Business Briefs – September 5, 2019

A Slowdown in U.S. Business Formation Poses a Risk to Economy

WASHINGTON (AP) – Despite a decade-plus of economic growth, Americans have slowed the pace at which they’re forming new companies, a trend that risks further widening the gap between the most affluent and everyone else. The longest expansion on record, which began in mid-2009, has failed to restore entrepreneurship to its pre-recession levels.

U.S. Farmers Hope Trump Delivers On Trade Deal With Japan

WASHINGTON (AP) – American farmers have not only had to endure retaliatory tariffs from China and other nations hitting their pocketbooks, they’ve had to watch as most of their top foreign competitors use free trade agreements to make inroads into Japan. While President Donald Trump ditched American efforts to participate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, competitors such as Canada, Mexico and Australia forged ahead with a revamped version of TPP.

U.S. Productivity Climbs 2.3% in Second Quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. productivity rose at a healthy pace in the second quarter but dropped at American factories, another sign of trouble for manufacturers. The Labor Department says overall productivity — output per hour worked — rose at a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 2.3% in the April-June period after rising 3.5% from January through March.

States, Politicians Back Gun-Maker in Sandy Hook Appeal

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Ten conservative states and nearly two dozen Republican members of Congress are supporting gun-maker Remington Arms as it fights a Connecticut court ruling on the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. They filed briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court this week asking justices to overturn the ruling. Remington made the rifle used to kill 20 first graders and six educators at the Connecticut school in 2012. A Connecticut court ruled victims’ families can sue Remington over how it marketed the rifle.

Survey: Businesses Added a Solid 195,000 Jobs In August

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. businesses added a healthy 195,000 jobs last month, a sign companies are still hiring despite the Trump administration’s trade war with China. Payroll processor ADP says that hiring occurred broadly among small, medium-sized and large businesses.

China Urges Release of Huawei Exec With New Canadian Envoy

BEIJING (AP) – China has urged Canada to “reflect on its mistakes” and immediately release a Huawei executive arrested in Vancouver. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman made the comments Thursday following the appointment of a new Canadian ambassador to China. Relations between China and Canada were severely damaged when Meng Wanzhou — the chief financial officer of Chinese tech giant Huawei and the daughter of its founder — was arrested at Vancouver’s airport last Dec. 1 at the request of the U.S.

Russian, Italian Accused of Trying To Seal GE Trade Secrets

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. federal prosecutors say two men from Italy and Russia have been charged with trying to steal trade secrets from an American aviation company. The Justice Department unsealed a criminal complaint on Thursday accusing the two of plotting to steal intellectual property, including engineering patterns, from Ohio-based GE Aviation.