Prices of Iron and Steel, and Trade Policy

I’m covering the impact of tariffs and quotas (general, antidumping, countervailing subsidy, section 232) and updated some graphs on steel employment, production, and prices. Here’s one particularly interesting one:

Figure 1: PPI for iron and steel (blue), and import price for iron and steel (brown), both in logs 2018M03=0. NBER defined recession dates shaded gray. Orange denotes imposition of Section 232 tariffs. Source: BLS via FRED, NBER, and author’s calculations.

Obviously, the weights and definitions differ between the two indices, so the the two series are not strictly comparable. However, to the extent that the import price indices do not include tariffs, the evolution of the gap between the two series indicates the impact of tariffs. This is suggestive that eliminating the Section 232 tariffs would provide a one-off reduction in inflationary pressures.

AAF estimates the consumer cost of the Section 301 and Section 232 tariffs at about $51 billion (loss of consumer surplus is different from net welfare loss).

Removal of the steel and aluminum tariffs would likely result in a one-time drop of a 1 percentage point in the PPI, while removal of the China tariffs would result in a one time drop in the CPI of about a quarter percentage point, according to Russ/PIIE.

69 thoughts on “Prices of Iron and Steel, and Trade Policy

    1. pgl

      Section 301 and Section 232 tariffs is FED policy. My Lord – you never learned the basic language of economics as you just make up new meaningless words. Try understanding the lingo before making another really STUPID comment.

    2. Moses Herzog

      @ Kopits
      Your trash comment here reminds me of something I had been meaning to ask you. I think most of the time it’s a waste to ask you any question, based on your sad knowledge and your sad math skills. But, I need comedy in my life sometimes. You said in one of your ZeroHedge posts that Russia’s GDP was only 1/14th the size of the USA economy. Were you using PPP when you calculated that number??~~ and if you had, where would that put the ratio?? Larger than 1/14th, correct?? Do you think it might have been wiser to use PPP dollars when making those comparisons?? Or as a consultant do things like that ever enter your “brain”??

      1. Steven Kopits

        Per Menzie’ graph, tariffs were applied on steel in early 2018. Prices subsequently rose, as we might expect under a tariff regime. However, they then declined from early 2019 to the start of the pandemic. Afterwards, they soared, as did other commodities, housing and financial assets. For example, lumber shows a similar spike in prices. Oil belatedly has also climbed the heights.

        So I think there’s a story of tariffs from Q1 2018 to Q4 2019, but I think you can’t follow that logic into the pandemic period.

        1. pgl

          “Per Menzie’ graph, tariffs were applied on steel in early 2018.”

          BTW tariffs are not monetary policy in the least which was the original comments. Can YOU follow the logic of basic macroeconomics since you have the weirdest set of definitions I have ever seen.

        2. Moses Herzog

          Are you having one of Barkley Junior’s cognitive disequilibrium moments?? That’s where someone asks a question and then you go off on a tangent saying that everyone is angry at Paul Krugman because he got a Nobel and Barkley didn’t. If that doesn’t muddy the waters of whatever the said question/topic of the moment is, then you tell people that everyone in Kharkiv is enthusiastic about their city being destroyed and mass murder of their residence and that they’re all holding up “welcome Putin” signs.

          The only thing Barkley wasn’t dumb enough to say, was that there would be no Russian war invasion of Ukraine. Oh wait…….
          “Do keep in mind I am the one here with access to Russian media. That has now been blaring for several days that the troops will go home after the exercises are done, and exercises are exactly what they are doing now. This has more recently been reinforced by statements from Putin in press conferences, such as the one just held after the visit of German Chancellor Scholze.

          There is not going to be an invasion, even if some of the details of what Zelensky and Ukraine may agree to are not fully settled, and Victoria Nuland has been shooting her mouth off too much, somebody I wish was not part of this administration.”
          http://econbrowser.com/archives/2022/02/risk-and-uncertainty-before-the-open#comment-268219

          Then after that there was Barkley Rosser’s genius comments on the city of Kharkiv:
          “According to a long story in today’s WaPo, people there are pretty calm, although according to you they should be running around freaking out. It may be that they are all a bunch of fools. But in fact I suspect another element of this is that because the city is dominated by ethnic Russians, they figure that life will go back to normal if they get conquered. But all accounts they do not support Putin or an invasion. But if it happens, they will move on.”
          http://econbrowser.com/archives/2022/02/predictions-oil-prices-and-recoveries-and-recessions#comment-268846

