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China Probes US Renewable Energy Policy 240

PolygamousRanchKid writes "China's Commerce Ministry on Friday announced an investigation into U.S. government policy and subsidy support for renewable energy, after a U.S. decision earlier this month to probe sales of Chinese-made solar panels in the United States. 'The Ministry of Commerce has decided to initiate a trade barrier investigation into policy support and subsidies for the U.S. renewable energy sector,' a statement on the ministry's website ( said. The announcement said Chinese companies argued that the U.S. policies 'constitute a trade barrier against the export of Chinese renewable energy products to the United States.'"
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China Probes US Renewable Energy Policy

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  • Remember Solyndra (Score:2, Insightful)

    by xiando ( 770382 )
    Solyndra got cheap loans from the Obama administration, yet they want belly up despite their unfair advantages.
    • Re:Remember Solyndra (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 27, 2011 @01:10PM (#38182520)

      Oh, and Chinese made solar panels sold for cheaper than the cost of them being made is not an advantage?

      In the 1980s, Harley was nearly shuttered by motorcycles from abroad being dumped on the US market for cheaper than they could be produced. Congress stopped the BS and even though one may not like hawgs, they are still around, and a decent choice. Now our congress just stands back and lets foreign companies do business practices that would have caused war declarations in the past, especially vital infrastructure decisions.

      Remember, alternative energy is likely how our economy will get out of the shitter. There is a lot of innovation that can occur in every place for energy generation, storage, and conservation. China dumping their panels to shutter US companies is them attacking the economy and wanting to keep that from happening.

      Oh, their WTO complaints? The WTO agreement in itself is in violation of the Constitution and fundamental US sovereignty. Once we get the current crop of cretins in Congress out of office (regardless of "D", "R", or in the case of one Internet-hostile senator, an "I" by their names), maybe it can go with them.

      • Re:Remember Solyndra (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 27, 2011 @01:16PM (#38182586)

        Harley was nearly shuttered due to bad management and an image which the mass market didn't want to be associated with. They would never be able to compete on price with Honda or Suzuki. Their saving grace was a genious marketing manager who turned the "biker gang" image into a "weekend warrior" image.

        Their financial problems started long before cheaper bikes being imported.

      • Re:Remember Solyndra (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 27, 2011 @01:25PM (#38182634)

        Harley was nearly shuttered because of their engineering and managerial incompetence. Congress's solution made the problem worse: they instituted an enormous tariff on any motorcycle with more than 700cc of engine displacement. This just meant that the Japanese manufacturers subsequently figured out how to wring absurdly large amounts of horsepower from small-displacement engines, while Harley continued to sit around with their thumbs up their asses. Today, any of the big four Japanese makes produce a bike with a 600cc engine that produces over a hundred horsepower, whereas a 1200cc Harley engine struggles to break 45hp. So the Japanese companies sell all kinds of bikes to every market all over the world while Harley sells gaudy, incompetent cruisers to an increasingly aging market of American fanboys.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          You seem to forget the likes of BMW, Ducati and Triumph.

          It is funny that here in the UK, a UK made bike (Triumph) range is generally cheaper than the Japanese Competition.
          If you take a trip around their factory, you will soon see why. All the best CAR production methods in use on a Motorcycle production line.

          IMHO, Harleys are very much the reserve of people who have more money than sense or like to get where they are going rather slowly. Following one along a twisty road is real entertainment. It is a mirac

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 27, 2011 @02:06PM (#38182868)

        No one "dumped" motorcycles here in the US - ever.

        Harleys are over priced junk. Harley hasn't made a decent bike since the 1940s.

        Harley are loud, they run horribly, they're slow - they're made for old guys who like to pretend that they're rough and tough and can give up their accounting or dental practice whenever they want and hit the road with Jack Nicholson and Pete Fonda. I guess they ride a Harley to look like low life trash.

