Country Rankings - Lithuania
Apr 18, 2013 Lithuania: mistreat ChinaOne country which is conspicuous by its absence from the TPP talks is of course China. Although there are ongoing negotiations between the Middle Kingdom and various other countries, and China has FTAs with a scattering of other countries, notably including ASEAN and New Zealand, on the whole it is lagging. And it considers itself as an injured party in trade affairs, complaining this week about the level of "dumping" and "counter-vailing" measures it is subject to, particular emanating from the USA. A lot of the problem revolves around the designation of China as a "non-market economy" (NME). For anyone who, like me, finds it extraordinary that China should still be regarded as an NME, a word of explanation is in order: an NME is a country in which the State subsidizes enterprises or indulges in other non-market behaviour, despite WTO rules against it. So, an NME is allowed to cheat, if you will; but the other side of the coin is that for an aggrieved counter-party, the burden of proof is lower in anti-dumping proceedings. China's accession agreement to the WTO allows it to retain NME status only until 2015; but the change is not in China's gift, and both the USA and the EU persist in regarding China as an NME, despite frequent requests from China for them to treat it as a market economy.
Dec 31, 2012 Lithuania: ends the year badlyAlgirdas Šemeta, the EU's Tax Commissioner, must be a very persuasive man since he has convinced Lithuania to join the EU's geometrical suicide pact, otherwise known as the Financial Transactions Tax. Of course it may just have helped that he is Lithuanian himself. I don't know much about Lithuania, although I had a Lithuanian boy-friend once, not called Šemeta, but fairly unpronounceable all the same. As a result I have a Lithuanian dictionary in my library, but it doesn't get much used. Lithuania is not in fact a very high-taxing country: it relies more on indirect taxes than direct ones, which is modern and correct; and it's overall tax take is no more than 30% of GDP. That doesn't seem to square with a Tax Freedom Day in mid-June, although I'm sure clever Mr Šemeta could explain it. Anyway, a black mark to poor Lithuania for mounting the backwards-pointing Tobin horse.