          Barkley Rosser’s comments related to Kharkiv were made on February 23, basically 1 day before the invasion started, as you can see from the permalink—“But if it happens they will move on”

          The only thing close to this level of stupidity stated on this blog, was when Barkley’s BFF StinkyJerseySteve said that he didn’t think Kyiv would be where the war action would be. Kopits made that statement around February 22.
          https://econbrowser.com/archives/2022/02/counterinsurgency-ratios#comment-268725

          This was also after StinkyJerseySteve informed the blog that you can’t have a counterinsurgency in a nation with flat land. Does anyone here want to imagine what a war would look like if Kopits and Rosser Junior were military generals running the show?? About the same as Russia’s army looks right now, possibly worse.

          1. Moses Herzog

            The last sentence of the first paragraph above should in part read *”….. mass murder of their residents….. “. Sorry for the error.

          2. Barkley Rosser

            Moses,

            You may think you are scoring big with this stuff, but not so much. When I said it looked like Putin would send his troops home from Belarus after the exercises were over, not that that thia was also the view of “Winston Churchill” Zewlenskyy as well as most of the troops there. It has been widely reported that many of those troops have suffered the now highlly visible morale problems they have suffered partly because they did not expect to be invading Ukraine and up to a couple of days before they did they thought they were going home.

            As for Kharkiv, the WaPo article was accurat,e and I know where it is and a lot more about it than you do. Did you forecast that not only when the invasion happened that Kharikiv would hold out and resist it? The CIA that you relied on that was accurately forecasting the full-scale invasion was also forecasting the Kharkiv would almost certainly fall immediately, and US intel and military were all about planning for a behind the lines insurgency to happen after it fell. Did you go against the CIA and say Kharkiv would successfully resist the invasion? I do not offhand remember you doing so.

            As it is, I opposed the US move to shift its embassy out of Kyiv because I thought the Ukrainians had a better chance of resisting the invastion, especially around Kyiv than Kharkiv, so close to the border and with so many ethinic Russians in it. You have even mentioned Kopits arguing how hard it is to have a resisance on flat land, but with me coming back to point out that Ukraine has the Carpathian mountains where previously there was resistance.

            While I am pleased to see Kharkiv holding, although it means they are dealing with massive destruction, it remains a faxt that the population there is more pro-Russian than the population in Kyiiv, which in turn is more pro-Russian than that in super nationalist Liviv in the west. But even the piece you quoted in your usual idiotic emboldened letters noted that they did not support a Russian invasion.

      2. pgl

        “You said in one of your ZeroHedge posts”. Since I stay away from Zerohedge, I must have missed this one.

        But Princeton Steve does brag about getting his word salad post over at The American Thinker (total waste of time) and he gloats when he gets to talk about Stephen Miller style immigration policy over at Fox and Friends. Yes he takes great pride spewing his stuff for the most right wing hacks of the world.

        1. Moses Herzog

          I think there is some good stuff to be found at ZH, admittedly you have to dig under a lot of junk to find the good stuff. Kind of like looking for this under a pile of AEI books.

          1. pgl

            This is why I wait for you to provide us the few gems there. Keep up the good work.

            BTW – one more comment re Steve’s lame reply. It seems he thinks in the binary world of either only tariffs matter v. tariffs do not matter, which is CoRev bizarro logic. Like his brain cannot handle the premise that the price of a commodity can depend on many factors.

      3. Steven Kopits

        “You said in one of your ZeroHedge posts that Russia’s GDP was only 1/14th the size of the USA economy.”

        I wrote: “The Russian economy, depending on the measure used, is 7–17% of the U.S. economy today”

        The New York Times’ Thomas Friedman: Russian apologist
        https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2022/02/the_new_york_times_thomas_friedman_russian_apologist.html

        You can read my American Thinker articles here:
        https://www.americanthinker.com/author/stevenkopits/

        The next one should be out later today: “Turning Point in Ukraine”

        1. Moses Herzog

          If I’m looking to learn how to obfuscate my own prior writings in my writing method I’ll be sure to read it. I have no need for that, so I’ll be skipping over your link. Let us know if the QAnon crowd is impressed.