        I don't know what happened to society - it's like everyone aspires to be trash: white biker trash, black gangsta trash, or some other type of thuggy trash with tattoos and piercings.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by man_of_mr_e ( 217855 )

          Harley's are designed to be "touring" bikes. The "potato-potato" noise is part of their trademark, and deliberately designed into it.

          The exact same engine you see in a harley is used in performance bikes made by Buell, and they are pretty big in the racing circuit. They're just tuned differently.

      • by Nursie ( 632944 ) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @02:18PM (#38182942)


        When we do it it's protecting our industry, when the rest of the world does it, suddenly "OMG unfair trade barriers!".

        Won't somebody please think of the free market?

      • Re:Remember Solyndra (Score:5, Interesting)

        by tp1024 ( 2409684 ) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @02:28PM (#38183002)
        Just let the dollar depreciate to a fair value (meaning: a lot) and the US industry will be competitive in no time. You would have to pay a lot more for your oil and Chinese consumer products though. When all the other countries have artificially depressed currencies, you should start to wonder about yourself. You know, just as you should when all the other jerks are driving on the wrong side of the road.
      • by DarkOx ( 621550 )

        Remember, alternative energy is likely how our economy will get out of the shitter. There is a lot of innovation that can occur in every place for energy generation, storage, and conservation.

        I agree a protectionist posture should be adopted toward China, however I want some justification for the above statement. It seems to be a DNC talking point and nothing more. I have yet to witness any evidence there is anything to it. Alternative energy companies have not, provided any meaningful number of jobs, have proven to be a good investment in terms of share price or return on principle where bonds are concerned, demonstrated much in the way of product which is marketable even with subsidies, ..

        • Certainly it's foolish to think any one sector will be the only reason the economy improves. And nobody would seriously mean that.

          But it's also foolish to pretend that when someone makes a statement like "green energy will save the ecomony" that they mean that only green energy will do it. You're just being obtuse.

          Green energy is not, and cannot be something that will show benefits immediately. But in 5-10 years time, will likely be a thriving industry. But only, if we invest in it as a nation (not just

      • by khallow ( 566160 )

        Remember, alternative energy is likely how our economy will get out of the shitter. There is a lot of innovation that can occur in every place for energy generation, storage, and conservation. China dumping their panels to shutter US companies is them attacking the economy and wanting to keep that from happening.

        I disagree. There isn't that much efficiency to wring out without major development (fusion power, superconducting transmission lines, etc) and we already have more than a century of development of alternative energy technologies. Nor does energy infrastructure have anything to do with the structural economic problems that the US currently faces. Finally, when one looks at actual attempts to further alternative energy, they commonly are counterproductive (such as obstructing rival fossil fuel or nuclear inf

    • This is a bit offtopic, but I came across this article on EDN that does a bit of technical analysis on Solyndra's product itself, and what were some of the benefits and shortcomings of their tubular solar collector design: []

      It was easy to tout the latter's unique panel design composed of multiple cylindrical modules to a non-technical audience. They seemed Apple-like in their sophisticated industrial design. Solyndra assembly and installation were elegant and slick. Perhaps these qualities played better at dinner parties than discussion of efficiency ratings, production costs or manufacturing scalability.

  • how about a probe of china nuke plant safety?

  • by GodfatherofSoul ( 174979 ) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @01:03PM (#38182486)

    how about a probe of china currency rigging?

    • by xiando ( 770382 ) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @01:06PM (#38182500) Homepage Journal
      How about a an audit of the Federal Reserve and a probe of their currency manipulation? You do realize that the sole purpose of the QE packages was to push the US dollar down? The US is the biggest currency manipulator of them all. You should generally not throw stones when you are sitting in a glass house.
      • by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @01:25PM (#38182628)

        That's not really interesting. I take it you've forgotten about all the USD that China has borrowed to artificially depress the cost of its labor. Much of the collapse was a direct result of Americans being unable to pay for the things they bought. That's not entirely the fault of the Chinese government, but they Chinese government did have a prominent hand in making it harder and harder for families to be able to afford even basic necessities like health care. And the Chinese government did extend credit to the US specifically to better its own economy without any concern for the legality of doing so.

