Mexico's chief boosts NAFTAMexico's president lobbied U.S....


Mexico's chief boosts NAFTA

Mexico's president lobbied U.S. congressmen wary of a free trade treaty in Mexico City yesterday. The six-member bipartisan delegation, led by Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., talked for nearly two hours with President Carlos Salinas de Gortari about the North American Free Trade Agreement.

At the same time, the nation's business leaders revved up their campaign for NAFTA, saying it will not cause them to export jobs to Mexico. Lawrence A. Bossidy, chairman of AlliedSignal Inc., predicted 200,000 new jobs in the United States in two years as a result of the pact, which would create the world's largest trade zone.

Deals with travel agents probed

The Department of Justice is investigating a widespread practice among big airlines of giving fatter commissions to travel agents who send more passengers their way, industry sources said.

The practice is especially common at cities with hub airports, which act as central connecting points for flights to and from other cities. The probe, first reported yesterday by Aviation Daily, is focusing on Salt Lake City -- a Delta Air Lines hub that competes with low-fare Morris Air.

Accord eludes Russia, creditors

Russia and its Western bank creditors failed yesterday to conclude a deal that would allow Moscow more time to repay $26 billion of private debt.

A statement from Deutsche Bank AG, Germany's biggest commercial bank, which held two days of talks, made clear that technical and legal issues blocked an agreement. A postponement of payments on the $26 billion that Russia owes the banks would have represented a major source of financial relief for President Boris N. Yeltsin's beleaguered government and boosted his efforts on economic reform.

No agreement on steel trade

Major steel-producing nations have failed to reach an accord governing trade in the key commodity, leaving yet another daunting obstacle to wrapping up world trade negotiations by year-end, diplomats said yesterday.

No date has been set for the next round of 36-nation talks. Negotiators hope to reach a multilateral steel accord by mid-December.

Coca-Cola hires two ad agencies

In another move to spice up its advertising, the Coca-Cola Co. added two agencies with strong creative reputations to its roster -- Fallon McElligott of Minneapolis and Wieden & Kennedy of Portland, Ore.

Fallon is the agency that has actors struggling to get into their pants in commercials for Lee jeans, while Wieden is sneaker marketer Nike's agency.


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