France Rejects E.U. Proposals on Subsidies

France rejected European Union proposals to cut import tariffs and subsidies to farmers.

French Trade Minister Christine Lagarde told France's national assembly that E.U. officials had failed to demonstrate that European Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson, right, had remained within his mandate. "France therefore cannot support" the proposals, she said.

Mandelson also came under pressure from the U.S. negotiator, Trade Representative Rob Portman, who called for "much more ambition from the E.U.," especially on agriculture. And Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim said, "The Europeans need to show real flexibility on market access." Brazil heads the G-20 group of developing nations.

The G-20 wants to limit the number of sensitive products -- which have higher import tariffs than other farm goods -- to no more than 1 percent of any member's total, in line with a U.S. proposal. The E.U.'s latest offer was 8 percent.


Google Renames British 'Gmail'

Google replaced "Gmail" with "googlemail" in the logo and new account addresses of its free e-mail service in Britain after a small British company claimed trademark infringement.

Independent International Investment Research said the Google service would confuse would-be clients of its G-mail service, a mail function used mainly by investors in currency derivatives.

Google previously withdrew the Gmail name in Germany in a similar dispute.


Cisco to Invest $1.1 Billion Over 3 Years

Cisco Systems will spend $1.1 billion in India over the next three years in the company's largest investment outside the United States, chief executive John Chambers said. Revenue for the world's largest maker of networking gear has increased 50 percent in the country in the past two years, and Chambers said he expects India sales to increase 30 percent a year in the next three years.

He said $750 million will be spent on research and development. The rest will be spent on providing leasing and other financial solutions to the company's customers, investing in Indian start-up companies, and customer support operations.

Cisco, based in San Jose, Calif., started its India operations in 1995 and plans to triple its workforce from the current 1,400 by 2008. The company has its global research and development center in Bangalore and offices in seven other Indian cities.

Compiled from news service reports.