U.S. Government Report: Climate Change Will Shrink US Economy And Kill Thousands

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Climate change will shrink US economy and kill thousands, government report warns

(CNN)new US government report delivers a dire warning about climate change and its devastating impacts, saying the economy could lose hundreds of billions of dollars — or, in the worst-case scenario, more than 10% of its GDP — by the end of the century.

The federally mandated study was supposed to come out in December but was released by the Trump administration on Friday, at a time when many Americans are on a long holiday weekend, distracted by family and shopping.
David Easterling, director of the Technical Support Unit at the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, emphasized that there was “no external interference in the report’s development.” He added that the climate change the Earth is experiencing is unlike any other.
“The global average temperature is much higher and is rising more rapidly than anything modern civilization has experienced, and this warming trend can only be explained by human activities,” Easterling said.
Coming from the US Global Change Research Program, a team of 13 federal agencies, the Fourth National Climate Assessment was put together with the help of 1,000 people, including 300 leading scientists, roughly half from outside the government.
It’s the second of two volumes. The first, released in November 2017, concluded that there is “no convincing alternative explanation” for the changing climate other than “human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases.”
The report’s findings run counter to President Donald Trump’s consistent message that climate change is a hoax.
On Wednesday, Trump tweeted, “Whatever happened to Global Warming?” as some Americans faced the coldest Thanksgiving in over a century.
But the science explained in these and other federal government reports is clear: Climate change is not disproved by the extreme weather of one day or a week; it’s demonstrated by long-term trends. Humans are living with the warmest temperatures in modern history. Even if the best-case scenario were to happen and greenhouse gas emissions were to drop to nothing, the world is on track to warm 1.1 degrees Fahrenheit.
As of now, not a single G20 country is meeting climate targets, research shows.
Without significant reductions in greenhouse emissions, the annual average global temperature could increase 9 degrees Fahrenheit (5 Celsius) or more by the end of this century, compared with preindustrial temperatures, the report says.

The expense

The costs of climate change could reach hundreds of billions of dollars annually, according to the report. The Southeast alone will probably lose over a half a billion labor hours by 2100 due to extreme heat.
Farmers will face extremely tough times. The quality and quantity of their crops will decline across the country due to higher temperatures, drought and flooding. In parts of the Midwest, farms will be able to produce less than 75% of the corn they produce today, and the southern part of the region could lose more than 25% of its soybean yield.
Heat stress could cause average dairy production to fall between 0.60% and 1.35% over the next 12 years — having already cost the industry $1.2 billion from heat stress in 2010.
When it comes to shellfish there will be a $230 million loss by the end of the century due to ocean acidification, which is already killing off shellfish and corals. Red tides, or algae bloom that deplete oxygen in the water and can kill sea life — like those that triggered a state of emergency in Florida in August — will become more frequent.

Impacts on our health

Higher temperatures will also kill more people, the report says. The Midwest alone, which is predicted to have the largest increase in extreme temperature, will see an additional 2,000 premature deaths per year by 2090.
There will be more mosquito- and tick borne diseases like Zika, dengue and chikungunya. West Nile cases are expected to more than double by 2050 due to increasing temperatures.
Expect asthma and allergies to be worse due to climate change.
No one’s health is immune from climate change, the report concludes. People will be exposed to more foodborne and waterborne diseases. Particularly vulnerable to higher temperatures in the summer, children, the elderly, the poor and communities of color will be at a much greater risk for illness and death.

Heat and flooding

Wildfire seasons — already longer and more destructive than before — could burn up to six times more forest area annually by 2050 in parts of the United States. Burned areas in Southwestern California alone could double by 2050.
Dependable and safe water for the Hawaii, the Caribbean and others are threatened by these rising temperatures.
Along the US coasts, public infrastructure and $1 trillion in national wealth held in real estate are threatened by rising sea levels, flooding and storm surges.
Energy systems will be taxed, meaning more blackouts and power failures, and the potential loss in some sectors could reach hundreds of billions of dollars per year by the end of the century, the report said.
The number of days over 100 degrees Fahrenheit will multiply; Chicago, where these days are rare, could start to resemble Phoenix or Las Vegas, with up to two months worth of these scorching-hot days.
Sea levels have already gone up 7 to 8 inches since 1900. Almost half that rise has been since 1993, a rate of rise greater than during any century in the past 2,800 years. Some countries are already seeing land underwater.
By midcentury, it’s likely that the Arctic will lose all sea ice in late summer, and that could lead to more permafrost thaw, according to the report. As the permafrost thaws, more carbon dioxide and methane would be released, amplifying human-induced warming, “possibly significantly.”

