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Economics & Finance

U.S. Trade Representative Mike Froman announced today in Davos that the United States would join others including China, Canada, the EU, and Japan to negotiate freer global trade in environmental goods.  An economic sector estimated at over $950 billion annually, the market for such products is already significant and it is only expected to grow. 

The Argentine government adopted new legislation limiting online buying on Tuesday in an effort to defend domestic production.

Likely top stories this week: the U.S. Supreme Court will look at Argentine debt case; Michoacán’s government asks for help; Pope Francis names Haitian, Brazilian, Nicaraguan and Chilean cardinals; President Ortega says that Nicaragua Canal construction will begin this year; Air Europa rejects Venezuelan customers’ bolivars.

All eyes were on Detroit earlier this month as Federal Judge Steven Rhodes ruled that the city could discharge public pensions, along with other debt, as it restructures under Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

While other cities look at the ruling as a viable—though unfortunate—solution for their financial woes, there is one especially troubled economy that will not be able to take advantage of the ruling, or file for bankruptcy at all: Puerto Rico.

Three hundred construction workers went on strike in the Brazilian city of Manaus on Monday after a fellow worker, Marcleudo de Melo Ferreira, fell to his death on Saturday. The workers of the Arena Amazonia stadium have demanded better conditions, saying that the pressure to complete construction is affecting their safety.

Likely top stories this week: Former President Michelle Bachelet wins Chile’s presidential elections; Protesters rally in support of ousted Bogotá Mayor Gustavo Petro; USAID plans to pull out of Ecuador by September 2014; the FARC’s 30-day ceasefire goes into effect; a study finds that Mexico leads the world in kidnappings.

Bipartisan opposition grew to the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) treaty on Thursday as members of U.S. Congress who oppose the talks sent numerous letters to President Barack Obama and a secret 95-page draft chapter on intellectual property rights was published by WikiLeaks.

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