Stocks gain…Questions about trade deal…Struggling Americans
TOKYO (AP) – Global shares were mostly higher Tuesday after the White House said it reached a preliminary agreement with Mexico on replacing a North American free-trade deal. Futures point to a flat opening on Wall Street. Benchmark U.S. crude oil sliped but remains just under $69 a barrel. The dollar inched down against the yen and fell against the euro.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The preliminary trade deal with Mexico leaves some open questions. Some wonder if President Donald Trump can reach a replacement NAFTA deal with Mexico alone if Canada can’t be coaxed to come aboard. Trump has suggested he might leave Canada out. Critics have denounced that prospect. Others ask if the changes being negotiated threaten the operations of American and foreign companies that have built sophisticated supply chains that span the three countries. Congress wouldn’t vote until 2019.
UNDATED (AP) – Despite a strong economy, about 40 percent of American families struggled to meet at least one of their basic needs last year, including paying for food, health care, housing or utilities. That’s according to an Urban Institute survey of nearly 7,600 adults that found that the difficulties were most prevalent among adults with lower incomes or health issues. But it also revealed that people from all walks of life were running into similar hardships. The findings highlight the financial strains experienced by many Americans in an otherwise strong economy.
PARIS (AP) – France’s high-profile environment minister, former TV personality Nicolas Hulot, unexpectedly announced his resignation live on national radio Tuesday, lamenting a lack of decisive action on green issues. The move deals a stinging blow to the environmental credibility of President Emmanuel Macron. Clearly emotional, Hulot made clear his frustrations at what he said was France’s slow pace of progress on green issues.
BEIJING (AP) – Chinese officials on Monday defended Beijing’s initiative to build a “New Silk Road” of railways and other infrastructure across Asia against complaints it leaves host countries with too much debt after Malaysia canceled two high-profile projects. The officials said President Xi Jinping’s signature foreign policy initiative is creating assets that are needed by developing countries but might take time to pay off.