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NYC’s sanctuary city policy under fire after freed illegal immigrant allegedly murders 92-year-old

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 01/16/2020 - 09:29
New York City’s sanctuary city policy is again under fire after an illegal immigrant, who was released from NYPD custody in November despite a plea from federal immigration officials to hold him, is alleged to have gone on to sexually assault and murder a 92-year-old woman. 

Ukraine investigating whether ex-US ambassador was surveilled, after impeachment document dump

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 01/16/2020 - 09:22
The investigation comes on the same day the U.S. Senate will recieve articles of impeachment accusing President Trump of pressuring Ukraine to open an investigation into the family of his 2020 rival, Joe Biden.

The UK and the EU Need a New Approach to Trade Remedies

Cato Recent Op Eds - Thu, 01/16/2020 - 08:34

Simon Lester

Whatever your view is on the merits of the European Union, it would be hard to dispute that it is one of the most innovative international economic arrangements ever created. Its founders had a general vision, but it took a wide range of institutional and policy innovations during implementation to make it all work.


Seeking institutional innovation

As the UK and the EU undertake the difficult process of undoing their relationship and developing a new one, there will be a need for some additional innovation. Trying to use traditional trade agreement obligations as a replacement for this deep and complex economic relationship will be insufficient.

One area of particular difficulty will be trade remedies, which include tariffs imposed in response to import prices that are deemed too low (anti-dumping duties) and to foreign government subsidies (countervailing duties).


As the UK and the EU undertake the difficult process of undoing their relationship and developing a new one, there will be a need for some additional innovation.


The term ‘dumping’ is sometimes thrown around loosely in trade policy discussions, but it has a technical meaning that involves a determination of whether the export price of a product is ‘unfairly’ low. A tariff can then be imposed to counteract the impact of this pricing. With regard to subsidies, there is a calculation of the amount of the subsidy, and, similarly, a tariff is imposed to counteract it.

The EU is one of the rare trade agreements that eliminates the use of trade remedies on internal trade. As a result, trade between the UK and other EU countries is not subject to trade remedies.

I have argued previously that tariffs imposed as trade remedies are unnecessary and problematic here, and should be kept out of the UK-EU economic relationship. This relationship would be permanently soured by recurring claims of ‘unfair trade’ by one side or the other.

Nevertheless, trade remedies are an established part of domestic trade policy and are difficult to avoid. Interest groups demand them, and it is hard to have a proper debate over their merits.

The UK has already set up a Trade Remedies Authority to oversee a domestic trade remedies regime, and trade remedies are likely to be part of the future UK-EU economic relationship.

But perhaps there is room for some innovation here that can make the situation better.

One of the issues with the imposition of trade remedies is allegations of bias on the part of the domestic agencies who oversee things. These agencies are thought by many to favour the point of view of domestic industries who complain about unfair foreign trade, and to discount the arguments of importers and foreign producers.

But what if the these bias concerns could be addressed with an institutional innovation? Perhaps the trade remedy process could be moved to the international level, with neutral adjudicators, rather than domestic agency officials, deciding the issues.

The WTO and NAFTA approach to resolving trade remedy disputes

As things stand now, domestic trade remedies are subject to challenge pursuant to the rules of the World Trade Organization on these issues (the Anti-Dumping Agreement and the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures).

If a government does not like how its companies were treated in a domestic trade remedy proceeding, it can bring a WTO complaint against the government responsible. As part of this complaint, the determinations by domestic agencies are reviewed to see whether — loosely speaking — they were reasoned and adequate, and consistent with WTO obligations. That process is useful, but it takes a good deal of time, and given resource constraints only a few domestic determinations  are challenged each year.

In the North American Free Trade Agreement — NAFTA — there is a unique set of rules that allow the companies subject to the trade remedy proceedings to bring a complaint against the determination themselves. A NAFTA panel will be set up to review the domestic agency’s decision for consistency with domestic law.

Going further

The WTO/NAFTA approach still allows the domestic agency to hear the case first. But instead of domestic agencies hearing the case initially, and then an international body reviewing that decision, we could start with an international body that would take the place of the domestic agency and examine each of the trade remedy elements: Whether dumping and subsidization took place, and in what amounts; and whether the domestic industry suffered injury as result.

To this end, an international Trade Remedies Tribunal could be established by the UK and the EU and staffed with experts who would evaluate all of these issues and render a decision.

If we take the traditional approach to trade remedies, it is sure to create tension between the UK and the EU. Companies subject to trade remedies generally believe the foreign agency that is imposing tariffs on them is behaving unfairly.

They see these determinations as inherently biased, and a years long process of review at the WTO is of only limited help. If, on the other hand, the initial determination was international in nature, and therefore seen as more objective, it would have more credibility.