  1. rjs

    it turns out that US natural gas is turning out to be a very profitable investment for China’s state-owned Sinopec:

    i had heard of stories of LNG tankers that had already transversed the Panama canal and were in the Pacific on their way to Asia turn around and go back thru Panama to deliver their gas to Europe, and wondered how that could be happening, since most US LNG sales to Asia are under long term contracts…as it turns out, it’s not the American sellers of that LNG who are selling it to Europe, it’s the Asian buyers who own the US production under long term contract…

    China Sells U.S. LNG to Europe at a Hefty Profit – China resold several U.S. liquefied natural gas shipments to Europe, a rare move by the world’s top buyer that highlights how sky-high prices are rerouting trade flows.

    Unipec, the trading arm of China’s state-owned Sinopec, sold at least three LNG cargoes for delivery through June to ports in Europe via a tender that closed late last week, according to traders with knowledge of the matter. The shipments will load from Venture Global LNG Inc.’s Calcasieu Pass export facility in Louisiana, where Sinopec has a deal to purchase LNG, they said, requesting anonymity to discuss private details.

    European natural gas rates surged to a record high last week on fears that the war in Ukraine will curb flows from top supplier Russia. The rally prompted Unipec’s traders to turn away from the lower-priced Chinese market, even as Beijing demand its importers secure more fuel amid concerns over wartime disruptions.

    Read more: Europe’s Plan to Cut Russian Fuel Starts a Global Gas Fight

    European gas usually trades at a discount to LNG in North Asia, home to the top importers. But Europe’s plan to ditch Russian gas means that it will need to significantly boost LNG imports, with the continent’s prices primed to stay higher than Asian rates as it seeks to attract every last drop of fuel from the spot market.

    so i did a quick search, and found the press release on the 20 year contract on Calcasieu Pass gas held by Sinopec..

    https://www.americanpress.com/2021/11/05/venture-globals-calcasieu-pass-facility-inks-lng-supply-contract/

    so Venture Global is taking American natural gas out of our pipeline system at whatever they’ve contracted it for (probably less than the recent $5 price, and undoubtedly making a fat profit selling it to Sinopec, who then probably stands to triple their price selling it back in China….

    but that’s not what they’re doing here; they’re selling the US gas (which they own under contract) right from our terminal at Calcasieu Pass in Louisiana and selling it directly to Europe at 7 or 8 times the Louisiana price of natural gas…

    it goes without saying the Chinese would appreciate it if we hurried up and built more pipelines for them…

    1. Ivan

      So China will be purchasing Russian natural gas very cheep. That will replace their supply from US, which they will buy low (on a 20 year contract) and sell high to Europe starving for natural gas. Damn communists.

    2. Anonymous

      uae has expressed ‘angst’ about its customers reselling, but that is another story, long before this ‘situation’.

      1. rj

        the UAE has also indicated that OPEC won’t be bailing us out…

        Russia will ‘always’ be a part of OPEC+, UAE energy minister says – The United Arab Emirates’ energy and infrastructure minister has insisted that Russia will always be a part of OPEC+ even as governments across the globe shun the oil exporter over its war in Ukraine. Speaking to CNBC on Monday, Suhail Al Mazrouei, a former president of the oil alliance, said no other country could match Russia’s energy output and argued politics should not distract from the group’s efforts to manage energy markets. "Always, Russia is going to be part of that group and we need to respect them," he told Hadley Gamble at the Atlantic Council’s sixth annual Global Energy Forum in Dubai. "OPEC+, when they speak to us, they need to speak to us including Russia," he said, referring to the group’s negotiations with energy importers. The U.S., Europe and Japan have called on oil-producing nations to do more to tackle record-high prices amid the war in Ukraine and ongoing supply shortages. But, Al Mazrouei said Russian oil would play a vital role in achieving that.

        1. Anonymous

          early on opec+ spokesman position was to the effect ‘oil/gas will not be a weapon’…..

          posed neutrality?

          russia is a key part of the ‘+’. that seems satisfactory to the rest.

  2. pgl

    Thanks for this analysis from Katheryn Russ and the excellent summary. What jumps out at me is that the impact of these tariffs on steel prices are modest relative to the swings from the offset of the pandemic (brief declines) and the subsequent recovery along with a commodity boom. Removing the tariffs only makes sense but we should not expect a whole lot of benefit.

