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China To US: You Take Solar Panels, China Will Take Latin America.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018
The St Kitts Nevis Observer


SANTIAGO, Chile (Reuters) -China is seeking to replace the US as Latin America’s main trading partner and member states have signaled they are open to offers. CAFTA is in jeopardy.

Chile’s foreign minister welcomed Chinese representatives to a meeting with Latin American and Caribbean countries, praising the Asian nation for rejecting protectionism as the United States backs away from global trade.

Representatives from China and the 33 members of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) are holding meetings in the Chilean capital, Santiago.

Foreign Minister Heraldo Munoz, who has criticized U.S. President Donald Trump in the past, told a news conference that Latin America could do a lot more to stimulate trade with China and called on its nations to take advantage of the talks to improve ties.

“We are in uncertain and complex times, and China is playing a very constructive role in addressing these complexities,” he said.

China has sought a bigger role overseas since Trump was elected, presenting its Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade agreement as an alternative to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which was abandoned by the United States.

China sees it as “natural” to expand its westward infrastructure drive – the “One Belt, One Road” initiative – to Latin America, China’s foreign minister said in an interview with a local newspaper on Sunday.

“China wants the participation of all the countries of the region to be involved in the construction of the ‘One Belt, One Road’ … so they can share the great opportunities and dividends of this platform of global cooperation,” Minister Wang Yi said in an interview with El Mercurio.

Proposed in 2013 by President Xi Jinping, the project promotes a vision of expanding links between Asia, Africa and Europe, with billions of dollars in infrastructure investment.

China is already testing U.S. dominance in Latin America, offering the region $250 billion in investment over the next decade. It is the top trading partner of many countries in the region, including Brazil, Chile and Argentina.

In recent years, Chinese companies have moved away from merely buying Latin American raw materials and are diversifying into sectors like auto manufacturing, e-commerce and even technology businesses like car-hailing services. Chile, one of the most open economies in Latin America, updated its bilateral trade deal with China in November 2017 on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific economic summit.

“Like Chile, China rejects protectionism in favour of openness, connectivity, investment, trade and cooperation,” Munoz said.

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Notes On Trump's Solar Trade War. Who Is He Kidding?


      Guess Who Are The Top 10 Solar Panel Makers In the World? And a footnote: US. solar industry employs some 260,000 people.

      Of the 10 manufacturers:

      7 are Chinese, 1 is Korean, 1 is Taiwanese, and 1 is Canadian
      A handful have little to no presence in the US market
      9 produce silicon panels, 1 (First Solar) produces thin film solar panels


      China solar panel makers to be hit hardest
      Singapore, Jan 23:

      US President Donald Trump's decision to slap tariffs on solar panel imports is a blow to a booming global industry. The protectionist measures will pull investments in the technology out of the United States and into Asia and other regions, as the industry tries to make up for the lost opportunity in America, industry sources said on Tuesday. Not the first time China has had to deal with America along this line.

      February 7, 2017
      The U.S. solar industry employed 260,077 workers last year, a nearly 25% increase in the number of jobs from 2015. That jump was largely driven by a massive increase in solar panel installations (made possible by solar panel purchases), according to a report released Feb 2, 2017, by the non-profit solar advocacy group The Solar Foundation.

      Now it's time to put the previous sellers, the reason for the massive increase in jobs, out of business.

      The only way for American workers, and the new jobs, to survive in solar is for America to stifle foreign producers. America has got to put foreign producers out of business. If use of law is the way to do that, then so be it.

      Trump on Monday approved a 30 per cent tariff on solar cell and module imports that will drop to 15 per cent within four years. Up to 2.5 gigawatt (GW) of unassembled solar cell imports are allowed tariff-free in each year. The decision will likely curb growth in US capacity, the world's fourth-largest after China, Japan and Germany. Globally, solar capacity has soared to almost 400 GW last year from under 10 GW in 2007, according to the International Renewable Energy Administration.

      The US government argued that its domestic manufacturers could not compete with what it said were artificially lower-priced Asian panels. Chinese panel makers, the world's biggest builders of solar photo-voltaic cells, will be hit hardest by the tariffs at their production sites across Asia.

      “The duty barrier will shock Asian suppliers in the near-term,” said Frank Yu of energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie. Asian panel makers said they would seek business elsewhere to make up for the lost U.S. opportunities

      “The US decision will certainly affect Chinese solar panel makers,” said Jack Feng, vice president at Trina Solar, one of China's top panel makers alongside Jinko Solar.

      Feng said his firm would “expand their territory to a broader range in the globe," including Europe, China, Indonesia and India. Trump has vowed to dismantle free trade pacts he said harmed U.S. workers.


      Asian governments said they would resist Trump's move. China's Ministry of Commerce on Tuesday expressed strong dissatisfaction regarding the solar tariffs, saying the decision deteriorated the global trade environment. South Korea said it would “actively respond to U.S. trade protectionism", including exercising its rights under the World Trade Organization.

      Beyond the impact to the solar market, Morgan Stanley warned of wider economic damage as the protectionist stance “could challenge investors' perception whether the US will adhere to current free trade policies".


