Top Headlines: Trump signs USMCA, Huntsville’s new Stovehouse development

Trump just signed the USMCA. What’s that mean exactly?
President Trump signed the revised North American Free Trade Agreement into law on Wednesday, fulfilling a campaign promise to rewrite “one of the worst trade deals” in history. Much of the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement simply updates the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement, with new laws on intellectual property protection, the internet, investment, state-owned enterprises and currency. – New York Times

New Huntsville development planned near Stovehouse
A development touted as one of the largest on Huntsville’s west side is in the works near the Stovehouse entertainment district. The Beach Company of Charleston, S.C., announced Wednesday it had acquired 13.13 acres of land along Governors Drive and bounded on the west by 13th Street NW. The mixed-use project will feature multiple buildings totaling about 26,000 square feet of office, retail and dining space in addition to 260 multi-family units, 14 townhomes and a small hotel. –

Still a few things to fix on punch list of new F-35 fighter
Add a gun that can’t shoot straight to the problems that dog Lockheed Martin Corp.’s $428 billion F-35 program, including more than 800 software flaws. The 25mm gun on Air Force models of the Joint Strike Fighter has “unacceptable” accuracy in hitting ground targets and is mounted in housing that’s cracking, the Pentagon’s test office said in its latest assessment. Montgomery’s 187th Fighter Wing  is on the list to get the new planes. – Bloomberg

Shelby County business leaders hear new Montevallo study
Business leaders in Shelby County gathered Wednesday to hear what a University of Montevallo study predicts business will look like in 2020. The Shelby County Chamber invited the dean of the university’s Stephens College of Business, Dr. Stephen Craft to present his research and answer questions from a panel of business leaders. Concern with tariffs and trades could have an impact on the county, but overall the strong local economy and strong employment projects a great year. – WBRC

Pain not over yet at Goodyear tire plan in Gadsden
Goodyear appears to be preparing to lay off workers at its Gadsden tire plant, not long after accepting 740 union buyouts at the factory, the Gadsden Times newspaper reports. The Akron tire maker, which has been struggling with declining revenue and a low stock price, told the paper that it is “right-sizing staffing levels to accommodate an adjusted production schedule” following the hundreds of voluntary buyouts for the plant’s unionized workforce. The plant, opened in 1929,  had 1,400 workers at the start of December prior to the 740 buyouts taking effect on Dec. 20. As of Tuesday the plant had 650 workers. Until last month’s buyouts, it had been Gadsden’s largest private employer. – Akron Beacon Journal

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State to close most of Holman Prison in Atmore
The Alabama Department of Corrections is accelerating plans to close most of Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore.  Officials made the announcement Wednesday, citing growing maintenance costs and safety concerns.  Holman opened in 1969 and has faced high levels of violence, overcrowding and understaffing over the years. The maximum security prison houses the state’s only execution chamber, which officials say will remain in use. – WBHM

Business Council of Alabama announces 2020 board of directors
The Business Council of Alabama has announced the organization’s 2020 board of directors and executive committee, including a new chairman. John Mazyck has been elected as chairman of the board, succeeding Mark Crosswhite. Prior to being elected chairman, Mazyck held several key leadership roles within BCA. – AL Political Reporter

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