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Hasbro confirmed in an email that its products were produced at two of the facilities referred to in the report.

“The allegations in the report are not substantiated by Hasbro’s extensive monitoring and audits conducted throughout 2018, and both suppliers are in good standing with Hasbro’s robust ethical sourcing requirements,” a spokesperson told CNBC.

In an emailed statement to CNBC, a Target spokesperson said it took the allegations seriously, adding: “We expect all vendors supplying products to Target to uphold our standards and treat everyone with respect, dignity and equality.”

Costco declined to comment on the report.

Spokespersons for Disney, Mattel, and Walmart were not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.

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China readying plan to widen foreign access to its economy: WSJ

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A dinner between Xi and Trump at a Group of 20 summit earlier this month has offered a degree of optimism surrounding the trade talks after both countries agreed to suspend any new tariffs until 2019. Trump on Tuesday took to Twitter to highlight “very productive” conversations with Beijing, telling his followers to “watch for some important announcements!”

Still, there has been little room for optimism that the two economic powerhouses will reach a deal given the long list of U.S. grievances against China’s economic polices, including state support for certain industries and theft of intellectual property.

The White House has slapped multiple rounds of tariffs on goods imported from China throughout 2018 as a part of the president’s move to protect American business interests. Trump, along with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, hopes that the sanctions will force overseas counterparts to entertain more favorable trade deals.

The president has had mixed success with the tactic, producing both a revised version of the North American Free Trade Agreement as well as headaches for longtime economic allies like Canada and the European Union. Trump has specifically targeted Beijing with tariffs for alleged intellectual property theft as well as contributing to the massive trade imbalance between the two nations.

Click here to view the original Wall Street Journal report.



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Shale growth may force OPEC into another production cut in April, Citi says

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Oil prices have plunged nearly 30 percent since reaching year highs of more than $86 per barrel in early October over concerns of global oversupply and weakening demand. The U.S.-China trade war, political turmoil across European markets and fears of impending slowdown in global economic growth have also seriously clouded the demand outlook.

And the EIA has upgraded its supply growth outlook for American crude. U.S. domestic oil production is now expected to increase by 1.18 million bpd next year, up slightly from November’s estimate of 1.16 million bpd, with output averaging 12.06 million bpd, according to PVM Oil Associates.

“This impending flood of fresh U.S. crude supply will cement its newfound position as the world’s top oil producer,” the oil consultancy said Wednesday.

The Saudis have worked to enlist the support of Russia in their market-shaping endeavors. But while Moscow prefers a lower oil price to Riyadh, the two will have to join forces to deal with the eagle, Morse said.

“The American eagle is just soaring,” he said, “and nobody would’ve predicted that.”

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Macron government to face no-confidence vote following French protests

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Yellow vest (gilets jaunes) protestors take notes as thet watch French President Emmanuel Macron's speech on TV on December 10, 2018 at a restaurant with French deputy Richard Damos, in Fay-au-Loges, near Orleans, Center France. 

Guillaume Souvant | AFP | Getty Images

Yellow vest (gilets jaunes) protestors take notes as thet watch French President Emmanuel Macron’s speech on TV on December 10, 2018 at a restaurant with French deputy Richard Damos, in Fay-au-Loges, near Orleans, Center France. 

Left-of-center lawmakers in France have tabled a motion of no confidence in the French government following repeated protests and scenes of violence.

The “gilets jaunes” (“yellow vests”) crisis started as a demonstration against a carbon tax policy and planned fuel tax increases, but have morphed into wider discontent at the leadership of President Emmanuel Macron.

Now representatives from the French Communist Party, the Socialist Party and the far-left populist movement France Unbowed (La France Insoumise) have come together to table the motion against Macron’s government.

The government of Georges Pompidou in 1962 was successfully toppled by such a motion but few believe this one will pass as Macron’s centrist La République En Marche! party enjoys a strong majority in the 577-seat house.

“The French political system makes it extremely difficult to remove a President from office,” said the Deputy Director of Research at Teneo Intelligence in a note Wednesday.

“The only political tool available to the opposition to expel Macron is the constitution’s impeachment procedure, which no one is currently considering,” he added.

The motion is expected to be debated at 10:30 a.m. eastern time on Thursday, according to media reports.

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