Subscribe: VOA News: Analize i perspektive
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade A rated
Language: Serbian
aluminum  brazil  countries  facebook  land  people  president  steel aluminum  steel  tariffs  university  women  year   
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: VOA News: Analize i perspektive

Voice of America

Voice of America is an international news and broadcast organization serving Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Russia, the Middle East and Balkan countries


Can Self-Driving Cars Withstand First Fatality?

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 22:01:53 -0400

The deadly collision between an Uber autonomous vehicle and a pedestrian near Phoenix is bringing calls for tougher self-driving regulations, but advocates for a hands-off approach say big changes aren't needed. Police in Tempe, Arizona, say the female pedestrian walked in front of the Uber SUV in the dark of night, and neither the automated system nor the human backup driver stopped in time. Local authorities haven't determined fault, and federal transportation authorities say they won't release any findings on the crash until their investigation is complete. Current federal regulations have few requirements specifically for self-driving vehicles, leaving it for states to handle. Many, such as Arizona, Nevada and Michigan, cede key decisions to companies as they compete for investment that will come with the technology. No matter whether police find Uber or the pedestrian at fault in the Sunday crash, many federal and state officials say their regulations are sufficient to keep people safe while allowing the potentially lifesaving technology to grow. Others, however, argue the regulations don't go far enough. "I don't think we need to jump to conclusions and make changes to our business,'' said Michigan state Senator Jim Ananich, the chamber's minority leader. He and other Democrats joined Republicans to pass a bill last year that doesn't require human backup drivers and allows companies wide latitude to conduct tests. Ananich called the death of Elaine Herzberg, 49, a tragedy and said companies need to continue refining their systems. "I want that work to happen here, because we have a 100-year history of making the best cars on the planet,'' he said. "It's not perfect by any means, and we are just going to have to keep working until it is.'' Proponents of light regulations, including the Trump administration's Transportation Department, say the technology could reduce the 40,000 traffic deaths that happen annually in the U.S. The government says 94 percent of crashes are caused by human error that automated systems can reduce because they don't get drunk, sleepy or inattentive. U.S. Representative Bob Latta, an Ohio Republican who chairs a House subcommittee that passed an autonomous vehicle bill, said the measure has sufficient provisions to ensure the cars operate safely. It requires the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to develop safety standards and allows the agency to update outdated regulations. It also prohibits states from regulating autonomous driving systems to avoid a patchwork of rules, Latta said. The bill has passed the House. The Senate is considering a similar measure. About 6,000 pedestrians were killed last year in crashes that involved cars driven by humans, he said. "What we want to do is see that stop or try to get it preventable,'' he said. But safety advocates and others say companies are moving too quickly, and they fear others will die as road testing finds gaps that automated systems can't handle. Jason Levine, executive director for the nonprofit Center for Auto Safety, said without proper regulations, more crashes will happen. "There's no guardrails on the technology when it's being tested without any sense of how safe it is before you put it on the road,'' he said. Others say that the laser and radar sensors on the SUV involved in the Tempe accident should have spotted Herzberg in the darkness and braked or swerved to avoid her. Development should be slowed, with standards set for how far sensors must see and how quickly vehicles should react, they said. Sam Abuelsamid, an analyst for Navigant Research, expects the Arizona crash to slow research. "Responsible companies will take this opportunity to go back and look at their test procedures,'' he said. Toyota already is taking a step back, pausing its fully autonomous testing with human backups for a few days to let drivers process the Arizona crash and "help them do their jobs with less concern,'' the company said. The company says it constantly refines its procedures. Without standards[...]

Media Files:

