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Mexico imposes tariffs on food, bourbon, boats

Mexico has published the tariffs it's imposing on products imported from the United States in response to the Trump administration's duties on Mexican steel and aluminum.

Tuesday's list shows tariffs ranging from 15 to 25 percent include a host of pork products, apples, potatoes, cheeses, bourbon, inboard motor boats and some flat steel and tubes.

Mexico imports so much U.S. pork — nearly one-third of what's consumed — the government says it will waive tariffs on up to 350,000 tons of pork imported from other nations to avoid destabilizing the market.

President Donald Trump announced last week that steel and aluminum tariffs would apply to Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

The U.S., Mexico and Canada are locked in a contentious renegotiation of the North American Trade Agreement.

 

VW Atlas among top family cars

The Volkswagen Atlas SUV, assembled in Chattanooga, was named one of the "10 best family cars" by Parents magazine and car shopping site Edmunds.

The Atlas shared top honors in the best 3-row SUV category with the Chevrolet Traverse.

"Enjoy 17 cup holders and the Atlas's Car-Net app to check if your doors are locked and even see where your car is parked. The Atlas also boasts capacity for five car seats," a statement said.

For the 11th consecutive year, the parenting and car experts from both organizations partnered to evaluate more than 300 vehicles, narrowing the list to the 10 models that offer the best value, safety features, driving performance and family friendly elements on the road.

"The family car is one of the most important purchases parents will make, and it's no longer simply for getting from point A to point B—it's everything from mom's me-time to kids' entertainment," said Liz Vaccariello, editor-in-chief of Parents.

 

McKee backs Ironman for five more years

McKee Foods Corp. has renewed its title sponsorship for the next five years of two of Ironman's most popular North American races — the Little Debbie Ironman in Chattanooga and the so-called half Ironman, or the Sunbelt Baker Ironman 70.3 in Chattanooga.

McKee Foods, the Collegedale-based bakery that makes Little Debbie snack cakes and owns Sunbelt Bakery, said the company will financially support the competitions, which are put on by Ironman, a Wanda Sports Holdings company.

Mike McKee, president & CEO of McKee Foods, said the company has been pleased with the events and what they have brought to Chattanooga.

"But probably the most exciting thing for me personally is to see how many of our employees participate both as athletes and volunteers," McKee said in a statement. "Our employees and close family have represented more than 40 Ironman participants, and more than 140 Ironman and Ironman 70.3 participants. Our employee family has provided hundreds of volunteers for the events."

 

David Koch retires from Koch Industries

Billionaire conservative icon David Koch is stepping down from the Koch brothers' network of business and political activities.

The 78-year-old New York resident is suffering from deteriorating health, according to a letter that older brother Charles Koch sent to company officials Tuesday morning.

Charles Koch wrote that he is "deeply saddened" by his brother's retirement. "David has always been a fighter and is dealing with this challenge in the same way," he wrote.

David Koch is leaving his roles as executive vice president and board member for Koch Industries and a subsidiary, Koch Chemical Technology group, where he served as chairman and chief executive officer. Koch is also stepping down as chairman of the board for the Americans For Prosperity Foundation, the charity related to Koch brothers' primary political organization.

Charles Koch had assumed a more visible leadership role in the brothers' affairs in recent years. He will continue to serve as the CEO of Koch Industries and the unofficial face of the network's political efforts.

 

Global growth expected to slow

The steadily expanding global economy should remain resilient — at least for a couple of years — the World Bank says.

The anti-poverty agency predicts global growth will decelerate slightly from a solid 3.1 percent this year to 3 percent next year and 2.9 percent in 2020.

The world economy is generally healthy but must contend with rising interest rates in wealthier countries and weaker demand for commodities in developing nations. It also faces risks from trade disputes, financial volatility and geopolitical tensions.

The World Bank predicts U.S. growth will register 2.7 percent in 2018, aided by tax cuts, before slowing to 2.5 percent next year and 2 percent in 2020.

China's growth is projected at 6.5 percent this year, 6.3 percent in 2019 and 6.2 percent in 2020.

 

Flagstar Bank buys 52 Wells Fargo offices

Troy, Michigan-based Flagstar Bank is acquiring 52 Wells Fargo Bank branches in Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin.

The beleaguered Wells Fargo, which operates nearly 6,000 offices including 19 branches in Tennessee and 265 in Georgia, announced Tuesday it is leaving most of its retail banking business in the Midwest. After the deal is completed, the branches will be re-branded as Flagstar locations. The official transition is expected to be completed late in 2018, pending regulatory approval.

"Being able to increase our presence in the Midwest market — a geography we know well and find very attractive — is a terrific opportunity for us," said Alessandro DiNello, president and chief executive officer of Flagstar Bancorp in a statement. "This transaction significantly expands our banking footprint, more than doubling our customer base," he said.

The agreement involves approximately $2.3 billion in deposits and $130 million in loans, along with certain related assets.

Financial terms were not disclosed. Almost 500 employees will get job offers from Flagstar.

 

Lord & Taylor closes New York City store

Lord & Taylor is abandoning plans to keep a store in the Fifth Avenue flagship it is selling, as the chain's owner closes more stores and focuses on online sales.

The announcement Tuesday comes about seven months after the company said it would sell the century-old building to office space sharing company WeWork. Hudson's Bay Co. had said then it would keep less than a quarter of the 11-story building for a Lord & Taylor store.

Hudson's Bay, which also operates Saks Fifth Avenue and other stores, said it expects to close up to 10 of its nearly 50 Lord & Taylor stores through 2019. The flagship store is expected to close in early 2019.

Lord & Taylor was the first to create Christmas windows for entertainment, rather than for selling merchandise. It pioneered the animated window display in 1938.

 

North Carolina moves to protect pork maker

Legislators in the country's No. 2 hog-growing state are launching a new effort to shield industrial hog operations from neighbors who have complained for decades about the smell, noise and flies generated by housing thousands of animals together.

The North Carolina Senate's Agriculture Committee on Tuesday unveiled language that would protect the low-cost but much-criticized method of handling hog waste by spraying it over farm fields. The legislation says farm and forestry operations couldn't be a nuisance if they're using such practices common to their industry.

A federal jury in April hit Smithfield Foods with a nearly $51 million verdict against an operation that forced North Carolina neighbors to tolerate nuisance conditions. That was cut to about $3 million because state law limits damages for corporate misdeeds.

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