What can be done

The report was created to inform policy-makers and makes no specific recommendations on how to remedy the problem. However, it suggests that if the United States immediately reduced its fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions, it could save thousands of lives and generate billions of dollars in benefits for the country.
The Defense Department is trying to understand what risk climate change poses to security. But the Trump administration has signaled that the country will pull out of international initiatives like the Paris climate accord, aimed at lowering global temperatures, claiming that these treaties have been unfair for the US economy.
A report from the UN in October urged all governments to take “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” to avoid disaster from climate change. That report predicted that the Earth will reach the crucial threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels by as early as 2030. It also suggested the world faces a risk of extreme drought, wildfires, floods and food shortages for hundreds of millions of people.

Time for action

Reactions to the new report have been strong across the scientific community.
“If we’re going to run this country like a business, it’s time to address climate as the threat multiplier we know it is before more lives are lost,” said Robert Bullard, an environmental scientist at Texas Southern University.
“In Houston, communities of color have endured back to back major weather events without the acknowledgment from Washington that climate change is the cause. We’ve known for years that it’s true and it’s important to our organizing and our local policy efforts that information like this is not only considered, but believed and acted upon.”
Scientists who have been raising the alarm about the negative consequences of climate change for years welcomed the findings.
Get CNN Health’s weekly newsletter

Sign up here to get The Results Are In with Dr. Sanjay Gupta every Tuesday from the CNN Health team.

“The findings in the Trump administration’s NCA report show how the health and daily lives of Americans are becoming more and more interrupted because of climate change,” said Beverly Wright, founding director of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice and a professor at Dillard University. “We challenge the administration to finally begin using this information to rebuild and strengthen the communities in the direct path of the atrocities wrought by the fossil fuel industry and decades of poor policies that have neglected our concerns. The science is undeniable, let’s fix it.”

Jordanians Dash Over for Cheap Shopping at Syria Border

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Jordanians Dash Over for Cheap Shopping at Syria Border

Monday, 12 November, 2018 – 09:30
Vehicles are being checked by custom officers at the recently reopened Nassib border post in the Daraa province, at the Syrian-Jordanian border south of Damascus on November 7, 2018. LOUAI BESHARA / AFP
Nassib (Syria) – Asharq Al-Awsat
Near the recently reopened border with Jordan, former Syrian opposition fighter Bahaa al-Masri sells date-filled pastries and sesame biscuits to Jordanians flocking across the frontier to snap up bargains.

Syrian regime forces retook control of the Nassib border crossing from the opposition in July, and last month reopened it after a three-year closure.

Just several hundred meters from the frontier, 26-year-old Masri counts the boxes of biscuits he still has left in a green plastic crate strapped to the back of his motorbike.

“For two weeks I have been bringing sweets from Damascus and selling them to Jordanians who come to buy them here because they’re cheaper,” says the ex-combatant, wearing a black jacket and woollen hat.

“I sell 27 to 30 boxes a day.”

Masri hawks the pastries every day in a rest area on the edge of Syria’s southern province of Daraa for three Jordanian dinars each (around $4, 3.5 euros).

“Thank God, when the border opened there was work again here, after I spent around six years without a job,” Masri tells AFP.

Also looking to cash in are Jordanian drivers, jokingly dubbed “sailors”, who ferry goods from Syria across the frontier for a small commission.

A whole economy has sprung up again since the border begun working.

At the crossing itself cars sit side by side in several long queues waiting to cross over into Syria.

Large trucks, some refrigerated, also wait their turn.

Before the war, “we used to come over to Syria every day — sometimes just to have breakfast”, says Mohammed Sayes, a 25-year-old from Jordan’s adjacent border town of Ramtha.

It was his second such trip since the border reopened “to see the sights, go out and eat” cheap, he says.

“Yes, Syria lived through a war, but we suffered a siege,” says the specialist in tourism management.

“When the border reopened, it was like paradise opened up again.”

Further up, dozens of people stand in line outside a row of small pre-fabricated buildings to have their Jordanian passports stamped by Syrian officials.

Jordanian driver Muflah al-Hurani, 53, is crossing the border to drive a family back home from the Syrian capital Damascus just over 100 kilometers to the north.

He has been going in and out of Syria on an almost daily basis since Nassib reopened, to transport passengers or shop for relatives.

“I bring back fruit and vegetables including potatoes, onions, garlic, as well as children’s clothes made of cotton,” he says.

“And I fill up my car will fuel… It’s less than half the price (in Syria) despite the war.”

Not far off, the former arrivals hall is being repaired after it was damaged in the war.

