New orders for U.S. factory goods unexpectedly fell in January, posting their sixth straight monthly decline, a sign of weakness in the manufacturing sector.
U.S. West Coast ports will resume full operations from Saturday evening after a tentative labor deal was reached between a dockworkers union and a group of shippers, easing months of disruptions to trans-Pacific trade that have hit businesses from automakers to meat exports.
A group of shipping companies and a powerful dockworkers union clinched a tentative labor deal on Friday after nine months of negotiations, settling a dispute that disrupted the flow of cargo through 29 U.S. West Coast ports and snarled trans-Pacific maritime trade with Asia.
Labor Secretary Tom Perez will travel to California to help broker an agreement between shipping companies and dockworkers in a dispute that has led to a partial shutdown of ports along the U.S. West Coast, the White House said on Saturday.
Japanese automakers are being forced to ship some car parts to U.S. plants by expensive air cargo and tweak production processes as a protracted labor dispute at U.S. West Coast ports shows no signs of letting up.
The chief labor negotiator for shippers and terminal operators at 29 U.S. West Coast ports raised the ante in contract talks with the dockworkers' union on Wednesday, warning that ports plagued by chronic cargo slowdowns were days away from complete gridlock.
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