The costs of importing non-native foodstuffs: Despite the call to vegans in the headline, this is an issue that effects all eaters as international lands are stripped to feed the appetites of more wealthy nations. The appetite of countries such as ours for this grain has pushed up prices to such an extent that poorer people in Peru and Bolivia, for whom it was once a nourishing staple food, can no longer afford to eat it. Imported junk food is cheaper. In Lima, quinoa now costs more than chicken.
ABC News issues a "Made in America" Christmas challenge. The average American will spend $700 on holiday gifts and goodies this year, totaling more than $465 billion, the National Retail Federation estimates. If that money was spent entirely on US made products it would create 4.6 million jobs. But it doesn't even have to be that big. If each of us spent just $64 on American made goods during our holiday shopping, the result would be 200,000 new jobs. [more inside]
Melamine found in almost half of all Chinese food imports now on the banned list. The Food and Drug Administration is enforcing a new import alert that greatly expands its curtailment of some food ingredients imported from China, authorizing border inspectors to detain ingredients used in everything from noodles to breakfast bars. The FDA has also announced that melamine laced products have found their way into the human consumption cycle via poultry and pork. Interesting to note that the budget for FDA inspections is at it's lowest level ever, and that only 1% of all imports actually get inspected.
tibetan yak butter, reindeer hash, crocodile paté, and smoked cobra. All this and more at edible.com.
Damn La Difference! Europe (and apparently Japan) seem to be going through a Dickies craze. You say work wear; we say American blue-collar chic. You pay $20 for an industrial shirt; we pay $100. Should we call the whole thing off? [More inside.]
Trade Wars Bush imposes import tariffs on steel, something I didn't really expect coming from the administration. Dangerous precedent or useful bulwark against laissez-faire globalization?
Last week, the WTO ruled against a corporate welfare program for US exporters (again). This week, a Canadian hemp company claims the US owes them US$20m under NAFTA for harrassment and impinging on future returns.
"We have always maintained that we have the right to decide the way in which we distribute our products to best serve our customers."
"We have always maintained that we have the right to decide the way in which we distribute our products to best serve our customers." (Especially at a 100% markup.) Levi Strauss celebrates an EU judgement on parallel imports that protects their ability to sell $40 jeans for £50 in the UK. In an era of online storefronts, transatlantic shopping trips, and continental car sales, can these new brand-based tariff barriers really hold up?