SCW RUSSIAWIRE: “Russia clashes with Western oil buyers over new deals as sanctions loom” – Reuters

File Photo of Oil Wells with Mountains in Background, adapted from image at blm.gov by Steven C. Welsh www.stevencwelsh.info :: www.stevencwelsh.com

“Russian energy majors are putting pressure on Western oil buyers to use euros instead of dollars for payments and introducing penalty clauses in contracts as Moscow seeks protection against possible new U.S. sanctions. … Western oil majors and trading houses have clashed with Russia’s third and fourth biggest producers, Gazprom Neft and Surgutneftegaz, over 2019 oil sales contract terms during unusually tough annual renegotiation in recent weeks. … mirror[ing] a similar stand-off between Western buyers and Russia’s top oil producer, Rosneft. * * *  Russia has been under U.S. and EU sanctions since 2014 when it invaded Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula. The sanctions have been repeatedly widened to include new companies and sectors, making it tough for Russian oil firms to borrow money abroad, raise new capital or develop Arctic and unconventional deposits. * * * … Russia supplies over 10 percent of global oil ….”

Click here for: “Russia clashes with Western oil buyers over new deals as sanctions loom” – Reuters







 

 

SCW NEWSWATCH: “How tech jobs helped Rust Belt become house-flipping hotspot” – Reuters

“… house-flipping is making a comeback … this time in … Rust Belt cities the last boom passed by.  … Today’s house-flippers … buying properties and selling … within 12 months [] … are mainly contractors and professional renovators who buy run-down properties in promising neighborhoods and fix them up, boosting the resale value. … those who contributed to the speculative frenzy of the early 2000s would typically take out a mortgage to buy a home, perhaps give it a new coat of paint [and] wait for prices to rise enough …. [O]ld industrial cities such as Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Cleveland … are beginning to attract tech firms, such as Google-parent Alphabet Inc, Uber … and Amazon[] … boosting demand for … in areas that have … old[] housing stock … and not much new construction …. Nationally, the average house-flipper earned a 44.3 percent gross return … this year, compared with … 35.3 percent during the boom. …”

Click here for: “How tech jobs helped Rust Belt become house-flipping hotspot” – Reuters





 

 

NEWSWATCH: “Uber, Yandex combine ridesharing and UberEATS in Russian markets in a $3.72B JV” – TechCrunch

Map of Former Soviet Union, CIS, Western Portion, adapted from image at cia.gov

“As Uber continues to work through a huge amount of internal management turmoil, the company is also consolidating and rationalising more of its international business. Today, the company announced that it will be combining its rides-on-demand business and UberEATS, its food ordering and delivery business, in Russia and neighboring markets with Yandex.Taxi, the ridesharing business built up by the Russian search giant over several years and the current leader in the market, in what will be a separate, joint venture valued at $3.72 billion.

The deal — which will cover operations in Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus and Georgia — is expected to close in Q4 of this year and has already been approved by the boards of both companies. It’s a substantial operation. Currently it covers 35 million trips each month across 127 cities, with the bulk of those coming from the Yandex.Taxi part of the JV; Uber was only in 21 cities. …”

Click here for: “Uber, Yandex combine ridesharing and UberEATS in Russian markets in a $3.72B JV” – TechCrunch/ Ingrid Lunden





NEWSWATCH: “Russia squares up to Boeing, Airbus with maiden jet flight” – Reuters

Map of Russia with Russian Flag

“#Russia carried out the maiden flight of its new MS-21 medium-range passenger plane … its first post-Soviet foray into production of a mainline commercial aircraft which it hopes will rival those of its Western competitors. … manufacturer Irkut Corporation … and … state-controlled parent company United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) … [announced] a 30-minute flight at … 1,000 meters … [and] 300 km an hour. Squeezed by Western #sanctions over its role in the #Ukraine crisis, Russia is trying to rejuvenate domestic industrial production to make the country less dependant on foreign firms. …”

Click here for “Russia squares up to Boeing, Airbus with maiden jet flight” – Reuters 







NEWSLINK: “#Facebook’s Female Engineers Claim #Gender Bias; Analysis found female engineers received 35% more rejections of their code than men” – Wall Street Journal

File Photo of Laptop Computer, Tablet, Mobile Device, adapted from image at energy.gov

“Last year, a longtime engineer at #Facebook Inc. gathered data that revealed a controversial finding: Code written by #women was rejected much more frequently than code written by their male colleagues, according to people familiar with the matter and screenshots of internal discussions viewed by The Wall Street Journal.

NEWSWATCH VIDEO: “Why foreign companies are shutting shop in #China” – CNBC

China Map

“U.S.-based Seagate, the world’s biggest maker of hard disk drives, closed its factory in Suzhou near Shanghai last month with the loss of 2,000 jobs, in a move that has rekindled fears that #China is becoming increasingly hostile towards foreign firms operating in the country. … Seagate joined a spate of foreign companies to shutter operations in China in recent years, for various reasons, but most have attributed the country’s high tax regime, rising labor costs and fierce competition from domestic companies. Panasonic, for instance, stopped all its manufacturing of televisions in the country in 2015 after 37 years of operating in China. …”

Click here for: “Why foreign companies are shutting shop in China” – CNBC/South China Morning Post







WHITE HOUSE TEXT: Presidential Memorandum Regarding Withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations and Agreement

White House file photo

MEMORANDUM FOR THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE

SUBJECT: Withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations and Agreement

It is the policy of my Administration to represent the American people and their financial well-being in all negotations, particularly the American worker, and to create fair and economically beneficial trade deals that serve their interests. Additionally, in order to ensure these outcomes, it is the intention of my Administration to deal directly with individual countries on a one-on-one (or bilateral) basis in negotiating future trade deals. Trade with other nations is, and always will be, of paramount importance to my Administration and to me, as President of the United States.

Based on these principles, and by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby direct you to withdraw the United States as a signatory to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), to permanently withdraw the United States from TPP negotiations, and to begin pursuing, wherever possible, bilateral trade negotiations to promote American industry, protect American workers, and raise American wages.

You are directed to provide written notification to the Parties and to the Depository of the TPP, as appropriate, that the United States withdraws as a signatory of the TPP and withdraws from the TPP negotiating process.

You are authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.

DONALD J. TRUMP

[also appeared at whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/01/23/presidential-memorandum-regarding-withdrawal-united-states-trans-pacific]





[PDF] NEWSLINK: “International Trade and Finance: Overview and Issues for the 115th Congress” – Congressional Research Service/FAS

U.S. Capitol file photo

“During the 2016 presidential election campaign, U.S. trade policy and trade agreements received significant attention, particularly regarding the impact of trade agreements on the U.S. economy and workers. Among the more potentially prominent international trade and finance issues the 115th Congress may consider are …”