NEWS SUMMARY

NEWS SUMMARY

AVIATION

The patchwork of local airport noise abatement rules creates problems for airlines and air freight carriers. 5BHong Kong's airborne trade increased by one-third last year over 1986. 5B

The express package business is poised for explosive growth, a Federal Express official says. 5B

American Airlines targets three European routes it would like to add. 5B

COAL

Congress is being asked to approve the proposed U.S.-Canada free trade agreement without sufficient data on its impact. 6B

Occidental Petroleum Corp. will participate in a development project in China. 7B

COMMODITIES

The Ivory Coast is expected to resume cocoa exports as pressure mounts to abandon a policy of holding production off the world market. 6A

Chinese experts admit ambitious plans to boost grain output are unrealistic, while the government restores food subsidies in cities. 6A

Peru has sold part of its gold reserves to settle debts. 6A

South Korea may delay the opening of its beef market. 6A

EDI

According to speakers at the ANSI X12 conference, D-Day has arrived for EDI. 4B

The nation's gas pipelines are launching a number of pilot projects to implement electronic data interchange systems. 4B

A Shell Oil Co. expert listed danger signs to watch with implementation of the Joint Interest Billing Exchange. 4B

EXPORTS

Scrap metal exports from the United States might set a record this year. 1A

A joint venture between Combustion Engineering Inc. and the Soviet Union might begin operations in June. 1A

Commerce Department officials are frustrated by the U.S. export drive. 5A

A new export manual by a private publishing house has joined a slew of government publications. 5A

More than $1 million worth of high-tech hand-me-downs are headed from the United States to the Third World. 5A

Televideo is trying to take advantage of a thaw in superpower relations by selling personal computers to the Soviet Union. 5A

FINANCIAL

Philippine monetary authorities have effectively killed the country's debt-for-equity swap program. 7A

Despite slow growth and record inflation, Mexico's economy did surprisingly well in 1987, according to the Mexican central bank. 7A

Brazil's constitutional convention adopted a nationalist economic clause, albeit less hostile to foreign capital than an original draft. 7A

The U.S. dollar drifted lower Thursday on new talk of interest rate increases around the world. 7A

GENERAL NEWS

Ford Motor Co. set a world auto industry record for earnings in a single quarter but suffered a decline in U.S. earnings. 3A

The proposed mini-constitution for Hong Kong drew fire within hours of its publication. 3A

IMPORTS

Southeastern Trade Conference has disappointing turnout of importers and exporters. 4A

Florida computer systems manufacturer has charged that its Japanese rivals are illegally dumping their products in the United States. 4A

The American Association of Exporters and Importers establishes a new textile quota management service. 4A

Hong Kong reports record orders at the European watch/clock and jewelry fair. 4A

INSURANCE

Senate conferees rejected most of the proposals by House conferees on providing catastrophic health benefits to Medicare recipients. 1A

Compromise amendments designed to get product liability reform legislation moving in the House Energy and Commerce Committee have hit a snag. 9A

The surprise announcement that French insurance groups Axa and Compagnie du Midi are about to merge raised many doubts. 9A

Lloyd's of London is at an advanced stage in negotiations to sell its U.S. loss adjusters, Toplis & Harding. 9A

MARITIME

The Soviet merchant fleet may be facing a crisis, according to Soviet maritime officials. 1A

Top executives of Japan's major shipping companies welcomed plans by two of the country's largest carriers to merge their liner departments. 1B

Conference proposes uniform dockage for Gulf ports and minimum standards for penalties on overdue bills. 1B

The Persian Gulf conflict has exacted a toll on the Suez Canal 1,400 miles away. 1B

A Brazilian exporter says the speed and reliability of delivery to the United States is a selling point. 3B

Sino-U.S. maritime talks have focused on easing the way of U.S. shipping lines into the market as part of a new bilateral accord. 3B

A Port of Long Beach study concludes that dockside rail facilities offer significant benefits and their construction should be encouraged. 10B

OIL AND GAS

The fate of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is being debated in Congress, watched closely by the oil and maritime industries and environmentalists. 6B

Two big agricultural cooperatives are getting out of the oil refining business by selling their refinery in Texas City, Texas. 7B

OPINION

Extremist Jean-Marie Le Pen's success in the recent French election can be seen as a sign of racism, but is better explained by a stagnant economy. 8A

Litigation against major players in the insurance industry is an illustration of how politics have seeped into governmental policy-making. 8A

PLASTICS/CHEMICALS

Rohm & Haas Co. expands U.K. modifier plant. 9B

Merck & Co. intends to sell its 50.54 percent shareholding in Torii & Co., of Tokyo, to Asahi Breweries Ltd. 9B

Explosive growth is forecast for the U.S. market for DNA probe technology. 9B

The costs of planned gene mapping and sequencing genome in the United States will be worth $40 million to $50 million the first year. 9B

RAILROADS

Rail freight traffic was up in March, closing out a strong first quarter as coal, grain and metals loadings buoyed the industry. 2B

TRUCKING

With heavy-truck manufacturing profits soaring, Paccar splits its stock, effectively boosting dividends 25 percent. 2B

Forecasts for Baby 8 tractor market are blurred by definitions. 2B

The ICC, in separate decisions, reaffirmed the legitimacy of negotiated truck rates and rejected requests for undercharge payments. 2B

WORLD TRADE

Germans welcome likelihood of presidential veto of U.S. trade bill. 1A

Some Asian export powerhouses still fear a U.S. trade bill may hit their economies. 1A

The European Community vows it will take the United States to GATT and retaliate if the trade bill passes. 1A

The White House and Congress are headed for yet another clash on the omnibus foreign trade bill. 1A

A business spokesman said he is cautiously optimistic that a trade bill will be signed this year. 1A

Puerto Rico will welcome two groups of visitors, both of which mark a speeding up in the campaign to promote Caribbean investment. 3A

U.S. trade talks with Taiwan enter their final session today with both sides deadlocked on major issues. 10A