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For Those Of You Who Buy Our Debt

January 28, 2010
by

Thank God for the Commerce Department:

WASHINGTON, Jan 27 (Reuters) – The United States has set preliminary anti-dumping duties ranging from 90 to nearly 175 percent on about $30 million worth of electric blankets from China, the U.S. Commerce Department said on Wednesday.

The ruling is a victory for Jarden Consumer Solutions, a Florida-based subsidiary of consumer products company Jarden Corp (JAH.N). It filed a petition earlier this year asking for protection against its Chinese competitors.

The relatively small case is of one several ongoing U.S. investigations into charges that Chinese companies are selling their goods in the United States at unfairly low prices and benefit from unfair government subsidies.

Yet another punch in the gut to us free-trade types, along with the jabs of tires and steel piping.  It might be the feds’ fault that the Chinese can sell their goods at “unfairly” low prices (code word for “they have lower overhead”), but they shouldn’t be fixing it by screwing everyone else over.  I’ll probably write something more about this piece from Alex Knepper on the SOTU because I think he hit the nail on the bloody head, but I thought this was under-discussed:

The turn to protectionism is frightening. He says that he plans to create millions of jobs via export-driven work, and that he will raise taxes on companies that outsource work. Is he trying to raise prices? Does he want to start a trade war?

Why do the powers that be want to raise prices?  It is just a nod to their supporters in the unions?  Of the things on the “Don’t do this during a recession” list, I think “Don’t act like Argentina” is pretty high.

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