By on July 12, 2018

Donald Trump, public domain

The past week has seen a flurry of trade trade announcements — none of them particularly promising for the United States. After a brief moment where President Donald Trump’s tariff threats seemed to have a positive impact on the European Union, Germany threw new support behind China as the People’s Republic issued a stunningly large 40-percent retaliatory tax on vehicles imported from America.

While Europe and the U.S. still might work out a zero tariff deal on automobiles, the recent activity has led Trump to respond with another warning. He now claims if the region cannot engage in fair trading practices with the United States, he’ll further restrict imported cars.

The president is scheduled to discuss trade with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Washington later this month, and the matter will assuredly be a central topic.

“That’ll change also and I think we’ll see that because on the 25th of July they’re coming in to start negotiations with me. We’ll see,” he said after a meeting with NATO leaders. “And if they don’t negotiate in good faith we’ll do something having to do with all the millions of cars that are coming into our country and being taxed at a virtually zero level, at a very low level … I think it’s been a very effective way of negotiating, but I’m not negotiating, I just want fairness for the United States.”

Currently, United States taxes imported vehicles at 2.5 percent and light trucks at a less-fair-sounding 25 percent. Europe has its vehicle import tariffs set at a relatively flat 10 percent.

The U.S. Senate opposes the president’s proposals to raise car tariffs on the grounds of protecting “national security.” In a 88-11 vote Wednesday, it approved a symbolic motion backing a role from Congress in ratifying the imposition of such tariffs. But the key words there are symbolic and motion; there’s no authority behind it.

Trump’s recent gripes seemed to be in response to his assumption that U.S. farmers are losing ground in terms of exports, though he also cited Germany’s energy deal with Russia and the increasingly large influence China has in the region. The NATO trip also saw him telling allies they need spend more on their own defense if they’re not interested in working together on matters of trade. His big play for now, however, remains automotive in nature. If Europe can’t play on terms he finds favorable, he’ll strike out at its most profitable industry.

[Source: Reuters]

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149 Comments on “Trade War Watch: Trump’s Not Letting Up on Europe’s 10 Percent Solution...”


  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Well I told you Matt. Research what you put forward.

    There has been plenty of news releases stating how the EU and China are working to counter Trump’s unrealistic expectations.

    Oh, he achieved nothing with his NATO talks. The NATO members stated they are sticking to the 2014 agreement.

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      China has a $1 trillion international inferstructure plan called “Road and belt” to spur trade with the Middle East, Europe, India, SE Asia and Africa. Meanwhile we put up walls.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      China and the EU have been working together for a long time to exploit the US consumer market, which is largely unprotected. Additional collusion is not going to benefit either of them.

      Their economic model is predicated on the rip off of the United States. We have the only functional consumer marketplace in the world (still, sadly). The EU and China can’t accomplish anything without US consumers bankrolling them, and China’s only ambition is to do to the EU what it did to the US.

      If they had a giant pot of gold waiting for them, they wouldn’t be threatening the US. The sad reality is that they are both utterly dependent on the US, and US protectionism could really wreck the picnic they are enjoying on our front lawn.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        TW5,
        Your comments are becoming vague with no evidence to support your position.

        Again, I ask provide proof of your statement, from sources other than far right or left.

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          @ BAfO

          If you put the pieces together it will make sense.

          China, Japan, and the EU hold about $3.5T in US treasuries. They hold US treasuries not because the yields are high (they aren’t), but because they must thwart movements in the currency exchange rates that would rebalance trade. They also use trade barriers to protect their trade surplus in case meetings between central banks put a damper on their manipulation schemes.

          The US trade deficit is synthetic. Foreign governments and US hedge funds are redistributing America’s wealth in hopes of creating new consumer marketplaces with bigger populations. We give away America’s industrial capacity and intellectual property, and they give Wall Street a half trillion dollars in foreign capital to play around with each year. The government attempts to tell Wall Street how to apportion the capital afforded to them by the fake trade deficit (housing crisis).

          That’s it. It’s not rocket science. Looting America is easy. Politicians are happy to play along, and the populace has generally been too scared or too dumb to react.

          Those days are over.

      • 0 avatar
        Lockstops

        TW5: Very well put.