      There is still uncertainty on when the tariffs will be implemented and how the 2.5 GW of tariff-free imports will be administered. Shares of US panel maker SunPower climbed 0.8 percent on Monday and shares of electric car maker Tesla , which also produces solar panels, gained 1.5 percent on the day. Yet analysts warned that the benefits for US solar firms were not clear-cut.

      “The overwhelming majority of the 260,000 solar jobs in the US depend on the cheaper imported products,” Height Securities said.

      Goldman Sachs estimated the 30 per cent “tariffs imply a potential 3-7 per cent cost increase for utility-scale and residential solar costs, respectively.”

      Wood Mackenzie estimated the tariffs would reduce US solar installation growth by 10 to 15 per cent over the next five years. There remains the possibility of some manufacturers winning exclusions to the tariffs.

      “Two key exclusions with respect to technology and certain countries (Canada/Singapore, among others) were included as part of the (initial) recommendation... The status of whether these exclusions... will be in focus in the coming days,” Goldman Sachs said.

      Canadian Solar, founded in 2001 by Dr. Shawn Qu, is one the world's biggest panel manufacturers, and operates mainly out of China. Worldwide, CSolar has more than 9000 employees. In Singapore, unlisted REC operates one of the city-state's biggest manufacturing sites.

      Doran Hole, Chief Executive Officer for North America at U.S.-listed ReneSola, said there may still be ways to settle the trade dispute. “There is quite a bit of discretion about negotiations for a settlement. Having a global settlement would certainly be useful to the industry as a whole.”

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      The Power Of Surveys.


      Surveys are great for taking the pulse, or capturing the Zeitgeist of a particular given sample group of the population.


      Statistical analysis (which is what a survey/"study" is, for dunning kruger afficionados) yields an absolute wealth of information on any given subject matter.

      The news agancies frequently produce these (pseudo scientific) "surveys" as headline material, in doing so they put the topic of the survey ahead of the results.

      Essentially, surveys are "pressered" to get the audience thinking about the questions rather than anything else.

      There are many facets to everything..

      Surveys can swing public sentiment, to change the mood.

      That's a good thing if it corrects errors.

      Here's one survey that may have lead, some 3 months later to a backlash against sexual harrassment.

      This obviously is an extreme example (or sample)

      I'm sure there are many other clear examples out there without such "good intentions"..



      Interestingly this story resurfaced in Ireland the other day with a few more twists..

      "Ping time"; about 6 months.


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          Looks like "pushback".

          The NFL rejected a veteran group’s request to place a full-page ad in the Super Bowl LII program because — ironically — the advertisement requesting that people stand for the playing of the national anthem is too “political” for such an arena.

          Sorry, what?

          AMVETS’ proposed ad, which would have cost about $30,000, was denied on the grounds that the game program has “never been a place” for ads that could be considered “political” statements.


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              Home / About Us / Policy Offices / Press Office / Press Releases / 2018 / January
              President Trump Approves Relief for U.S. Washing Machine and Solar Cell Manufacturers

              Washington, DC – U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced today that President Trump has approved recommendations to impose safeguard tariffs on imported large residential washing machines and imported solar cells and modules.

              Following successful trade cases filed by the domestic industry, which previously levied 40 percent tariffs on Chinese solar imports, China moved production elsewhere and evaded U.S. relief, while maintaining capacity. Today, China dominates the global supply chain and projects to increase its capacity to account for 70 percent of total planned global capacity expansions announced in the first half of 2017.

              Think about this: The fundamental flaw in the process of trade is the original premise: You and I make the same thing so let's buy and sell it to each other. Your people work, my people work. You win, I win. Thus, "America" buys what it sells. But, given American proclivity, America expects to sell more than it buys, i.e., the other guy has to buy at least 30-50% more than America buys for America to feel it got a good deal. This is America's idea of balance-of-trade. America is not hesitant in using law or "law" to maintain hegemony in trade. This is America's approach to being, or remaining #1. It has worked so far because America always has been able to resort to threats and the occasional bombing, or revolution, to "protect America's (economic) interests."

              China (nuclear-armed and largest holder of American debt), the seller from which "America" is buying happens to be 500% larger than America's producers. In a "free market" world that's not a problem. The best product for the best price wins the contract and makes the sales. The loser drops into oblivion, 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 10th place, or drops into oblivion. The problem arises because America is only interested in "free markets" on the selling side (Open your markets to us but we retain the right to keep our markets tightly constricted from your producers.), and willingly imposes restrictions on any competitor regardless of competitors' competency. Yeah, yeah, every country imposes tariffs, if it can, to protect its interests. But organizations such as WTO were brought into being supposedly to moderate the influence of tariffs (and sanctions), not to act as a tool for U.S.' market ambitions.

              Tariffs are a coward's way, or idiot's way, of avoiding the process of improving his product(s) or/& developing new markets. If one is not competitive, one is not competitive. Failure to take necessary steps to become competitive leads to loss of respect along with loss of market. Heads up, America. Tariffing is not the way!

