Category: U.S. Business
Published: Thursday, 05 November 2009 08:48
The Phenomenon of Trade in China
“China is a phenomenon. Everything they are trying to do now, has never been done in human history,” said Eric Hsu, Commercial Officer, US Department of Commerce field office in Seattle. Hsu explained, to area business people, the challenges of doing business in China, for a program sponsored by the Big Sky Economic Development, “Dueling Tigers: Expanding Opportunities and Building Business in China and India.”
US businesses can do business in China, but it’s not easy, according to Hsu, whose agency is under a mandate from the US Congress to expand US trade in China.
China is not a place to try to run a business remotely. Keeping up to date with the day-to- day changes is important, and it is also important to protect against counterfeiting. Hsu urged the prospective exporters to work through Commercial Services in order to know the best approaches.
Seeping over from the 70s, the image of China held by most Americans is usually that of a dictatorship. But, said Hsu, that’s an image that must change because China is now “a modern market.” A lot of American companies look at China as a backward country. They think they can sell products that they couldn’t sell here. That is a mistake,” said Hsu, a US born citizen, served as a commercial officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Shanghai, China and deputy senior commercial officer at the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Read more: The Phenomenon of Trade in China
Category: U.S. Business
Published: Friday, 18 September 2009 06:46
The policies incorporated in “cap and trade” — or the Waxman-Markey Bill – are an “assault” on the poor and middle-income citizens of America, according to Niger Innis, national spokesman for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), a civil rights group founded in 1942. Innis was the keynote speaker at the Montana Petroleum Association’s Annual Appreciation Luncheon.
“The assault we have seen on the energy industry, by the green mafia, has translated into an assault on you,” said Innis. He explained that the availability of “affordable energy impacts your ability to enjoy or observe your civil rights. . . It impacts your ability to climb the economic ladder of opportunity.”
The Waxman-Markey has passed the US House of Representatives and awaits consideration in the US Senate. The bill would institute a system of carbon credits (a fee paid to the government by energy users) in proportion to the amount of carbon dioxide they emit. The credits could be bought and sold among businesses, but the upper limit on emissions allowed would be incrementally reduced over a period of years, reducing their availability which would drive up their value or cost. Ostensibly, the purpose of the legislation is to reduce the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which is believed by some to cause global warming. By increasing the cost of using energy, people will not be able to afford as much and therefore will have to use less energy and emit less carbon dioxide
“Energy is the master resource,” said Innis, “It makes all others possible. It allows for homes, food, life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
“Laws that restrict access and drive up costs are not good for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” he continued. When they drive up the cost of everything, “those who get hurt disproportionately are the poor and disadvantaged.”
Innis pointed out that while the focus of “cap and trade” policies are to lower the standard of living, it is higher standards of living that allow more efficient use of energy. The average median-income American family spends 5 cents on the dollar for energy. The average low-income family spends 20 cents on the dollar. Those that fall below the poverty line spend 50 cents on the dollar
The campaign behind the promotion of “cap and trade” is well funded by “elitists who claim they are protecting the environment from greedy corporations and foreign oil, but the reality is the Waxman -Markey Climate bill is an assault on the most vulnerable in our country,” said Innis, leaving them with fewer jobs and a reduced standard of living.
Innis quoted a study by the National Association of Manufacturers that shows an overall loss of between 1.8 million and 2.4 million jobs, should the legislation be implemented. It means an increase of between $200 to $1300 per year per household in increased energy costs.
Pointing out that other factors will nullify any carbon dioxide reductions that might result from the caps and imposed costs, Innis said, “The extreme green efforts are not made to save the planet.” He pointed out that European countries have made it “abundantly clear” that they plan to double coal production and are reversing their past cap and trade policies, which have not worked.
Brazil has discovered massive oil reserves and they plan on developing them for their own use.
India and China have said “thanks but no thanks” to cap and trade, and they feel they have a moral responsibility to improve the standard of living for their people, said Innis.
All these things will overwhelm any possible declines on carbon emissions; so, while the impact on the climate is “dubious” said Innis, “it’s economic impact is more definitive and absolute.”
The practical results of the legislation will be to push as many people as possible onto government welfare programs, he said. “For the poor it will be a matter of choosing between paying for heat or food. It’s a defacto regressive tax on the poorest of Americans.”
Recognizing the implication of the policies, a coalition of third party groups, including CORE, have formed to oppose what Innis called a crusade of “David vs. Goliath” proportions. While the foundations supporting the measure have billions of dollars “to fuel into the green mafia,” the coalition has “the moral high ground…It has the ability to galvanize people of all color and to push back against the green mafia.”
In large part, because of their efforts, according to Innis, Waxman-Markey has been stalled and is predicted to be defeated in its current form. But, “this is a decades-long fight, so even if we succeed, you can be sure they will implement many of the provisions of the legislation through executive fiat and bureaucratic mandates.”
He said that he has been puzzled that the coalition has not been embraced by the energy industry, even while “the media and the hard left have called us ‘shills for the energy industry.’”
Innis made reference to a DC lobbying firm which is now being investigated for having fabricated support of third party organizations through forged letters. Why didn’t they contact CORE or organizations like the Black Chamber of Commerce, which are real third party groups opposed to the legislation pondered Innis.
He called the fabrications “disgusting” and said it was a “slap in the face to CORE, and gave the radicals exactly the kind of ammunition they needed.”
[The firm was Bonner & Associates and some media have speculated that they were acting on behalf of the The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.]
Innis urged the development of all energy resources, domestically, but until more technology is developed that has to mean a focus on traditional fossil fuels. There’s a huge gap between the energy that renewables can deliver and the energy needed. About 0.5 percent of the US energy is produced by wind and solar and 93 percent comes from hydrocarbon and nuclear.
“We have centuries’ worth of oil, gas, oil shale, coal and uranium – and we can develop them without harming the environment,” he said.
Category: U.S. Business
Published: Thursday, 30 April 2009 10:19
Written by Press Room
Americans are moving less according to the U.S.Census Bureau. The national mover rate declined from 13.2 percent in 2007 to 11.9 percent in 2008 — the lowest rate since the bureau began tracking these data in 1948.
In 2008, 35.2 million people 1 year and older changed residences in the U.S. within the past year, representing a decrease from 38.7 million in 2007 and the smallest number of residents to move since 1962.
“Even though the number of people who changed residence in 2008 dropped by 3.5 million from the previous year, millions of Americans continue to move,” said Tom Mesenbourg, acting director of the U.S. Census Bureau.
By region, people in the South (13.5 percent) and in the West (13.2 percent) were likeliest to move in 2008. The Midwest and the Northeast had mover rates of 11.1 percent and 8.2 percent, respectively. In 2008, the Midwest saw the largest decline in its mover rate from 2007.
Read more: Lowest Residential Mover Rate