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Apr 19, 2013

U.S. trade deal seen reaping rapid benefit

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Companies would race to profit from a free trade agreement (FTA) between the European Union and the United States, bringing a near instant boost to both economies, the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said.

“If they made a deal tomorrow, U.S. and European companies are sitting on a boatload of cash and they’d be moving this thing up as fast as they can move,” Thomas Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said after a EU-U.S. trade conference in Dublin.

Apr 18, 2013

France threatens to block start of EU/U.S. free trade talks

DUBLIN (Reuters) – France said on Thursday it would block proposed negotiations on a free trade agreement between the European Union and the United States unless cultural sectors, such as television and radio, were excluded from the talks.

Trade ministers held an unprecedented informal meeting in Dublin on Thursday on the negotiations, which the Commission and most member states want to launch by the end of June. The talks are likely to last two years.

Apr 18, 2013

France threatens to block start of EU/U.S. free trade talks

DUBLIN, April 18 (Reuters) – France said on Thursday it
would block proposed negotiations on a free trade agreement
between the European Union and the United States unless cultural
sectors, such as television and radio, were excluded from the
talks.

Trade ministers held an unprecedented informal meeting in
Dublin on Thursday on the negotiations, which the Commission and
most member states want to launch by the end of June. The talks
are likely to last two years.

Apr 18, 2013

EU resistant to China telecoms trade case -Sweden

DUBLIN, April 18 (Reuters) – A growing number of EU
countries do not want the European Commission to launch an
investigation into Chinese telecoms equipment makers Huawei
and ZTE, Sweden said on Thursday.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive body, has been
collecting evidence to prepare a possible case against the two
companies over alleged state subsidies that would allow them to
undercut European competitors.

Mar 30, 2013

Belgium agrees savings, asset sales to meet EU budget demands

BRUSSELS, March 30 (Reuters) – Belgium agreed to make 1.4
billion euros ($1.8 billion) of savings and to sell 1 billion
euros of state-owned assets on Saturday, as it strives to meet
EU budget targets and avoid being drawn into the euro zone’s
debt crisis.

With debt approaching 100 percent of national output (GDP),
Belgium has some of the weakest public finances in the euro
zone’s northern “core”, partially due to an almost two-year
political stalemate that was only resolved in late 2011.

Mar 27, 2013

Belgian chocolate makers seek protection from copycats

BRUSSELS, March 27 (Reuters) – Belgian chocolate makers
believe their renowned pralines should have similar protection
to that enjoyed by French champagne or Italy’s Parma ham.

They want the term “Belgian chocolate” to be their exclusive
preserve and also want to crack down on foreign rivals dressing
up their products as “Belgian style” or of a “Belgian recipe”.

Mar 15, 2013

ArcelorMittal targets $3 bln savings to help margins

BRUSSELS, March 15 (Reuters) – ArcelorMittal, the
world’s largest steelmaker, set out a new $3 billion savings
plan to restore steel margins to levels unmatched since the
crisis struck in 2008.

The new plan is the latest step in its aggressive response
to steel sector problems that include a nine percent slide in
demand in the European Union last year.

Mar 15, 2013

Japan free trade talks with EU a “masquerade”: Ford

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Japan is not truly interested in opening up its economy to imports and upcoming free-trade negotiations are a “masquerade”, according to a senior executive of Ford Motor Company (F.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Japan is set to launch trade talks with the European Union later this month and its prime minister said on Friday it would seek to join talks on a U.S.-led Pacific free-trade pact, which could be agreed by the end of the year.

Mar 6, 2013

Lilly confident on keeping dividend through patent cliff

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Eli Lilly and Co will maintain its dividend despite the erosion of its earnings by generic copies of blockbuster drugs and should be well placed by the end of 2013 to assess the potential of its future medicines, its chief executive said.

The U.S. drugmaker suffered a 7 percent drop in revenue last year and a 6 percent decline in net profit after it lost U.S. patent protection of top-selling schizophrenia drug Zyprexa.

Feb 27, 2013

EU Commission proposes import duties on Chinese ceramics

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission is proposing long-term import duties on ceramic plates and other tableware and kitchenware from China even though a majority of EU member states opposed their imposition late last year.

The EU’s executive body is recommending definitive duties of between 13.1 and 36.1 percent, a lower rate than the provisional duties set in November.

    • About Phil

      "I am responsible for Reuters news out of Belgium and Luxembourg, which has led to many long nights outside parliament in Brussels awaiting news of fraught coalition talks and state bailouts of Belgian banks. I have previously worked in London, Amsterdam, where my work included consumer electronics group Philips and the Lockerbie trial, and Berlin, where I covered the Hamburg trials of suspected September 11 conspirators."
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