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BizBrief: Today’s News To Know

China Announces Tariffs On U.S. Goods
In response to the Trump administration’s recent decision to implement 10% tariffs on Chinese goods worth a total of $300 billion, China’s ministry of finance announced today that it would impose tariffs of “10 percent or 5 percent” on $75 billion in U.S. goods, effective September 1. The ministry also decided to impose “additional tariffs of 25 percent or 5 percent” on American-made vehicles and auto parts beginning December 15. “China’s imposition of additional tariffs is a forced response to U.S. unilateralism and trade protectionism,” an announcement from the ministry stated. After the news broke, stock markets fell – the Dow dropped about 624 points, the S&P 500 dipped about 76 points, and the Nasdaq dropped by about 240 points.

Customs And Border Patrol Seizes Illegal Gun Parts At San Pedro Ports
A shipment of 52,601 gun parts, with a total domestic value of $378,225 was seized by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) yesterday at the San Pedro Bay ports complex. The sights, muzzles, brakes, buffer kits and grips arrived in three shipments from China, in violation of the Arms Export Control Act and international arms trafficking regulations, according to a CBP press release. “This seizure is an exceptional example of CBP officers’ and import specialists’ vigilance, commitment and keen focus in enforcing complex arms embargo regulations,” Carlos C. Martel, CBP director of field operations in Los Angeles, said. “The Chinese Arms Embargo is just one of the hundreds of regulations CBP enforces, ensuring the safety and security of our country.” China is among a list of countries subject to arms trading restrictions imposed by the U.S.

LGB Attributes Decrease In Passenger Traffic To Flight Slot Reallocation
Long Beach Airport (LGB) announced today that airline passenger traffic decreased 10.8% in July 2019 compared to the same period in 2018. In July, LGB served 319,296 passengers compared to 357,989 during the same month in 2018. Marlene Arrona, public affairs representative with LGB, told the Business Journal that the decrease is related to the reallocation of 10 JetBlue Airways flight slots earlier this year. Starting in April, Southwest Airlines temporarily picked up the flight slots, she added. “We’ve been seeing kind of a change in trend since April,” she said. A breakdown of the figures e-mailed to the Business Journal showed that Southwest experienced a 121.1% increase in airline passenger traffic in July 2019 compared to the same period in 2018. JetBlue, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Hawaiian Airlines all experienced decreases since July 2018.

Long Beach Chamber Asks For Comments On Proposed Vacant Property Fee
The Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce is asking businesses and property owners to participate in a survey about a proposed fee for vacant commercial properties. The proposal was brought to the Long Beach City Council in May and, if implemented, would impose a vacancy fee on commercial properties in an effort to spur economic development. “Despite Long Beach’s strong retail economy and overall low commercial vacancy rates, there is concern for commercial corridors where certain retail properties have remained vacant for years, resulting in blighted conditions and depressed neighborhood economic activity,” a newsletter from Chamber President/CEO Randy Gordon stated. Cities across the nation, including New York, Boston, Oakland and San Francisco, have considered or enacted similar policies to prevent long-term vacancies of commercial properties, according to Gordon. Most vacancy policies allow exemptions for properties that are undergoing renovations or are in an entitlement process with the city, he noted. The survey closes at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, August 26, and results will be presented to the Long Beach Economic Development Commission the next day. The survey can be found here, with additional resource material available here.

Port of Los Angeles Awards $1 Million In Grants To 30 Local Organizations
The Port of Los Angeles has selected 30 local organizations to receive a total of $1 million in grants through the port’s Community Investment Sponsorship Program. According to the port, the program annually allocates grants to support community projects focused on local workforce development, education, the environment and on promoting the Los Angeles waterfront. Grants awarded under the program fall into three categories: small ($5,000 and under); medium ($5,001 to $99,999) and large ($100,000 and over). The port awarded $32,000 in small grants, $293,000 in the medium category and three large grants totaling $675,000. Click here for a list of recipients. “The port’s Community Investment Sponsorship Program continues to serve as an important vehicle to support innovative and promising local projects in the Los Angeles Harbor area,” Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, stated.

Long Beach Law Firm Honored With Distinguished Peer Award
Keesal, Young & Logan (KYL) announced this week that it earned the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) Distinguished Peer Award for “Transformation Project of the Year.” The award was presented at the ILTA’s technology conference, ILTACON 2019, in Orlando. ILTA’s award recognized KYL’s Keesal Propulsion Labs (KP Labs), a technology company launched in 2018 to focus on business process automation. KP Labs manages more than 120 workflow processes for 10 Fortune 500 companies. “The Keesal Propulsion Labs initiative has been one of the most successful projects we have undertaken because it was co-created with our friends and partners across the legal ecosystem,” Skip Keesal, founding partner at KYL, stated. “ILTA has been instrumental in supporting our firm’s journey, and we are grateful for this recognition.”

Mayor To Host Two Community Events Saturday
Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia is hosting two “Meet the Mayor” events tomorrow, August 24, to update the community about local projects, the city’s proposed Fiscal Year 2020 budget and other issues. The first event is at 10 a.m. at Fire Station 14, 5200 Eliot St. The second meeting takes place at 12:30 p.m. at Stearns Champions Park, 4520 E. 23rd St. For more information, call the mayor’s office at (562) 570-6801 or e-mail mayor@longbeach.gov.

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