External Trade of the United States
(last update: September 30, 2000)
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Sept 30, 2000. MARTIN CRUTSINGER. "US, EU To Delay Trade Tax Sanctions", Associated Press.

The United States and the European Union reached agreement Saturday to delay imposition of a possible $4 billion in economic sanctions against the United States in a trade dispute involving tax breaks for American exports.

Under the procedural agreement, Congress will have until Nov. 1 to pass the legislation. The EU agreed not to impose any penalties until a separate WTO panel can rule on whether the new legislation complies with WTO rules.

Feb 24, 2000. "Trade tax breaks to continue for U.S. firms despite WTO action," Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Feb 24, 2000.  Jonathan Peterson. "WTO ruling says U.S. tax law dodges international trade rules," Los Angeles Times, reprinted in Seattle Times.

In a stinging rebuke to the United States, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has ruled that billions of dollars in tax breaks enjoyed by U.S. multinational corporations violate global trade rules.

Feb 15, 2000.  "China group due to check NW wheat, promote trade," Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Dec 6, 1999. Douglas A. Irwin. "How Clinton Botched The Seattle Summit," Wall Street Journal.

Dec 6, 1999. Jack L. Goldsmith and John C. Yoo. "Rule of Law: Seattle and Sovereignty," Wall Street Journal.

Dec 6, 1999. "The Outlook: The WTO: the Villian In a Drama It Wrote," Wall Street Journal.

And this brings us to the many beneficiaries of more open trade. They weren't in Seattle. The Chinese bicycle assembler, fresh off the farm, wasn't there banging the drum for trade liberalization. And you didn't hear from the typical U.S. consumer, who should be thanking world-trade negotiators for the cheap imports flooding into the nation. Those foreign-made products have helped produce low U.S. inflation, contributing to the greatest financial bull market in history.

Dec 6, 1999. "What's ahead for the WTO," Seattle Times.

Nov 25, 1999. EMILY SCHWARTZ. "U.S. resists changes in WTO dumping rule," Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Nov 24, 1999. Bruce Ramsey. "Morality vs. right to choose in trade debate," Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Nov 23, 1999. "WTO Case File: The shrimp-turtle case," Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Nov 22, 1999. "WTO CASE FILE: foreign sales corporations," Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Nov 22, 1999. "WTO CASE FILE: the Venezuelan Oil Case," Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Nov 22, 1999. "WTO CASE FILE: the Beef Hormone Case," Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Nov 19, 1999. "U.S. study sees scant forest harm in tariff proposal," Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Researchers found that freer timber trade would increase worldwide average harvest by a maximum of only 1 percent, and harvest levels would not be affected in the United States.

Nov 16, 1999. ARTHUR C. GORLICK. "State's products may pour into China, which means 'jobs, jobs, jobs'," Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

China already was the state's No. 3 trading partner last year, trailing only Japan and Canada with almost $12 billion in two-way trade.

Nov 15, 1999.  Charles Hutzler and Naomi Koppel. "China, U.S. sign breakthrough trade deal," Seattle Times.

The agreement obligates China to cut tariffs an average of 23 percent and promises greater access to the relatively closed Chinese market for U.S. banks, insurers, telecommunications firms and Hollywood film exporters, according to a statement released by the U.S. Embassy.

The U.S. Embassy said China will eliminate export subsidies, double the number of foreign films it allows in each year to 20 and allow U.S. firms to finance car purchases. With the deal, China will also put into effect an April agreement to slash tariffs on agricultural goods and provide larger import quotas for wheat, corn, rice and cotton.

In a major step, China agreed to allow foreign investors into its telecommunications-services industry, which has so far been off-limits to foreign investors. It also said foreign investors will be allowed to hold stakes in Chinese Internet content providers, putting to rest an issue that had stirred concern among foreign investors in recent months.

Nov 10, 1999. MICHAEL PAULSON. "Seattle area leads nation in export trade," Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

The increase came as exports overall were decreasing because of the Asian financial crisis. Total U.S. exports last year were $680 billion, down $7 billion from 1997. Seattle was one of 108 metropolitan areas, out of 253 studied, that experienced an increase in exports despite the nationwide decline.

The increase in Seattle-area exports last year is largely attributable to gains in exports by The Boeing Co., which had become the world's largest aerospace company after its 1997 merger with McDonnell Douglas and its 1996 acquisition of the defense and space units of Rockwell International. The company delivered 559 commercial planes in 1998, up from 374 in 1997, and hopes to deliver 620 planes this year.

Nov 10, 1999. Bruce Ramsey. "Africans need jobs and not aid," Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Nov 8, 1999. Bruce Ramsey. "Trade as a moral issue hotly debated as WTO meeting nears," Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

But is withholding trade the way to achieve universal values? Jagdish Bhagwati, professor of economics and political science at Columbia University, says no.

