BORDER CROSSINGS: President Bush and Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, meeting in Detroit on Monday, announced a quick-pass system to speed trucks and their cargo crossing the U.S.-Canada border. Companies can begin registering next Monday for the Free & Secure Trade Program, which will require firms to pre-clear their cargo with either country’s Customs Department. By the end of the year, registered trucks and drivers can clear Customs in either country in special lanes at five crossings. About $1.3 billion in trade crosses the border daily.

STEEP DROP AT MARZOTTO: Marzotto saw its first-half net profit drop sharply to $1.67 million from $15.9 million on weak results at its textile division and Hugo Boss units. (Dollar figures have been converted from the euro at current exchange.) Consolidated sales dropped 3.7 percent to $816.4 million from $863.2 million the year before. Allowance for bad debts also ate into the bottom line. Provisions on Hugo Boss caused that figure to swell to $16.2 million from $4.32 million. Marzotto said that despite losses at recently acquired Valentino, full-year 2002 net profit should be in line with the $54.7 million figure of 2001, if it sells off the real estate and other assets it has marked for sale. Marzotto said 2002 sales should rise "slightly."

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