East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, August 03, 2019, WEEKEND EDITION, Page A8, Image 8

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East Oregonian
Saturday, August 3, 2019
Landmark U.S.-Russia arms control treaty is dead
United States,
Russia both
walk away from
Nuclear Forces
Associated Press
landmark arms control
treaty that President Ronald
Reagan and Soviet leader
Mikhail Gorbachev signed
three decades ago is dead,
prompting fears of a new
global arms race.
The United States and
Russia both walked away
from the Intermediate-range
Nuclear Forces treaty on
Friday. If they choose not to
extend or replace the larger
New START treaty when it
expires in early 2021, there
will be no legally binding
limits on the world’s two
largest nuclear arsenals for
the first time in nearly a half
The U.S. blames Rus-
sia for the demise of the
treaty, saying that for years
Moscow has been devel-
oping and fielding weap-
ons that violate the treaty
and threaten the U.S. and
its allies, particularly in
But without the con-
straints of the treaty, the
Trump administration says
it can now counter Rus-
sia — and China. The U.S.
has complained for years of
an unfair playing field —
that Russia was develop-
ing weapons that violated
the treaty and China, which
wasn’t a signatory, was
developing similar weapons
that would have violated it,
President Donald Trump
hasn’t committed to extend-
ing or replacing New
START, which imposed
limits starting in 2018 on
the number of U.S. and Rus-
sian long-range nuclear war-
heads and launchers. Trump
has called New START “just
another bad deal” made by
the Obama administration,
and Trump’s national secu-
rity adviser, John Bolton,
AP Photo
A Russian Iskander-K missile launches during a military ex-
ercise at a training ground at the Luzhsky Range, near St. Pe-
tersburg, Russia. A landmark arms control treaty that Pres-
ident Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev
signed three decades ago is dead. The U.S. and Russia both
walked away from the deal on Friday.
said in June that it’s unlikely
the administration will
agree to extend the treaty
for five years, which could
be done without legislative
action in either capital.
The Trump adminis-
tration thinks talks about
extending New START are
premature. The administra-
tion claims that with China’s
growing arsenal of nuclear
warheads, Beijing can no
longer be excluded from
nuclear arms control agree-
ments. Trump has expressed
a desire to negotiate a tri-
lateral arms control deal
signed by the U.S., Russia
and China.
“We’ll see what hap-
pens,” Trump told report-
ers at the White House on
Thursday. “I will say Russia
would like to do something
on a nuclear treaty and that’s
OK with me. They’d like to
do something and so would
German Foreign Min-
ister Heiko Maas said this
week that the collapse of the
treaty means a bit of secu-
rity in Europe is being lost.
“We regret the fact that
Russia has not done what
was necessary to save the
INF treaty. Now we call
all the more on Russia and
the U.S. to preserve the
New START treaty as a
cornerstone of worldwide
arms control,” Maas said.
“Nuclear powers, such as
China, must also face up to
their responsibility on arms
control — they have more
weight in the world than at
the time of the Cold War.”
Arms control advocates
remain worried about the
Laura Kennedy, who for-
merly represented the U.S.
at the Conference on Disar-
mament in Geneva, warned
Americans not to let their
eyes glaze over when con-
fronted with the complex
diplomacy of arms control.
She said they should raise
the issue now with Congress
and all candidates running
for the White House in 2020.
“This isn’t ‘wonkiness.’
It’s our future and the future
of the planet,” Kennedy
said. “Nuclear issues are so
consequential that we sim-
ply cannot abandon a seri-
ous arms control effort. Nor
can the U.S. afford to cite its
concerns over INF or other
issues as an excuse to let the
New START treaty lapse.”
Over its lifetime, the
1987 so-called INF treaty
led to the elimination of
2,692 U.S. and Soviet Union
nuclear and conventional
ground-launched ballistic
and cruise missiles. Until its
demise, the treaty banned
land-based missiles with a
range between 310 and 3,410
David Wright, co-di-
rector of the Global Secu-
rity Program at the Union
of Concerned Scientists,
said withdrawing from the
treaty was “shortsighted.”