Report: Women Short-Changed on Commercial Land Deals in Africa

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 21:58:26 -0400

Women are often short-changed compared to men when communities are compensated or resettled during commercial land deals in Africa, and governments should take action to rectify that, researchers said Tuesday. The World Resources Institute's (WRI) research showed men had received up to six times as much for their land. And although women usually had smaller land parcels, they also lost access to resources such as rivers, forests and social networks. Among other measures, the U.S.-based WRI said governments should enact laws ensuring women receive an equitable share of compensation payments made to households. "There is usually a power asymmetry between the community and the investor. These deals are presented to the community as almost-done deals with women getting the short-end," said WRI associate researcher Celine Salcedo-La Vina. "Most of the time the expected benefits are not legally binding," she told Reuters by Skype. WRI focused on Tanzania and Mozambique, which are among the places where major commercial deals in agribusiness, tourism and mining have displaced thousands over the last decade, she said. Land in Africa is often communally held, with fathers assumed to be the rightful owners who usually pass it on to their sons. That makes it hard for women to own land except through their husbands or by buying it, the World Bank has said. Women are usually not compensated for lost farms because they are not deemed to own the fields they cultivate, and often grow subsistence crops. Men, on the other hand, typically plant cash crops whose value is easy to determine, WRI said. Changing land laws Some African governments, including Tanzania and Mozambique, have enacted new laws to address how investors engage communities during land deals to reduce inequality, WRI said. But these changes have done little to address how women are compensated or resettled during commercial deals, because most of the laws use "gender-neutral language." "When applied in patriarchal contexts [these laws] result in women's marginalization," the report said. Tanzania and Mozambique are working to change their land laws to bring in more rights for women during commercial land deals. However, those would first have to tackle the cultural norms of how women come to own land, Salcedo-La Vina said. "We have seen where we have men and women working together during land deals, it usually strengthens community rights," she said. WRI also recommended that women's land uses and contributions as heads of households be taken into account, that land titles be in both spouses' names, and that intangible assets be included when determining compensation.

Media Files:

Northern Brazil Overwhelmed by Desperate, Hungry Venezuelans

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 21:53:28 -0400

Hungry and destitute, tens of thousands of victims of Venezuela’s unrelenting political and economic crisis are trying their luck in Brazil — a country where they do not speak the language, conditions are often poor and there are few border towns to receive them.  Many arrive to Brazil’s northern border weak from hunger and with no money for a hotel, food or the $9 bus ride to Boa Vista, the capital of the Brazilian state of Roraima, known in Venezuelan circles as a place that offers three meals a day. In dozens of interviews over four days, many said they had not had more than one meal a day for the last year.  Some wore baggy clothes, had emaciated faces and complained of medical issues ranging from children with measles to diabetics with no insulin.  Kritce Montero tried to shush 6-month-old Hector, who cried from hunger even after breast-feeding while his family and several hundred other Venezuelans waited to be processed at the border. Montero, who said she lost 57 pounds (26 kilograms) the last year from eating just one meal a day, traveled with Hector and her 7-year-old daughter 18 hours by bus from Maturin, a city in northeast Venezuela. After spending the night sleeping on the ground in Pacaraima, a dusty border town in the Amazon, they took another bus 130 miles (210 kilometers) to Boa Vista.  “We are desperate. We could no longer buy food,” said 33-year-old Montero, adding it had been months since Hector had any formula or diapers.  While in recent years millions of Venezuelans have immigrated, until recently Brazil received relatively few of them. Hundreds of thousands have gone to Colombia, but authorities there and elsewhere in South America are tightening their borders. Portuguese-speaking Brazil has become the latest alternative for Venezuelans. But they are not finding much comfort there. On a recent day, Militza DonQuis, 38, sat under a tree on the side of the main road in Pacaraima. In the two months since she and her husband arrived from Puerto Cabello, they have not been able to find work. With no money, they can't take the bus to Boa Vista, so they sleep on the ground and scrounge for food during the day. “This is horrible,” said DonQuis through tears, adding that in two months she had been unable to send money home to her children, ages 12 and 14, who she left with a sister. With no money for a bus, Jose Guillen, 48, and wife July Bascelta, 44, decided to begin the journey to Boa Vista at night on foot, setting off with 9-year-old twins Angel and Ashley along a road surrounded by forest.   “God will provide,” said Guillen when asked how the family would eat during a trip that can take five days.  After walking 4 miles (6 kilometers), a Brazilian driver stopped agreed to give them a lift to Boa Vista, where the situation is arguably more desperate. Thousands of Venezuelans are living in the streets. They sleep in tents and on benches in central squares, have taken over abandoned buildings and cram dozens of people into small apartments. The largest of three shelters in the city, Tancredo, has 700 people despite being equipped for 200. Half-naked children roam the former gymnasium while groups of men and women chat about their hopes for finding work and worry about the families they left in Venezuela. Charlie Ivan Delgado, 30, said he came to Brazil several months ago with hopes of earning enough money so he and his high school sweetheart could finally afford a wedding. But each time he called home to El Tigre, he would hear the situation was getting worse, that their three children, ages 9, 5 and 1, were always hungry. So he decided to abandon wedding plans and bring his family. “Kids in Venezuela today don't think about playing with their friends or what they might study” in the university, said Delgado, sitting with his children and partner in a tent. “It's more, ‘What am I going to eat today?’’’ While the shelter offers three meals a day, the family's prospects are b[...]

