Updates

08/25/11
By Keith Bradsher, The New York Times CHANGSHU, China — China has long used access to its giant customer base and cheap labor as bargaining chips to persuade foreign companies to open factories within its borders. Now, corporate executives say, it is using its near monopoly on certain minerals — in particular, scarce metals vital to products like hybrid cars, cellphones and energy-efficient light bulbs — to make it difficult for foreign manufacturers of high-tech materials to build or expand factories anywhere except China. Companies that continue making their products outside the country must contend with tighter supplies and much higher prices for the materials because of steep taxes and other export controls imposed by China over the last two years.
08/25/11
By John Ribeiro, IDG News Personal data sent to India by customers outsourcing work to companies in the country will not be covered under new rules governing the collection of such information, the government said on Wednesday, providing relief to India's large outsourcing industry.
08/24/11
by John Hayward, Human Events A new memorial to Martin Luther King, Jr. opened on the National Mall in Washington this week. It’s the only memorial on the Mall that isn’t dedicated to a president or the fallen soldiers in a war. There have been some criticisms leveled at the design of the monument. An ABC News report describes the layout:
08/24/11
By J.D. Velasco, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin SAN DIMAS - About 50 union members and supporters gathered at the office of Rep. David Dreier, R-San Dimas, on Tuesday to protest proposed free-trade agreements between the U.S. and Colombia, Panama and South Korea.
08/24/11
By John Broder, The New York Times WASHINGTON — In its hurry to transport millions of barrels of oil from federal stockpiles to stabilize world oil prices earlier this summer, the Obama administration has repeatedly bypassed federal law by allowing nearly all the oil to move on foreign-owned vessels, drawing protests from domestic maritime operators.
08/24/11
By Richmond County Daily Journal Congressman Larry Kissell welcomed a large group of area textile workers to his Concord office on Monday, where they provided him with petitions signed by more than 800 textile workers calling on Congress to oppose the pending Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. As a former textile worker and now Co-Chair of the House Textile Caucus, Kissell has led the fight in opposition of the job-killing trade deal.
08/23/11
By Tim Robertson, Director California Fair Trade Coalition US Trade Representative Ron Kirk was in San Francisco Wednesday promoting pending Free Trade Agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama, a key aspect of the president's "jobs plan." I managed to catch up to him in the spacious lobby of a downtown high tech firm and he was nice enough to engage in a brief interview with no advance notice. My disagreement with many of his trade goals was clear from my opening question, yet he stuck around long enough for a few follow-ups, a full five minutes until his staff pulled him away. In that time, he managed to spit out just about every pro-free trade boilerplate talking point ever spoken, but displayed an alarming disregard for some of the consequences to American workers if the FTAs were to pass.
08/23/11
By Howard Schneider, Washington Post GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — At a General Electric flight simulator here, the visibility has been set at near zero to mimic thick rain and clouds. But a video console near the pilot shows a vivid picture of nearby mountains precise enough to allow a plane to take off or land despite the conditions. The system is one of several highly valuable next-generation technologies that GE has developed — and that the company has passed along to China as part of a joint venture with the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC).
08/22/11
By Vicki Needham, The Hill The contentious and potentially explosive issue of China's currency could slide into the spotlight again next month as lawmakers begin what is expected to be a difficult trade debate in Congress. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) "is strongly considering" offering his China currency bill, co-sponsored by Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe (Maine), as an amendment to a standalone worker-retraining measure that is expected to begin movement through the House and Senate next month, a Senate aide told The Hill.
08/22/11
By Dave Gram, Kansas City Star A free-trade agreement between the United States and other countries around the Pacific Ocean might not seem like an obvious topic of discussion inside Vermont's Statehouse. But in Montpelier and other state capitals, there's growing concern that such agreements could undermine states' authority in a host of areas, including regulation of important local industries, negotiations over health care costs and control over public utilities like water supplies.

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