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Stories you may have missed from the world of business


Britain’s health service not for sale in US free-trade talks

Any free-trade deal with the United States must protect Britain’s cherished National Health Service, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government declared Sunday as it published an outline of its objectives for a trans-Atlantic deal. The British government estimates its economy will get a $4.3 billion boost and trade between the close allies will increase by $19.6 billion if UK-US trade barriers are removed. Talks are scheduled to start later this month. “And of course, we’re going to drive a hard bargain to boost British industry,’’ Johnson said. “Trading Scottish smoked salmon for Stetson hats, we will deliver lower prices and more choice for our shoppers.” But “the NHS is not for sale and the government is committed to the guiding principles of the NHS — that it is universal and free,” the government statement said. London is also trying to negotiate terms of a new trade relationship with the European Union following its Brexit departure from the bloc. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Harley-Davidson CEO steps down after five-year sales slump

Harley-Davidson Inc. is starting the week in search of a new boss, someone who can stem years of declining sales. Chief executive Matt Levatich unexpectedly stepped down Friday after a 26-year career at Harley-Davidson, including five years as CEO in which the company lost more than half its market value. Board member Jochen Zeitz will fill the job for now. Harley shares rose as much as 5 percent in after-hours trading following the news from the Milwaukee-based manufacturer. Levatich had been wrestling with an aging US customer base and higher tariffs from President Trump’s trade wars. Harley’s first electric motorcycle, LiveWire, won positive reviews but has yet to kickstart sales or help it achieve greater market share abroad. Harley’s shares have plunged 18 percent this year. US sales dropped for a fifth straight year in 2019. To help find younger buyers, Levatich hired the company’s first-ever brand president last April, only to dismiss him six months later, citing unspecified conduct that didn’t align with the corporate culture. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



No ice wine for you: Warm winter nixes special German wine

A warm winter means that, for apparently the first time in the history of German winemaking, the country’s fabled vineyards will produce no ice wine — a pricey, golden nectar made from grapes that have been left to freeze on the vine. The German Wine Institute said no grower had the necessary low temperature of 19 degrees Fahrenheit. Warm winters have cut into ice wine production recently, the institute said; in 2017, only seven producers managed to make it, and only five managed in 2013. Freezing the grapes before they are crushed concentrates the sugar and leads to an intensely sweet, golden wine often served with dessert. It has always been an niche product, at about 0.1 percent of German production. Canada’s Niagara Peninsula is one of several other places where ice wine is produced, along with Michigan and Ashtabula County, Ohio, near Lake Erie. — ASSOCIATED PRESS