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BizBrief: Today’s News To Know

Trade War Update
The White House released a brief statement today summarizing the status of trade talks with China. A United States delegation led by Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin visited Bejing to continue negotiations related to the countries’ trade relationship, where they spoke with China Vice Premier Liu He. These discussions were described as “candid and constructive.” Next week, a Chinese delegation is visiting Washington, D.C. to continue the talks. The Trump administration has maintained that the U.S. will increase tariffs on Chinese imports if China does not address the imbalance of trade between the countries, as well as issues around intellectual property theft.

Federal Government Suing Facebook Over Housing Discrimination In Ads
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is suing Facebook, alleging that the social media company violated the Fair Housing Act by allowing housing advertisers to discriminate against individuals based on factors such as gender, age, sexual orientation, religion and “hundreds of thousands” of other categories. Facebook’s platform allows advertisers to target ads to specific audiences within such categories. When it comes to housing and housing-related services such as mortgage lending, this could for example mean that a rental unit would not be advertised to an individual, thereby making it unavailable to him or her, “because of race, color, religion, sex familial status, national origin or disability” – violations of the Fair Housing Act, according to the complaint.

CalChamber Calls For Revisions To Sweeping Recycling Bills
The California Chamber of Commerce (CalChamber) has voiced its concern over two bills, Senate Bill 54 and Assembly Bill 1080, that would reform how the state recycles its single-use plastic packaging. These bills propose to “‘Recycle, and require businesses to source reduce,’ at least 75% of single-use plastic packaging and products by 2030” and require “all single-use packaging and products distributed or sold in the state be recyclable or compostable after 2030.” If the bills pass, the California Department of Resources, Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) would adopt regulations to implement these requirements. CalChamber Policy Advocate Adam Regele wrote that the proposed bills “provide [CalRecycle] with open-ended authority to develop and impose costly new mandates with an unrealistic timeframe on California businesses” that manufacture consumer products.

Long Beach Boy Scouts Celebrating Centennial With Exhibit At Historical Society
The largest collection of Boy Scout material ever to be displayed in Long Beach is part of a free exhibition at the Historical Society of Long Beach, 4260 Atlantic Ave., from April 2-30. Hundreds of artifacts are being displayed, including items dating back as far as 1914, to commemorate the Boy Scouts Long Beach Area Council’s centennial anniversary this year. Memorabilia from both Boy Scouts of America and the Long Beach Area Council are part of the exhibit. The council and Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association are hosting an event celebrating the exhibit as part of First Fridays on April 5, 6:30-9:30 p.m., at the Historical Society. Click here for viewing hours and more information.

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