New Company, $5M Investment, 35 New Jobs in Chattanooga
Van De Wiele, a manufacturer of high performing machines for the textile industry, plans to invest $5 million in a Chattanooga facility that will create around 35 jobs and provide service and support for the company’s U.S. operations, according to a news release from the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce.
“Chattanooga is an ideal location to support the carpet industry,” said Bob Harding, President of Van de Wiele. “Proximity to Atlanta, with air links to the rest of the USA as well as Central America, will better position us to support knitting, weaving and tufting across an entire market.”
The new facility will include a state of the art sampling and development center for tufting, following Van de Wiele’s recent acquisition of tufting machine manufacturer Cobble.
"Chattanooga is the birthplace of tufting with a long tradition in the flooring industry,” said Charles Beauduin, CEO of Belgium-based parent company NV Michel Van de Wiele. “We see many Chattanooga businesses leading in their respective fields, and that bodes well for the future of the area.”
“We are very much looking forward to this exciting new chapter for the Van De Wiele Group of Companies in the USA,” said Harding, confirming that the company plans to move its entire U.S. operation to the Chattanooga area following completion of the new facility on Relocation Way in Ooltewah, slated for the end of 2014.
Charles Wood, vice president of economic development at the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, said, “Van de Wiele’s plan for the Chattanooga facility to represent the center of their U.S. presence speaks to the international appeal of Chattanooga and broadens our growing base of European companies.”
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Last Update on March 06, 2015 18:16 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. trade deficit in January dropped sharply as both exports and imports fell.
The Commerce Department says the deficit fell 8.3 percent to $41.8 billion in January, down from $45.6 billion in December. The shrinking trade gap reflected a drop in exports, which fell $5.6 billion to $189.4 billion. Imports fell $9.4 billion to $231.1 billion.
Much of the dip in imports likely came from lower oil prices and a labor dispute that disrupted shipping at West Coast ports. At the same time, the strong dollar that has made American-made goods less affordable abroad is weighing down exports.
Economists expect the deficit to widen further in 2015 as stable growth in the United States drives imports and tepid growth overseas paired with a strong dollar depress exports.
Apple to replace AT&T in Dow
NEW YROK (AP) -- Apple is replacing AT&T in the Dow Jones industrial average after the close of trading on Wednesday, March 18.
The switch will take effect at the opening of trading on Thursday, March 19, says S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC. The change was prompted by a 4-for-1 stock split for Dow-member Visa.
S&P Dow Jones Indices says the post-split adjusted lower price of Visa will reduce its weighting in the information technology sector of the index. Adding Apple will help to partially offset this reduction. In price-weighted indices such as the Dow, a large change in price in a stock can have a material impact on sector representation in the index. This index change is designed to minimize that impact.
NISSAN-HOOD LATCH RECALL
DETROIT (AP) -- Nissan is recalling 625,000 more cars in the U.S. as part of a growing problem with faulty latches that can allow hoods to fly open while cars are moving.
The latest recall covers Altima midsize cars from the 2013 through 2015 model years. It brings the total number of vehicles recalled for the problem to nearly 1.1 million.
Nissan says in government documents that if the main hood latch isn't fastened, the secondary latch may not hold the hood closed as designed.
Nissan previously recalled 238,000 Altimas from 2013 for the same problem, as well as 216,000 Nissan Pathfinders from 2013 and 2014, Infiniti JX35s from 2013 and QX60s from 2014.
The company says it's still investigating and could recall more vehicles.
Nissan hasn't finalized a fix for the problem.
DETROIT (AP) -- Hyundai is recalling more than 26,000 Genesis luxury cars in the U.S. and Canada to fix a water leak that can cause the transmission gear shifter to malfunction.
The recall covers cars from the 2015 model year. Water can leak into the rear light assembly. In rare cases that can cause delays in gear shifting or display the wrong gear on the instrument panel. The gear selector is connected electrically to the rear lights.
Hyundai says in government documents that the incorrect gear can increase the risk of the cars moving unexpectedly and causing a crash. It was unclear if there have been any crashes.
Dealers will install pads to stop the water leak at no cost to the owners. Hyundai will notify owners starting in April.
LADSON, S.C. (AP) -- Daimler AG says it will spend about $500 million and create 1,300 jobs with a new plant near Charleston that will build its Sprinter vans.
The company issued a news release Friday morning. It is making the formal announcement at the existing plant in Ladson, which is about 30 miles from Charleston.
Currently, the Ladson plant assembles vans under the Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner brands from parts made overseas and shipped to this country in kits.
Construction on the new plant is supposed to start in 2016.
RIGHT TO WORK-WISCONSIN
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin's Republican-controlled state Assembly has voted to make their state the 25th with a right-to-work law, sending the union-restricting measure to Gov. Scott Walker for his promised signature.
The Assembly voted 62-35 in favor of the bill Friday morning after about 20 hours of debate. No Democrats voted for the measure.
Walker, a likely Republican presidential candidate who rose to national prominence by taking on public-sector unions, plans to sign it into law on Monday. Republicans who control the state Senate passed the measure last week.
The bill would prohibit businesses and unions from reaching deals requiring all workers to pay union dues.
Supporters say right-to-work laws give workers more freedom. Opponents counter that they drive down wages and create unsafe workplaces.
Twenty-four other states have passed similar laws.
CAIRO (AP) -- The U.K.-based energy company BP has signed agreements worth $12 billion to develop a major gas field in Egypt, which has been trying to attract foreign investment after four years of unrest.
BP said in a statement Friday that the investment is "a vote of confidence in Egypt's investment climate."
The West Nile Delta project aims to produce 5 trillion cubic feet of gas and 55 million barrels of condensate. Production is expected to begin in 2017 and reach up to 1.2 billion cubic feet a day, or about 25 percent of Egypt's current production.
BP Group Chief Executive Bob Dudley says the project is his company's "largest foreign direct investment in Egypt."
The announcement comes days ahead of a major economic conference aimed at boosting foreign investment.
OIL TRAIN DERAILMENT-ILLINOIS
BNSF: 21 cars derailed, fire still burns; accident involved improved tank cars
GALENA, Ill. (AP) -- BNSF Railway now says a total of 21 cars derailed in an accident involving an oil train in western Illinois, and that a resulting fire continues to burn.
No injuries have been reported from the Thursday derailment, which occurred in a rural area south of the city of Galena.
In an update Friday morning, the company said a total of 21 cars left the tracks. A company spokesman initially said six cars had derailed.
The company also says a resulting fire is believed to have spread to five rail cars and continues to burn. The company says emergency personnel are trying to contain the fire, and that BNSF is taking steps to protect nearby waterways.
Company officials say the accident involved tank cars that already meet a higher safety standard than what federal law requires.
The company says the train's tank cars were a newer model known as the 1232. That model was designed during safety upgrades voluntarily adopted by the industry four years ago. The improvements were meant to prevent cars from rupturing in the event of derailments.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal health officials say they approved the first lower-cost copy of a biotech drug, a long-awaited milestone that could generate billions in savings for insurers, doctors and patients.
The Food and Drug Administration says it approved Novartis' version of the blockbuster drug Neupogen, which is used to boost blood cells in cancer patients and had $839 million in U.S. sales last year.
Biotech drugs are powerful, injected medicines produced in living cells. They typically cost much more than traditional, chemical-based drugs.
Biotech drugs have never faced generic competition in the United States because the FDA did not have a system to approve copies of such medications. That changed in 2012 when the FDA laid out a regulatory pathway to approve the drugs, known as "biosimilars."
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- The Food and Drug Administration says four members from its tobacco advisory panel, among them its chairman, have left after a court ruled some of its members had conflicts of interest.
The agency said late Thursday that the members were rescreened after the ruling and either resigned or were taken off the panel tasked with advising it on tobacco-related issues.
Those no longer on the panel include Dr. Jonathan Samet, who served as chairman. He's the director of the University of Southern California's Institute for Global Health.
In July, a federal judge in Washington ordered the agency to reconstitute the panel and barred it from using its 2011 report on menthol cigarettes.
Cigarette makers Lorillard Inc. and Reynolds American Inc. sued the agency in 2011, alleging conflicts of interest and bias by several members.
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