"Any nation," he said, "could in principle then assert that their moral values were offended." Is the United States offended by child labor in India? Maybe Japan could be offended by what Bhagwati has called "quasi-slavery conditions in parts of U.S. agriculture." Through the existing WTO, Washington apple growers finally have a chance to break into Japan. But under the Social Clause, Japan could object morally to the import of Braeburns, Fujis and Granny Smiths because of the treatment of farm workers in Washington.

Nov 5, 1999. Bruce Ramsey. "WTO rules may bring toxic waste to U.S. dumps," Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Nov 1, 1999. HELENE COOPER. "Clinton Trade Bill for Africa, Caribbean Is Felled by Senate," Wall Street Journal

Oct 18, 1999. Bruce Ramsey. "WTO membership is a trade-off for nations," Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

"Brink Lindsey, director of trade policy studies at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., said, "The only thing the WTO can do is to authorize some other country to impose trade sanctions. And that authority is a power they had before they entered the WTO. The WTO doesn't give them any new power."

Oct 13, 1999. MICHAEL PAULSON. "WTO is weakening health laws, Nader says," Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Oct 1, 1999. Martin Crutsinger. "Liberalizing trade has aided economy, Greenspan says," Associated Press, in Seattle Times.

Sept 19, 1999. "From Walla Walla to Dijon: anatomy of a trade dispute," Seattle Times.

"The United States and the European Union, for example, have been battling for a decade over beef and how it is raised. The European Union (EU) has barred beef treated with hormones - a category that includes almost 95 percent of the beef produced in the U.S. - since 1989.

"Things finally came to a head last July, when the WTO ruled that the EU's ban on importing beef raised with hormones was unfair.

"The EU could keep its ban, but it would have to compensate the U.S. and Canadian cattle industries for about $130 million in lost sales. The U.S. said it would impose high tariffs on a range of European goods as a way of collecting its payment and putting pressure on the EU to change its rules.

"Tariffs as high as 100 percent were imposed on mustard products, Roquefort cheese and other products mainly from France, Germany, Denmark and Italy.

June 8, 1999. LINDA ASHTON. "Apple industry protests Chinese pricing practices," Associated Press, in Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

"The industry contends that China -- now the largest apple producer in the world -- is selling apple-juice concentrate in the U.S. market at prices 91 percent below cost of production."

June 3, 1999. "Trade body OKs sanctions over EU's beef-import ban," Associated Press, in Seattle Times

"The World Trade Organization (WTO) today approved a request by the United States and Canada to impose sanctions against the European Union because of its ban on imports of hormone-treated beef, trade officials said.

"The U.S. wants to impose retaliatory sanctions against $202 million of EU exports to compensate for lost trade. Canada has threatened sanctions on trade worth $51 million."

May 20, 1999. "EU is risking new tariffs, U.S. warns," Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

"The 15-nation union has ignored a World Trade Organization ruling requiring it immediately to lift its 10-year-old ban on the hormone-treated beef from America and Canada.

U.S. officials warn they will retaliate with $202 million in extra tariffs on EU imports when the arbitration deadline expires June 3."

May 3, 1999. EDUARDO LACHICA. "U.S. Steps Up Trade Pressure In Asia Amid Area Recoveries," Wall Street Journal.

April 28, 1999. ROBERT L. BOROSAGE. "Rep. Jackson Jr. offers HOPE for U.S. trade policy," Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

April 22, 1999. MICHAEL PAULSON. "Gorton OKs trade status for China," Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

"U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton, one of the few elected officials from Washington state who has resisted granting most-favored-nation trade status to China, yesterday said he is now prepared to support permanent normalized trade relations with the world's largest nation."

April 15, 1999. LINDA ASHTON. "China bites U.S. apple, spits out 'if''," Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

"The United States has reached an important agreement with China on a reduction in tariffs on apples, pears and cherries by 2004, but the deal depends on China's entry into the World Trade Organization.

"The agreement calls for dropping the current import tax on the fruit from 30 percent to 10 percent, said Chris Schlect, president of the Northwest Horticultural Council in Yakima."

April 9, 1999. Martin Crutsinger. "Target list released imposing trade tariffs," Associated Press, printed in Seattle Times.

"The United States issued a final target list today that will impose punitive tariffs on $191.4 million of European imports ranging from fancy French handbags to German coffee-makers in a nasty trade war involving bananas.

"WTO arbitrators ruled earlier this week that the United States was entitled to impose $191.4 million in economic sanctions, not the higher $520 million it had originally claimed.

"The $191.4 million in targeted products equals the amount the WTO set as the level of lost sales by two American banana companies - Chiquita and Dole - because of European banana-import restrictions that the WTO has ruled are in violation of global-trade rules."