        QE itself isn't an issue the way that you think it is. The vast majority of that money is metaphorically sitting in bank vaults and has yet to hit the economy. It's effectively no different than if they had just changed the FDIC regulations to require banks to hold less in reserve.

        Then again, given the name, I have a feeling that you know precisely zero about what's really going on in the world outside of China or are otherwise blinded.

        • Not True! (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Much of the collapse was a direct result of Americans being unable to pay for the things they bought.

          This is blatantly false. There were bad loans, but they did not cause the collapse. The collapse was caused by packaging these loans together, reselling them, chopping them up, mixing them with other chopped up packages, rating these re-packaged loans fraudulently high, de-regulation on the insurance for these loans that did not have to be backed by sufficient capitol, and the ratings groups betting against the packages that they rated high.

          To say this collapse was caused by Americans being unable to pay fo

          • The terms of loans have been "pretty much in english" ever since I bought my first property over 20 years ago. It wasn't hard to understand then, and it isn't today. The collapse was caused by people buying more house than they could afford, betting on the fact that the price would go up and they would be able to refinance it later using the equity in the house. When demand started to drop, the equity stopped going up, and the worst of the offenders started to have to bail, the whole bubble burst.

            • by thaylin ( 555395 )
              Yes, this was ONE of the causes, however before deregulation of the industry this would not have been possible, as banks would have said HELL NO!. However after deregulation they said HELL YES! because they can make money even off a default.... So while people buying homes they could not afford was a small cause,t he bigger cause was the greed of the banks and the deregulation.
              • It wasn't a small cause. It was the primary cause. If people didn't buy houses they couldn't afford, we would not be in a recession right now. It really is that simple. You blame the banks for giving out loans to people that can't afford them, are you suggesting that we have McDonalds refuse to sell food to fat people because they are too stupid to not order 2 Big Macs, super sized fries, with a large chocolate shake? People need to take responsibility for themselves.

                • Re:Not True! (Score:5, Informative)

                  by kqs ( 1038910 ) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @04:08PM (#38183620)

                  So in the list of people involved with the loans:
                        * homeowner
                        * mortgage company employee
                        * loan approval officer
                        * mortgage security trader
                        * investor
                        * ratings company employee
                  you want to blame, for the collapse of our economy, the one person who has no financial training nor any responsibility beyond their one tiny loan? That's taking "blame the victim" to new levels.

                  There are lots of books which try to explain all the problems leading up to the recession; I recommend "All the Devils Are Here". Please read one or more before you try to blame the crisis on any one group or on any simple cause. It took lots of effort by many many people who knew better to cause it.

                  • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

                    by KingMotley ( 944240 )

                    Let's continue the list of people involved with the loans:
                    Teachers from high school economics class
                    Oh.. And the guy/girl who actively went looking for a loan.

                    Let's also give the list of people involved with McDonalds being able to sell Big Macs:
                    City Council
                    McDonalds Corporate
                    State Business License Department
                    The engineer who built the building
                    The workers who put in the asphalt drive through
                    The company who made the drive through
                    Thomas edison for inventing the technology for the drive through spe

                • by DarkOx ( 621550 )

                  Lending is not the same as selling a product. When McDonalds sells you a Big Mac its largely inconsequential what happens to you later. You have the product, they have your money the transaction is complete.

                  When a bank gives you a loan its either because you want the convenience being able to purchase something today you lack the capital for or because you have an investment plan that will return more then they bank can get elsewhere. In the first case the interest is the price you pay for the convenienc

                • It wasn't a small cause. It was the primary cause. If people didn't buy houses they couldn't afford, we would not be in a recession right now. It really is that simple. You blame the banks for giving out loans to people that can't afford them, are you suggesting that we have McDonalds refuse to sell food to fat people because they are too stupid to not order 2 Big Macs, super sized fries, with a large chocolate shake? People need to take responsibility for themselves.

