Business Briefs – December 9, 2018

China: Canada’s Detention of Huawei Exec ‘Vile in Nature’

BEIJING (AP) – China has summoned the Canadian ambassador to protest the detention of a top executive of leading Chinese tech giant Huawei, calling it “unreasonable, unconscionable, and vile in nature” and warning of “grave consequences” if she is not released.

A report by the official Xinhua News Agency says Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng had called in Ambassador John McCallum on Saturday over the holding of Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, who is reportedly suspected of trying to evade U.S. trade curbs on Iran.

Huawei is the biggest global supplier of network gear for phone and internet companies and has been the target of deepening U.S. security concerns.

GM Plant Closing Not Expected To Stall Detroit’s Rebound

DETROIT (AP) – General Motors’ planned shutdown of its Detroit-Hamtramck plant would leave only one auto assembly factory in the city, but the closure and job losses are not expected to stall-out Detroit’s comeback since its 2014 bankruptcy exit.

Experts say a more tech-driven and medical industry economy is moving Detroit further from a reliance on manufacturing and that GM’s downsizing won’t hurt as much as past layoffs and plant closings.

Detroit once was home to about a dozen massive assembly plants.

U.S. Hiring Slower But Steady As Employers Add 155k Jobs

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. employers pulled back on hiring in November, adding just 155,000 jobs. That’s below this year’s average monthly gains but enough to suggest that the economy is expanding at a solid pace despite sharp gyrations in the stock market. The Labor Department says that the unemployment rate remained 3.7%, nearly a five-decade low, for the third straight month. Average hourly pay rose 3.1% from a year ago, matching the previous month’s figure, the best since 2009.

Oil Producers Join Forces And Cut Production Again

VIENNA (AP) – Oil prices spiked sharply higher Friday as major oil producers, including the OPEC cartel, agreed to cut global oil production by 1.2 million barrels a day to reduce oversupply. Following two days of meetings, OPEC said they would cut 800,000 barrels per day for six months from January, though some countries such as Iran, have been given an exemption.

Australia Anti-Encryption Law Rushed to Passage

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – A new law rushed through Australia’s parliament will compel technology companies including Apple, Facebook and Google to help police catch terrorists and other criminals by disabling encryption protections. Cybersecurity experts say the law will instead be a boon to the criminal underworld by undermining the internet’s technical integrity, weakening digital security and privacy.