TRADE

U.S. May Cut Mexican Cement Tariffs

The U.S. government proposed to reduce penalty tariffs imposed on the Mexican cement company Cemex, from 54.97 percent to 40.54 percent. The lower rate will not go into effect until a further investigation is completed Dec. 7.

The tariffs were imposed because U.S. cement manufacturers 15 years ago won a government ruling that cement from Mexico was being sold in the United States at unfairly low prices. U.S. contractors argued that the duties raised the price of cement by about $30 a ton.

Sanctions Against Ukraine Lifted

The United States will end 100 percent tariffs imposed since 2002 on $75 million worth of Ukrainian exports. The tariffs were imposed to punish Ukraine for not cracking down on copyright law violations.

The Ukraine parliament adopted tougher intellectual property laws in July, clearing the way for removing the tariffs.

EUROPE

German, French Unemployment Eases

Unemployment in Germany fell slightly to 11.4 percent of the workforce in August, the government said. The number of people unemployed, while still above 4.7 million, fell 44,000 from July, the Federal Labor Agency reported.

France said unemployment dropped from 10.1 percent in June to 9.9 percent in July -- the lowest in nearly two years.

ECUADOR

Oil Production Nearly Restored

Oil operations in two of Ecuador's Amazon provinces were almost back to normal days after President Alfredo Palacio's government negotiated an end to strikes that crippled production, the president of state-run Petroecuador said. Luis Roman said production was 193,729 barrels a day; about 200,000 barrels is normal.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.