Senators to Delay Vote on China
Supporters of legislation that would penalize China because of its currency practices said they were delaying a Senate vote on the issue in hopes President Bush could resolve the dispute while in Beijing.
Senators Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said they had an agreement with Senate leaders to postpone the vote at least until December.
The proposal, which 67 senators supported in a procedural vote last spring, would impose tariffs of 27.5 percent on all Chinese goods entering the United States unless China does more to allow its currency to rise in value against the dollar. U.S. manufacturers say the yuan is overvalued by as much as 40 percent, making Chinese goods cheaper in the United States and U.S. products more expensive in China.
U.S. to Meet Lumber Duty Deadline
The Commerce Department said it will meet a Nov. 23 deadline to respond to an order to cut U.S. duties on Canadian softwood lumber. A panel created under the North American Free Trade Agreement is calling on the United States to all but eliminate punitive duties that average more than 16 percent.
Canada accounts for about one-third of the U.S. market for softwood. The Bush administration imposed the tariffs in 2002, accusing Canada of subsidizing its lumber industry.
Most U.S. timber is harvested from private land at market prices, while in Canada, the government owns 90 percent of timberlands.
European Parliament to Create Blacklist
The European Parliament voted to create an E.U.-wide blacklist of airlines that do not meet international standards, one of a series of measures aimed at improving air safety.
Responding to plane crashes that killed hundreds of people this year, lawmakers want carriers deemed unsafe to be banned from operating anywhere in the European Union. At the moment, an airline banned in one E.U. member state can operate in another. E.U. countries are expected to approve the blacklist on Dec. 5, and the bans would begin early next year.
Roche, Gilead End Tamiflu Dispute
Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding said it ended a dispute with U.S. biotechnology company Gilead Sciences over the manufacture of Tamiflu, in what they said was a joint effort to build up stocks of the drug in the face of a threatened flu pandemic. Roche will pay Gilead $62.5 million in retroactive royalty adjustments.
The two companies also said they will establish a joint committee to oversee coordination of global manufacturing of Tamiflu, or oseltamivir phosphate, and a coordination panel for the commercialization of the drug for seasonal sales in the most important markets, including the United States.
Compiled from staff and news service reports.