Business Briefs – June 6, 2018

China’s Huawei Says It Hasn’t Collected Facebook User Data

BEIJING (AP) – Chinese mobile phone maker Huawei says it has never collected or stored Facebook user data, after the social media giant acknowledged it shared such data with Huawei and other manufacturers. Huawei was flagged by U.S. intelligence officials as a national security threat. Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, says the news raises legitimate concerns and wanted to know how Facebook ensured data was not transferred to Chinese servers.

U.S. Trade Deficit Falls for Second Straight Month in April

WASHINGTON (AP) – Record exports shaved the U.S. trade deficit in April, the second straight drop. But so far this year, the deficit is still up 11.5 percent from a year ago despite President Donald Trump’s vow to narrow the gap by imposing tariffs on imports and renegotiating trade deals.

Amid Tariff Fight, Trump Faces Tough Crowd at G7

WASHINGTON (AP) – With his new tariffs escalating U.S. isolation, Mr. Trump heads to Canada on Friday for a summit of the Group of Seven industrialized nations. The White House is expecting a chilly reception from Canada and Western allies, already frustrated over Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord and the Iran-nuclear agreement.

China Institutes on U.S Campus: Fount of Learning or Threat?

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. lawmakers are pushing for tighter regulation or even closure of the more than 100 Chinese Confucius Institutes set up on campuses across America. But for university students, they offer a chance to learn about Chinese language and art. The institutes have become a testing ground for the U.S. response to China’s growing global reach, amid concerns that Chinese professors and students could exploit access to universities to gather intelligence and sensitive research.

Group That Advises Gov’t Watchdog Is Disbanded, Members Say

NEW YORK (AP) – The head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau dissolved a group of outside experts that acts as an important sounding board for the watchdog agency on economic and financial issues as well as policy. Bureau officials told the 25 members of the Consumer Advisory Board on Wednesday that they will be replaced and the board will be reconstituted, according to two of board members who were on a morning conference call.

State-Funded Study Says Washington Best for Aerospace

SEATTLE (AP) — A study commissioned by Washington says the state is the most competitive for aerospace manufacturing.

The Daily Herald reports that the study released Wednesday measured key factors such as electricity costs, the percentage of state residents with engineering degrees — “anything that could be quantified” — using public and government sources. The report was written by Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace-industry analyst.

It found that— in order — Washington, Ohio, North Carolina, Kansas and Colorado offer “the most competitive environments for the manufacture of aerospace equipment.”

“This isn’t a close call,” Gov. Jay Inslee said at a news conference Wednesday.