It might seem like the wrong moment for international tribunals in UK-EU relations. The people in the UK who support Brexit are looking to get out from under institutions such as the ECJ.

But tariffs are a special situation. There is not much appetite in the UK or the EU for new tariffs, and people are going to be surprised and unhappy that a tariff-free, quota-free UK-EU relationship will still involve tariffs under the normal operation of trade remedies.

Thus, an independent tribunal that oversees these tariffs and ensures that they are legitimate and necessary could be acceptable here. This tribunal would not interfere with domestic regulation, as the ECJ does; it would only act as a check on tariffs.

Ideally, of course, there would be no trade remedies at all between the UK and the EU, as is the case now. But the political realities suggest there will be. If we can limit their abusiveness, the UK-EU relationship will be more peaceful and stable.

Simon Lester is the associate director of the Cato Institute’s Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies in Washington.

Rudy Giuliani says dismissal of impeachment articles should be allowed under Senate trial rules

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 01/16/2020 - 04:20
President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani said Wednesday that dismissal of the articles of impeachment against the president should be allowed under the Senate's trial rules because the allegations don’t amount to high crimes and misdemeanors.

'OK, Boomer' uttered in Supreme Court for first time by Chief Justice Roberts in age discrimination lawsuit

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 01/16/2020 - 04:07
“OK, Boomer,” was uttered for the first time in a Supreme Court session Wednesday as Chief Justice John Roberts, who will turn 65 this month, referenced the phrase used by younger people to dismiss their elders during a case about age discrimination in the workplace.

Pelosi hands out souvenir pens, Dems slammed for gloating as House delivers Trump impeachment articles

Fox News (Politics) - Thu, 01/16/2020 - 02:14
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi drew criticism Wednesday for handing out commemorative pens -- with her name on them -- after signing the resolution to transmit two articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate for trial.

Marsha Blackburn calls on Warren, Sanders, Klobuchar, Bennet to recuse from impeachment trial

Fox News (Politics) - Wed, 01/15/2020 - 23:44
Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., said Wednesday that the four Democratic senators running for president should recuse themselves from being jurors in President Trump's upcoming impeachment trial in the Senate.

AOC-linked dark money group to spend $500G attacking Biden, Buttigieg

Fox News (Politics) - Wed, 01/15/2020 - 22:29
A dark money organization tied to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said Tuesday that it will spend over half a million dollars on ads targeting 2020 presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden.

Giuliani associate nixes Dems' suggestions diplomat was stalked -- but claims to implicate Trump, Pence

Fox News (Politics) - Wed, 01/15/2020 - 22:06
Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, on Wednesday night undercut House Democrats' explosive new suggestion that the Trump team had former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch under surveillance -- saying in a televised interview that text messages that seemingly suggested Yovanovitch was being secretly monitored were in reality just the ramblings of a "drunk."

California Dem proposes bigger tax hikes for companies with bigger employee pay gaps

Fox News (Politics) - Wed, 01/15/2020 - 21:55
California is considering raising taxes on some of the country’s largest companies, but the size of the tax increase would depend on how much its highest-paid executive makes compared to its employees. The bigger the gap, the bigger the tax increase.

Justice Department changes First Step Act system assessing inmate risk

Fox News (Politics) - Wed, 01/15/2020 - 21:27
The Department of Justice is introducing a new system to identify programs that inmates can take part in that could reduce recidivism and also assess an inmate's likelihood of reoffending before they are released. 

Audio released of testy post-debate exchange between Warren, Sanders: 'I think you called me a liar on national TV'

Fox News (Politics) - Wed, 01/15/2020 - 21:05
Audio of the tense-looking post-debate exchange between Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., was released Wednesday night, revealing both of them accusing the other of "lying" on national television.

Crucial Nevada union sends warning to 2020 Dems: Leave our health-care plans alone

Fox News (Politics) - Wed, 01/15/2020 - 20:03
With the Nevada caucuses just under two months away, presidential candidates have been making a final push in the Silver State to court one of the most sought-after voter bases – union workers.

There's a Reason the Liberal Media Can't Take a Joke

TownHall Latest columns - Wed, 01/15/2020 - 19:20
Why are some liberal journalists so terribly upset about a bit of satire poking fun at them and their sacred cows?

And Then They Came for Bernie

TownHall Latest columns - Wed, 01/15/2020 - 19:10
The mainstream media and the political left have turned victimhood into a political asset, accusation into conviction, and identity politics into a weapon.

Iran So Far Away

TownHall Latest columns - Wed, 01/15/2020 - 19:05
As proof that they would asphyxiate themselves if Donald Trump endorsed oxygen, anti-Trump journalists spent last week praising an Iranian general.

The Iran Protests

TownHall Latest columns - Wed, 01/15/2020 - 19:01


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