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Trade News Archive: 14 August - 20 August
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As well as providing fresh news reports every day, AmericanEconomicAlert.org offers a uniques news rating system. Each news item below has been given a rating from 1 to 5 stars, depending on its importance and relevance to U.S. international economic and trade policy.
 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014
China Fines Japanese Auto Suppliers for Antitrust Violations
New York Times

• Comment: "Two Japanese makers of automotive bearings said on Tuesday that a Chinese regulator had ordered them to pay fines for violating antitrust laws, as Beijing intensifies its scrutiny of business practices in the auto sector."
Manufacturing association leaders join forces, calling for action on currency manipulation
Cleveland Plain Dealer

• Comment: "If countries with a history of manipulating their currency will not agree to stop their practices, they should not be given preferential access to the American market. And that's what a free-trade agreement does," Blunt said. "We shouldn't reward their behavior, that frankly comes at the expense of American jobs."
A Step in the Right Direction: OMB Will Not Implement Plan to Include “Factoryless Goods Producers” In Manufacturing
Economic Policy Institute

• Comment: "In a recent policy memo, I noted that the proposal would artificially inflate manufacturing output and employment by treating outsourced production as part of domestic manufactured output, while artificially suppressing the reported U.S. goods trade deficit, with offsetting reductions in the services trade surplus. The proposal would also require manufacturing firms to begin reporting trade and manufacturing activities on a value-added basis, which would introduce a new level of distortion in U.S. international trade statistics that would undermine enforcement of U.S. fair trade laws. Finally, adoption of the FGP proposal, as initially formulated, could undermine U.S. Buy American Laws and U.S. Export-Import Bank policies."
GE-Hitachi set to close Canonsburg plant Oct. 29
Pittsburgh Business Journal

• Comment: "A total of 125 employees will be affected, according to the public notice, which was made to satisfy requirements of the federal Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification, or WARN."
Lawmakers threaten Ex-Im Bank subpoena in oversight rebuff
Reuters

• Comment: "Top members of the House of Representatives Financial Services panel are threatening to subpoena the U.S. Export-Bank over the bank's refusal to make three employees available for questioning as Congress considers whether to renew the bank's charter."
It's Time to Enact a CLOSED LOOP Trade Balancing Scheme
Ideal taxes Association

• Comment: "In point of fact, international currency markets and market forces have been assumed to be the loop closure mechanism that brought trade into balance. But in the last few decades mercantilist nations have used currency manipulation and myriad other mechanisms to subvert this result. Known proposals for an explicit closed loop strategy to restore balanced trade include Warren Buffet’s 2003 Import Certificate marketplace, Joseph Hitselberger’s 2011 Proportional Tariff, and the Richmans’ Scaled Tariff (documented in their 2014 book, Balanced Trade). This author has also attempted to promulgate a closed loop solution (termed Free, Fair, and Balanced Trade) based on driving bilateral trade ratios to unity since the early 1990s. Each of these inherently closes the trade gap over time. Despite their obvious attraction, none of these have gained significant traction."

Monday, August 18, 2014
Taiwan's Man in D.C. Pushes TPP Membership
Politico

• Comment: "The TPP would be the biggest U.S. free-trade deal since the North American Free Trade Agreement, with the countries involved in the talks accounting for about 40 percent of global economic output and more than a third of world trade."
Canada Finance Minister Warns of Threats to Global Economy
4 Traders

• Comment: "Overall, job creation has slowed to a crawl in Canada, up only 0.9% in the 12-month period ended July 31. Over the last six months, the bulk of the jobs added were of the part-time variety, while companies have shed full-time positions."
"Sizeable share" of new jobs will be in low-wage sectors, report predicts
Birmingham Business Journal

• Comment: "Manufacturing saw an increase in the workforce, with 3,900 new workers overall. Within the manufacturing sector, motor vehicle parts manufacturing added 2,300.As numbers climb across the board in manufacturing, “Automobile and parts manufacturing and certain segments of the services sector will continue as the state’s major economic drivers during 2014.”
Better-paying jobs stage a comeback
Washington Post

• Comment: "Hiring has picked up steam in areas such as construction, manufacturing and professional services in recent months — sectors with a median hourly wage of at least $20. Nearly 40 percent of the jobs created over the past six months have been in high-wage industries, compared with just a quarter during the last half of 2013, according to an analysis by the National Employment Law Project for The Washington Post."
Plymouth Tube Co. shutting down plant, 34 layoffs expected
Milwaukee Business Journal

• Comment: "Six salaried positions and 28 union positions are expected to be eliminated beginning Oct. 13."
Adams Golf to shutter Plano headquarters, lay off 138 employees after acquisition
Dallas Business Journal

• Comment: "The closure of the Plano manufacturing operations will lead to the layoff of 138 employees, according to a letter field with the Texas Workforce Commission under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act."

Sunday, August 17, 2014
NAFTA Is 20 Years Old – Here Are 20 Facts That Show How It Is Destroying The Economy
Zero Hedge

• Comment: "Back in the early 1990s, the North American Free Trade Agreement was one of the hottest political issues in the country. When he was running for president in 1992, Bill Clinton promised that NAFTA would result in an increase in the number of high quality jobs for Americans that it would reduce illegal immigration. Ross Perot warned that just the opposite would happen. He warned that if NAFTA was implemented there would be a "giant sucking sound" as thousands of businesses and millions of jobs left this country. Most Americans chose to believe Bill Clinton. Well, it is 20 years later and it turns out that Perot was right and Clinton was dead wrong."

Saturday, August 16, 2014
For an evolving GE, consumer products are not a priority
Washington Post

• Comment: "If a sale of the unit is completed, the company’s iconic toasters, refrigerators and washing machines may retain the GE brand name — but will no longer be made by the company. “Most U.S. consumers are not going to be touched day-to-day in a way that they know” by GE-made products, said Brian K. Langenberg, principal of Langenberg & Company."

Thursday, August 14, 2014
China Appears Ready to Dump its U.S. Treasury Bonds
American Thinker

• Comment: "The secret to China’s spectacular growth beginning in the early 1990s was devaluing its currency to the U.S. dollar from 2.8 Chinese yuan to 8.7 yuan. The devaluation cut the cost of Chinese labor by -68% and launched the cheap labor manufacturing boom. Exports as a percent of GDP grew from about 13% in 1994 to 39% of GDP in 2007."