Sears is not what it was just 15 years ago, and is a shadow of what it was in the 1960s when its sales were almost 1 percent of U.S. GDP.Sears has been prostrated not by perfidious foreigners but also by America’s efficient, fairly recent “big box” retailers (Walmart, Home Depot, Best Buy, Lowe’s, etc.) and by Amazon.The real villains, however, are American consumers, with their persnickety search for high quality and low prices.The president has until February to exercise his vast discretion regarding things like washing machine imports.If you are wondering how presidents came to have such discretion to impose taxation on American consumers, you have not been paying attention to Congress’ creation, by improperly delegated powers, of the imperial presidency.George Will is a nationally syndicated columnist with The Washington Post who writes from a conservative perspective.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen? The tariff/tax, which is designed to limit the choices of, and increase the prices paid by, American consumers would be 50 percent on all imported machines, after the first 1.2 million.U.S. customers caused the importation of about 3 million Samsung and LG washers in 2016.Back in the day, Henry Ford said people could have the Model T in any color they wanted, as long as they wanted black.General Motors’ ascent was helped by offering color choices.Until recently, purchasers of washing machines had to want white ones.And ones that loaded in the top, and signaled the end of a cycle with buzzers.Then came imports in various colors, that loaded in the front, had chimes instead of buzzers, and other features. Categories: Editorial, OpinionWASHINGTON — A household appliance will be the next steppingstone on America’s path to restored greatness.The government is poised to punish many Americans, in the name of protecting a few of them, because, in the government’s opinion, too many of them are choosing to buy foreign-made washing machines for no better reason than that the buyers think they are better.If you are wondering why the government is squandering its dwindling prestige by having opinions about such things, you have not been paying attention to Whirlpool’s demonstration that it is more adept at manipulating Washington than it is at making washing machinesIn 2006, when Whirlpool was paying $1.7 billion to buy its largest competitor, Maytag, federal regulators fretted that this would give the company too much market power.Whirlpool said: Fear not, competition from foreign manufacturers such as South Korea’s Samsung and LG will keep us sharp and benefit American consumers. Now, however, Whirlpool, which is weary of competition, has persuaded the U.S. International Trade Commission to rule that Samsung and LG should be reproached for what, 11 years ago, Whirlpool said it welcomed: competition.The U.S. market for washing machines has grown 35 percent in just five years.Whirlpool’s share of this market, although not the 70 percent it was in 2006, is still more than Samsung’s and LG’s combined 35 percent.In this happy circumstance, Whirlpool is profitable.It would, however, like to be more so, and it will be if the president accedes to the commission’s unanimous recommendation and imposes a “tariff-rate quota.”This is a tax, paid by American consumers, on imports that exceed a certain quantity that, in the government’s opinion (formed with the assistance of domestic manufacturers), is excessive.If you are wondering why the government has nothing better to do than have opinions about such things, you have not been paying attention to modern government’s vast diligence on our behalf. Competition increased, and so did Whirlpool’s reliance on the government, which in 2012 imposed duties on washing machines imported from South Korea and Mexico.Samsung and LG responded rationally, by what protectionists stigmatize as “country hopping,” moving some production to China, then Vietnam and Thailand. And now to the United States.Samsung and LG have announced plans to become domestic manufacturers.Samsung will open a manufacturing plant, with approximately 1,000 employees, in Newberry, South Carolina. LG’s plant will be near Clarksville, Tennessee.Before Whirlpool became dependent on government, it depended on Sears, which in the 1920s threw a financial lifeline to a struggling appliance manufacturer, Upton Machine Co., that became Whirlpool.According to The Wall Street Journal, as recently as 2002, when Sears sold 40 percent of the major appliances bought in America, sales through Sears generated about a fifth of Whirlpool’s revenues.In October, Sears announced that it would stop selling Whirlpool brand products because Whirlpool is powerful enough to make pricing demands that “would have prohibited us from” selling those products “at a reasonable price.”
Meanwhile, PT Pupuk Indonesia, the holding company of state-owned fertilizer producers, intends to buy 150 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) of gas for 20 years to supply its fertilizer plants.After years of delays, Inpex secured a final approval from the government in July 2019 to develop a US$20 billion LNG plant in the Masela Block in the Arafura Sea. The plant, which is expected to start commercial production in 2027, will produce 9.5 million tons of LNG per annum.During the MoU signing ceremony, Upstream Oil and Gas Regulatory Taskforce (SKK Migas) head Dwi Soetjipto gave an assurance that the licensing process for the Abadi project had been going “smoothly”, and expressed hope there would be no further delays.“So far, we have obtained a location permit from the local government, and the licensing process with the Environment and Forestry Ministry is going smoothly,” he saidHe added that of the $20 billion needed for the Abadi project, around $5.6 billion would be spent on purchasing local content, which would spur economic growth. (mpr)Topics : Japanese oil and gas giant Inpex Masela Ltd will sell part of its liquefied natural gas (LNG) produced from its LNG plant in the Masela oil and gas block in eastern Indonesia to state-owned electricity company PLN and sate-owned fertilizer producer PT Pupuk Indonesia.The memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the sale of the LNG was signed in Jakarta on Wednesday by the president director of Inpex Masela, Kenji Kawano, the president director of PLN, Zulkilfi Zaini, and the president director of Pupuk Indonesia Aas Asikin Idat.Speaking following the signing of the MoU, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Arifin Tasrif said PLN planned to purchase between 2 to 3 million tons of LNG per year to supply its power plants, which at present are fueled with diesel.
MarineSpace Ltd, an environmental consultancy providing services to the marine renewables and other offshore energy and maritime industries, is looking for a new colleague (or colleagues) who will join the company as marine consultant(s).The company said that, as part of its continued expansion, it is currently seeking to employ graduate, or recent graduate (1-2 years of experience) marine ecologists to join the MarineSpace’s experienced team and to provide input to a range of projects.MarineSpace is accepting applications from candidates holding an BSc or MSc in a relevant subject, and those with practical knowledge of specific marine industry sectors in which the company provides its services would have a distinct advantage. An understanding of UK marine benthic biodiversity, technical scientific reports, and univariate and multivariate statistical analysis would be beneficial, MarineSpace said.Those interested in the position can submit their application documents via firstname.lastname@example.org by 09:00 on September 17.Based in MarineSpace’s Norwich or Peterborough office, the successful candidates will be required to travel to meetings at the company’s headquarters in Southampton, as well as to attend client meetings as required.Authoring of technical reports and environmental impact assessments will form the core of the responsibilities at this position, where performing general project management tasks and stakeholder engagement when required will also be part of the job.MarineSpace specialises in providing expert guidance to the marine aggregate, marine renewables, oil and gas, coastal/marine engineering and ports/harbours sectors.
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