Media Files:

Sixth Texas Bomb Blast Leaves US Investigators Baffled

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 21:45:59 -0400

The series of parcel bombs in Texas that have killed two people and put residents on edge escalated on Tuesday with two more incidents, a bomb that exploded at a FedEx distribution center near San Antonio and one that was discovered before it detonated. A third explosion Tuesday evening in Austin was not a package bomb and officials said it did not appear to be related to the other incidents. The latest cluster of booby-trapped packages brought to six the number of explosive devices - five that detonated - that have come under investigation in Texas this month as the work of a possible serial bomber. Baffled investigators have taken the extraordinary step of making public appeals asking that whoever is responsible to at least come forward with a demand or an explanation. Early on Tuesday, a package filled with nails and metal shrapnel exploded at about 12:30 a.m. on a conveyer belt at FedEx sorting center in Schertz, near San Antonio, knocking a female employee off her feet, officials said. The package was being sent from Austin to another address in Austin and passed through a sorting center in Schertz, about 65 miles (105 km) away. Authorities said the worker was treated for her injuries at the scene. Later in the morning, authorities were alerted to a suspicious package at a FedEx facility in Austin. Police and federal agents called to the scene found the package contained a bomb and it "was disrupted by law enforcement," according to a joint statement from Austin police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). No injuries were reported, the statement said. The three agencies said investigators had determined that the two FedEx bombs "are connected" to the four package explosions that occurred between March 2 and March 18 in Austin, killing two people and injuring four others. But officials with the ATF said the incident Tuesday evening in south Austin, which seriously injured a man in his 20s, "does not appear to be related" to the previous incidents. Local emergency services officials said the victim is expected to survive. Speaking through the media, officials have appealed to the bomber to reveal the motives for the attacks. They have also asked the public for any tips, offering a $115,000 reward. "Somebody has to know something," FBI spokeswoman Christina Garza said. "The person behind these explosives, please, we want to know why." "This is obviously a very, very sick individual, or maybe individuals," President Donald Trump told reporters. "These are sick people, and we will get to the bottom of it."

Media Files:

