China Launches Aircraft Carrier

Chinese Aircraft Carrier

China J-16 Landing on Deck

Langley Intelligence Group Network LIGNET

China has entered a critical phase in its rapid military expansion — and it is flexing its muscle for the world to see.

China just announced that it has succeeded in landing a J-15 fighter on an aircraft carrier, a milestone most experts didn’t expect the Chinese military to achieve for several years.

Gordon G. Chang, an expert on Asian geopolitics, tells LIGNET, the global intelligence and forecasting service, that China is becoming desperate as a result of its deteriorating economy and the desire to claim more land.

Chang also believes the “military is starting to break free of civilian control.” He calls this “a very, very troublesome event.”

Is this just the beginning of China’s aggressive attempt to position itself as a global military superpower?

As the Obama administration prepares to announce the replacement for Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, this looms as a critically important question.

On Tuesday, Dec. 4LIGNET will hold an emergency briefing on the escalating tensions between the United States and China.

Leading the intelligence panel will be former CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who recently served as U.S. ambassador to China.

We strongly encourage you to join this urgent LIGNET briefing Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, at 11 a.m. EST to discover how this new China could have dire consequences for America and inescapable economic ramifications.

If you would like to register to watch this important briefing, you can sign up by clicking here.

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.

Read more of this post

Mexican Trade War Looms Over Winter Tomatos

U.S. business groups said on Tuesday they were worried about a damaging trade war with Mexico if President Barack Obama’s administration follows through on a preliminary decision to terminate a 16-year-old tomato trade agreement.

“We think the U.S.-Mexico economic relationship is tremendously important,” Patrick Kilbride of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce told reporters on a conference call. “We don’t want to see another trade war ignited.”

Florida tomato growers have pressed the Obama administration since June to terminate a 1996 agreement with Mexico on the grounds it fails to protect them against Mexican tomatoes sold in the United States below the cost of production.

Florida growers historically compete with Mexico for the U.S. winter and early spring tomato market. Terminating the pact would clear the way for Florida growers to file a new anti-dumping case against their Mexican rivals.

Last week, the U.S. Commerce Department stopped short of immediately tearing up the agreement, but took a preliminary position in favor of ending the pact. It promised a final decision “as soon as practicable” and in no more than 270 days.

The decision surprised Mexican officials and tomato producers, who have offered to renegotiate the pact. They argue the agreement has benefited U.S. consumers and brought stability to the North American market.

Bill Reinsch, president of the National Foreign Trade Council, said business groups were concerned the Obama administration might rush to make a final a decision ahead of the Nov. 6 presidential election, in which Florida is expected to play a decisive role.

The State of the Union 2012

Watch it here tonight at 9PM ET.  State of The Union Address

“On Tuesday night, I’m going to talk about how we’ll get there. American Manufacturing – with more good jobs and more products stamped with Made in America. American Energy – fueled by homegrown and alternative energy sources. Skills for American Workers – getting people the education and training they need so they’re ready to take on the jobs of today and tomorrow. And most importantly, a Return to American Values – of fairness for all, and responsibility from all.” – POTUS

Kudos to President Obama for promoting manufacturing.  As Scott Paul said in a recent Huffington Post op-ed “now is the ideal time for the president to promote manufacturing: “If the president really wants to see “Made in America” stamped on products shipped all over the world, he needs to be bold. We’ll be watching. And so will voters.”

Will you be watching?

%d bloggers like this: