29 May 2018   Leave a comment

Researchers from Stanford University have published a letter in the science journal Nature which estimates the economic benefits of adhering to the Paris Climate Accords in comparison to the costs of reducing carbon-based energy sources.  It is not an easy read, but the conclusions are significant.  According to ThinkProgress, the study asserts that “inaction could cause a stunning 30 percent loss in future global economic output — whereas the world’s scientists and governments have concluded that even the most aggressive climate action costs under 0.1 percent of GDP.”  But even the Paris Accords, to which the US has signaled it will not adhere, low-ball the economic consequences of inaction so the rewards of action might be even higher.  Think Progress concludes that the “‘Stanford study projects “15%–25% reductions in per capita output by 2100’” if we allow 2.5–3°C total warming, and a 30 percent drop in economic output if we allow 4°C total warming.”

 

The US White House has issued a news release on US-China trade in which these actions will be taken:

  • The United States will impose a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion of goods imported from China containing industrially significant technology, including those related to the “Made in China 2025” program.  The final list of covered imports will be announced by June 15, 2018.
  • USTR (the US Trade Representative) will continue WTO (World Trade Organization) dispute settlement against China originally initiated in March to address China’s discriminatory technology licensing requirements.
  • The United States will implement specific investment restrictions and enhanced export controls for Chinese persons and entities related to the acquisition of industrially significant technology. The list of restrictions and controls will be announced by June 30, 2018.

I am not at all certain how this press release should be interpreted.  Ten days ago, the US Secretary of the Treasury said that the proposed actions against China were “on hold”.  The press release, however, gives dates certain for the implementation of the new tariffs against Chinese products.  China was certainly caught off guard and reacted angrily to the news.  At some point, I suspect a decision will be actually made.  Roncevert Ganan Almond, of the think-tank called The Wicks Group, has an excellent article in The Diplomat on the infighting in the Trump Administration which has made making trade policy virtually impossible.

 

The Venezuelan economy is in total collapse.  Many Venezuelans have fled the country and those who lack the means to leave are experiencing starvation and lack of medical supplies.  It is hard to believe that such a potentially rich country could be ripped apart by such a corrupt political system as that imposed by President Maduro.  The current annualized rate of inflation in the country is 14,000% per year–a rate that makes ordinary life impossible.  And yet there still remains complete unwillingness on the part of the international community to help the people of Venezuela.

Infographic: Venezuela's Hyperinflation Problem In Perspective | Statista

Posted May 29, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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