It’s a question that has torn this nation apart for far too long, dividing families, rending marriages in two, leaving scars that may never heal on the flesh and in the souls of good Americans: Is the Snuggie a blanket that just happens to have sleeves, or is it a garment, like an oversized bathrobe that you wear backwards? While it may not change your deeply felt personal opinion on this matter, a federal court has made its opinion known. [More]
The food companies say we are on the brink of a sugar shortage that will wreak havoc on your candy bars and all that. According to the WSJ several large food companies including Kraft Foods Inc., General Mills Inc., Hershey Co. and Mars Inc. sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack warning that the US could run out of sugar if we don’t get rid of some tariffs.
Allen Harkleroad of GMP Services writes, “A warning to all Sprint corporate customers that have dedicated access (T1’s, etc.) if you are out of contract Sprint may be gouging you and claiming outrageously high local loop charges as the cause.”
Several clothing makers, including Steve Madden, Asics and Columbia Sportswear are suing the government over discriminatory gender-based tariffs. For example, Congress levies a 28% tariff on men’s bathing suits, but only a 12% tariff on women’s bathing suits.
If the clothing companies prevail, they could reclaim close to $1 billion worth of tariffs based on gender differences. For example, the lawsuit claims that the government earned $2.5 million last year from discriminatory tariffs on underpants (penalizing women), $93 million for cotton shirts (penalizing men), $16 million for silk shirts (penalizing women) and $71 million for shoes with leather tops (women again).
Tariffs are the quiet cousin of taxes; you seldom see a charge for tariffs, though they are factored into the cost of a wide array items manufactured overseas. To make the suit moot, the government may equalize tariffs at the higher level, which would hurt clothing makers and consumers alike. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER
“It started out so innocently…”