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  • BANGKOK, March 20- Thailand's central bank cut its 2015 growth forecast on Friday and warned of "downside risks" as exports will barely rise and domestic demand is still weak. The Bank of Thailand trimmed its projection to 3.8 percent, from 4.0 percent seen three months ago. In 2014, Southeast Asia's second largest economy expanded 0.7 percent.

  • TOKYO, March 20- Japanese Economy Minister Akira Amari said on Friday it would be difficult to reach an agreement in two-way trade talks between Japan and the United States unless U.S. lawmakers fast-tracked trade promotion legislation. A delay in agreeing on the legislation in the United States to streamline the passage of trade deals, known as trade...

  • WASHINGTON, March 19- U.S. lawmakers should not insist on adding rules against currency manipulation to a Pacific trade pact, New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser said on Thursday, warning that it could backfire on Washington. Groser told Reuters it was "wholly unrealistic" to think strict currency rules could be included in the 12- nation Trans-Pacific...

  • KINGSTON, Jamaica— Jamaica has imposed import restrictions on poultry products from various spots in North America in the wake of a big outbreak of bird flu that has infected stocks. The island's agriculture ministry says fresh and frozen poultry, hatching eggs and various by-products from U.S. states including Kansas, Minnesota and Missouri are restricted...

  • WASHINGTON, March 19- U.S. regulators on Thursday approved a controversial trade deal with Mexico that imposes a quota on sugar imports and sets minimum prices, rejecting challenges from domestic cane refiners and bringing a year-long trade battle closer to resolution. The decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission paved the way for a suspension...

  • WASHINGTON, March 19- U.S. regulators on Thursday approved a controversial trade deal with Mexico that imposes a quota on sugar imports and sets minimum prices, rejecting challenges from domestic cane refiners and bringing a year-long trade battle closer to resolution. The decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission paved the way for a suspension...

  • WASHINGTON— The deficit in the largest measure of U.S. trade widened in the October-December quarter to the biggest imbalance in more than two years as exports of goods fell at a faster pace than imports. The Commerce Department said Thursday that the deficit in the current account increased to $113.5 billion, an increase of 14.7 percent from a third quarter...

  • U.S. Q4 current account deficit largest since 2012 Thursday, 19 Mar 2015 | 8:30 AM ET

    WASHINGTON, March 19- The U.S. current account deficit widened sharply in the fourth quarter and was the largest since 2012, as exports and the primary income surplus fell. The Commerce Department said on Thursday the current account gap, which measures the flow of goods, services and investments into and out of the country, increased to $113.5 billion from a...

  • Ahead of the Bell: US current account Thursday, 19 Mar 2015 | 6:47 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— The Commerce Department reports on the U.S. current account trade deficit for the October-December quarter. DEFICIT UP: The expectation is that the deficit will rise 2.7 percent to $103 billion in the fourth quarter, according to a survey of economists by data firm FactSet. TRADE GAP: The current account deficit widened slightly to $100.3 billion in...

  • SINGAPORE, March 19- Iraq has notified its exploration partners that it plans to start splitting its southern Basra oil production into two grades due to quality differences, and offer a heavier type of crude from May onwards, sources with knowledge of the matter said on Thursday. Holders of technical service contracts include Lukoil, Petronas, CNPC, CNOOC, BP,...

  • WASHINGTON, March 18- The Obama administration on Wednesday moved to ease concerns on Capitol Hill about a proposed Pacific free trade agreement, promising lawmakers easier access to the draft text. Several members of Congress have complained about conditions put on access to negotiating texts. "Today, working directly with Congress we have taken...

  • NEW ZEALAND TRADE MINISTER SAYS CANNOT GET INTO END GAME OF PACIFIC TRADE PACT WITHOUT U.S.

  • WASHINGTON— The United States is escalating a food fight with Indonesia, charging that the Southeast Asian country violates world trade rules by blocking imports of fruit, produce and meat. U.S. trade and agriculture officials announced Wednesday that the U.S. is bringing a case against Indonesia at the World Trade Organization in Geneva.

  • WASHINGTON, March 18- U.S. lawmakers will have easier access to the text of a proposed free trade agreement with 11 Pacific trading partners under new transparency measures announced on Wednesday. Trade Representative Michael Froman said in a statement. An administration official said the TPP text would be available for members of Congress to review in the...

  • EU seeks solution to keep arbitration in U.S. trade deal Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 | 12:14 PM ET

    BRUSSELS, March 18- The EU's trade chief sought on Wednesday to overcome one of the biggest disputes blocking an accord with the United States, offering to radically change the way companies would resolve conflicts in transatlantic business. Cecilia Malmstrom, the European Union's trade commissioner, said arbitration must be part of any EU-U.S. free-trade...

  • TAIPEI, Taiwan— Youth groups in Taiwan are marking the anniversary of a movement that occupied the island's parliament and scuttled the ratification of a trade pact with China, Taiwan's biggest trading partner and erstwhile political foe. Protests last year also dealt a blow to Taiwan's relations with China, which have improved during Ma's term but remain...

  • *Premiums offered at about $300/ T for big buyers- trade. HONG KONG, March 18- Chinese buyers of primary aluminum are reluctant to book imports for the second quarter as they hold limited cash and as falling premiums prompt them to postpone purchases, traders and industry sources said. While China is the world's top producer of aluminum, some end users buy the metal...

  • Japan exports slow sharply in February but beat view Tuesday, 17 Mar 2015 | 8:55 PM ET

    Japan's exports rose at a faster-than-expected pace in February but slowed sharply from the previous month as exports to China waned amid the Lunar New Year holidays.

  • TOKYO— Japan's trade deficit narrowed in February, thanks to a plunge in import costs due to lower crude oil prices. The Finance Ministry said Wednesday that the trade deficit fell 47 percent from a year earlier to 424.6 billion yen last month, compared with a gap of 1.18 trillion yen in January. Japan's exports to the U.S. jumped 14 percent from a year earlier to 1.2...

  • Japan Feb exports rise 2.4 pct year/year - MOF Tuesday, 17 Mar 2015 | 7:57 PM ET

    TOKYO, March 18- Japanese exports rose 2.4 percent in February from a year earlier, a slowdown from the previous month as shipments to China fell temporarily due to the Lunar New Year holidays, Ministry of Finance data showed on Wednesday. It followed a 17.0 percent year-on-year rise in January, which was the fastest growth since November 2013.