                  What the hell?

                  When you lose your house because you weren't able to afford payments, that is indeed your fault. You bit off more than you could chew, and now you're paying for it.

                  When you loan money for somebody who weren't able to afford payments, and then they don't pay, that's your fault for loaning the money. You got their income and credit information, you knew the risk, but you thought it was worth it. When they declare bankruptcy and the house they used as collateral isn't worth as much as the loan

        • by cavreader ( 1903280 ) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @02:07PM (#38182886)
          China did not extend US credit. They purchased government bonds and securities for secure investments. US investments are still considered one of the safest places for foreign countries to park and grow their cash. Even with all of China's investments to date they amount to only 6% of outstanding bonds and securities. And while we are at it how about we interject a few more facts? The US is still the largest economy and the number #1 manufacturer in the world even after we have supposedly sent all our jobs overseas. China has narrowed the gap, and may one day become the largest but but they have started running into problems just like the US subsidizing the renewable energy market and they are facing more competition from the other southeast Asian countries who can pay slave wages to compete. China may one day reach #1 but they have population of 1.3 billion compared to the US population of 300 million. They should be able to produce more but for some reason they have not quite got the hang of it yet.
        • by roguegramma ( 982660 ) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @02:51PM (#38183152) Journal

          Ah yes, China has "borrowed" USD.

          And I thought they borrowed USD to the US government, and not a small amount either:

          It is correct that China keeps the Yuan Renminbi low, in order to do so, it has to sell Yuan Renminbi and buy USD from people willing to sell USD. It also will invest these USD somewhere, or buy US debt. This works due to the USA and other states importing tons of goods from China and increasing US living standards with them. It is ironic that "communist" China is better at "free trade" than the USA, with the assistance of the US industry, which finds it more profitable to do so.

          Your country would be broke without China, and it is quite disconcerting to have such a cause of conflict between two large nations.

          And yes, you are right with one of your arguments, but this is because your arguments contradict each other: You blame China both for withdrawing USD and not withdrawing them.

          • by saleenS281 ( 859657 ) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @09:00PM (#38185578) Homepage
            Our country would still have expensive but quality products if it weren't for China. It wouldn't be broke, because the production of those goods would be coming from factories in the US who pay greater than slave wages for production. Instead of rampant unemployment, we'd have unskilled labor working in factories - just like we did when China was busy starving it's people for the last century.

            I'll take a lawnmower that lasts a decade for $500 over a lawnmower that lasts 6 months for $100 all day long. You continue to believe that China is somehow helping the US - I've never heard a more comical explanation of the China/US relationship.
        • by chrb ( 1083577 )

          And the Chinese government did extend credit to the US specifically to better its own economy without any concern for the legality of doing so.

          Why would it be illegal? There are no international laws that govern managing the economy of a nation state.

      • by blankinthefill ( 665181 ) <> on Sunday November 27, 2011 @01:36PM (#38182690) Journal
        The obvious difference here is that, while the Fed manipulates currencies, there is an international effect due to that manipulation, ie the price of the dollar rises or falls against other currencies. There may even be intentional manipulation to try to force an outcome, but the fact remains that value in monetary markets is NOT set by the Fed, it is set by what money market buyers believe the real value of the dollar to be. China, however, has pegged the yuan to the US dollar, and artificially lowered it's value in order to obtain a more competitive stance in international markets. It's estimated that the yuan may be undervalued by as much as 37% when compared to its actual purchasing power. And yet the US is the biggest currency manipulator? I think that's a bit of hyperbole that we're better off without.
    • how about a probe of US oil rigging?

