Global Glance: House GOP votes to gut independent ethics office; Trump names lawyer Lighthizer as top trade rep

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

House GOP votes to gut independent ethics office

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans have voted to eviscerate the Office of Congressional Ethics, the independent body created in 2008 to investigate allegations of misconduct by lawmakers after several bribery and corruption scandals sent members to prison. The ethics change, which prompted an outcry from Democrats and government watchdog groups, is part of a rules package that the full House will vote on Tuesday. The package approved Monday also includes a means for Republican leaders to punish lawmakers if there is a repeat of the Democratic sit-in last summer over gun control. Read more

Republicans primed for push to dismantle Obama’s policies

WASHINGTON (AP) — Members of the 115th Congress will be sworn in at noon Tuesday, setting off an aggressive campaign by Republicans who control the House and Senate to dismantle eight years of President Barack Obama’s Democratic policies. The first and biggest target is Obama’s health care law, which Republicans have long sought to gut and blamed as a primary cause for a lackluster economic recovery. But decades-old programs that millions of Americans rely on every day, such as Social Security and Medicare, also will be in the crosshairs as congressional Republicans seek to shrink both the size of the federal budget and the bureaucracy in Washington. Read more

Trump names lawyer Lighthizer as top trade rep

NEW YORK (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump announced Tuesday he will nominate lawyer Robert Lighthizer as U.S. trade representative, picking an experienced trade official who has questioned the conservative movement’s commitment to free trade. Lighthizer, who served as deputy USTR under President Ronald Reagan, would play a key role in Trump’s trade agenda. The president-elect has vigorously opposed the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership pact, but has said he would ink one-on-one trade deals with individual countries. Trump has also signaled a tough stance on trade with China, including levying a hefty tariff on Chinese imports. Read more

AP Exclusive: Golf club shows pitfalls of Trump presidency

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The decorative clock bearing the name of America’s incoming 45th president has yet to start at the Trump International Golf Club in Dubai, but the developers behind the project already are counting the money they’ve made. The 18-hole course is likely to be the first Trump-connected property to open after his Jan. 20 inauguration as president, joining his organization’s projects stretching from Bali to Panama. It also encapsulates the host of worries of possible conflicts of interest circulating around a president who is very different from America’s past leaders. While the Oval Office has always been home to the wealthy, Donald Trump represents the first franchise president. Could foreign governments pressure or please Trump through his international businesses? Should projects bearing his name receive additional security? And how close should his ties remain to business executives operating in areas with far different opinions about human rights and justice? Read more

Great expectations: Small businesses upbeat about 2017

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump’s election as president has made many small business owners more upbeat about 2017. While many business owners are more confident because their revenue looks to increase in 2017 due to the overall improving economy, they’re also optimistic because they expect Trump to deliver on promises to lower taxes and roll back regulations, including parts of the health care law. But owners may not be expecting overnight relief — many recognize it will take time to see what the administration’s plans are, and what it will accomplish. Read more

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