World View: Tariffs on Chinese Solar Panels Threaten Trade War

World View: Tariffs on Chinese Solar Panels Threaten Trade War

This morning’s key headlines from

  • U.S. military role is deepening in Yemen
  • Bedouins in Sinai threaten both Egypt and Israel
  • Tariffs on China’s solar panels threaten a trade war
  • Three ‘Occupy’ protesters face terrorism charges

U.S. military role is deepening in Yemen

Yemen is the location of the headquarters of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the terrorist organization most dangerous to the U.S. and the West in the world. AQAP has taken from the original al-Qaeda in Pakistan the mantle of greatest jihadist organization in the world. For the last year, the violent Arab Spring protests have been so chaotic that AQAP has made advances in controlling parts of Yemen, especialy in the south, and for a while there was concern that AQAP would advance on the capital city, Sanaa. Now there’s a new president and an improved constitutional order, but terrorist activity has been growing in the country. As a result, an increased but limited number of U.S. troops are returning to Yemen to assist Yemeni forces. U.S. forces are helping Yemenis with intelligence, including satellite imagery, pictures from drones and other means to help them locate targets. However, there are no plans for sending U.S. ground forces. VOA

Bedouins in Sinai threaten both Egypt and Israel

The rising violence of Bedouin tribes in the Sinai is presenting an increasing danger to both Israel and Egypt. The hostility arises from 90% unemployment among the Bedouin population, and discriminatory Egyptian laws that prevent many kinds of employment. The Sinai is the region of Egypt adjoining the Israeli border and also the Hamas-governed Gaza Strip. The 1979 Israel-Egypt peace treaty prohibits deployment of more than a token number of Egyptian security forces in the Sinai. There is an international peacekeeping force in the Sinai, but the Sinai has become almost completely lawless, and both the peacekeepers and the Egyptian security forces are under constant attack. Even worse, there has been a flow of modern weapons into the Sinai from unprotected stockpiles that were raided after the war in Libya, and there have been some rocket attacks on Israel. Jamestown

Tariffs on China’s solar panels threaten a trade war

The Obama administration has ordered extremely high tariffs of 31% to 250% on solar panels imported from China, a move that’s certain to result in retaliatory measures from the Chinese. In just a few years, some 60 Chinese manufacturing firms have grabbed about half of the U.S. market for solar panels. The administration’s charge is that China has been “dumping” solar panels on the United States — that is, subsidizing their manufacture so that they can be sold at below fair market value. (I have difficulty understanding this — Wasn’t the whole Solyndra scandal about Washington also subsidizing the manufacture of solar panels?) Not surprisingly, the aggressive tariffs have generated controversy even among American firms. Manufacturers of solar panels are pleased, but companies that import solar panels and install them are distraught. The tariffs apply specifically to Chinese-made solar cells, which are components of solar panels. Chinese solar energy companies could avoid the tariffs by shifting production of solar cells to nearby countries, then bringing those cells to China for assembly into panels. LA Times

Three ‘Occupy’ protesters face terrorism charges

Three members of the ‘Occupy’ activist movement have been arrested and charged with terrorist activities in Chicago, for allegedly planning to bomb the the residence of mayor Rahm Emanuel and Obama’s campaign headquarters during the upcoming Nato summit. This is another sign of increasing left-wing violence, in Europe and America, as the global financial crisis worsens. Washington Post