Trade duty/tax imbalances w/ foreign countries - there is something to this for sure!

Thread Starter

RogueRose

Joined Oct 10, 2014
375
I was interested in finding import/export quantities of commodity chemicals and found some reports that also listed what each country taxed that product on import and listed the import tax, state/province/regional tax and any "special" tax by some specific governmental agency within the country. Many countries had a tax for each category, so 3 diff %. It seemed that many countries had none on any of them while there were about 20-30 that had 8-15% total which was the average of the highest countries (the rest were a zero to a couple %). Then there was the outlier - China. A total of 51% on most of the chemicals I saw and one was 72% total (with 30-40% going to the "special" category).

These chemicals are the backbone of industry as they are the feedstock for most everything we consume or they are involved in some way with producing products we use (think fertilizers or pesticides or plant oils). With an economy that is growing so much and with so many people, those taxes make it impossible (for the most part) for anyone outside of China to sell to them while at the same time the Chinese gov pays their companies subsidies so they can sell lower than what we can make the item for! This is why companies move and there is more to it, like foreign companies in China selling at cost (literally no profit) but China pays them $XXX and THAT is their profit!

The Chinese also subsidize shipping (I've been told) and companies there don't pay ANYTHING for it as it is all done by the GOV to destroy our manufacturing.

I was so mad when I saw those import tax numbers b/c that totally coincides with what many people have been saying about the "trade war" that isn't really covered the way it should be.

I want to know why journalists don't find this stuff. There are hundreds of things I find that could be stories and they are there with minimal effort to look. This just re-inforces my reason not to listen to some "people."
 

GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,009
I was interested in finding import/export quantities of commodity chemicals and found some reports that also listed what each country taxed that product on import and listed the import tax, state/province/regional tax and any "special" tax by some specific governmental agency within the country. Many countries had a tax for each category, so 3 diff %. It seemed that many countries had none on any of them while there were about 20-30 that had 8-15% total which was the average of the highest countries (the rest were a zero to a couple %). Then there was the outlier - China. A total of 51% on most of the chemicals I saw and one was 72% total (with 30-40% going to the "special" category).

These chemicals are the backbone of industry as they are the feedstock for most everything we consume or they are involved in some way with producing products we use (think fertilizers or pesticides or plant oils). With an economy that is growing so much and with so many people, those taxes make it impossible (for the most part) for anyone outside of China to sell to them while at the same time the Chinese gov pays their companies subsidies so they can sell lower than what we can make the item for! This is why companies move and there is more to it, like foreign companies in China selling at cost (literally no profit) but China pays them $XXX and THAT is their profit!

The Chinese also subsidize shipping (I've been told) and companies there don't pay ANYTHING for it as it is all done by the GOV to destroy our manufacturing.

I was so mad when I saw those import tax numbers b/c that totally coincides with what many people have been saying about the "trade war" that isn't really covered the way it should be.

I want to know why journalists don't find this stuff. There are hundreds of things I find that could be stories and they are there with minimal effort to look. This just re-inforces my reason not to listen to some "people."
Do you have anything to backup the claim that the Chinese government pays companies to sell for less than their costs? I mean more proof that a Trumpkin-like answe "people are saying, lots of people are saying..."

PS, I've worked in the chemical industry for 30-years so I can't wait to hear your 'details'.
 

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
20,990
Pssst! It's not China we need to worry about -- it's the robots. They're taking over everything that can be automated including chemical production, delivery trucks, hamburger production, and widget manufacturing. Whatever are people going to do with all their leisure time? How will society deal with 80% unemployment? OMG!
 

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
7,447
This is why the US needs to review things country by country. Using NAFTA as an example it seems we end up with a trade deficit every year.

I recently had the pleasure of visiting Costa Rica and saw some interesting things. Walmart recently bought up the second largest super market chain in Costa Rica. We know Walmart as selling everything China just about. The problem is that Costa Rican law dictates that all retailers must sell 60% Costa Rican made products. Walmart is actually doing pretty well. Another interesting bit is when you buy a motorcycle in Costa Rica if it is 125cc or smaller the tax is like 3% or less but a Harley Davidson carries a 98% import tax so a roughly 25 K Harley in the US cost about 50 K in Costa Rica. I was happy with my $10 USD Harley Davidson T shirt! :)

Back in 1971 was my first trip outside the US when I went to Japan. Back then a 1 Liter bottle of Johnny Walker Black was well over $100.00 USD equivlent in Yen. The Japanese equivalent of scotch made by Suntory (Japan) ran about $7.00 USD. American made automobiles carried a 100% import tax. That was my first experience with this sort of thing.

Yeah, the US really needs to look at how we do business with foreign trade.

