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Obama Nominates Kieff To US ITC

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Reposted from the Daily Media Report of the American Iron and Steel Institute as seen in Steel Business Briefing on September 18, 2012


Obama Nominates Kieff To US ITC

President Barack Obama nominated F. Scott Kieff to the six-member US International Trade Commission yesterday. The appointment must first be approved by the Senate.

Kieff is a professor at The George Washington University Law School. He also is a Ray and Louis Knowles Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, where he directs the Project on Commercializing Innovation and serves on the Property Rights Task Force.

From 2007 to 2010, Kieff was a member of the Patent Public Advisory Committee of the US Patent and Trademark Office. From 2005 to 2007, he was a mediator in the appellate mediation program of the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Last Tuesday, Meredith Broadbent, a Republican from Virginia, was sworn in as an ITC commissioner. She was nominated by President Obama on November 8, 2011 and confirmed by the Senate on August 2. Her term will expire on June 16, 2017.

The ITC is the final arbiter in US unfair trade cases with the power to either launch or kill duty orders.

9 Responses to “Obama Nominates Kieff To US ITC”

  1. Joe Brooks says:

    He works here:

    “The argument in favor of tariffs that has the greatest emotional appeal to the public at large is the alleged need to protect the high standard of living of American workers from the “unfair” competition of workers in Japan or Korea or Hong Kong who are willing to work for a much lower wage. What is wrong with this argument? Don’t we want to protect the high standard of living of our people?

    The fallacy in this argument is the loose use of the terms “high” wage and “low” wage. What do high and low wages mean? American workers are paid in dollars; Japanese workers are paid in yen. How do we compare wages in dollars with wages in yen? How many yen equal a dollar? What determines the exchange rate?:

    The April 17 edition of the Dayton Daily News devoted many columns to the issue of jobs. The issue of jobs or the lack thereof was only partially explained. The root cause of our jobs catastrophe is the trade deficit. We have exported millions of jobs through the deficit. Our current trade policies are built on “free trade,” a theory originally formulated by Adam Smith. Now, many years later, various versions of it are still being peddled without evidence that it works. Now we have evidence. The evidence indicates that the theory doesn’t work. When the data contradicts the theory, we throw out the theory, not the data.

    Instead of greater wealth for all nations, the United States has enormous and growing trade deficits now, averaging $788 billion per year.

  2. Joe Brooks says:

    The British followed unilateral free trade and became a has been nation.

    Americans used to be too smart:

  3. Tom T says:

    Kief is a patent attorney appointed to the ITC. Perhaps this signals a change in the technology transfer that has been happening by China.

    Joe, even Alan Greenspan admitted a flaw in his economic theology.

    Milton Friedman may have been right about what he wrote but what he wrote depends upon the underlying rules policies or assumptions. It was the time of the Bretton Woods Agreement among other things. Just as the Keynsian stimulus failed in large part because we were spurring China’s economy, not just our own, Friedman’s example you quote assumes the Bretton Woods Agreement and underlying framework in the world. Things change. One must recognize these changes.

    The big thing that has changed is that China is able to buy the world’s currency and essentially play the Thriftville, Squanderville game. They don’t just have green paper, they have green paper that is the world’s currency instead of gold. They have the ability to do in a more effective way, more damage than Wall Street did this last go round with the concentration of money they have gathered. Monetizing that debt with QE is one messy way to handle this gaming.

    I once heard Friedman’s example and asked the obvious— what would happen if the U.S. just monetized the debt owed to China as he suggests in his example you quoted. I was told, and upon thinking about it find it sage wisdom, “That is where wars come from”. The QE we are now engaging in will put monetize the debt slowly and with the cover that it is a necessary step required by circumstances. We might get away with it.

    I am still of the mind that it would have been far better for society to have printed money to completely fund health care and make the U.S. competitive by monetizing the debt that way. QE buying mortgage backed securities bails out the big money invested into these securities and saves it from its own greed. It once again caters to money.

    Tom T.

    • Joe Brooks says:

      Hey Tom,

      Agreed. Perhaps I was unclear in the 2nd section of my post. I disagree with Freidman on nearly everything, EXCEPT he is correct that the Federal Reserve’s actions greatly enhanced the Great Depression.

      However, here is a response from me during a debate moderated by Bruce B. a few years ago that should clear up my position on Friedman:

      “Economics is not a definitive science like physics or chemistry. Experiments cannot be repeated due to the circumstances changing with time.”

      I agree that economics may not be an exact science, but it is obvious to anyone who studies this field, that is has been inundated with Marxists, Anarchists, Libertarians, Objectivists, Idiots, Morons, Foreign Lobbyists, Ivy League Harlots, Spies, that now 99% of US economic theory is just plain hidden agenda Psycho-Babble, devised to enrich a special interest; be it a country, a corporation, or an ideology.

