|Trade News Archive: 2 March - 8 March|
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|The AmericanEconomicAlert.org News Article Rating System|
|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.|
|Saturday, March 08, 2014|
Brooklyn startup plays manufacturing matchmaker
Comment: "Just one problem: Like many U.S. companies -- which have shipped more than three million manufacturing jobs overseas since 2000 -- Burnett contracted with foreign companies to make his watches.
It didn't go well. Import taxes and shipping costs were expensive, and the time difference meant calls with overseas suppliers at 2 or 3 a.m. Manufacturers could also be sloppy with labeling, which added weeks onto shipping times."
In China, FedEx and UPS Wait for Regulators to Renew Permits
Comment: "Not only have they not opened new branches, but they also have had to seek reapproval for existing operations. After a new law governing the industry was passed in 2009, the State Post Bureau decided that all carriers, local and foreign, needed new licenses."
|Friday, March 07, 2014|
|Thursday, March 06, 2014|
UAW, VW Colluding to Block Autoworkers from Defending Anti-Union Vote
Washington Free Beacon
Comment: "VW has been pushing the plant to form a European-style works council to serve as a go-between for management and employees. While such councils are not necessarily unionized in Europe, a VW board member threatened to cut off investments to the plant if workers refused to join the UAW."
U.S. Jobless Claims Tumble to Three-Month Low
New York Times
Comment: "Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 26,000 to a seasonally adjusted 323,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. That was the lowest level since the end of November and the drop more than unwound the prior week's rise."
Why This Isn’t China’s ‘Bear Stearns Moment’
New York Times
Comment: "The country’s possible first domestic bond default has prompted comparisons with the sequence of events that led to the bailout of the Wall Street firm. The parallels between China’s predicament and the crisis of 2008 may be tempting, but are flawed. If the analogy has any use, it is as a reminder of which mistakes to avoid."
Factory Orders Miss 3rd Month In A Row As Inventories Hit Record High
Comment: "For the 3rd month in a row, US Factory Orders missed expectations with a major downward revision to December's data (-2%) and has fallen two months in a row. Inventories continue to rise - up nine of the last ten months to the highest level since records began."
|Wednesday, March 05, 2014|
China Announces 12.2% Increase in Military Budget
New York Times
Comment: "The buildup of the People’s Liberation Army, which also includes navy and air force branches, is considered by many analysts to be consistent with the size of China’s economy — the second largest in the world — and its global political influence. Nevertheless, the military expansion is being closely watched by other nations in the region and by the United States, the supreme military power in the Pacific."
Lawmakers: Patent reform will advance
Comment: "The Leahy-Lee bill is expected to serve as the Senate’s main patent vehicle, and currently does not include controversial proposals such as expanding a review program for “business method” patents. Leahy said Tuesday that he is “working closely with members of the Committee to incorporate their ideas into a bipartisan compromise.”
U.S. Private Sector Added 139,000 Jobs in February
New York Times
Comment: "U.S. private employers added 139,000 jobs in February, shy of economists' expectations, and gains in the previous month were revised lower, a report by a payrolls processor showed on Wednesday."
Ending Currency Manipulation Would Substantially Erase State Jobs Deficits
Economic Policy Institute
Comment: "Currency manipulation has cost the U.S. economy millions of jobs, including a disproportionately large share of manufacturing jobs. The impact of these job losses is clearly evident in the Midwest, which suffered significant manufacturing job losses. Further, the displacement of manufacturing jobs not only meant fewer job opportunities, but also the elimination of unionized jobs that pay family-supporting wages. Ending currency manipulation would likely lead to significant growth in the American manufacturing sector, a necessary step to begin rebuilding a strong middle class."
Chinese Automaker BYD Gets Greenlight to Sell Electric Vehicles in Beijing and Shanghai
Comment: "Until now, BYD has only been allowed to sell its all-electric E6 model in limited markets, including its hometown of Shenzhen, where most sales have been for use as taxis. A fatal fire in 2012–an E6 cab burst into flames after colliding with another vehicle in Shenzhen–created a round of negative publicity, although BYD concluded after an investigation that the electric battery was not the source of the fire. “In the accident, the power batteries of such vehicle did not explode,” the company said in a statement."
|Tuesday, March 04, 2014|
Chrysler Backtracks on Asking Canada for More Cash
New York Times
Comment: "After widespread criticism of its demand linking continued minivan production in Canada to more government assistance, Chrysler unexpectedly withdrew its request on Tuesday. The automaker said that it would go ahead with significant investments in two Canadian factories without financial aid."
Reactions Are Mixed in Canada as Chrysler Bluntly Calls for More Help
New York Times
Comment: "Five years after Chrysler received 2.9 billion Canadian dollars from Canada’s government to help it stay in business, the automaker is looking for more help. This time, it is in the form of financial assistance that it says it must have to continue producing minivans and other vehicles in Canada."
Comment: "The commentary does its best to discredit Mr Locke’s tenure. In it, the outgoing ambassador is compared to a banana who used his “yellow skin and white heart” to advance American ambitions. “After a while, a banana will inevitably start to rot”, the nasty rebuke continues. It accuses Mr Locke of “inciting evil winds, lighting evil fires” through his visit last year to Tibet, considered by authorities as foreign interference in domestic affairs. China was further angered last month when Barack Obama, America’s president, met the Dalai Lama at the White House."
Obama’s trade chief undeterred by opposition
Comment: "Although he tiptoed around several sensitive questions on the trade talks, Froman acknowledged the concerns of many critics about potential negative effects that the pact could have on workers, the environment and the poor in developing nations who need access to affordable medicines. The administration was determined to learn “lessons from the past and make sure that we were pursuing a trade policy that reflects both our values and our interest,” he said."
|Monday, March 03, 2014|
China's Currency Plunges, Signaling Tumbling Economy
Comment: "As Reuters reported, government intervention on Friday reached a “frenzied pitch.” The People’s Bank of China , the central bank, has been on a tear for a week and a half, driving down the currency by setting low daily reference rates—prices cannot vary more than 1% from the bank’s morning fixing—and by instructing its agents to buy greenbacks."
Zimbabwe adopts Chinese yuan as legal currency
Comment: "Zimbabwe’s central bank announced on Wednesday it would accept the Chinese yuan and three other Asian currencies as legal tender as economic relations have improved in recent years."
Fear of losing tech edge factors into Pentagon budget plans
Comment: "Those advances and the export of precision-guided weapons and integrated air defenses to other nations is forcing the U.S. Navy to adapt by developing the ability to operate further from shore with longer-range weapons."
|Sunday, March 02, 2014|
Boeing may slow F/A-18 plane output to keep line going longer
Comment: "Boeing executives acknowledge the tough budget environment, but say detailed studies under way by the U.S. military reveal a need for more electronic attack aircraft given work by potential adversaries on new radar systems that could detect F-22 fighters and other stealthy planes like the F-35."
Is Chinese Centrally Planned FX Policy
Comment: "Let's get it straight first of all that this is indeed silly games. Until anyone in the mainland can take money freely in and out of the country, the yuan remains officially defined as funny money. There is no such thing as "normal" in the yuan exchange rate. Normal market forces do not determine it.It is rather central government policy that is the operative factor here and, lest you think that policy results from the considered deliberations of informed experts, yuan policy over the last two years has been set by a huge crack-the-whip gyration in the balance of payments."