    Now on a different topic I guess – the world is all a buzz over Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and the West’s trade embargo with Russia. Is there any analysis of the impact of these recent events on steel prices?

  3. rsm

    Are the drops within the margin of error? So can you really say anything without being intellectually dishonest about uncertainty?

  4. Moses Herzog

    I didn’t read all the details, but I thought I read something within the last week about how Biden was finally letting off on some of the Orange Abomination era China tariffs. If so I think we can count that as good news in the short term. As long as we’re being extra certain China isn’t secretly/stealth helping Russia, we can meet China halfway (eliminate some of the tariffs, etc) in the intermediate time span.

  5. macroduck

    Off topic, but topical –

    A very good, detailed assessment of the state of play in Ukraine from Michael Kofman, a Fellow at the Kennan Institute specializing in Russia’s military, is available here:

    https://warontherocks.com/2022/03/a-new-phase-of-the-russo-ukrainian-war-begins/

    (Menzie, cross my heart – no cursing, no racism, no video.)

    In the interview, Kofman gives reasons that the next two weeks are likely to prove critical to the outcome of Russia’s invasion. Issues include resupply, conscripted troop rotation and performance. Kofman politely dismisses the certainty about the outcome heard from some (so-called) analysts, because of the imbalance in information available; we have a better understanding of Russia’s military situation than we have of Ukraine’s. In addition, our understanding of Russia’s situation is intentionally distorted. Moral matters, and moral may be better among Russian troops than we are told.

    Kofman offers a similar, shorter take in print here:

    https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2022/03/21/michael-kofman-russia-military-expert-00018906

      1. Anonymous

        to napoleon: “the “moral” is to the material as three is to one”.

        a combat unit’s ‘morale’ is the ‘moral’ dimension.

    1. Moses Herzog

      This is very interesting and edifying and I’m glad you shared it. This is why I’m grateful to Menzie he lets us wander to the higher parts of the monkey bars, cuz it makes the blog more fun.

    2. Ivan

      Remember he talked about the next two week about 9 days ago. I think we are already being the Russians abandoning their original goals near Kiev. That failed goal has cost them combat readiness of their very best forces. Russia will likely refuse to cut their ambitions further and focus exclusively on Donbas until they have further degraded their own military capabilities. Putin is slow to accept reality and even slower to change accordingly. However, his declaration of Luhansk and Donetsk as “countries” just before the invasion (without defining their specific borders) do suggest where his final fallback position is.

      1. baffling

        Crimea needs a land bridge, and Putin will continue to fight for that land. I don’t see him conceding without. For punishment, he would like the rest of the Black Sea coast in order to landlock Ukraine. I think he is willing to forgo that, although he certainly would like to strangle Ukraine by land locking them. the question becomes, is Ukraine willing to concede any territory in return for peace? donbas will have become an extremely expensive piece of worthless real estate for all parties involved.

        1. Ivan

          My guess is he will push to get his land bridge to Crimea and then agree to stop the fighting. Then he will build up troops all the way along the Ukraine border with Belarus and Russia to intimidate in the negotiations. The land bridge and independence of his two Donbas states will likely be where he sets the line – and possibly restart the war, unless NATO help build up and resupply Ukraine during the negotiations.

      2. macroduck

        Treasuries, the yen and oil are all losing ground along with Russian forces in Ukraine. That amounts to three sources of disinflationary pressure. Russia’s failure on the battlefield remains a key factor in the Fed policy environment.

  6. Bruce Hall

    Just musing here….

    Tariffs come at a cost to the country imposing them. Sanctions seem to be doing much the same thing. The intent is different between the two, but the results seem similar: reduce the amount of a product from a specific source at a significant increase in the cost to the importing country.

    “We are not at war with ourselves,” Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said at the summit in Brussels, where sanctions and energy were key topics. “Sanctions must always have a much bigger impact on the Russian side than on ours.” The real question is how much damage are we willing to sustain in order to inflict damage? Here in the US, it is somewhat easy to say “go for it” because we have near energy independence (which we did have a few years ago). It’s a different and difficult situation for the Europeans.
    https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/eu-agrees-russia-sanctions-energy-divides-83649594

    Now, I’m sure there will be a snide retort to this comment along the lines of “Putin’ puppet” or “traitor”, but the reality is that the moral justification doesn’t necessarily change the outcome of decisions. The “moral justification” for steel tariffs was to “protect” US industry from “predatory” Chinese industry. In a world with free trade among non-adversarial partners, such actions and justifications are without merit. But the real world isn’t that simple. The question is always, “Is the cost worth it?” It appears that, at least in Europe, there is some distance in opinions about Russian oil and natural gas sanctions.

