WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives approved a massive $1.5 trillion infrastructure package on Wednesday by a 233 to 188 vote to boost spending on roads, bridges, public transit and rail but the White House and Senate Republicans both said they oppose the measure. Representative Peter DeFazio, the Democrat who chairs the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said the measure “deals with the incredibly deteriorated infrastructure in this country” and addresses the threat of climate…"U.S. House approves $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill but outlook uncertain"
SAO PAULO – Brazilian antitrust watchdog Cade on Tuesday said it was revoking its previous decision suspending Facebook Inc’s recently launched WhatsApp payments messaging service in partnership with card processor Cielo SA. Cade said preliminary information provided by both Cielo and Facebook indicates that their agreement does not limit new deals with rivals and does not reduce consumers’ choice. Still, Cade said it would continue investigating the partnership. Despite the agency’s decision, the payments service…"Brazil antitrust agency revokes decision blocking WhatsApp, Cielo venture"
WASHINGTON – The White House said Monday it opposes a $1.5 trillion proposal from congressional Democrats to boost U.S. infrastructure over the next decade, criticizing how it would pay for new spending. The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives is set to begin on Tuesday debating the measure, which includes a massive boost in spending on roads, bridges, public transit, rail, ports and airports as well as water systems, schools and broadband internet. A final vote is…"White House opposes $1.5 trillion House infrastructure measure"
TOKYO – SoftBank Group Corp Chief Executive Masayoshi Son mounted a defence of his investing decisions on Thursday, saying the value of the Japanese conglomerate’s holdings has recovered to pre-coronavirus outbreak levels. “We have worried a lot of people who thought that SoftBank is finished or is ‘SoftPunku’,” Son told a shareholder meeting, using a play on the word “puncture” used colloquially in Japanese when something is broken. The rise in corporate value was driven…"SoftBank is not ‘SoftPunku’ says CEO in defence of strategy"
NEW DELHI – India is considering imposing a customs duty on imports of solar modules, cells and inverters from August, the power ministry said on Tuesday, as part of a push to curb foreign purchases. India does not now levy a customs tax on imports of solar cells and modules, most of which come from China to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s target of installing 100 gigawatt of solar energy by 2022. Other existing taxes…"India considers customs duty on solar equipment from August"
LONDON – Britain will keep pushing for a global solution on taxing international digital companies such as Google and Facebook Inc after the United States left negotiations, a spokesman for the British Treasury said on Thursday. “We remain committed to a global solution,” the spokesman said. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin decided to pull out of talks on digital services taxes with European Union officials after they failed to make any progress, U.S. Trade Representative…"UK says it still wants global digital tax as U.S. quits talks"
– A U.S. House of Representatives panel is debating on Wednesday a Democratic plan to boost infrastructure spending that aims to fix crumbling roads and highways and reduce carbon pollution. The $494 billion five-year surface transportation bill wouldprovide $319 billion to fix 47,000 structurally deficientbridges and make other repairs, $105 billion for mass transit, build electric vehicle charging stations and invest nearly $30 billion in passenger railroad Amtrak and rail infrastructure. With a presidential election…"House panel debating $494 billion infrastructure measure"
BRASILIA – Services activity in Brazil slumped 11.7% in April, figures showed on Wednesday, the biggest fall since comparable record-keeping began nearly a decade ago as social isolation measures to combat the COVID-19 outbreak slammed the economy into reverse. Coming a day after data showed a record crash in April retail sales, the economy’s incredibly weak start to the second quarter would appear to justify the expected cut in interest rates to a new low…"Brazil services activity falls a record 11.7% in April"
TOKYO – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries said it had agreed to begin talks with Mitsui E&S Holdings to acquire its shipbuilding business. A deal to acquire Mitsui E&S’s shipbuilding unit could help Mitsubishi Heavy, Japan’s biggest defence company, better compete for naval contracts. It could also mark a tentative step towards consolidation among Japan’s numerous military equipment makers. “Mitsui E&S has strengths in shipbuilding and repair for the Ministry of Defense including supply vessels and observation…"Mitsubishi Heavy says in talks to acquire Mitsui E&S ship business"
BEIJING – China will fully implement its commitment to nationally determined contributions (NDCs) on climate change under the Paris climate agreement despite the coronavirus outbreak, the country’s environment ministry said on Tuesday. China, the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouses gases, pledged to cut “carbon intensity” – the amount of carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP – by 40-45% from 2005-2020 as part of the Paris pact it signed in 2015. It said last year…"China says sticking to climate pledges despite coronavirus outbreak"