Thursday, August 31, 2006

U.S. Trade Deficit - The Bottomless Pit

The U.S. is the premier advocate of "Free Trade" or bailing out those who don't have to abide by rules that truly contribute to "Fair Trade".

The Europeans, Japanese, and for the last 20 years the Chinese, have played with loaded dice that insure them of favorable trade balance.

Why can't the U.S. come to some policies that aren't for winning friends and influencing (outside the U.S.) people and that give America and Americans a fair shake?

My kind of America has a strong economy and a strong defense. You can't have one without the other - not in a free society.

Let's hear it from the political sissies, the naysayers who can criticize but never have answers or workable ideas of their own.

Monday, August 28, 2006

USTR Sees China thru Rose Colored Glasses

Susan Schwab, United States Trade Representative, has stated that she would rather not take legal action on trade issues with China. Although Ms. Schwab has more than 20 years experience on trade issues, she assumes she can deal with the Chinese outside the WTO and achieve objectives favorable to the U.S.

This is pipe-dreaming! Anything short of an all out war won't budge the Chinese. The Bush Administration lives on another planet. Neither Bush I or Bush II has accomplished anything meaningful on trade. At least under Clinton, trade got a better shake.

Regarding China, Neal Asbury, an exporter and thinking American, has written several articles that are excellent regarding our trade relationship with China. He analyses how Chinese businessmen use their General Sun Tzu's military treatise, Art of War, as sound theory for doing business. To read more, go to To the Point News

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Do You do Business with China?

The Chinese are supposed to be floating the yuan. Do you see this as an effective approach to helping you become more competitive? Does it go far enough?

Answers to questions like this must have a positive impact on your ability to be competitive in the Chinese markets.

For nearly 16 years, I have tried to raise the issue of our trade deficit with Japan and then with the menace of China. No one in either the Clinton or the Bush administrations, or in Congress, have paid much attention. That's why we find ourselves in our current predicament.

It's up to you, the exporter, to monitor the situation and raise hell when you encounter competitive conditions that are created to frustrate our efforts to penetrate markets.

There is a book written by Ravi Batra, "Greenspan's Fraud", that suggests how we can address these problems. This book gives me hope that we can do something positive.

The usual anti-trade coalition of liberals, unions and protectionists tried to defeat CAFTA or create an instrument that those affected could not live up to, making the agreement untenable. Hopefully, as a trader, you have voiced your opinion to the power brokers. We encourage you to raise your voices with them and with us.

Have you ever tried to have input on the selection of Chairmen of the Ex-Im Bank? Both Presidents Bush (HW and W) appointed losers to this position in the past. We'll be watching the newly appointeds to see how they treat small business.

Some choices for Secretaries of Commerce have come out of left field - the current DOC Secretary is an exception.

It's your business that is at stake. What are you going to do about it? We'd like to hear.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Is the WTO KaBoom?

Seattle and Doha are the precursors of the WTO's future - and its course MUST be altered. I found an interesting discussion of how this could happen written by Razeen Sally in Business Day newspaper. Professor Sally teaches at the London School of Economics and is a senior associate fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore. This article is the light at the end of the tunnel: a must read! Business Day Newspaper

Here are a few quotes:

"In essence, the WTO suffers from severely diminishing returns. In contrast to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, it has a bigger, messier, politically more controversial agenda, shot through with multiple and contradictory objectives. And decision-making is crippled in a general assembly with near-universal membership."

"To get the WTO out of its rut after Doha, its members need to do three things: restore focus on a core trade-liberalisation agenda; revive effective decision-making; and, not least, scale back ambitions and expectations."

"A group of about 50 capable and willing members should explore ways of reviving negotiations on core market access (agriculture, industrial goods and services) and rules (such as antidumping procedures and subsidies), though in a restricted setting and not as part of another "round"."

Did you find the Business Day article a refreshing approach? Please let us know.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Congress is Finally Getting Off its ...

In July, the House passed H.R. 3283, "The U.S. Trade Enforcement Act", which was designed to address the issue of subsidies and increase trade enforcement. Now comes the next challenge: the Senate must be pressed to pass S.1421 which will complete the legislation.

If this bill comes before the Senate in September, as anticipated, we need to start now to let our senators know that passage is critical to our export businesses.

The Act will put money and muscle into our trade law enforcement and will allow U.S. countervailing duty laws to be applied against non-market economies such as China. Now it's up to you - yell - scream! Let Congress hear you!