You are here

Free Trade, Satellite Radio and Lead Paint in Court

Daily Update

Title

Free Trade, Satellite Radio and Lead Paint in Court

A free trade agreement with Colombia continues to be stalled in Congress. 

Democratic senators continue to hold up approval of the merger of XM and Sirius Satellite Radio.

The Rhode Island Supreme Court overturns a billion-dollar verdict against companies that once made lead paint.

1. POLITICS

A free trade agreement with Colombia continues to be stalled in Congress.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Adjunct Fellow Fran Smith on why the agreement deserves a speedy vote:

“The agreement would benefit both nations’ economies and would be a positive foreign policy gesture. The trade pact is especially important for the U.S. In the first quarter of 2008, economic growth was an anemic 0.9 percent. Nine thousand American companies that do business with Colombia stand to benefit. So do consumers.”

 

2. TECHNOLOGY

Democratic senators continue to hold up approval of the merger of XM and Sirius Satellite Radio.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Vice President for Policy Wayne Crews on the merger review process:

“Regulators should refrain from using the merger review process to extract a parade of concessions from these struggling companies. Meanwhile, antitrust policy should allow aggressive competitive responses to the combination. Wall Street, investors, programmers, consumers, already-poised rivals, and new entrants collectively will discipline more thoroughly than could the Federal Communications Commission. That’s as it should be.”

 

3. LEGAL

The Rhode Island Supreme Court overturns a billion-dollar verdict against companies that once made lead paint.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Special Projects Counsel Hans Bader on the politics behind the case:

“Trial lawyers hired by the Rhode Island attorney general were aiming to obtain the most expensive remedy possible, even if it wasn’t the best for the public health (it’s more expensive to remove every drop of lead paint from an old building, but sometimes it’s safer just to maintain the paint than remove it). That’s because they were hired on a contingency fee, which would have resulted in them receiving untold millions of dollars if the remedy was expensive. Those lawyers made political donations to the current and former Rhode Island AGs, which a clean government advocate noted ‘doesn’t pass the smell test.’”