Trade Tensions Felt in Florida

[Original Story from Jerry Haar of Miami Herald] – What are the costs of picking a fight with our neighbors to the north? The answer may surprise you.

The US recently announced it would levy anti-dumping penalties against Canada. These actions specifically target softwood timber, dairy, and steel. While the full effects are yet to be fully assessed, and opposition has been raised by an unexpected source: Florida.

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5 Latest International Business News

Source: Reuters

EQT frontrunner for Siemens hearing-aids business: sources

FRANKFURT/LONDON – German engineering group Siemens is in advanced talks to sell its hearing-aids business for more than 2 billion euros ($2.5 billion), with private equity firm EQT the frontrunner, two people familiar with the matter said

China to pitch high-speed trains to California

SHANGHAI – State-backed China CNR Corporation is making a pitch to sell its high-speed trains to California, signaling China’s growing export ambitions for such technology after building the world’s longest network in just seven years.

Standard Life, ICBC to broaden cooperation in China, UK, Hong Kong

LONDON – British insurer Standard Life and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) said on Wednesday they had agreed to look at developing savings and investment services together.

TOKYO – SoftBank Corp announced Wednesday it will lead a $100 million investment round in Indonesian ecommerce giant PT Tokopedia, the Japanese mobile carrier’s third investment overseas under Vice Chairman Nikesh Arora.

Sony Pictures TV acquires stakes in Israeli telenovela channels

JERUSALEM – Sony Pictures Television agreed to buy 50 percent stakes in two Israeli telenovela cable TV channels from Dori Media Group, the companies said on Tuesday.

Weekly Update: Top 5 International Business News Trends

The latest International Business Headlines from last week are reported to you below. Please report to their individual websites to read the full articles. Check for updates every Monday.

1.  Cyprus’ president says he expects international creditors’ latest review to approve the country’s handling of its bailout program.

2. A technological revolution is sweeping across Africa, bringing with it deep Internet penetration and exploding rates of smartphone usage.

3. The proportion of women commanding managing director roles in London has doubled

4. The U.S. may have monitored German Chancellor Angela Merkel for over a decade according to reports from NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

5. For the first time in 126 years, the Vatican Bank published an annual report in an attempt to be more transparent and divert allegations of corruption.

News from the USTR: US, Colombia Hold Inaugural Meeting on TPA

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced that officials from the United States and Colombia convened the inaugural meeting of the Labor Affairs Council (LAC) under the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA) on June 4 and 5. During the two-day meeting, officials reviewed implementation of the Labor Chapter of the U.S.-Colombia TPA. They also discussed the labor obligations of the agreement and progress under the Colombian Action Plan Related to Labor Rights. The Council further discussed areas of technical cooperation and capacity building.

Read their official Joint Statement here.

About the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement:
The United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA) entered into force on May 15, 2012. According to the USTR, with the implementation of the TPA, over 80 percent of U.S. exports of consumer and industrial products to Colombia will become duty free immediately, with remaining tariffs phased out over 10 years. The USTR projects that the TPA will support more American jobs, increase U.S. exports, and enhance U.S. competitiveness. Read an overview here.

Weekly News – Russia Joins WTO

Source: WTO Website

Russia will become the 156th WTO member from August 23, a month after President Putin signed into law a protocol ratifying the country’s accession to the WTO.  Then, Russia is expected to lower import taxes and open its market.

The news of Russia’s acceptance to the WTO was praised by U.S. government. According to Office of the United States Trade Representative, Russia’s membership in the WTO brings significant commercial opportunities for U.S. exporters in several sectors, such as agriculture, high-tech products, services, and retails. (  A House committee also approved legislation to ease trade relations with Russia. (, July 26, 2012)

How Russia will handle its WTO membership remains unveiled. But it is certain that Russia is paving its path toward a more rule-based system and a more open economy. United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk stated that Russia’s acceptance to the WTO marks a historical event in the evolution of the WTO and the global trading system. With the last country of BRIC entering the world trade arena, we are expecting to see a more integrated world economy that provides important opportunities for international business and trade.