Saturday, April 16, 2011

Weekend Quick Hits

Apologies for the light blogging this week - it's been a brutally long one for your humble correspondent.  But here's a treasure-trove of headlines to make up for my absence:
  • Alternate headline: Former USTR Portman Joins Gaggle of Protectionist Senators to Ask Current USTR Kirk to Pursue Silly Protectionist Policy that USTR Can't Actually Achieve. (Silly letter available here.)
  • In case you missed it, AEI's Claud Barfield ably responds to my blog post on the United States' sordid history of "FTA bullying."  His future analysis on this issue promises to be great.
  • Forbes analysis: US corporations pay a LOT of taxes, especially those dastardly oil companies!
  • Shocker: "Both the European and global carbon markets could significantly increase costs for EU steelmakers, while at the same time reducing the potential for offsetting those costs, speakers at Steel Business Briefing’s Green Steel Strategies conference in Brussels argued.  European Union Allowance (EUA) prices are expected to rise to around €40/tonne by 2020, according to forecasts presented by Carine Hemery of carbon market analysts Orbeo. Moreover, the amount by which steelmakers can cut their costs by offsetting with UN carbon credits, called Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs), could fall from around €3-4/t currently to just €1-2/t in 2013-2020, she adds."  Me: Is lobbying for carbon tariffs soon to follow?
  • According to a new report by sympathetic environmentalists, governments and industries are lying to us about the efficacy of wind power generation.  I'm shocked!
  • Cato's Dan Griswold deflates the silly White House rhetoric that we're "on track" to double US exports in the next 5 years.
  •'s Simon Lester has an insightful blog post about the "dangers of talking about competitiveness" in the context of international trade rules (and disputes).  I agree.
  • China's commerce ministry (MOFCOM) announced preliminary anti-dumping and countervailing duty rates for sedans and SUVs from the United States.  As you'll recall, this case started back in 2009 as a not-so-subtle response by the Chinese government to the President's decision to impose safeguards duties on Chinese tires under Section 421 of US trade law.  Final rates in the China AD/CVD case will be out in a few months.
  • US-China business Council released state-by-state data on US exports to China between 2000 and 2010.  The results are pretty staggering.  For example, exports to China from my home state of North Carolina - a place that's unfortunately (and irrationally) represented by many a protectionist politician - increased over 500% since 2000 and now stand at over $2.2 billion. 
  • Arnold Kling discusses a new paper on trade and US employment trends that's (rightfully) getting a lot of buzz.  Tyler Cowen has more praise and discussion here.
  • Finally, ReasonTV follows my lead but enlists the far-more-persuasive Sallie James to implode Bernie Sanders' insane war on the imported trinkets that are were sold at the Smithsonian giftshops:

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