    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Bruce Hall: Re:

      The “moral justification” for steel tariffs was to “protect” US industry from “predatory” Chinese industry.

      Wrong. Chinese steel was already heavily sanctioned pre-Trump. As far as I know, no Section 232 tariff was applied to Chinese steel.
      At all.
      So, I have no idea what you are getting at.

      1. pgl

        He has no idea either. BTW – someone tell Bruce that the incidence of these tariffs fall at least in part to the supplier. Didn’t a post here already address the incidence of tariffs on Russian oil? Something else Kelly Anne Conway did not let Bruce read.

        1. Bruce Hall

          Lucy, you should do some reading and not follow your normal react-speak-think process.

          Certainly suppliers can choose to absorb some or all of the costs of the tariffs, but that’s unlikely to be a long term solution for them or who pays most of the tariff. The middlemen (importers) can absorb some of the costs, but again that is unlikely to be a long term solution for them. The likely longer term solution is that the tariff costs are passed to the domestic users (manufacturer, distributor, consumer) in the form of higher prices. Who wins? The government imposing the tariffs, obviously. Everything else is a lose-lose for everyone else.

          Now, while sanctions don’t generate revenue for the government imposing the sanctions they still end up as a lose-lose proposition in the form of lower exported volumes and higher consumer prices that are denied the products from the sanctioned country.

          Do you disagree? And if you do, why?
          https://econofact.org/the-costs-of-tariffs-in-the-u-s-china-trade-war

          Even in the light of opposing evidence?
          https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/18/us-companies-bearing-the-brunt-of-trumps-china-tariffs-says-moodys.html

      2. Bruce Hall

        Menzie, I’m not sure what “sanctions” on Chinese steel to which you are referring. Regardless, the point I was trying to make (which I thought was clear) was that tariffs and sanctions are cousins. They both attempt to shut down exports from one country into another. The purpose (intent) is different, but the results are similar (the importing country is also penalized with higher prices and (probably) shortages.

        Oh, one other point: I didn’t mention Trump in my comment. However…
        The U.S. imposed Section 301 tariffs on a broad array of Chinese products, including fabricated structural steel, in response to an unfair Chinese trade policy that forces foreign companies to disclose intellectual property to access the Chinese market. Chinese fabricated structural steel has been subject to a 25% tariff since August 23, 2018. This is the first time that the parts of the Section 301 tariff list that are relevant to our industry have extended beyond raw steel mill products.
        https://www.aisc.org/why-steel/tariffs/

        1. pgl

          “Menzie, I’m not sure what “sanctions” on Chinese steel to which you are referring. Regardless, the point I was trying to make (which I thought was clear) was that tariffs and sanctions are cousins. ”

          If you ever bothered to read the posts on this blog, you would know about Trump’s stupid tariffs on Chinese steel. Oh wait – Kelly Anne Conway bans you from reading such material. Never mind.

          Tariffs and quotas may be limitations to imports but they certainly are not the same as ably explained by Jadesh Bhagwati in his seminal papers back in the late 1960’s. Oh I’m sorry – you refuse to read actual economics even if Jeff Frankel’s research post here discussed these matters when it comes to Russian oil.

          Come on Bruce – spend less time embarrassing yourself with these silly comments of yours and try READING actual economics for the first time in your confused life.

        2. pgl

          “Regardless, the point I was trying to make (which I thought was clear) was that tariffs and sanctions are cousins. They both attempt to shut down exports from one country into another. The purpose (intent) is different, but the results are similar (the importing country is also penalized with higher prices and (probably) shortages.”

          Gee Bruce – I actually READ that AISC discussion but I guess you did not. The purpose for tariffs v. quotas are different you say but you can’t say what the purpose for either is beyond shutting “down exports from one country into another” whatever that is supposed to mean. But please read what AISC said the purpose was – they agree with Menzie not you.

          The results of trade restrictions may be an increase in import prices but it could be that the incidence falls in some cases on the exporter as in China’s tariffs on US soybean exports. Highly covered here but again I guess you never understood that discussion either. But shortages? REALLY? Commodity markets are generally competitive so maybe there is some effect on prices (which you never grasped in the 1st place) but the market clears unless there was some government price ceiling. Oh wait – I’m talking in terms of actual economics. My apologies for making this all over your head.

