Global Glance: China prepares to retaliate on trade; Seoul court considers arrest of Samsung de facto head

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

Business group: China preparing to retaliate on trade

BEIJING (AP) — China is preparing to retaliate if U.S. President-elect Donald Trump carries out promises to impose sanctions on Chinese goods and already has toughened its stance by imposing unusually high duties in an anti-dumping case against a U.S.-made agricultural chemical, an American business group said Wednesday. Trump, due to be inaugurated Friday, rattled American companies that do business with China when he threatened during his campaign to raise import duties on Chinese goods to 45 percent. That prompted warnings Beijing might retaliate. Chinese President Xi Jinping, in an implicit rebuke to Trump, issued a ringing defense of free trade in a speech Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland and warned a “trade war” would harm all countries involved. Read more

Seoul court considers arrest of Samsung de facto head

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A South Korean court is considering whether to approve the arrest of Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-yong, one of the country’s wealthiest business leaders, on charges of bribery and other offenses. Lee, the only son of Samsung’s chairman, did not speak to a crowd of reporters when he arrived and left the Seoul Central District Court on Wednesday. Samsung is South Korea’s biggest family-controlled conglomerate, or chaebol, with businesses encompassing consumer electronics, shipbuilding and life insurance. Samsung Electronics, the group’s crown jewel, is the world’s biggest maker of smartphones and computer memory chips. Samsung Electronics and its affiliated companies account for about a third of the market value in South Korea’s main stock market. Read more

18 million more uninsured if Obamacare killed, not replaced

WASHINGTON (AP) — Insurance premiums would soar for millions of Americans and 18 million more would be uninsured in just one year if Republicans scuttle much of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul without a replacement, Congress’ budget analysts said Tuesday. Spotlighting potential perils for Republicans, the report immediately became a flashing hazard light for this year’s effort by Donald Trump and GOP lawmakers to annul Obama’s law and – in a more complicated challenge – institute their own alternative. It also swiftly became political fodder in what is expected to be one of this year’s biggest battles in Congress. Read more

Trump’s pick for commerce has business ties around the globe

WASHINGTON (AP) — Unlike his soon-to-be boss, the choice for commerce secretary has agreed to divorce himself from a vast financial empire. Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross can expect questions about his business dealings at his Senate confirmation hearing. Senators also plan to quiz Ross on trade, and how he plans to make good on President-elect Donald’s Trump’s promise to boost American exports. Trump picked Ross for the post. He is to appear Wednesday before the Senate Commerce Committee. Worth an estimated $2.9 billion, Ross has extensive business ties around the globe. Supporters say that makes him ideal to represent American business interests abroad. Read more

Rolls Royce agrees to pay $808 million on bribery claims

LONDON (AP) — Jet engine maker Rolls Royce has agreed to pay 671 million pounds ($808 million) to settle bribery and corruption charges brought by authorities in Britain, the U.S. and Brazil. U.K. High Court judge Brian Leveson approved a deferred prosecution agreement during a public hearing on Tuesday. The agreement follows a four year investigation, which will continue to look at the conduct of individuals. Britain’s Serious Fraud Office said the matter covers 12 counts of conspiracy to corrupt, false accounting and failure to prevent bribery in conduct spanning three decades. Read more

Trump’s populism won’t work, says former treasury chief

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — Lawrence Summers, the former U.S. Treasury Secretary, has warned that Donald Trump’s threats to firms using Mexico as a manufacturing base will be counterproductive and could lead to the loss of hundreds of thousands of American jobs. Summers told a panel at the World Economic Forum on Wednesday that the president-elect’s “rhetoric and announced policies” over Mexico have led to a big fall in the value of the Mexican peso against the dollar. That, he said, is a “dagger at Ohio,” as it will make it even more attractive for firms to move to Mexico. Read more

Pointed questions await Trump’s pick for health secretary

WASHINGTON (AP) — With coverage for millions of people at stake, Rep. Tom Price is facing pointed questions about President-elect Donald Trump’s health policies – and his own investments in health care companies – from senators considering his selection as health secretary. While Price, an orthopedic surgeon-turned-lawmaker, is largely a known quantity on Capitol Hill, Trump’s bottom line on health care remains a mystery for Democrats and Republicans alike. Trump campaigned on repealing “Obamacare,” but at times he’s sounded more like a liberal, for example, with recent comments about providing insurance for everyone and taking on the drug companies. Read more

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