China Institutes Tariffs On U.S. Imports, Stock Markets Tumble

China has announced tariffs of up to 25% on 128 U.S. products, including types of agricultural imports, following the Trump administration’s actions to place tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Following the news, the stock markets tumbled today, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping by about 458 points. “To say that this will disrupt the U.S. agriculture and forest products export shipping supply chain is a gross understatement,” a press release from the Agriculture Transportation Coalition, a national association representing American agricultural exporters, stated. ” And the threat of more retaliation by China looms large, as additional U.S. measures against China exports to the U.S. (to combat China’s intellectual property violations) are still to be announced.”


EPA Administrator Calls For Revision Of Car Emissions Standards

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced today that Obama-era greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars and light trucks manufactured between 2022 to 2025 are not appropriate and should be revised. The standards include a rule that automakers must achieve a fleet average of 54.5 miles per gallon for model year 2022-25 vehicles. In response to Pruitt’s statement, California Air Resources Board Chair Mary D. Nichols stated that the decision was politically motivated and not based on evidence.


Commercial Real Estate Transactions of $500,000 And Less Exempted From Appraisals

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced today that commercial real estate transactions of $500,000 or less are now exempt from appraisal requirements. The previous threshold was $250,000. The agencies determined that the higher threshold “will materially reduce regulatory burden and the number of transactions that require an appraisal,” according to a joint press release.


Two New Vice Presidents Appointed At Long Beach City College

Long Beach City College announced two new executive staff appointments today: Dr. Kathleen Scott as the vice president of academic affairs and Dr. Mike Munoz as vice president of student support services. Scott was previously the acting vice president of academic affairs, and will continue to oversee the college’s academic programs and deans. In his new role, Munoz will manage enrollment services, counseling, financial aid and student affairs. His most recent position was executive dean of counseling and student equity at Rio Hondo College.


Long Beach Chief Information Officer To Serve At Los Angeles Metro

Bryan Sastokas, Long Beach’s former chief information officer and director of the city’s technology and innovation department will serve in the same role for the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the nation’s third largest transit agency, beginning April 9. In addition to leading technology initiatives, Sastokas will also help prepare Los Angeles to host the 2028 Olympic Games.