      Or, even better, a US probe of China oil rigging in the “West Philippine Sea"? ;) []

      'A couple of months ago, Prof. Lyle Goldstein painted a doleful picture in the Foreign Policy magazine. He said if U.S. leaders heed his advice, they should shed most commitments in Southeast Asia, which he portrays as a region of trivial importance situated adjacent to an increasingly powerful China. He maintained

    • by tgd ( 2822 )

      And you think they manage their currency valuation any more rigidly than the US does?

      The US uses politics and dealing globally to keep the value of the dollar strong.

      So does China. The difference is that the rabid "need" for Americans to live well beyond their means, consuming vastly more than we produce, means China holds all the cards in that poker game. When their domestic market was weak enough they needed US sales, they had to tone down the rhetoric, but now that China's domestic market is growing mass

    • There's no issue with currency rigging.

      How much people get paid is: (wage) *(value of currency)

      If China devalues its currency by 10%, you can completely make up to that by cutting your salary 10%.

      It just so happens that currency rigging is much easier to do politically and more inline with an inflationary economic system.

    • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @02:06PM (#38182874) Homepage
      the probe of US currency rigging. I heard whenever their banks are about to fail, they just print money to make sure it doesn't happen. Scandalous.
  • He said, She said. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by brit74 ( 831798 ) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @01:13PM (#38182550)
    I see China is mastering the art of He said, she said.

    Back in the day, the US would (correctly) accuse China of something and it would go unanswered, so everyone would assume it was true:
    US: "China's doing bad things."
    China: (silence)
    Populace: "Yeah, I guess it's true."

    Now, in the 21st century, it goes like this:
    US: "China's doing bad things."
    China: "The US is doing bad things."
    Populace: "Well, both sides are accusing each other. I guess they're both equally bad. The truth lies somewhere in the middle, right?"
    China: (Laughs maniacally, thinks "This is the best way to do public relations. We don't even have to change anything.")

    Reminds me of how China would constantly get hit with human-rights abuses accusations, then they started writing up biased reports against everyone else. "See, everyone else in the world is just as bad!"
    • So after China has mastered the art of the counter claim, next comes the defensive art of getting your attack in first:

      US: "dum di dum di da - what a nice day it is"
      China; "The US is doing a bad thing"
      US: "We absolutely deny doing anything bad, ever, for all eternity <FX: thumps table with clenched fist>"
      Populace: "Sounds like a bit of an over-reaction, maybe there IS something going on?"

      However, ISTM they're not being a lot more subtle: "You want us to lend you $ X trillion? Sure, but we don't

    • by tgd ( 2822 )

      Reminds me of how China would constantly get hit with human-rights abuses accusations, then they started writing up biased reports against everyone else. "See, everyone else in the world is just as bad!"

      Are you suggesting they're either wrong, or not making a valid point?

      Because, it seems to me they're making a valid point. Does China do bad things? Sure as shit they do. Does the US? If you think the US is any better, you're high. While there are definitely substantial differences culturally between the two countries, you're wearing blinders if you think the gap is anything but noise.

      Sure, there are issues in China -- it is a country with nearly a billion people living in poverty after all, but its also a

      • by tftp ( 111690 )

        if you talk to people in China about it, they're the first to tell you its better to be ten years old and making four dollars a day than being ten years old and starving.

        The current response goes like that:

        • If a child works he doesn't have time to go to school
        • Nobody starves in the USA

        There can be a counter-argument, of course:

        • School is of no use to many anyway
        • Work is good; workers clearly understand where their daily bread is coming from, as opposed to pampered children living on other people's mo
    • Reminds me of how China would constantly get hit with human-rights abuses accusations, then they started writing up biased reports against everyone else. "See, everyone else in the world is just as bad!"

      Generally, you don't have to look too far for human rights abuses when capital punishment is in effect.

  • Currency Value (Score:5, Insightful)

    by inhuman_4 ( 1294516 ) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @01:14PM (#38182562)

    Those whole issue of subsidies and trade with China are moot. Chinese currency policy already has a far greater impact on trade than any tariff or subsidy. China likes to claim that they don't manipulate their currency to gain an advantage but that is bold faced lie. European empires played currency games with each other for centuries and Japan/South Korea did the same in the 70s and 80s, we know exactly what it looks like.

