Maine, Canadian law firms promote cross-border ties

A Portland and a Canadian law firm will be promoting cross-border relationships between businesses in Maine and Atlantic Canada at meetings in Portland on Thursday and Friday.

Representatives from Bernstein Shur of Portland and McInnes Cooper, which has offices in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, will facilitate introductions among clients, specifically in hotel and real estate development, marine products, alternative energy, and higher education.

The meeting is open to only clients of the two law firms.

On Friday, Sen. Angus King, I-Maine) will moderate a panel discussion about the regulatory landscape and ways to facilitate economic development. The panel consists of Kurt Adams of First Wind, Hilary Rapkin of Wex, Gerald Weseen of Emera, and Liesel Harewood of Nova Scotia Business Inc. The discussion is closed to the public.

U.S. trade deficit soared to two-year high in April

The U.S. trade deficit jumped to a two-year high in April, as exports declined and imports surged to a record high.

The deficit rose to $47.2 billion in April, up 6.9 percent from an upwardly revised March deficit of $44.2 billion, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

Exports dropped for the fourth month out of the past five, falling 0.2 percent to $195.4 billion. Meanwhile, imports climbed 1.2 percent to an all-time high of $240.6 billion, reflecting record shipment levels of foreign-made cars, food, computers and other goods.

Sam’s Club credit card will feature microchip

Sam’s Club on Wednesday said it will become the first mass retailer in the U.S. to offer a credit card using a fraud-deterring microchip.

The warehouse club, owned by Wal-Mart Stores Inc., said the card will be co-branded with MasterCard and will be available this month.

Card processors say microchips have helped reduce fraud in Canada, Mexico and most of Western Europe.

– From staff and news services