|Trade News Archive: 6 December - 12 December|
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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.|
|Thursday, December 12, 2013|
Overcapacity Threatens China Growth
Comment: "Not surprisingly, steel is an industry in which the problem is particularly severe. That’s because China’s growth in recent years has been propelled by a massive investment splurge, much of which has gone towards building things—trains, bridges, high-rises, and new factories—all of which use rebar and other steel products."
Bridging Japan-U.S. gaps key to keeping TPP ball rolling
Comment: "The United States was the most vocal about reaching a TPP agreement by the end of December as it seeks to rebuild its presence in Asia when China, a non-TPP member, is increasing its global influence, while trying to get an achievement before the midterm elections next year."
|Wednesday, December 11, 2013|
Everything you need to know about the Trans Pacific Partnership
Comment: "You'd also be forgiven for not hearing about it: The talks, as with all trade agreements, have been conducted largely in secret. Global health advocates, environmentalists, Internet activists and trade unions have deep concerns about what the deal might contain, and are making as much noise as possible in order to influence negotiations before a final version becomes public."
Worker Deaths Raise Questions at an Apple Contractor in China
New York Times
Comment: "Labor rights activists say Pegatron has failed to explain at least five deaths of young workers in recent months. They say workers interviewed by China Labor Watch, a nonprofit group that monitors working conditions in China, have complained about long working hours and harsh working conditions at Pegatron, including some of the same pressures that in previous years led to health and safety problems at Foxconn Technology, Apple’s biggest contract supplier in China."
Reducing U.S. trade deficits will generate a manufacturing-based recovery for the United States and Ohio
Economic Policy Institute
Comment: "This paper argues that reviving U.S. manufacturing requires eliminating a jobs-destroying U.S. trade deficit in goods by ending currency manipulation and investing in a series of coordinated manufacturing policies. It also estimates the economic benefits of ending currency manipulation on trade, jobs, and public budgets in the United States and in Ohio, one of the nation’s preeminent manufacturing states."
|Tuesday, December 10, 2013|
Boeing Looks Around, and a State Worries
New York Times
Comment: "But the next chapter of that old relationship has become a cliffhanger of politics, economics and perhaps, some suspect, brinkmanship and bluff. Where the company will assemble its next generation of commercial airplane, the 777X — which only a few months ago looked locked-down certain to be right here — is now up for grabs, with a national scramble of states and cities bidding for Boeing’s hand with tax breaks, incentives and promises of labor congeniality."
GM Auto-Lender Still Owes Federal Government $5 Billion
Washington Free Beacon
Comment: "The matter, however, is not yet settled. GM auto-lender Ally Financial still owes taxpayers nearly $5 billion and the federal government owns 64 percent of the company, according to a Treasury Department official."
This is a big deal: GM appoints the U.S. auto industry’s first female CEO
Comment: "Industry by industry, women have broken into C-suites previously occupied only by men. Tech may be male-dominated, but at least it's got Virginia Rometty and Marissa Mayer. Aerospace equally so, but at least Lockheed Martin installed Marillyn Hewson in the top spot earlier this year."
What Just Happened at GM?
Comment: "Today, General Motors is downtown Detroit. In a city that has itself just declared bankruptcy, there is nothing else to see and almost nowhere else to go in terms of major corporations. (As hockey fans know, the Red Wings still play at the Joe Louis Arena, so there’s that.) The streets are largely empty. Abandoned buildings and open fields are everywhere. But GM remains in its shiny towers. It will be a case study for labor, management, and city planners for decades."
U.S. Congress could OK trade promotion bill in early 2014, lawmaker says
Comment: "The Obama administration could secure "fast-track" trade promotion authority from Congress early next year, a leading lawmaker said on Tuesday, handing it the means to secure two big new trade deals.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, a Michigan Republican, said lawmakers had made considerable progress in pulling together a Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill and expect to pass it within the first few months of 2014."