Damascus hopes the reopening of Nassib will boost its war-ravaged economy.

Before the conflict, the crossing was a key passage for trade, linking Syria — but also Lebanon and Turkey — with Jordan and the Gulf beyond.

Syrian officials have registered more than 33,000 arrivals since October 15, against 29,000 departures.

Among those waiting to head across the border are also Syrians returning home, car roofs piled high with suitcases and blankets.

Last week, a Jordanian official said 6,000 Syrians had gone back to their country, among them 517 registered refugees.

The head of the Nassib crossing Colonel Mazen Ghandour says the number of people heading into Syria is increasing daily, and that most of those coming are Jordanians.

“Most Jordanians come to shop and then go home,” Ghandour says. “Others go to see Damascus.”

A few meters away, a Syrian woman living in Jordan smiles as she waits to cross over with her family for a two-week visit.

“Damascus is a blessing… That’s why everybody wants to visit after being cut off for so long,” she says.

Singapore, China conclude talks to upgrade free trade agreement

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNA NEWS)

 

Singapore, China conclude talks to upgrade free trade agreement

 

Singapore, China conclude talks to upgrade FTA

Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing (left) with Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce and China International Trade Representative Fu Ziying. (Photo: MTI)

SHANGHAI: Singapore and China have concluded talks to upgrade the China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (CSFTA), Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said in a statement on Monday (Nov 5).

This was announced following a meeting between Singapore’s Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing and Fu Ziying, who is China’s Vice Minister of Commerce and the China International Trade Representative, on Monday. The meeting took place on the sidelines of the China International Import Expo.

Under the current CSFTA, there are no tariffs on 95 per cent of Singapore’s exports to China, while there are no tariffs on all Chinese exports to Singapore.

The upgraded CSFTA is expected to provide Singapore businesses with greater trade facilitation and investment protection in China.

It is also expected to provide Singapore businesses with improved market access and will cover cooperation in new areas, including legal and financial services, e-commerce and the environment.

Mr Chan said this development marks “an important step forward” for bilateral economic relations between Singapore and China.

“The upgrade signals our joint commitment towards greater economic collaboration and trade liberalisation. Singapore businesses can expect to enjoy greater access to the vast Chinese market and greater certainty in their investments when the upgraded CSFTA takes effect,” he said.

image: data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==

Singapore, China conclude talks to upgrade FTA

Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing (right) and Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce and China International Trade Representative Fu Ziying meeting at the inaugural China International Import Exposition in Shanghai. (Photo: MTI)

The CSFTA was the Chinese government’s first such agreement with an Asian country.

Talks to upgrade the FTA, which entered into force in January 2009, have been three years in the making. They began after Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Singapore in November 2015.

In September, Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean had said that the signing of the upgraded pact is expected when Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visits Singapore for the ASEAN Summit next week.

READ: China-Singapore trade agreement upgrade to be concluded by year-end

Singapore and China enjoy close economic ties, with total bilateral trade between the two countries reaching S$137.1 billion in 2017.

China was Singapore’s largest trading partner, while Singapore was China’s largest foreign investor for the fifth consecutive year since 2013.

More than a third of outward investments related to China’s Belt and Road Initiative flows through Singapore.

Source: CNA/nh(ra)

 

The Chinese century is well under way

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE ECONOMIST)

 

 

The Chinese century is well under way

Many trends that appear global are in fact mostly Chinese

When scholars of international relations predict that the 2000s will be a “Chinese century”, they are not being premature. Although America remains the lone superpower, China has already replaced it as the driver of global change.

There is one economic metric on which China already ranks first. Measured at market exchange rates, China’s gdp is still 40% smaller than America’s. However, on a purchasing-power-parity (ppp) basis, which adjusts currencies so that a basket of goods and services is worth the same amount in different countries, the Chinese economy became the world’s largest in 2013. Although China is often grouped with other “emerging markets”, its performance is unique: its gdp per person at ppphas risen tenfold since 1990. In general, poorer economies grow faster than rich ones, because it is easier to “catch up” when starting from a low base. Yet in other countries that were as poor as China was in 1990, purchasing power has merely doubled.

China’s record has exerted a “gravitational pull” on the world’s economic output. The Economist has calculated a geographic centre of the global economy by taking an average of each country’s latitude and longitude, weighted by their gdp. At the height of America’s dominance, this point sat in the north Atlantic. But China has tugged it so far east that the global centre of economic gravity is now in Siberia.

Because China is so populous and is developing so quickly, it is responsible for a remarkable share of global change. Since the start of the financial crisis in 2008, for example, China has accounted for 45% of the gain in world gdp. In 1990 some 750m Chinese people lived in extreme poverty; today fewer than 10m do. That represents two-thirds of the world’s decline in poverty during that time. China is also responsible for half of the total increase in patent applications over the same period.

