Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year (and Some Updates)

Happy New Year!  I hope you and yours had a happy holiday season and are looking forward to a great 2013.  As for me, I have really enjoyed my time away from the ol' blog (sorry, it's true), but I will definitely start blogging again in some capacity.  Not quite yet, however - there are some exciting things in the works, but they haven't quite been finalized yet.  In the meantime, I'll be posting a few random things here over the next couple weeks, and will then provide a complete update once I'm able.  For tonight, here are a couple reminders that, for better or worse, US subsidy and anti-subsidy policy in 2013 is already shaping up to be a lot like it was in 2012 (thus keeping my Cato paper relevant!):
  • On December 28, 2012, the US shrimp industry filed a new petition seeking a countervailing (anti-subsidy) duties on frozen warmwater shrimp from pretty much every major shrimp exporter on the planet (i.e., China, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam).  Even though there are already anti-dumping duty orders on shrimp from China, Ecuador, India, Thailand and Vietnam, this promises to be a pretty huge case - according to the US International Trade Commission, US consumers purchased more than $4.8 billion worth of these imports in 2011, most of which came from the countries targeted by the new CVD petition.  Sorry, American shrimp lovers!
  • As I warned in October, the fiscal cliff deal - which raised taxes on those evil American "millionaires" (aka people making more than $250,000 (exemption caps) or $400,000 (rate hikes) per year) - also included a bevvy of new subsidies for green energy producers.  This includes a one-year extension of the wind production tax credit (cost: $12 billion) and the retroactive application (for 2012) and extension (for 2013) of a tax subsidy for biodiesel.  As you may recall, US biodiesel is currently the subject of countervailing duty (anti-subsidy) orders in Australia, Peru and the EU.  The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that the fiscal cliff bill will dole out $18.1 billion in new energy subsidies over the next 10 years (almost all of which are of the "green" variety), and $4.7 billion in 2013 alone. Impressive work, K Street.  (The Farm Bill - which includes a ton of agriculture subsidies, including those pesky, WTO-inconsistent ones for cotton - also was extended as part of the fiscal cliff deal.  Of course it was.) 
And, once again, my paper on the total mess that is US subsidy and anti-subsidy policy - perfectly encapsulated by the two events above - is still available here.

In other news, I finally uploaded video my October 2012 talk on "China Myths and Realities" for the National Committee on US China Relations' "China Town Hall".  It's below in two parts.  Enjoy!

And do stay tuned.  More to come....

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