Trade policy may become a flash point in the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate primary, as both candidates at Netroots Nation sought to criticize the other as too supportive of unfair trade agreements. more »
washingtonpost.com — It's not just that the United States uniquely lacks an industrial policy. It's that the United States uniquely has an anti-industrial policy. Turning that around could help the economy as well as convey some political rewards to an administration that could use some rewards just now.
inthesetimes.com — This Republican disarray means that the policy debate in Washington is for the Democrats to lose. But first, in order to win, Democrats must acknowledge the root of the problem. For more than 30 years they have failed to defend the state in the face of conservative attacks. This failure has facilitated a dangerous expansion of corporate power and weakened public confidence in government.
washingtonpost.com — As states across the country grapple with the worst economy in decades, most have cut services, forced workers to take unpaid days off, shut offices several days a month and scrambled to find new sources of revenue. The good news is that much of the pain this year has been cushioned by billions of dollars of federal stimulus money, which has allowed states and localities to avoid laying off teachers, prison guards, police officers and firefighters. The bad news is that for the next fiscal year, beginning in July, the picture looks even bleaker. Revenue is expected to remain depressed, even if the national economy improves. There will be only half as much federal stimulus aid available, and many states have already used up their emergency reserves.
As the International Trade Commission considers comments on its recommendation to impose tariffs on Chinese tire imports, President Obama stands at a crossroads in the fight to rebuild the American economy. more »
reuters.com — The U.S. House of Representatives approved $7 billion on to temporarily shore up a nearly empty federal trust that pays for road, bridge and transit projects. Supporters garnered the necessary two-thirds support to push through the stop-gap measure intended to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent through September 30, the end of the fiscal year. The vote was 363 to 68. The government estimates the account could run dry within several weeks without an emergency infusion of cash. The fund provides states with about $40 billion per year in transportation construction funding. Trust fund disbursements are separate from the billions in economic stimulus money dedicated to states for transportation projects.
openleft.com — The US/China talks are actually, in many respects more important than the healthcare debate. What China is willing to pay for may well be what the US can do, and what is being negotiated right now is what they'll pay for. Let's take a look at the issues.
washingtonpost.com — The Energy Department is getting ready to hand out about $2 billion in grants to create a domestic industry for electric-car batteries, and 122 companies are scrambling to get pieces. The companies range from small niche firms to giants such as Dow Chemical and Johnson Controls. All are promising a combination of innovation and ability to deliver new products on a commercial scale to prevent the United States from trading dependence on foreign oil or reliance on foreign-made batteries. Now policymakers hope that helping domestic battery manufacturers will produce economic savings that often come with large-scale production and which are needed to make electric cars affordable. With funds provided by the stimulus bill in February, the Energy Department can cover up to half the cost of a battery-related project.