Welch introduces bill to protect dairy farmers by closing trade loophole

first_imgCongressman Peter Welch on Tuesday introduced legislation to protect dairy farmers by closing a trade loophole that allows for the unlimited importation of a form of dried milk product. Welch s bill, the Milk Import Tariff Equity Act, will update existing trade regulations to include milk protein concentrate (MPC) and treat it like all other imported dairy products. In the past decade, MPC imports have more than doubled, undermining the market for domestic powdered milk and driving down the price Vermont s dairy farmers are paid for their milk. As international dairy producers have flooded the American market with milk protein concentrate, Vermont s dairy farmers have paid the price. By circumventing trade agreements, these producers have contributed to the plummeting price of milk and caused many Vermont farmers to go out of business, Welch said. This legislation will simply level the playing field and ensure that all dairy producers play by the same rules.Milk protein concentrate, similar to non-fat dried milk, is used in a variety of processed food products. In the past ten years, MPC imports have increased 58 percent. A 2004 International Trade Commission report found that, imported milk protein products may have displaced approximately 318 million pounds of U.S. produced milk protein [equivalent to 883 million pounds of non-fat dried milk] between 1998 and 2002.Because the technology used to produce MPCs was relatively new at the time, regulations approved during the 1995 Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations neglected to include MPCs. In the years since, foreign producers have taken advantage of this oversight and increased exports at a rate higher than is allowed for other dairy products.The Milk Import Tariff Equity Act would simply close this loophole and ensure that milk protein concentrates are regulated at the same level as other dairy products.Companion legislation was introduced in the Senate earlier this year by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY).Source: Welch’s office. 9.29.2009last_img read more

Vermont still better than most, but 7 million distressed mortgages drag on US

first_imgThe Mortgage Monitor report released by Lender Processing Services, Inc. (NYSE: LPS), a leading provider of mortgage performance data and analytics, indicates that signs of stabilization in the nation’s home loan delinquency and foreclosure rates remain largely neutralized by the more than 7 million loans in distress.According to the Mortgage Monitor report, the number of loans 90 or more days delinquent (including pre-sale foreclosure) declined 112,184 from 4,186,627 to 4,074,443 between March and April, with the total number of non-current U.S. loans plus REO (Real Estate Owned by banks, etc) just over 7.3 million (extrapolated to represent total mortgage market).Conversely, deterioration ratios remain high, with two loans rolling to a “worse” status for every one loan that has improved and the overall volume of loans moving from delinquent to current status declined to a three-month low supported primarily by “artificial cures” associated with HAMP modifications. In addition, newly delinquent loans (current at year-end and 60 or more days delinquent as of April) have declined from the 2009 levels but still remain extremely high from a historical perspective, particularly within prime product.Other key results from LPS’ latest Mortgage Monitor report include:Total U.S. loan delinquency rate: 8.99 percentTotal U.S. foreclosure inventory rate: 3.18 percentTotal U.S. non-current* loan rate: 12.17 percentStates with most non-current* loans:Florida, Nevada, Mississippi, Arizona, Georgia, California, Illinois, New Jersey, Michigan and Rhode IslandStates with the fewest non-current* loans:North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Nebraska, Vermont, Colorado, Iowa and Minnesota*Non-current totals combine foreclosures and delinquencies as a percent of active loans in that state.Note: Totals based on LPS Applied Analytics’ loan-level database of mortgage assets.LPS manages the nation’s leading repository of loan-level residential mortgage data and performance information from nearly 40 million loans across the spectrum of credit products. The company’s research experts carefully analyze this data to produce dozens of charts and graphs that reflect trend and point-in-time observations for LPS’ monthly Mortgage Monitor Report.To review the full report, listen to a presentation of the report or access an executive summary, visit http://www.lpsvcs.com/NEWSROOM/INDUSTRYDATA/Pages/default.aspx(link is external).About Lender Processing ServicesLender Processing Services, Inc. (LPS) is a leading provider of integrated technology and services to the mortgage and real estate industries. LPS offers solutions that span the mortgage continuum, including lead generation, origination, servicing, workflow automation (Desktop), portfolio retention and default, augmented by the company’s award-winning customer support and professional services. Approximately 50 percent of all U.S. mortgages by dollar volume are serviced using LPS’ Mortgage Servicing Package (MSP). LPS also offers proprietary mortgage and real estate data and analytics for the mortgage and capital markets industries. For more information about LPS, visit www.lpsvcs.com(link is external).SOURCE Lender Processing Services, Inc. JACKSONVILLE, Fla., June 1, 2010 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/last_img read more

