Afternoon Coffee: Dockworkers Walk Out of East Coast Port Labor Negotiations, Brexit Talks Advance to Second Phase

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Unionized dockworkers at East Coast and Gulf Coast ports walked out of contract-extension talks this week, primarily over a disagreement on how to define “automation,” the Wall Street Journal reports. The union is keen to prevent the rapid automation of container terminals seen at European ports. The current contract expires in September 2018.

Brexit Breakthrough

Brexit negotiations can now progress onto the next stage after the two sides settled three key issues. There will be no “hard border” between Northern Ireland and the Republic, the rights of EU citizens in the UK and vice versa will be protected, and an amount for Britain’s “divorce” settlement was agreed upon, Quartz writes.

Chinese Exports

China’s exports unexpectedly hit an eight-month high last month, reflecting higher consumption rates of a still surging global economy, Reuters reports. Exports rose 12.3% in November, led by strong sales of electronics and high-tech goods.

Jobs Report 

And finally, an economic update: Employers added 228,000 jobs in November, the New York Times reports, leaving the unemployment rate at 4.1% and leaving the US economy arguably at its strongest point since 2000.

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