Business Briefs – February 5, 2018

Trade Wars Typically Leave No Victors

WASHINGTON (AP) – Trade wars generate no medals, monuments or military parades. But they do tend to leave a lot of economic wreckage, often hurt the very people they’re meant to help and can fracture diplomatic relations among allies. “Usually, all sides lose in a trade war,” says Douglas Irwin, a Dartmouth College economist.

President Donald Trump insisted Monday that he’s “not backing down” on his pledge to impose stiff tariffs on imported steel and aluminum despite heavy lobbying from congressional Republicans warning of a trade war. Mr. Trump says North American neighbors Canada and Mexico won’t get any relief from his plan to place the tariffs on the imported materials but is suggesting he might be willing to exempt the two longstanding allies if they agree to better terms on NAFTA.

EPA Appointee Gets Approval To Consult for Outside Clients

WASHINGTON (AP) – A key aide to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has been granted permission to make extra money consulting for private clients. But their identities are being kept secret. Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee released a letter approving outside employment contracts for Jon Konkus. Konkus didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Senate Poised to Ease Dodd-Frank Rules for Most Banks

WASHINGTON (AP) – Ten years after a financial crisis rocked the nation’s economy, the Senate is poised to pass legislation that would roll back some of the safeguards Congress put into place to prevent a relapse. The move to alter some key aspects of the Dodd-Frank law has overwhelming Republican support and enough Democratic backing that it’s expected to gain the 60 votes necessary to clear the Senate. The legislation would increase the threshold at which banks are considered too big to fail.

Journalists to Review News Sites in Brill’s New Venture.

NEW YORK (AP) – Investors say they’re setting up a web site to scope out fake news. The new site NewsGuard will use journalists to check the veracity of more than 7,500 news and information web sites, and deliver reviews direct to consumers. Steve Brill, who founded the short-lived journalism magazine Brill’s Content, leads the venture that’s due to begin publishing this fall.

Food Boxes, Not Stamps? Idea in Trump Budget Worries Grocers

RANKIN, Pa. (AP) – Small grocers and shoppers alike in poor areas have many questions about a proposal to add “America’s Harvest Boxes” to the federal food stamp program. Shopkeepers say that if the government delivers food directly to homes, it could hurt their bottom line and their patrons’ nutrition. A federal administrator tells The Associated Press that he wants retailers and states to play a role in the program.

Uber Sued After Data Stolen By Hackers Covered Up

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Pennsylvania’s attorney general is suing the ride-hailing company Uber, saying it broke state law when it failed to notify thousands of drivers for a year that hackers stole their personal information. The lawsuit filed Monday in Philadelphia said hackers stole the names and drivers’ license numbers of at least 13,500 Pennsylvania Uber drivers. It accuses Uber of violating a state law to notify people of a data breach within a reasonable time frame. Washington and Chicago have also sued.

3M Chooses Roman to Replace Thulin as Chief Executive

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Manufacturing company 3M Co. has named Michael Roman as chief executive, replacing Inge Thulin.

Roman will take over July 1, with Thulin moving into a newly created position of executive chairman of the board.

The 58-year-old Roman is a 30-year veteran of 3M, serving for the last eight months as chief operating officer and executive vice president. He also has led the company’s Industrial Business Group, its largest, and served as strategist.

Thulin had served as chief executive since 2012. In a statement issued with the company’s announcement Monday, he called Roman “the clear choice to lead 3M into the future” after a thorough search and succession planning.

Roman holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s from the University of Minnesota.