Archive for the ‘exports’ Category

Obama: Mexico Tests His Free Trade Talk

March 17, 2009

A long-simmering trade dispute boiled over into sanctions on Monday after Mexico said it would raise tariffs on $2.4bn of US exports in retaliation for ending a pilot programme to allow Mexican trucks on American roads.

By Alan Beattie in Washington
and Adam Thomson in Mexico City
Financial Times
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The announcement marks one of the first big tests for trade policy under President Barack Obama, who has sought to tread a fine line between assuaging his domestic constituencies and upholding the US’s international obligations.

Mexico said it would increase tariffs on 90 industrial and agricultural goods, likely to include politically sensitive farm products, after Congress last week killed a pilot programme allowing a limited number of Mexican trucks on American highways. Mexico obtained a judicial ruling in 2001 under the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) allowing it to impose such sanctions, but has held off since the US introduced the pilot scheme.

The sanctions, which Mexican officials say are set to be imposed later this week, will be one of the largest acts of retaliation against US exports. US goods exports to Mexico totalled $151.5bn last year. On Monday, Gerardo Ruíz Mateos, Mexico’s economy minister, said: “We believe that the action taken by the US is wrong, protectionist and in clear violation of Nafta.”

Read the rest:
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ce24
31c4-126b-11de-b816-0000779fd2ac.html

Obama’s Wimpy Response:
http://petemurphy.wordpress.com/200
9/03/17/wimpy-response-by-obama-to
-mexican-trade-challenge/

Obama Can’t Ignore Mexico, Latin America:

 Socialist Former CNN Reporter Wins Election in El Salvador; “Yes We Could”
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Pressuring Obama: International Actors Take Risks Amid Uncertainty

Obama: Troop move to Mexican border under consideration

Economic Abyss could deepen again

March 12, 2009

A deepening pessimism is taking root in the American economy as joblessness rises inexorably toward 9 percent, businesses are failing, U.S. exports have tanked and Wall Street is in a depression.

Obama: Playing not to lose

Billionaire investor Warren Buffet declares the economy has “fallen off a cliff,” and sees recovery further off than ever. Economists talk gloomily of a long recession followed by years of anemic growth as the once-mighty global economy shrinks for the first time since World War II.

Donald Lambro
The Washington Times

The administration’s plans to bail out failing banks, buy worthless toxic assets and “jump start” a listless economy now seem tame in the face of a dawning realization that the fierce financial infection is far more systemic than they had first imagined.

Global economic analysts here now talk of bank failures in the trillions of dollars, dwarfing the rapidly depleting $350 billion in TARP rescue funds that the Treasury has at its disposal. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is raising its premiums on the nation’s banks to replenish its shrinking fund at a time when many banks are too weak to pony up more money.

President Obama‘s honeymoon, if he ever really had one, is being cut short by new criticism from Wall Street, Republicans and Democrats in Congress and, increasingly, the business community.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/ne
ws/2009/mar/12/abyss-could-deepen-again/

Related:
Obama Wasting America’s Strategic World Power; China Surges Despite Economy

Obama’s three-pronged economic strategy: delay, delay and delay

China Buying Oil, Uranium, Gold, Other Products At Bargain Prices

Pelosi’s Stimulus II? Lawmakers Propose No Cost, High Employment Energy Package

China Buying Oil, Uranium, Gold, Other Products At Bargain Prices

Russia, “Desperate For Cash,” Sells Oil to China In “Very Bad Deal”
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Even Democrats Showing Signs Of Economic Despair, Worry at White House Inertia

Pelosi: Congress Needs to ‘Keep the Door Open’ to Second Stimulus Package

Brits May Double Exports To China To Halt Recession

February 2, 2009

Britain’s recovery from recession can be helped by a doubling in exports to China over two years, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said following talks in Downing Street with the Far Eastern giant’s Premier Wen Jiabao this morning.