Breaking Up With Facebook Harder Than It Looks

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 21:33:01 -0400

Facebook's latest privacy scandal, involving Trump campaign consultants who allegedly stole data on tens of millions of users in order to influence elections, has some people reconsidering their relationship status with the social network. There's just one problem: There isn't much of anywhere else to go. Facebook has weathered many such blow-ups before and is used to apologizing and moving on. But the stakes are bigger this time. Regulatory authorities are starting to focus on the data misappropriation, triggering a 9 percent decline in Facebook's normally high-flying stock since Monday. Some of that reflects fear that changes in Facebook's business will hurt profits or that advertisers and users will sour on the social network. The furor over Cambridge Analytica, the data mining firm accused of stealing Facebook data, followed a bad year in which Facebook acknowledged helping spread fake news and propaganda from Russian agents. It also came less than three months after CEO Mark Zuckerberg told the world that he would devote the year to fixing Facebook. Instead, things seem to be getting worse. "It's more serious economically, politically, financially, and will require a more robust response in order to regain users' trust,'' said Steve Jones, a professor of communications at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Not so easy Yet leaving Facebook isn't simple for some people. Arvind Rajan, a tech executive from San Francisco who deactivated his account on Monday, suddenly discovered he needs to create new usernames and passwords for a variety of apps and websites. That's because he had previously logged in with his Facebook ID. It's a pain, he said, "but not the end of the world.'' And because he is bothered by Facebook's "ham-handed'' response to recent problems, the inconvenience is worth it. For other users looking to leave, it can feel as if there are no real alternatives. Twitter? Too flighty, too public. Instagram? Whoops, owned by Facebook. Snapchat? Please, unless you're under 25 — in which case you're probably not on Facebook to begin with. Facebook connects 2.2 billion users and a host of communities that have sprung up on its network. No other company can match the breadth or depth of these connections — thanks in part to Facebook's proclivity for squashing or swallowing up its competition. What about your photos?  But it is precisely in Facebook's interest to make users feel Facebook is the only place to connect with others. Where else will grandmothers see photos of their far-flung grandkids? How will new mothers connect to other parents also up at 4 a.m. with a newborn? "My only hesitation is that there are hundreds of pictures posted over 13 years of my life that I do not want to lose access to. If there was a way to recover these photos, I would deactivate immediately,'' Daniel Schwartz, who lives in Atlanta, said in an email.  People eager to delete their profiles may find unexpected problems that point to how integral Facebook is to many activities, said Ifeoma Ajunwa, a professor of organizational behavior at Cornell University. "It is getting more and more difficult for people to delete Facebook, since it's not just as a social media platform but also almost like a meeting square,'' she said. Parents could soon realize that their child's soccer schedule with games and pickup times is only on a Facebook page, for example. Many businesses also schedule meetings via Facebook. "It's more and more difficult for people to feel plugged in if you're not on Facebook,'' Ajunwa said. Exit can take 90 days Not surprisingly, Facebook doesn't make it easy to leave. To permanently delete your account, you need to make a request to the company. The process can take several days, and if you log in during this time, your request will be canceled. It can take up to 90 days to delete everything. There's a less permanent way to leave — deactivation — which [...]

Media Files:

Egypt Prepares for Presidential Election, and Few Surprises

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 21:15:06 -0400

Four years after Egypt’s last presidential election, incumbent President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi is seeking a new mandate in a contest that is generating little suspense. To most observers, it appears clear that Sissi will win. But the main question is, by what margin? The president's re-election bid comes after a four-year term that has been marked by a number of successes, including a Suez Canal expansion and the discovery of major offshore natural gas reserves in the Mediterranean Sea. But Egypt under Sissi has also been buffeted by sporadic terror attacks against churches and mosques, and a protracted war against insurgents in the Sinai, and along the border with Libya. Still, Egypt is doing better than many other Arab states such as Syria, Libya and Yemen, a fact that Sisi frequently points out. Sissi, who ousted his Islamist predecessor Mohamed Morsi, whose year in power was marked by widespread turmoil, has supporters who rallied around him. His detractors want Egyptians to boycott the election. Political activist Khaled Dawoud told a recent news conference that the group of opposition parties of which he belongs and that has ties to the civil democratic movement, has decided “not to take part in the upcoming elections.” In 2014, 25 million people voted, and Sisi won 23.6 million of those votes. This year, however, some of those voters are feeling disenchanted, observers say. Analyst and commentator Hisham Kassem said there is a sense of letdown in various quarters. Voters “who stood there and said, ‘We want to be involved in the process,’  are not pleased,” he said. Kassem stressed that many of those voters are “not political and (don’t belong to the) Muslim Brotherhood, but are regular citizens who want (Egypt) to be a democracy.” Now, “four years later,” he said, they’re asking themselves, “Is this what we get?”  Earlier this month, Sissi urged Egyptians to be patriotic, and called for a large turnout. He insisted that he would not be bothered if some voters cast ballots for his opponent, so long as they turned out to vote. He frequently alludes to rival nations, whom he claims are trying to sow turmoil inside the country, and appeals to his countrymen's sense of nationalism and civic pride.  In a speech in late January, he claimed that those adversaries would have to reckon with him before making mischief. “(Those countries) who would like to play with Egypt will have to get rid of me, first. (But) I swear to God that I won’t allow it,” he insisted, “I will not allow it.” Many of Egypt’s African neighbors are privately backing Sissi, whom they prefer to the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and the group’s suspected ties to terrorism. London-based Africa analyst David Otto of Global Risk Management, argues that the security situation “in the Middle East and North Africa is very, very precarious,” causing many African leaders and officials to favor Sisi, “because of his military stance against jihadist organizations.” High inflation, following the 2016 devaluation of the Egyptian pound, has caused a considerable amount of pain to middle and working class Egyptians, and has made the economy one of the biggest sore spots for the president in this election. Nevertheless, many businessmen and public figures continue to support him because of his pro-business stance. Sissi’s sole opponent, Mussa Mustapha Mussa, belongs to the small El-Ghad Party. He has put up campaign posters across the Egyptian capital of Cairo and has held a number of rallies to try and enliven the contest.  Several more heavyweight candidates, including former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq, and former army chief of staff Gen. Sami Anan, either dropped out or were disqualified. Salma Al-Swirki, Mussa’s campaign media coordinator, remains upbeat.   “It doesn’t matter who wins,” she said. “What matters is that [...]

