For decades, a group of the world’s biggest oil producers has held huge sway over the American economy and the popularity of U.S. presidents through its control of the global oil supply, with decisions by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries determining what U.S. consumers pay at the pump. As the world shifts to cleaner sources of energy, control over the materials needed to power that transition is still up for grabs. China currently dominates global processing of the critical minerals that are now in high demand to make batteries for electric vehicles and renewable energy storage. In an attempt to gain more power over that supply chain, U.S. officials have begun negotiating a series of agreements with other countries to expand America’s access to important minerals like lithium, cobalt, nickel and graphite. But it remains unclear which of these partnerships will succeed, or if they will be able to generate anything close to the supply of minerals the United … [Read more...] about The U.S. Needs Minerals for Electric Cars. Everyone Else Wants Them Too.
Biden Administration Announces Indo-Pacific Deal, Clashing With Industry Groups
The Biden administration announced Saturday that it had reached an agreement with 13 other countries in the Indo-Pacific region to coordinate supply chains, in an effort to lessen the countries’ dependence on China for critical products and allow them to better weather crises like wars, pandemics and climate change. The supply chain agreement is the first result of the administration’s trade initiative in the region, called the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. Negotiations are continuing for the other three pillars of the agreement, which focus on facilitating trade and improving conditions for workers, expanding the use of clean energy, and reforming tax structures and fighting corruption. Gina Raimondo, the secretary of commerce, said the supply chain agreement would deepen America’s economic cooperation with partners in the Indo-Pacific region, helping American companies do business there and making the United States more competitive globally. “Bottom line is, this is about … [Read more...] about Biden Administration Announces Indo-Pacific Deal, Clashing With Industry Groups
Why Are Food Prices So High in Europe?
Britain Italy Germany +28 % +17 % +40 % Britain Italy Germany +28 % +17 % +40 % Britain Italy Germany +28 % +17 % +40 % Source: Britain’s Office for National Statistics, Italy’s Industry Ministry and Germany’s Federal Statistical Office By Rebecca Lieberman Agricultural and energy costs are falling, but basic items remain stubbornly expensive for consumers. By Eshe Nelson Reporting from London It is the most basic of staple food items: sliced white bread. In Britain, the average price of a loaf was 28 percent higher in April, at 1.39 pounds, or $1.72, than it was a year earlier. In Italy, the price of spaghetti and other pasta, a fixture of the Italian diet, has risen nearly 17 percent from the year before. In Germany, the European Union’s largest economy, cheese prices are nearly 40 percent higher than a year ago, and potatoes cost 14 percent … [Read more...] about Why Are Food Prices So High in Europe?
ALEXANDER GRAY: Chinese Drugs Are America’s Most Dangerous Addiction
Last week, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations held a hearing to discuss important issues surrounding America’s pharmaceutical drug supply challenges. Though the subcommittee is right to give this issue the focus it deserves, there is one challenge in this regard that stands far out above the rest: our alarming dependence on Communist China for our supply of pharmaceutical drugs. The COVID pandemic brought many of these difficulties to fruition as shutdowns in China caused shortages of key medical supplies in the United States. Around 80% “of the basic components used in U.S. drugs” come from China and India. Even many of the drugs that are imported to America from India and Europe are reliant on Chinese supply chains according to a recent report from The White House. Chinese pharmaceutical companies have supplied as much as 90 percent of the antibiotics, vitamin C, ibuprofen and hydrocortisone in the United … [Read more...] about ALEXANDER GRAY: Chinese Drugs Are America’s Most Dangerous Addiction
The Evidence for Therapy
Millions of Americans go to talk therapy. But does it work? It’s a surprisingly difficult question to answer. Talk therapy does produce great benefits for some people, but not for everyone, so it might not work for you, my colleague Susan Dominus wrote for The New York Times Magazine’s therapy issue , published this week. Researchers were able to reach that conclusion only relatively recently. Since the days of Sigmund Freud, the field of psychotherapy has been resistant, even hostile, to evaluating its methods through empirical studies. “At my graduation from psychoanalytic training, a supervising analyst said to me, ‘Your analysis will cure you of the need to do research,’” Andrew Gerber, the president of a psychiatric treatment center in Connecticut, told The Times. That resistance has waned in the past few decades, leading to hundreds of clinical trials. The results have been mixed. Some studies have found that therapy has a higher chance of helping than not. Other research … [Read more...] about The Evidence for Therapy
Biden and E.U. Leader Seek Common Ground on Trade and Ukraine
WASHINGTON — President Biden and Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, opened negotiations on Friday over the critical minerals used in electric vehicles amid concerns of a potential trade war triggered by the Biden administration’s signature clean energy legislation. The recent tensions with European allies center on provisions in the legislation that offer tax credits to American consumers to buy new and used electric vehicles. The law restricts the credit to vehicles built in North America and has strict requirements around the source of critical minerals used to make their batteries, pitting Mr. Biden’s efforts to bolster domestic manufacturing against concerns over trade protectionism. The limited new trade deal under discussion would help European companies qualify for more tax credits being offered in the United States. In the longer term, officials said, the deal would provide a framework for creating a club of countries that could mine, process … [Read more...] about Biden and E.U. Leader Seek Common Ground on Trade and Ukraine