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Digicel Group cuts net loss for first quarter 2015 Digicel Group, the Irish-owned telecom provider with regional offices in Jamaica, suffered from flat revenues, but still slashed its net loss nearly in half, according to June first-quarter 2015 financials. Tweet Latest News ECCB Monetary Council chairman express solidarity to PM Skerrit CDB provides emergency grant to Dominica in wake of Erika A treat is coming for fashion conscious men in SKN Erika’s tears just weren’t enough – water rationing continues PM extends nation’s condolences and assistance Other Stories Boko Haram crisis: Nigeria 'disrupts Boko Haram airport cell' A new beginning for Dominica – PM Skerrit Migrant children rescued from Austria minivan 'recovering' Shirley Temple’s film costumes and memorabilia up for auction Digicel Group cuts net loss for first quarter 2015
Facebook has a billion users in a single day, says Mark Zuckerberg For the first time over a billion people used Facebook on a single day, according to company founder Mark Zuckerberg. Tweet Latest News ECCB Monetary Council chairman express solidarity to PM Skerrit CDB provides emergency grant to Dominica in wake of Erika A treat is coming for fashion conscious men in SKN Erika’s tears just weren’t enough – water rationing continues PM extends nation’s condolences and assistance Other Stories Boko Haram crisis: Nigeria 'disrupts Boko Haram airport cell' A new beginning for Dominica – PM Skerrit Migrant children rescued from Austria minivan 'recovering' Shirley Temple’s film costumes and memorabilia up for auction Digicel Group cuts net loss for first quarter 2015
Brazil's economy enters recession Brazil has entered recession after official figures showed the country's economy contracted by 1.9% between April and June compared with the previous three months. Tweet Latest News ECCB Monetary Council chairman express solidarity to PM Skerrit CDB provides emergency grant to Dominica in wake of Erika A treat is coming for fashion conscious men in SKN Erika’s tears just weren’t enough – water rationing continues PM extends nation’s condolences and assistance Other Stories Boko Haram crisis: Nigeria 'disrupts Boko Haram airport cell' A new beginning for Dominica – PM Skerrit Migrant children rescued from Austria minivan 'recovering' Shirley Temple’s film costumes and memorabilia up for auction Digicel Group cuts net loss for first quarter 2015
Sagicor X Fund upsizes rights issue Sagicor Real Estate X Fund plans to upsize its rights issue by roughly $1 billion to $5.1 billion in order to aid in the purchase of a US hotel close to Universal Studios and Walt Disney World in Orlando, Rlorida. Tweet Latest News ECCB Monetary Council chairman express solidarity to PM Skerrit CDB provides emergency grant to Dominica in wake of Erika A treat is coming for fashion conscious men in SKN Erika’s tears just weren’t enough – water rationing continues PM extends nation’s condolences and assistance Other Stories Boko Haram crisis: Nigeria 'disrupts Boko Haram airport cell' A new beginning for Dominica – PM Skerrit Migrant children rescued from Austria minivan 'recovering' Shirley Temple’s film costumes and memorabilia up for auction Digicel Group cuts net loss for first quarter 2015
Cruise Ship Cancellations Basseterre, St. Kitts -  Please note that Delisle Walwyn, ship agent for Carnival Liberty has indicated that the Carnival Liberty has cancelled its call for Friday 28th August 2015 because of redeployment initiatives that was caused by the awaiting approach of Hurricane Danny in the Caribbean. Tweet Latest News ECCB Monetary Council chairman express solidarity to PM Skerrit CDB provides emergency grant to Dominica in wake of Erika A treat is coming for fashion conscious men in SKN Erika’s tears just weren’t enough – water rationing continues PM extends nation’s condolences and assistance Other Stories Boko Haram crisis: Nigeria 'disrupts Boko Haram airport cell' A new beginning for Dominica – PM Skerrit Migrant children rescued from Austria minivan 'recovering' Shirley Temple’s film costumes and memorabilia up for auction Digicel Group cuts net loss for first quarter 2015
China market slump: Central bank cuts interest rates China has reduced its main interest rate to boost growth in its economy. Tweet Latest News ECCB Monetary Council chairman express solidarity to PM Skerrit CDB provides emergency grant to Dominica in wake of Erika A treat is coming for fashion conscious men in SKN Erika’s tears just weren’t enough – water rationing continues PM extends nation’s condolences and assistance Other Stories Boko Haram crisis: Nigeria 'disrupts Boko Haram airport cell' A new beginning for Dominica – PM Skerrit Migrant children rescued from Austria minivan 'recovering' Shirley Temple’s film costumes and memorabilia up for auction Digicel Group cuts net loss for first quarter 2015
Global markets slump Business leader calls for urgent action Ravi Suryadevara, president of the American Chamber of T&T (AmChamTT) expects urgent action from whoever wins the September 7 general election to steady the T&T economy against external shocks from volatiity in international markets, including falling oil prices. Tweet Latest News ECCB Monetary Council chairman express solidarity to PM Skerrit CDB provides emergency grant to Dominica in wake of Erika A treat is coming for fashion conscious men in SKN Erika’s tears just weren’t enough – water rationing continues PM extends nation’s condolences and assistance Other Stories Boko Haram crisis: Nigeria 'disrupts Boko Haram airport cell' A new beginning for Dominica – PM Skerrit Migrant children rescued from Austria minivan 'recovering' Shirley Temple’s film costumes and memorabilia up for auction Digicel Group cuts net loss for first quarter 2015
Heinz tomato ketchup faces labelling change in Israel The Israeli health ministry has ruled that Heinz tomato ketchup must now be sold as "tomato seasoning" there. Tweet Latest News ECCB Monetary Council chairman express solidarity to PM Skerrit CDB provides emergency grant to Dominica in wake of Erika A treat is coming for fashion conscious men in SKN Erika’s tears just weren’t enough – water rationing continues PM extends nation’s condolences and assistance Other Stories Boko Haram crisis: Nigeria 'disrupts Boko Haram airport cell' A new beginning for Dominica – PM Skerrit Migrant children rescued from Austria minivan 'recovering' Shirley Temple’s film costumes and memorabilia up for auction Digicel Group cuts net loss for first quarter 2015

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jobsSimple economics holds that if you want to promote mass adoption of something, you have to make it affordable and available.