For all its talk of a “peaceful rise”, China has steadily beefed up its military investment—even as the rest of the world cut back after the end of the cold war. As a result, the People’s Liberation Army accounts for over 60% of the total increase in global defence spending since 1990. And all of this growth has come at a considerable cost to the environment: China is also the source of 55% of the increase in the world’s carbon emissions since 1990.

Sources: Economist Intelligence Unit; Global Carbon Project; Maddison Project Database; SIPRI; World Bank; World Intellectual Property Organisation; The Economist
Get the data

This article appeared in the Graphic detail section of the print edition under the headline “Well under way”

Crisis-Hit Turkey Cuts Investment Criteria for Citizenship

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Crisis-Hit Turkey Cuts Investment Criteria for Citizenship

Thursday, 20 September, 2018 – 08:15
New skyscrapers, in the background, under construction are pictured in Istanbul, Turkey April 10, 2015. REUTERS/Murad Sezer
Ankara – Saeed Abdelrazek
Turkey on Wednesday cut the financial and investment criteria required for citizenship for foreigners in an attempt to confront its economic crisis.

Foreigners now need only to have $500,000 deposits in Turkish banks, down from $3 million before while fixed capital investment was reduced from $2 million to $500,000 dollars, a decree from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s office, published in the Official Gazette, said.

Individuals can now obtain citizenship if they employ 50 people, down from the previous 100, while those who own property worth $250,000 can become Turkish citizens, compared to the previous value necessary of $1 million.

According to data from the Turkish Statistics Institute, Iraqis topped the list of foreign buyers of properties in Turkey in August, followed by Iranians, Saudis, Kuwaitis and Russians.

The Institute said that Iraqis bought 944 properties, Iranians 394, while Saudi nationals bought 275 properties, followed by Kuwaitis (271) and Russians (192).

A total of 3,866 properties were sold to foreigners with a 129.6 percent year-on-year increase, it said.

But House sales across Turkey declined 12.5 percent on a yearly basis in August with a more than 67 percent yearly decrease in mortgaged sales.

Meanwhile, the economic confidence index in Turkey dropped by nine percent in August compared to the previous month, reaching 83.9 points and hitting a record low in three years, data from the Institute showed.

In other economic news, Amazon.com Inc said it had launched activities in Turkey, offering products across 15 categories to customers across the country.

“We are committed to building our business in Turkey in the coming months by expanding our selection and delivery options,” Sam Nicols, country manager for Amazon.com.tr said in a written statement.

Comments

Personal Experiences With Labor Unions Here In The U.S. Both Good And Bad

 

 

A couple of days ago I read an article from another Blogger concerning his experiences with Labor Unions, it was his article that gave me the idea to write this article to you today. The Author’s name is Dan Antion and you can find his article on his site at http://nofacilities.wordpress.com/

 

I was born in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia back in the mid 1950’s, this was an area where there simply were no Union jobs. All of the jobs in the area all paid what ever the Federal National minimum wage happened to be at the time. None of the factories, silk mills or saw mills paid anything to their employees that was not mandated by law. Besides the people being paid the minimum wage there were no benefits at all for the employees, no health insurance, not dental or vision insurance, no paid holidays, no vacations or vacation pay, no overtime pay when you had work on a holiday, unless in doing so put you over the 40 work week. Another big thing was there was no job security at all, you could have been at a job for 20 years and the foreman or “Boss Man” as most were called could come into work one morning in a bad mood and fire you for any reason, or no reason at all and there was nothing at all that you could do about it. Needless to say my Mom and Dad whom were both factory workers were in favor of Unions but it was something that they had to keep quiet because you would definitely get fired if the Bosses ever even thought you were talking pro-union even if you were not at work when they heard that you were condoning the concept of a Union. The reasons are pretty simple, if the Company was forced to have a Union then the bosses would have to have a real reason to fire you or to suspend you. The company would be forced to pay much higher wages and be required to pay for benefits like vacation pay, health insurance, paid sick leave. To me I believe that there are two main financial reasons for a company to treat their employees this way. One is pure greed from the ownership stand point. If you own a company what you don’t pay out in wages and benefits you get to put into your own pocket. Two, competition, you as an owner had to be able to keep the wholesale prices of your product in line with what other companies whom made the same products as you were charging. When you paid more out for your costs than your competition then the customers would buy from your competition and not you, thus putting you out of business. Back then competition was mostly all domestic, now days everything is international. This is some of the reasons why so many factories have closed here in the States and moved overseas, competition and cheaper production costs.

