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Current Trade Deficit: - Presented by The Robert A. Stranahan Lectures
Trade News Archive: 20 July - 26 July
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The News Article Rating System
As well as providing fresh news reports every day, 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, July 26, 2014
Solar Industry Is Rebalanced by U.S. Pressure on China
New York Times

• Comment: "On Friday, the United States Commerce Department took another step in that direction, finding that Chinese solar companies had dumped their products on the American market at below cost, and imposing duties of 10.74 percent to 55.49 percent. The ruling follows a separate decision in June that ruled that Chinese solar panel manufacturers had benefited from unfair government subsidies and that imposed steep duties of about 19 percent to 35 percent."
India Threatens to Block Global Trade Deal
New York Times

• Comment: "W.T.O. members, including India, agreed in Bali last December to a temporary solution where developing countries would not be penalized for breaching their subsidy levels until a permanent solution was found by 2017, but the Indian government now wants immediate talks."

Friday, July 25, 2014
Tariffs Boost Solar-Panel Makers in U.S.
Wall Street Journal

• Comment: "New tariffs on Chinese solar panels, including widely anticipated duties imposed by Washington on Friday, are spurring companies to manufacture more solar-power equipment in the U.S. Two U.S. companies—SolarCity Corp. and Suniva Inc.—have recently announced plans to build solar-panel factories in America, and at least one Chinese manufacturer says it is considering joining them."
Something New for U.S. Manufacturing: Stability
Wall Street Journal

• Comment: "From the peak in 1998—when there were 376,000 factories sprinkled across the U.S.—the number fell steadily until about two years ago. However, since late 2012, the number has hovered around 304,000. That’s by far the longest period of stability since before the sector fell on hard times."
Durable goods orders jump in June
Phoenix Business Journal

• Comment: "Strength last month came from solid gains in demand for commercial aircraft and machinery. Economists expect economic activity will strengthen in the second half of the year following sluggishness in the first half."
Durable goods orders jump in June
Phoenix Business Journal
Sabre Industries cutting 80 jobs, closing Ellwood City plant
Pittsburgh Business Journal

• Comment: "But Sabre is closing its western Pennsylvania operation, in Lawrence County about 40 miles north of Pittsburgh, possibly next week. According to a WARN notice filed with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, the plant is scheduled to close between July 29 and Aug. 13."

Thursday, July 24, 2014
China’s Manufacturing Sector Expands at Swifter Pace
New York Times

• Comment: "A subindex measuring new orders, a gauge of demand at home and abroad, hit an 18-month high of 53.7, while the subindex for output also rose to a 16-month high in June. The employment index also improved from May, though it was still slightly under 50, which implies that jobs were still being lost in the manufacturing sector."
Bombardier to restructure company, cut 1,800 jobs
Wichita Business Journal

• Comment: "Bombardier Inc., whose Learjet business is based in Wichita, is cutting jobs and restructuring into four segments as part of a plan to reduce costs."
A Chinese Gold Standard?
New York Times

• Comment: "For the past 25 years they have pursued a policy of aggressive export growth to drive their economy. China successively devalued its currency, from 1.50 renminbi to the dollar in 1980, to 8.72 in 1994. (Today the renminbi trades at 6.20 to the dollar, which the United States still considers artificially low.)"

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
OSU and UofM’s advanced manufacturing institute picks site
Columbus Business First

• Comment: "The institute plans to forge a regional manufacturing environment that introduces new lightweight metals to the auto, aviation and boat commercial and military industries. The institute has 75 members and expects to stretch its “positive job impact” to metal, machining and casting industries in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Tennessee and Kentucky."

Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Beretta moving all of its U.S. manufacturing to new Gallatin facility
Nashville Business Journal

• Comment: "Beretta USA is moving all of its Maryland manufacturing operations to its new production facility in Gallatin, a move that will greatly accelerate the company's plans to add 300 jobs in Middle Tennessee, the company announced today."
Michigan Dem Profits Off of Outsourcing
Washington Free Beacon

• Comment: "Medtronic bought Irish-based medical device maker Covidien for nearly $43 billion in June after extended negotiations. In addition to the overseas market share and patents that Medtronic acquired through the merger, it also freed itself from billions of dollars in taxes to the United States. The company plans to move its base of operations to Ireland, which has a corporate tax rate that is much lower than the United States. Bloomberg News reported that the company may move as much as $14 billion of its overseas holdings to Ireland, rather than repatriating that money to the United States."
"Authenticity Is As Rare As A Unicorn In Today's Politically-Motivated Markets"
Zero Hedge

• Comment: "No, China is a strategic buyer of US Treasuries, purchasing US dollar-denominated assets in order to weaken its own currency and spur domestic growth by boosting exports. I’ve written about this sea change in Chinese monetary policy a lot (here, here, and here), and what we are seeing in China’s acceleration of US Treasury purchases is part and parcel of this existential political calculus and its challenge to the Western “rules” of global economics."
Insiders worry China's stimulus focus delays reform drive

• Comment: "Policy insiders are concerned that China's ambitious reform agenda is being sidelined by a focus on stimulus to meet the government's growth target, delaying the planned overhaul of the world's second-largest economy."
Taking Back America: Here, Finally, Is A Chinese Mega-Blooper -- And A Chance For The U.S. To Turn The Tables

• Comment: "What is clear is that universities that have signed on to Beijing’s agenda have much to be ashamed about. For a start there is the fact that contracts establishing Confucius Institutes are almost invariably secret — Beijing insists on it and, in direct contravention of the American spirit of openness, countless U.S. universities have acquiesced."
U.S. trade expert on China: Look for export opportunities, 'watch your back'
Puget Sound Business Journal

• Comment: "In the interview, Reade said there is potential for new markets because of what she called very real signs of change in China’s protection of intellectual property rights. Washington tech companies have avoided China for many years due to lack of enforcement of laws protecting intellectual property."

Monday, July 21, 2014
AK Steel inks $700M deal for Michigan plant
Dayton Business Journal

• Comment: "AK Steel will pay $700 million for Severstal North America’s Dearborn plant in Michigan."
Russia’s Severstal to Sell U.S. Plants to American Steel Makers
New York Times

• Comment: "The company said it would sell a facility in northeast Mississippi called Severstal Columbus to Steel Dynamics for about $1.6 billion. Severstal will sell another large plant in Dearborn, Mich., to AK Steel for $700 million."
Petroleum exports lower U.S. trade deficit
USA Today

• Comment: “Since 2009, exports of petroleum and petroleum products have played a growing role in reducing the overall merchandise trade deficit,” said the EIA, the statistical arm of the Department of Energy. The data show this trade deficit would now be nearly $200 billion higher without U.S. petroleum exports."
U.S. congressman raps Boeing, trade group on Ex-Im bank

• Comment: "I respect your constitutional right to petition your government for the redress of grievances," Hensarling wrote to Timmons and McNerney. "I just wish you had used the occasion to petition for opportunity instead of special privilege." Timmons and McNerney could come to see him on Capitol Hill as long as they were not promoting policies for taxpayer subsidies, in which case "a meeting would probably not prove to be a good use of our time," Hensarling said in the letter, which his office provided to Reuters.:

Sunday, July 20, 2014
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