Clinton confident about NAFTAPresident Clinton said...

BUSINESS DIGEST

October 27, 1993

Clinton confident about NAFTA

President Clinton said yesterday that there was no reason to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement despite the change of governments in Canada. But NAFTA opponents seized on Jean Chretien's landslide victory to bolster their contention that the agreement as now written is doomed.

Even congressional supporters of NAFTA said it was likely that the new government in Canada would insist on side agreements.

GM postpones 2 plant closings

General Motors Corp. gave reprieves to employees at two factories yesterday, saying its metal-stamping works in Kalamazoo, Mich., and an assembly plant in North Tarrytown, N.Y., will remain open beyond their scheduled 1995 closings. The company said the postponements helped it reach a tentative contract agreement with the United Auto Workers over the weekend.

GM said separately that it has called off a two-year search for a partner or buyer for the General Motors Locomotive Group, which has 5,000 employees in LaGrange, Ill. and London, Ontario.

Keating tapped by NationsBank

NationsBank Corp. named Susan C. Keating the company's senior banking executive in Maryland yesterday, replacing Frank Bramble Sr., who has said he will retire at the end of the year.

Ms. Keating, 43, is president of NationsBank of Maryland and runs retail banking activities throughout the company's Mid-Atlantic Group, which includes Maryland, Washington and Northern Virginia.

Telemarketing fraud targeted

The top prosecutors in 10 states filed lawsuits or took other legal action against more than 70 telemarketers nationwide yesterday in an attempt to crack down on fraud that costs consumers more than $100 billion a year.

The states whose attorneys general announced actions were Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin, but the alleged fraud is not confined to those states.

Compensation gain a mild 3.6%

The slowest growth in job benefits such as health care in almost six years helped hold U.S. workers' compensation to a modest 3.6 percent gain in the 12 months that ended Sept. 30.

The Labor Department said yesterday that its Employment Cost Index, considered one of the best gauges of wage inflation pressures, was up just slightly from a 3.5 percent advance a year earlier. Wages and salaries rose 3 percent, compared with 2.7 percent a year earlier.

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