He said it will trigger a
competition in convention-
ally armed missiles that will
undermine stability.
How Trump’s latest China tariffs could squeeze U.S. consumers
Latest tariffs could
cost $200 a year
per household
Associated Press
latest batch of tariffs that
President Donald Trump
plans to impose on Chi-
nese goods would likely cost
U.S. households an average
of $200 a year, some econo-
mists have estimated.
That would come on top
of the roughly $831 imposed
per household from Trump’s
existing tariffs, according to
a New York Federal Reserve
Trump plans to tax $300
billion of Chinese imports
at 10% starting in Septem-
ber with the goal of accelerat-
ing trade talks with Beijing to
favor the United States. The
new tariffs would be in addi-
tion to 25% tariffs Trump
has imposed on $250 billion
in Chinese products. Those
are mostly industrial goods.
By contrast, the new tariffs
would target products used
by American consumers,
such as shoes, clothing and
By Friday, Trump’s new
planned tariffs had trig-
gered worries, especially
among retailers, about the
consequences. Retail stores,
many of which have been
struggling, would have to
make the painful choice of
either absorbing the higher
costs from the new tariffs or
imposing them on price-con-
scious customers.
Additionally, China has
signaled the likelihood of
imposing counter-tariffs on
U.S. goods, which would hurt
American exporters. The
stock market sold off sharply
on Friday, in part over con-
cerns about the effect on cor-
porate profits.
Some economists have
estimated that Trump’s addi-
tional tariffs would cost an
average U.S. household $200
a year. For retailers already
feeling pressure, the higher
prices would hit hard as the
critically important holiday
shopping season is getting
Some companies are con-
sidering moving up their
delivery of goods before the
new tariffs take effect. Isaac
Larian, CEO of Los Ange-
les-based MGA Entertain-
ment, which makes the pop-
ular L.O.L. doll, said the
company will be accelerat-
ing shipments from China to
the U.S. ahead of the Sept. 1
deadline — and will pay an
extra $300 to $400 more per
shipping container to do so.
He envisions having to
raise prices 10% across his
entire toy line.
“A lot of consumers can’t
afford it, and demand will go
down,” Larian said.
Peter Bragdon, executive
vice president at Columbia
Sportswear, said the com-
pany had been diversify-
ing away from China and
now makes products in more
than 20 countries. He said he
thinks companies, such as
Columbia Sportswear, will
fare better than the smaller
outdoor rivals.
“The larger companies
that have the experience are
going to be able to weather
really bad public policy,” he
Washington and Bei-
jing are locked in a battle
over complaints that China
steals or pressures compa-
nies to hand over technol-
ogy. The Trump administra-
tion worries that American
industrial leadership might
be threatened by Chinese
plans for government-led cre-
ation of global competitors in
robotics and other technolo-
gies. Europe and Japan echo
U.S. complaints that those
plans violate Beijing’s mar-
ket-opening commitments.
Companies were already
shifting to suppliers outside
of China in countries, such as
Vietnam, to avoid the exist-
ing tariffs on $250 billion
worth of Chinese imports.
But plenty of clothing and
footwear companies are still
vulnerable as importing for
holiday sales is starting —
and the president’s announce-
ment means that all Chinese
imports might be taxed.
In 2018, 42% of all U.S.
sold apparel was made in
China, according to the
American Apparel & Foot-
wear Association, a trade
group. That number is 69%
for footwear.
“This creates a cash
crunch, a lot of confusion
and uncertainty,” said Steve
Lamar, executive vice pres-
ident of the trade group. “It
couldn’t come at a worse
The Trump administra-
tion has publicly denied that
consumers would be signifi-
cantly harmed by the tariffs.
“Any consumer impact
is very, very small,” Larry
Kudlow, director of the
National Economic Council,
told reporters Friday.
The tariffs taken together
would more than wipe out
the savings a middle-class
household received from
Trump’s 2017 income tax
cuts. The average tax filer
earning between $50,000
and $75,000 paid $841 less in
taxes last year, according to
Congress’ Joint Committee
on Taxation.