    Countries suppress the value of their currency to aid exports. The result is a massive trade imbalance, huge currency reserves, and lots of inflation. Now these things can happen without currency manipulation for a short while. But when the effect is massive and long lasting its a pretty good indication of government intervention.

    • Bald-faced lie. Sorry, I'll stop now.

    • Re:Currency Value (Score:5, Informative)

      by hackingbear ( 988354 ) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @02:56PM (#38183172)

      and lots of inflation

      That/s pretty much true and in fact on-going in China. But it raises the question whether it is effective at all to manipulate one's currencies. Today, the Japanese Yen, Taiwanese Dollar, Korean Won, etc all have a lower exchange rates than that of Yuan. Yen is like 80:1 against USD, while Yuan is 6:1. But we don't seem to complain too much about Japanese manipulation of Yen. Why? Because the wage inflation in Japanese has pushed up the final cost. Today, inflation is running high in China; market force would have restored the true market costs which are not that high given there are something like 1 billion laborers. The cost advantage in China is mainly due to its massive supply of labor -- simple supply and demand.

      Another interesting thing in China is the black market which is prevalent there. Like the Intel processors in most PCs are smuggled into China. Same for Yuan. Back in the early 1990's, the official rate was 3:1 [], but nobody exchanged at that rate. The black market rate at that time was 8:1, 2.5 times lower than official rate. Eventually, the Chinese government gave up and reset the rate to 8:1. Today, there is still the black market for currecies, but the rate is pretty much close to the official rate. (There are limited "white" markets [] for Yuan in Hongkong now, trading in amount of the billions of Yuan, at a slighly lower rate for Yuan.) Would that signal the official rate is in fact not too much different than what a free market would support?

      The invisible hand exists even if the official market is not really free. And why didn't our politicians make such complain back in the 1990's but do now? It feels like the accusation are at least partially an excuse made up by our politicians to hide their own ineffectiveness.

    • The currency is probably the most visible way of boosting exports, but the non-tariff barriers to trade are at least as bad, if not worse, than the currency. It is incredibly difficult for foreign companies to export anything to China in what the Chinese government calls "critical sectors". Those that do often find themselves forced to show the Chinese companies how to make the products, then the government transfers that knowledge to Chinese companies(both state-run and private) and pretty soon the compa
  • The us forbids the importation of manufactured goods that are sold for less than what they cost to manufacture. Otherwise foreign firms with deep enough pockets could drive their American competitors completely out of business.

    Any us firm that suspects that this "dumping" is taking place can ask the Feds to investigate, which may result in a punitive tariff being used to level the playing field.

    Ubuntu comes frOm south Africa and is distributed free of charge. Why can't Microsoft request a punitive tariff

    • by xiando ( 770382 )
      Exactly how would a tariff on imports of foreign GNU/Linux distributions would help Microsoft? It would perhaps help Red Hat increase Fedoras market share, but it would not change anything for Microsoft. And how would you go about applying a tariff on free software distributed over the Internet?
      • They come right out and say so in their annual report.

        By law and by the constitution the us is permitted to inspect and charge tariffs on imported goods. They can even prevent the item's import if it does not comply with customs regulations.

        I don't see how using the Internet as the port of entry has anything to do with it.

        • by jpapon ( 1877296 )
          I see your point, but from a practical point of view, a tariff on a free, freely distributed piece of software would be impossible to implement.

          Not to mention, I don't think anyone is actually losing money with each copy of Ubuntu distributed, so there is, in fact, no dumping taking place.

          • At one time Microft required oems to pay the windows license fee for sac pc they sold, even if windows wasn't actually installed on it. They made the dubious claim that this compensated them for the piracy that would result if pcs were sold with no os at all.

