CHINA’S NEW STATUS: President Bush granted China permanent normal trade relations status on Thursday. Congress granted the PNTR designation last year, but it was contingent on China joining the World Trade Organization, which was completed last month. With PNTR, which goes into effect Jan. 1, China will have permanent access to lower tariffs. Previously, Congress voted on China’s trading status annually, creating angst for importers concerned that the status wouldn’t be renewed.
SPANISH BUYS: Lladro, the porcelain sculpture company, has acquired 45 percent of jeweler Carrera y Carrera for $13.3 million. Carrera will use the infusion and another $2.6 million to accelerate expansion, principally for retail stores in Spain, where both firms are based. Lladro is looking to diversify into luxury brands. Dollar amounts are converted from the Spanish peseta at current exchange.