Ron
 

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
7,447
I put my towel on a beach chair to reserve it for when the robots take over my job. I do predict, however, that a robot will do it for a month and then text me, "how did you put up with that asshole-of-a-boss for so long".
That was seriously funny! :)

Ron
 

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
20,990
This is why the US needs to review things country by country. Using NAFTA as an example it seems we end up with a trade deficit every year.

I recently had the pleasure of visiting Costa Rica and saw some interesting things. Walmart recently bought up the second largest super market chain in Costa Rica. We know Walmart as selling everything China just about. The problem is that Costa Rican law dictates that all retailers must sell 60% Costa Rican made products. Walmart is actually doing pretty well. Another interesting bit is when you buy a motorcycle in Costa Rica if it is 125cc or smaller the tax is like 3% or less but a Harley Davidson carries a 98% import tax so a roughly 25 K Harley in the US cost about 50 K in Costa Rica. I was happy with my $10 USD Harley Davidson T shirt! :)

Back in 1971 was my first trip outside the US when I went to Japan. Back then a 1 Liter bottle of Johnny Walker Black was well over $100.00 USD equivlent in Yen. The Japanese equivalent of scotch made by Suntory (Japan) ran about $7.00 USD. American made automobiles carried a 100% import tax. That was my first experience with this sort of thing.

Yeah, the US really needs to look at how we do business with foreign trade.

Ron
We can always reevaluate the situation. What we cannot accomplish is a great deal for ourselves while everybody else gets screwed. In case nobody was looking there are too many things we don't make anymore and the lead time to ramp up production of those things might mean doing without them for the next several years. Television sets for example, although young people are abandoning television in droves. The Walmart economy means the folks at the bottom can get the things they want and need only if the price is cheap enough. If you make it here and nobody can afford it; who wins? Who loses? If you buy it from China at whatever price the Chinese favor today tomorrow and next year; who wins? Who loses?
 

GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,009
We can always reevaluate the situation. What we cannot accomplish is a great deal for ourselves while everybody else gets screwed. In case nobody was looking there are too many things we don't make anymore and the lead time to ramp up production of those things might mean doing without them for the next several years. Television sets for example, although young people are abandoning television in droves. The Walmart economy means the folks at the bottom can get the things they want and need only if the price is cheap enough. If you make it here and nobody can afford it; who wins? Who loses? If you buy it from China at whatever price the Chinese favor today tomorrow and next year; who wins? Who loses?

According to the OP, the Chinese government loses - the OP said the Chinese manufacturer produces at a loss and the Chinese government pays their profit. How crazy is that? Almost as crazy as the US paying our corn farmers to sell their corn to Cargill and ADM at a loss.
 

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
7,447
According to the OP, the Chinese government loses - the OP said the Chinese manufacturer produces at a loss and the Chinese government pays their profit. How crazy is that? Almost as crazy as the US paying our corn farmers to sell their corn to Cargill and ADM at a loss.
Go figure huh? Almost as funny as paying farmers not to grow things.

Ron
 

Thread Starter

RogueRose

Joined Oct 10, 2014
375
Do you have anything to backup the claim that the Chinese government pays companies to sell for less than their costs? I mean more proof that a Trumpkin-like answe "people are saying, lots of people are saying..."

PS, I've worked in the chemical industry for 30-years so I can't wait to hear your 'details'.
I'll dig up the import tax thing and as far as the selling at cost, that was on 2 different network interviews by a business owner that mad plywood in the South east US. He couldn't compete against China so he moved his company there but had to agree to sell at, what he said, was his production cost and the gov paid for all shipping to the US. The only $$ he made was a % of totoal sales which was a fixed % and this was paid directly by the Chinese government to the company (may have been in some form of "masked" payment, as he didn't detail that exactly) I think the % was stated at 17%. He really doesn't own the company anymore and is an "employee' for the most part and gets commission for total sales of the company. he said he is making more than he did in the US, especially while competing against the Chinese. This was on 60 mins or Dateline type show. It was a 20-30 minute episode where this guy (he was in mid 50's to 60's) was a large portion of talking about how the competition was killing US biz. I think it was released in 2016 so it should be fairly easy to find.

I'll look for the impot taxes/duty when I get a free few mins. I hope it was saved in my browser as it did crash that day and sometimes it looses stuff like that.

I was lucky and it was still there!
https://www.dutycalculator.com/dc/1...ate-from-united-states-to-united-states-is-0/
 

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
20,990
In the days of the centrally planned economy in the former Soviet Union, a common joke among the workers was:

"We pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us."

Apparently the past is prologue!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_political_jokes

A judge walks out of his chambers laughing his head off. A colleague approaches him and asks why he is laughing. "I just heard the funniest joke in the world!" "Well, go ahead, tell me!" says the other judge. "I can't – I just gave someone ten years for it!"
 

