Trade News: On Being Single and Other Necessary Vices

From U.S. Census: Facts for Features — Unmarried and Single Americans Week Sept. 18-24, 2011. “National Singles Week” was started by the Buckeye Singles Council in Ohio in the 1980s to celebrate single life and recognize singles and their contributions to society. A few interesting numbers about us singles:

  • 99.6 million: Number of unmarried people in America 18 and older in 2010 – 43.6 percent of all U.S. residents 18 and older.
  • 61%: Percentage of unmarried U.S. residents 18 and older who had never been married. Another 23.8 percent were divorced, and 14.4 percent were widowed.
  • 88: Number of unmarried men 18 and older for every 100 unmarried women in the United States
  • 31.4 million: Number of people who live alone. They comprised 27 percent of all households, up from 17 percent in 1970.
  • 6.5 million: Number of unmarried-partner households in 2009. Of this number, 581,300 were same-sex households.
  • 11.7 million: Number of single parents living with their children in 2010. Of these, 9.9 million were single mothers and 1.8 million were single fathers.

From Intl. Econ. Law blog: The U.S. – Clove Cigarettes Panel Report. In 2009 America banned cigarettes with fruit, confectionery, or clove flavours, arguing that these encouraged young people to smoke. While flavours such as toffee and strawberry were banned, menthol flavoured cigarettes remained on the market.  Indonesia – accounting for nearly 100 percent of the US clove cigarette market – argued that this partial ban discriminated against its products vis a vis like-products as “virtually all menthol cigarettes sold in the US are produced domestically.” All other flavoured cigarettes are also produced abroad.

From the ITCSD: WTO Disputes Roundup: Rulings Issued on Spirits. Sugar and palm are frequently used to produce non-traditional spirits such as brandy, whiskey, tequila, and gin. As these drinks are advertised accordingly, the EU and US had argued that foreign spirits with the same name, even if produced from different feed-stock, were in direct competition with their local counterparts – making them ‘like’ in the eyes of WTO law.

From Euromonitor: I Can See You! Smartphone Use Drives Boom in the Use of Geolocation Software. In 1984 George Orwell’s dystopian science-fiction novel, one of the main technologies used by the totalitarian government of Oceania to monitor its population was the “telescreen,” a two-way television that allowed the viewer to simultaneously watch and be watched. This gave rise to one of the most quoted phrases in literature: “Big Brother is watching you.”  A combination of smartphones and the global positioning system have now made tracking, sometimes called “geotagging” or “geolocation,” an everyday technology.

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