Washington, Feb. 14,
Washington is ready to slap tariffs on countries that
weaken their currency to obtain an unfair cost advantage. A new rule from
the Commerce Dept. allows U.S. companies to file complaints about imported
goods from countries that manipulate the values of their currencies. If the
feds agree with the charge, they will impose countervailing duties on the
offending country’s imports.
And the policy faces potential legal challenges. Critics say it is ripe for abuse and may also run afoul of World Trade Org. rules. But it continues the trend of cracking down on unfair trade practices that has been a White House priority.
Mergers and acquisitions are going strong, following a bumper year for dealmaking in 2019. Companies are optimistic about the economy and willing to lay out large sums to increase their geographic and market reach. M&A has been particularly brisk in tech and health care. 2019 saw a 23% boost in deals worth $5 billion or more, mostly in those two sectors. Expect more in 2020.