China yesterday announced new tariffs that it hopes will hold down surging textile exports, trying to avert a trade war with...

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China yesterday announced new tariffs that it hopes will hold down surging textile exports, trying to avert a trade war with the United States and Europe after Washington imposed import quotas.

Beijing took the step despite accusing Washington of treating China unfairly and saying earlier U.S. and European market barriers were to blame for the surge in Chinese textile imports after a worldwide quota system expired Jan. 1.

The new measure takes effect June 1 and will raise tariffs on 74 types of goods by up to 400 percent, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

It didn’t give details, but said China now charges tariffs of 2 to 4 percent on 148 categories of textile and clothing exports. That would mean the new tariffs could range from 10 to 20 percent.

United Airlines

Judge defers ruling until end of month

United Airlines dodged the immediate threat of a strike yesterday when a bankruptcy judge in Chicago put off until May 31 a ruling on the carrier’s bid to force a new contract on its machinists union, giving the two sides more time to negotiate an agreement.

Judge Eugene Wedoff’s decision came with United still deadlocked with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers over a proposed five-year contract despite three days of intensive bargaining.

Negotiators met through the night at a hotel outside Chicago in an unsuccessful effort to reach a deal before yesterday’s conclusion of a one-week trial on the contract issue, then waited tensely for a ruling that could have triggered a strike by day’s end.

Apple Computer

Laptop batteries recalled for hazard

Apple Computer recalled the rechargeable batteries in 128,000 of its laptop computers because they may overheat and ignite.

The batteries were delivered in iBook G4 and PowerBook G4 personal computers, Apple and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said yesterday. The lithium-ion batteries manufactured by LG Chem of South Korea were included on computers made from October 2004 through May.

Apple has received six reports of the batteries overheating as a result of a short circuit. No injuries were reported in the statement. Customers should remove the batteries and contact Apple for a free replacement.

LG Chem, South Korea’s largest chemicals maker, also manufactured 28,000 batteries installed in 15-inch G4 PowerBooks that were recalled Aug. 19.


Shares rise above firms’ buyout price

Shares of Maytag rose above the $14-a-share price yesterday that buyout firms led by Ripplewood Holdings agreed to pay for the company, suggesting investors expect a higher bid.

Ripplewood, Goldman Sachs Group’s GS Capital Partners and J. Rothschild Group said Thursday they would pay $1.13 billion for Newton, Iowa-based Maytag and assume $975 million of debt. The shares jumped to $14.23, or 23 percent above the closing price, yesterday.

Compiled from The Associated Press, Dow Jones Newswires and Bloomberg News