Global Glance: North American leaders confront protectionism, Trump blasts trade deals

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Here are today’s top business headlines from across the nation and world:

North American leaders confront rising tide of protectionism

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — The leaders of North America confront a rising tide of economic protectionism and nationalism as they hold a summit Wednesday in the Canadian capital. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for the first time is hosting U.S. President Barack Obama and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto in Ottawa for the North American leaders’ summit. Obama will also address the Canadian Parliament.

The meeting comes one day after presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in the United States blamed globalization for the loss of millions of manufacturing jobs, and he threatened to extricate the U.S. from the 2-decade-old North American Free Trade Agreement. Trump also vowed to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations that has yet to take effect, if he were elected president. And it comes less than a week after Britain voted to exit the European Union. Read more


Trump blasts trade deals, departing from GOP orthodoxy

MONESSEN, Pa. (AP) — Donald Trump called for a new era of economic “Americanism” Tuesday, promising to restore millions of lost factory jobs by backing away from decades of U.S. policy that encouraged trade with other nations — a move that could undermine the country’s place as the dominant player in the global economy. The speech marked a significant break from years of Republican Party advocacy for unencumbered trade between nations, and drew immediate condemnation from GOP business leaders.

He drew a quick and scathing response from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a traditional Republican ally and leading business lobby.

“Under Trump’s trade plans, we would see higher prices, fewer jobs, a weaker economy,” the Chamber said on its Twitter feed, directing readers to a blog post that said Trump’s policies would lead to millions of job losses and a recession.

Many economists have dismissed Trump’s promise to immediately restore manufacturing jobs as dubious at best, given the impact of automation and the many years it typically takes to negotiate trade agreements. Read more


Ahead of Amazon Prime Day, Wal-Mart tries to move in

NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart is trying to get a jump on Amazon’s second annual sales bonanza. The world’s largest retailer is offering a free 30-day trial on its two-day unlimited shipping service, and an extra month free for paying members, starting Wednesday as it looks to sharpen its attack against the online leader.

Beginning Friday, it will also offer discounts on an array of products that will ramp up as July goes by. These discounts, or what Wal-Mart calls “rollbacks,” typically last 90 days or longer.

Wal-Mart’s moves come as Amazon is expected to launch for the second year a sales bonanza called Prime Day, which it has touted as bigger than “Black Friday.” It underscores how serious Wal-Mart is about boosting its online sales, which have been slowing in the last two years. Read more


China replaces top internet regulator and censor with deputy

BEIJING (AP) — China has replaced its internet regulator Lu Wei, the hard-liner responsible for leading the government’s efforts to tighten control over domestic cyberspace and export the ruling Communist Party’s philosophy of web control.

Lu wielded expansive powers as head of the Central Leading Group for Cyberspace Affairs since 2014, dictating what 700 million Chinese internet users may view online and acting as gatekeeper for technology firms wishing to do business in China.

His successor will be his deputy, former propaganda official Xu Lin, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Wednesday. The departure of Lu is not expected to alter the broad direction of China’s internet policy. But the reshuffle likely means a new face will greet foreign executives like Apple’s Tim Cook and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella who have been dealing with thorny cybersecurity and trade issues on their visits to Beijing. Read more


World stocks up as worries ease over Britain’s EU leave vote

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Global stocks rose sharply Wednesday as worries eased about the uncertainty that follows Britain’s vote to leave the European Union. The British pound also rose as talks got underway among European leaders on how to handle the situation.

Britain’s benchmark stock index, the FTSE 100, has not suffered much because many of its listed companies have global operation and the pound’s drop to a 31-year low will help their exports and boost the value of earnings repatriated to Britain. Domestic companies have taken a much bigger hit.

Investors appeared to have set aside their anxiety over Britain’s vote, encouraged by solid data on the U.S. economy and housing market. But analysts said market volatility could return any time and it is too early to say that investor confidence has made a full comeback since the vote for “Brexit,” a British exit from the EU. Read more


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