Unfair trade – Hardouin http://hardouin.info/ Mon, 26 Apr 2021 11:30:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.7.1 Government imposes anti-dumping duties on steel trade from Indonesia and Vietnam https://hardouin.info/government-imposes-anti-dumping-duties-on-steel-trade-from-indonesia-and-vietnam/ Mon, 26 Apr 2021 09:42:40 +0000 https://hardouin.info/government-imposes-anti-dumping-duties-on-steel-trade-from-indonesia-and-vietnam/

KUALA LUMPUR (April 26): The Malaysian government has imposed anti-dumping duties on imports of cold-rolled stainless steel in coil, sheet or any other form (subject merchandise) originating in or exported from Indonesia and Vietnam.

In a statement released today, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) said the anti-dumping duty for Indonesia is 8.8% to 34.82% and Vietnam is 7.81%. at 23.84%.

MITI added that the duties are equivalent to the amount of the dumping margins that have been determined.

“The collection of anti-dumping duties on the merchandise in question has been enforced by the Royal Malaysian Customs Department for five years, from April 24, 2021 to April 23, 2026.

“The imposition of anti-dumping duties on the subject merchandise from these countries should solve the problem of unfair trade practices,” he said.

On July 28, 2020, the government initiated an anti-dumping investigation into the subject merchandise originating in or exported from Indonesia and Vietnam in accordance with the Countervailing and Anti-Dumping Act 1993 and the Countervailing and Anti-Dumping Regulations 1994.

The investigation was based on a petition filed by Bahru Stainless Sdn Bhd, the only domestic manufacturer of steel production.

As a result of the investigation, the government concluded that the subject merchandise from these countries had been imported into Malaysia at a price below the price sold in those countries and had caused material injury to the local industry in Malaysia. .

MITI also said that stakeholders such as local producers, importers, foreign producers / exporters and associations related to the investigation could obtain a copy of the non-confidential version of the Final Determination report by making a request. written to the ministry.

For more information call 03-6208 4634/4639/4642/4646 or email [email protected].

Ben Wallace calls inflammatory lockdown allegations “deeply unfair” as briefing war # 10 escalates https://hardouin.info/ben-wallace-calls-inflammatory-lockdown-allegations-deeply-unfair-as-briefing-war-10-escalates/ Mon, 26 Apr 2021 08:19:07 +0000 https://hardouin.info/ben-wallace-calls-inflammatory-lockdown-allegations-deeply-unfair-as-briefing-war-10-escalates/

Adam payne

3 min read

An explosive front-page article claiming Boris Johnson said he would rather “let bodies pile up in the thousands” rather than impose a third nationwide lockdown is “bogus” and has “almost no evidence,” said affirmed the Secretary of Defense.

Ben Wallace told BBC Radio 4’s Today program this morning that it was “very deeply unfair” to repeat the allegations published in Monday’s Daily Mail.

the history quoted an anonymous source “close” to Minister Michael Gove, saying the Prime Minister declared “more lockdowns – let bodies pile up in the thousands” after reluctantly agreeing to introduce a second coronavirus lockdown in October.

A government source quoted in the article described the allegation as “just another lie” as the Downing Street briefing war continues to escalate.

Wallace sought to screw up the story, saying today, “This is just plain wrong.

“If you read the cover of the newspaper in question, there is no source.

“He’s not saying who said that. It’s who said, he said, she said by someone without attribution with almost no evidence. To keep repeating it is really deeply unfair.”

The allegation is the latest extraordinary briefing in a saga that threatens to engulf a Downing Street operation that already faces several accusations of belief.

Dominic Cummings, the former chief adviser to the Prime Minister, posted an explosive blog on Friday that made a series of allegations about his former boss, including that he wanted Tory donors to fund his contentious renovation of the ‘apartment. Wallace insisted Johnson pay for the renovation himself, repeating what Commerce Secretary Liz Truss told media on Sunday, and told host Nick Robinson: “Do I think Premier minister is suspicious?

He described the prime minister as an “absolutely first class leader” and insisted that the government “will be held accountable” for any wrongdoing.

“For both critics and accusers, there is a parliament to deliver this,” he said.

“That’s why Parliament is here.

“The Labor Party can ask urgent questions and there is no doubt that it will do so today or tomorrow.

“I have lost count of the number of parliamentary committees that carry out investigations. We have already heard of the former adviser at number 10 [Cummings] testify at an inquest. They are all tools. The more reports, the more freedom of information, the better the electoral commission.

“All are there to hold us all accountable. And we will be held accountable.”

Wallace said the latest interest register, which critics accused the government of delaying to avoid embarrassment, would be released “soon” and insisted there was “no attempt to cover up or conspiracy”.

The financial interests of ministers were last published in July 2020 but the ministerial code states that it must be published “twice a year”.

“It’s extremely precious to me,” he said. “I was the very first MP to publish my expenses, long before any scandal, in their entirety, in full transparency.”

]]> Response to the review of my book by Asia Times https://hardouin.info/response-to-the-review-of-my-book-by-asia-times-2/ Mon, 26 Apr 2021 07:52:07 +0000 https://hardouin.info/response-to-the-review-of-my-book-by-asia-times-2/

(MENAFN – Asia Times) I must begin by thanking George Koo for his interest and important commentary on my recent book, The Upside Down: America, China, and the Struggle for Global Leadership.

To introduce this book to the reader, Koo mentions my previous book, Trading Places, which dealt with trade friction and negotiations between the United States and Japan in the 1980s, when I was the principal American negotiator with the main trade officials. and CEO of Japan as Sony founder Akio Morita.

There were many trade issues between Japan and America at this time, including the Japanese displacement of US producers in industries like consumer electronics, steel, automobiles, and semiconductors. With the US trade deficit soaring and hundreds of thousands of American workers losing their jobs, I was under tremendous pressure to fix what we called the Japan problem.

