November 01, 2006

A Pressing Matter

From EU imposes tariffs on ironing boards from China and Ukraine
The European Union imposed tariffs of as much as 38.1% on ironing boards from China and Ukraine, seeking to shield British, Italian and Polish producers from imports that represent about half the EU market . . .

EU ironing-board makers suffered “material injury” because “low-priced, dumped imports from the People's Republic of China and Ukraine increased dramatically,” the Brussels- based European Commission said today in the Official Journal . . .

The EU imported about 4.1 million ironing boards from China and Ukraine in 2005, according to the commission, which said EU manufacturers sold half that number in the bloc last year.
I don't really have much to add to this, except to say:

(a) The EU has way too much time on its hands.

(b) Do we think that six million ironing boards is a surprisingly large or a surprisingly small number? My first instinct was large ("six million per year?! Are there really that many people in Europe who don't already have an ironing board?"), but on reflection I think maybe it's kind of small ("only six million? Do all the kids leaving for college still send their clothes home to be ironed, or what?").

(c) What do you think six million ironing boards looks like?

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