          BTW – quotas and tariffs different in their effects on who gets what Bhagwati called quota rents. But darn it – I’m still using economic terms that you will never understand. My sincerest apologies.

        3. Menzie Chinn Post author

          Bruce Hall: Thanks – but most of trade sanctions (anti-dumping, countervailing subsidy) on Chinese steel were already in place pre-Trump, which is why no Section 232 sanctions were placed on Chinese steel.

    2. macroduck

      It’s normal for differences to be aired as policies are developed. Europe is working on a policy toward Russian energy imports which is sustainable and which reduces reliance on Russia. Since we don’t know yet what is sustainable, we’ll probably continue to see discussion of EU policy as long as sanctions are in place. Nothing wrong with that.

    3. pgl

      Did you read this far?

      “Fossil fuels have a history of being connected with conflict and war — wherever they come from, governments must phase them out as quickly as possible, not look for new suppliers,” Greenpeace EU director Jorgo Riss said.

      Didn’t think so. Forgive me for doing so but a little economics that we get will be over your head. If the EU finds other suppliers, then the incidence of trade restrictions may just fall on the supplier that being Russia. Now I get the incidence of a tariff is a topic you never go but maybe Dr. Chinn can provide one of his instructive post just for you. Not that you would bother to read it.

        1. pgl

          You are now mocking your own links. Have you ever seen a dog chasing its own tail? That is what you look like.

  7. Moses Herzog

    off-topic
    I watched a movie called “The Djinn” (2021 version) with Rob Brownstein playing the Dad. If you’re looking for a scary/spooky film to watch I thought it was pretty scary. The characters are likable, and so you end up feeling empathy for them as the film progresses. I should just say, much of the fear in the film is “suggestive”, that is to say if you have the type of mind that is open to “suggestive” fears you will like this film very much. If you find you are not open to “suggestive” fears you might even find yourself bored with the film. But I recommend it, and give it a strong 8 on a 1-to-10 scale. Better watched late at night in the dark.

  8. Oz

    Hey there, thanks for the analysis.

    Would you deduce that this is also valid for other trade partner countries included in the tariff e.g. Turkey? Or they are included but in reverse fashion?

    Thanks.

  9. ltr

    https://news.cgtn.com/news/2022-03-29/Chinese-mainland-records-1-293-new-confirmed-COVID-19-cases-18MZrO6Gfjq/index.html

    March 29, 2022

    Chinese mainland reports 1,275 new COVID-19 cases

    The Chinese mainland recorded 1,293 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Monday, with 1,228 linked to local transmissions and 65 from overseas, according to data from the National Health Commission on Tuesday.

    A total of 5,758 new asymptomatic cases were also recorded on Monday, and 43,425 asymptomatic patients remain under medical observation.

    Confirmed cases on the Chinese mainland now total 145,808, with the death toll at 4,638.

    Chinese mainland new locally transmitted cases

    https://news.cgtn.com/news/2022-03-29/Chinese-mainland-records-1-293-new-confirmed-COVID-19-cases-18MZrO6Gfjq/img/df98c73e22cb4bb1bd03119656d0d8d2/df98c73e22cb4bb1bd03119656d0d8d2.png

    Chinese mainland new imported cases

    https://news.cgtn.com/news/2022-03-29/Chinese-mainland-records-1-293-new-confirmed-COVID-19-cases-18MZrO6Gfjq/img/1c6a5bc8dca54b1b9b0cf628aa46b2f8/1c6a5bc8dca54b1b9b0cf628aa46b2f8.jpeg

    Chinese mainland new asymptomatic cases

    https://news.cgtn.com/news/2022-03-29/Chinese-mainland-records-1-293-new-confirmed-COVID-19-cases-18MZrO6Gfjq/img/55cdc8974e0345ac8dc2fd19852ea452/55cdc8974e0345ac8dc2fd19852ea452.jpeg

    1. Bruce Hall

      There may be some genetic variations among populations that affect how COVID-19 impacts individuals.

      Study #1
      Scientists looked at the DNA of patients in more than 200 intensive care units in UK hospitals.
      They scanned each person’s genes, which contain the instructions for every biological process – including how to fight a virus.
      Their genomes were then compared with the DNA of healthy people to pinpoint any genetic differences, and a number were found – the first in a gene called TYK2.
      “It is part of the system that makes your immune cells more angry, and more inflammatory,” explained Dr Baillie.
      But if the gene is faulty, this immune response can go into overdrive, putting patients at risk of damaging lung inflammation.

      Covid: Genes hold clues to why some people get severely ill
      https://www.bbc.com/news/health-54832563

      Study #2
      Tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2) is a type I interferon (IFN) signaling pathway gene and was previously reported to be a risk factor for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in Caucasian populations. In order to test for its genetic association with SLE in a Japanese population, TYK2 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), rs2304256, rs12720270 and rs280519, were genotyped. A case-control association study was performed in a total of 411 Japanese SLE patients and 467 healthy controls. Linkage disequilibrium (LD) among TYK2 SNPs was examined. According to the data from 94 healthy controls, non-synonymous rs2304256 resulting in Val –> Phe substitution was revealed to be in a LD with rs12720270 and rs280519. Therefore, we further genotyped rs2304256 as a tag SNP in the full sample sets. As a result, no differences in genotype distribution and allelic frequencies of rs2304256 were found between SLE patients and healthy controls. In conclusion, TYK2 is not a genetic risk factor for SLE in a Japanese population. Our result suggests that there is an ethnic difference in the susceptibility genes for SLE.
      https://www.researchgate.net/publication/24425941_Lack_of_association_between_tyrosine_kinase_2_TYK2_gene_polymorphisms_and_susceptibility_to_SLE_in_a_Japanese_population

      Let’s presume that among East Asians, in general, gene TYK2 does not cause an immune system overreaction (cytokine storm). Well, if an East Asian laboratory was going to design a virus to selectively impact different populations with different severity, then maybe it would use subtle general population genetic differences as the framework for that design.

      But I’m not suggesting a conspiracy here.

      1. baffling

        bruce, this is a very poor argument. this is a conspiracy theory you are trying to promote. your innuendo is unsubstantiated. this should be cause for ban from social media sites. its obvious you have no ethical or moral compass.

        1. Bruce Hall

          baffling, you presume too much.

          This is a good example of how two seemly related medical investigations can be construed as a conspiracy theory. Now, given the different working of this specific gene in different populations, it could explain some of the differences in COVID responses, especially deaths. But beyond that, there is no “evidence” of a conspiracy to use those differences nefariously.

          But thanks for taking the bait. You are conditioned to react like those “angry cells” when there is the slightest insinuation of a position you consider offensive. Sort of like Will Smith. The proper response is a rebuttal based on science, medicine, and data.

          Let me help you out here. https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/mortality
          If there was a strong connection between mortality rates and racial gene operation, it should show up in the data. The reported mortality rate for China is approximately the same as that for Spain and Italy. This would be a good indication that the hypothesis is incorrect. [Observed Case-Fatality Ratio tab]

          Now, when it comes to reporting of cases and deaths, there could be some serious differences and obfuscations. Or there could be a genetic component at work [Deaths per 100,000 Population tab] Look at the geography of the countries with the lowest Deaths per 100,000 population.

          From early in the pandemic:
          https://thehill.com/policy/international/490588-us-intel-agencies-conclude-china-has-under-reported-coronavirus-cases

          From later in the pandemic:
          https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/coronavirus/china-reports-first-covid-19-deaths-in-more-than-a-year/2842285/

          It could be that China was simply better prepared for the outbreak and more effective in isolating the virus. But given the rest of the world’s statistics, one could not be criticized too severely for suspecting China has seriously underreported cases and deaths.

          Does this help you?

          1. pgl

            “This is a good example of how two seemly related medical investigations can be construed as a conspiracy theory.”

            So there is no conspiracy which makes one wonder WTF the original point really was? You do know flip flopping like this is not going to make you the most popular dude at the next KKK meeting.

          2. baffling

            “The proper response is a rebuttal based on science, medicine, and data.”
            bruce, i gave you a proper response. you presented two unrelated cases, and tried to use innuendo to imply a link between the two. please don’t use “But I’m not suggesting a conspiracy here.” to provide your cover. that is EXACTLY what you were trying to do. it was not a scientific argument you presented. it did not require a scientific response. it just needed to be called what it was, silly. such fact free innuendo is what you have no moral or ethical compass. you want to promote disinformation, not information.

