October 15, 2013: Here comes midnight

Posted by mmcmullan on 10/15/2013

Good morning,

The debt limit clock nears midnight! Okay, maybe not midnight, but it’s well past 11 p.m. We’ve still got a full day to go before Washington runs out of time and the government loses its ability to pay its outstanding bills on Thursday. And presently, there’s a lot of breathless reporting coming from Capitol Hill on the ever-updating negotiations as lawmakers scramble to cobble together a deal that can get past the House, Senate, and President Obama’s veto pen.

Will they pull it off? Will just enough consensus be reached to avert the economic disaster waiting for America on the other side of a debt default? It’s anyone’s guess. But whether they do or not, the ongoing government shutdown (now entering its third week) is negatively affecting the U.S. economy in ways unforeseen by Washington’s many astute political minds.

But hey, at least one corner of the economy is booming: Americans can’t get enough of what the survivalist industry is selling. Interested in a doomsday bunker? Read the report from ABC News’ Devin Dwyer right here. And no worries, those bunkers are American-made. Though to our friends around the world, the same company makes bunkers in other countries.

Elsewhere around the web:

Exports out of China slipped a little bit in September, writes Richard Silk of the Wall Street Journal, further exposing Chinese exporters’ habit of exaggerating sales reports as a way to bring in fresh investment:

Shady companies have been pulling this trick for years, but it really took off toward the end of 2012 amid a strengthening Chinese economy and expectations that the yuan would rise provided a powerful incentive to get money into the country.

But, Silk goes on to note, that doesn’t explain China’s export slowdown entirely. While its exports to developed countries held steady (like the U.S., and in spite of the political chaos in Washington), purchases by developing countries dried up considerably. And the limits of export-led growth for Beijing are starting to show. Interesting stuff. Read the whole thing here.

“Why should Japan take its own underpants off?” Toshio Yamada, a Japanese parliamentarian, posed that question today. He has serious beef with his government's ongoing participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. Yamada’s voice is one of many in Japan, report Jonathan Soble and Shawn Donnan for the Financial Times, that worry the huge trade deal will affect “sacred territories” of the Japanese economy.

We hear you, Mr. Yamada. It looks like our own government is willing to sign a TPP deal that doesn’t address predatory currency manipulation, which sets back American industry’s ability to export. Underpants, indeed.

North Carolina’s manufacturing sector got a shoutout this weekend from the state’s Secretary of Commerce. The state employed about 430,000 workers in manufacturing and contributed almost 20 percent to the state’s GDP in 2012, says Sharon Decker:

It’s easy to understand why the most respected names in manufacturing are investing once again in North Carolina. Manufacturing has always been the backbone of state’s our economy and I’m convinced the sector’s best days are still ahead.

And lastly:

Because last month’s government update on America’s employment situation was considered nonessential, the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) decided to issue its own. We asked our supporters across the nation to send in a jobs report as they saw it from their communities, and the results painted a picture of the American economy that a data dump can’t.

So no jobs report? No problem. Help us tell the jobs story that Washington won’t. Have you – or your friends, family, or neighbors – started looking for work recently? Have you stopped? Send in the jobs report from your town to info [at] aamfg [dot] org, tweet it to us at @keepitmadeinUSA, or contact us via Facebook. And read the report right here.

Happy Tuesday, America.

-AAM

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