Business briefs

Port of Olympia candidates to debate

OLYMPIA - Four candidates running in two Port of Olympia commission election races this year are scheduled to debate during a Thurston County Chamber of Commerce Forum luncheon beginning at 11:30 a.m. today at the Red Lion Hotel, 2300 Evergreen Park Drive.

Incumbent Bob Van Schoorl is opposed by former county commissioner George Barner in the port's District 1 race, while incumbent Bill McGregor is running to serve the remaining two years of a commission term. He is opposed by Bill Pilkey in the District 2 race.

For more information, call 360-357-3362. Chamber Forums are rebroadcast for the month following the event on TCTV, Channel 22 on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. and Wednesdays at 7 a.m.


China bans use of lead paint on exported toys

WASHINGTON - China signed an agreement Tuesday to prohibit the use of lead paint on toys exported to the United States.

Unveiled at the second joint U.S-China summit on consumer product safety, the pact was negotiated in the wake of the recalls of millions of playthings decorated with paint containing the toxic metal.

China has faced stiff pressure this year after an array of its exports, including toys, pet food ingredients, fish and jewelry, have been recalled over health and safety concerns.

In the pact, Beijing also pledged to step up inspections of its exports and take other steps to ensure that those products meet U.S. standards, said Nancy Nord, acting head of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

July U.S. trade deficit declines 0.3 percent

WASHINGTON - The U.S. trade deficit declined slightly in July, helped by record exports that offset the biggest foreign oil bill in nearly a year. But even a spate of recalls did not stop the deficit with China from climbing to the second-highest level on record.

The trade deficit edged down 0.3 percent in July to $59.2 billion, compared with $59.4 billion the month before, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. It was the lowest monthly imbalance since April.

So far this year, the deficit - which hit $758.5 billion last year - is running at an annual rate of $711 billion.


Oil production to grow in November, says OPEC

NEW YORK - Oil prices rose to a new record settlement price Tuesday as traders turned their attention to a government inventory report expected to show tight supplies and shrugged off OPEC's decision to boost output.

Even factoring in OPEC's decision to increase oil production by 500,000 barrels per day starting Nov. 1, "supplies are tight," said Addison Armstrong, an analyst at TFS Energy Futures LLC.