 

Now to the crux of this article to you today. I was a long haul truck driver from 1981-2013, I drove all over the lower 48 states and all of the Provinces of Canada. Most of my driving was here in the U.S. so I am only going to speak of my Union/non-Union experiences here in the States. I my self do believe that the concept of Unions is a very good thing for the working class poor people but as a truck driver I really did not like having to go to Union customers. Companies simply want to get employees to get as much product out the door as possible for the least amount of cost. Unions want to make companies pay the employees as much as possible and they want the employees to have to do as little as possible for that higher pay. Also Unions want to have as many members as possible so their theory is if the employees of a company do less and less than the company will have to hire more Union employees to get the finished product out the door. This in turn creates more revenue for the Union via the employees Union Dues. The problem between the companies and the Unions are just like the problems we all see in American politics between the Republicans and the Democrats, they are total polar opposites.  The only way to make things work whether it is in politics or with companies and Unions is if both sides of the issues will decide to ‘meet in the middle’.

 

Examples of why a driver does not like to go to Union companies: There was a large Paper Mill in Lamar Louisiana that I went to several times, once you backed in the dock to get loaded you walked about 200 feet back into the Mill to the Shipping Office to sign and pickup the paper work for your load. By the time you walked to the Office then back to your trailer, it was loaded. These are big rolls of paper that are loaded with a clamp machine (adapted forklift). This Mill is non-Union and you could always hear the tires squealing on the forklifts as they were loading the trailers and your trailer was only in a dock for a total of about 15 minutes and you were ready to leave. One time I picked up a load from this Mill and the load was an (in-house) move, meaning that it was going to their own warehouse in Indianapolis Indiana. The difference here was that the warehouse in Indianapolis was a Union Shop. I got to the Receiver about a half hour early and was given a door assignment to back into which I did. This warehouse had about 40 dock doors and I was the only trailer in any dock. I waited for two hours and they still had not entered the trailer for the first time so I went back to the Receiving Office to ask when they might start, about another hour and a half passed before they pulled the first roll out. From that point it took them two hours to unload the trailer, my total time in their dock to get unloaded was 5 1/2 hours. Remember, at their non-Union Mill they loaded this load in 10-15 minutes.

 

One time I picked up a load of car fenders that were on either 5 or 6 racks that took the loader literally no more than about 5 minutes to load. This load was going to a General Motors Assembly Plant in Michigan. General Motors is very strict about incoming freight and they only give you a half hour window in which to be arriving, if you are late the company that you drove for gets a big fine so you don’t dare be late. My appointment was for 5 AM. I checked in at 4:30 and was told to pull in front of door #5 and to stay there until someone comes out and tells you to back into the dock. All of the dock doors had trucks lined up waiting just like I was. A couple of times during the day I went in to check with the Receiving Supervisor to see when they might get started as my dispatch had me a reload to get picked up and that customer was wanting to know when I might show up. Turns out that all of the Receiving Department employees were sitting in the break room doing things like reading newspapers and books, playing card games and watching TV. When the Supervisor asked them to please go out and unload these trailers they cursed him quite badly and told him to go F-off. The Supervisor one time even got a hold of the Union Representative who showed up on his little three-wheeled power cart and he asked the employees to please go unload the trailers, he got cursed just as the Receiving Supervisor had before him. Turns out that at about 6 PM I finally got to back into my dock door and they did get me unloaded in about 10 minutes. That was the one and only load that my company ever hauled into or out of a U.A.W. (United Auto Workers) location. Is it any wonder why the Company built factories in Mexico to get away from the Union here in the States?

 

Twice I had to pick up a load of flooring tile at a manufacturer in north-east Illinois. Both times I had gotten appointments for about 10 AM. The Shipper had a good-sized parking lot for the trucks to wait in until they were called to back into a dock door. Both times the company I worked for ended up canceling the load and the reason was simple economics. This was a Union Shipper, after waiting for a couple of hours past my appointment time I went inside to see what was going on as no trucks had moved from the docks yet. Just like at the GM Factory the shipping department employees were all just siting around in their break room. I was told that the Union had gotten a deal where the employees only had to load 4 trailers per shift, figuring 2 hours per trailer x 4=8 hour shift. Reality was that when the day started at 7 AM the employees would hustle to get their 4 trailers loaded. But, it actually only took them about 30 minutes to load a trailer so, 4 x 30 minutes =2 hours. Then the employees would just go to the break room each day until their 8 hour shift was finished then they would check out and go home. The reality was that they had a whole lot full of trucks waiting to get loaded that they didn’t give a damn about.

