Business Briefs – June 6, 2016

U.S. Presses China Over Industrial Glut at Strategic Dialogue

BEIJING (AP) – U.S. envoys pressed China on Monday to cut excess steel production that is flooding global markets and to reach a diplomatic settlement to territorial disputes in the South China Sea, as the two sides opened a high-level dialogue.

The annual meeting of Cabinet-level foreign affairs, trade and other officials from both sides is meant to head off conflict. Officials acknowledged differences on an array of issues but repeatedly stressed their interest in amicable cooperation, and pledged to work together to see the Paris agreement on curbing emissions of climate-changing gases ratified by the world’s governments.

Economists Increasingly Uncertain About U.S. Growth This Year

WASHINGTON (AP) – Business economists are giving a more pessimistic outlook about U.S. economic growth this year for the third consecutive month and uncertainty over the November presidential election has proven to be damaging.

The median estimate from economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics calls for gross domestic product growth of only 1.8 percent, down from the 2.2 percent forecast in March. The outlook for next year calls for 2.3 percent growth.

Union: New Airport Towers Must Be Remodeled Before Opening

WASHINGTON (AP) – Two state-of-the-art airport towers due to go into operation this fall in San Francisco and Las Vegas are designed for electronic tracking of planes as they taxi and takeoff. But union officials say the towers will have to be extensively remodeled before they can open to accommodate older technology that uses paper strips to track planes.

The new rooms on top of the towers where controllers watch aircraft operations are designed exclusively for electronic tracking, said Paul Rinaldi, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. But the prototype electronic strip system the Federal Aviation Administration plans to use is too unstable and “crashes” too often to be relied upon, he said. This means that controllers need to quickly turn to the historical system of passing paper strips from one controller to another to hand off responsibility for a plane and carefully line up multiple strips to keep tabs on the status of flights.

Here’s the problem: the tower “cabs” have been designed without the tables, printers and places to hang strips that are necessary for controllers to use the old system while still keeping an eye on planes, he said.

Burberry CEO Gets 75 Percent Pay Cut Amid Sales Slump

LONDON (AP) – Burberry CEO Christopher Bailey has taken a 75 percent pay cut after the luxury retailer failed to hit profit targets amid a challenging global environment and a slowdown in the Chinese economy.

The company’s annual report released Monday says that Bailey will be paid 1.9 million pounds ($2.75 million), down from 7.5 million the previous year. He and other top executive directors received no bonuses as adjusted profit before tax “was below the threshold target set by the Remuneration Committee.”

 

American Will Reward Fliers Based on Dollars, Not Miles

DALLAS (AP) – American Airlines is following other airlines by basing perks like free flights on how much passengers spend on tickets, not how many miles they fly.

The change, which matches those at Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, starts with flights on Aug. 1 and rewards American’s highest-paying passengers.

Elite-status members of American’s AAdvantage frequent-flier program will earn bonus miles for every dollar they spend.

AAdvantage has about 100 million members, making it the biggest and the oldest major airline loyalty program.