Thread Starter

RogueRose

Joined Oct 10, 2014
375
I was inschool for business and tried to talk to my economics professor and logistics & supply chain managment prof that things were NOT the way they were teaching b/c the markets don't reflect it when you factor in China. This was early 2000. I told them that many chems were available at 1/10th the price of domestic supplies with the price delivered to any port in the US - shipping from there was on the buyer but they often offered that at low rates as well. Ethylene Glycol was available at almost 5% of US prices per ton and many other fine chems like urethane epoxies, BPA, glycerol, butandiol, etc for about 10% of US prices and they would often be very accomidating with quantites of drums down to 20L barrels at almost the same unit price as 20 ton quantities.

What really blew me away was when I was researching API, many still under patent which were available by the barrel (200Kg) for about the cost of a year supply of a single person prescription.

All of this was before the big Asian B2B companies like alibaba got big. My profs assured me that all of this was a scam to get people to send money. Well we know how Alibaba is doing now and many companies took the chance and found that these weren't scams and have name a nice profit.

This goes to other items, now more advanced with electronics, but watches were big back then with my neighbor getting almost identical to $300-80 brand name watches for $4-5 apiece! He was shipping like 100 a day on ebay. IDK if he sold them as originals, I dont' think he did b/c he was selling them for $40-80 each. These were amazing in quality and had the same feel (weight).

US companies need to figure out how to enforce patents there and prosecute for brand infringement or things are going to continue to slide.
 

Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
20,990
I was inschool for business and tried to talk to my economics professor and logistics & supply chain managment prof that things were NOT the way they were teaching b/c the markets don't reflect it when you factor in China. This was early 2000. I told them that many chems were available at 1/10th the price of domestic supplies with the price delivered to any port in the US - shipping from there was on the buyer but they often offered that at low rates as well. Ethylene Glycol was available at almost 5% of US prices per ton and many other fine chems like urethane epoxies, BPA, glycerol, butandiol, etc for about 10% of US prices and they would often be very accomidating with quantites of drums down to 20L barrels at almost the same unit price as 20 ton quantities.

What really blew me away was when I was researching API, many still under patent which were available by the barrel (200Kg) for about the cost of a year supply of a single person prescription.

All of this was before the big Asian B2B companies like alibaba got big. My profs assured me that all of this was a scam to get people to send money. Well we know how Alibaba is doing now and many companies took the chance and found that these weren't scams and have name a nice profit.

This goes to other items, now more advanced with electronics, but watches were big back then with my neighbor getting almost identical to $300-80 brand name watches for $4-5 apiece! He was shipping like 100 a day on ebay. IDK if he sold them as originals, I dont' think he did b/c he was selling them for $40-80 each. These were amazing in quality and had the same feel (weight).

US companies need to figure out how to enforce patents there and prosecute for brand infringement or things are going to continue to slide.
Patents are a complete red herring when it comes to developing and marketing products. If you can develop and market a product you do it. When competitor shows up at the table you out compete them or you fold your tent and move on to the next "new new" thing. If you have a portfolio of patents you hire lawyers to sue everybody and hope to come out on the plus side of the ledger. It was a risky strategy for SCO and they got heavily smacked down for it. Where is SCO today by the way? I don't know any competent attorney who would roll the dice on a Chinese court -- do you?

No you're going to have to do better than that.

News Flash to Walter White! The Chinese will sell 55 gallons of Methylamine for a rock bottom price -- delivered!
 
Last edited:

ronv

Joined Nov 12, 2008
3,770
I was interested in finding import/export quantities of commodity chemicals and found some reports that also listed what each country taxed that product on import and listed the import tax, state/province/regional tax and any "special" tax by some specific governmental agency within the country. Many countries had a tax for each category, so 3 diff %. It seemed that many countries had none on any of them while there were about 20-30 that had 8-15% total which was the average of the highest countries (the rest were a zero to a couple %). Then there was the outlier - China. A total of 51% on most of the chemicals I saw and one was 72% total (with 30-40% going to the "special" category).

These chemicals are the backbone of industry as they are the feedstock for most everything we consume or they are involved in some way with producing products we use (think fertilizers or pesticides or plant oils). With an economy that is growing so much and with so many people, those taxes make it impossible (for the most part) for anyone outside of China to sell to them while at the same time the Chinese gov pays their companies subsidies so they can sell lower than what we can make the item for! This is why companies move and there is more to it, like foreign companies in China selling at cost (literally no profit) but China pays them $XXX and THAT is their profit!