        For the EU’s rotten foundations and corrupt ‘owners’ it is completely natural to collude with a horrible dictatorship like China. The EU is so absolutely rotten that they’ll do anything at all to get a bit more advantage for the EU elite no matter what cost to others or long-term cost to Europe.

        TW5 hits the nail on the head: The USA is the only functioning democratic free market economy. That’s what gives the USA its advantage. Others like Europe and China are burdened extremely heavily by their corrupt governments and elites’ plundering. Their markets are heavily skewed due to corruption-led regulations making it far from free for companies to operate in. Then in addition to that corrupt governments use taxation, benefits, regulations etc. to tie consumers’ hands behind their backs and they basically force consumers to consume certain things/certain types of things/products from certain companies. Which they then exploit through corruption. Everything is strongly under government control meaning that the market can’t operate freely. Even if they tried the no government has the ability to govern markets intelligently, flexibly, optimally enough to match free markets. And they are not trying: they use their power, their position of control to sell it to companies. And it’s always the same: they sell their power (make laws, interpret laws, allocate government funds etc.) for a relatively small sum of cash for themselves or their parties but the damage caused to the people due to that corruption is exponentially higher!

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          Some of the strangest postings I have read on this site.

          “The USA is the only functioning democratic free market.”
          “The rulers of the EU are colluding with China.”

          Well hope that those tinfoil hats are working for you both. :-)

          The EU doesn’t collude with China. The EU has trouble trying to exert control over its member states.

          There are many democracies in the world. Primarily in Europe and the Northern Hemisphere. Some with higher standards of living than the USA. Some with more democracy/freedom. And some that have zero need for American goods.

          Your ‘fake news’ has directed you to fake enemies. The real culprits are multi-national corporations, who promote false ‘free market’ theories and in return profit from ‘free trade’ agreements to offshore production and move their capital to tax havens.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Arthur,
            Well put and concise.

            It isn’t so much the multinationals as a lack of controls ensuring the wealth created is distributed more evenly.

            The US right now has more than enough wealth to sate its populace. Its just poorly distributed among the people.

            Trump rather recognising this and trying to redistribute US wealth onshore and off shore is enciting Nationalism with the use of xenophobia blaming all but the real causes of issues within the US.

            Its easier to blame Mexicans, Canadians, the EU, etc rather than saying we are failing here.

            I do support multilateralism, how individual nations distribute the wealth it generates is up to them.

            But the US (Trump) lashing out and not fixing the internal US issues, lack of health, poor minimum wage, lack of retraining/education, disparity, etc will not fix the root cause of America’s woes.

            All OECD economies are confronted with similar challenges. The US is not alone here.

            Maybe we should work together more closely to ensure the “West” can influence democracy and maintain our style and standard of life.

          • 0 avatar
            Lockstops

            No, Arthur, no tin foil hats needed and not strange.

            You are right that the EU has trouble trying to exert control over its member states …if you think of the EU in a way that is fiction. The official ‘front’ of the EU is that it’s everything that everyone wants it to be. The EU markets itself as not having, or wanting to have control over member states, they say that everyone is independent. In reality it’s a very soviet-like elitist gang who pays off politicians and civil servants of those countries that you call ‘democracies’. They rake in billions from the member countries and then they use that money against those countries, they have the money and they want control so guess who is winning? And they don’t even show their faces because they don’t have to. No voting, no argumentation to the public, no debates. Just thousands of ‘EU bureaucrats’ and a few ‘commission chiefs’ as puppet figureheads living in fantastic luxury and with massive amounts of money to keep bettering their position.

            FYI I’ve lived in Brussels, I have friends who have been in very high positions in the EU pyramid. And above all I know the mentality of the EU bureaucracy, how it feeds itself, the thousands and thousands of people it pays and lures in with allllll that moneyyyyy! And those people are not nice, modest, unambitious people…

            The EU is no cleaner than the Soviet Union.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @ Lockstops: So who are these illusive “they” the Illuminati or the Templars? The bureaucracy of the EU is no better, and no worse than that for most governments or NGO’s or even international athletic federations. And in reality it has considerably less power than many of the above.

            And they do not sanction the murder of their own people/citizens, unlike some of the POTUS’s current ‘friends’.

            No illusion, fact.

