Business Briefs – April 20, 2017

Leaders of IMF And World Bank Defend Globalization

WASHINGTON (AP) – Global finance leaders are defending globalization against an assault from President Donald Trump and European populists. They argue that blocking free trade would hobble economic growth instead of saving jobs from foreign competition. World Bank President Jim Yong Kim told journalists that freer trade and more openness were “critical for the future of the world.”

CSX Predicts 25 Percent Profit Jump as Restructuring Begins

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – CSX Corp. expects to deliver a 25 percent increase in profits this year as the railroad works to streamline operations under new CEO Hunter Harrison.

The Jacksonville, Florida-based railroad said Thursday that its earnings per share will jump about 25 percent over last year’s $1.81, but that excludes restructuring costs.

Harrison said he thinks there is more opportunity for improvement for CSX than there was when he started at Canadian Pacific and Canadian National railroads.

“I think one of the things that people miss is the more complexity there is in the network the better model you can apply to it and you can take more advantage of the opportunities,” Harrison said in a conference call to discuss the railroad’s first-quarter results.

AP Exclusive: Pesticide Maker Tries to Kill Risk Study

WASHINGTON (AP) – Dow Chemical is pushing the government, which is newly open to scrapping regulations under President Donald Trump, to ignore the findings of federal scientists who point to a family of widely used pesticides as harmful to about 1,800 critically threatened or endangered species.

EPA Chief Delays Methane Rule At Behest of Oil and Gas Firms

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Environmental Protection Agency is again moving to derail Obama-era regulations aimed at reducing pollution from the fossil fuel industry. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has issued a 90-day delay for oil and gas companies to follow a new rule requiring them to monitor and reduce methane leaks from their facilities.

Trump Orders Probe Into Whether Steel Imports Harming U.S.

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump is telling the Commerce Department to expedite an investigation into whether steel imports are jeopardizing U.S. national security. Mr. Trump says it’s “not an area where we can afford to become dependent on other countries.” Executives from U.S. steelmakers, who support the review, stood behind the president as he signed a memo directing Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to return recommendations in the “very, very near” future.