Trump could act unilaterally to avoid U.S. airline layoffs, White House says
By David Morgan and Tracy Rucinski WASHINGTON/CHICAGO (Reuters) - President Donald Trump is weighing executive action to avoid massive layoffs at U.S. airlines if Congress fails to agree a fresh coronavirus stimulus package, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said on Wednesday. His remarks came a day after American Airlines said its workforce will shrink by 40,000, including 19,000 involuntary cuts, in October without an extension of government aid as the pandemic continues to devastate travel demand
By David Morgan and Tracy Rucinski
WASHINGTON/CHICAGO (Reuters) - President Donald Trump is weighing executive action to avoid massive layoffs at U.S. airlines if Congress fails to agree a fresh coronavirus stimulus package, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said on Wednesday.
His remarks came a day after American Airlines
"If Congress is not going to work, this president is going to get to work and solve some problems. So hopefully, we can help out the airlines and keep some of those employees from being furloughed," Meadows said in an interview with Politico.
He suggested, however, that assistance would require legislative action, saying: "It would take a CARES package, I believe, to do it," referring to the $3 trillion coronavirus relief package that Congress passed earlier this year.
Airline shares were lower in early trading <.DJUSAR>.
U.S. airlines received $25 billion in payroll aid under the CARES Act to protect jobs through October and the industry has lobbied for another $25 billion to keep workers employed through March, when they hope travel demand will be stronger.
Meadows said he had spoken with officials from American, as well as from United Airlines
"We will continue to work with the administration and our bipartisan supporters in Congress and hope to come to a resolution in a timely fashion," American said in a statement.
United has warned that 36,000 jobs are at risk. Delta said Monday that it would furlough 1,941 pilots but has not detailed cuts across other employee groups.
"Executive orders will not save our jobs," said Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA told union members at 19 airlines including United.
"It will definitely take Congress acting to keep all of the job requirements in place," she said on Twitter, while adding: "Good to see WH wants to restart talks."
Talks between Meadows, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer ended in early August, with top Democrats and the administration far apart on new legislation.
"Unfortunately, COVID-19 continues to spread and wreak havoc on our industry, and demand for air travel has not returned as anticipated," the main industry lobby A4A said in a statement, pointing to a challenging fall as airlines prepare to cut jobs and service without additional aid.
(Reporting by David Morgan and Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Alistair Bell)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.