Business Briefs – May 17, 2018

U.S. Is Running Out of Time on NAFTA While Confronting China

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump’s team is running out of time to rewrite a trade pact with Canada and Mexico this year just as it’s confronting China and sparring with its allies over U.S. tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. If negotiators can’t agree on a revamped the North American Free Trade Agreement soon, the talks could drag into 2019. Or the president could carry out his threat to abandon the agreement and throw commerce among the three NAFTA countries into disarray.

Website Flaw Exposes Real-Time Locations of U.S. Cellphones

NEW YORK (AP) – A website flaw at a U.S. company that gathers real-time data on cellular wireless devices could have allowed anyone to pinpoint the location of any AT&T, Verizon, Sprint or T-Mobile cellphone in the United States to within hundreds of yards, a security researcher said. It’s the latest instance to highlight how easily location information can leak to unauthorized people.

EU to Trump: Stop Threatening Us With Tariffs

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) – The European Union has called on U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration to stop threatening it with tariffs on steel and aluminum, saying Thursday it is prepared to discuss new trade incentives. In March, Mr. Trump slapped tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on imported aluminum, but granted the 28 EU countries a temporary exemption until June 1.

Alaska Fishermen: Sea Otter Comeback Is Eating Into Profits

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – Northern sea otters have made a spectacular comeback by gobbling some of Alaska’s finest seafood — and fishermen aren’t happy about the competition. The furry marine mammals were once hunted to the brink of extinction along Alaska’s Panhandle. Their numbers rebounded after the state’s wildlife agency reintroduced them to their historic range in the 1960s. Now, a southeast Alaska dive fisheries association says sea otters are eating up shellfish and threatening the livelihood of its 200 members.

China Launches First Rocket Designed by Private Company

BEIJING (Reuters) – China launched its first privately developed rocket from a launchpad in northwestern China on Thursday, state media said, the latest milestone in the country’s ambitious space exploration program.

In office since 2012, Chinese President Xi Jinping has made becoming a “space flight superpower” a top priority for his government, which aims to send a permanent manned space station into orbit by 2022.

The launch of the “Chongqing Liangjiang Star” rocket, developed by OneSpace Technology, a Beijing-based private firm, marks the first time a non-state Chinese rocket has successfully entered orbit, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The rocket is powered by a solid fuel engine developed by OneSpace and its control systems are customizable in accordance with user demand, company chairman, Ma Chao, told Xinhua.