Afternoon Coffee: Bon Secours to Merge with Mercy Health, U.S. Tells India to Cut Tariffs

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The Bon Secours Health System announced plans Thursday to merge with Cincinnati-based Mercy Health, the Associated Press reports. The tie up would create the fifth-largest Catholic health system in the country, serving patients across seven states.

Tariff Talk

U.S. businesses and diplomats are pressing India to cut tariffs as the country moves to protect its Make-in-India drive through higher customs duties, according to Reuters. Ford and Apple in particular have strongly backed changes to India’s trade policies, saying lower barriers to trade would create more opportunities to sell to consumers there and promote development of value chains.

After Brexit 

While much coverage of Brexit has focused on the fate of the U.K. following the separation, the E.U. will face some major hurdles, too. As Bloomberg reports, the U.K.’s scheduled withdrawal from the bloc will leave a $12 billion hole in the E.U.’s budget, setting up a bitter debate among contributing countries about who should pay more.

U.S. Economy

And finally, an economic update: The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Indicators index rose in January, up 1% to 108.1, the Wall Street Journal reports. The measure’s increase points to continued economic growth for the first half of 2018.

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