Many economists fore-
cast that the proposed tar-
iffs would shave about 0.1%
off economic growth but that
the real risk is a further esca-
lation and side effects that
could be devastating.
Douglas Porter, chief
economist at BMO Capital
Markets, compared the pres-
ident’s moves to the errors
that ultimately led to the ter-
rifyingly destructive World
War I.
He said of World War I,
“Leaders were relentlessly
overconfident on the pros-
pects of victory, fully con-
vinced that any war would
be brief, incompetent in plan-
ning and execution, and mis-
calculated economic damage.
Accordingly, the war dragged
on for over four years at ter-
rible, terrible costs. See any
In answer to his own ques-
tion, Porter noted that Trump
has declared trade wars are
“good” and “easy to win.”
On Friday, China threat-
ened retaliation in ways that
could magnify the poten-
tial damage to both of the
world’s two biggest econo-
mies. Stocks fell around the
globe as investors adjusted to
these risks.
accused Trump of violat-
ing his June agreement
with President Xi Jinping
to revive negotiations aimed
at ending a costly fight over
Beijing’s trade surplus and
technology ambitions.
Cities now see more overdose
deaths than rural areas
Associated Press
NEW YORK — U.S. drug
overdose deaths, which have
been concentrated in Appala-
chia and other rural areas for
more than a dozen years, are
back to being most common
in big cities again, according
to a government report issued
The report by the Centers
for Disease Control and Pre-
vention said the urban over-
dose death rate surpassed the
rural rate in 2016 and 2017.
Rates for last year and this
year are not yet available. But
experts, citing available data,
say the urban rate is likely to
stay higher in the near future.
The difference between
the urban and rural coun-
ties was not large. In 2017,
there were 22 overdose deaths
per 100,000 people living in
urban areas, compared with
20 per 100,000 in rural areas.
The nation is battling the
deadliest drug overdose epi-
demic in U.S. history. About
68,000 Americans died of
overdoses last year, according
to preliminary CDC statistics
reported last month.
Experts believe the epi-
demic has been playing out
differently in different parts
of the country, and they say
it is best understood by com-
paring geographic regions —
Appalachia and the Northeast,
for example.
The new CDC report
looked at urban and rural
overdose death rates for the
nation overall. The research-
ers found both rates have been
rising, but the urban rate shot
3234 S.W. Nye Pendleton, OR
AP Photo/Steven Senne
An unidentified heroin user, left, is injected by another man,
right, on the street near a strip of land sometimes referred to
as “Methadone Mile,” in Boston.
up more dramatically after
2015 to surpass the rural rate.
New York, Chicago and
Baltimore all reported dra-
matic spikes in overdose
deaths in the last few years,
and they are not alone.
Diego Cuadros, a Univer-
sity of Cincinnati researcher,
said the CDC findings are
consistent with what he and
his colleagues have seen in
“Most of the hot spots are
in the urban areas,” he said.
The CDC found the urban
rates are driven by deaths in
men and deaths from heroin,
fentanyl and cocaine.
That probably is due to a
shift in the current overdose
epidemic, said Dr. Daniel Cic-
carone, a drug policy expert at
the University of California,
San Francisco.
The epidemic was initially
driven by opioid pain pills,
which were often as widely
available in the country as in
the city. But then many drug
users shifted to heroin and
then to fentanyl, and the ille-
gal drug distribution sys-
tem for heroin and fentanyl is
more developed in cities, Cic-
carone said.
Another possible expla-
nation is increasing overdose
deaths among blacks and His-
panics, including those con-
centrated in urban areas, he
“Early on, this was seen as
an epidemic affecting whites
more than other groups,” he
said. “Increasingly, deaths
in urban areas are starting to
look brown and black.”
Women still die of over-
doses at higher rates in rural
areas, the CDC report found.
And death rates tied to meth-
amphetamine and prescrip-
tion opioid painkillers remain
higher in rural areas, too.
Using death certificate
data, the CDC research-
ers looked at whether over-
dose victims were living in
rural or urban counties at the
time they died. They defined
urban areas as counties with
large and small cities and their
suburbs. Rural areas were
non-suburban counties with
fewer than 50,000 residents.
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