April 9, 1999. James V. Grimaldi and Stephen H. Dunphy. "Wheat growers welcome opening of China market," Seattle Times.

"U.S. growers gained access to China in 1993, but high tariffs have limited sales of Red and Golden Delicious apples. Under a new agreement, duties on apples will be reduced from 30 percent to just 10 percent by 2004.

"The agricultural accord could increase annual U.S. farm exports to China from $1.5 billion in 1998 to $2.4 billion within five years, according to one estimate."

April 8, 1999. James V. Grimaldi. "Big market for Northwest wheat opens: China," Seattle Times.

"In a boon to Washington wheat growers, China today immediately dropped its ban on wheat grown in the Pacific Northwest, abruptly ending a nearly three-decadelong
agricultural dispute."

April 7, 1999. "Washington apple growers step up Japan export plan," Washington AgriNews Service, printed in Seattle Times.

"Last month, Japan agreed to accept Fuji, Gala, Braeburn, Granny Smith and Jonagold apples. Some industry members believed public hearings, required in Japan before the apples could enter, would hold up shipments until next season."

Mar 30, 1999. "WTO talks with China said to be in final stage," Associated Press, printed in Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Mar 24, 1999. JEFFREY E. GARTEN. "World would benefit if China part of World Trade Organization," Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Mar 24, 1999. "U.S. tries to stave off EU's `hushkit' ban," Bloomberg News, Seattle Times.

Mar 23, 1999. "U.S.-Europe trade fight moves from bananas to beef," Seattle Times.

"A U.S.-European tiff that started with bananas has erupted into a full-fledged food fight, with the United States threatening to impose punitive tariffs on nearly $1 billion in European food exports if the continental trade alliance doesn't drop its ban on U.S. beef treated with growth hormones."

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."

Mar 18, 1999. Martin Crutsinger and Dave Skidmore. "U.S. trade deficit at new high; CPI stable," Associated Press, printed in Seattle Times.

Mar 14, 1999. IMBERT MATTHEE. "An apple bonanza goes sour: State's breakthrough in Japanese market stalls," Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

"The first year, when the dollar was at a record low against the Japanese yen, about 16 Washington apple packers sold 500,000 boxes of Red and Golden Delicious, the only varieties allowed into Japan under a 1994 trade agreement.

"Last year, the number dropped to 55,000 boxes. This year, growers are expected to ship fewer than 15,000 boxes, Archer said. That is minuscule compared with the 4.5 million cartons Washington exporters plan to sell this year to Mexico, their top market.

"Japan's weak economy is one of the reasons. In the past two years, the dollar has risen from 80 yen to 125 yen, an increase of more than 50 percent. That wiped out the 20 percent to 30 percent price advantage Washington's apples had over Japanese varieties.

"An even bigger obstacle is the quarantine Japan requires for imported apples to keep out disease and insects. Washington state growers and U.S. government officials claim the program is a trade barrier in disguise, put up to protect Japan's $1.6 billion apple industry. Japanese officials in Washington, D.C., deny the charge, saying quarantines protect the health and safety of consumers and Japan's own fruit industry."

Mar 10, 1999. "Japan to let in more apples," Seattle Times.

"The decision came two weeks after a World Trade Organization (WTO) appeals board ruled that Japan has acted illegally by blocking imports of some varieties of fruit on health grounds."

Mar 4, 1999. Jonathan Peterson. "Costly trade war? Bananas causing bunch of trouble," Associated Press, printed in Seattle Times.

"An improbable U.S.-European scuffle over the banana business has escalated toward a trade war as the Clinton administration moved to impose 100 percent tariffs on an array of European imports ranging from cashmere sweaters to prosciutto.

"The United States contends that American banana companies are losing $520 million annually in lost sales to Europe because of illegal trade barriers that favor bananas imported from former European colonies in the Caribbean and Africa.

"Yesterday, for example, the U.S. House passed a bill that would prohibit Europe's Concorde jetliner from flying in this country if the European Union moves ahead with plans to ban certain U.S. planes that they claim pollute the air."

Mar 2, 1999. ARTHUR C. GORLICK. "Seattle eyes trade with the Dutch," Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

"The Netherlands was among the state's top 13 customers, posting a 25.8 percent increase in the dollar amount of trade between the first quarter of 1997 and a similar 1998 period, according to the trade alliance.

"At the same time, trade with traditional partners in Asia, along with the state's traditional No. 2 partner, Canada, plunged.

"Trade with Japan fell 26.8 percent. Canada was down 14.7 percent, Taiwan was down 43.7 percent and South Korea was down 44.9 percent, alliance staff reported."

Feb 23, 1999. PAUL SHUKOVSKY. "Ruling on Japan boosts state apple growers," Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

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."

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