USTR investigation not the focus of France as they pass big tech tax, says trade expert

The United States announced this week that it will launch an investigation under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 into a proposed French digital services tax (DST) aimed at global technology companies.

“What the USTR is investigating is whether or not this so-called GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) tax, which would be on 3% of the sales revenue that those companies earn in France would be discriminatory against U.S. companies,” said Raj Bhala, Brennesein Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Kansas and a Senior Advisor at Dentons.

A currency war won’t remedy trade war tensions

At the Group of 20 Summit in Osaka on 28-29 June, world leaders discussed threats to free, open trade from tariff wars. Underlying their protestations against protectionism were fears about foreign exchange markets. They, along with businesspersons, economists, policy analysts, and lawyers, appreciate that rising, reciprocal trade barriers are linked to the relative strengths of currencies.

Kansas praise follows court ruling to block citizenship question on census

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling to block plans by the administration of President Donald Trump to ask people if they were U.S. citizens during the 2020 census earned academic and political praise from Kansans skeptical of that line of inquiry.

The Trump administration argued the question was a legitimate feature of a plan to improve enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. A question about citizenship status hasn’t been part of the census since the 1950s.

Kansas abortion ruling prompts new legal attack on death penalty

TOPEKA — A recent Kansas Supreme Court ruling declaring that the state constitution protects access to abortion opened the door to a new legal attack on the death penalty.

Attorneys for five of the 10 men on death row in Kansas argue that the abortion decision means the state’s courts can enforce the broad guarantees of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” in the Bill of Rights in the Kansas Constitution. The lawyers contend the convicted killers cannot be executed because capital punishment violates their “inalienable” right to life.

New Alabama law permits Christian church to establish its own police force

Creeping Christian theocracy: Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has signed a bill into law allowing  a fundamentalist Christian church to establish its own police force.

Say “Hello” to the American Taliban.

Associated Press reports:

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has signed legislation permitting Briarwood Presbyterian Church to establish its own police force for its church and school campuses.

The law approved two weeks ago allows the Birmingham-based church to set-up a private law enforcement department to make arrests when crimes are committed on its properties.

Quinton Lucas scores decisive win over Jolie Justus in Kansas City mayor’s race

Quinton Lucas, who rose from poverty and homelessness on Kansas City’s East Side to become an Ivy League-educated lawyer and City Council member, won a decisive victory in the mayor’s race Tuesday night, becoming the youngest person to win the office in more than a century.

Unofficial results showed Lucas, a 3rd District at-large councilman, with a commanding lead over his opponent, Councilwoman Jolie Justus, 4th District, capturing more than 58% of the vote with 90% of precincts reporting.

Lawrence chamber says effects of tariffs on Mexico will likely be harmful

If the United States imposes tariffs on Mexican imports next week, the Lawrence chamber of commerce does not know how exactly it will affect the local economy, but it will likely be harmful.

“Unfortunately, we may learn that the hard way if these tariffs are sustained or ramp up as the president has threatened,” Hugh Carter, the chamber’s vice president for external affairs, said of the possible effect.

If Trump imposes tariffs, Mexico has options, says trade law expert

If President Donald Trump executes an executive order imposing 5 percent tariffs on Mexico as he has threatened to do, the Mexican government has several ways it can push back against the action, according to a trade law expert. Raj Bhala is the Brennesein Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas Law School, and a Senior Advisor at Dentons.

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