Issue 22 | June 1, 2012

On May 21, Michael Rossi, senior advisor to the governor for jobs and business development, spoke to nearly 150 business leaders and foreign trading partners about the State's plans to improve the California economy. During the event sponsored by CalChamber, Rossi stressed that the state government's reorganization plans have reduced government spending to levels under Gov. Ronald Reagan. He also promoted the State's plans to open a California-China trade office in Shanghai by the end of 2012. Read more.


Last week, U.S. Trade Ambassador Ron Kirk spoke at the London School of Economics about the prospect of further enhancing international trade between the United States and European Union. He outlined an ambitious approach to liberalize market access for all types of goods and work to eliminate unnecessary non-tariff barriers. While there are no full-fledged trade negotiations currently underway, both sides are researching areas of importance to support the possibility of a comprehensive free trade agreement. Read more.


International air cargo traffic declines 

Global air cargo traffic declined 4.5 percent in April with Asian-Pacific, American and European airlines being especially hard hit. Declines were primarily caused by a Chinese export slowdown and financial uncertainty in Europe. Experts say the market may have bottomed out and is primed for resurgence. Increases in both traffic and capacity were seen in the Middle East and Africa. Read more.


Japanese economy shows signs of growth 

Japan's exports to the United States rose for the sixth consecutive month in April, posting a growth rate of more than 40 percent. Imports from the United States have also grown, but at a much slower pace of less than 5 percent. This growth has been spearheaded by the auto industry, which is showing signs of supply chain improvement after the earthquake and tsunami last year. Read more.


China alleges U.S. violation of trade rules on solar subsidies 

The People's Republic of China lodged a complaint on May 25 with the World Trade Organization (WTO) over U.S. renewable-energy subsidies. The energy programs, found in five states: New Jersey, Massachusetts, Ohio, Washington state and California, are claimed by China's Ministry of Commerce to violate WTO policies on "prohibited subsidies." The allegation follows a complaint filed by seven U.S. solar companies over Chinese firms purportedly receiving government support and selling solar cells below cost. The Chinese claim is viewed by many as retaliation for the American investigation. Read more.


Russia to join World Trade Organization 

On May 24, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce issued a letter to Congress urging them to extend Permanent Normal Trade Relations with Russia. Russia is scheduled to join the WTO in July, and is the largest economy in the world not to yet have joined the global organization. Read more.


Indian economy shows signs of slowdown 

Once touted as the world counterweight to China, India has shown signs of its own economic slowdown in the face of internal and external pressures. Political dysfunction and the European debt crisis have forced India to lower its more than 9 percent growth expectations. Current estimates range between a more modest 6 to 7 percent growth for this year. Read more.


Europe challenges Argentinean trade practices 

Members of the European Union are expected to challenge Argentinean trade practices in the WTO after the highly controversial expropriation of Spanish oil company Repsol's assets in the country was announced in April. The move began in response to an extension of import restrictions enacted in February by the Argentinean government which expanded restrictions on an increasingly complicated economic climate in the South American country. Read more. 

Compiled by Simon Huang and Devin Raymond, Global Initiatives Interns

For more information, contact Jasmin Sakai-Gonzalez, 213.580.7569.