Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 26th 2017 Contents A16 business
guardian.co.tt Monday, June 26, 2017
DETROIT---Honda is going public in an effort
to debunk claims by lawyers that it knew about
the hazards of exploding Takata air bag inflators
nearly two decades ago but covered them up.
The automaker issued a statement that outlines its
defense against claims that Honda should compensate
car owners because the use of Takata air bags caused
their vehicles to lose value.
The public escalation of Honda's fight comes just
days before Takata Corp. is expected to file for bank-
ruptcy protection in Japan and the United States. The
company's inflators can explode with too much force,
blowing apart a metal canister and hurling shrapnel
into drivers and passengers.
The faulty inflators have killed at least 16 people
worldwide and injured another 180. Many are suing
Takata as well as Honda and other automakers over
deaths and injuries, and for loss of value of their cars.
The problem touched off the largest automotive recall
in US history involving 42 million vehicles and 69
million inflators. (AP)
'best quarter in
over 6 years'
LONDON---The economy of the 19-country eu-
rozone has just enjoyed its best quarter for more
than six years, according to a closely watched
Though growth eased slightly in June, financial
information firm IHS Markit said Friday that the
eurozone's second quarter overall looks like it will
be its strongest since the first three months of 2011. It
expects quarterly growth to be 0.7 per cent, up from
the previous quarter's 0.6 per cent.
The firm said its composite purchasing manag-
ers' index, a broad gauge of economic activity across
the eurozone's manufacturing and services sectors,
dipped to 55.7 points in June from 56.8 the previous
month. Despite the decline, which was more than
anticipated in the markets, the index remains way
above the 50 level that marks expansion.
"The latest reading needs to be looked at in the con-
text of recent elevated levels," said Chris Williamson,
IHS Markit's chief business economist.
The survey, which informs the regular policy dis-
cussions at the European Central Bank, is the latest
in a long line of evidence showing that the eurozone
has moved up the gears over the past few months,
amid growing confidence about the future.
That was evident too in official French figures
showing that the eurozone's second-largest economy
expanded by 0.5 per cent in the first quarter, up from
the previous estimate of 0.4 per cent. Hopes are high
that growth in France, a long-time laggard, will be
even higher over the rest of the year. The pick-up in
confidence was clear in the fact that capital invest-
ment rose pretty sharply in the first quarter and that
it was due to private companies and households, not
the French state.
Higher French growth should help job creation, one
of the key concerns of the new French government
of President Emmanuel Macron. Unemployment in
France has been falling but remains high at 9.5 per
According to IHS Markit, the signs are good for fur-
ther job gains both in France and the wider eurozone.
Its survey found that job creation in the eurozone
remained at a near decade-high as order books and
business confidence were strong. Eurozone unem-
ployment has been steadily falling and in April was
at an eight-year low of 9.3 per cent.
"Factory jobs growth remained particularly buoy-
ant, thanks in part to production requirements surg-
ing higher on the back of rising exports," Williamson
Brazil to try to reverse US ban
SAO PAULO---Brazil's agriculture min-
ister plans to travel to the United States
to try to reverse the American ban of
beef imports from Latin America's
Blairo Maggi's posted social media com-
ments on his trip and the ban hours after
US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue
announced in a statement the immediate
suspension of all Brazilian fresh beef im-
ports because of safety concerns.
The US statement said suspension will
remain in place until Brazil takes correc-
tive action. Maggi said Brazil will fight for
the US market and that he plans to head a
mission to the United States to negotiate
the resumption of Brazilian beef exports.
Perdue's decision was announced three
months after a major scandal into allega-
tions of bribed meat inspectors shook Bra-
zil's meat industry and prompted several
countries to temporarily halt imports.
Perdue said that since March, US in-
spectors have refused entry to 11 per cent
of Brazilian fresh beef products, about 1.9
"That figure is substantially higher
than the rejection rate of one percent of
shipments from the rest of the world," the
The statement noted that Brazil had al-
ready addressed concerns of American in-
spectors by prohibiting five facilities from
shipping beef to the US, but said that didn't
go far enough. Maggi attributed the USDA's
safety concerns to the lumps some steers
develop as a result of an allergic reaction to
the vaccine against foot-and-mouth dis-
ease. He said the lumps did not represent
a public health hazard.
"We must resolve this matter as quickly
as possible because cattle breeding in Brazil
is going through a very difficult moment
with low market prices," Maggi said.
The Brazilian Beef Exporters Associa-
tion said in a statement it lamented the
export suspension and that "adjustments
to the production processes" are already
underway and will be presented to the Ag-
riculture Ministry's mission that will go to
the United States.
In March, Brazilian authorities said they
were investigating inspectors who allegedly
allowed expired meats enter the market in
exchange for bribes.
Several countries, including major im-
porter China, temporarily stopped buying
Brazilian meats. After assurances from Bra-
zilian officials, most began buying again
within a few weeks.
The episode had a large financial impact
at a time when Latin America's biggest
economy is struggling to emerge from its
worst recession in a generation. For sev-
eral weeks, the usual tens of millions of
dollars in daily exports slowed to less than
Brazil was the world's largest produc-
er of beef and veal in 2016 and one of the
top exporters, according to US Agriculture
The country is also a major exporter of
chicken and pork products. (AP)
In this March 21, 2017 file photo, workers prep poultry at the meatpacking company JBS in
Lapa, Brazil. AP PHOTO
Two phones show the old version of the Twitter app on the right, and the new version on the left, in San Francisco, on Thursday.
Twitter has unveiled a new look, and much like some previous changes the company has made to its short-messaging service, it's not
going over so well with the Twitterati. The San Francisco company says the new design "emphasises simplicity," making it faster and
easier to use, with bolder headlines and more intuitive icons. AP PHOTO
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