Thursday, June 24, 2010

Our New #2 Export: Law Suits

Notice how when there were giant problems in the Gulf of Mexico, our President sent a team of crack ... lawyers? Not engineers, not people who do things, but people who sue people. (...are the luckiest people...in the world!)

Well, our number 1 export today, by FAR, is debt. We make debt in Washington, and we sell it overseas. Surprisingly, we can sell it at a pretty high price*, because American debt is better quality than other sovereign debt, especially those snivelling Europeans. Their debt is low quality, and when you take it out of the box it's all coated with Greece. Yuck.

But it appears that our new second largest exports, if this Congress has its way, will be law suits. Got this note from SL:

Has anybody been paying attention to this delightful little treasure - The Foreign Manufacturers Legal Accountability Act?

It would require foreign manufacturers and producers that import products into the United States to designate a registered agent who is authorized to accept service of process here in the United States. It also imposes new burdens on importers - all importers.

It is being queued up in House Energy and Commerce and, on the Senate side, as part of tax extenders.

Marianne Rowden from AAEI had a good analysis of this bill when she testified on it last week in Energy and Commerce

I wonder if the massive export of lawsuits that this legislation will unleash will ultimately count toward the doubling of exports envisioned under the NEI?


Well, yes, I bet it does. And if you combine our exports of debt and our exports of lawsuits, I surmise that will be ALL of our increased exports. Our entire corps** of government officials at this point is composed of people who have never made anything except good grades in law school.

*Thanks to Angus for the correction. I had said "low price," when I meant low yield, which of course implies a HIGH price from the perspective of the purchaser.
**pronounced "core" not "corpse"