          • 0 avatar
            Lockstops

            Your post proves how crooked the EU is: it’s _not_ a government! There were no democratic elections for the commissioners. Just this week drunk-Junker was hobbling around again, this time that was actually reported in a few medias instead of the usual silencing when he’s been drunk.

            The best demonstration of what I say is true is how you and most other people have no clue who controls what, what the EU supposedly is…and what does the EU consist of.

            Hahaha, the EU has no power…that’s a good joke! The very true saying is: “follow the money”. The EU has massive amounts of money. They are now the political big league, and they can get politicians from EU countries to sell out their countries as especially the mediocre politicians just wouldn’t get anywhere near what the EU mafia promises them. And they can and do deliver.

            The EU mafia is not desperate, and they are not threatened because of their power and protected status. They have no need to assassinate anyone. They can destroy people as they like, as if anyone without significant power could even affect them in a meaningful way: no need to kill anyone. But then look at who can and already in a few ways does in fact threaten their schemes: Donald Trump. Look at how they’ve gotten their war machine to attack him!

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            @ Arthur Dailey

            Yes, that’s correct. Multi-national corporations have long posed as the victim of government interference in the markets, but they’ve outed themselves recently as the puppet masters. This happened during the 2016 election, when a bunch of Chamber of Commerce frauds banded together to fight the election of Donald Trump, who went to DC on a platform of controlling the southern border and balancing trade. This is the last thing plutocrats want when they are in the midst of off-shoring America’s industrial capacity and on-shoring trillions of foreign capital.

            So as the mask of sanity slipped from the face of America’s financial class, and the public was confronted with an inconvenient truth, you ran the other direction, suggesting you never had a clue what was going on in the first place. You were/are merely saying what makes you feel good.

            If you think multinational corps are the bad guys, then Trump stopping them from offshoring NAFTA’s industrial base, and him brow beating your hapless prime minister into betraying his American handlers should be the best thing you’ve ever witnessed. And yet you seem to complain quite bitterly about it.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @TW5: Actually much of what you have posted is what Marxist economists have been saying for decades. It is not anything new or profound.

            However the POTUS is not going about this in a productive or constructive manner. Instead he is attacking the very institutions which served as bastions of American democracy, and freedom, the free press and the independent judiciary and the balance of power between the executive, legislative and judiciary branches.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @Locksteps: there is indeed a European Parliament and its members are elected. Juncker has indeed been its President since 2014.

            As to his drinking habits, ‘functional alcoholics’ are about as common in politics as drug users are in entertainment.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            @ Arthur Dailey

            Marxist economists suppose that egalitarian serfdom is preferable to working in a marketplace and letting existentialism guide your career choice. I have nothing in common with Marxists.

            However, I am saying that certain American industrialists, plutocrats and executives have been caught more-or-less betraying their country. Therefore, the people helping them are also tainted with the specter of corruption.

            Trudeau is at the center of this scandal because his boisterous support of the American Chamber of Commerce platform shows that he has little respect for NAFTA and less respect for his people. His appeal to our nations’ historical friendship was also proof he had nothing substantive to support his position. He is merely relying on tribalism for support in Canada, while attempting to manipulating emotions in the US.

            He deserves no quarter, and none will be given.

  • avatar
    Ermel

    If you don’t want us to buy Russian natural gas, show us a natural gas supplier that’s as cheap, as convenient and as stable as the Russians have been in the last decades. Hint: No, the US currently doesn’t count as “stable”.

    As for car tariffs, I don’t think you’d sell many more US cars in Europe even with zero tariffs. So keep waging trade war — I’m sure we’ll happily sell to China what you can’t afford anymore then.

    • 0 avatar
      Lockstops

      Biomethane. Made from waste. Sewage treatment plants and landfills can be equipped to capture/produce methane from waste very cost-effectively. Then add to that more efficient utilisation of food processing waste, agricultural waste, forestry waste etc. then you have a very large mass of raw material to produce biomethane.

      Important to know is also that the methane from that waste would (at least mostly) be freed into the atmosphere, and it is a much stronger greenhouse gas than CO2! So capturing methane and turning it into (relatively small amounts of) CO2 in combustion engines is actually REDUCING greenhouse gases!!