The game of Japan

There were many causes for this problem, but two factors were fundamental. One was the yen policy in Japan. The Bank of Japan has constantly intervened in currency markets to buy dollars and sell yen, thus keeping the value of the yen low against the dollar and indirectly subsidizing Japanese exports while imposing a hidden tariff on imports.

My colleagues and I negotiated what has come to be known as the Plaza Accord under which Japan agreed to end intervention in the currency market and allow the yen to rise to its real value. . In the end, it increased by over 50%.

The second factor was what I called “the name of the game”.

The United States was playing a game called “ free trade ” with no special subsidies for targeted industries, no industrial development goals, no hidden barriers to imports and foreign investment, no mandatory transfer of technology as a condition of entry. in the market, and without export subsidies that could allow predatory dumping of products into foreign markets in order to drive foreign producers out of business.

Japan was playing a game called “industrial catch-up policy”.

There was a lot of talk back in the days of fair and unfair trade, but it was a misunderstanding. It was as if the Americans were playing baseball and the Japanese were playing American football. No one was cheating and everyone was doing their best. But soccer is a more difficult game than baseball and baseball players are licking each other.

When I recognized this reality, I urged the US government to start playing like the Japanese. Then-President Ronald Reagan listened to me and the US government changed its policy to be more like that of Japan.

He created a government-industry joint venture called Sematech that funded the development of more advanced semiconductor production equipment. Rather than wait for the industry to complain, it itself initiated anti-dumping legal proceedings against the Japanese industry, and it also provided additional funding for semiconductor research and development.

He also negotiated what became known as the Semiconductor Agreement, under which Japan pledged to end all dumping of chips in the US market and allow the market to fully open. Japanese American chips.

I could go on with other details, but suffice it to say that the US trade deficit with Japan has narrowed, Japanese automakers have started producing their cars in America, and the US semiconductor industry remains the world leader. Taiwan’s TSMC has emerged as the main chip maker, but is currently building major manufacturing facilities in America. Thus, the United States will remain the leader in this sector for the foreseeable future.

China’s game

Regarding China, Koo says I accuse him of rampant intellectual property theft, but that’s not an accusation. It is simply a statement of a simple fact.

I am not blaming China for doing this, because obtaining intellectual property by any means necessary is what every country that has ever achieved industrial development, including the United States, has done.

Few now realize that there was a debate about America’s founding in the 1790s. Thomas Jefferson foresaw a country of young farmers exporting agricultural products and raw materials. Alexander Hamilton saw Britain become the workshop of the world through industrialization and wanted America to do the same. In the end, Hamilton won the debate because America nearly lost the War of 1812 for lack of weapons manufacturing capabilities.

It saddens me that Koo thinks I have such a zero sum attitude that I see any gain for China as a loss for the US and vice versa. I must stress that this is not my attitude. In fact, my wife is Chinese. Thanks to her, I am connected with many Chinese people in America and China. I wish the best to my relatives and all Chinese people.

Help China

Indeed, I was one of the leaders of the first United States trade mission to China in 1982. I brought with me to Beijing a group of American business leaders interested in investing and creating companies in China.

The rest of the US government and I urged them to invest, transfer technology to China, build factories in China and thus contribute to the development of China as they had contributed to the development of Europe and Japan. after the Second World War.

During my tenure as a senior official, the US Department of Commerce strongly encouraged US investment in China as well as Chinese exports to the United States.

Later, as a consultant, I helped Intel Corporation and other American companies establish themselves in China. I have no fear that the Chinese economy will become bigger than America’s. Indeed, I think it should be bigger considering that China has four times the US population. Objectively speaking, its economy should be four times greater.

Having said that, I think China, like Japan in the 1980s, is playing a different game than the United States. Much like Japan at the time, China is now playing a “catch-up” process, which involves the government getting the technology, subsidizing and / or protecting the development of certain industries.

The best example is the program called “Made in China 2025”. This aims for essential autonomy for China in a long list of key high-tech industries such as semiconductors, robotics, aviation and many more. These industries receive special assistance from the Chinese government.

Let me stress that I think Beijing is right to give special assistance to these industries. I would do the same if I ruled China.

However, this policy of “catching up” is at odds with many rules of the World Trade Organization. This leads officials in the United States and elsewhere to accuse China of playing unfairly. I don’t blame so much. Rather, I am saying that America should do the same. It should have a Made in America 2025 or 2030 program.

Rather than complaining about China’s “unfair trade”. the United States should copy the smart things China is doing.

Belt and road

For example, China has undertaken the Belt and Road project. It’s a brilliant concept that I deeply admire because it addresses a major global need while promoting China’s global strategic expansion and influence. I advise the United States to launch a similar program with other countries as partners. It should be a real win-win effort.

The party

George Koo suggests that I have problems with China because it is ruled by a Leninist political party, the Chinese Communist Party.

A Leninist Party is a party formed on the principles dictated by Lenin when the Bolshevik Party was founded in 1917. Such a party is entirely dedicated to holding complete power in a society and to concentrating that power in the hands of very few people. at the top of the party.

It is a party that recognizes no limit to its power and no untouchable rights of the individuals it leads. It is a totalitarian party which does not trust anyone and which suspects and monitors everyone.

I make a distinction between the Chinese people and the Chinese Communist Party. I wish people the best. I have concerns about the Party. I admit that he has achieved many positive things. Yet it also clearly defined its core values ​​in Document 9, the “Communiqué on the Current State of the Ideological Sphere over the Ideological Sphere”.

Here, the CCP clearly declares its opposition to “ Western constitutional democracy ”, to the concept of “ universal values ​​” (such as “ all men are created equal to certain inalienable rights ”), to civil society. and journalism “ not subject to Party Discipline. This, in fact, is a denunciation of everything America stands for and the rest of the free world.

