Business Briefs – November 14, 2019

China Presses Washington for Tariff Cut in Trade Deal

BEIJING (AP) – China is pressing Washington to roll back punitive tariffs in an interim trade deal. A government spokesman says a tariff cut is an “important condition” for the agreement that is part of talks aimed at ending a costly trade war. Beijing said last week U.S. negotiators agreed to roll back some punitive tariffs if an agreement went ahead, but President Donald Trump dismissed that.

California Faces Fraught Path Out of Wildfire, Power Crisis

(AP) – The road forward for the California electric company responsible for deadly wildfires is difficult. PG&E needs to repair thousands of miles of outdated copper wire and replace or insulate other lines and poles. In some areas, lines need to be buried, which can cost millions of dollars per mile. Weather sensors and cameras help utilities predict and track dangerous weather. Sectionalizing lines would allow more targeted blackouts so millions aren’t left in the dark when winds pick up.

Sizing Up the 2019 Year-End Shopping Season for Retailers

NEW YORK (AP) — With two weeks until the official start of the year-end shopping season, the nation’s retailers are gearing up for what should be another brutally competitive shopping period. The consumer is seen as financially healthy, but keeping up with shoppers’ behavior has been challenging for retailers, whether it’s the yearslong shift to shopping online or the more recent desire to rent or buy second-hand clothes and other items. Experts are expecting a rebound from last year’s disappointing results.