Trade Issues

The Trade Imbalance and Energy

April 24th, 2008

Month after month we are shipping billions of dollars abroad to pay for oil, much of which is going to countries who are just steps from being enemies.

We all know that using less gas means spending less at the pump and cleaner air, but it is also a major factor in our trade deficit. About 45% of the oil we use is imported.

It’s certain that the tidal waves of cheap products from China, etc. are undermining our economy (Wal-Mart is by far the largest single importer from China), but we also getting heavily slammed by energy imports.

What can we do? Right this minute, there are little things can help save gas, like making sure tires are properly full and for couples, letting the person with the farthest commute take the most fuel efficient vehicle. In the longer run, consider more efficient cars. I have really put my Ford Escape Hybrid to the test and I love it. About 32 miles to the gallon when driving normally, and over 34 when I let up on the pedal a bit. Also, not a single quality problem with it.

With GM’s recent hybrid market entries, there are now lots of them are that are not micro-cars.

From a government policy perspective, we have to push them to stop focusing on the oil industry’s perspective. For example, continuing to fill the strategic oil reserve while oil prices are this high is either moronic or simply welfare for Exxon.

Pushing for home grown (American produced) biofuel production will also reduce our risk while keeping the dollars here at home. These recent articles claiming that biofuels are raising food prices are simply ignoring the market manipulation by the hedge funds – all commodity pricing is up, and most with nothing to do with biofuels, like gold or rice. If rice’s price, which is not used as a biofuel, can rise much more sharply than corn, in spite of an overabundance being grown, what does that mean? It means that the hedge funds have a lot more to do with pushing up prices than true demand or biofuel production.

To be smart with energy is to be pro-American.

Todd Lipscomb

Founder of

Posted in Trade Issues, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Detroit To Ramp Up Exports?

April 8th, 2008

It is so often I report on bad news in regards to American manufacturing, it is very refreshing to report some good news today.

With the weaker dollar and some models that actually appeal to foreign markets, The Wall Street Journal this morning reported Detroit intends to substantially increase car exports. Of course, this won’t block the tidal wave of imports, but every little bit helps. Including:

Enclaves built by GM in Lansing to China, Malibu’s built by GM in Kansas and Michigan to Latin America, and Chrysler’s Dodge Caravan to Europe. Also, BMW is apparently investing $750 million to expand production at their South Carolina plant for export to Europe.

This not just helps those working at those plants, but also the hundreds of local companies that supply them.

This will also be a good opportunity to see if countries that have enjoyed wide open access the USA market are willing to tolerate receiving imports. Having lived abroad in Asia twice, that is not a bet I would be willing to take in the short-run. However, in the long-run, who knows?

Todd Lipscomb

Posted in Made in USA Product Ideas, Trade Issues | 1 Comment

Tragic Blow to American Manufacturing

March 5th, 2008

The recent announcement that the Airbus/Northrop team had beat Boeing in a USA Defense Department contract for refueling jet tankers with a contractual lifetime value of $40 billion is a massive blow to one of the few industries the USA has continued to lead.

This contract was originally given to Boeing, but ripped away under pressure to allow bidding from European contractors. France and Germany have massively subsidized Airbus (now called EADS), which already was a key factor in the demise of McDonnell Douglas’s commercial jet aircraft business. If this order goes through it is not only a blow to Boeing, but to their hundreds of U.S. suppliers. Yes, Northrop is an American company, but they are along for the ride with Airbus – providing mainly political know how in Washington. Make no mistake, this new deal is to purchase hundreds of French/German jet aircraft.

It gets worse. If even the pentagon is buying foreign jets, why should any of our allies buy American jets for military or commercial purposes? If this goes through, history will speak of this deal as one of the key blows to America’s waning industrial capability. Tens of thousands of good jobs and technical know-how will be lost.

I have never before asked you to contact your congressman, but this time it too important. We must take a stand. Please contact them at, which allows a quick search of congressmen by zip code. Tell them this deal must be stopped and that you will vote against them if it goes through.

Posted in Trade Issues, USA Employment Issues | No Comments