If the CCP doctrine was applied only to China, the conflict might not be too serious. But Beijing has used its growing wealth and power to expand the reach of these anti-liberal doctrines.

Of course, repression in Hong Kong is technically an internal affair, but since Hong Kong has always been an international city, the overthrow of its one-country-two-system regime well within the 50 years initially promised by Beijing has global repercussions, as has the expulsion of most foreign journalists from China.

More and more, foreigners have no knowledge of what is going on in the most populous country in the world. Beijing’s shutdown of broadcasting of U.S. professional basketball games in China over tweet from Houston Rockets coach supporting protesters in Hong Kong appears to be effort to end free speech not only in China but also in the United States.

Beijing’s sudden and unexpected suspension of various imports from Australia because Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for an investigation into the origins of the Covid-19 virus appears to be an attempt to impose censorship on Australia.

Beijing’s advice to Mercedes-Benz that it is better to remove the Dalai Lama from all publicity, even outside China, if he wishes to continue doing business in China is just another example of the attempt. to export CCP censorship abroad.

The militarization of the South China Sea reefs and the swarming of Chinese fishing boats and para-police around the Philippine, Malaysian, Vietnamese and Indonesian islands and reefs send a hostile, threatening and intimidating message.

I wish China peace, prosperity and happiness. I also want the free world to continue to enjoy freedom of expression, the rule of law and human rights.


The “ trade barriers ” coming Wednesday https://hardouin.info/the-trade-barriers-coming-wednesday/ Mon, 26 Apr 2021 04:43:29 +0000 https://hardouin.info/the-trade-barriers-coming-wednesday/

TEMPORARY barricades, or parklets, were to be removed from outdoor stores on Nepean Highway in Rosebud on April 6, but an “internal delay” at the Department of Transportation forced them to stay longer.

The barriers, between Fourth and Fifth Avenue, have caused friction between the Rosebud Chamber of Commerce and Mornington Peninsula Shire to such an extent that the chamber was considering legal action last week.

House Speaker Phil Cvetovac said despite calls to remove them by traders whose businesses were negatively affected, the barriers remained in place with no end date in sight. (“Concerns about trade barriers” The news 20/4/21).

“I am more than furious at the arrogance of the way this has all been handled,” Cvetovac said in an email to The news.

“The fact of controlling small premises by disconnected ‘political’ decision-makers incens me endlessly. People who have never run a business – who make business decisions – are incompetence personified. “

But acting county manager Jessica Wingad said last week: “We expected approval to be granted for this job in a few days, but unfortunately it took three weeks.

“We have finally received approval … and the parklet will be removed on the morning of Wednesday April 28.”

Ms Wingad said the county’s outdoor dining and trading program has played a crucial role in allowing businesses in the county to maximize their commerce during the peak period between January and Easter.

“The program has been so well received that the majority of merchants have requested that their parklets be extended until June and wish to see them installed again next summer,” she said. “In a small number of cases, tough decisions have had to be made in trying to balance the competing needs of traders. In the case of the park between the fourth and fifth avenues, five of the six traders are hotel companies and four have benefited from the park.

“We are extremely keen to work with the remaining trader [presumably Rosebud Flowers] to help offset any perceived impact and [have] offered material support to create an attractive outdoor commercial space for the company.

“We also offered help to promote and grow the business.”

Mr Cvetovac’s email to the traders contained a plea from Penelope Caravias, owner of Rosebud Flowers: “Please, please, could we have a response” on when the parklets will be deleted? she asked.

“It’s so totally unfair and an injustice, especially when the three [outside] Subway, Rosebud Flowers and Hungry Bills have not been used at all and our businesses are desperate to be able to get our customers back.

“Broken promises have been made for over seven months now. Please.”

Mr Cvetovac said he urged the council in December to consult with traders before any trade initiatives are proposed or implemented.

He said his research found 87% of traders objected to parklets saying they were potentially dangerous, eye injuries, meant loss of parking and passing commerce could be compromised. They also required additional cleaning, personnel and maintenance, and were just another “variable” that had to be managed.

Rosebud Flowers is desperate to ease the uncertainty ahead of the traditional Mother’s Day big sales on Sunday, May 9.

Cr Antonella Celi said she thought the parklets “worked well” and that most traders supported them. “The voices of all traders must be heard so that businesses can come out of COVID, and while the number of customers is capped for domestic patronage,” she said. “Businesses like The Milbri and Spitfire Restaurant needed our support and the florist is also doing business online. There are plenty of parking spaces, especially in the middle strip of the center. It would be different if there was no parking. “

First published in Southern Peninsula News – April 27, 2021

Optimistic new federal plan for winegrowers will help farmers https://hardouin.info/optimistic-new-federal-plan-for-winegrowers-will-help-farmers/ Sun, 25 Apr 2021 17:37:48 +0000 https://hardouin.info/optimistic-new-federal-plan-for-winegrowers-will-help-farmers/

Niagara farmer Matthias Oppenlaender said winemakers are happy the federal government pledged $ 101 million for the Canadian wine industry in last week’s budget.

But, he said, “the devil is always in the details, right?”

And the details are still being worked out.

Oppenlaender, who owns Huebel Grapes Estates in Niagara-on-the-Lake, wants confirmation that, as the program will be phased in next year to replace a tax exemption that is being phased out, the focus will still be on wines made at 100%. Fruits grown in Canada.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland announced the funding last Monday to replace the 100% Canadian wine excise tax exemption the industry has enjoyed since 2006.

This exemption is recognized for having contributed to the growth of the Canadian wine industry.

According to Grape Growers of Ontario – of which Oppenlaender is president – the number of VQA wineries has increased from 86 to 183 since 2006.

