U.S. and the Asian Crisis -
Articles and Commentaries

(See also a separate page on the foreign trade of the United States.)

April 22, 1999. A WTO report on world trade.

"In 1998, US's share of export in the world was 12.7 percent, a drop of 1 percent, while its share of import was 17.0 percent, a rise of 5 percent."

Mar 23, 1999. Patrick Harrington. "Asia slump, projects decrease earnings at Port of Seattle," Seattle Times.

Mar 19, 1999. Patrick Harrington. "Japan's economic woes translate into software sales for local firms," Seattle Times.

"The company is Encompass Globalization. It translates and modifies U.S.-made software to be sold in Japan and other Asian countries. Its 1998 sales rose 133 percent to $2.8 million from $1.2 million in 1997. If sales for 1999 continue at the current rate, they will reach $3.6 million by year's end.

"Encompass' boom times are fueled by Japanese companies struggling to cut costs by becoming more efficient. In many cases, companies are laying off workers and replacing them with computers and software."

Feb 19, 1999. Stephen H. Dunphy. "Trade talks in Seattle will feature Clinton, Gore visits," Seattle Times.

"However, the region has continued to put itself on the trade map in recent years, starting with the APEC meeting in 1993. A WTO meeting of four of its major members - the Quad Meeting - was held here in 1995. The Asian Development Bank in Manila will hold its annual meeting here next year.

"The importance of trade was highlighted by the fact that Boeing and Microsoft chairmen are the co-chairs of the Seattle Host Organization. Boeing's international role is well-known, but Ellwanger said 70 percent of Microsoft's nearly $14.5 billion in revenue for 1998 came from trade beyond U.S. borders.

"Up to 5,000 delegates are expected at the meeting. In addition, Chabert said, delegations from 34 observer nations would attend as well as officials of nongovernmental organizations attached to trade.

"The meeting is expected to attract as many as 2,000 journalists from around the world."

Feb 17, 1999. "Japanese deny dumping steel in U.S. markets," Associated Press, printed in Seattle Times.

"Yesterday, major U.S. steelmakers and the United Steelworkers Union filed complaints accusing Japan and seven other countries of selling steel in the U.S. market at below production cost and home market prices.

"Bethlehem Steel, Gulf States Steel, IPSCO Steel, Tuscaloosa Steel, USX and the union said eight countries were responsible for pushing down prices that forced U.S. factories to significantly cut back production.

"Japan's exports of steel-plate products to the United States skyrocketed more than 5,800 percent to 278,180 tons in the first 11 months of last year, according to the Japan Iron and Steel Federation.

"The U.S. International Trade Commission has 45 days and the Commerce Department 160 days to make a preliminary determination of injury that could lead to new tariffs."

Feb 9, 1999. Michael White. "Asian investors selling U.S. properties" Los Angeles Times, printed in Seattle Times.

"More than a decade after trophy-hunting Japanese launched a $100 billion buying spree of landmark U.S. buildings, investors from recession-battered Asia are now unloading properties in what appears to be the final chapter of the Asian real-estate invasion.

"The reason is twofold: Some companies, such as Arco Towers owner Shuwa Investments of Japan, need cash after having been squeezed by recession at home, analysts said. Also, healthier companies are looking for cash to re-invest in commercial property that is being sold at bargain-basement prices in Japan, Korea and other Asian countries."

Feb 2, 1999. "Indicators show U.S. will outrun Asian slump" Associated Press, printed in Seattle Times.

"The Conference Board, a private research group, reported today that its Index of Leading Economic Indicators rose 0.3 percent in December, signaling above-average economic growth in the months to come. The index rose from a revised level of 106.2 in November."

Jan 26, 1999. James V. Grimaldi and Stephen H. Dunphy. "Seattle will host WTO talks," Seattle Times.

Jan 25, 1999. James V. Grimaldi. "Next round of global trade talks to be held in Seattle," Seattle Times.

Jan 21, 1999. "Trade Deficit Sets All-Time High," Associated Press, New York Times.

"American manufacturers and farmers continued to be battered by the global financial crisis as the trade deficit surged to $15.5 billion in November. Exports of everything from passenger jets to soybeans declined.

"With one month still to be counted, the Commerce Department reported Thursday that the deficit for 1998 has already hit an all-time high of $153.9 billion, surpassing the previous mark of $153.4 billion set in 1987."

Jan 3, 1999. Michele Matassa Flores. "Asia's downturn lashes many Puget Sound area businesses," Associated Press, Seattle Times.

"In the first nine months of 1998, exports (excluding Boeing jets) from Washington state to Asia dropped 33 percent from the same period a year earlier, according to state figures. Especially hard-hit were agricultural crops, down 48 percent; lumber, down 42 percent; and fishing, down 35 percent.

"With Boeing's sales included, total exports dropped only 6 percent; but Asian airlines have been canceling jet orders, and the outlook for 1999 is dim."

