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 Richmans' Trade and Taxes Blog

Snow in July in Austria and Switzerland
Howard Richman, 7/25/2016

As we suffer through a warmer than usual summer, the alps are having a colder than usual cold snap. Here's an excerpt from a European posting from, as translated by

Wiesbaden ( 14 July 2016 – have you ever thought of camping in the snow and in the middle of July? As warned already on Monday by, this forecast came true in the Alp countries of Switzerland and Austria!

The snowfall elevation really dropped over night. In some places early this morning snowflakes were falling at 1500 meters.

For mid July such a low elevation snowfall is extremely rare. Clearly snow is not real unusual in June or late August at these elevations, but in July it is truly an unusual event to witness. This summer is not only behaving like fall, but even like winter...

Jung writes that the cool weather has also gripped parts of Germany and is accompanied by heavy rains in the regions near Poland. The cause of the cold spell is a low situated over Poland.



Comments: 1

Why US Multinationals Oppose Trump and Favor Clinton
Raymond Richman, 7/3/2016

Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, announced that Apple would not contribute to the costs of the Republican convention in Cleveland this year as it has done in past conventions.  Apple is a corporation incorporated in the.US but almost all of its products are produced in China. It is a Chinese company much more than it is an American company. And so are many other “U.S.” multinationals, including a number of high-tech companies like Hewlett-Packard. Hundreds of major American corporations have shipped millions of jobs overseas, according to an analysis of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) filings made to the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration on behalf of the displaced workers. According to a report on CNN, over 900 US corporations are producing products abroad, a "who’s who" of American manufacturing firms. 

Given that the presumptive Republican candidate for President, Donald Trump has announced his intention to balance trade with China and re-negotiate all USA trade treaties to assure that trade becomes more balanced, Trump has incurred the opposition of companies that produce all or some of their products abroad and their spokesman, the US Chamber of Commerce.  The latter in its propaganda lauds the advantages of  U.S. exports and does not mention the disadvantages of U.S. imports which exceed the former by several hundred of billions per year causing the loss of millions of American manufacturing jobs. US multinationals account for a substantial share of manufactured goods  exports to the US, so it is not at all surprising that these companies should prefer a tweedledee candidate to Hillary’s tweedledum candidacy, lest a tariff be imposed on their exports to the U.S..

U.S. policies contributed to the growth of China as the number two manufacturing power. Pres. Richard Nixon normalized relations with China in 1972. On 24 January 1980 Congress passed a trade agreement conferring Most Favored Nation (MFN) status on China.  Despite this move, China’s MFN trade status (which was not granted permanently) created new legal and political impediments to Sino-American trade relations which were not removed until 2001, when China joined the WTO, whose rules prohibit members from imposing trade restrictions on other members except when they are experiencing chronic trade deficits. 

Growth in the U.S. goods trade deficit with China between 2001 and 2013 eliminated or displaced 3.2 million U.S. jobs, according to a study by EPI Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Research Robert E. Scott. Trade with China has caused job loss in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, including all but one congressional district. About two-thirds of jobs lost, or 2.4 million, were in manufacturing. The U.S. Bureau of the Census reported that American companies abroad and US subsidiaries of foreign corporations trade accounted for about 50.9 percent ($1,178.7 billion) of total consumption imports ($2,314.0 billion) in 2014. Republican and Democratic presidents Pres. Bill Clinton and George Bush did not concern themselves with the trade deficits’ disastrous consequences for American manufacturing workers and the US. Economy tanked as a result, no doubt contributing to the popularity of Trump’s candidacy....


Comments: 6

Conservative analyses of EU's failure cite regulation, ignore trade imbalances
Howard Richman, 7/1/2016

I've noticed that conservative analyses of why the EU failed invariably focus upon regulation, but miss the trade imbalances. For example take the British Conservative Party's Daniel Hannan's eloquent and humorous oration at the Oxford Union in favor of Brexit:

Daniel Hannan is correct that the European Union has been an economic disaster. He cites some good statistics to prove his point. But like many other conservatives, he only attributed that disaster to one of its causes: the regulations of the European Commission. He missed the other major cause: the trade imbalances.

Eventually, every trading system which sustains imbalanced trade eventually slows economic growth....


Comments: 0

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  • [An] extensive argument for balanced trade, and a program to achieve balanced trade is presented in Trading Away Our Future, by Raymond Richman, Howard Richman and Jesse Richman. “A minimum standard for ensuring that trade does benefit all is that trade should be relatively in balance.” [Balanced Trade entry]

    Journal of Economic Literature:

  • [Trading Away Our Future] Examines the costs and benefits of U.S. trade and tax policies. Discusses why trade deficits matter; root of the trade deficit; the “ostrich” and “eagles” attitudes; how to balance trade; taxation of capital gains; the real estate tax; the corporate income tax; solving the low savings problem; how to protect one’s assets; and a program for a strong America....

    Atlantic Economic Journal:

  • In Trading Away Our Future   Richman ... advocates the immediate adoption of a set of public policy proposal designed to reduce the trade deficit and increase domestic savings.... the set of public policy proposals is a wake-up call... [February 17, 2009 review by T.H. Cate]