Business Briefs – October 18, 2018

Tesla Secures Land in Shanghai For First Factory Outside U.S.

BEIJING (AP) – Electric auto brand Tesla Inc. says it has secured land in Shanghai for its first factory outside the United States, pushing ahead despite mounting U.S.-Chinese trade tensions. The California-based company announced plans for the factory in July after Beijing said it would lift restrictions on full foreign ownership of electric vehicle manufacturers.

Email: Housing Official to Lead Interior Watchdog Agency

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Trump administration is apparently reassigning a political appointee at the Department of Housing and Urban Development to lead an internal watchdog agency at the Interior Department. An email sent by HUD Secretary Ben Carson to staff says assistant HUD secretary Suzanne Israel Tufts will take over as acting inspector general at Interior. Tufts would replace Mary Kendall, who has served as acting inspector general since 2009.

Rising Drug Prices Widen Gap Between Have, Have-Not Patients

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – High-priced drugs and insurer efforts to hold down costs are keeping some patients from getting the drugs they need. Insurers are making patients pay more for drugs, putting some new, expensive drugs out of reach. Or they are making patients try cheaper drugs first, and only approving newer drugs if patients fail to improve. Medicare Advantage plans can adopt this provision starting next year.

U.S. Criticizes EU for Moving Too Slowly in Trade Talks

BRUSSELS (AP) – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross is criticizing the EU for moving too slowly in trade talks and is warning that President Donald Trump’s patience with the Europeans might soon run out. Ross said “we really need tangible progress. The president’s patience is not unlimited.” Mr. Trump and EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker agreed in July to start talks intended to achieve “zero tariffs” and “zero subsidies” on non-automotive industrial goods, to avert a possible trade war.

Britain, EU Decide to Take Some Time in Getting Brexit Right

BRUSSELS (AP) – Leaders from the European Union and Britain shrugged off a weekend negotiating debacle and previous Brexit-related deadlines Wednesday, giving themselves several more weeks to clinch a friendly divorce deal before their separation.

But British Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech to the 27 other EU leaders provided warm words but none of the substantial new proposals that European Council chief Donald Tusk had urged her to bring to the table,

The EU insisted for months that a summit this week was key to getting a deal on the terms of Britain’s departure. After arriving for Wednesday’s meeting in Brussels, chief negotiator Michel Barnier said, “we need … much more time, and we continue to work in the next weeks” with his British counterpart.