Dec 1, 1998. Martin Crutsinger. "U.S. steel industry first to demand tariffs," Associated Press, Seattle Times.

"The U.S. economy is steaming ahead despite the global economic crisis, but that's small comfort to steel workers in Pittsburgh or apple growers in Washington state."

Nov 27, 1998. Tim Smart. "Asian crisis takes toll on U.S. arms industry," The Washington Post, reprinted in Seattle Times.

Nov 14, 1998. "U.S. and Japan tangle over tariffs," Associated Press, printed in Seattle Times.

"Over two days of negotiations, Japanese officials have adamantly argued they are in no position to cut border taxes in two sensitive areas - forestry products and fish - when their economy is in recession."

Oct 20, 1998. Martin Crutsinger. "Trade deficit at all-time high," Associated Press, printed in Seattle Times.

"The Commerce Department said the deficit for August was 15.3 percent higher than a revised $14.5 billion gap in July as exports of U.S. goods and services dipped 0.3 percent while imports rose by 2.2 percent. The deficit with China hit an all-time high of $5.9 billion.

"So far this year, the deficit in goods and services is running at an annual rate of $165 billion, 50 percent above last year's $109.9 billion imbalance."

Oct 5, 1998. Steven Mufson. "Economic crisis: How to contain the contagion?" Washington Post, reprinted in Seattle Times.

"Forget about the Asian miracle, the Latin America revival, the Russian transformation, the mighty American economy and the triumph of free markets. The annual meeting this week of central bankers, finance ministers and private financiers at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank is about holding the line and forestalling global economic disaster."

Oct 4, 1998. Robert A. Rankin. "Economic summit leaves big questions unanswered," Knight Ridder Newspapers, reprinted in Seattle Times.

"Clinton's effort to lead the world is weakened however, by the refusal of the U.S. House of Representatives to go along with his request to give the IMF $18 billion in new credits. The Senate approved the request on a 90-3 vote, but House Majority Leader Richard Armey, R-Texas, leads opponents in demanding an overhaul of the IMF before granting it more money.

"Meanwhile, G-7 officials are working with the IMF to assemble a special fund of approximately $30 billion to have ready for Brazil, perhaps as soon as this week, should the need arise."

Sept 17, 1998. Martin Crutsinger. "U.S. trade deficit grows to $13.9 billion in July," Associated Press, reprinted in Seattle Times.

Mar 3, 1998. Andrew Pollack. "Asian Financial Crisis Deals Body Blow to U.S. Operations of Asian Companies," New York Times.

Feb 25, 1998. Art Pine, "Greenspan signals a wait-and-see approach on interest rates," Los Angeles Times, reprinted in Seattle Times.

"Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan signaled yesterday that the Fed would probably hold interest rates steady for several more months - at least until it becomes more certain about the Asian economic slump's impact on the U.S. economy."

Feb 17, 1998. "Bailout is failing, Indonesia tells U.S.," Seattle Times.

Feb 9, 1998. Evelyn Iritani. "Cheap imports? Where?" Los Angeles Times, reprinted in Seattle Times.

"The long-predicted flood of imports from Asia has yet to materialize, but U.S. sales to most of that region have taken a serious hit because of Asia's economic crisis and the strong dollar, the latest trade data show."

Feb 2, 1998. James K. Galibraith. "Bracing for the Asian Shock Wave," New York Times.

"Alan Greenspan, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, predicted last week that the economy, hindered by increased competition from Asian imports and declining exports, would begin to slow by June. My colleagues at the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington research group, estimate that the drop in exports to Asia will cost more than a million American jobs next year. Falling Asian currencies also mean a rising dollar, which will hit the pay of those Americans -- like garment and electronics workers -- who compete directly with their Asian counterparts."

Jan 30, 1998. Alan Greenspan. Testimony Before the Committee on Banking and Financial Services, U.S. House of Representatives.

Jan 30, 1998. "Left, right unite against IMF Asia bailout," - Reactions of some people in the U. S. to the IMF Asian bailout. Seattle Times.

Jan 19, 1998. Sreenath Sreenivasan. "Tracking the Asian Economic Crisis," New York Times. - It has links to many home pages of the Asian crisis.

Dec 20, 1997. Richard W. Stevenson and David E. Sanger. "Asian Crisis Could Wreak Havoc on Balance of Trade," New York Times.

"After years in which the strong economy has dampened confrontations over international trade, the issue is set to flare again against a backdrop of turmoil in Asia as imports surge and exporters find it more difficult to sell their goods abroad."

Nov 28, 1997. Art Pine, "Close-Up: U.S. response to economic crisis in Asia - too little, too late?" Los Angeles Times, reprinted in Seattle Times.

Nov 24, 1997. Jim Rohwer. "The Dollar Rules," New York Times.

"Rampant devaluations across Asia. Hong Kong's battle to retain its fixed currency link with the U.S. Dollar. They all signal that a new global monetary order is dawning--dominated by America."

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This page was last revised on April 28, 1999.