News behind the news. This picture is me (white spot) standing on the bridge connecting European and North American tectonic plates. It is located in the Reykjanes area of Iceland. By-the-way, this is a color picture.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin appears on FOX Business to discuss the U.S-China ‘phase-one’ trade agreement, the benefits, enforcement mechanisms and retention of tariffs and particular sanctions until compliance can be reviewed.
Phase-1 establishes the baselines; resets the ability of U.S. companies to enter China; establishes rules for market entry; and sets the parameters for enforcement. Any future phase is contingent upon evaluation of phase-one enforcement mechanisms.
The article includes the following video:
The important aspect of this agreement is that no future agreements will be made until the rules of this agreement are complied with. China has been a dishonest trade partner for years and has been largely responsible for the decline of manufacturing in America. Phase-1 of the trade agreement with China is the first step in reversing this trend.
On Thursday, The Daily Caller posted an article about the cost of the new stricter Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) smog limits. According to EPA estimates, the new limits would cost Americans $1.4 billion a year (it’s bad enough that the government is taxing us to death, now they have a new way to take our money).
However, it doesn’t seem seem quite that simple. The article reports:
“Observed nonattainment counties experienced losses of $56.5 billion in total wage earnings, $690 in pay per worker, and 242,000 jobs between 2008 and 2013,” according to AAf policy experts.
The new regulations lower the ambient levels from 75 parts per billion to 70 parts per billion. That is not a drastic change, but counties that have heavy manufacturing centers have had a difficult time complying with the current standards, much less the new ones. These counties may be forced to limit either manufacturing or oil and gas extraction.
How can Presidential candidates talk about bringing manufacturing back to America when federal bureaucracies are creating regulations that will ultimately limit manufacturing? I would also like to mention that these regulations are perceived as law, yet are not actually put into force the way that laws are created. The people creating these laws are not elected officials–the voters are not able to hold them accountable. I don’t know exactly how we have gotten to this place, but it is not constitutional. Laws need to be passed by Congress and signed by Congress. It’s time to get back to that.