The result: The cost of a four-pack of TP in Havana is the equivalent of 2 days'... More »

Big Food Battles Big Sugar to Cut Import Prices

Food firms warn of shortages if cheap foreign sugar blocked

(Newser) - America could "virtually run out of sugar" if more cheap foreign imports aren't allowed in, some of the nation's biggest food companies warned Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack in a recent letter. The firms—which pay around twice the world market price for sugar because of tariffs to protect... More »

Virus-Wary Egypt to Destroy All 300K Pigs

USDA says American pork is safe; Russia, China ban imports

(Newser) - The Egyptian government says it will immediately slaughter the country’s entire population of 300,000 pigs to protect against the swine flu, the AP reports. Egypt has stressed that it has no reported cases of the virus, though two infections have been confirmed in neighboring Israel. The move comes... More »

Skirting Laws, Iran Buys Bomb Parts From US Firms

Materials used to make top weapon against US troops

(Newser) - Through front firms and complex maneuvering, Iran skirts trading laws to buy bomb parts from US companies, the Washington Post reports. The equipment allows production of improvised explosive devices, or IEDS, bombs that are the leading killer of US troops in Iraq, according to Justice Department documents and a new... More »

Mexico Halts Shipments From Top US Meat Plants

Move is seen as retaliation for country-of-origin labeling initiative

(Newser) - Mexico has temporarily banned meat from 30 US plants run by some of the largest American meat companies, Reuters reports. The Mexican government says violations in standards of packaging, labeling, and transport conditions occasioned the ban, but many US analysts suspect Mexico is registering its dissatisfaction with an American law... More »

GM Sales Off 45% as US Auto Sales Hit 25-Year Low

Asian brands add market share amid sales freefall

(Newser) - US auto sales dived in October to levels not seen since 1983, Bloomberg reports.  GM, Ford, and Chrysler saw sales drop 45%, 30%, and 36% respectively as credit dried up and consumer confidence plummeted. Toyota, Honda, and Nissan all saw sales fall over 20%, but managed to gain market... More »

GDP Grew More in Q2 Than First Reported

Commerce Department revision shows healthier growth

(Newser) - GDP growth was higher than initially reported in the second quarter, the Wall Street Journal reports. Commerce Department revisions put the increase at a seasonally adjusted 3.3% annual rate—the original estimate was 1.9%. Businesses decreased their inventories less than previously thought. At the same time, exports rose... More »

Swiss Face French-Fry Shortage

Snack crisis threatened soccer tourney

(Newser) - Switzerland faces a potato shortage just weeks before hundreds of thousands of famished European soccer fans descend on the country expecting to snack on French fries. The nation, which is co-hosting the upcoming international soccer tournament Euro 2008, is mashing the pending crisis by lifting trade barriers to import 5,... More »

Mexico Bans All Car Imports— Except '98s

New law allows only 10-year-old jalopies across the border

(Newser) - For used-car shoppers in Mexico, 1998 is about to become a very popular year. Starting today, only 10-year-old cars—nothing newer, nothing older—can be imported in Mexico, a move designed to curtail the flood of “vehiculos chatarra,” or jalopies, clogging the streets. Before the change, imports needed... More »

FDA Plans to Open Outpost in China

Inspectors could block contaminated food from being exported to US

(Newser) - America's food imports from China are rising and the Food and Drug Administration is planning to start exporting American inspectors to protect the US food supply, Reuters reports. FDA officials hope to open a China office to help them raise food safety standards and to make it easier to act... More »

China Exports Inflation to US

Coinciding factors exert upward pressure on prices

(Newser) - After years of pumping out cheap consumer goods, China is driving up American price tags, the New York Times reports. As costs rise domestically, prices down the supply chain rise at the same time that recession threatens in the US. “China has been the world’s factory,” said... More »

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