 

Folks, here is my take on this issue. We all know that all companies are in a global economy, if your company makes a product, lets say widgets, you are not only competing with other Widget Companies in your State or even just in your home Country. If I have a company here in Kentucky, Union or not, and I make Widgets at a cost to me of 48 cents each and another company in lets say China and or Indonesia comes into the market selling Widgets for a total cost of 35 cents each having a production cost of 20 cents per Widget then I have a tough choice to make. Either I get my production cost down to no more than 20 cents per unit so that I can stay competitive, or I close my factory before I go bankrupt. The other option is to close up my factory here in Kentucky and to open up a factory in a place like China or Indonesia where I can be competitive. Either way, I must close up my factory here in Kentucky.

 

My Mom instilled in me a major ‘work ethic’, the concept that when you are at work, you bust your behind, you work. It has long been my belief that if you are an employee and you are lucky enough to have a Union job then you should always work as hard as you can and to always put out the best possible product for you employer. If you are  employed in a Union Business I have always believed that you need to produce at a higher level because you are being paid at a higher level than your non-Union neighbor. Getting contracts where you can work for two hours and sit on your butt in the break room for the next six hours is how companies either go bankrupt, or move away to a non-Union location, like China. Either way, you now have no job at all.

China Robust July foreign trade shows little impact from row with US

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI NEWS AGENCY ‘SHINE’)

 

Robust July foreign trade shows little impact from row with US

China’s foreign trade accelerated in July despite escalating trade tensions with the United States, with data pointing to a more balanced trade picture.

Growth in imports and exports, denominated in US dollars, rebounded in July, with imports rocketing by 27.3 percent — nearly double the growth pace in June — and exports rising 12.2 percent from a year earlier, data released yesterday by the General Administration of Customs showed.

July’s trade data was under the spotlight as it was the first reading since fresh US tariffs on a wide range of Chinese goods went into effect. The US slapped an extra 25 percent tariff on US$34 billion worth of Chinese imports beginning July 6, to which China responded with an equivalent retaliatory measure.

China’s surplus with the US shrank slightly to US$28.09 billion in July from a record high of US$28.97 billion in June.

“China-US trade tariffs seem to have had more impact on China’s exports than its imports from the US,” said Betty Wang, senior China economist at the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group.

China’s exports to the US rose 11.2 percent year on year in July, compared with an increase of 12.5 percent in June, while China’s imports from the US grew by a faster 11.1 percent in July, up from June’s 9.6 percent.

At the same time, China’s imports from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the European Union and Australia jumped 30.2 percent, 20 percent and 33.7 percent, respectively, “which may suggest that China is trying to seek other import sources in the midst of the trade war,” according to the ANZ Group.

“Currency devaluation, which may have helped exports to some extent, has been largely market-driven in our view and is not a preferred policy tool by Chinese policy-makers as part of retaliatory measures,” Wang said.

Wang added that the much higher-than-expected import growth was mainly driven by surging commodity, mechanical and electrical products.

The better-than-expected growth might be partly because China tends to strengthen economic and trade ties with other major economies amid trade tensions with the US, Huatai Securities said in a research note.

Yesterday’s data also revealed a more balanced trade picture, thanks to the surge in imports.

China’s global trade surplus narrowed by 40 percent from a year earlier to US$28 billion last month. The trade gap with the 28-nation EU contracted by 8 percent to US$11.2 billion.

China has been seeking a more balanced trade pattern, with a series of pro-import policies introduced.

Last month, the State Council released guidelines on expanding imports, promising tariff cuts, clean-ups of unreasonable price markups, and better intellectual property rights protection.

The policy incentives have had positive impacts on imports, Huatai Securities noted. It added that a decision of intensifying efforts to improve infrastructure, made at a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee in late July, will further drive imports of industrial raw materials such as iron ore.

Looking forward, China tends to maintain strong imports, while exports are also likely to hold steady despite uncertainties rising from trade tensions with the US, said Bai Ming with the Ministry of Commerce research department.

“The tariffs have so far had a limited impact on overall trade,” China Merchants Securities said. While short-term effects might be mild, the impact of US tariffs on China’s trade may be gradually revealed as time passes and more tariffs on Chinese goods threatened by the US take effect, it noted.

