Afternoon Coffee: Novartis Joins Pfizer in Drug Price Freeze, E.U. Inks Trade Deal with Japan

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Drug maker Novartis said Wednesday it would not raise prices on its products in the U.S. for the rest of the year, the New York Times reports. The decision reflected a similar move last week by Pfzier, which postponed previously announced price increases after President Trump singled the company out on Twitter.

E.U.-Japan Trade Pact

The European Union and Japan finalized their pending free trade deal Tuesday, one of the largest such agreements ever put in place, the BBC reports. The deal covers nearly a third of the world’s GDP and includes 600 million people.

Automotive Tariffs

With the threat of new tariffs on imported cars on the horizon, car makers said Tuesday they plan to pass on any added costs to customers, according to The Wall Street Journal. A 25% tariff would increase the average price of an imported vehicle in the U.S. by $5,800 and could also raise prices for U.S.-built cars, as many of those vehicles use foreign-built car parts.

Industrial Production

And finally, an economic update: U.S. industrial production rose 0.6% in June, another signal of strong economic momentum for the second quarter, Reuters reports. Several looming factors, however, have muddied the outlook for the rest of the year, including a strong dollar, a dearth of skilled workers and escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and its major trading partners.

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