North America

A pilots' union for Mexico's Grupo Aeromexico said it had accepted cuts amounting to $350 million on collective bargaining pacts in negotiations required for the airline to win a second tranche of bankruptcy financing, Reuters reported. The Association of Airmen Pilots (ASPA) voted to accept the reduction over the next four years to support the firm's financial restructuring, it said in a statement. Salary cuts for pilots ranged between 5% and 15%, while 79 pilots facing job cuts will be compensated under the agreement. The pilots also accepted fewer benefits, the union added.

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American affiliates of Canadian restaurant business Yatsen Group sought Chapter 15 recognition in Delaware bankruptcy court, saying COVID-19 has ravaged its business and left its locations unable to pay rent, Law360 reported. Yatsen Group of Companies Inc., SAR Real Estate Inc. and 36 affiliates filed their petition late Monday, while a foreign, main case proceeds in Canada.

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Government debt around the world shot up last year to approach levels last seen in the aftermath of World War II, as nations stepped up spending to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and its economic fallout, the International Monetary Fund said yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported. Public debt as a share of global gross domestic product surged to 98% by the end of December from 84% at the end of 2019, before the pandemic struck, the IMF said in an update to its semiannual Fiscal Monitor report.

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President Biden’s revocation of a permit for TC Energy Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline is raising pressure on Canada’s energy industry to seek new markets for oil and gas, its top export, the Wall Street Journal reported. Biden revoked the Keystone XL permit last Wednesday, hours after taking office, effectively shutting down a 12-year, cross-border project that would have carried 830,000 barrels a day from Alberta to Nebraska and eventually to refiners on the Gulf Coast. His executive order, which fulfilled a campaign promise, cited concerns about climate change.

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Canada’s unemployment rate in December was revised to 8.8% from 8.6% on Monday, while the net decline in jobs for the month was amended to 52,700 from 62,600, as Statistics Canada completed a historic review of its labor force data, Reuters reported. The revision, undertaken to ensure the data was aligned with recent population and geographical boundary estimates, had “virtually no effect” on employment estimates for the pandemic period of March to December 2020, the agency said.

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U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday formally revoked the permit needed to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline (KXL), dashing Ottawa’s hopes of salvaging the $8 billion project that the struggling Canadian crude sector has long supported, Reuters reported. The move represents another set-back for the beleaguered Canadian oil industry, in particular its energy heartland Alberta, kills thousands of jobs, and marks an early bump in Biden’s relationship with Canada, a key trading partner.

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A decade ago, Joseph R. Biden Jr. strode into a reception room in Athens for a meeting with the president of Greece, a country then drowning in debt and locked in tense negotiations with the European Union. “This man represents the Treasury Department,” a deadpan Mr. Biden said to his host as he gestured to a gray-suited member of his delegation. “He’s brought hundreds of millions of dollars.” The room broke up in laughter: It was clear the vice president hadn’t come with a briefcase of cash to pay off Greece’s debts.

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The European Union and the incoming administration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden should suspend a trade dispute to give themselves time to find common ground, France’s foreign minister said, Reuters reported. “The issue that’s poisoning everyone is that of the price escalation and taxes on steel, digital technology, Airbus and more particularly our wine sector,” Jean-Yves Le Drian told Le Journal du Dimanche in an interview. He said he hoped the sides could find a way to settle the dispute. “It may take time, but in the meantime, we can always order a moratorium,” he added.

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Kimmeridge Energy Management Co. said it’s prepared to nominate directors to the board of Ovintiv Inc. if the oil and gas producer fails to take the necessary steps to improve its performance and restore investor confidence, Bloomberg News reported. The private equity firm, which said it owns a 2.4% stake in Ovintiv, argues in a new 18-page presentation that the company is falling behind its peers as a result of its misguided spending, expensive acquisitions, poor governance and inadequate environmental stewardship.

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Thousands of American tourists descended on Mexico’s glittering Caribbean beaches at the close of 2020 and start of this year. Quintana Roo state, the country’s tourism crown jewel, home to Cancun, the Riviera Maya and Tulum, received 961,000 tourists during that stretch — nearly half from the U.S. — down only 25 percent from the previous year, the Associated Press reported.

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