“The grapes had to be grown here, the wine had to be produced here from 100% Canadian produce, and then you didn’t pay,” Oppenlaender said. “It’s a very good program for the industry.”

However, Australia has taken to the World Trade Organization to challenge the exemption as an unfair trade advantage. Canada has agreed to eliminate the exemption by April 2022.

If no replacement program was found, it was predicted that the loss of the exemption would have added at least 50 cents to the cost of each 750 ml bottle of 100% Canadian wine.

The two-year, $ 101 million funding program announced last week, which begins after the exemption ends, is seen as a replacement that will stand up to legal challenge.

However, few details have emerged on how this will benefit the wine industry.

Oppenlaender said that “the program is growing a bit, as far as we understand, but I don’t know the details enough.”

“We need to focus on the fact that the money goes to wine made from grapes grown 100% in Canada. This is what it is (currently), this is what has given us a real gain in tonnage and investment in vineyards and wineries, as it has focused on Canada first.

He is concerned that if the program were expanded, it could extend certain benefits to wines that use a blend of domestic and imported grapes, which would hurt sales by Canadian producers.

On his farm, he says, all of his produce is sold to 10 to 15 wineries.

St. Catharines MP Chris Bittle would not speculate on what the final program might look like, but said the benefits “will only apply to Canadian grapes, that’s for sure.”

He said he hopes the final details on the new program can be summarized quickly because “it’s an industry that produces an aged product, so my preference would be to be sure as soon as possible.”

He said that currently about three-quarters of Ontario wine sold is blends. These wines are not exempt from excise tax.

Last week, Ontario Wine Growers President Aaron Dobbin estimated that thousands of jobs would have been at risk had there not been a replacement for the outgoing excise tax exemption.

The $ 101 million program that Freeland confirmed in its budget “averted the impending disaster we faced,” he said.



“If we didn’t get something, we expected about four million liters of wine sales to be lost in Ontario alone, and we estimate that about 1,300 jobs would have been lost in Ontario and 2,400 at national scale.

Oppenlaender said that when the new funding program is finalized, it must be just as favorable to Canadian producers as the tax exemption. Otherwise, jobs could still be at risk.

“If I don’t have a customer for my grapes, I will obviously downsize or go bankrupt,” he says.

US questions use of sPS-iC pHL in agricultural imports https://hardouin.info/us-questions-use-of-sps-ic-phl-in-agricultural-imports/ Sun, 25 Apr 2021 16:01:00 +0000 https://hardouin.info/us-questions-use-of-sps-ic-phl-in-agricultural-imports/

WASHINGTON expressed concern over Manila’s use of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Import Clearances (SPS-IC) to restrict the importation of certain agricultural products for reasons “unrelated to the protection of life or protection. human, animal or plant health ”.

The United States raised several questions regarding the Philippines’ non-issuance of SPS-ICs to “restrict” agricultural imports as a means of protecting domestic industries at a recent meeting of the Import Licensing Committee of the United States. World Trade Organization (WTO) last week.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar has suspended comments for now until he sees the US document, while Commerce Secretary Ramon Lopez saw nothing wrong with the use of the SPS- IC by Manila as long as it is properly implemented.

SPS-IC is a document issued by the Philippines for inbound imports certified to be free from pests or diseases that could harm the country’s agricultural sector and even human health.

“The United States is concerned that the Philippines is using SPS-IC to restrict imports for reasons
which appear unrelated to the protection of human, animal or plant life or health, ”the United States in its submission to the committee meeting, a copy of which was obtained by BusinessMirror.

The United States noted that the Philippines had made numerous notifications of legislation and regulations regarding import licensing last year.

Citing notifications from the Philippines, the United States said Manila had explained that it used SPS-IC to “ensure that imported products meet standards designed to protect human and animal life or health, to ensure that products are safe for consumers and prevent the spread. pests or diseases of animals ”and are not intended“ to restrict the quantity or value of imports ”.

Domestic supply problem

However, Washington, citing the Philippine Trade Policy Review in 2018, noted that in “certain cases” relevant Philippine government agencies take the current domestic supply into account when issuing SPS-ICs.

Washington has also expressed concerns about “repeated public statements” made by the Department of Agriculture (DA) to use SPS-IC to “periodically block” imports of certain agricultural products during their respective national harvest seasons.

“We are particularly concerned about repeated public statements from the Philippine Department of Agriculture. [DA] that it uses the SPS-IC system to periodically block imports of rice, corn and feed wheat during its national harvest seasons, ”he said.

Washington revealed that it had received “reports of ongoing SPS-IC refusals for no reason since September 2020” for the importation of whole American chickens.

Industry sources confirmed to BusinessMirror that the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) has stopped issuing SPS-ICs for whole chickens since the end of last year without any reason being given to them. parties involved.

“We know that DA will not issue SPS-IC for whole chickens for any reason,” Jesus C. Cham, president of the Association of Meat Importers and Traders (MITA), told BusinessMirror . “We interviewed them and they just told us that there was a memorandum that should not be published.”

BAI data obtained by BusinessMirror showed that the last time the agency issued the SPS-IC for importing whole chickens was in June of last year.

Some lawmakers and agriculture officials had argued over the issuance of SPS-ICs for rice imports last year, as commodity purchases abroad have driven domestic prices down in recent years. .

For example, Senator Cynthia A. Villar has repeatedly asked the DA not to issue SPS-IC during the harvest season to manage or even limit the import of rice and thus avoid having an oversupply.

Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) data obtained by BusinessMirror showed that there were certain months in the past year – such as October and November – that it had issued no SPS-IC for imports of rice.

The BPI earlier told BusinessMirror that it had not suspended the issuance of the SPS-IC for rice imports and that it was “managing” the arrival schedule “to prioritize the distribution of palay / local rice ”.