Media Files:

Hawaii Campus Joins US Trend to Go All Green

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 21:12:40 -0400

A campus in Hawaii is joining a handful of U.S. colleges and universities aiming to use 100 percent renewable energy, it said Tuesday, part of a growing nationwide trend of schools going green. The move by the University of Hawaii campus on Maui island is forward-looking and makes economic sense given the cost of fuel on the remote Pacific archipelago of islands and atolls, said Michael Unebasmi, a university spokesman. With plans to replace oil-based electricity from a utility with solar panels, Maui College joins a handful of U.S. schools such as Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, and the University of New Hampshire's main Durham campus. The decision puts Maui College "at the leading edge," Unebasmi told Reuters. "We thought by doing this it would be a great example," he said. The network of solar panels will fuel the needs of the 78-acre (32 hectares) grounds by 2019, he said. With a reliance on fossil fuels, Hawaii has particularly high energy prices of more than twice the national average, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data. The push by U.S. schools moving away from polluting sources of electricity has picked up pace, said Bronte Payne at the Denver-based nonprofit Environment America. Growing numbers About half a dozen colleges and universities have announced commitments over the last two years to use renewable energy sources rather than planet-warming fossil fuel, she said. Largest among them are Boston University, Colorado State University and Cornell University, she said. More than 500 other colleges and universities are aiming for carbon neutrality, offsetting the use of fossil fuel with renewable energy or so-called carbon credits from low-level producers of greenhouse gases. "They will set an example for communities across the country," she said. Cornell, in western New York state, aims to replace its on-campus natural gas power plant with a mix of solar and enhanced geothermal energy by 2035, said Sarah Zemanick, director of its campus sustainability office. The main campus in Ithaca, with some 22,000 students, stretches across 745 acres (301 hectares). "We're at the scale of a small city, so it's a good place for us not only to discover solutions that might work but also try them on our own campus," Zemanick said.

Media Files:

Bolivia President Wants Dialogue With Chile Over Coastline

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 21:05:32 -0400

The president of land-locked Bolivia said Tuesday he is prepared to discuss options with neighboring Chile for gaining access to the Pacific, but said that powerful forces in Chile do not want talks.   "At the moment, some people representing the Chilean oligarchies" don't want negotiations, President Evo Morales said Tuesday in an interview with The Associated Press.   He spoke after lawyers for Bolivia presented arguments for a second day at the International Court of Justice in the latest attempt to solve a decades-long dispute over granting the country access to the sea.   Bolivia lost its only seacoast to Chile during a war from 1879 to 1883. The nation has demanded ocean access for generations. Chile says the issue was settled once and for all in a 1904 treaty.   Bolivia is now asking the World Court, the United Nations' highest judicial organ, to order Chile to negotiate access.   "If there is will for a dialogue, a will to solve this injury in the region, then we have to start with the dialogue and then we can set rules, times. We can have observers and have a dialogue,'' Morales said in a hotel near the court's ornate home, the Peace Palace.   "One proposal is a corridor to the Pacific Ocean," Morales said. "That is discussable."   Chile's lawyers will present their case to the court later this week. A final and binding decision by the court is expected to take months.   Morales said that he is keen to end to the dispute that has long strained relations between Bolivia and Chile.   "Two neighboring countries, we can't be in confrontation for the rest of our lives," he said. "We have to solve" this dispute.   On Monday, hundreds of Bolivians followed the beginning of the trial on giant screens set up in public squares. In La Paz, traditional shamans performed an offering to the Andean goddess Pachamama, which in English translates to Mother Earth, at the square in front of the presidential palace.

