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Global Trade: Major Trade Powers Are Using Stealth Protectionism


Plus, Mexican tomato growers attempt to avoid a trade war, and more.

This column highlights the past week's most interesting and useful business and financial commentary on global trade from around the Web.

Chicago Tribune
Major Trade Powers Using Stealth Protectionism: Study
"The world's biggest economies, especially the European Union and Japan, are using protectionist policies that fly below the World Trade Organization's radar, according to a forthcoming study by two experts."

Link: Rosneft/TNK Deal: Bad for Russia

"Rosneft's (MCX:ROSN) proposed $50bn-plus takeover of TNK-BP (NYSE:BP), buying out BP and its Russian oligarch partners, will turn the state-run group into one of the world's largest oil producers controlling nearly half Russia's output....But for Russia as a whole – and for the global oil industry – Rosneft's coup is, at best, a mixed blessing."

Link: Peugeot Gets Government Rescue as Crisis Deepens

"PSA Peugeot Citroen (PINK:PEUGY) unveiled a government-backed refinancing deal for its lending arm as the struggling French automaker's financial position deteriorated further, sending its stock to historic lows...With its costly domestic production and high exposure to southern European markets, Peugeot is bearing the brunt of the region's slump as unemployment and government austerity weigh on consumer spending."

Delaware Online
As DuPont Cuts 1,500 Workers, Local Layoff Uncertain
"The DuPont Co. (NYSE:DD) said Tuesday it will cut 1,500 employees in the next 18 months and take other streamlining steps to tighten its belt in the face of a slowing global economy....About half of the job cuts and other steps designed to trim $450 million in annual costs will result from its $4.9 billion sale of its performance coatings unit to The Carlyle Group, a private equity firm.

Proactive Investors
Link: UPS Q3 Profit Drops on Slowing Global Trade

"UPS (NYSE:UPS) said Tuesday that third-quarter earnings sank on slower global trade as the package delivery giant also narrowed its full-year forecast....'Our results were achieved in an environment of slowing global trade and changing market dynamics," UPS chairman and CEO Scott Davis said.' "

Link: Japan to Join Currency Wars as Exports Slump

"The country's exports plunged 10.3% in September from a year ago, dimming hopes of rapid recovery in the Far East. Exports to Europe crashed 21% Shipments to China fell 14% as the Diaoyu-Senkaku islands dispute led to a slump in car sales. Honda (NYSE:HMC), Mazda (TYO:7261), and Nissan (PINK:NSANY) all saw sales plunge near 30% as Chinese consumers boycotted Japanese brands. Nomura said the export slump will push country into full recession."

New York Times
Mexican Tomato Growers Offer New Trade Deal
"Hoping to stave off a brewing trade war, Mexican tomato growers said on Thursday that they would agree to significant increases in the minimum price at which their products can enter the United States and to establish a system to bolster compliance and enforcement..."

Twitter: @brokawbrokaw
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