      Just to let everyone not familiar with the stuff: natural gas is methane, and biogas produced from waste etc. is also the same methane. The stuff gathered from waste just has to be purified well enough to be at the same level as natural gas before you can feed it into the same natural gas pipelines.

      It is possible to distribute biomethane in the same distribution system as natural gas, and it’s possible to sell them separately afterwards just like electricity is sold to the consumer as ‘clean electricity’ or basic electricity.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Something that we can agree on. I also favour converting waste to energy through incineration.

        • 0 avatar
          Lockstops

          The best thing about biomethane use, especially in CNG cars is that it’s no future vision but an easy reality. Just doesn’t have the right lobbyists.

          Almost every single gasoline powered car on the roads now can be converted to CNG, and they will still be able to work on gasoline just as before. That means low cost (for most it will pay itself back even without government handouts in 2-5 years), basically no drawbacks because it still works on gas, and already a partial infrastructure and actually CNG network growth especially with it development led by SME’s in many areas. Agricultural entities, factories and existing waste management facilities can provide lots of the coverage with independent filling stations. And expansion of the existing pipelines is pretty organic and doesn’t seem to be high-risk due to its general usefulness.

          All of this is proven too: in southern Germany, Austria, Switzerland and I think northern Italy they have utilised waste to produce biomethane for years. Not to mention the larger facilities all over Europe.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      As an US Citizen of German descent (second generation, my parents emigrated here in the 1950’s) I follow politics to a degree in the “old country”. Western Europe has been buying natural gas from Russia since the Soviet era. It’s a way to keep lines of communication open so that no one side can easily wreak havoc.

      While the gas purchases may have propped up the Soviet regime for a time, the constant contact between a capitalist country and a (nominally) communist country may have averted all kinds of problems. In addition, I like to think that the average Rus, having seen capitalism was sufficiently disillusioned with it to force the reforms that eventually did occur.

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        @ geozinger

        Be that as it may, building a pipeline around EU allies so Germany has direct ties to Russia is problematic, particularly considering Merkel’s family history and her childhood in the DDR. Her Russian is much better than her English.

        Furthermore, NATO cannot be expected to pretend that Russia still has political control of the Eastern third of Germany. There is no modern basis for German-Russian natural gas trade, especially considering that NATO is supposed to be cracking down on Putin for Crimea and the Magnitsky affair.

        Yulia Tymoshenko was jailed for signing an oil and gas contract with Putin, and Clintonistas at Skadden Arps signed off on it. I’m not sure why Germany gets a pass.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          TW5,
          How is Merkel as an ex East German a problem with this pipeline?

          I’ve read a bio on her and I do believe you are really talking great nonsense here.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          TW5,
          How about this for a theory on the German – Russian gas conspiracy.

          1. Russian gas only represents 9% of Germany’s energy requirements.

          2. The US is developing gas fields and seeking new customees.

          3. Trump is trying to pressure the German’s into giving up on Russian gas for US gas.

          How does that sound.

          • 0 avatar
            Lockstops

            Geozinger: Read up on NordStream and you will find out how dirty all this is. The German press reported on how all of the Germans hired in (by Gazprom, Putin’s company) to lead the project were former Stasi agents. In other nations like Finland Gazprom, through NordStream, paid huge sums to top politicians (for sure also former Stasi or KGB agents or collaborators) to be ‘consultants’ and voilá: the project was green-lighted without problems.

            There is no way that without massively powerful strings pulled or ultimatums made (remember, Russia has dug up dirt a.k.a. spied on and entrapped neighbouring politicians for decades just so they would have control over them when they need to), and of course looooots of money paid to corrupt politicians etc. things would have gone this way.

            As for Merkel not stepping in? Business as usual, she does deals to benefit herself, and for sure her East German mentality is hidden but still there. No doubt she also saw this as a win for Germany and couldn’t believe they’d get away with it, for sure she was surprised how well Gazprom handled all the other EU countries to silence all opposition!

            This is just another example of what I’ve said previously: the EU has no leadership, only a ragtag collection of corrupt and corruptible kleptocrats who will make deals with anyone for some quick cash or increase in position for themselves or their party/mafia section. Not only are they not loyal to EU populace, they are not even loyal to their own countries’ population. Then sometimes they do operate as ‘nationalists’ but only when it benefits them and they can somehow personally get ahead thanks to doing that. They’ll once again sell their own county out at the drop of a hat if it earns them some more ratings for a future election, if the international banker mafia rewards them for it, or if the EU mafia promise them a top position for it.

