Business Briefs – February 15, 2017

Immigrant Workers, Families To Protest By Staying Home

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Organizers in cities across the U.S. are telling immigrants to miss class, miss work and not shop on Thursday as a way to show the country how important they are to America’s economy and way of life. “A Day Without Immigrants” actions are planned in cities including Philadelphia, Washington, Boston and Austin, Texas. The protest comes in response to President Donald Trump and his 1-month-old administration.

Yellen Defends Fed Independence, Banking Regulations

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen defended the central bank’s independence Wednesday from Republican lawmakers who are pushing for major changes in how the central bank operates and how regulators oversee the nation’s banking system. During a hearing that stretched over four hours, GOP lawmakers repeatedly challenged Yellen’s handling of the economy and her leadership in implementing the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, a measure that President Donald Trump and Republicans have vowed to overhaul.

Under Armour CEO Responds To Criticism of Trump Praise

BALTIMORE (AP) – The CEO of Baltimore-based sports apparel company Under Armour is responding to criticism he received after calling President Donald Trump “an asset to the country.” Kevin Plank wrote an open letter to Baltimore that appeared as a full-page advertisement in The Baltimore Sun Wednesday. He wrote that his choice of words during an interview with CNBC last week “did not accurately reflect my intent.”

President Tells Retail CEOs People Will ‘Love’ His Tax Plan

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump met Wednesday with the CEOs of large retailers like Target and Best Buy, who have a built-in concern: They’re worried about a possible border tax on imported goods.

The president has provided scant details about his own tax overhaul, but said people will “love” his planned tax reforms. He assured retail CEOs Wednesday that tax rates would be lowered and simplified in a “massive” plan that “will be submitted in the not too distant future.”

Retailers called the hourlong meeting positive and productive, though they offered few details.

During the public portion of the meeting, Trump provided no insight as to whether he still intends to levy a border tax on imports. Trump has threatened a border tax in order to protect U.S. factory jobs. House Republicans have separately proposed a border adjustment tax system on imports that would help to lower overall corporate tax rates, a policy the Trump administration has at times dismissed and also considered as a viable way to help pay for wall on the southern border with Mexico.

Millions to Fight Food Industry Sway, From a Snack Bar CEO

NEW YORK (AP) – A $25 million pledge to fight the food industry’s influence on public health is coming from a surprising source — the CEO of a snack bar maker. Daniel Lubetzky, the founder of Kind, says he’s pledging his own money to create a group called “Feed the Truth” dedicated to revealing corporate influence in the nutrition field, with activities like education campaigns and investigative journalism.

U.S. Consumer Prices Post Biggest Rise in Nearly 4 Years

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. consumer prices rose in January at the fastest pace in nearly four years, strengthening the case for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates this year.

The Labor Department said Wednesday consumer prices rose 0.6 percent last month, the most since February 2013, and twice what economists were expecting. A 7.8 percent jump in gasoline prices accounted for nearly half the increase.

Stripping out food and energy prices, which tend to fluctuate sharply from month to month, so-called core consumer inflation rose 0.3 percent in January. Fed policymakers monitor core measures of inflation especially closely.