Dar, Lopez

Seeking to comment on concerns raised by the United States, Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar told BusinessMirror he wanted to “see the document before commenting.”

For the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), obtaining Sanitary and Phytosanitary Import Clearance (SPS-IC) permits for agricultural imports is “not necessarily” a barrier to trade if properly done. Implementation.

DTI Secretary Lopez told BusinessMirror that requiring SPS-IC permits for agricultural imports is a necessary measure, although the United States calls it a trade barrier.

Lopez said the permits “are non-tariff measures necessary to ensure food security and protect local industry from the entry of plant and animal diseases.”

“He [SPS-IC permit] should be applied to the extent necessary to protect human, animal and plant life and should not be used arbitrarily, ”he said, noting that standards should be subject to science.

“He [SPS-IC permit] is not necessarily a trade barrier unless the measures are used improperly, ”he added.

In the 2021 National Trade Estimate of Foreign Trade Barriers (USTR) report, it was noted that the United States had expressed concerns about the SPS-IC permit requirement. before the WTO at the last meeting of the Committee on Import Licensing and the last meeting of the Committee on Agriculture. year.

The United States, in a WTO document dated April 7, also asked the Philippines to explain the rationale for the SPS-IC system and to detail the laws, regulations and guidelines underlying it. support for this requirement.

“This [SPS-IC permit] the requirement adds costs, complicates the timing of exports and prevents the diversion to the Philippines of products destined for other markets but not sold there for commercial reasons, ”the USTR said. “It also prevents an exporter from reselling an imported product if the importer refuses to accept delivery or abandons the shipment.”

The USTR said the Philippines also did not issue an SPS-IC permit for imported rice and horticultural products, such as American table grapes, chopped potatoes, feed wheat, whole birds. and corn in 2019 and 2020.

Stakeholders, the USTR noted, asserted that the oft-cited reason for not issuing SPS-IC permits appeared to be protecting “domestic producers from import competition”, rather than ensuring that products were suitable for consumption.

Asked what the government did in response, Lopez turned himself over to the DA.

In a previous interview with BusinessMirror, the trade chief supported the removal of non-tariff barriers on imports and their replacement with an appropriate tariff. (Related story: https://businessmirror.com.ph/2021/04/22/lift-non-tariff-barriers-put-proper-tariff-dti/)

Lopez made the statement after the Economic Development Cluster (EDC) ordered both DTI and DA to conduct a study whether the Minimum Access Volume (MAV) system was abolished while setting an appropriate tariff. .

At an EDC meeting last month, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said in an April 20 letter to Senate President Vicente Sotto III that rising prices for major products of basis was due to “government tariffs, low MAV quotas and non-tariff barriers.” trading. “

MAV refers to the certain volume of agricultural imports that are imposed with lower tariffs. In the Philippines, it covers rice, corn, pork, poultry, coffee, and sugar.

Not the first time

This was not the first time that the United States had raised concerns about the Philippines’ SPS-IC system at the WTO.

At the November meeting of the WTO Agriculture Committee last year, the United States raised the issue after the SPS-IC for feed wheat and whole chicken imports from states -Unis was rejected by the Philippines; while the publication of the SPS-IC for US fresh fruits and vegetables has been delayed.

“Pursuant to Article 4.2 of the Agreement on Agriculture, Members shall not maintain, resort to or revert to any measure such as the conversion into ordinary customs duties”, including quantitative restrictions import and discretionary import licensing, ”the US said.

The Philippines responded to questions raised by the United States at the November WTO meeting on COA. “Due to the review of importers’ registrations in light of reports of unfair trade practices and food safety requirements, the issuance of SPS-IC has been halted for rice and other products,” he said. -he declares.

LG Chem – SK Innovations commercial agreement is a boon for the electric vehicle industry https://hardouin.info/lg-chem-sk-innovations-commercial-agreement-is-a-boon-for-the-electric-vehicle-industry/ Sun, 25 Apr 2021 15:23:00 +0000 https://hardouin.info/lg-chem-sk-innovations-commercial-agreement-is-a-boon-for-the-electric-vehicle-industry/

On April 11, LG Chem, Ltd. and SK Innovation Co., Ltd., two leading South Korean manufacturers of electric vehicle (EV) batteries, settled a long-standing trade dispute in which LG accused SK of trade secret misappropriation. SK has agreed to pay LG approximately US $ 1.8 billion in a combination of lump sum payments and royalties over a period of several years. The parties also agreed to withdraw all lawsuits on this matter in South Korea and other jurisdictions and not to initiate legal action against each other for ten years.

LG had filed a complaint in June 2019 with the US International Trade Commission (ITC), an independent agency created to protect US markets against unfair trade practices, that SK systematically stole trade secret information by poaching former LG employees, including scientists and engineers. . On February 10, 2021, the ITC ruled in LG’s favor and instituted a 10-year import ban on SK’s batteries into the United States because of its “extraordinary” efforts to destroy the evidence. The ITC also said that SK could only operate a plant it is building in the U.S. state of Georgia for just four years before shutting it down.

U.S. President Biden, a strong proponent of electric vehicle development, had until April 11 to decide whether to overturn the ITC decision or let it take effect, so the timing of the regulations saved him from having to make that decision. Indeed, the US trade representative noted that the LG-SK deal followed a “significant commitment” by the US administration.

The main consideration for President Biden is that the legal dispute has endangered the construction of a battery assembly plant by SK in the US state of Georgia. The plant is expected to produce EV batteries for Ford Motor Co.’s new F-150 electric pickup truck and Volkswagen AG’s new ID.4 SUV. Equally important, the SK facility, costing a total of around US $ 5 billion, would create around 6,000 jobs in perhaps the most politically divided state in the country. (Voters in Georgia elected two U.S. Democratic senators in the January 2021 run-off election following the November 2020 general election, allowing President Biden’s Democratic Party to control the U.S. presidency and both houses of Congress. )

The LG-SK deal is positive for the growth of electric vehicles in the United States and therefore positive for producers of key minerals used in EV batteries, such as lithium, cobalt, nickel and manganese. Miners of these small-cap metals listed in Canada include Lithium Americas Corp. (TSX: LAC), First Cobalt Corp. (TSXV: FCC) and. See figures below showing the International Energy Agency’s projected growth in demand for lithium and cobalt.

