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TALKING POINTS

Stories you may have missed from the world of business

INTERNATIONAL

China’s trade with US shrinks as tariff war worsens

China’s trade with the United States is falling sharply as the two nations prepare for more negotiations to end a worsening trade war. Imports of US goods fell 22 percent in August from a year earlier to $10.3 billion following Chinese tariff hikes and orders to companies to cancel orders, customs data showed Sunday. Exports to the United States sank 16 percent to $44.4 billion under pressure from punitive tariffs imposed by President Trump. US and Chinese tariff hikes on billions of dollars of each other’s imports have disrupted trade in goods from soybeans to medical equipment and battered traders on both sides. Chinese exporters also face pressure from weakening global consumer demand as Beijing is telling them to find markets other than the United States. China’s trade surplus with the United States narrowed to $31.3 billion in August, from $27 billion a year earlier. China’s global exports fell 3 percent to $214.8 billion, while imports were up 1.7 percent at $180 billion. For the first eight months of 2019, exports were off 1 percent from a year earlier and imports were down 5.6 percent. China’s global trade surplus rose 25 percent from a year earlier to $34.8 billion. US and Chinese negotiators are preparing for talks in October. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

AVIATION

British Airways cancels hundreds of flights as pilots strike

British Airways canceled hundreds of flights as chances dwindled for a breakthrough that would avert the first strike by pilots in decades. After the weekend yielded little progress on the pay dispute, a spokeswoman said Sunday that the airline had canceled “the vast majority” of its 850 daily round-trip flights on Monday and Tuesday. The disruptions will affect mainly London but extend to other locales such as Edinburgh. London City, popular with business travelers, won’t be affected as those flights are operated by BA’s CityFlyer affiliate. Pilots vowed to strike following a breakdown in talks over a new contract. The airline accuses the union of not acting in good faith by making “an eleventh hour inflated proposal” that would cost an additional $62 million. Pilots have “consistently offered up chances for the company to negotiate a way forward,” the union said. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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MASSACHUSETTS

Bill would let some cats, dogs used in testing be adopted

A bill aimed at giving cats and dogs that have been subjects in research institutions and product testing facilities a second shot at life in Massachusetts is set for a public hearing Tuesday at the State House. The bill would require that research labs spare animals from automatic euthanasia and instead use animal rescue organizations to help get them adopted. Animals that pose a risk to public health would not be included. Tens of thousands of cats and dogs are used for research and experimentation in the United States each year. Many of them are beagles. Activists say nine states have approved similar bills, including California, New York, and Rhode Island. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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FOOD SAFETY

UK worries Brexit could bring ‘chlorinated chicken’ from US

Could Brexit send America’s chlorinated chickens to the United Kingdom? The European Union has long refused to import US poultry, which is routinely rinsed with chemical washes to kill germs. But the United Kingdom’s planned exit from the EU is putting the practice back in the spotlight. Prime Minister Boris Johnson even taunted Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn by calling him a ‘‘chlorinated chicken.’’ The term has come to sum up concerns that Britain could be pressured to accept looser food-safety standards post-Brexit. Antimicrobial sprays and washes are applied in the United States at various stages of processing. The chemicals are approved by the Department of Agriculture, and their use is limited to specified amounts. The agency says the rinses are present in finished products at insignificant levels. Critics say the washes and sprays underscore how widespread bacteria are in raw chicken. Tony Corbo of Food and Water Watch said the rinses could be used to mask broader sanitary problems. Germs in raw chicken are a UK issue, too. Officials have been working to fight campylobacter, the most common cause of food poisoning in Britain. The UK’s Food Standards Agency said chlorine washes can be used on fresh produce but not on animal products. Only water can be used to remove surface contamination from poultry in EU countries. Those rules will stay in place after the UK leaves the EU, the agency said, though there may be attempts to change the rules. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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CINEMA

Disney to rent UK studios where Bond films are made

Mickey Mouse is set to take over from James Bond at the Pinewood Group studios 20 miles west of London. Walt Disney Co. has signed a 10-year lease for all of the space except for a couple of TV studios, the Sunday Times reported. The size of the deal wasn’t given. Disney has already used the facilities for films like “The Rise of Skywalker,” the latest “Star Wars” saga, due in December. The move comes two months after competitor Netflix announced it was setting up a UK production hub at another Pinewood site near London. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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AUTOMOTIVE

Nissan CEO Saikawa says he’s ready to resign once successor is found

Nissan Motor Co. CEO Hiroto Saikawa said he won’t resign for being at the center of turmoil over excess compensation, but is ready to take responsibility for scandals involving former chairman Carlos Ghosn and will exit as soon as a successor is found. Following reports last week that he and other executives were paid more than they were entitled to, Saikawa has been facing mounting pressure. He has since Ghosn’s arrest in November for financial crimes been trying to right the carmaker as it grapples with decade-low profits, job cuts, and the loss of a leader who loomed large over Nissan for two decades. ‘‘I’m not responsible for that,’’ Saikawa, 65, said late Sunday when asked about stock-linked bonuses that were inflated when they were paid in 2013. ‘‘I will take responsibility for the Ghosn scandals, and want the board’s nomination committee to find a succession plan as soon as possible in order to pass the baton.’’ Nissan’s board meets Monday. _ BLOOMBERG NEWS

ENERGY

San Francisco makes $2.5b bid for PG&E’s local assets

San Francisco offered the bankrupt utility PG&E Corp. $2.5 billion for its equipment within the city. Mayor London Breed made the bid Friday. The company brushed off the offer Sunday, saying that selling the assets to the city wouldn’t be “in the best interests of our customers and stakeholders.” PG&E is due to file a restructuring plan in US Bankruptcy Court by Monday. The city’s proposal may complicate PG&E’s efforts to line up financing to help it exit the largest utility bankruptcy in US history. It filed for Chapter 11 protection in January to deal with an estimated $30 billion in liabilities tied to devastating wildfires that its equipment ignited in 2017 and 2018. PG&E has been floating a plan that would have it use billions of dollars in debt and equity to cover its liabilities. But on Friday, its bid to get tax-free state bonds failed in the Legislature. PG&E said it would “remain open to communication” on the city’s offer but cast doubt on a sale. A labor union representing PG&E workers has opposed any public takeover of private utilities, saying it would harm pensions and other benefits. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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