Business Briefs – February 6, 2018

Despite Trump’s Tough Talk, Trade Gap Widens To 9-Year High

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to overturn U.S. trade policy and bring down the country’s massive, persistent trade deficits. After a year in the White House, he still has a lot of work to do. The Commerce Department says that the U.S. trade deficit in goods and services rose 12 percent to $566 billion last year, biggest since 2008. A record $2.9 trillion in imports swamped $2.3 trillion in exports last year.

GOP Lawmakers Take Aim At Cancer Research Group Over Roundup

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican lawmakers are threatening to cut off U.S. funding for the World Health Organization’s cancer research program over its finding that the herbicide Roundup is probably carcinogenic to humans. House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith says the 2015 conclusion by the International Agency for Research on Cancer was flawed. A separate review by the Environmental Protection Agency concluded in December that Roundup is not likely to cause cancer at typical exposure levels.

Ex-Uber CEO Testifies In High-Tech Heist Case

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick sparred with lawyers who grilled him about his relationship with a former Google engineer accused of stealing self-car driving technology to help Uber build robotic vehicles. Lawyers for Google spinoff Waymo repeatedly challenged Kalanick about his discussions with Anthony Levandowski before Levandowski defected from Google in 2016. Waymo is trying to prove that Kalanick and Levandowski conspired to create the startup as a storehouse for Google’s trade secrets.

Bitcoin Slides Below $6,000; Half Its Value Lost in 2018

LONDON (Reuters) – Bitcoin slid another 13 percent to below $6,000 on Tuesday, bringing the world’s best-known cryptocurrency’s losses to more than half since the start of 2018. It recovered later in the day reaching over $7,500.