ARAB TIMES, FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2012
US lawmakers press for duties on China imports Canadian auto union reaches deal with Chrysler
Eight US lawmakers urged to exclude Chinese solar panels the intent of the petition that was The Canadian Auto Workers union The contracts cut wages for new Canada was the most expensive
President Barack Obama’s admin- containing cells made in another filed by the US industry, and invite agreed to a new labor contract with hires and freeze pay for current place in the world to make cars and
istration on Wednesday to broad- country from preliminary duties of the circumvention of the anti-dump- Chrysler, ending weeks of talks workers. But the contracts also trucks, and warned they could
en the scope of proposed duties more than 30 percent. ing and countervailing duty orders,” with the Detroit automakers and give them lump-sum payments to move production south if the CAW
on billions of dollars of solar pan- They argued that would allow the lawmakers said. avoiding strikes and the possibility cover inflation and for ratifying the didn’t cut costs. The CAW repre-
els from China, as the US govern- Chinese solar panel producers to SolarWorld America, an Oregon- production will move to the United deal. sents about 21,000 auto workers in
ment nears its final rulings in the escape US duties by outsourcing based subsidiary of Germany’s States. Chrysler workers will vote on the Canada and about 16 percent of
case. cell production to another country, SolarWorld AG, has led the drive CAW President Ken Lewenza deal this weekend. Ford workers auto production in North America.
The lawmakers, led by Oregon even if the materials for the cells for the United States to impose said Wednesday night that ratified their agreement last Under the agreement new work-
Democratic Senators Ron Wyden come from China and the final solar duties on Chinese-made solar Chrysler matched the four-year Sunday and GM workers are voting ers will receive 60 percent of the
and Jeff Merkley, criticized an earli- panels are assembled there. products, which it says are unfairly agreements the union reached with Wednesday and Thursday. current top wage of $33.89
er Commerce Department decision “This would appear to undermine priced and subsidized. (RTRS) Ford and GM this month. The auto companies had said Canadian dollars (US$34.74). (AP)
American exports to GCC total nearly $38 bln
US, Gulf countries agree to strengthen trade ties
WASHINGTON, Sept 27, (RTRS):
The United States on Thursday said ‘Advanced world may experience another downturn’
it has signed a framework agreement
with Saudi Arabia and other mem-
bers of the Gulf Cooperation
Council to explore ways to boost
trade and investment with the oil-
Developing economies should brace for shocks, warns IMF
rich region. WASHINGTON, Sept 27, (AFP): study found. global economy, and the US fiscal cliff adopted inflation targeting and flexible Growth in the emerging market and
The GCC also includes Bahrain, Emerging market and developing But the relative calm since the glob- — automatic tax increases and exchange rates, the IMF noted, and developing countries bounced back
Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United economies should brace against al economy exited recession in 2009 spending cuts at year-end — are made their fiscal and monetary poli- from the global financial crisis, fueling
Arab Emirates. Total two-way trade looming risks from Europe and the could prove short-lived, the expected to sharply slow already cies more countercyclical, allowing talk of a decoupling from the
between the United States and the United States, the IMF said in a report Washington-based global lender tepid growth in the world’s largest them to stimulate and cool growth as advanced economies’ woes.
Thursday. warned. economy. necessary. The crisis in Europe has already
GCC totaled almost $100 billion last Over the past decade, less devel- “There is a significant risk that In addition, the IMF cautioned “Further spikes in global uncertain- slowed growth in the major emerging
year, with the US running about a oped economies had longer uninter- advanced economies could experi- about the risks of external shocks, ty are possible, and sudden stops market economies this year, notably
$24 billion trade deficit. rupted growth and shallower down- ence another significant downturn, as such as a decline in commodity prices could emerge once again if greater in China, India and Brazil.