No Pacific Rim Accord by End-of-Year Target, Trade Negotiators Say
New York Times
Comment: "But participants in the latest talks, held in Singapore, expressed optimism about the prospects for the trade deal, one of the largest ever negotiated. The 12 ministers working on the Trans-Pacific Partnership said they had found potential “landing zones” for many of the remaining disagreements, which involve intellectual property and agricultural products, among other issues."
Pennsylvania prepares to join scrum for Boeing work
Comment: "The Seattle Times obtained documents, though, that indicate Boeing is searching for a site at “no cost, or very lost cost,” as well as taxes to be “significantly reduced.” On the flipside, the report also said Boeing anticipates it will create 8,500 direct jobs."
|Monday, December 09, 2013|
Union turmoil could force Boeing to move production
Comment: "Turmoil inside the International Association of Machinists may cause Boeing to move production of its new 777X jet airliner outside of Washington. A major cause of the turmoil is the union's lack of democracy."
Japan, U.S. continue talks on thorny TPP issues
Comment: "In their meeting held Monday morning, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Japanese Senior Vice Minister of the Cabinet Office Yasutoshi Nishimura likely made new efforts to meet halfway over tariffs Tokyo seeks to retain on farm products, as well as auto trade, an area in which Washington wants more concessions from Japan."
|Sunday, December 08, 2013|
Export Surge Sets Up Big Surplus for China
New York Times
Comment: "China’s exports rose more than expected last month, government figures released Sunday showed, as resurgent demand from consumers in the United States and the European Union helped put the Asian manufacturing juggernaut on track for its biggest annual trade surplus since 2008."
|Saturday, December 07, 2013|
Shoes, shirts and sugar: Why Singapore talks matter
Comment: "However, after nearly four years and 19 rounds of talks, the deal’s finish line remains far away. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman’s team headed to Singapore will again confront deep disputes with Japan, Australia, Vietnam and other countries — all with their own political pressures at home — this week. Japan, for example, won’t budge on allowing other countries to sell more rice and beef there. Australia wants to ditch the limits Congress placed on the sugar it can sell in the United States, and Vietnam is furious over congressional efforts to block its catfish exports."
Fast track risky path for Pacific trade pact
Comment: "We also know that the U.S. Trade Representative is using 700 “cleared advisers,” most from big corporations and powerful industry groups, that have had total access to the negotiations and the draft agreements.As a result, opposition has gained traction.More than half the members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed letters or otherwise stated that they oppose giving President Obama so-called fast-track authority for TPP. This requires an up-or-down vote in Congress and forbids amendments."
New York Times
Comment: "That was 13 years ago, when joblessness wasn’t a homegrown issue. Today, as American consumers, we might consider creating jobs for our fellow citizens by insisting on and even asking for American-made merchandise."
W.T.O. Reaches First Global Trade Deal
New York Times
Comment: "The talks, which began on Tuesday, nearly derailed when Cuba refused to accept a deal that would not help open the United States embargo of the Caribbean island. That forced negotiations into Saturday morning.Cuba later agreed on a compromise with the United States."
|Friday, December 06, 2013|
House and Senate Are Near Deal to Speed Trade Pact
New York Times
Comment: "A congressional aide close to the negotiations said that both sides had made significant progress on reaching a fast-track deal, also known as trade-promotion authority. But the aide, who declined to speak on the record because of the delicate nature of the talks, emphasized that an agreement was not complete."
House Bill Raises Bar for Suits Over Patents
New York Times
Comment: "The measure, known as the Innovation Act, would force companies that bring patent-infringement lawsuits to disclose information about who ultimately owns a patent and would benefit from a settlement or award and to specify how a patent is being violated. The bill would also require judges to declare early in the proceeding whether a patent is valid, perhaps saving a company from spending millions of dollars on discovery."
Reform and China's GDP Target
Comment: "The GDP target will provide an important signal on how serious the party is about pushing reform. It could be set at 7.5 percent growth for 2014, as it was for the past two years (the previous eight years it was always 8 percent). Or more encouragingly for reform advocates, it could be cut to 7 percent."