Annual LITHIUM Demand for Electric Vehicle Batteries, Thousands of Tons, 2019-2030
COBALT annual demand for batteries for electric vehicles, in thousands of tonnes, 2019-2030

Despite the giant media and investor attention that Tesla is attracting, total sales of plug-in electric vehicle units in the United States stood at 327,000 in 2019, which was only 2% of new light-duty vehicle sales this year. that year (according to www.usafacts.org). Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, a London-based consulting firm, estimated that the closure of the SK plant in Georgia would reduce the supply of EV batteries to the United States by 15% in 2021, and still by 8% in 2030.

President Biden’s infrastructure bill prioritizes electric vehicles

In late March 2021, President Biden presented a massive US $ 2 trillion infrastructure plan that includes $ 174 billion in spending to boost the US electric vehicle industry. This proposal includes the construction of a national EV charging network.

President Biden also pledged to strengthen the ability of the United States to manufacture lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. According to Ford Motor’s March 16, 2021 testimony from Jonathan Jennings to the US Senate Finance Committee, China produces 73% of all these batteries, which eclipses the US production share of 12%.

Information for this briefing was found through Sedar and the companies mentioned. The author has no title or affiliation related to this organization. Not a buy or sell recommendation. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a title. The author does not hold any license.

Here’s what Trump did for US citizens | News, Sports, Jobs https://hardouin.info/heres-what-trump-did-for-us-citizens-news-sports-jobs/ Sun, 25 Apr 2021 04:35:28 +0000 https://hardouin.info/heres-what-trump-did-for-us-citizens-news-sports-jobs/


In the March 28 edition of The Vindicator, a letter from Russ Nalepa raised concerns about a suggestion for a park to be named after President Trump. What really caught my attention was that the author of the letter said he “can’t think of anything that he (Trump) has done for America”. Additionally, the letter requested a list of what Trump had done for us. I would like to accommodate, but due to the limited space here my list is abbreviated. A full list is certainly available.

President Trump, when it comes to messaging, can be pompous and demeaning, but he takes everyone directly, which is refreshing. Anyone who does not believe they love our country, defends our flag and will defend our country to the end, is sorely mistaken and simply refuses to accept the truth. He doesn’t snuggle up to our opponents, or our allies, when it comes to what’s best for America, as long as it’s right.

The writer blamed the COVID-19 loss of over 500,000 of our citizens on President Trump, for failing to admit there was a “problem” when the pandemic struck and therefore did nothing to this subject. Even Trump’s harshest critics admit that “Operation Warp Speed” was a huge success.

On foreign affairs, the letter appears to suggest that Trump befriended North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un and called him his “favorite dictator.” It’s all part of Trump’s negotiating tactics (maybe he should read “The Art of the Deal”). Let us all remember that he called Kim Jong Un a “Little Rocket Man”. It does not seem very endearing to me.

Here is my abridged list of President Trump’s accomplishments, before the pandemic:

Unemployment reached its lowest level in 50 years at 3.5%, including record levels of unemployment for blacks, Hispanics, Asians, veterans, native Americans and the disabled; raised nearly 7 million food stamps; America First has taken strong action to combat unfair trade practices; refreshing support for American farmers; The United States has become energy independent; military rebuilt; a law signed to improve the care of our veterans; and supported legislation to end late abortions.


Native of Youngstown

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]]> Potential for artificial intelligence bias for enforcement accountability https://hardouin.info/potential-for-artificial-intelligence-bias-for-enforcement-accountability/ Sat, 24 Apr 2021 20:09:42 +0000 https://hardouin.info/potential-for-artificial-intelligence-bias-for-enforcement-accountability/

On Monday, April 19, 2021, a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) blog post warned companies to ensure that their artificial intelligence (AI) does not reflect racial or gender bias, and it noted that it does not doing so can result in “deception, discrimination – and FTC law enforcement action.” “1 While this isn’t the first time the FTC has addressed the issue of bias in AI, the agency has now made it clear that if companies don’t hold themselves accountable for all actions – human and AI – they should. “Be ready for the FTC.” do it for [them]. “2

In recent years, the number of companies investing in AI has skyrocketed. Automating some business operations has been shown to increase efficiency, improve customer service, and speed up production. But when AI is based on a biased data set – undervaluing or omitting protected races, genders, or other classes – the resulting system is inevitably biased, despite its purely neutral programming. Recent movements for social justice, #Me too at #BLM and beyond, have drawn attention to the prejudices that can arise in life and in business. Now regulators are also paying attention.

Bias in algorithms can cause applications to underperform, resulting in overall business underperformance due to missed opportunities and incorrect forecasts. This bias can negatively impact a company’s reputation, hurt the company’s bottom line, and alienate a large portion of its consumers. In recent years, some companies have chosen to tackle existing practices that disadvantage certain groups of people and favor others. Earlier this week, advice from the FTC made it clear that recognizing and correcting AI biases is not only a moral responsibility, but also a legal obligation.


Section 5 of the FTC Law

Section 5 (a) of the FTC Act prohibits “unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce”.3 Unfair and deceptive practices can include practices that may mislead a reasonable consumer, as well as those that may do more harm than good.4

As the mandate is broad, so are the possible bases for enforcement actions. In its recent statement, the FTC explicitly categorized the sale or use of racially biased algorithms as an unfair and deceptive practice. The FTC also warns against “digital redlining” – the use of protected characteristics such as race, religion or gender to determine which consumers a business will target with online advertisements. In 2019, the Department of Housing and Urban Development accused Facebook of violations of the Fair Housing Act for targeting its ads too narrowly along protected class lines.5 Now the FTC has threatened to use the FTC Act to protect consumers from this type of prohibited targeting as well.