“This important trade and invest- turns than their developed counter- continuing sovereign and banking and sudden stops in capital inflows risk aversion leads to capital out- “There’s still monetary policy to do
ment agreement will help to grow parts, the International Monetary tensions in Europe and the so-called and, domestically, from credit booms. flows” from emerging market and something about the economy,” said
Fund said in its latest World fiscal cliff in the United States threat- “To guard against such risks, these developing economies, the IMF said. Jorg Decressin, IMF deputy director
and strengthen our economic ties Economic Outlook report. en to put the brakes on growth,” the economies will need to rebuild their If the external situation worsens, of research, at a news conference
with the Gulf Cooperation Council, Better policies and less frequent IMF said. buffers to ensure that they have ade- “these economies will likely end up launching the report.
which is a key strategic US partner economic shocks contributed to the For the IMF, public debt-strapped quate policy space,” it said. ‘recoupling’ with advanced But, he noted, some economies
in the Middle East and North Africa record-setting performance, the IMF Europe remains the biggest risk to the Many of those economies have economies.” “have more room for maneuver.”
region,” US Trade Representative
Ron Kirk said in a statement.
US goods exports to the GCC electrical machinery, and optical and $62 billion of oil, aluminum, fertil- US foreign direct investment in The United States already has and investment framework agree-
totaled nearly $38 billion in 2011, medical instruments. izers, organic chemicals and other GCC countries was $23.5 billion in free trade agreements with Oman ments with the four other GCC
led by vehicles, machinery, aircraft, The United States imported nearly goods from the region last year. 2010, USTR said. and Bahrain and individual trade members.
Shell seeks balanced PIB
‘Weak’ orders point to sharp
Nigeria bill may make
LAGOS, Sept 27, (RTRS): Shell the PIB will either enable or strangle
slowdown in US manufacturing
thinks the tax terms in a landmark that competitiveness,” Sunmonu
Nigerian oil bill are so uncompetitive said. New jobless claims fall to 2-month low
they risk rendering offshore oil and Little is known about secretive
gas projects unviable, the firm’s man- terms on offshore contracts, analysts
aging director and industry sources say the terms for onshore are much WASHINGTON, Sept 27, (RTRS): Orders for long-last- dived 13.2 percent, the largest drop since January 2009, when the econ-
said. more favorable than the deals in exis-
ing US manufactured goods fell sharply in August, sug- omy was in the throes of a recession. The decline primarily reflected
Nigerian President Goodluck tence now. weak demand for aircraft and automobiles, although orders were down
Jonathan approved the latest draft of
the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) last
Nigeria exports some 2 million
barrels per day (bpd) of oil, but could
gesting the main engine of economic growth was stalling for a wide range of goods.
month, and parliament is expected to double that with a better-managed and offsetting the hopeful sign provided by a drop in new Excluding transportation, orders were off 1.6 percent.
open debate over the next few weeks. industry, foreign oil majors say. They “It just shows the manufacturing side of the economy continues to labor
In comments from a stakeholders’ also say fiscal terms need to compen- claims for jobless benefits. here, and in fact, contract,” said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer at
forum that Shell — Nigeria’s leading sate them for the extra security risks The Commerce Department said on Thursday durable goods orders Solaris Group in Bedford Hills, New York. Economists polled by Reuters had
oil producer — sent to Reuters on of operating here such as piracy, kid- expected orders for durable goods —
Wednesday, Shell Nigeria Managing napping and oil theft by armed gangs. items from toasters to aircraft that are
Director Mutiu Sunmonu welcomed An amnesty ended political mili- meant to last at least three years — to
the bill’s arrival in parliament, but tancy in the oil-rich Niger Delta in
warned it may stifle investment if its 2009, but industrial scale oil theft fall 5 percent, with non-transporta-
terms are not improved. continues. tion orders rising marginally.
