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Posts Tagged ‘international news’

Obama Stands up for Tire Workers

September 12th, 2009 1 comment

President Barack Obama took a stand on Friday night by imposing an import tax on tires imported from China.  This has been an issue I have been involved with since 2004 with the “Export Tires not Jobs” campaign. And, I am proud to say that this is a step in the right direction for salvaging what is left of the US Tire Manufacturing Industry.

China may appeal the Tariff to the World Trade Organization according to the Wall Street Journal and according to the New York Times China denounced the new 3 year declining tariffs within hours of its announcement.  Appeals and denouncing the tariffs are probably on the horizon as it is in China’s best interest since the USA is likely the largest importer of Chinese exports.

Tariff’s will begin September 26th at 35% for one year with 30% the second year and 25% the third in the form of an Ad Valorem tax in addition to the duties and taxes in place prior to the announcement. The Ad Valorem tax, often called VAT, will only cover tires for cars, light trucks, vans, and sport utility vehicles.

The timing of Obama’s announcement is particularly suspicious as the meeting of the top 20 economic countries, known as the Group of 20,  is in 2 weeks.  This will come off to many, and me, as a political move to pay back union members for their support and financing his election and will be used as a trading card in the Pittsburgh meeting.  The opposition argument will be protectionism, like Daniel Ikenson of the Cato Institute, or international obligations. This bold and perhaps controversial move by the Obama Administration will be put on the chopping block for other political gain in the international politics marketplace.  My early prediction is that Obama’s stand for Tire Workers is short lived or best case scenario will be scaled back.

My biased opinion is we have to take care of ourselves first.  As a friend of several tire workers I have seen the impact of globalization of tire manufacturing.  With plants closing, hours cut, and jobs lost the illegal flood of Chinese made tires has impacted domestic tire workers and most importantly my family and friends. If the tariff does stand it sets a precedent for other Ad Valorem tariffs to come.  I hope it will be a Tariff on Steel Products particularly Tubular as it is cleaner than steel pipe made in China.

Kidnapped Boy’s Teeth Pulled With Pliers

August 9th, 2009 No comments

Today I read a story about a little boy (Khidir – now only 8 years old), in Fullajah, Iraq that was tortured by Al Qaeda on a farm.  The boy was taken from his family for two years where he was beaten with a shovel, had both arms broken, a nail driven into his leg, and beaten for fun.  He was treated like slave being forced to pick carrots in the fields.  When I read stories of such inhumanity it makes my blood boil.  The boy’s only fault was being the son of a true patriot – an Iraqi Policeman.

Stories like these do nothing but advance the terrorist agenda…  But acts of inhumanity shouldn’t go untold or unpunished.

Terrorists kidnap, torture boy to bully Iraqi policeman

FALLUJA, Iraq (CNN) — Like many young boys, Khidir loves playing with toy cars and wants to be a policeman like his father when he grows up. But it was his father’s very job that caused the tiny child to suffer the unimaginable.

Khidir, now 8, was kidnapped and held hostage for two years by operatives with al Qaeda in Iraq.
Khidir was just 6 years old when he was savagely ripped away from his family, kidnapped by al Qaeda operatives in Iraq.

“They beat me with a shovel, they pulled my teeth out with pliers, they would go like this and pull it,” said Khidir, now 8, demonstrating with his hands. “And they would make me work on the farm gathering carrots.”

What followed was even more horrific, an ordeal that would last for two years in captivity. Khidir and his father spoke to CNN recently, more than half a year after his rescue by Iraqi police.

“This is where they hammered a nail into my leg and then they pulled it out,” he says, lifting up his pant leg to show a tiny wound.

He says his captors also pulled out each of his tiny fingernails, broke both his arms, and beat him repeatedly on the side of the head with a shovel. He still suffers chronic headaches. He remembers them laughing as they inflicted the pain.

“I would think about my mommy and daddy,” he replies, when asked how he managed to get through the agony. […] Read the full story

China is Upset about US Steel Probe

May 2nd, 2009 No comments

In the early part of April US Steel manufacturers filed suit against China for dumping steel on the US Market.  It is no suprise that the Chinese Government is upset about the probe and for the obvious reasons.  As a product of the US Steel Market and the tublar pipe used for the Oil & Gas industry the probe is welcome.

I am all for fair trade and globalization…  But the dumping of cheaper goods unfairly is dangerous to all involved, especially my family.  There are lots of problems in the US Steel Market all the way down to raw ores and scrap metal – I am not defending that.  But, what the Chinese have done over the past few years is detrimental to the global economy.  Not only in a monetary standpoint – also environmentally (see my Earth Day post “American-made steel is cleaner than steel made in China.”

I found an interesting article on United Press International titled “China dismayed over U.S. probe of steel

China dismayed over U.S. probe of steel

BEIJING, May 1 (UPI) — U.S. investigations into tubular and pipe steel imported from China is troubling for the Chinese government, the Commerce Ministry said.

The U.S. Commerce department this week said it was launching anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations into Chinese steel pipes used in oil and gas drilling, China’s state-run news agency Xinhua reported.

Countervailing duties are duties imposed under World Trade Organization rules to neutralize the negative effects of other duties, the online encyclopedia Wikipedia said.

The U.S. decision to open the investigations has been protested, Commerce Ministry spokesman Yao Jian said. Warning the move would send the wrong signals to the world, Yao said China would monitor the case and respond as appropriate.

“The steel pipe is the main product of Chinese steel exports to the U.S.,” Yao said. “The move will seriously hurt the Sino-U.S. steel trade and pose negative impact on the relevant U.S. industries.”

U.S. steelmakers April 8 filed an anti-dumping suit with U.S. trade bodies for an investigation into the steel products, Xinhua reported.

Yao said the probes constituted discrimination against Chinese products and an abuse of special safeguard measures.

Pirate Ships Causing Problems

November 19th, 2008 1 comment

In search of fresh news at 3am I am typically stuck with international breaking news.  To much surprise most of the news has little to do with the US.  Over the past few weeks I have become familiar with international current events.  If you have been asleep, as I imagine most people are when I am up, there has been a lot of pirate ship news.

In a rare victory over the pirates the Indian Navy Won an encounter off the coast of Somalia.  When people think of Navy’s they think of floating cities and gun boats.  But the Indian Navy has a boat dedicated to fighting of Piracy.

ABC NEWS in New Dehli is reporting:

Indian navy sinks pirate ship

By Michael Coggan in New Delhi

The Indian navy says it has sunk a pirate ship in the Gulf of Aden after more ships had been hijacked in the region and as pirates continue to hold a Saudi supertanker.

An Indian Navy official says the frigate, INS Tabar, was fired on by pirates off the Somali coast late on Monday (local time).

The warship retaliated and sank the pirate ship.

The hit against pirates operating in the Gulf of Aden comes in the midst of a surge in hijackings.

Another group of pirates is demanding a ransom for a Saudi supertanker carrying $150 million worth of oil.

The East African Seafarers Association says a Thai fishing boat, a Hong Kong registered cargo ship and a Greek bulk carrier were also hijacked by pirates in the Gulf yesterday.

Because of the Pirating problem off the coast of Somalia is so bad other major Navies are weighting in to help also.  Bloomberg Japan is Reporting:

Japan May Use Navy to Protect Ships Off Somalia, Nikkei Says

By Toru Fujioka

Nov. 19 (Bloomberg) — Japan may use its navy to protect commercial vessels from pirates in waters off Somalia, Nikkei English News reported, without citing anyone.

A bill allowing the Maritime Self-Defense Force to conduct operations may be submitted to parliament early next year, the report said.

Japan’s navy would be charged with escorting oil tankers and commercial ships of all nationalities to prevent hijackings, the Nikkei said. The use of force in response to pirate attacks would be authorized, Nikkei said.

A Japanese-owned chemical tanker was seized by pirates in the Gulf of Aden, Japan’s Foreign Ministry said this week. Pirate attacks climbed fivefold in the region in the first nine months of this year as ransom payments spurred raiders to seize more ships, according to the International Maritime Bureau’s piracy reporting center in Kuala Lumpur.

To contact the reporter on this story: Toru Fujioka in Tokyo at [email protected]

It seems that the situation off the coast of Somali is worsening. It is apparent the the worlds navies are coming together to ensure that the shipping lanes are open and free from the risk of piracy.

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