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July 25, 2005 | Ronald Brownstein, Ronald Brownstein's column appears every Monday. See current and past columns on The Times' website at
It's a sign of the times that the House Republican leadership believes the only way to win approval of a free trade agreement with Central America this week is to first pass legislation bashing China for its trade practices. That legislative minuet is a clear indication the economic nationalists are back. The economic nationalists were the politicians and policy analysts who raised the loudest alarms about the commercial challenge posed by Japan in the 1980s and early 1990s.
July 1, 2005 | Maura Reynolds, Times Staff Writer
Voicing concern about national security and the U.S. economy, the House of Representatives passed two measures Thursday aimed at blocking the proposed takeover of El Segundo-based Unocal Corp. by a Chinese oil company. In a strong bipartisan vote of 333 to 92, the House approved an amendment to a Treasury Department spending bill forbidding the administration from using federal funds to approve the bid by CNOOC Ltd., an arm of government-owned China National Offshore Oil Corp.
June 11, 2005 | James F. Peltz, Times Staff Writer
U.S. regulators, claiming a victory for California motorists, approved Chevron Corp.'s proposed $16.4-billion purchase of Unocal Corp. on Friday after the companies agreed to surrender Unocal's long-contested patents on the state's cleaner-burning gasoline.
August 7, 2005 | Michael Woo, Michael Woo, a former L.A. city councilman and mayoral candidate, teaches urban planning at USC. He was co-instructor of USC's Beijing Lab, bringing 31 graduate students to China in May to study urban planning and transportation.
WITH A SIZZLING economy growing 9% a year or more but facing limits on domestic energy, China has no choice but to seek more oil from foreign sources. Yet Americans were surprised when a Chinese company emerged as a serious contender to buy Unocal Corp. Then China was surprised by the ferocious political reaction among some U.S. conservatives, forcing China's CNOOC Ltd. to withdraw its bid last week. The astonishment on both sides shows that China and the U.S.
July 9, 2005 | Sonni Efron and Mark Magnier, Times Staff Writers
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrives in Beijing today on a six-day swing through Asia aimed at luring North Korea back to nuclear disarmament talks after more than a year. However, Rice said the U.S. was not discussing sweetening the offer it made to Pyongyang a year ago, when it promised security assurances and the possibility of better economic and political ties if it agreed to verifiable dismantlement of its nuclear programs.
July 22, 2005 | Warren Vieth and Richard Simon, Times Staff Writers
China's revaluation of the yuan Thursday was hailed by some U.S. officials as a vindication of Bush administration pressure on Beijing to reform its currency policy, but lawmakers and analysts predicted the goodwill would dissipate if the move did not lead to bigger changes. On Capitol Hill, lawmakers from both major parties have said Beijing's currency policy made Chinese goods cheaper and American goods less competitive, contributing to U.S. job losses.
July 21, 2005 | Elizabeth Douglass, Times Staff Writer
Chinese oil firm CNOOC Ltd. said Wednesday that it had no plans to up the ante for Unocal Corp., even though its $18.5-billion offer was snubbed by the El Segundo oil company in favor of a sweetened bid by rival Chevron Corp. valued at about $17 billion. Nonetheless, investors and analysts said Wednesday that they expected CNOOC to put more money on the table. Anything less, they said, would be tantamount to giving up.
August 3, 2005 | Paul Richter, Times Staff Writer
A Chinese oil company's fight to buy Unocal Corp. ended Tuesday in an angry retreat, but not without leaving clear signs that other political battles loom in Washington over how much more of America the cash-rich Chinese can acquire. Although CNOOC Ltd.'s offer for the eighth-largest U.S. oil and gas concern mobilized the support of American business, it was confronted -- and finally overcome -- by powerful forces that saw the purchase of American oil reserves as a threat to U.S. security.
August 3, 2005 | Joel Havemann, Times Staff Writers
For more than a decade, Americans have been spending more and saving less. In June, people spent virtually everything they earned and saved almost nothing. The government reported Tuesday that the nation's savings rate fell to a paltry 0.02%, the second-lowest monthly rate since the Great Depression. June's rate was eclipsed only by the minus-0.2% rate in October 2001, after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, when consumers enthusiastically responded to patriotic promotions from auto companies.
June 24, 2005 | Joel Havemann, Times Staff Writer
As the proposed Chinese purchase of Unocal Corp. fanned protectionist passions in Congress, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan warned senators Thursday not to let their frustrations with China's economic policies breed reactions that would do the U.S. economy more harm than good. Proposed tariffs against Chinese goods and other forms of protectionism would significantly lower U.S. living standards and would not save American jobs, Greenspan told members of the Senate Finance Committee.
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