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Trade Policies

Dark Brandon

Preventing a cobalt crisis in Congo

Rebels in eastern Congo and the Congolese army have been fighting since the 1990s. The fighting escalated in 2022 as Rwanda-backed rebels, known as M23, invaded and took over several villages. The violence escalated further last summer when M23 moved closer to the area near Goma, one of the largest cities in the region. A war between Congo and Rwanda would not only be a humanitarian disaster, but it would upend the administration’s efforts to get into the cobalt market — a key component for electric vehicle batteries. Congo is home to about 70 percent of the world’s cobalt reserves, and China, one of Washington’s biggest trade competitors, is its main producer and is supporting M23 with drones.

Leveraging Public Streets CCTV and AI Technologies to Enhance Public Safety and Reduce Law Enforcement Costs | Crime in America

Tech firms face new international restrictions on data and privacy

The rapid growth of e-commerce in recent decades has been accompanied by an increase in digital trade barriers. Those include requirements for companies to store their data in the country where it is collected or to hand over their source code to a joint venture partner in order to do business in a particular market. Until now, the United States has been a leading voice on the international stage pushing back against such provisions, which it argued not only hurt big tech companies but small and medium-size companies that increasingly rely on the internet to do business.

Dark Brandon

Biden moves to bring microchip production home

The Covid pandemic sharpened bipartisan fears in Washington about U.S. reliance on microchips produced overseas — primarily in China or Taiwan. As factories shut down in Asia and supply chains snarled, U.S. automakers and other manufacturers were unable to get the chips they needed, idling their plants and spiking prices for cars and other goods. That led the Biden administration and lawmakers from both parties to consider policies to bring production of the most advanced microchips back to the U.S.

sexy girl | Alex Azabache | https://unsplash.com/@alexazabache

Giving smaller food producers a boost

Soaring food prices and supply chain crunches for meat and other staples during the Covid-19 pandemic drew attention to the highly consolidated agriculture sector, in which key sectors like meatpacking are dominated by a handful of “Big Ag” behemoths. Biden entered office promising to crack down on food monopolies and support small and midsize U.S. farmers, whose numbers have cratered in recent decades.

The Best 'Chinese Spicy Fish Soup' Recipes

Forcing Chinese companies to open their books

Since the Enron and WorldCom scandals, the U.S. has allowed companies to publicly list their stocks only if they agree to let federal watchdogs review their auditors’ work. Yet for years, Beijing authorities, citing national security concerns, refused to allow U.S. inspectors to examine the books of China- and Hong Kong-based companies. Biden’s regulators finally forced their hand with the help of Congress and even former President Donald Trump.

Immigration | Voters Issues | @timmossholder

Unraveling Misinformation About Bipartisan Immigration Bill

Even before a bipartisan group of senators unveiled the text of a foreign aid and immigration overhaul bill on Feb. 4, it faced significant opposition from former President Donald Trump and other Republican leaders. We’ll explain what was in the legislation and the facts on two popular talking points.

Trade policies | Biden | Trump

Trump Wrong on U.S. Agriculture Exports to China

In announcing “phase one” of a tentative trade deal with China, President Donald Trump wrongly stated that the “all-time high” for U.S. agricultural exports to China was “$16 or $17 billion.” Actually, it was nearly $26 billion in 2012.

Trade policies | Biden | Trump

Trump Exaggerates China Trade Impact on Farmers

At his rally in Iowa, President Donald Trump falsely claimed that the new trade agreement with China “will boost American agriculture by $50 billion every year.” China agreed to increase agricultural purchases by $12.5 billion this year and $19.5 billion next year compared with 2017 levels.

Dark Brandon

Countering China with a new alliance between Japan and South Korea

South Korea and Japan have a mutual antipathy that goes back decades, linked to Japan’s brutal colonial rule of Korea from 1910-1945 as well as long-simmering territorial disputes in the East China Sea. That has fueled such acrimony in South Korea that until relatively recently public opinion polls in the country have rated Japanese leaders only slightly more popular than North Korea’s.

biden did that us oil production

The U.S. is producing more oil than anytime in history

Biden came into office after having promised to slash oil production on public land. Canceling the Keystone XL pipeline during his first week in office seemed to confirm the image of him as a president who would happily throttle the country’s oil industry while showering the renewable energy industry with government dollars. But things turned out a little differently.

Dark Brandon

Biden inks blueprint to fix 5G chaos

Biden inherited messy interagency fights jeopardizing U.S. leadership in 5G wireless technology, which imperiled the government’s ability to auction off valuable spectrum ranges used for commercial wireless technology. Agencies feuded over how to use different chunks of these airwaves during the Trump administration, often pitting the Federal Communications Commission against the Pentagon, Transportation Department and other departments who have their own increasing demands for spectrum to operate military radars, aviation equipment and other systems. These fights continued into Biden’s term, fueling anxiety over U.S. economic competitiveness and its ability to vie against global rivals like China, which is seeking to dominate the wireless ecosystem and subsidizing telecom giants like Huawei.

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