Business Briefs – May 20, 2019

Report: More Companies in China Handing Over Technology

BEIJING (AP) – A business group says the number of foreign companies in China that feel compelled to hand over technology has doubled since two years ago. The issue is one of the complaints behind President Donald Trump’s tariff fight with Beijing. The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China’s report highlighted enduring complaints about ‘forced technology transfer’ despite official denials and promises of change.

Huawei Could Be Stripped of Google Services After U.S. Ban

BEIJING (AP) – Huawei could lose its grip on the No. 2 ranking in worldwide cellphone sales after Google announced it would comply with U.S. government restrictions meant to punish the Chinese tech powerhouse. The Trump administration move, which effectively bars U.S. firms from selling components and software to Huawei, ups the ante in a trade war between Washington and Beijing that partly reflects a struggle for global economic and technological dominance.

Seeing a Twisting Road Ahead, Ford Cuts 7k White-Collar Jobs

DETROIT (AP) – Ford revealed details of its long-awaited restructuring plan Monday as it prepared for a future of electric and autonomous vehicles by parting ways with 7,000 white-collar workers worldwide, about 10% of its global salaried workforce. The major revamp, which had been under way since last year, will save about $600 million per year.

Trump’s EPA Shifts More Environmental Enforcement to States

BOKOSHE, Okla. (AP) – With federal environmental enforcement declining, President Donald Trump’s EPA is leaving states to handle more of the decisions on handling pollution and potential health threats. Critics contend federal regulators are making a dangerous retreat on enforcement that puts people and the environment at greater risk. EPA says environmental enforcers remain on the job despite the plunging enforcement numbers.

Mexico Calls for Regional Development To Address Immigration

MEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador says U.S. support for economic development in Mexico and Central America is the best option for stemming the flow of immigrants. The United Nations’ Economic Commission for Latin America has laid out a roadmap for regional development and López Obrador says that’s an advance toward a U.S. agreement with the region’s governments.

Blue Apron Latest to Suffer In Tough Meal Kit Market

NEW YORK (AP) – It’s a turbulent time for meal kit companies. The struggle has intensified for Blue Apron, which announced that it could be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange because its closing share price has been lower than $1 since early May. Subscription-based meal kit companies face numerous problems. They appeal to a small group, the meal prices are high, and once kits arrive, subscribers still have to put the ingredients together.

American Airlines Sues Unions, Accusing Workers of Slowdown

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) – American Airlines is suing two unions and accusing their mechanics of conducting an illegal work slowdown for leverage in contract talks. The airline charges that the workers have caused about 900 cancellations or long delays since early February. It’s similar to a dispute that Southwest Airlines had before signing a new collective-bargaining agreement with mechanics.

Billionaire Starts Ballot Drive to Cut Michigan Car Premiums

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Billionaire businessman Dan Gilbert is starting a ballot drive as a “failsafe” in case Michigan’s Republican-led Legislature and Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer do not enact legislation to cut the country’s highest auto insurance premiums.

The move, confirmed Monday by Gilbert’s top lobbyist, would enable GOP lawmakers to overhaul the no-fault law without having to worry about a gubernatorial veto.