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Digicel strengthens female workforce with 'WILL Power' series Digicel has announced its latest internal initiative, the Women in Leadership Learning Power series, (WILL Power), aimed at empowering and grooming female employees for leadership roles across the organization. Tweet Latest News Labour leader accuses Government of reversing workers’ gains Amory lauds hydroponics for economic opportunities Panama Papers will have little impact on SKN’s CBI, offshore sector says analyst Juvenile in Police custody following stabbing incident Two caught ‘red-handed’ with stolen goods Other Stories Madrid Open: Former champion Roger Federer withdraws with back injury Zika virus: Risk higher than first thought, say doctors Breast cancer: Scientists hail 'very significant' genetic find Jamaican community grieves after 2 American missionaries found dead Trump accuses China of 'raping' US with unfair trade policy
St. Kitts and Nevis Bureau of Standards Launches New Website The St. Kitts and Nevis Bureau of Standards (SKNBS) is pleased to announce the launch of its first website at www.sknbs.org. The SKNBS has the major responsibility of protecting the environment, health and safety of consumers. Tweet Latest News Labour leader accuses Government of reversing workers’ gains Amory lauds hydroponics for economic opportunities Panama Papers will have little impact on SKN’s CBI, offshore sector says analyst Juvenile in Police custody following stabbing incident Two caught ‘red-handed’ with stolen goods Other Stories Madrid Open: Former champion Roger Federer withdraws with back injury Zika virus: Risk higher than first thought, say doctors Breast cancer: Scientists hail 'very significant' genetic find Jamaican community grieves after 2 American missionaries found dead Trump accuses China of 'raping' US with unfair trade policy
New cruise ships make inaugural visits to St. Kitts This week St. Kitts will welcome the arrival of two cruise ships on their first-time visits to the destination.   The Carnival Elation will make its inaugural call today, bringing a maximum capacity of 2,594 visitors to St. Kitts. On Friday the Carnival Fascination will arrive to St. Kitts for the very first time with a maximum capacity of 2,594 passengers. Tweet Latest News Labour leader accuses Government of reversing workers’ gains Amory lauds hydroponics for economic opportunities Panama Papers will have little impact on SKN’s CBI, offshore sector says analyst Juvenile in Police custody following stabbing incident Two caught ‘red-handed’ with stolen goods Other Stories Madrid Open: Former champion Roger Federer withdraws with back injury Zika virus: Risk higher than first thought, say doctors Breast cancer: Scientists hail 'very significant' genetic find Jamaican community grieves after 2 American missionaries found dead Trump accuses China of 'raping' US with unfair trade policy
Digicel collaborates with local Visitor Channel New initiatives and collaborations are always prosperous when it comes to the Digicel brand, and here is the latest one for which the telecommunications firm is shouting about. Tweet Latest News Labour leader accuses Government of reversing workers’ gains Amory lauds hydroponics for economic opportunities Panama Papers will have little impact on SKN’s CBI, offshore sector says analyst Juvenile in Police custody following stabbing incident Two caught ‘red-handed’ with stolen goods Other Stories Madrid Open: Former champion Roger Federer withdraws with back injury Zika virus: Risk higher than first thought, say doctors Breast cancer: Scientists hail 'very significant' genetic find Jamaican community grieves after 2 American missionaries found dead Trump accuses China of 'raping' US with unfair trade policy
Competition promotes climate-smart agriculture in the Eastern Caribbean States Organized by IICA, the initiative seeks to reward and disseminate success stories of sustainable agricultural practices that foster adaptation and food security in the face of climate change. Tweet Latest News Labour leader accuses Government of reversing workers’ gains Amory lauds hydroponics for economic opportunities Panama Papers will have little impact on SKN’s CBI, offshore sector says analyst Juvenile in Police custody following stabbing incident Two caught ‘red-handed’ with stolen goods Other Stories Madrid Open: Former champion Roger Federer withdraws with back injury Zika virus: Risk higher than first thought, say doctors Breast cancer: Scientists hail 'very significant' genetic find Jamaican community grieves after 2 American missionaries found dead Trump accuses China of 'raping' US with unfair trade policy
Government and Development Bank present vehicles to the Water Services Department The world observed Tuesday (March 22) as the UN World Water Day 2016 under the theme 'Water and Jobs', and the over 100 staff members at the Water Services Department of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure in Needsmust received a boost that would not only help deliver better water, but also offer them better jobs. Tweet Latest News Labour leader accuses Government of reversing workers’ gains Amory lauds hydroponics for economic opportunities Panama Papers will have little impact on SKN’s CBI, offshore sector says analyst Juvenile in Police custody following stabbing incident Two caught ‘red-handed’ with stolen goods Other Stories Madrid Open: Former champion Roger Federer withdraws with back injury Zika virus: Risk higher than first thought, say doctors Breast cancer: Scientists hail 'very significant' genetic find Jamaican community grieves after 2 American missionaries found dead Trump accuses China of 'raping' US with unfair trade policy
Cable & Wireless and friends donate US$125k To ACF Foundation The Advancement of Children Foundation (ACF) received a significant boost towards its youth development programs, as Cable and Wireless Communications (C&W) and its technology and content partners donated US$125,000 towards the Foundation as part of its Annual Charity Golf Event. Tweet Latest News Labour leader accuses Government of reversing workers’ gains Amory lauds hydroponics for economic opportunities Panama Papers will have little impact on SKN’s CBI, offshore sector says analyst Juvenile in Police custody following stabbing incident Two caught ‘red-handed’ with stolen goods Other Stories Madrid Open: Former champion Roger Federer withdraws with back injury Zika virus: Risk higher than first thought, say doctors Breast cancer: Scientists hail 'very significant' genetic find Jamaican community grieves after 2 American missionaries found dead Trump accuses China of 'raping' US with unfair trade policy
Largest cruise ship visits St. Kitts Three mega luxury cruise liners: Oasis of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, and Costa Favalosa—two docking at Port Zante and one at the Basseterre Deep Water Harbour, brought with them on March 23 close to 14,000 passengers to one of the Caribbean's most rapid and favourite growing tourism destinations, St. Kitts and Nevis. Tweet Latest News Labour leader accuses Government of reversing workers’ gains Amory lauds hydroponics for economic opportunities Panama Papers will have little impact on SKN’s CBI, offshore sector says analyst Juvenile in Police custody following stabbing incident Two caught ‘red-handed’ with stolen goods Other Stories Madrid Open: Former champion Roger Federer withdraws with back injury Zika virus: Risk higher than first thought, say doctors Breast cancer: Scientists hail 'very significant' genetic find Jamaican community grieves after 2 American missionaries found dead Trump accuses China of 'raping' US with unfair trade policy

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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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