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Northwest adds fuel surcharge for carrying cargo; also: Best Buy boost from stimulus checks and General Mills lobbying costs

At least they’re not charging two bucks for pop — yet. Northwest Airlines announced another fuel surcharge hike Thursday, this one for cargo shipped between the United States and Asia, the carrier’s longest routes. Northwest is tacking on an extra 10-cents-per-kilogram fee to “more accurately reflect” the expense of transporting freight, the airline said. I wonder how soon before the price of imported products we buy “more accurately reflect” this and other airlines’ fuel surcharges.

Some people apparently fulfilled their patriotic duty and blew their economic stimulus checks on video games. One analyst says Best Buy probably got a boost this spring from the government handouts, along with strong sales of such games as Nintendo Wii Fit. David Binder of Jefferies & Co. thinks the Richfield retailer will post better-than-expected results next week. Meanwhile, the firm is on the verge of elimination from The Consumerist’s “Worst Company in America” bracket, trailing Diebold by about 500 votes in the “Sweet 16” round.

General Mills spent $160,000 in the first quarter lobbying Washington on the farm bill and food safety legislation, Associated Press reports. Grocery Manufacturers of America, of which General Mills is a member, sided with President Bush when he vetoed the 2008 farm bill. The association said the law’s trade protection would raise sugar and other commodity prices and lead to higher food-processing costs. Congress eventually overturned the president’s veto.

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