Brazil: THE RECESSION OF THE COUP REDUCED FREIGHT BY 26%

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BRAZIL NEWS AGENCY 247)

 

Freaking Out Over Dropping Oil Prices

Freaking Out Over Dropping Oil Prices

 

Many years ago I saw a TV episode of “The Jefferson’s” program where George the main character had died, but 20 years later he got to come back as a ghost so he checked in on his family. The one other part of the program I remember was a little girl coming into the room and she asked her dad for five dollars so that she could get and ice cream and her dad said “only five dollars”? That line was put into the program for the laugh factor yet those words ring with and obvious truth of the deflation of our own dollar. At the time of this program you could get and ice cream for about 75 cents, now days quite a few of the treats cost between $2.75-3.50, the joke is on ourselves. Fake money, that which we strive and die for all of our lives. When your Pepsi cost $5.00 and your burger cost $15.00 what good is a $8.00 per hour job? Twenty years from now when we are maybe making $18.00 to $20.00 per hour and a Pepsi is $15 and a burger is $30 how do people survive the real costs of living?

 

I have believed for a long time now that Deflation is absolutely required within the worlds most industrialized nations which of course includes us here in the U.S.. I believe that the biggest inflation maker in our nation is generated from the very base level of Government, the local level Politicians. These Politicians are the ones who are always needing more revenue and the local home owner is the venue of which they suck from. About 20 or so odd years ago I heard part of and interview of Tom Jones with a lady commentator, I think it was Ms Walters but I’m not positive of that. Mr Jones spoke of the home that he and his wife had lived in for twenty years, he said he paid one million for it twenty years ago but now this same house is now worth ten millions so says the tax collector. Taxes go up, people have to make more money to pay these taxes or one of many different Government agency’s will take “your property” from you. When the prices of houses keep going up it makes it where the majority of people don’t believe they will ever have and actual house of their own. I believe that one of the necessary steps Our Government should do when they are gathering data on everything that breathes and many that don’t is to get rid of the Out Liars and the liars.

 

Deflation is and absolute requirement that at some point we as a nation will have to live through. Is the dropping oil costs the trigger that topples the phony houses of the .01% who reap fortunes on the bones of those they have crushed beneath them on their unending desire to always have more? If We The People want a more truthful stat on things like average wages or the value of houses in our area I believe the stats people need to always get rid of the Out liars. I believe we would get a better state of the Nation figures if for example on value of houses if the top 10% and the bottom 10% were taken out of the equation you will get more truthful results. I’m not saying that these people don’t count they do, every one of them count. But we need more truthful numbers if we want to know what the true state of the Union is, we need to get rid of all the obvious Out liars. When the price of a nation’s fuel is dropping it should be a great thing for business and the people of that nation. Instead the stock market is stumbling because of it. When people lose their jobs the value of the company goes up just like with mergers, then their stock value goes up. Things are backwards in our society folks, deflation of the housing and vehicle markets (as examples) are necessary otherwise the world we are leaving our children will be where they can’t afford toilet paper. The cost of absolutely everything must reach a stage where it’s cost quits going up. If I make $100 per hour but my Pepsi cost $50 and my cheese burger is $90 what good is the $100 per hour? This balloon has got to pop at sometime in the future, is it now? The world oil glut is getting harder to hide, is this the fire cracker that pops the balloon?

 

American Jobs Wal-Mart And China

American Jobs Wal-Mart And China

As you probably know that here in America in the media you’re hearing advertisements more and more about made in America products where companies and people are pushing the made in the USA slogan. Yet still do you remember that the uniforms for our Olympic athletes were originally made in China instead of America? Eventually the fuss was made loud enough that new uniforms were made for them, here in America. There are companies here in America starving for orders (work) yet many American corporations that are global conglomerates will analyze everything down to the penny. If these companies can literally save a few pennies on an order by having it made in China, or else where, these companies will not use the American workers, they instead buy products that are of no quality at all from somewhere else, usually in China or Indonesia. By now do we Americans not know the level of trash for quality we get when we buy products made in China? Yet the big box stores (corporations) seem to only carry these garbage products at maximum prices, for maximum profits. I know that a lot of people are just like me, we go into a store, like your local Wal-Mart and it seems that if you are going to buy anything there, you are going to buy foreign-made products, not made in America products. I am a partly disabled Army vet who a couple of times a year goes to the VA hospital in Johnson City TN. Even there it is common if you are going to buy something in their store like a shirt or a hat if you check the tag to see where it was made the answer is usually China. It is frustrating to pick up a hat for example that says something like US Army veteran and have the tag say made in China. Our government is in my opinion traitors to the American workforce in other areas also, even ones that are of the utmost importance of having quality like on American fighter jets. Just a few weeks ago on the news the American Secretary of Defense was defending his decision to order parts for Americas new F-34 fighter jet from China because they could get them cheaper there. These were unimportant parts I guess, they were only for the instrument panels and the landing gear.