The Chinese also subsidize shipping (I've been told) and companies there don't pay ANYTHING for it as it is all done by the GOV to destroy our manufacturing.

I was so mad when I saw those import tax numbers b/c that totally coincides with what many people have been saying about the "trade war" that isn't really covered the way it should be.

I want to know why journalists don't find this stuff. There are hundreds of things I find that could be stories and they are there with minimal effort to look. This just re-inforces my reason not to listen to some "people."
I to think you need to post some sources. :D
Some Googling shows that China has some export taxes on chemicals. Did you maybe confuse the two?
They also have a value added tax system, like Europe. Did you add that in?
They do some sleazy stuff but the basics are cheap labor and little worker or environmental protections.
Keep in mind when you add an import tax, the cost of that item goes up and the extra money you pay goes to the government.
Sometimes it doesn't pay to be first. China steel is a good example.
 

Glenn Holland

Joined Dec 26, 2014
703
Pssst! It's not China we need to worry about -- it's the robots. They're taking over everything that can be automated including chemical production, delivery trucks, hamburger production, and widget manufacturing. Whatever are people going to do with all their leisure time? How will society deal with 80% unemployment? OMG!
On the issue of robotics eliminating human labor, it's not just in factories - it's also in Phd. sciences.

Here in California seismologists who study earthquakes are being replaced by "Seismobots" which are a data acquisition system connected to computers running special software to locate and measure earthquakes. No need to hire a $100,000/year Phd. in geophysics when a one time $100,000 investment in a seismic data acquisition system can provide 24/7/365 monitoring of earthquakes in the entire western half of the U.S.
 

ronv

Joined Nov 12, 2008
3,770
I was inschool for business and tried to talk to my economics professor and logistics & supply chain managment prof that things were NOT the way they were teaching b/c the markets don't reflect it when you factor in China. This was early 2000. I told them that many chems were available at 1/10th the price of domestic supplies with the price delivered to any port in the US - shipping from there was on the buyer but they often offered that at low rates as well. Ethylene Glycol was available at almost 5% of US prices per ton and many other fine chems like urethane epoxies, BPA, glycerol, butandiol, etc for about 10% of US prices and they would often be very accomidating with quantites of drums down to 20L barrels at almost the same unit price as 20 ton quantities.

What really blew me away was when I was researching API, many still under patent which were available by the barrel (200Kg) for about the cost of a year supply of a single person prescription.

All of this was before the big Asian B2B companies like alibaba got big. My profs assured me that all of this was a scam to get people to send money. Well we know how Alibaba is doing now and many companies took the chance and found that these weren't scams and have name a nice profit.

This goes to other items, now more advanced with electronics, but watches were big back then with my neighbor getting almost identical to $300-80 brand name watches for $4-5 apiece! He was shipping like 100 a day on ebay. IDK if he sold them as originals, I dont' think he did b/c he was selling them for $40-80 each. These were amazing in quality and had the same feel (weight).

US companies need to figure out how to enforce patents there and prosecute for brand infringement or things are going to continue to slide.
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ronv

Joined Nov 12, 2008
3,770
Back in 1971 was my first trip outside the US when I went to Japan. Back then a 1 Liter bottle of Johnny Walker Black was well over $100.00 USD equivlent in Yen. The Japanese equivalent of scotch made by Suntory (Japan) ran about $7.00 USD. American made automobiles carried a 100% import tax. That was my first experience with this sort of thing.
Yeah, Japan is about as nationalistic as you can get. My experiences there were in the 90's. If you went into a nice bar they would have those bottles of Johnny Walker with a little label hanging around the neck with your name on it. I think it was a status symbol.
I can remember asking the Konica guys to use a better op amp in a circuit we were having trouble with. The answer was we can't. The better one is not made in Japan.
Also remember buying a Sony TV with a Trinitron picture tube. Pretty expensive at the time - maybe ~$2K. I saw the same TV in the electronics part of Tokyo for ~$2400. I think that was when they were buying into the US market. Having said that, I just gave that TV away a few years ago. It must have been 20 years old.
 

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
7,447
Also remember buying a Sony TV with a Trinitron picture tube. Pretty expensive at the time - maybe ~$2K. I saw the same TV in the electronics part of Tokyo for ~$2400.
Akihabara was the district in Tokyo and I loved that place. It reminded me of Canal Street (surplus district) in NYC when I was a kid. Anything and everything electronics. :)

Ron
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
17,493
CRP is the program. The government wants you to NOT USE YOUR LAND, so they rent it from you.

Yeah ... it's funny. The farmers are laughing all the way to the bank.
Last I heard, you could still gets subsidies for clearing land for farming, not raising a crop on that cleared land, and then again when you put in a pond and trees and call it a wetland.
 
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