- - Monday, September 5, 2011


China case against U.S. tire tariffs rejected

GENEVA | China has lost its appeal of a World Trade Organization ruling that the United States can raise import taxes on Chinese tires by as much as 35 percent.

A WTO appeals panel said Monday that U.S. officials “acted consistently” with international trade laws, the latest in a series of trade skirmishes between the United States - the world’s biggest importer - and China - the world’s biggest exporter.

China argued the three-year tariff President Obama approved in 2009 on top of a regular 4 percent import duty was protectionist and would hurt China’s tire industry.

The United Steelworkers Union pushed for penalty tariffs, blaming the loss of 5,000 U.S. tire workers’ jobs since 2004 on U.S. tire imports from China more than tripling from 2004 to 2008.


Police aided Apple in iPhone search

SAN FRANCISCO | San Francisco’s police chief says officers helped Apple Inc. investigators look for a missing iPhone prototype that was left in a city restaurant in July.

Police Chief Greg Suhr told the San Francisco Chronicle that four officers accompanied two Apple investigators who searched a San Francisco home for the lost gadget. Apple officials have declined to comment on the case.

Authorities say the Apple employees conducted the search after asking the resident’s permission and the officers did not enter the home. Officials say Apple used GPS technology to track the smartphone to the home, but it wasn’t found there.

On Thursday, two men were charged with misdemeanors for selling a lost Apple iPhone 4 they found in a Redwood City, Calif., bar in March 2010.


Samsung pulls tablet from electronics show

BERLIN | Visitors to Berlin’s IFA electronics fair hoping to see the new Galaxy Tab 7.7 computer were left disappointed after Samsung Electronics pulled the tablet from the show amid a legal spat with Apple.

The Galaxy 7.7 was pulled over the weekend after a Duesseldorf court issued a temporary injunction against marketing the device, which Apple says copies its iPad2. The Duesseldorf court has already banned sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany. A final ruling on the latest model is expected Friday.

Consumers visiting the IFA on Monday said they regretted the removal, calling it “sad.” Consumer electronics trader Carsten Niebuhr said he viewed the allegations of copyright violation as exaggerated, noting that “these products just can’t be made any other way.”


Bankers oppose another U.S. tax treaty

GENEVA | Swiss banking officials lashed out Monday at the possibility of yet another tax treaty with the United States aimed at handing over the details of more Americans suspected of using Swiss banks to cheat on their taxes.

The chairman of the Swiss Bankers Association, Patrick Odier, urged the Swiss people and the government to “put up a united front” and work out a solution that applies to all countries. He said that U.S. and Swiss politicians must work with existing accords.

“The solution must be globally applicable, be definitive and correspond to existing Swiss law,” Mr. Odier told the association at a meeting in Basel, Switzerland, according to his prepared remarks. “A second bilateral treaty has to be avoided and the U.S. needs to respect this.”

A double taxation agreement was approved by Switzerland in 2009 but is still awaiting ratification by the U.S. Senate.


Netflix unveils Latin America service

SAO PAULO | Netflix launched its movie and TV streaming service in Brazil on Monday, the beachhead for a push into Latin America that is seen as key to the company’s continued growth after recent setbacks in the United States.

Netflix Inc. says it plans to expand into 43 countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean soon, the online movie rental company’s largest international expansion yet.

“What Netflix seeks to do is connect the world to provide the world’s content to the world’s citizens,” CEO Reed Hastings said as he inaugurated the service in Brazil on Monday.

Netflix will add service to Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay on Wednesday, then will expand to Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean within a week.

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