Fair Credit Reporting Act

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) stipulates how consumer information can be collected and used for credit reporting.6 FCRA’s Congressional Statement of Intent emphasizes the need to ensure that consumer news agencies act with “fairness, impartiality, and respect for the consumer’s right to privacy ”, as unfair credit assessment methods“ undermine the public trust essential to the continued functioning of the banking system ”.7 When a business uses an algorithm to determine eligibility for credit, housing, or other benefits, in order to produce an impartial and fair result, it must be based on unbiased data.

Equal Credit Opportunity Act

The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) prohibits discrimination in credit on the basis of protected classes or on the basis that a person is receiving public assistance.8 When consumers apply for credit – whether to buy a home, start a business, or fulfill their dreams – creditors are not allowed to consider factors such as race and gender in deciding whether the consumer will be approved.

In addition, the ECOA prohibits not only intentional discrimination, but also unintentional discrimination which results in disparate impact. For example, if an algorithm is programmed to deny credit to consumers based on their zip code (a seemingly neutral factor) if the zip code has a population that is primarily made up of a racial minority, the FTC could challenge the practice by as a violation of the ECOA.9


Remember you are responsible

Keep using and benefiting from AI, but remember that you are responsible not only for the actions of the people you employ, but also for the technology you use. If you are building your own AI systems, be sure to test and modify regularly to eliminate bias. If you are using someone else’s AI, it is essential to understand the technology and data used by the system. If in doubt, consider hiring a lawyer to take a closer look at your existing AI systems and assess your risk of non-compliance with FTC mandates.

Think of an algorithm as a brain that learns and gets smarter over time. Regularly test for bias by modifying or eliminating certain factors (such as protected characteristics) from the decision-making process, and examine how this affects the results. In their book, AI for lawyers, Noah Waisberg and Dr Alexander Hudek, co-founders of Kira Systems, remind us that while biases can be built into AI systems, we remain in control of the data used by those systems, and therefore, we are in control. our own destiny.ten Proactively remove traits you don’t want the algorithm to consider and add data to fill in the gaps. If a program excludes a gender from its data set, add more data to ensure the results will be unbiased.

Always strive to under-promise and over-deliver

It might be a cliché, but “under-promise and over-deliver” is a very useful mantra. The FTC explicitly warns against fair or unbiased results that hold too much promise for consumers when the underlying data is in fact biased – whether intentionally or inadvertently.11 For example, don’t promise that your AI will make “100% unbiased hiring decisions” if the algorithm is based on data from only one race or gender. The FTC warns that “[t]This can result in deception, discrimination, and FTC law enforcement action.12 While the end goal is to correct this data, it is important to accurately recognize and accept the imperfect nature of the data from the start.

Transparency is the key

Finally, be transparent. Be genuine and specific. In addition to being transparent about efforts to improve results, be transparent about the data you rely on. Without transparency, AI will remain biased. Additionally, the FTC praises transparency as it creates the ability for others to detect and correct biases that a business may not be aware of on its own.13

While a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling casts doubt on the extent of the FTC’s power to enforce these guidelines in the future, it is still not to be taken lightly.14 At a minimum, the FTC can still enforce injunctions, and businesses should be wary of the negative press that accompanies it and the high costs that accompany defending against enforcement action.

New technologies are never perfect, but we can collectively improve them over time. Rather than shying away from AI because of these imperfections, companies should embrace FTC advice as an opportunity to reflect on their own technology and find ways to improve it: for the efficient operation of the FTC. company, its reputation and consumers above all.

1 Elisa Jillson, Strive for truth, justice and fairness in your business’s use of AI, FTC.GOV (April 19, 2021, 9:43 a.m.), https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/blogs/business-blog/2021/04/aiming-truth-fairness-equity-your-companys-use-ai.

2 Username.

3 15 USC § 45 (a) (1).

4 Fed. Comm’n Trade, A Brief Overview of the Federal Trade Commission Investigative, Enforcement, and Regulatory Authority, FTC.GOV (October 2019), https://www.ftc.gov/about-ftc/what-we-do/enforcement-authority.

5 Facebook, Inc., HUD ALJ # 01-18-0323-8 (March 28, 2019).

6 15 USC §§ 1681 et seq.

7 Username. § 1681 (a) (emphasis added).

8 Username. §§ 1691 et seq.

9 Andrew Smith, Use of artificial intelligence and algorithms, FTC.GOV (April 8, 2020, 9:58 a.m.), https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/blogs/business-blog/2020/04/using-artificial-intelligence-algorithms.


11 Jillson, above note 1.

12 Identifier.

13 Identifier.

14 AMG cap. Mgmt., LLC v Fed. Trade Comm’n, n ° 19-508, op. to 1 (April 22, 2021) (finding that Section 13 (b) of the FTC Act does not authorize the FTC to seek monetary relief such as restitution or restitution).

As China Forges Global Trade Ties, US May Fall Behind https://hardouin.info/as-china-forges-global-trade-ties-us-may-fall-behind/ Sat, 24 Apr 2021 18:56:53 +0000 https://hardouin.info/as-china-forges-global-trade-ties-us-may-fall-behind/

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang attends the signing ceremony of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) after the fourth RCEP summit, hosted by video link on November 15, 2020. Chinese Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan signed the agreement on behalf of China.

Xinhua News Agency | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images

The biggest hole in the Biden administration’s otherwise encouraging efforts to better compete with China – a vacuum that could undermine all other elements – is the lack of an international trade strategy.