“A balanced PIB is what is Underscoring the economy’s weak-
required — one that will provide ness, the government revised its
optimal revenue to the government “All of this has had a huge impact measure of second-quarter growth to
whilst providing sufficient incentives on both cost and revenues, but we just a 1.3 percent annual pace from
for new investment to fuel growth,” can live with them ... provided the
underlying fiscal regime is positive,” 1.7 percent, largely to reflect the
Sunmonu said. It must also “take impact a drought in the Midwest had
local business challenges into consid- Sunmonu added.
eration as well as the impact on exist- A bill seeking to overhaul on farm inventories.
ing investments,” he added. Nigeria’s oil sector would lead to a Housing has been one of the econ-
“What we have seen of the draft halt in new investments if passed in omy’s relative bright spots, but a
PIB to date does not indicate a bill its current form due to onerous fiscal report showing that contracts to buy
that fits these criteria,” he said. terms, the head of ExxonMobil’s previously owned US homes fell in
If it becomes law, the bill should Nigeria operations said Thursday. August provided a counterpoint to
end years of regulatory uncertainty Mark Ward, who also leads a
grouping of oil majors operating in other recent data on housing that has
that has blocked billions of dollars of shown activity picking up.
investment in this West African coun- Africa’s top producer, said industry
try. players shared the view that the cur- However, not all the news on
The PIB is meant to overhaul rent bill jeopardises Nigeria’s bid to Thursday was downbeat.
everything from fiscal terms to the boost new investment and output. Claims
state-owned Nigerian National New investment in Nigeria’s oil
industry has already been limited in A separate report from the Labor
Petroleum Corp (NNPC). Its compre-
hensive nature has sparked disputes recent years due to lingering uncer- Department showed the number of
between lawmakers, ministers and tainty over the bill. Americans filing new claims for job-
the oil majors that have held it back “Quite frankly, the extremely large less benefits fell 26,000 last week to
for more than five years. A previous investments that are needed are seri- a two-month low of 359,000. The
draft never got through parliament. ously at risk under the proposed PIB four-week moving average for new
(Petroleum Industry Bill) terms,” he claims, a better measure of labor
Secure told a forum on the bill in the eco-
“The current draft PIB requires nomic capital Lagos. market trends fell for the first time
significant improvement to secure If the bill passes without signifi- after five weeks of increases.
Nigeria’s competitiveness,” cant changes, “the government’s File photo shows Scott Richards of Saint Anselm College looks over possible jobs during a career fair for college students The labor market has been mired in
Sunmonu warned. “As it stands right aspirations to grow the business and in Manchester, NH. With college enrollment growing, student debt has stretched to a record number of US households — weakness with worries about higher
now the PIB will render all deepwa- the industry will not be met,” he said. nearly 1 in 5 — with the biggest burdens falling on the young and poor, according to a study based on the Survey of taxes and deep government spending
ter projects and all dry gas projects ... Oil Minister Diezani Alison- Consumer Finances released, Sept 26. Because of the sluggish economy, fewer college students than before are able to cuts in January, ongoing debt prob-
non-viable.” Madueke has described the bill as settle into full-time careers immediately upon graduation, contributing to a jump in debt among lower-income households
as the young adults take on part-time jobs or attend graduate school. (AP) lems in Europe and slowing global
But Magnus Abe, chair of the fair to the government, oil firms and growth leading employers to be cau-
Senate petroleum committee, said Nigerians, who have long pushed for
Shell would have a fair chance to a fairer shake from an industry that tious about ramping up hiring.
give input to the PIB before it is
has left the country’s Niger Delta
region badly polluted.
Firms agree to settle computer spying charges Sluggish job gains and stubbornly
high unemployment spurred the
“Anybody — any Nigerian, any Legislation to reform Nigeria’s Federal Reserve this month into
stakeholder — has the right to com-
ment on the bill on or before the pub-
lic hearing,” he told Reuters.
much criticised oil sector was first
introduced in 2008.
