Economy

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The Trump administration is gearing up for a rework of the NAFTA treaty between the U.S., Mexico and Canada. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Thursday the administration hopes to soon start the 90-day countdown clock to opening talks. A letter circulating on Capitol Hill suggests the administration may take a less extreme approach to negotiations than expected.

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Think about the avocados you mash for your Super Bowl guacamole, or the fresh tomatoes you enjoy in the winter. There's a good chance they came from Mexico.

Our southern neighbor is the United States' leading supplier of fresh produce, providing 70 percent of the fresh vegetables we import and more than 40 percent of our fresh fruit imports. That trade has boomed since NAFTA — the North American Free Trade Agreement — was signed in 1994.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has decided that despite the historic flub at this year's Oscars, PricewaterhouseCoopers will continue to be involved in the balloting and ceremony — with a few new safeguards.

In case you've somehow forgotten, the accounting firm handed presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway the wrong envelope for Best Picture winner.

They're called "my wife," and it seems they've done it all: typed, transcribed and even researched for their scholar husbands.

And, through a hashtag that started last weekend, their work also started a conversation on the uncredited female labor in academia.

In February of last year, Alaskan Gov. Bill Walker signed an administrative order to help jumpstart mariculture, or sea farming, in the state. One Juneau couple is whipping up a recipe to make local kelp an enticing business and snack. They're part of a growing number of startups that see Alaska seaweed as a marketable food.

Kelp has become a big part of Matt Kern and Lia Heifetz's relationship.

Driving up the coast toward Bay Center, Wash., it's obvious when you start to approach Willapa Bay. Fifteen-foot high piles of empty shells begin to appear on the side of the road. This is an oyster town.

But it's also home to a sinking piece of history.

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They come from places like Vietnam, China, Mexico and Guatemala, lured by promises of better-paying jobs and legal immigration. Instead, they're smuggled into the U.S., forced to work around the clock as bussers, wait staff and cooks, and housed in cramped living quarters. For this, they must pay exorbitant fees that become an insurmountable debt, even as their pay is often withheld, stolen or unfairly docked.

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