            That practice was banned in their antitrust lawsuit. Now pcs are sold without operating systems all the time, with Linux being the os most commonly installed by the end users themselves.

            While I agree it would be impractical to charge import duties in

            • by jpapon ( 1877296 )

              Just put a blue coat antivirus firewall on every Internet cable that crosses a us border.

              Arguments about the possibility of inspecting all international data traffic aside... You do realize that we're talking about data, and not some physical good, right? Once one copy of Ubuntu gets past the "customs department file server" it could be endlessly copied, at no charge, without paying the tariff. This would be legal too, since it is permitted by the software license.

              • Microsoft could petition to have the tariff based on the lost sales that would result from a single item being installed then duplicated.

                It wouldn't be hard to estimate how many copies of ubuntu get installed within the us. Just analyze the log files from a variety if web servers. Alternatively ISP packet sniffers could provide the data for the estimate.

        • Linux is a threat ONLY to Microsoft. Their Annual report is the the world view according to MS and ONLY MS.

          What about RedHat? A US company who sells FREE software all over the world.
          Oh, and they should break the $1B this year.

          • ... to do just what he wants, give him a cookie."

            You must be quite young, because you clearly don't know much about the software industry. Get back to me after you've read all the recent stories published here about the patent wars.

            Actually red hat does not give away manufactured goods of any sort for free. Red hat enterprise Linux is colossally expensive.

            Even if they did, it's perfectly legal fir American manufacturers to practice dumping domestically. Totally hypocritical sure, but also totally legal.


      • Microsoft sells desktop, server and embedded operating systems. They sell applications like Microsoft office and server software like SQL server and Internet information server.

        There us just about nothing that Microsoft sells for which the equivalent functionality cannot be had in open source. If you install ubuntu on your home computer and serve your company's website with a lamp stack, those are two computers all by yourself that you have lost Microsoft thousands of dollars in sales.

        The headhunters I ha

    • Topical, but yet nonsense. Linux is free. I'm not sure how you place punitive tariffs on free software you download over the internet...
    • This is the very first time I've discussed this in public, but I've been puzzling over this question for well over a decade.

      The US doesn't charge tariffs for most imported goods. If you lived in Canada and paid ten grand to download a high-end foreign software product over the Internet, and you didn't pay Canada Customs That Which Is Caesar's, you might well end up doing hard time.

      Non one has yet given me any reason to believe that software is in any substantial way different from a product that takes phys

  • by Beelzebud ( 1361137 ) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @01:25PM (#38182632)
    This whole globalization scheme is working out wonderfully. We'll have a global aristocracy at the end of the decade if we can just keep it from blowing up.
    • by jpapon ( 1877296 )
      No need for the future tense there buddy. There's been a global aristocracy for quite some time now. It used to be that the only time you mingled with them was as you walked from the door to the coach section as you boarded a plane.... but now most have private jets.
  • How about... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gabrieltss ( 64078 ) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @01:28PM (#38182650)

    China takes a flying F@#$ off a cliff. isn't this the pot calling the kettle black! We should tell China to go to hell. We should put tariffs in place for any and ALL goods coming FROM China into the U.S.. That might level the playing field with their blatant currency manipulations.

    • We should put tariffs in place for any and ALL goods coming FROM China into the U.S.

      And what do you hope to accomplish with doing that? You think causing a global recession, massive increases in a huge array of products, and significant damage to the multitude of business that do business with the worlds second largest economy is a good thing? Relations with China are not nearly as simple as you seem to believe...

      That might level the playing field with their blatant currency manipulations.

      China is/was manipulating their currency but that's not really as big a problem as it is often made out to be - certainly not the biggest problem. There are bigger problems. For

      • The other complication is that US-China trade figures are somewhat inflated by the fact that a lot of products now have their components made elsewhere in east Asia and the final assembly performed in China. While the value that China has added is small, they are credited with the entire value of the product.
      • by joocemann ( 1273720 ) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @02:53PM (#38183162)

        Protective tarriffs are the best solution to our national ecnomic woes. You're acting like trade defcits and exploit of people and environment by proxy of "free trade" are acceptable so long as to keep one economy, China's, afloat. That's stupid.