        2. Moses Herzog

          I think Bruce has been reading the new book on Covid-19 and Wuhan Lab Scientists co-authored by David Ignatius, Barkley Junior, and W. Bush, titled “Fool Me Once, Shame On Craptacular Theories, Fool Me 30 Times…….. You Can’t Fool Me 31 Times”. You can find it in the “Russian Super Spy” section of Barnes and Noble.

        3. pgl

          Bruce Hall is clearly incompetent when it comes to biopharma research. They test on different populations to understand what patients respond favorably or unfavorably to treatments all the time. It is called good practices.

          But leave it to our favorite KKK member to think somehow this is some East Asian scheme to get the white boys.

  10. Ivan

    We clearly made things more expensive for our own producers of products made with iron and steel. How about the price for foreign companies competing against those US companies who had to pay more for iron and steel?

    1. baffling

      this will simply revisit the need to increase the number of justices on the Supreme Court. a larger number of justices reduces the impact of any one judge due to a conflict of interest.

      1. pgl

        Let the court have 11 justices and force corrupt Thomas off the bench and Biden will get to nominate 3 more justices in addition to the highly qualified nominee being considered now. The idea that there might be 6 justices who are not Federalists will cause Mitch McConnell to lose his mind, which would make my day.

  11. pgl

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/PIORECRUSDM

    A few questions for our host if does not mind:

    FRED publishes certainly global price of various commodities such as iron ore, copper (link is for the former). First question is how does this series related to the series noted in your post.

    Secondly – FRED’s last update was 12/15/2021 so these monthly series only goes through Nov. 21. Is the IMF just a little or have they ended the reporting of these monthly series? And if the latter – is there an alternative reporting for these commodity prices.

  12. joseph

    It’s interesting that the inflation hawks want to keep tariffs to protect corporate profits for favored industries but instead want to raise interest rates to put people out of work to fight inflation.

  13. Moses Herzog

    Ever hear the phrase “Karma is a b*tch” ?? This is what they were talking about:
    https://www.yahoo.com/news/unprotected-russian-soldiers-disturbed-radioactive-165419388.html

    If these Russian soldiers who went through the red forest survive the war (I’d say that’s 50/50 at this point) some day in some health journal article or WaPo article we will read about the X number out of Y number of these soldiers who ended up dying an early death due to cancer etc. I’m wondering how hard it would be as a Russian to know the history and find the “Red Forest” on an old school paper map or Google. Even if Google was down in that region, surely you could have figured it out with a semi-quality paper map??

  14. Macroduck

    Bill Dudley is warning that the Fed will induce a recession in trying to tame inflation:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2022-03-29/is-a-recession-coming-the-fed-has-made-it-inevitable

    His argument is that the Fed only manages to tighten monetary policy without inducing recession when it doesn’t harm labor demand. This is, as Dudley notes, the point behind the Sahm Rule. The Fed has allowed the labor market to become too tight and so will induce recession in combating inflation.

    Dudley is making a Philips curve argument, blaming inflation on the tightness of the labor market. Disruption to supply, skewing of demand toward goods, war in Ukraine – he largely ignores those. We are unlikely to settle disagreements over Covid/ Ukraine shock vs Phillips curve because contractionary monetary and fiscal policy will slow inflation regardless of its cause.

    1. Moses Herzog

      @ Macroduck
      I mean, if you or others have a different take on the current business media environment I’m happy to listen, I don’t have cable TV and catch things like Bloomberg “catch as catch can” on YT etc. So my view on business media right now may be “skewed”. But I gotta say it is kinda killing me how little people are including war in the inflation picture. I mean a lot of people like Kopits who are falsely saying “I was right on oil prices” or “I was right on inflation”. Never mind Kopits was about 10 weeks late on his prediction. But the fact that you know when Kopits and these other clowns made the prediction, they had no idea whether war would break out, and most likely would have bet against it at the time they made the prediction. i.e~~they walked A** backwards into being “right”.

  15. T. Shaw

    According to AAF, in 15 months the Biden Administration hasn’t reversed these horrible tariffs.

      1. Moses Herzog

        @ Menzie
        What’s the current over/under in Vegas on the number of future posts you make before T. Shaw calls you “partisan” and that “you never say anything bad about President Biden”??

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