Business briefing

The daily business briefing: December 5, 2016

Federal authorities block Dakota Access Pipeline route, oil prices continue to rise after OPEC output-cut deal, and more

1

Federal government blocks Dakota Access oil pipeline route

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Sunday that it would not approve permits to build the Dakota Access Pipeline under Lake Oahe, a reservoir created by a dam on the Missouri River near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. The decision halted construction, a major victory for members of the tribe and other activists who have been protesting for months to block the project. Opponents of the $3.8 billion, 1,172-mile project say it would threaten the tribe's water supply and sacred Native American sites. The Army said alternative routes would have to be explored. Protesters said they intended to defy an order to leave their camp by Monday, and authorities said they would not forcibly move anyone.

2

Oil prices continue rally after OPEC output-cut deal

Oil prices rose by 1 percent early Monday to their highest level in 16 months, extending a rally that began last week when members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries reached a deal to cut output. The global benchmark Brent crude rose by 62 cents to $55.08 a barrel, and the U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate also rose by about 1 percent to $52.22 a barrel. OPEC representatives will meet this weekend with non-OPEC producers in an effort to reach a global deal on reducing production to help ease a worldwide glut that has forced down prices.

3

Trump threatens tariff to punish firms that move jobs overseas

President-elect Donald Trump on Sunday threatened to slap a 35 percent import tariff on U.S. companies that move production overseas when they try to "sell their product, cars, A.C. units etc., back across the border. Please be forewarned prior to making a very expensive mistake!" The comments, which Trump posted on Twitter, marked an escalation of his warning of consequences for American companies that send factory jobs overseas. Trump last week announced a deal with air-conditioning manufacturer Carrier to keep 800 jobs at an Indiana plant instead of moving them to Mexico. The company will get $7 million in tax breaks, while still sending about 1,000 jobs from another plant to Mexico.

4

Moana's box office haul helps lift Disney to record

Disney's hit animated film Moana led the box office for its second straight weekend, making an estimated $28.4 million in North America and another $32 million overseas. The haul helped push Disney's domestic take for the year to a record $2.49 billion, beating the previous best of $2.45 billion set by Universal in 2015. The studio's global total has now edged over the $4 billion mark for the first time in its history.

5

Trump blasts China via Twitter for protesting his Taiwan call

President-elect Donald Trump criticized China in a series of Twitter posts on Sunday, rejecting China's protest to his decision to accept a 10-minute congratulatory phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. The call was the first in nearly 40 years between a U.S. president and a leader of Taiwan, which China considers a breakaway province. Trump tweeted to his nearly 17 million Twitter followers that China can't tell him who he can talk to, saying, "Did China ask us if it was OK to devalue their currency (making it hard for our companies to compete), heavily tax our products going into their country (the U.S. doesn't tax them) or to build a massive military complex in the middle of the South China Sea? I don't think so!"

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