Business Briefs – June 3, 2018

Global Airlines Issue Warning Over Trade Tensions

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Growing tension over international trade could damage the airline industry and the world economy, global airlines and aviation executives warned on Sunday.

“Any measures that reduce trade and probably consequently limit passenger travel are bad news,” Alexandre de Juniac, director general of the International Air Transport Association, told Reuters at IATA’s annual meeting in Sydney. The group represents most of the world’s main airlines. “We always get concerned when you start to see tensions elevate around global trade and free trade,” American Airlines Group Chief Executive Doug Parker said. American has not seen any effect yet on revenues, he said.

The uncertainty could curb demand for business travel, a key driver of profits for the airline industry, said Gloria Guevara Manzo, chief executive of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

From Distillers to Farmers, Trade War Would Cause Casualties

WASHINGTON (AP) – If a trade war is coming, the cheese makers of Wisconsin are standing in the line of fire. So are the farmers of the Great Plains and the distillers of Kentucky. And the employees of iconic American brands like Harley Davidson and Levi Strauss. The likelihood of a trade conflagration suddenly leapt closer to reality after the United States imposed tariff on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

Ex-Chemical Industry Lawyer To Lead Superfund Task Force

WASHINGTON (AP) — A lawyer tapped to lead a task force at the Environmental Protection Agency overseeing cleanups at the nation’s most polluted places worked until recently for a top chemical and plastics manufacturer potentially responsible for creating some of those toxic sites. Steven D. Cook has been named as the new chair of the Superfund Task Force, which EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt created last year to revamp how the agency oversees cleanups at the more than 1,300 toxic sites.

Fiat Chrysler Unveils Plans to Make More Electrified Cars

BALOCCO, Italy (AP) – In his last big presentation as CEO of Fiat Chrysler before retiring next year, Sergio Marchionne announced 9 billion euros in investments by 2022 in a broad shift toward more electrified powertrains, while acknowledging that the internal combustion engines will remain predominant given the complex and shifting regulatory environments. “Reducing our dependence on oil is one of the single, greatest challenges that our society faces,” Marchionne told financial analysts.

Trump Orders ‘Immediate Steps’ To Boost Coal, Nuclear Plants

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has directed Energy Secretary Rick Perry to take “immediate steps” to bolster coal-fired and nuclear power plants to keep them open. The White House says Trump believes “keeping America’s energy grid and infrastructure strong and secure protects our national security, public safety and economy from intentional attacks and natural disasters.” A diverse group of energy industry groups condemned the proposal, saying it would raise energy prices and distort markets.