Media Files:

Brazil's PSDB Selects Alckmin as 2018 Presidential Candidate

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 21:00:36 -0400

The centrist Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB) officially selected Sao Paulo state Governor Geraldo Alckmin on Tuesday as its candidate for Brazil's 2018 presidential election, formalizing a move that had been expected since he was chosen as the party's leader in December. Alckmin was governor of Brazil's richest and most populous state from 2001 to 2006 and again from 2011 to now. He ran for president in 2006, but lost to working-class hero Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is still Brazil's most popular politician despite a corruption conviction that could bar him from running or even land him in jail. Alckmin, whose support is hovering in the single digits in the polls, has made it clear he would back measures to shore up Brazil's fiscal deficit and has backed an overhaul to Brazil's costly pension system. He has also said he would support privatizing state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA , or Petrobras, as it is commonly known. "The state shouldn't be a businessman. It has to be a great planner, a regulator and a prosecutor," Alckmin told journalists after a meeting of the PSDB's leadership on Tuesday. Brazil's presidential election, which coincides with congressional and gubernatorial elections, is scheduled for October.

Media Files:

Trump Tariffs Set Off Industry Scramble for Exemptions

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 21:00:08 -0400

When Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross held up a can of Campbell's soup in a CNBC interview to make the case that the Trump administration's steel and aluminum tariffs were "no big deal,'' the canning industry begged to disagree — and they were hardly alone. President Donald Trump's strong-armed trade policies have set off an intense scramble among industry groups, companies and foreign countries seeking exemptions from tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on imported aluminum. The push comes ahead of a round of new penalties expected to be slapped on China by week's end. The Can Manufacturers Institute, which represents 22,000 workers at manufacturers across the nation, estimates the steel and aluminum tariffs will harm their industry and consumers alike. The institute says there are 119 billion cans made in the U.S., meaning a 1 cent tariff would lead to a $1.1 billion tax on consumers and businesses. "Secretary Ross has made cans a poster child to dispel concerns about the costs of tariffs,'' said Robert Budway, the institute's president. He said his organization was concerned Ross "is already predisposed to deny our petitions.'' Trump's one-two punch on trade has set in motion a deluge of requests to the Commerce Department for exclusions for certain steel and aluminum products. Foreign countries, meanwhile, complain the U.S. trade representative's office has not provided specific guidance on gaining exemptions before the steel and aluminum tariffs are implemented on Friday. Countries in the dark "Typically, the countries are determined before tariffs are announced,'' said Josh Zive, senior principal at the law firm Bracewell LLP. This time, countries don't know whether they will end up being targeted or exempted — "that's weird and no one knows what to make of it.'' The Trump administration, which has said steel and aluminum imports threaten U.S. national security, has already given Mexico and Canada a reprieve — provided they agree to a revamp of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The European Union, South Korea, Australia and Brazil are among the groups and countries seeking the exemptions. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, said tariffs are "sometimes necessary tools'' to protect national security or fight unfair trade practices. But he said the administration's approach is producing "chaos, uncertainty and an alienation of our closest allies.'' Emily Davis, a spokeswoman for U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, said the U.S "is engaged in discussions with several countries to determine if means other than tariffs can be arranged to address our national security concerns.'' Companies that buy imported steel and aluminum can request tariff relief from the Commerce Department, especially if they rely on types of imported steel and aluminum that aren't available from domestic U.S. producers. Expect a deluge: Steel and aluminum producers have 30 days to make their exemption requests. Commerce expects 4,500 requests for relief and 1,500 objections — and it is supposed to reach decisions in 90 days. Commerce has said it intends to reach decisions on a company-by-company basis, not by making across-the-board exemptions for individual steel and aluminum products. That decision has created anxieties that certain companies could get tariff relief while others would be forced to pay tariffs on the same product — perhaps because in the time between the two requests domestic U.S. production has ramped up to fill shortages. "The big thing is, it's arbitrary,'' said Mary Lovely of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. "The government is becoming the matchmaker between the purchaser and the supplier.'' "It's a real question to me whether they understand th[...]

Media Files: