For years, we’ve been hearing about the decline of the middle class, especially among our communities of color. It is happening across America, including in Colorado. Continue reading “Made in China? No, Made in the USA”
By Francisco J. Sanchez
There’s no doubt about it: Doing business in America is changing. And businesses with even the most loyal customers are finding that their customers are changing, too. In an increasingly global marketplace, business owners across the United States are realizing that their next major customer may no longer come from across town, but beyond our borders.
While news of American exports may not capture the headlines as government shutdowns and political impasses do, the proof is in the thousands of regional businesses that are witnessing its value firsthand.
Not only did U.S. exports outpace the growth of imports in 2012 for the first time since 2007, exports have helped support creation of more than 6 million private sector jobs during the past 35 months. So how does this relate to the business climate here in Salt Lake City? Simple: Our nation’s success with exports has in part been driven by business owners in the Beehive State.
Take, for example, Albion Minerals of Clearfield. One year ago, the company participated in a trade mission to Vietnam that was organized by a collaboration of public and private sector groups, including the state government, the U.S. Commercial Service of Utah, and our strategic partner Zions Bank. The company has since opened a distribution center in Vietnam in a $100,000 deal and expects to see profits grow.
A majority of American adults believe that it is important to “buy American” across a variety of product types, according to results from a Harris Interactive survey, even if the definition of what constitutes an “American” product is not universally shared by respondents. Interestingly, while there were few gaps in the importance placed on “buying American” among Republicans and Democrats responding to the survey, women were more likely than men to feel it more important for each product category identified.
For example, women were:
- 11% more likely to consider “buying American” important when purchasing major appliances (79% vs. 71%);
- 10% more likely to consider it important for furniture purchases (78% vs. 71%);
- 15% more likely to place importance on this factor when buying clothing (77% vs. 67%);
- 14% more likely to find it important for car purchases (74% vs. 65%); and
- 20% more likely to consider it important when buying home electronics (72% vs. 60%).
On each count, 18-35-year-olds were significantly less likely than any other generation to believe that “buying American” is important to them.
The survey finds that the definition of what constitutes “buying American” isn’t universally agreed upon. Three-quarters agree that a product needs to be manufactured within the US for them to consider it “American,” while a slight majority believe that it needs to be made by an American company for them to consider it “American.” Close behind, 47% agree that a product needs to be made from parts produced in the US for them to consider it “American.”
As the researchers note, the company perceived by respondents to be the most “American” – Ford – increasingly has cars which include parts produced abroad. Other companies showing up in the most “American” list – such as GE and Levi Strauss – also outsource some of their operations overseas.
Regardless of the extent to which these companies’ products meet consumer definitions, “Made in America” packaging can influence consumers. A study released last year by Perception Research Services found that about 8 in 10 shoppers notice “Made in the USA” claims in packaging, and about three-quarters of those believe that such claims make them more likely to buy the product.
According to the Harris survey results, the most commonly-cited important reasons for “buying American” are to keep jobs in America (90%), to support American companies (87%), and due to quality (83%) and safety (82%) concerns with products assembled outside of the US.
About the Data: The Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between December 12 and 18, 2012 among 2,176 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.
Data for the “What company do you consider to be most ‘American’” question was conducted online within the United States between January 2 and 4, 2012 among 2,126 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.
o learn more about Made in USA Certification: http://www.USA-C.com
BEIJING (Reuters) – The European Union will not be drawn into a trade war with China, the EU’s ambassador to the country said on Wednesday, a day after trade sources said the European Commission found that Beijing illegally subsidizes Chinese steel producers.
The Commission is investigating 37 dumping and subsidy cases, 21 of them involving China, and Tuesday’s preliminary finding asked EU members to back punitive tariffs against Chinese steel firms, a move that angered Beijing.
But EU Ambassador to China Markus Ederer said he was puzzled by and “flatly rejects” reports of atrade war between the two economies which together comprise the world’s largest trade relationship.
“I don’t want this to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. First of all, it takes two for a war, and I can declare here that the EU is not available for a trade war with China,” Ederer told a news briefing.
China’s Commerce Ministry spokesman Shen Danyang on Wednesday called the Commission’s investigation into steel subsidies “unreasonable”.
“Such a conclusion based on unreasonable investigations will seriously hurt Chinese companies’ legal rights and interests,” Shen said at a separate news briefing.
European anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties affect less than 1 percent of Chinese exports to Europe, Ederer said.
“China, as well, has investigations, as you know, into European exports to China. We have no issue with that as long as it is under WTO rules,” he said, adding that observers should not “over dramatize” the issue.
The Commission’s ongoing investigations include a study of the alleged dumping of 21 billion euros of solar panels and components by Chinese producers. A preliminary ruling on that case, the Commission’s largest investigation to date, is due in the first half of 2013.
The European Union is China’s biggest trading partner while for the EU, China is second only to the United States.
(Reporting by Michael Martina and Aileen Wang; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)
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.
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.
— Two deaths and multiple cases of illness across 20 states have been linked to cantaloupes contaminated with salmonella, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
State and federal health officials are advising consumers to discard all cantaloupes from southwestern Indiana, as tests have found evidence of the same strain of salmonella bacteria associated with a multi-state outbreak that health officials say is still ongoing.
The outbreak, which began in July, has been linked to two deaths and sickened at least 50 people in Kentucky. According to the Food and Drug Administration’s website, a total of 141 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from 20 states: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.
The agency cautions consumers not try to wash the harmful bacteria off the cantaloupe, or cut through the outer surface, as contamination may be both on the inside and outside of the fruit.
Consumers with questions about food safety are encouraged to call 1-888-SAFEFOOD or consult the fda.gov website.
The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) provides these recommendations for preventing Salmonellosis
– Wash hands with warm soapy water for 20 seconds before and after handling food and after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and handling pets.
– Wash utensils, cutting boards, dishes, and countertops with hot soapy water after preparing each food item and before you go on to the next item.
– Consider using paper towels to clean kitchen surfaces. If you use cloth towels, wash them often in the hot cycle of your washing machine.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that people in a normal state of health who ingest Salmonella-tainted food may experience diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps, which typically begin within 12 to 72 hours. This may be accompanied by vomiting, chills, headache and muscle pains. These symptoms may last about four to seven days, and then go away without specific treatment, but left unchecked, Salmonella infection may spread to the bloodstream and beyond and may cause death if the person is not treated promptly with antibiotics.
Children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune symptoms should practice extreme caution, as salmonellosis may lead to severe illness or even death.
Earlier this week, the Food and Drug Administration found Listeria monocytogenes on a honeydew melon and at a packing facility in Faison, North Carolina, but no illnesses have been reported.
In 2011, the number of deaths linked to a listeria outbreak in cantaloupe rose to 29, topping a 1985 mark for the most deaths among adults and children. Experts say the third-deadliest U.S. food outbreak was preventable.