Sen. Roberts Tells Trump Administration to Forget About COOL

Sen. Roberts Tells Trump Administration to Forget About COOL
While the Trump administration prepares to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, is warning against any reconsideration of country-of-origin labeling (COOL).
COOL is reportedly among the administration’s “key elements of a model trade agreement” that it aims to address in renegotiating NAFTA and other trade deals. But in a committee hearing last week Roberts told Robert Lighthizer, Trump’s nominee for U.S. Trade Representative ambassador, to scrap that idea.

“We’ve been down this road before,” Roberts said. “We fixed the issue of COOL in 2015. We don’t need to go down that road again. We narrowly escaped about $4 billion … in retaliatory tariffs against the United States. I do not think we need a constantly changing list of key elements of a model trade agreement … what we need is a U.S. Trade Representative confirmed … and in place who will embark on a robust trade policy.”

Source:

http://www.northernag.net/AGNews/AgNewsStories/TabId/657/ArtMID/2927/ArticleID/7996/Sen-Roberts-Tells-Trump-Administration-to-Forget-About-COOL.aspx

Trump tells manufacturers he will cut regulations, taxes, but must reshore

reuters

Reuters

Ford cancels plans for Mexico plant

ford-with-flag

Ford Motor Co. is canceling plans to build a new manufacturing plant in Mexico and instead is investing $700 million in Michigan, the automaker announced on Tuesday.

The company’s CEO, Mark Fields, told CNN that the move is a “vote of confidence” in President-elect Donald Trump’s pledge to create a pro-business environment. Fields emphasized, however, that he did not negotiate any special deal with Trump.

“We didn’t cut a deal with Trump,” he said. “We did it for our business.”

Trump bashed Ford on the campaign trail over the automaker’s plan to invest $1.6 billion in Mexico by shifting its North American small-car production south of the border. Ford had emphasized that the move would not affect U.S. jobs because the automaker would be putting new vehicles into the Michigan plants.

But now Ford will instead build the Ford Focus at an existing plant in Mexico. It will also invest $700 million in its plant in Flat Rock, Mich. and create 700 jobs in an effort to produce more electric and self-driving cars. The automaker has said it plans to build a fully self-driving car by 2021.

“I am thrilled that we have been able to secure additional UAW-Ford jobs for American workers,” said Jimmy Settles, United Auto Workers vice president, according to CNN.

A Ford spokeswoman told The Hill that Trump’s team was notified of their plans Tuesday morning.

Ford is not the only automaker to draw Trump’s ire. Earlier Tuesday, the president-elect blasted General Motors on Twitter, threatening a “big border tax” on GM models made in Mexico.

trump-tweet-gm

Trump May Be Proven Right on China Tariffs

Trump may be proven right on China tariffs: Chang

China Foto Press | Getty Images. Gordon Chang, author of “The Coming Collapse of China,” says tariffs on Chinese exports to the U.S. might have to be on the table.

If Donald Trump were to become president, he would not be able to start a trade war with China , said Gordon Chang, author of “The Coming Collapse of China.” That’s because the Chinese have already been targeting American businesses, he said Friday. Read more of this post

Obama Push on Advanced Manufacturing Stirs Economic Debate

In a White House switch, pro-manufacturing advisers have the ear of the president.

Jobs plan: President Obama addressing manufacturing workers in 2012.

Before a packed arena at the national convention of the Democratic Party in September, Barack Obama outlined a vision for America’s economic recovery with manufacturing as its engine.

“After a decade of decline, this country created over half a million manufacturing jobs in the last two-and-a-half years,” Obama told the cheering crowd in Charlotte, North Carolina. “If we choose this path, we can create a million new manufacturing jobs in the next four years.”

To fulfill those promises, the White House is turning to an economic tool not seen in Washington for years: industrial policy.

Emboldened by a new cadre of advisors, the Obama administration has proposed policies to boost domestic manufacturing involving tax breaks, new R&D spending, and vocational training of two million workers including around advanced technologies like batteries, computing, aerospace, and robotics.

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US Rejects China’s Request For Panel To Mediate WTO Dispute

china dumping steel

The US on Friday deferred China’s first request to establish a WTO dispute settlement panel to mediate its dispute against the US and its practice of levying both antidumping and countervailing duties on imports from nonmarket economies (NMEs), such as China.

China filed its WTO complaint in mid-September, taking issue with US CV and AD duty measures on a variety of products, including steel. As reported, WTO documents show the suit pertains to import orders and investigations implemented by the US between November 20, 2006 and March 13, 2012. March 13 was the date the US signed into law the newest CVD legislation permitting it to levy both AD and CV duties against NMEs.

The implementation of CVDs in addition to AD duties in NME cases is called “double remedies” or “double counting” by opponents of the measure.

As reported, China is questioning “any and all determinations or actions” by the US Department of Commerce, the US International Trade Commission or US Customs and Border Protection relating to the “imposition or collection” of CVDs. The dispute also includes AD measures, “as well as the combined effect of these antidumping measures and the parallel countervailing duty measures.”

Imports covered in the dispute include circular welded carbon quality steel pipe, light-walled rectangular pipe and tube, circular welded austenitic stainless pressure pipe, circular welded carbon quality steel line pipe, pre-stressed concrete steel wire strand, steel grating, wire decking and OCTG. Also included are seamless carbon and alloy steel standard, line and pressure pipe; drill pipe and galvanized wire.

 

MADE IN USA CERTIFIED® ….. http://usa-c.com

WTO hands Obama victory in U.S.-China steel case

Reuters/Reuters – A worker checks on coils of steel at a factory in Dalian, Liaoning province

GENEVA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The World Trade Organization barred China on Thursday from imposing duties on certain U.S. steel exports, siding with U.S. President Barack Obama in a dispute with Beijing over a type of steel made in two election battleground states.

