The Daily Twit – 10/19/12: U.S. and China Steel Fighting

October 19, 2012

Seems like all I do these days is write about the U.S.-China relationship. Things could be a lot better, but bilateral relations aren’t as bad as the rhetoric might suggest. I blame the election/leadership change and expect that things will quiet down later this year.

The latest trade issue in the news is the end of the WTO Grain Oriented Flat-rolled Electrical Steel (aka GOES) case, which the U.S. won back in June. China appealed on a few items and the appellate body sided with the U.S. I might write a post about the dispute over the next few days, but if I do, it will be limited to the issue of transparency.

If you want to read up on the case:

WTO: China — Countervailing and Anti-Dumping Duties on Grain Oriented Flat-rolled Electrical Steel from the United States (report text and WTO links)

USTR: United States Prevails in Steel Dispute with China (U.S. government press release)

Financial Times: WTO bans Chinese tariffs on US steel — Odd headline. This was a narrow anti-dumping decision that applies to a specific type of product.

BBC News: China tariffs on US steel: WTO rejects Beijing’s appeal

Reuters: WTO hands Obama victory in U.S.-China steel case

Xinhua: WTO rejects China’s appeal in US steel dispute — This is just straight news. I looked around for the usual “China regrets the decision of the WTO” but couldn’t find anything. I expect the Ministry of Commerce had something to say, but I haven’t seen it yet.

Here are a few more items for your weekend reading:

Guardian: China’s economy slows down – threatening western bottom lines – Some skepticism about China’s GDP numbers, with a look at MNCs and their forecasting as another measure of where things are in terms of growth.

New York Times: China’s Post-Cheesecake Economy — A quirky look at some of the imagery and metaphors used to talk about the Chinese economy. Refreshing.

Reuters: China January-September FDI down 3.8 percent on year to $83.4 billion

Foreign Policy: To Renminbi Or Not to Renminbi? - Why China’s currency isn’t taking over the world — Excellent article by Victor Shih and Susan Shirk about RMB internationalization and what needs to happen before it becomes a reality.

Wall Street Journal: The Mechanics of Moving Cash Out of China — I always found this topic kind of fun, even going back to the days when folks were taking suitcases of cash down south with them. Still an important issue, particularly with the recent capital flight.

Andrew Sullivan: Is China A Cheater? — This is the subject I talked about yesterday, although instead of trade, I was mostly discussing IP.

Financial Times: Chinese group in insider trade settlement — Looks like we’re not going to see any litigation over the CNOOC-Nexen insider trading, but at least the bad guys had to pay something. These days in the financial services sector, that’s (unfortunately) a big win.

Global Times: Injury lawsuits rise among seniors — Not as boring as it sounds. This is one of those strange effects, apparently, of economic development in China. Seniors are getting out more, traveling, living longer, and have better access to heath care. Result: more injuries and lawsuits.

Stanley Lubman: Vital Task for China’s Next Leaders: Fix Environmental Protection — Law prof Lubman on the huge enviro challenge facing China after the leadership change. Indeed.