September 26, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is racing to finish negotiations on a Pacific free-trade pact by year's end, but it's running up against a potentially major obstacle at home. A bipartisan majority in the Senate this week sent a letter pressing the administration to address "foreign currency manipulation" in its talks with Japan and 10 other participating nations in the so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership. The Senate letter didn't mention any country. But there has been an outcry in congressional and business circles, particularly the auto industry, over Japan's much-weakened currency.
September 24, 2013 |
SAN FRANCISCO -- In what could be the toehold that Facebook has been looking for, the giant social network and other websites banned in China may be accessible in a free-trade zone that is being set up in Shanghai, according to a report in the South China Morning Post. China's first free-trade zone will allow the access in a rare exception to strict government control of the Internet, the Hong Kong newspaper reported . The report, citing unnamed government sources, said authorities would also welcome bids from foreign telecommunications firms for licenses to offer Internet services in the trade zone, an area established in July that covers less than 20 miles.
June 17, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. and the European Union will begin talks next month on an ambitious free-trade deal between the two rich regions that exchanged more than $645 billion in goods last year. But the announcement, made Monday ahead of the Group of 8 summit in Northern Ireland, came against a backdrop of contention over French insistence that subsidized domestic movies remain protected as well as questions about U.S. government surveillance programs. President Obama, standing alongside EU leaders and the United Kingdom's prime minister, David Cameron, nonetheless hailed the proposed trans-Atlantic trade agreement as a "potentially groundbreaking partnership" that would deepen ties between two areas that account for about 45% of the global economy.
January 23, 2013 |
LONDON -- In a long-awaited speech, Prime Minister David Cameron pledged Wednesday to hold a referendum by the end of 2017 on whether Britain should stay in the European Union, saying it was time to renegotiate a relationship that has become too strained to continue as is. In Britain today, "public disillusionment with the EU is at an all-time high," Cameron said, citing regulations and directives out of Brussels that many Britons consider onerous...
October 30, 2012 |
What's next, company stores, and company scrip instead of paychecks? Liberated from Federal Election Commission policies by the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, employers that were once barred from advising employees on how to vote are now free to start telling employees how they should vote, and including some "or else" warnings. And it appears some of them already have. SLIDESHOW: Six numbers to ignore from the presidential campaign In 2010, just after the ruling, the Yale Law Journal surmised that the case could let employers "hold political captive audience workplace meetings with their employees," and may even be able to "compel their employees to listen" to their political views at those meetings "on pain of termination.
October 1, 2012 |
The Times' Op-Ed page featured a cartoon Monday that captures much of the cognoscenti's befuddlement about voters who haven't yet decided whether to vote for President Obama or his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney. Drawn by Rob Rogers of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, it shows a man sporting an "Undecided Voter" T-shirt at a fast-food restaurant counter, struggling to decide whether to add fries to his order. "I love fries ... but they're bad for me ... but they are yummy ... but they may clog my arteries ... but they are yummy," the man mutters while the woman taking behind the cash register fumes, "I can't believe the future of our country is in his hands!"