        Products from foreign sources ought be taxed to matc equal locally produced products. Labor/outsourcing for US businesses, done in places of very low cost of living, needs to be taxed as an import to maintain competitive involvement in employing our own people.

        This is what a country that serves its people does to protect their overall beneft and stability.
        The only thing outsourced and chinese produced products does is it givesa slightly lower cost product, usually of inferior production quality, that only shareholders and ceos can benefit frm. Us employment drops, worker supply increases, and then you have skilled individuals that aren't capable of affording a home because wages are driven downward. Exacerbate the issue with h1b visas and you've got massive unemployment in the face of very few people reaping massive profits.

        When your country representsyou, it doesn't let a very smal fraction fuck everyone else over like this.

        • by FooAtWFU ( 699187 ) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @04:14PM (#38183666) Homepage

          Protective tariffs, like Smoot-Hawley, widely credited with taking the panic of 1929 and turning it into the Great Depression? Has there ever been a historic incidence of a nation isolating themselves into prosperity?

          Economic growth outside of the US is huge. Economic growth inside the US, even in good times, is modest. If we want to prosper as a nation, we need to trade with the world, and that means free trade.

          If you'd like to see more investment in manufacturing output in these parts, perhaps we could start by doing something about the egregiously stupid parts of the tax regime, like the ones on repatriating foreign profits? Because if companies can't repatriate foreign profits without insane taxes, they'll just reinvest it overseas. Then we can talk about things like the stability and efficiency of the regulatory regime. And our corporate tax rate, once one of the world's lowest (but no longer).

      • by DarkOx ( 621550 )

        The cost of Chinese currency is the problem, it does not matter if its because its being manipulated directly by the Chinese government or not. It to cheep and we can't compete effectively. Now before you start saying well that's just to damn bad, consider the cost of labor is so much lower their because the standard of living is so much lower, and it is lower even when it looks like it is not at the surface, take a look the recent rail way disaster, safety is part of what we *want* to consider our high

    • Wow. For a second there, I thought I was on CNN or Youtube and my comment blocks had failed to load.
    • Wishful thinking.

      I wrote some time ago answering a question: who needs who more in China/USA relationship [].

      I always prefer to be on the side of producer and creditor rather than consumer and debtor (putting it mildly).

  • Same old USA... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bazmail ( 764941 ) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @01:54PM (#38182788)
    US protectionism = patriotism

    Foreign country protectionism = communism
    • Same old same old, from everyone, including you. Because your premise seems to suggest that only the U.S. is bad for protecting their own interests.
  • The US investigation against China was initiated by a German company's US branch. After the US vs. China trade war started, Germany will be the big winner, good move, isn't it?
  • It's the plan (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MikeMo ( 521697 ) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @06:09PM (#38184428)

    China has done exceptionally well partly because they pegged their currency to be lower than ours a specific amount. This has been true for over 20 years. That makes it impossible for us to sell things to them at a competitive price, and impossible to make things here cheaper than they make them there. That is illegal currency manipulation, and is vastly different from what the Fed did.

    A big part of the housing crisis was caused by China flooding the market with cheap dollars. They wanted their money invested (whether part of a nefarious plot or not), and Western loans against real estate is where it went. When all of the good borrowers had homes, the investors (China) lowered the standards that underwriters had to follow, and the underwriters were more than happy to write the new loans. When that tier of borrower dried up, they lowered their standards again. And so on. It got to the point where all you needed to buy a house was to sign a paper saying you could afford it.

    Of course, the banks were more than happy to be the conduits because they shared no risk - all of the loans were sold.

    We all bear responsibility for the crash - all of us that borrowed that cheap money, and all of us that buy things from China to save a buck or two.

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