Tag: Jobs

Trump imposes harsh tariffs on imported washers & solar panels

President Trump adds another campaign promise to the giant heap of winning, imposing harsh tariffs on imported washing machines and solar panels on Monday, marking his first moves to erect trade restrictions under seldom-used trade laws that allow unilateral actions.

The decisions in the two “Section 201” safeguard cases followed findings by the U.S. International Trade Commission that both imported products “are a substantial cause of serious injury to domestic manufacturers,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement.

The washer tariffs exceeded the harshest recommendations from ITC members, while the solar tariffs were lower than domestic producers had hoped for.

President Trump will impose a 20 percent tariff on the first 1.2 million imported large residential washers in the first year, and a 50 percent tariff on machines above that number. The tariffs decline to 16 percent and 40 percent respectively in the third year.

A 30 percent tariff will be imposed on imported solar cells and modules in the first year, with the tariffs declining to 15 percent by the fourth year. The tariff allows 2.5 gigawatts of unassembled solar cells to be imported tariff-free in each year.

Whirlpool Corp, which brought the washers “safeguard” case against rivals Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics after years of anti-dumping cases, stands to benefit from the decision.

“This announcement caps nearly a decade of litigation and will result in new manufacturing jobs in Ohio, Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee,” Whirlpool Chairman Jeff Fettig said in a statement.

“By enforcing our existing trade laws, President Trump has ensured American workers will compete on a level playing field with their foreign counterparts.”

The decisions were the first of several potential tariff actions that Trump may take in the coming weeks and months. He is considering recommendations on import restrictions for steel and aluminum on national security grounds under a 1962 trade law and tariffs or other trade sanctions against China over its intellectual property practices.

The intellectual property, washer and solar panel probes were done under a 1974 trade law that has been seldom invoked since the World Trade Organization was launched in 1995.

The domestic solar panel producers who sought the trade remedies wanted tariffs of 50 percent – the highest allowed under law. Petitioners Suniva and SolarWorld have said they cannot compete with the influx of cheap imports, mostly from China.

Solar panel prices have dropped more than 30 percent since early 2016, benefiting buyers but harming producers across the globe.

Suniva, applauded the decision, saying:

“Over the last 5 years, nearly 30 American solar manufacturers collapsed. Today the President is sending a message that American innovation and manufacturing will not be bullied out of existence without a fight.”

Unemployment rates hit record low in 13 states this year

By Reid Wilson

The Hill

Jobs are up and unemployment is down!

Thirteen states this year have seen their unemployment rates drop to the lowest levels ever recorded since the federal government began keeping track of state-level data more than fouty yeas ago.

Eight years after the bottom of the worst recession in modern history, the states seeing economic booms range from the bluest of the blue, like Hawaii and California, to the deepest shades of red, like Idaho and Texas.

In October, the unemployment rates in Alabama, Hawaii, Maine, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas and Washington all met or beat their lowest rates ever recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), according to the agency’s monthly report issued Friday.

California, Colorado, Idaho, North Dakota and Oregon also hit new lows earlier this year.

In 2010, during the depths of the Great Recession, six states — California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Nevada and North Carolina — notched record-high unemployment rates. Oregon, Rhode Island and Kansas set their own record highs in 2009.

Nationally, the unemployment rate sits at 4.1 percent, the lowest level since December 2000, when it hit 3.9 percent. Thirteen states have unemployment rates significantly below the national rate, while 15 states have rates significantly above it.

Hawaii boasts the lowest unemployment rate in the nation, at just 2.2 percent in October, followed by North Dakota, at 2.5 percent, and Colorado, Nebraska and New Hampshire, at 2.7 percent each.

Alaska’s unemployment rate, 7.2 percent, remains the highest in the nation, followed by the District of Columbia, at 6.6 percent, and New Mexico, at 6.1 percent.

In the last year, Alabama’s unemployment rate has plunged the most, 2.5 percentage points, BLS reported. Tennessee’s unemployment rate has dropped 2 percentage points, from 5 percent to 3 percent. Only two states — Alaska and South Dakota — and the District of Columbia have seen their unemployment rates rise in the last 12 months.

Broadcom Moving to US, bringing $20 Billion in annual revenue. 

Broadcom Limited, which manufactures communications chips around the world, said it would relocate its legal address to Delaware once shareholders approve the move, bringing $20 billion in annual revenue back to the U.S.The Oval Office announcement was tied to the release of congressional Republicans’ tax reform proposal, which would drastically reduce corporate rates and regulations making it easier for companies to deduct foreign taxes.

The company credits the GOP plan with making it easier to do business in the U.S. 

“America is once again the best place to lead a business with a global footprint,” Broadcom CEO Hock Tan said.

“I want to thank you very much for choosing us,” said President Trump, who based much of his campaign on the promise of bringing jobs back to the U.S.

“The proposed tax reform package would level the global playing field and allow us to compete worldwide from here in the United States,” Tan said in a statement. “Our move would domicile our $20 billion annual revenue in the United States. From our base here, each year we will invest $3 billion in research and engineering and $6 billion in manufacturing, resulting in more high-paying tech jobs.”