- China's contentious policies on exports of "rare earth" minerals lead to the re-opening of (and foreign investment in) directly competitive US operations by the end of 2010. Three cheers for the free market. (Now, let's just hope that US protectionists and/or environmentalists don't doom the new operations and the jobs that come with it.)
- Ecuador's ICSID arbitration win over a US oil company demonstrates, once again, that "NAFTA-style" investment provisions in international agreements aren't nearly the scary menace that anti-traders would have you believe.
- Mexicans can't get their hands on American Christmas Trees because of absurd US protectionism. Feliz Navidad!
- Caterpillar publicly presses Congress and the White House on 2011 passage of all pending FTAs, not just the KORUS. We should expect a lot more of this next year.
- So the WSJ editorial board must read this blog, as they hit on both the US-Colombia FTA and those troublesome subsidies for Big Wind that I discussed last week. (Or I'm just blogging on really common issues.)
- Here's a little something that doesn't pass the laugh test: "Yet the aramid tariffs flew under the radar in trade talks with South Korea. That could be because concerns from the U.S. textile industry were drowned out by several other large U.S. industries that support the new agreement." Me: Oh, yeah, that poor US textile industry just doesn't have any disproportionate sway over US trade policy. Rrrrriiight.
- Once again, Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) gives us hope that not everyone on Capitol Hill is a sleazy politician.
- More proof that the prices of most globally-traded goods (e.g., computers) have declined dramatically since 1980, while non-traded services (e.g., haircuts) have actually increased.
That'll do it for tonight folks.