World leaders mark UN at 75, challenged by pandemic and US, China tensions

first_imgThe coronavirus emerged in China late last year, and Washington accuses Beijing of a lack of transparency that it says worsened the outbreak. China denies the US assertions.In an apparent swipe at the United States, China’s president, Xi Jinping, said on Monday: “No country has the right to dominate global affairs, control the destiny of others, or keep advantages in development all to itself. Even less should one be allowed to do whatever it likes and be the hegemon, bully or boss of the world. Unilateralism is a dead end.”Xi’s remarks were not in the video he recorded for the meeting. They were included in a longer statement that the Chinese UN mission said was submitted to the world body.China has portrayed itself as the chief cheerleader for multilateralism as President Donald Trump’s disregard for international cooperation led to Washington’s quitting global deals on climate and Iran and leaving the UN Human Rights Council and the World Health Organization (WHO). World leaders came together, virtually, on Monday to mark the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, as the deadly coronavirus pandemic and tensions between the United States and China challenge the effectiveness and solidarity of the 193-member body.As COVID-19 began to spread around the world earlier this year, forcing millions of people to shelter at home and devastating economies, countries turned inward and diplomats say the United Nations struggled to assert itself.Long-simmering tensions between the United States and China hit the boiling point over the pandemic, spotlighting Beijing’s bid for greater multilateral influence in a challenge to Washington’s traditional leadership. Topics :center_img The deputy US ambassador to the United Nations, Cherith Norman Chalet, told the General Assembly that the world body had in many ways proven to be a “successful experiment, but “there are also reasons for concern.””The United Nations has for too long been resistant to meaningful reform, too often lacking in transparency, and too vulnerable to the agenda of autocratic regimes and dictatorships,” she said.The US withdrawal from the WHO came after Trump accused the agency of being a puppet of China, a claim the WHO denied.”THEM AND US”Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said “increasing discord” in the international community was sparked by some countries meddling in the domestic affairs of other states and imposing unilateral sanctions – a veiled dig at Washington.”The world is tired of dividing lines, dividing states into them and us. The world requires increasing multilateral assistance and cooperation,” he said.The pandemic has exposed the world’s fragilities, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said. “Today we have a surplus of multilateral challenges and a deficit of multilateral solutions,” he said.The Security Council took months to back a call by Guterres for a global ceasefire – to allow countries to focus on fighting COVID-19 – due to bickering between China and the United States.German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the interests of individual member states had “too often” forced the United Nations to lag behind its ideals.”Those who believe that they can get along better alone are mistaken. Our wellbeing is something that we share – our suffering too. We are one world,” she told the General Assembly.Several leaders called for a reform of the United Nations and in particular the 15-member Security Council, arguing it was unfair that the United States, Russia, China, France and Britain were the only permanent veto-wielding powers.”A council structure that leaves the fate of more than 7 billion people to the mercy of five countries is neither fair nor sustainable,” Turkey’s president, Tayyip Erdogan, said.The one-day special event on Monday comes ahead of the annual meeting of world leaders at the United Nations, which starts on Tuesday with no presidents or prime ministers physically present in New York. All statements have been pre-recorded and will be broadcast in the General Assembly hall.The United Nations was created when countries came together after World War Two to prevent another such conflict. While there has not been a World War Three, leaders adopted a statement on Monday acknowledging “moments of disappointment.””All this calls for greater action, not less,” the statement said.last_img read more

Prince halftime show among reasons Super Sunday rocks

first_imgSome people are saying this year’s Super Bowl won’t be so super. While Super Bowl XLI might not go down in history as one of the best, any true sports fan has every reason to watch the big game Sunday, even if they’re not sports-related…Food and beerFood and beer are two necessities of American and, even more so, college life. And what goes better with food and beer than football?Come on, it’s the last football Sunday until next fall — the last time you’ll have the NFL as an excuse to shove away homework and kick back in your EZ Boy recliner.Plenty of bars throw Super Bowl parties offering all you can eat and drink, but if that’s not your thing, throw one of your own with your buddies. Bring all the hors d’oeuvres and as much beer as you can. The Super Bowl is the next best day to Thanksgiving for football, food and drink.The commercialsThe commercials are always a big draw, as advertisers shell out nearly $2.5 million for a 30-second spot during the big game. But have you heard about this guy who is buying a commercial this year in which he’ll propose to his girlfriend? If not, log onto www.mysuperproposal.com.What a loser.It’s “the most public declaration of love in the history of mankind.” Please, the idea sounds more like the most lame declaration.Save yourself the money, propose to her on the JumboTron at the game if that’s what you really want, and top it off with some kick-butt honeymoon instead. Nevertheless, it should be pretty entertaining and yet another reason to watch the Super Bowl.The halftime showThis year, the artist once known as Prince, then an unpronounceable symbol and now Prince again, will be the Super Bowl’s halftime entertainment. The show should be one to watch, based on recent history.Last year it was the Rolling Stones and lead singer Mick Jagger who performed at the halftime show. It was quite the thriller. The Stones weren’t particularly good, but it was certainly a sight to see — the 62-year-old Jagger attempting to jiggle his cracked-out legs on the center stage, screeching out controversial lyrics to songs such as “Rough Justice.”But last year’s Stones spectacle doesn’t quite stack up to that of three years ago in terms of pleasurable pathetic-ness. By now, everyone knows about Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake and Super Bowl XXXVIII’s “Nipplegate,” which set the stage for appalling halftime shows. Hopefully, Prince will try his best to compare with halftime shows of years past — maybe he’ll come out singing “Pussy Control” or something.GamblingNot to promote any bad addictions or anything, but if you think this year’s Super Bowl is going to be as bad as the Buccaneers’ slashing of the Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII, then place some bets — and not just on the game itself.The Super Bowl has every bet you could possibly think of — who will win the coin toss, who will commit the first penalty, what will the first offensive play be and even what songs Prince will sing at halftime (I have my money on “Raspberry Beret”).Sure, they’re all pretty pointless, but at least it’ll keep you glued to the television for one reason or another. Plus, you’ll probably end up even on the night. That is, if you play your cards right.The game itselfCome on, it’s not going to be that bad.The Bears have probably been the best team this season, despite the ups and downs of Rex Grossman. Sure, they may not be the most exciting team to watch, but they’re the definition of smash-mouth football.And how can you complain about watching the Colts? Love or hate Peyton Manning, they’re fun to watch. And better yet, Manning’s just started to heat up. In the AFC Championship, he led Indianapolis to 32 second-half points after two lackluster games in the first two rounds. It’s a safe bet that he’s due for a big game in the season finale.Besides, you can’t call yourself a sports fan and be upset at watching the Super Bowl.Michael is a senior double majoring in journalism and communication arts. While he isn’t cheering for anyone in particular, he’s got his money on the Colts. He can be reached at mpoppy@badgerherald.comlast_img read more