Wednesday, January 3, 2018

How To Make China Pay For US Solar Industry Expansion

Later this month, President Trump faces one of the biggest trade decisions of his presidency. By Jan. 26th, the president must decide whether to levy duties on solar cell and module imports, and what level those duties should be. The International Trade Commission (ITC) found in September that the industry has suffered injury from imports from China and elsewhere, and unanimously recommended that duties should be levied. The two complainants, struggling solar manufacturing companies Suniva and SolarWorld, have each said the recommended duties are not high enough to save the manufacturing industry, while the solar installers’ trade association, the SEIA, has loudly protested that duties could have a negative impact on industry growth.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Strong Post-Brexit Outlook For UK Economy

Last month, UK automotive components manufacturer Brose installed a new £10 million ($13M) paint line at its factory in Coventry, England. Brose hired an additional 30 workers to staff the paint process, bringing its UK workforce to nearly 1,000. Juergen Zahl, president of the UK branch of German-headquartered Brose called the Coventry expansion a “massive show of faith” in Britain’s position in the global auto industry.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

IBM Offshores to India and Business Still Shrinks

IBM CEO Ginny Rometty
Technology giant IBM reported its third quarter results on Oct. 17th, and extended a stunningly long losing streak with its 22nd consecutive quarter of declining sales.  In four years, quarterly revenue has dropped 18%. As they say on Twitter: Sad! 

The problems at the computer giant are due mostly to the transition in the corporate world from onsite facilities to cloud computing, in other words shifting their computing needs to centralized operators like Amazon Web Services. IBM is a laggard in that business.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Trump Administration Rattles the North American Cage on NAFTA

US Trade Rep Robert Lighthizer
Three rounds of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations came and went without much fanfare. But the fourth round, held in early October, included strong Trump administration proposals which start to fulfill promises to get tough on trade.  Mexico and Canada complained about the proposals. The NAFTA negotiations are now looming as the arena for a major international showdown.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

“Bring Me Some Tariffs” New Trade Policies Offer Growth Boost—and Scare Economic Traditionalists

As President Trump talks more openly about aggressive action on the trade front to support the US economy, traditional economists and commentators, especially many on Wall Street, are raising the volume on a scare campaign, aimed at suggesting all sorts of imaginary negative consequences. They fail to recognize that persistent global trade imbalances, whereby trade surplus countries overproduce and excessively rely upon deficit countries’ consumers for growth, pose the most serious risk to global growth and economic stability.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Why Economists Can’t Connect Free Trade and Low Prices to Economic Growth

Economists in the US are overwhelmingly in favor of free trade. But they continue to be frustrated that the public doesn’t buy their arguments. So frustrated are they that last May, one of the leading pro-free-trade think tanks, the Peterson Institute, invited highly respected economist Alan Blinder, now a Princeton professor and formerly Federal Reserve Vice Chairman to give a talk on why the public doesn’t buy the free trade gospel.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

High Tech Anxiety: Made in China 2025 Worries Industry, Government

The Trump administration’s rumored Section 301 investigation of Chinese trade practices opens up a new front in the ongoing “trade wars” with China, this time over intellectual property. A key event driving concern over Chinese use or abuse of foreign intellectual property was China’s publication of an ambitious industrial plan, known as Made in China 2025