President Goodluck Jonathan sent
US Bank admits ‘attacks’, says data safe launching a third round of bond pur-
chases to drive down already low
interest rates. The US central bank
In the current draft, oil companies a fresh version of the bill to parlia- NEW YORK, Sept 27, (Agencies): US ing closely with federal law enforcement Also:
Bank acknowledged Thursday its website officials.” PNC Bank, another firm men- vowed to buy $40 billion worth of
will pay 50 percent profit tax for ment in July that lays out immense WASHINGTON: A software program mortgage-backed securities each
onshore and shallow areas and a 25 changes to the industry and restruc- was the target of “attacks” aimed at dis- tioned in the threat, said its site was expe- developed to track the locations of rented
percent levy for frontier acreage and tures the state oil firm, widely seen as rupting its system but that customer data riencing problems on Thursday, but did month until it sees a sustained upturn
computers secretly collected confidential in the labor market.
deepwater areas. Current taxes on corruption-riddled. and financial information were not com- not elaborate. “Some customers may and personal information about con-
both were not disclosed. Ward argued that the new bill promised. experience difficulty logging in on the sumers, including medical records, bank Mortgage finance company
An industry source, who could not could push the government take from The eighth largest US banking firm said first attempt, but in general, customers statements and even web cam pictures of Freddie Mac said those purchases
be named, said the deepwater profit oil revenue to above 90 percent of all it was hit by a denial-of-service attack, have access to their accounts,” a state- couples engaged in sex, the Federal Trade helped push the average rate on a 30-
tax was a worse deal than most oil revenue. which came after a threat against US ment from the bank said. Commission said Tuesday in a settlement year fixed rate mortgage down to a
majors were getting on existing deep- “Nigeria is already one of the most financial companies from a group pledg- “PNC has taken appropriate action to that bars eight companies from any fur- record low of 3.40 percent this week.
water projects. onerous fiscal regimes and now the ing retaliation for an online video that has maintain customer service in response to ther cyber spying. In a preliminary estimate of an
Since the PIB is supposed to gov- government wants to make it sparked unrest in the Muslim world. the difficulty experienced by other banks The case involved seven rental compa-
ern these retrospectively, the compa- tougher?...That is something we upcoming annual revision to its main
“The attacks yesterday involved over the past two weeks.” nies and a firm called DesignerWare LLC
nies would lose earnings on such don’t understand,” Ward said. unusual and coordinated high traffic vol- Wells Fargo’s website was experienc-
employment measures, the Labor
of North East, Pennsylvania, which Department said it likely undercount-
existing investments, he said, Any hopes of expanding lucrative ume designed to slow down the system. ing problems Tuesday and Wednesday. licensed its PC Rental Agent software to
although there was no disagreement offshore production would be Customer personal and financial informa- The problems arose after a group call- stores so they could shut off and recover
ed job growth in the 12 months
over onshore. quashed if the bill passes unchanged, tion were not compromised,” said a state- ing itself “Cyber fighters of Izz ad-din Al computers that hadn’t been returned in through March by 386,000.
Sunmonu also expressed concern Ward said. ment from Nicole Garrison-Sprenger at qassam” announced that three banks time or had been stolen. But the good news on the labor
over the terms on projects to unlock “For deepwater: we’re done. There the holding company US Bancorp. would be targeted for the second week of But the software could do much more market was eclipsed by the weak
Nigeria’s huge latent natural gas are no investments that can be sup- The statement said the attacks caused “Operation Ababil.” durable goods report.
potential for domestic use in power ported under the current terms of the than that, the commission said. When an
“intermittent delays” but did not take The Site Intelligence Group, which add-on program known as Detective Orders for non-defense capital
plants. The country has 187 trillion PIB,” Ward said. down the company’s website or mobile monitors threats from the so-called
cubic feet of proven gas reserves, he Nigeria’s house recently ended a Mode was activated, the software could goods excluding aircraft, a proxy for
application. “global jihadist network,” said the group capture computer screen shots, furtively business spending plans, rose 1.1
said. recess and lawmakers have said the “Our systems are performing well had posted a message warning against
“A bad PIB will deter investment bill is among the first items to be take photos using the computer’s web- percent in August, only partly revers-
... Nigeria needs to compete — and debated in the new session. today, but we are continuing to monitor attacks on Wells Fargo on Tuesday, US cam, log key strokes and trick consumers ing a 5.2 percent slide the prior
the situation and take any precautions we Bank on Wednesday and PNC Bank on into providing personal contact informa-
deem necessary,” she said. “We are work- Thursday. tion, according to the FTC. month.