              USTR made the recommendations to the President based on consultations with the interagency Trade Policy Committee (TPC) in response to findings by the independent, bipartisan U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) that increased foreign imports of washers and solar cells and modules are a substantial cause of serious injury to domestic manufacturers.

              “These cases were filed by American businesses and thoroughly litigated at the International Trade Commission over a period of several months,” said Ambassador Lighthizer. “The ITC found that U.S. producers had been seriously injured by imports and made several recommendations to the President. Upon receiving these recommendations, my staff and I conducted an exhaustive process which included opportunities to brief in person and through public comments, public hearings, and meetings with senior representatives. Based on this information, the Trade Policy Committee developed recommendations, which the President has accepted. The President’s action makes clear again that the Trump Administration will always defend American workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses in this regard.”

              Injury to U.S. washing machine manufacturers stems from a sharp increase in imports that began in 2012. The ITC found that imports of large residential washers increased “steadily” from 2012 to 2016, and that domestic producers’ financial performance “declined precipitously.”

              "Injury to U.S. washing machine manufacturers" is a weasel phrase if I ever read one.

              Learn more at

              https://www.luc.edu/media/lucedu/law/centers/antit...Anti-trust and Trade laws

              The United States, and most other nations, has a wide variety of laws which allow domestic
              industries to seek relief from harm caused by imports. Some of these laws protect domestic
              industry from so-called “unfair” practices, including dumping and subsidies. Other laws allow
              U.S. domestic industry to seek protection from so-called fairly trade imports which have caused
              economic injury to the domestic firms. Most of these laws operate from fundamentally different
              premises than the US antitrust laws which seek to promote competition for the benefit of
              consumers, and are largely indifferent to the national identity of the producers in the market.

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              Did The Russian Government Funnel Money To The NRA In The Last Election

              The headline was clear, Sheldon:

              “The FBI is looking into whether a Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump secure the presidency” - CNN

              Congressman Adam Schiff, ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, is on the record saying the connection is an “issue of concern” to his committee, but that there are “limited resources.”

              Here is the truth: no outside group spent more money in support of Donald Trump than the NRA. None. And it is hard to imagine a more disturbing thought for our democracy than a foreign country using a massive organization like the NRA as a pass-through to exert financial influence on our elections.

              Congress must investigate this potential connection. Add your name if you agree:

              Sign our petition calling on Congress to investigate the question of whether or not the Russian government funneled money to the NRA in the last election.

              The NRA likes to say that it is “Freedom’s Safest Place.” It’s all over their advertisements, videos, website, and other materials. Well, for the future of the freedoms all of us hold dear, we need to get to the bottom of whether or not they allowed the Russian government to funnel money through their organization to help elect Trump.

              All my best,

              Peter Ambler
              Executive Director, Giffords

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              Another WTF Moment


                  This SOB should be behind bars along with the rest of his administration for what they did to this country and the rest of the planet. I guess many DOLTS have forgotten what this POS is responsible for...I haven't.

                  I'd like to know who in the hell they are polling to get this result.


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                  Replace Republicans For 2018 And Impeach Trump


                      New Rule.

                      Congressional Democrats have to stop being so weak minded. The Constitution provides for impeachment when a president violates the law. No one is above the law.

                      We all know republicans are not going to do anything to uphold the Constitution when their party is violating it. That is all the more reason for Democrats to run on impeaching Trump. In fact, just like republicans ran on repealing and replacing Obamacare for seven years, Democrats should run on replacing republicans and impeaching Trump.

                      If Trump and his minions have not committed crimes, Trump is right in his charge that the Mueller investigation is a hoax.


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                      What's In The GOP Budget Proposal? Nothing Good.


                          Beyond the headlines of the two parties blaming each other for the government shutdown over the federal budget, what are the Republicans actually putting in their budget proposal? The leading GOP proposal in the House of Representatives includes:

                          "203 billion rollback of financial industry regulations, federal employee benefits, welfare spending and more"

                          "...defense spending would steadily increase over 10 years while discretional spending would decrease" by 24%

                          Reduce federal employee benefits by $32 billion, education programs by $20 billion, and financial regulation enforcement by $14 billion


                          "...cuts to Medicare and Social Security, despite President Trump's campaign pledge to keep these entitlement [sic - earned benefits] programs intact"

                          "$200 billion in cuts to mandatory programs"


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                          One Dead After Shooting At Kentucky High School, Multiple Victims Reported


                              One person was dead and multiple others were wounded Tuesday when gunfire erupted at a Kentucky high school, prompting panicked students to run for their lives.

                              Marshall County High School in Benton was on lockdown and a suspect was in custody as paramedics tended to the injured and wounded, state police reported.

                              This is the second school shooting this week after Monday's in Texas. After multiple school shootings in 2017, these are becoming far too commonplace for a democratic society, based on life and liberty to tolerate.

                              Inaction has served no useful purpose, in fact it has led to an exacerbation of a growing issue with increasing lethal results.

                              The deaths of our children are owned by those who refuse to enter a constructive effort to address this issue instead of the obstinate defense of "rights" which have led to an explosion of weapons in our social fabric.

                              We have reached the age, oh so quickly, where the insanity of mass murder is normalized and facilitated.


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