This week, the Obama administration is poised to slap potentially hefty tariffs on imports of Chinese solar products, a move that will satisfy a protectionist urge but undercut the U.S. energy agenda. It’s no secret China is aggressively subsidizing its solar manufacturers, driving down prices for solar panels and components. Here’s the question: Is that a bad thing?

One of the administration’s overarching goals -- and one we heartily endorse -- is fostering the adoption of clean, non- carbon-based energy, including solar. In a perfect world it should matter less where the technology comes from than whether affordable solar is enabling office buildings, universities and households to install the technology and cut down on fossil-fuel use.

Slapping tariffs on the Chinese may make for good politics, but it will slow solar adoption and almost undoubtedly provoke retaliatory trade actions by a country with which the U.S., like it or not, is inextricably linked. It’s not lost on the Chinese that the U.S. has its own share of clean-energy subsidies. A better approach would be to try to negotiate a clean-energy trade agreement with China and other countries trying to promote renewables. Such an agreement would have to spell out the types and levels of allowable government assistance; restrict protectionist measures, such as requiring locally produced components and services; and be subject to dispute resolution by the World Trade Organization.

China’s Subsidies

The lure of punitive tariffs is easy to understand: China, through the use of overly generous subsidies to domestic manufacturers, has helped drive down the price of solar panels 80 percent over the past five years and more than 40 percent in just the past 12 months. Several U.S. solar companies such as Solar Trust of America LLC, Solyndra LLC, Evergreen Solar Inc. and SpectraWatt Inc. have filed for bankruptcy protection, while others are teetering on the edge. The Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing, which has petitioned the U.S. Commerce Department for trade sanctions, says China’s tactics have cost 2,000 jobs in the photovoltaic industry alone.

Yet there are other reasons for the solar shakeout. Manufacturers, racing to meet demand over the past decade, are now sitting on a glut of panels as subsidy cuts in Europe and declining natural-gas prices take their toll. As Bloomberg News recently reported, even the largest producers in China say their profits will slump this year as shipments grow.

President Barack Obama has singled out trade actions against China as a hallmark of his administration, saying tariffs such as the 2009 Chinese tire duties have saved jobs. Labor groups and other important constituencies have praised his position.

But a growing body of research shows tariffs might actually cost U.S. jobs, drive up prices and hurt domestic businesses that use imported materials. The Peterson Institute for International Economics, for instance, found that Obama’s tire tariffs came at a steep price to consumers and to workers in other sectors. The analysts concluded the measure did save about 1,200 tire manufacturing jobs but raised tire costs by about $1.1 billion in 2011. Higher-priced tires reduced spending elsewhere, indirectly lowering retail employment by as many as 3,700 jobs. The money didn’t land in the pockets of tire workers but in “the coffers of tire companies, mainly abroad but also at home,” the study said.

How Duties Backfire

Businesses, particularly smaller companies that lack scale to negotiate bulk prices, can also face higher prices from trade sanctions, according to a Bloomberg Government analysis of 35 recent trade sanctions on Chinese goods. A 2009 decision to impose duties on Chinese imports of citric acid, which is used in everything from detergent to soda, resulted in higher prices, the analysis found. U.S. actions don’t happen without consequences. The Chinese routinely retaliate against U.S. trade sanctions by imposing tariffs on American imports such as cars and chicken parts. Energy analysts say China will probably respond to the solar tariffs by imposing a tax on U.S.-made polysilicon, a solar component, further hurting the market.

In March, the Commerce Department imposed preliminary tariffs of as much as 4.73 percent on Chinese solar panels. The move was seen mainly as a slap on the wrist, given that China sells its modules for about 12 percent less. The tariffs being decided this week stand to be much higher -- as much as 100 percent -- which could have major ramifications, particularly for U.S. companies using Chinese materials in their products. It’s no wonder the solar industry is split on the issue.

The political reality is the U.S. will probably decide in favor of tariffs, and we hope the level is low enough that the tax doesn’t hobble solar. But rather than giving in to protectionist tendencies, we encourage the U.S. to take a more diplomatic approach and begin earnest negotiations for a clean- energy trade agreement. Such an idea had been discussed as part of the stalled Doha trade talks and should be revived.

One idea promoted by economists is to model an agreement on the 1996 Information Technology Agreement. The ITA, which now has 70 member countries, eliminated tariffs on hundreds of goods and products, and resulted in skilled countries like the U.S. designing technology products (think iPad) and labor-rich countries like China assembling them (think iPad). Any agreement would have to deal with government subsidies and be subject to dispute settlement by the WTO.

The market is already tilted against renewable sources of energy, with fossil fuels cheap, available and benefiting from entrenched tax benefits. Rather than throwing up roadblocks, the U.S. should be encouraging clean energy, regardless of the country of origin.




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