 China's Premier Wen Jiabao (2L) leaves after meeting Britain's ...
China’s Premier Wen Jiabao (2L) leaves after meeting Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown in Downing Street, central London February 2, 2009.REUTERS/Stephen Hird (BRITAIN)

Mr Brown said the massive 4 trillion yuan (£400 billion) fiscal stimulus announced by the Beijing authorities in November will create huge opportunities for British exports to China, particularly in the low-carbon technologies of the future.

By Andrew Woodcock and Robert Dex, Press Association
Independent (UK)

He thanked Mr Wen for his support in the battle against protectionism and for reform of global financial institutions, and broke into Mandarin to wish him a happy Chinese New Year by saying: “Gong Xi Fa Chai”.

Speaking alongside Mr Wen at a business conference in London, Mr Brown said his target was to increase British exports to China from 5 billion US dollars in 2008 to 10 billion in 2010.

Mr Brown said: “I believe that there is much scope for trade and investment to expand between our two countries even in these most difficult of times for the global economy.

“The strength of the relationship between China and Britain will be a pivotal force in helping us through the downturn and a powerful driving force behind our future growth and prosperity.

“We know from previous downturns that a retreat to narrow, short-term protectionist policies would only serve to deepen the global recession and we must not and will not allow that to happen again.”

Today’s meeting was one of a series of talks with leaders of the G20 group of leading economies ahead of the London summit in April, at which Mr Brown said “work against protectionism” would be a major theme.

Read the rest:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/chin
a-to-aid-recession-recovery-by-doubling-uk-export
s-1523368.html

Obama Forced to Rethink “Buy American” in Stimulus After Hits from China, Germany, Others

January 31, 2009

President Barack Obama’s administration will examine a “buy American” requirement in economic stimulus legislation that has raised concern among U.S. trading partners, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said.

The administration “will review that particular provision,” Gibbs said today at his regular briefing. The president’s advisers understand “all of the concerns that have been heard, not only in this room, but in newspapers produced both up north and down south.”

He refused to say whether the administration supported or opposed keeping that part of the legislation intact. Nor did he say what the president would do if the provision remains once the bill clears the House and the Senate.

The issue may cloud Obama’s trip to Canada on Feb. 19, his first journey outside U.S. borders as president. Officials in Canada, the top U.S. trade partner, are criticizing a part of legislation that passed the U.S. House of Representatives Jan. 28 that requires the use of U.S.-made iron and steel in infrastructure projects.

“U.S. protectionism is about to make Canada’s recession a lot worse,” Ralph Goodale, house leader for the opposition Liberal Party, said today in Parliament.

Read the rest:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=2
0601087&sid=a37pHeTuz_HA&refer=worldwide

China, Germany Both Pressure Obama on Protectionism

January 31, 2009

China’s president urged better ties with the United States in his first phone conversation with President Barack Obama, and called for both sides to resist trade protectionism, Beijing said Saturday.

Friday’s conversation, 11 days into Obama’s presidency, followed sharp exchanges between the two sides over China’s currency policy, amid criticisms that China manipulates its yuan to boost its exports overseas.

AFP

An account of the conversation issued by the Chinese foreign ministry quoted President Hu Jintao telling Obama that China would work toward a “more constructive China-US relationship.”

Hu told Obama China welcomed US efforts to shore up the American economy, but warned against moves toward protectionism, the statement said.

“We hope to strengthen communication and coordination on macroeconomic policy and firmly resist trade protectionism,” Hu was quoted saying.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090131/w
l_asia_afp/uschinadiplomacyobamahu_200
90131055621

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Germany’s Merkel Working With China To Stop Protectionism

Reuters

 German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday her country and China would avoid protectionism and maintain last year’s trade volumes in 2009.

“Despite the economic situation we have undertaken with China to at least maintain our trade volume if not increase it,” Merkel said at a joint news conference with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

Wen was in Berlin as part of a European tour to discuss cooperation in solving the international financial crisis.

China, the world’s third-largest economy, has slowed much more sharply than expected due to the financial crisis, as wilting U.S. and European demand have hurt its export sector.

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“Don’t let’s lose sight of what creates wealth. It is open markets, it is capitalism,” News Corp CE Rupert Murdoch said yesterday.

Business Day
http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/frontpage.aspx?ID=BD4A927967

China Starts to Set Limits On Its Biggest Borrower: Barack Obama and The U.S.

January 30, 2009

China is starting to dictate rules to President Obama and the the United States.  We’ve written here before that China owns America and will probably own more soon.  Just as President Obama decided it was appropriate to criticize Wall Street bonuses (after all, those banks are getting bailout money) China is now saying they need the U.S. to follow some rules in order to keep our debt financing afloat…You take a guy’s money and he owns you or he breaks your legs…

Related:
Economic Stimulus About “Soul of America”

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By TOM RAUM, Associated Press Writer

China recently surpassed Japan as the U.S. government’s largest creditor. Any decision by Beijing to move its money would deal a dizzying new blow to an already tottering American economy. Yet relations between China and the new Obama administration are off to a rocky start.

For now, Beijing continues to loan Washington money by buying Treasurys and other U.S. government securities, helping to finance the ever-growing U.S. budget deficit. But there are signs its leaders may be considering trimming these holdings as that country experiences its own economic slowdown. Strains between the two economic powerhouses seem to be growing with the change in administrations.

The latest irritants are a “buy American” provision attached to White House-backed stimulus legislation moving through Congress and criticism of China’s currency policies by Vice President Joe Biden and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

Geithner accused Beijing of “manipulating” its currency during his Senate confirmation process.

An outside view of the New York Stock Exchange on Wall street. ...

Biden, interviewed Thursday by CNBC, said that the Obama administration would “say to China — which occasionally the last administration was reluctant to do — ‘You’re a major player on the world scene economically, and you’ve got to play by the rules that everybody else plays by.'”

Their comments followed a move by Chinese censors to silence part of a live broadcast of Obama’s inaugural address when he spoke of the U.S. struggle against communism.

And at an economic forum in Switzerland on Wednesday, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao blamed China’s economic woes on U.S.-led Western financial institutions, suggesting “a lack of self-discipline” and “blind pursuit of profit.”

The pointed words from Geithner and Biden were widely seen as an escalation of old complaints that China artificially depresses the value of its currency to bolster its exports, even though the White House has sought to play down such comments and has denied increasing friction with China.

China has allowed the value of its currency to rise by 21 percent over the past two years. But American manufacturers complain the Chinese yuan is still significantly undervalued, making Chinese goods cheaper for U.S. consumers and American products more expensive in China.

Related:
China May Have Mafia View of Obama Stimulus: “Someday We Break Your Legs”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090130/a
p_on_go_pr_wh/us_china_strains_analysis_2

Related:
 Russia Wants Something From Obama: Carrot and Stick Diplomacy

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Obama Slams Wall Street For Bonuses

WASHINGTON (AFP) – President Barack Obama furiously slammed Wall Street titans who raked in billions in bonuses while taxpayers bailed out their industry as “shameful” and guilty of acute “irresponsibility.”

Obama, anger flashing across his usually calm countenance, said bosses of big finance firms must sacrifice along with other Americans, as the country tries to dig itself out of a deep economic hole.

The president’s ire was sparked when he read a newspaper article detailing the 18.4 billion dollars in bonuses collected by Wall Street firms last year, even as stock markets plunged and the economy slumped towards a recession.

“That is the height of irresponsibility. It is shameful, and part of what we are going to need is for the folks on Wall Street who are asking for help to show some restraint and show some discipline and show some sense of responsibility,” Obama told reporters in the Oval Office.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090130/bs_afp/
uspoliticsobamafinanceeconomytaxbonuses_200
90130065628

Chinese Premier Blames Recession on U.S. Actions; Beijing Rethinks Some of Its American Investments

January 29, 2009

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao squarely blamed the U.S.-led financial system for the world’s deepening economic slump, in the most public indication yet of discord between the U.S. government and its largest creditor.

By JASON DEAN in Beijing, JAMES T. AREDDY in Shanghai and SERENA NG in New York
The Wall Street Journal

[chinese premier wen jiabao] 

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Photo: Associated Press

Leaders in China, the world’s third-largest economy, have been surprised and upset over how much the problems of the U.S. financial sector have hurt China’s holdings. In response, Beijing is re-examining its U.S. investments, say people familiar with the government’s thinking.
Mr. Wen, the first Chinese premier to visit the annual global gathering of economic and political leaders in Davos, Switzerland, delivered a strongly worded indictment of the causes of the crisis, clearly aimed largely at the United States though he didn’t name it. Mr. Wen blamed an “excessive expansion of financial institutions in blind pursuit of profit,” a failure of government supervision of the financial sector, and an “unsustainable model of development, characterized by prolonged low savings and high consumption.”

Chinese leaders have felt burned by a series of bad experiences with U.S. investments they had believed were safe, say people familiar with their thinking, including holdings in Morgan Stanley, the collapsed Reserve Primary Fund and mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. As a result, the people say, government leaders decided not to make new investments in a number of U.S. companies that sought China’s capital. China’s pullback from Fannie and Freddie debt helped push up rates on U.S. mortgages last year just as Washington was seeking to revive the U.S. housing market.

To be sure, China’s economy now is so closely intertwined with the U.S.’s that major, abrupt changes are unlikely. The U.S.-China economic relationship has become arguably the world’s most important. China has been recycling its vast export earnings by financing the U.S. deficit through buying Treasurys, helping to keep U.S. interest rates low and give American consumers more spending power to buy Chinese exports.

Read the rest:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1
23318934318826787.html

China Jittery About Obama Amid Signs of Harder Line

January 24, 2009

Whether it was a shot across the bow or a simple restatement of his boss’s views, Timothy F. Geithner’s assertion that China “manipulates” its currency has complicated a crucial front in President Obama’s efforts to improve America’s relations with the world.

China experts here said there were several other signs that the Obama administration could take a harder line toward Beijing, including Mr. Obama’s emphasis on climate change and the environment in trade negotiations and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s focus on human rights.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce responded tartly to the charge by Mr. Geithner, Mr. Obama’s nominee for Treasury secretary. “Directing unsubstantiated criticism at China on the exchange-rate issue will only help U.S. protectionism and will not help towards a real solution to the issue,” the ministry said late on Friday in a statement to Agence France-Presse.

China starts off on weaker footing with Mr. Obama than it did with his predecessor, George W. Bush. Mr. Bush and his last Treasury secretary, Henry M. Paulson Jr., cultivated Chinese leaders and refused to call Beijing a manipulator. Mr. Obama has little personal experience of China, and lacks senior advisers with a deep interest in or knowledge of the country. With the American economy in a deep slump, and China trying to ramp up its exports to cushion a sharp slowdown there, experts worry that trade relations between the countries could deteriorate.

By Mark Landler
The New York Times

If the United States repairs its image in many parts of the world, that could make it harder for the Chinese to present themselves as an alternative to American influence in Asia, Africa, and elsewhere.

“The Chinese are probably one of the few people in the world who were sorry to see President Bush go, and are nervous about his successor,” said Kenneth G. Lieberthal, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution who worked on China policy for the Clinton administration.

“They saw the Inaugural Address as having some uncomfortable elements for them,” Mr. Lieberthal said. “They are uneasy about Hillary Clinton. She has, in their assessment, not been a friend of China.”

The Chinese news media played down the significance of Mr. Geithner’s remarks, which were made in writing to the Senate Finance Committee as part of the confirmation process.

Rather than dwell on or analyze the reference to China’s currency, the Chinese official newspaper, The People’s Daily, quoted Mr. Geithner as saying that the currency manipulation issue would take a back seat to working with China to alleviate the global financial crisis. The headline said, “U.S. Treasury secretary-designate vows to deepen U.S.-China economic ties.”

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/24
/washington/24diplo.html

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China Denies It Manipulates Currency

BEIJING (Reuters) – A Chinese central banker denounced accusations by U.S. Treasury Secretary-designate Timothy Geithner that China was manipulating its yuan currency, calling them misleading and warning against “excuses” for protectionism.

Su Ning, a vice governor of the People’s Bank of China, called the comments by Geithner “out of keeping with the facts” and said they were “misleading in analyzing the causes of the financial crisis,” the official China News Service reported on Saturday.

Su also warned against trade protectionism.

“We believe that faced with the financial crisis there should be a spirit of self-criticism,” Su said while visiting a business newspaper office in Beijing, according to the report.

“The international community is currently working together in actively responding to the financial crisis, and it must avoid exploiting different excuses for renewing or encouraging trade protectionism,” Su said, adding that such steps would harm global economic recovery.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/200901
24/ts_nm/us_china_usa_currency_3

China-Made Toys Banned in India

January 23, 2009

India on Friday banned imports of several types of toys from China for six months without saying why, a move that pleased local manufacturers but shocked importers, Reuters reported.

Related:
Economy, Reputation Causing China’s Toymakers To Take a Beating

A government statement issued late on Friday did not give details but industry officials said the order would ban imports of almost all toys from China.

China and India have a long history of animosity and there could be many good reasons for excluding China made toys from the Indian market.  China has produced millions of toys in recent years that contained lead-based paint which can be poisonous to children.

China also just completd a trial in the case of hundreds of thousands of Chinese children sickened by poisoned milk.

But in the current global economic downturn, china’s toy industry has been hard hit: causing massive unemployment within China.

Related:
http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleN
ew.asp?col=&section=business&xfile=data/
business/2009/January/business_January733.xml

CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/BUSINESS/
01/23/china.india.toys/index.html

Related:
 China Killed Children With Poisoned Milk, Held “Show Trial,” Absolved Government Regulators
.
Death, Life in Prison Sentences in China Poisoned Milk Trial

Keeping the spirit alive 
Jobless Chinese toymakers turned vendors.  Photo by  Barbara Demick, The Los Angeles Times

Geithner Hints at Harder Line on China Trade

January 23, 2009

Timothy F. Geithner, who moved closer to confirmation as Treasury secretary on Thursday, told senators that President Obama believed China was “manipulating” its currency, suggesting a more confrontational stance toward that country than under the Bush administration.

By JACKIE CALMES
The New York Times

Mr. Geithner’s comment was made in writing to the Senate Finance Committee hours before it voted 18 to 5 to recommend that the full Senate confirm him. The statement, which is certain to anger the Chinese government, comes at a particularly sensitive time, with economies in both the United States and China weakening and tensions already rising around the globe over trade. The United States, moreover, is increasingly dependent on China to finance its ballooning deficit.

An administration official said that Mr. Geithner was only repeating what Mr. Obama had said during the campaign, and pointed out that his statement also emphasized that the president intended to use “all the diplomatic avenues available to him” to address the currency question.

File photo of Chinese 100 Yuan notes being counted at a bank ... 

It remained unclear whether Mr. Geithner was signaling that Mr. Obama would officially declare later this spring that China was engaging in currency manipulation, when the administration is required by a 20-year-old trade law to report to Congress on exchange rate issues. Such a finding would begin a legal process that starts with diplomacy and could end with the imposition of trade barriers like tariffs. The objective would be to persuade China to let the value of its currency, the yuan, freely float — a move that would let its value rise and would increase the cost of its exports.

“President Obama — backed by the conclusions of a broad range of economists — believes that China is manipulating its currency,” Mr. Geithner wrote. He stopped short of charging that China is manipulating its currency intentionally to gain an unfair trade advantage, as the 1988 law requires for an official citation of currency “manipulation.”

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/23/business/
worldbusiness/23treasury.html?hp

Timothy Geithner testifies before the Senate Finance Committee ... 
Timothy Geithner testifies before the Senate Finance Committee on his nomination to be Treasury secretary on January 21, 2009 at the Dirksen Senate office Building in Washington, DC. Incoming Treasury secretary Geithner vowed to get tough with China and redesign the crisis-hit US financial system as his nomination passed a crucial hurdle in the Senate Thursday.(AFP/File/Mandel Ngan)