Business Briefs – April 23, 2017

President Trump Says He Will Release Tax Reform Package This Week

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump says businesses and individuals will receive a “massive tax cut” under a tax reform package he plans to unveil next week. In an interview with The Associated Press, Mr. Trump says the plan will result in tax cuts for both individuals and businesses.

The president says the package will be released on “Wednesday or shortly thereafter” — just before his 100 day mark in office.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin initially set a goal of getting tax reform passed by August, but that deadline has slipped. Mnuchin now says the administration still hoped to get a bill passed well before the end of the year.

American Tries to Learn From United’s Mistakes in Incident

NEW YORK (AP) – Another day, another cellphone video of a conflict on an airplane.

American Airlines said it grounded a flight attendant who got into a verbal confrontation with a passenger on a Friday flight from San Francisco to Dallas-Fort Worth.

Spokeswoman Leslie Scott says the airline is looking into whether the male flight attendant violently took away a stroller from the female passenger just before she boarded a Friday flight from San Francisco to Dallas. He has been removed from duty in the meantime.

In an age of cellphone videos and social media, airlines are learning the hard way that it is essential to de-escalate tense situations that occur during air travel, even as there are more passengers, less room and fewer flight attendants than ever before.

The incident comes less than two weeks after a video of a man being violently dragged off a United Express flight sparked widespread outrage .

U.S. Gas Prices Rise 3 Cents Over 2 Weeks, to $2.46 a Gallon

CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) – The average price of a gallon of regular-grade gasoline jumped 3 cents nationally over the past two weeks, to $2.46.

Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey said on Sunday that consumers could see price increases slow as crude oil costs drop.

The national average is 28 cents per gallon above the price a year ago.

Gas in San Francisco was the highest in the contiguous United States at an average of $3.04 a gallon on Friday. The lowest was in Jackson, Mississippi, at $2.09 per gallon.

The U.S. average diesel price is $2.59, up 1 cent from two weeks ago.

Global Finance Officials Argue Benefits of Free Trade

WASHINGTON (AP) – The world’s major economies are united in their belief that free trade delivers healthy economic growth. But they also agree that more needs to be done for those left behind, and the new Trump administration is letting it be known that it intends to make sure that America’s trade deals are fair for U.S. workers.

United CEO Won’t Add Chairman Title in 2018 as Was Planned

DALLAS (AP) – United CEO Oscar Munoz won’t automatically become chairman in 2018 as was planned. Munoz, who received compensation worth $18.7 million last year, has been criticized since a passenger was violently removed from a flight this month.

FDA Approves 2nd Near-Copy of Remicade for Immune Disorders

WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal regulators on Friday approved another alternative version of Remicade, an expensive injected drug widely used for rheumatoid arthritis and other immune system disorders.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Renflexis, developed by Samsung Bioepis Co. of South Korea. Its U.S. partner, Merck & Co. of Kenilworth, New Jersey, will market Renflexis.

Fitch Lowers Italy’s Credit Rating To 1 Notch Above Junk

(AP) – Fitch Ratings has downgraded Italy’s long-term debt, citing the country’s huge debts, stagnant economy and divided politics. Fitch cut the country’s rating from BBB+ to BBB, one step above junk-bond status.