      The American School of Economics is not an experiment. Protectionism works. Period. The Japanese, Germans, Red Chinese, Indians, Brazilians, 150 other nations all practice protectionism. They all have industry and a future [in Red China, the CCP members, anyway]. Only the US practices idiot free trade. Yes, the US has free trade, even without the “Free Trade” special interest enrichment schemes the government keeps ratifying.

      What nearly every other country in the world has learned from the American School of Economics is what Hamilton impressed Washington and the first Constitutional congress with in 1789, they passed his tariffs. He knew the country had to tie corporate America and industry to the success of the USA and it’s citizens. He did this by placing tariffs on imports and making sure that US corporate success was dependent on American success, thereby making patriotism the order of the day. This accomplished many of his goals of US self reliance and independence, as well.

  4. Joe Brooks says:

    Tom, here is an excellent video that discusses some of your “monetize” thoughts:

    • Tom T. says:

      That was a very interesting video that would be eye opening for the regular person. I followed the reasoning up to the last when I think it got it a little wrong.

      The biggest problem with it comes at the end where the solution that is posed is one where the U.S. buys yuan to do exactly what China is doing. The biggest problem with this is that it can’t be done. China controls the yuan completely and it controls what can and can not be bought with it. The U.S. dollar is a world currency and can be exchanged for goods anywhere in the world. Every yuan transaction comes through China’s government so they set the underlying rules on what an exchange can and can’t be bought with that yuan. We are dealing with two very different set of rules here. China is able to use the dollar as a world currency and the U.S. is not able to use the yuan in the same manner so the buying of yuan, the method the Chinese use with the dollar, will not work.

      Dollars and yuan are nothing but fiat currencies. Dollars are valuable on the world stage because they can buy almost anything. Yuan can buy only what the Chinese allow and they have much better controls on the fiat part of the underlying definition.

      To make an actual difference, the U.S. will have to change the underlying rules. Retailers like Walmart or others will stop using the Chinese supply lines if it is unavailable to them or is delayed. This can easily be done at the border as a non tariff trade barrier just as Japan did to game the free trade rules and imports to their economy. Tariffs are a better answer by far but the oligarchs are limiting the real answer to protect their money trains of arbitraging the two systems.

      For suppliers to invest in China and transfer technology to China via their manufacturing plants, there has to be a market for those goods. That market is primarily in the U.S. China, along with those investors making money in arbitraging the two systems need to have some real shocks just as China did to Walmart in China by shutting them down to send a political message. This should be done quietly behind the scenes but it should be done. I don’t give a rats behind if investors lose money because they have invested in Chinese plants. We are seeing a tying of the oligarchs in both countries while they game the people in their society. It is rapidly creating an elite that can manipulate the system and fund the propaganda that sells it to the people in both countries.

      I can not believe that our political leaders have put the people in this country in this position. It shows more than anything that our political leaders are following the principals (their pals) with money rather than the principles of a just and profitable economy for all, not just the moneyed elite. I think the bail outs did the same thing and it is a recurring theme everywhere you look. It is really funny how just changing a few letters (in the word principal (les)) makes you either corrupt politician or a true public servant.

      Tom T.

  5. Joe Brooks says:

    The fact that Kieff is a patent atty may be indeed a good sign. However, I was trying to show that he has strong ties with Hoover, which is virtually CATO.

    This article articulates my thoughts on free traders, some attorneys and a lot of politicians. This is an old theory and was basically ignored for the last 25 years. I took several Psychology courses in college, this was new at the time. Recently, there has been a renewal of interest in this subject. Ayn Rand is a text book case:

    “If you worked at a company over the course of 20 or 30 years, people got to know what you’re like, how they treat people, regardless of how you appeared in an interview,” said Boddy, whose “Corporate Psychopaths Theory of the Global Financial Crisis” was recently published in the Journal of Business Ethics

  6. Joe Brooks says:


    The theory used by my intructor was called “The Successful Psychopath”.

    I had 2 kids go thru 12 years of public school and 5 and 6 years respectively of college at a major institution and they never heard of it, except from Dad.

    Lots of hits, now. Almost non existent 2 years ago.

    • Tom T. says:

      Joe I would have to agree with you on the psychopath theory. They are easily used by those with money and power whether they be CEOs paid high dollar to bring often illegal or “on the line” profits or politicians who are similarly used.

      My biggest problem is not just with these people, but with the people who are enablers. Our system of justice that is supposed to provide accountability and actual justice is similarly compromised. There is no real accountability. The Wall Street lack of accountability on their moral hazard is a recent example. This is what is as broken as these psychopaths. Our founding fathers recognized these common traits in society and worked to limit their ability to do damage and an accountability mechanism when it they cause damage. I think these systems are compromised by money and power. At least that is my experience in my industry as well as the others where we see market failure in our economic system.

      Tom T.


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