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Business news and updates: Daily roundup (July 16, 2021)

Dynamic Business brings you a daily rundown of the most recent business news and developments from Australia and around the world. Here’s the roundup for July 16:

Australia hits out at EU carbon border tax

The Australian government has slammed a proposal by the European Union (EU) to tax energy-intensive imports from nations that do not have a carbon price.  

Meanwhile, the EU sees the move as an incentive for its trading partners to focus on climate change. 

This means that Australian exporters would have to pay a higher price to sell into the EU than producers from nations with more aggressive climate legislation.

The tax, according to Trade Minister Dan Tehan, “is protectionism and a threat to Australian jobs.”  

Importers in the EU would purchase certificates for the carbon price that would have been paid if the items had been produced under the EU’s emissions trading scheme.

A ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2035 is also proposed, in order to speed up the transition to electric vehicles.  

Starting in 2023, the carbon border tax would target products including iron, steel, aluminium, fertilisers, and power as part of a larger strategy to reduce emissions by 55 per cent by 2030.


Australia’s unemployment rate dives below five per cent, hitting a decade low

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.9 per cent in June 2021 from 5.1 per cent previously (May), according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

A drop in the jobless rate below 5 per cent, according to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, “is yet another proof of the economy’s strength and resilience in the face of pandemic.”

According to ABS, the drop is the ninth in a row and the lowest since December 2010.  The decline came despite the fact that 29,100 persons joined the workforce in June.

Full-time employment increased by 51,600 in the month, but at a slower pace than part-time employment.


U.S. weekly jobless claims at 16-month low

As the labour market improves, the number of Americans filing new unemployment claims fell to a 16-month low last week.   

However, the good news was short-lived, since manufacturing businesses have been hampered by labour shortages.   

For the week ending July 10, initial claims for state unemployment benefits decreased 26,000 to a seasonally adjusted 360,000, the lowest level since the middle of the year.


Twitter to shut down Fleets after low usage

The company said the reason for the move is a lack of activity, specifically among the more hesitant Twitter users.

“In the time since we introduced Fleets to everyone, we haven’t seen an increase in the number of new people joining the conversation with Fleets like we hoped,” Ilya Brown, VP of Product at Twitter said.

“Because of this, on August 3, Fleets will no longer be available on Twitter.”


Facebook to invest $1 billion in creators

Facebook announced a plan to pay $1 billion to content creators by the end of next year through new bonus programs designed to keep creatives plugged into its various platforms. 

The company will pay creators through a series of new bonus initiatives across Facebook and Instagram. The move is aimed at luring more creators to its platforms.

“This investment will include new bonus programs that pay eligible creators for hitting certain milestones when they use our creative and monetization tools. We’ll also provide seed funding for creators to produce their content,” the company said in a statement. 

Creators who make videos on Facebook with in-stream ads enabled will receive the first new bonuses from the company.  

Other bonuses will be given to creators who make Reels on Instagram and for hitting milestones on Instagram.


US sues Amazon for selling hazardous products

Amazon is being sued by the federal government’s safety watchdog, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for selling harmful products to its customers.

Many of the companies who sold the unsafe products cited by the CPSC are foreign, and the CPSC has limited power to enforce product recalls if they are found to be hazardous.  

Carbon monoxide monitors that fail to alert, several children’s pyjamas that might catch fire, and over 400,000 hair dryers that could electrocute people if thrown in water are among the devices named in the lawsuit.  

The action is yet another example of the CPSC’s significantly more forceful approach this year. The products cited are not sold directly by Amazon — they’re sold by third parties using Amazon’s platform. 


India bars Mastercard from issuing cards

India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India has barred Mastercard indefinitely from issuing new debit or credit cards to domestic customers after accusing it of violating data storage laws. 

According to the bank, Mastercard had not followed guidelines requiring foreign card networks to store data on Indian payments solely in India.

Mastercard will be prohibited from issuing debit, credit or prepaid cards to customers in India from 22 July, although the move will not affect existing Mastercard users. 


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Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

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