Tag: congress

Price: How did 'Buy Clean' get switched to 'Buy Dirty'?

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) appropriated more than $4 billion to the General Services Administration (GSA) and Federal Highways Administration (FHWA) for “Buy Clean” programs. The statute makes clear that GSA and FHWA purchases under these programs are limited to those with “substantially lower” emissions. There is no ambiguity in that requirement. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has defined “substantially lower” to mean products with the lowest 20% of embodied emissions when compared to similar materials.

Op-Ed: Strong trade enforcement builds prosperity and security

Tariffs on unfairly traded steel and other products help to stabilize America’s most important industries, safeguard tens of thousands of jobs, and protect national security. My union, the United Steelworkers (USW), never seeks these remedies lightly. And presidents, Republican and Democrat alike, implement them only after diligent investigations documenting the harm that foreign adversaries intentionally inflict upon our country with dumping, overproduction and other kinds of trade cheating. I don’t think Lewis Leibowitz considered these points while criticizing tariffs in his excessively pro-free-trade column, “Where is the voice of the consumer?” on May 5.

Leibowitz on trade: Where is the voice of the consumer?

The election campaign is white-hot right now, and the Biden administration is touting its protectionist message. Just this past week, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) touted this message. In a release entitled “What They are Saying,” USTR quoted many of the usual protectionist groups praising government action against Chinese steel exports and shipbuilding. Consuming industries in the United States, which employ many times the American workers as the industries seeking trade protection, were not mentioned.

CRU: Mexican steel sector investing billions to replace imports

Steel companies in Mexico have lined up capex plans totaling $5.7 billion in the next three years. The focus is on replacing imports with domestic production, said David Gutierrez, outgoing president of sector association Canacero. “The investments are aimed at reducing imports, strengthening national production, and ensuring that the benefits stay in the country,” he was quoted as saying at Canacero’s annual congress by regional news service Business News Americas.

Final thoughts

There’s that concept from Adam Smith we all learn about in our Econ 101 classes: The Invisible Hand. A simple Google search will provide a refresh, but if memory serves I would classify it as something akin to “the market is magic” or “the market’s gonna market.” Today, obviously, we live in a mixed environment. There are a lot of hands out there, and they’re not too difficult to see. In this election year of 2024, one of the most visible hands out there probably belongs to the federal government.

Leibowitz on trade: Have consumers gotten lost in the mayhem?

I participated in the 35th annual Tampa Steel Conference last week, a conclave of steel producers, consumers, traders, logisticians, and (a few) trade lawyers. I participated in a panel discussion concerning challenges in managing supply chains in these troubled times. Things appear to be heading in the wrong direction in this field. Supply chains were shown to be vulnerable to pandemics in 2020 and 2021, and, in 2022 and 2023, to regional conflicts and weather slowing or stopping the free movement of goods through trade bottlenecks (the Suez Canal, the Panama Canal, the Bosporus, etc.)