[biztech-discussion] Trade bits

  • From: "Samantha Clark" <sclark.abq@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <biztech-discussion@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 23 Jun 2004 06:55:48 -0600

From NWU member Jim Jontz:

> June 18, 2004
> RECORD TRADE GAP:  The U.S. trade deficit "unexpectedly" hit a record
> $48.3 billion in April, the New York Times reported 6/15.  The trade
> deficit "was more than any economist had estimated . . . and followed a
> March deficit of $46.6 billion," the Times says.  Imports rose 0.2% for
> the month to $142.3 billion, while exports declined by 1.5% to $93.9
> billion.  The Times reported the same day that Sen. John Kerry would
> campaign on the economy this week in Michigan and Ohio, focusing on "the
> shift to employment in lower-paying industries with scanty benefits" and
> the financial squeeze on the middle class.
> McJOBS: The "depressing news" from a federal study of future employment
> opportunities is that seven of the ten fastest growing occupations are
> "poorly paid McJobs," says the Village Voice (6/15).  Predictions for
> hundreds of thousands of new jobs in retail, customer service, and food
> preparation, and for cashiers, janitors, waiters and waitresses, and
> nursing aids suggestions that "there will be plenty of jobs, but far fewer
> careers," Village Voice writes.  Jessica LaPlante of Green Bay WI was laid
> off in 2003 and is now training to be a paralegal, but told Village Voice
> that she's worried she may have to retrain again. "Is there any job or any
> career you can rely on?," LaPlante asked. "Aside from health care, I'm not
> hearing a whole lot of optimism as far as job security goes."
> NO TO PRIVATIZATION:  Opposition to privatization has increased to 70% of
> the Mexican population, up from 40% in 1998, according to a report issued
> by the World Bank.  An article La Jornada (6/16) about the report says
> disillusionment over privatization in Mexico and other Latin American
> nations is fueled by mass firings, price increases, and the failure to
> realize promised benefits.  The World Bank study found that negative
> feelings about privatization is even higher in Brazil and Argentina, with
> opposition from 80% and 90% of the population in those two countries
> respectively.
> OUTSOURCING REAL?:  The conclusions of a survey from the U.S. Labor
> Department downplaying the impact of overseas job loss reflects
> questionable methodology, says Dean Baker in the 6/14 Economic Reporting
> Review (www.cepr.net/pages/Economic_Reporting_Review_Page.htm).  Baker
> says that it is "not surprising" that the Labor Department survey finds
> little evidence of job loss due to outsourcing, since the survey only
> examined layoffs of more than 50 workers, and relies self-reporting by
> employers for the reason for the layoffs.  Baker notes that coverage of
> the survey in the 6/11 New York Times mentions these qualifications, but
> the article "may lead many readers to believe that this study is more
> conclusive than in fact is the case," Baker says.
> SHARP DIFFERENCES:  A USA TODAY editorial calling on both the Bush and
> Kerry campaigns to stop "stretching the truth" in campaign advertisements
> says that trade is one of the issues on which there are significant
> differences between the two candidates.  "Bush and Kerry have sharply
> differing views on many issues, from taxes and trade to health care and
> the environment," USA TODAY wrote 6/4.  "Highlighting them honestly would
> allow voters to make informed choices."
> HIGH SKILLS:  Documents from Microsoft show that high skill work is not
> immune from offshoring, the New York Times reports 6/16.  "Microsoft has
> hired vendors whose whole reason for being is to transfer work offshore,"
> said Marcus Courtney of WashTech, an organization of technology workers
> based in Seattle.  Courtney says that the foreign competition for work at
> Microsoft will help the company reduce wages and eliminate benefits for
> its employees in the U.S.  "The policy prescription you hear from people
> again and again . . is for Americans to move to high-end work," Ronil Hira
> of the Rochester Institute of Technology told the Times.  "It's important
> to dispel the myth that high-end work is immune to offshore outsourcing."
> QUOTAS OUT?:  A "last ditch" effort by U.S. and international textile
> industry groups seeks to prevent the U.S. and the European Union from
> eliminating quotas on apparel imports from developing nations in 2005, the
> Miami Herald reports 6/15.  "We are looking at it as a train wreck with
> imports from China," says Karl Spilhaus, president of the Northern Textile
> Association arguing that China will monopolize exports at the expense of
> developing countries.  Last week, 117 Members of Congress signed a letter
> to George Bush asking him to endorse an emergency meeting of the WTO to
> address the expiration of textile and apparel quotas, the Herald says, but
> the Bush administration insists "there is no going back."  The textile
> industry has lost 336,000 jobs in the US since Bush took office.
> NOTE: Permission is granted to reprint or distribute this material.
> For more information on Regime Change 2004, contact:
> Jim Jontz
> President Emeritus
> Americans for Democratic Action
> 202-785-5980
> or visit www.fairtradenow.org <<<<<<<<http://www.fairtradenow.org>>>>>>>>

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