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China cutting US soybean purchases in face of tariffs threat

WASHINGTON — With the threat of tariffs and counter-tariffs between Washington and Beijing looming,Chinese buyers are cancelling orders for U.S. soybeans, a trend that could deal a blow to American farmers if it continues.

At the same time, farmers in China are being encouraged to plant more soy, apparently to help offset any shortfall from the United States.

European businesses most affected by US sanctions on Iran

WASHINGTON — Major companies, particularly in Europe, could see billions of dollars in commercial deals cancelled because of the U.S. decision to reinstall sanctions on Iran, though the ultimate impact remains unclear due to the possibility of renegotiations and exemptions, experts say.

Administration puts off decision on tariffs for EU, others

WASHINGTON — The White House is postponing a decision on imposing tariffs on U.S. imports of steel and aluminum from the European Union, Canada and Mexico for 30 days, avoiding the potential for a trade battle with Europe as the U.S. prepares for tense trade talks in China this week.

Microsoft Windows adapts as its business importance declines

For Microsoft, Windows is no longer a core business so much as a complement to the company’s other offerings.

The company still makes money from Windows, the computer operating system that helped catapult the Microsoft brand to success more than three decades ago. But Windows’ share of the business has shrunk.

US pecan growers seek to break out of the pie shell

FORT WORTH, Texas — The humble pecan is being rebranded as more than just pie.

Pecan growers and suppliers are hoping to sell U.S. consumers on the virtues of North America’s only native nut as a hedge against a potential trade war with China, the pecan’s largest export market.

The pecan industry is also trying to crack the fast-growing snack-food industry.