The case involved duties imposed by China on “grain-oriented electrical steel,” which is used in the cores of high-efficiency transformers, electric motors and generators. The steel is made by AK Steel Corp of Ohio and ATI Allegheny Ludlum of Pennsylvania.

Although the specialty steel case is tiny compared with other trade disputes with Beijing, the WTO ruling gave Obama a timely win as he defends himself against accusations by his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, that he is soft on China.

“Today we are again plainly stating that we will continue to take every step necessary to ensure that China plays by the rules and does not unfairly restrict exports of U.S. products,” Obama administration trade representative Ron Kirk said in a statement.

China’s Ministry of Commerce had no immediate comment on the ruling, which arrived late in the evening in Beijing.

When the Obama administration filed the case, the volume of specialty steel trade with China was in the range of $250 million. That pales in comparison with the auto and auto-parts trade at issue in the most recent case Washington filed against China in September. The volume of auto parts trade alone amounted to about $12 billion in 2011, according to the Alliance for American Manufacturing.

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U.S. Affirms Steep Tariffs on China Solar Panels

Employees assemble photovoltaic panels at Suntech Power Holdings Co.’s factory in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, China, in 2011.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration upheld steep tariffs on Chinese solar panelsWednesday, finding that improper trade practices have undermined an American solar industry that the largest U.S. manufacturer says is in the midst of collapse.

In one of the largest trade cases the U.S. has pursued against the Asian superpower, the Commerce Department said China’s government is subsidizing companies that are flooding the U.S. market with low-cost products — a tactic known as “dumping.” To counteract those price cuts, the U.S. government imposed tariffs ranging from 18 percent to nearly 250 percent.

For some Chinese companies, those tariffs are lower than preliminary tariffs imposed in May.

Still, another set of duties dealing with improper subsidies was increased dramatically. While the initial ruling levied anti-subsidy fees ranging from 2.9 percent to 4.7 percent, the final ruling issued Wednesday sets those fees at 14.8 percent to 16 percent.

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Obama to hit China with trade case over cars, parts

President Barack Obama launches a campaign swing through the pivotal battleground of Ohio on Monday — armed with a new trade enforcement case against China over allegedly improper subsidies to its auto and auto-parts sectors.

Mitt Romney has recently escalated his attacks on the incumbent as not doing enough to protect America’s battered manufacturing sector from unfair competition from Beijing. The message has special resonance in states like Ohio, where the auto-parts sector accounts for a sizeable chunk of the economy. (The White House says the industry directly employs 54,200 Ohioans and supports some 850,000 total jobs).

Obama decided to go after China at the World Trade Organization (WTO) because its subsidies are giving its auto parts a leg up — even in the U.S. market — over their American counterparts, the administration says.

 

The Obama Administration is also escalating another trade enforcement action, begun in July, against what it says are unfair anti-dumping and countervailing duties on some $3.3 billion in U.S. automobile exports to China.

The United States will ask the WTO to set up a dispute settlement panel to consider its case against those duties, which Beijing imposed in December 2011. China acted in response to the auto bailout Obama championed, arguing the rescue amounted to unfair government support for the industry.

“The key principle at stake is that China must play by the rules of the global trading system,” an administration official said on condition of anonymity. “When it does not, the Obama Administration will take action to ensure that American businesses and workers are competing on a level playing field.”

 

The Cleveland Plain-Dealer first reported the news.

China moves in on U.S. manufacturer of high-tech car batteries

A123 Systems, a maker of advanced batteries for electric vehicles, has been struggling financially of late.  However, it may soon be rescued.  Unfortunately, the bailout could come from a Chinese auto-parts company.

Wanxiang Group Corp., one of China’s biggest auto parts makers, has offered a $450 million bid for A123 Systems Inc.

If a Chinese firm were to buy A123, it would put the firm’s lithium-ion technology and its U.S.-funded manufacturing plant, in the hands of a company that has been slowly acquiring U.S. auto parts firms throughout the Midwest.

According to Michael Wessel of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC), the deal has worrying implications.  As Wessel explained to Reuters:

“This is a very troubling transaction that should be strictly scrutinized by the U.S. government.  This is a critical sector and one that American policy makers have focused on in terms of future economic opportunity and job creation.”

China’s auto parts industry already enjoys massive subsidies that give Chinese firms a leg up on their U.S. competition.  According to a study conducted for the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) by Usha C.V. Haley, government subsidies to the Chinese auto-parts industry have reached $27.5 billion.  Haley says that China’s central government has committed to disbursing an additional $10.9 billion in subsidies for industrial restructuring and technological development of the industry.

U.S. firms like A123 face the double whammy of subsidized competition from China, and then the potential for buyout by the same competitors.

According to David Vieau, A123’s chief executive, the firm would seek approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) in order to move forward on the sale to Wanxiang.  However, the deal already faces concerns from Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL), who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s panel on oversight and investigations, and is worried about the deal’s transfer of intellectual property.

The Wall Street Journal quotes Stearns as saying: “We need to make sure the federal government isn’t an unwitting accomplice to the theft of our own national secrets by providing [foreign-controlled companies] with multimillion-dollar government grants and loans.”

 

A company that two years ago was one of the most promising U.S. innovators in the clean-fuel auto industry was rescued from collapse Wednesday. Its buyer: A Chinese auto-parts company.

Wanxiang Group Corp., one of China’s biggest parts makers, offered a $450 million lifeline to A123 Systems Inc., a maker of advanced batteries for electric vehicles that received U.S.-government backing. The deal would put the firm’s lithium-ion technology and its U.S.-funded manufacturing plant into the hands of a company that has slowly acquired a passel of auto assets across the Midwest.

Wanxiang’s investment, part of a move into clean energy …

 

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