As President Xi Jinping’s China accelerates its efforts to negotiate multilateral and bilateral trade and investment deals around the world, Republicans and Democrats in the United States have become allergic to such deals.

“The Chinese believe deeply in the importance of the correlation of forces, and they believe that the correlation at the moment is in their favor,” said Stephen Hadley, former national security adviser to President George W. Bush. If the United States fails to change this Chinese conviction, it will not regain the influence necessary to deal with Beijing.

“The most important missing piece to changing the Chinese calculus is a trade strategy,” says Hadley, a strategy that could rally global allies, provide jobs and growth for the United States, and counter growing efforts by China. to organize the world economy around itself.

Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright once called the United States the “must-have country” of the world, but Xi is now positioning China as the “must-have economy” of the world.

In 2018, 90 countries in the world traded twice as much with China as with the United States In 2019, China surpassed the United States as the world’s largest recipient of foreign direct investment. The underlying message now is that the Chinese market is so big, its liquidity so deep and its post-Covid-19 rebound so dramatic (+ 18% in the first trimester), that no reasonable country can resist its adoption.

“In this era of economic globalization, openness and integration are an unstoppable historical trend,” said President Xi mentionned this week at the Boao Forum for Asia. Without mentioning Washington by name, he said that “attempts to ‘build walls’ or ‘decouple’ go against the law of economics and market principles. They would harm the interests of others without benefiting oneself ”.

It’s far too easy to punch holes in Xi’s statement: China remains in the grip of market protections, and state intervention at home and abroad is growing. Intellectual property theft and cybercrime continue.

Yet without a modern, forward-looking trade strategy, the United States is entering this global dynamic with an arm tied behind its back.

“The United States and China are engaged in a strategic competition which will determine the shape of world politics of this century”, wrote Hank Paulson Jr., former Secretary of the US Treasury, in the Wall Street Journal. “But when it comes to trade, a critical dimension of that competition, America is giving way.”

This undermines the early victories in Biden’s emerging approach to China.

First, Biden took advantage of a bipartisan consensus, rare these days in Congress, on the urgency of addressing the Chinese challenge.

Second, Biden has started rallying friends and allies in Asia and Europe who share his concerns about China.

Biden hosted the first-ever Quad leaders meeting in March, including the United States, India, Australia and Japan, designed to balance China in the region. To address China’s vast vaccine diplomacy, countries agreed to distribute one billion doses of vaccines by 2022.

Last week, Biden welcomed Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga as the first head of government to visit Washington. Their joint statement did not mention China, but pledged “that free and democratic nations, working together” could act to resist “challenges to the free and open rules-based international order.” They also talked about ensuring peace in the Taiwan Strait, which is the first mention of Taiwan by a Japanese prime minister in a joint statement with a US president since 1969.

And for the very first time, the EU on March 22 imposed economic sanctions against China for human rights violations in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region, acting alongside the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Third, the Biden administration’s $ 1.9 trillion Covid-19 stimulus package and the $ 2.3 trillion pending infrastructure investments will improve the competitiveness of the United States through investments in the human capital, physical infrastructure and advanced technologies.

The problem is, the same bipartisan consensus in Congress regarding the Chinese challenge comes with a bipartisan allergy to the kinds of multilateral and bilateral trade and investment deals needed to meet Beijing’s momentum.

As of November, China was one of 15 Asia-Pacific countries, accounting for 30% of global GDP, which sign the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP. It was China’s first free trade deal with US allies Japan and South Korea, creating the largest trading bloc in history.

China also Express interest in joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, CPTPP. It was the trade deal signed by 11 countries after the Trump administration withdrew from the effort as one of its first acts of government.

If the RCEP agreement goes into effect, which is likely before January 2022, and if China is able to join the CPTPP, the game of international trade agreements in Asia would be largely over and China will have won.

At the same time, China is advancing on other fronts.

In January he closed the EU-China Comprehensive Investment Agreement (CAI), much to the dismay of new officials in the Biden administration. (The completion of this agreement has blocked in the European Parliament due to new Chinese sanctions against the EU.)

But whatever happens in Brussels, most European countries are eager to conclude trade and investment deals with China, which last year for the first time became the EU’s biggest trading partner.

The real problem lies in the lack of alternatives in Washington – driven by the flawed rhetoric from both sides that globalization has worked against American interests and jobs.

As the Republican Party transformed into the Trump party, it abandoned the type of free trade policy that President Ronald Reagan kissed as “one of the key factors in the great prosperity of our nation”.

While President Barack Obama negotiated the Trans-Pacific Partnership during his presidency, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016 opposite the deal after calling it “the gold standard” just three years earlier.

“Democrats and Republicans now advocate ‘a trade policy for the middle class’,” written Adam Posen of the Peterson Institute in a compelling foreign affairs story that debunks this approach. “In practice, this appears to mean” Buy American “tariffs and programs designed to save jobs from unfair foreign competition.”

Instead, he writes, “Washington should strike deals that increase competition in the United States and raise tax, labor and environmental standards. It is the illusory withdrawal from the international economy over of the past 20 years that has failed American workers, not globalization itself. “

Instead, as the Biden administration has put its trade agenda on hold, China is moving forward – making the deals and setting the standards that will shape the future.

Frederick Kempe is a bestselling author, award-winning journalist and CEO of the Atlantic Council, one of the United States’ most influential think tanks on world affairs. He worked at the Wall Street Journal for more than 25 years as an overseas correspondent, deputy editor and senior editor of the newspaper’s European edition. His last book – “Berlin 1961: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the World’s Most Dangerous Place” – was a New York Times bestseller and has been published in over a dozen languages. Follow him on Twitter @FredKempe and subscribe here to Inflection Points, his look every Saturday on top stories and trends from the past week.

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