Topic Category: Politics

In late 2012, the center-left government led by President François Hollande was dealt a major blow to its economic policy credibility. The constitutional council ruled that a 75 percent income tax rate imposed on individuals earning more than $1.3 million annually was not consistent with the French ideal of equality before the law. The very high tax rate on the super-rich was, from the start, suspect in terms of its practical value. But for Hollande, it was a centerpiece of a campaign platform that attracted support from voters eager to punish the bankers and investors that many blame for France’s current economic woes.

Topic: Politics
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The Honduran government appears to be headed for another political crisis that is in some respects dismayingly similar to the events that led to the forced ouster of President Manuel Zelaya in June 2009, an episode from which the country has yet to fully recover. This time, however, it is not the Congress and the Supreme Court teaming up to take down the president, but rather the president and the Congress joining forces to neuter the Supreme Court.

Topic: Politics
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As expected, Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping has been chosen to head the new group of leaders that will rule China for the next 10 years. At a CCP congress held in November, Xi was named as both party leader and chairman of the Central Military Commission, and he will replace Hu Jintao as national president in March 2013. Li Keqiang will take over as prime minister, replacing Wen Jiabao.

Topic: Politics
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 It seems to me that most Americans clearly understand why we, as a people and a country, are exceptional. It appears those on the left, including our President, have much trouble accepting this. In fact, they apologize to the world for it. And yet it is our most enduring characteristic.

Topic: Politics
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RokStories It has been 18 years since the last round of successful multilateral trade negotiations concluded. The so-called Uruguay Round, which produced a number of comprehensive agreements to reduce trade barriers and established the World Trade Organization (WTO) as an arbiter of trade disputes, remains the high water mark in the annals of multilateral trade accomplishments. What can we expect in the future?

Topic: Politics
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RokStories International trade has grown exponentially over the past half-century benefiting American companies, communities and workers. This primarily is the result of the spread of globalization, improvements in technology, finance and transportation, and importantly, reductions in country tariff levels. But, as tariff levels have declined, new forms of protectionism have emerged that could threaten global economic and U.S. corporate growth.

Topic: Politics
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January was a busy month for international trade initiatives in Washington. The Obama Administration made proposals aimed at creating a special trade enforcement center and increasing supply chain security. The proposals contain minimal details. Nevertheless, each proposal gives some insight into the Administration’s trade priorities.

Topic: Politics
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Customs is about to get new responsibilities in the antidumping and countervailing duty (“AD/CVD”) areas that will require the agency to undertake evasion investigations. This could lead to substantial additional liabilities for importers. However, companies that recognize the threat to their bottom line, and act to remove it, will be at a competitive advantage when Customs gains this responsibility.

Topic: Politics
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Chinese officials have been highly critical of the U.S. debt buildup and the political wrangling in Washington that has failed to resolve the debt crisis. But China could well turn that leery eye inward to find policies that are preventing financial markets from functioning in a healthy manner—and which may yet spread the next serious malady to global financial markets.

Topic: Politics
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If I were a member of Congress and a constituent asked me at a town-hall meeting why I support free trade, here’s what I would say in my policy-wonkish way:

Free trade empowers the individual and limits the state. The government should not be telling us where we can and can’t spend our money. We don’t need big government rigging markets to favor one producer over another at the expense of competition and the little guy.

Topic: Politics
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