Okay, now I am going to get more in focus on the title of this article, American jobs. I spent most of my adult life setting behind the wheel of a semi truck crossing our country many hundreds of times. One of the things you notice when you are out there is how small town America is dying. Now I am not going to put all the blame on the huge corporations, we the people have some fault in our country’s demise, that is because if we refused to buy products unless they are made in America the corporations would have to buy from America. Every once in a while you will see billboards telling their population to buy from the local companies first because this is what stimulates their local workforce creating local jobs. This basic truth is the same on a national level, if we want to have jobs in this country, then buy only the products that are made here in the states first. A couple of months ago I wrote an article here on this blog titled (Wal-Mart grew through deceit, fraud, and lies) if you have a little time please check it out. If you are old enough you may remember how Wal-Mart used to always advertise how they only bought made in the USA products, that used to even be on the back door of the trailers for everyone to see out on America’s highways. Problem is, they were lying to all of us for the purpose of getting us to shop there and thus help the American workforce. I know very well that I was not the only driver who hauled loads from the shipping docks that we took to the Wal-Mart distribution centers around the country. It was a very common thing to be backed up to a loading dock to pick up a load going to them and the load would be staged there on the dock ready to go, but there was one hold up, we would end up having to wait for several hours while the dock workers changed all of the labeling from wherever it came from to tags saying made in the USA. Friends, to me that is lying, fraud and deceit, what do you think it should be called if not that? How about theft of American jobs, theft of food from Americans dinner table, theft of American families being able to afford a roof over their head?

 

Many years ago I hauled loads from the upper Midwest and even from Canada that were the guts of factories. These were cases where companies were closing up shop in places like Minnesota and Iowa and were moving their operations to places like southern Texas. The reasons were simple, cheaper labor cost. This was a way to eliminate the unions by moving to so-called Right To Work states. This term, in these states, in my opinion should be called the Right To Work Your Ass Off “For As Little Pay As Possible And No Benefits As Possible Under The Laws Of The United States.” Then came the NAFTA agreement under Bill Clinton’s watch. What it really did was to create jobs south of our border. Companies quit stopping at the Rio Grande River, they simply crossed it to a land with hardly any environmental laws and to countries with no minimum wage factors or unions. I guess that for a lot of the huge companies that wasn’t enough of savings when they found out that in China and other countries in Southeast Asia you can get slave labor and child labor for wages like a dollar a day. There is one thing now that I want to bring to your attention, have you noticed that a company can close its factory in America because they say they can’t compete on the global market and they move their operations to a place like China so that their costs are lower. But have you noticed that the price of their products never go down at all with their new savings? Companies want you to buy their new no quality products, but don’t seem to notice that unemployed people have very small budgets.

 

The reason I am picking on Wal-Mart here in this article is mainly because they’re the biggest offender of this, what I call treason, toward the American people. Wal-Mart has had three large ships made recently, and I do mean large. The three ships are each larger than an American Aircraft Carrier, they each can carry a payload of thousands of semi trailer size containers. The three ships cost Wal-Mart almost five hundred million dollars. You read that correctly, almost half a billion dollars. This is a savvy move for them though, now they are able to save a lot of money on every trip from China to the west coast of America. Why did I word it that way, here is the simple answer, all three of these ships are too huge to be able to get through either the Suez or the Panama Canals. This makes it plain, they are meant for the purpose of hauling the cheapest possible Chinese products to their American stores. Just think about this issue for a moment please. On just one load on one ship, if those products were made here in the States, how many American jobs were lost on just one load? The Walton kids who own the company are all multi billionaires, yet do you see how little they give a damn about the people in this country that they want to sell this cheaply made no quality junk to?

 

If we the people want to have jobs then we as a people MUST avoid buying non made in America products. If our country had a real two or three percent unemployment rate my attitude would be different. By no means am I anti Chinese people, their government like our own seems to be extremely corrupt, I against all realistic hope, wish all people and governments were kind, honest, loving and fair, but I know that is just a fantasy, not reality. A person might think that I do not care about the working class people in places like China, but that is not the truth. I care a lot about their people, I wish them no harm. It is their government that needs the most changing I think, they have about 1.2 Billion people in their country. Their government should care about their own population first. There are many millions of people in their country who are living in hand to mouth squalor. If their country would turn inward first and build factories and create jobs and products for their goods it would help bring hundreds of millions of people into a more middle class urban level of living inside their own country. This in turn brings in more tax revenue from within for their country so that they would not have to focus so much on obtaining foreign currency. Once they do this then their own people will demand better quality products to be made. This would then help increase the quality of the products that they export so then people would quit calling their products garbage. I appreciate you taking of your time to read this article, thank you.