  • avatar
    Robbie

    There is no endgame possible to the tariff war, except for the US to capitulate and apologize. We can only hope for a sane next President to do just this and help heal the damage to American leadership, prestige, and economy. Meanwhile, we need to prepare for higher prices because of this tax.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Robbie,
      Merkel stated a couple of weeks ago with Macron’s support that all EU members (and China) will adhere to WTO regulations regarding trade.

      1. This means no one WTO member can cut a deal with another unless the same applies to all.

      2. Germany or any single EU nation can’t make a deal with the US.

      3. Trump will not be able to break this bond. He’s wasting his time.

      4. The EU will cut a deal with the US if the US accepts UNECE regulated vehicles and removes the Chicken Tax. The US can only remove the Chicken Tax across all WTO members.

      The only way around this is for the US and EU to cut a FTA. This is deemed multilateral by Trump and his goons. Trump will only deal one on one. This is not palettable by Trump as he can’t bully.

      With the integration of many global multilateral trade deals and ALL multinationals (US interests are by far the largest) deeply invested into them I can’t see Trump having a win.

      US business as some have already indicated are prepared to off shore US production (add to this the ridiculous metal tax making US exporters less competitive).

      To top this off Brexit is seeing a similar reaction. The Anglosphere seems to be losing steam. This is most unfortunate for the free world.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        No, we could remove the chicken tax for only the EU and let the other WTO members cry about it. I am all for homoginization of standards…but again, it will be a meet in the middle type thing.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Art,
          Be realistic. With Trump’s posture relating to the EU, why would Trump remove the Chicken Tax with no give from the EU? Hmmm???

          Have a good day.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            It never said he wouldn’t. Neither did you. You said couldn’t. I was simply pointing out that you were wrong.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Angela’s open borders will drive German wages into the ground eventually, they won’t be buying any cars, American or otherwise. We should pull our military assets out of Germany, they don’t want our cars, they make billion dollar deals with Russia but they can’t defend themselves…against Russia! I’m predicting a serious right wing problem in the near future for Angela, she kowtows to Putin and to immigrants, critical mass isn’t far off.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      What nonsense Sub600.

      Australia has one of the highest rates of immigration exceeding any EU nation and our wages have risen in real terms from 25 years ago.

      • 0 avatar
        Sub-600

        Australia doesn’t manufacture anything, BAFO. You’re a service and tourism economy, like Bermuda. Immigrants can’t drive down manufacturing wages that don’t exist. Good grief.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Oh Sub,
          If it doesn’t fit your paradigms you spruik nonsense.

          Why don’t you spend some time larning about what you put forward. Ot, at least be truthful.

          Wow, sad you are.

        • 0 avatar
          Astigmatism

          Service sectors make up 69.4% of Australia’s economy, and 79.7% of ours.

          Tourism makes up 3.0% of Australia’s economy, and 2.7% of ours.

          • 0 avatar
            Sub-600

            Manufacturing is more than 35% of U.S. GDP. Manufacturing is less than 10% of Australian GDP. It’s Bermuda with kangaroos.

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            Sub-600, you’re wrong. Bureau of Economic Analysis data shows that manufacturing accounted for 11.26% of US GDP in 2017.

            “more than 35%” is complete fiction.

          • 0 avatar
            Sub-600

            “More than 35% is complete fiction” Yes it is, poor research on my part, not intentional. 2% difference between U.S. and Australia is huge though, considering U.S. GDP is many times larger. Australia is Bermuda with a fancy opera house.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          No, it is basically a Chinese mining colony…with big spiders

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Your average real estate valuation is something like $1M AUD in part because of it. Hold that head up high.

        Hey what’s a van down by the river run?

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          28 Cars,
          I foresaw this and have a small portfolio of rental properties.

          Also, the property values, like the US is very regional. Sydney and Melbourne (regions) have by far the highest.

          Between those two regions lives nearly half the population. But our average and median wages are quite good, so the properties are sold. They have peaked now.

          I’m in Brisbane and bought a new home 3.5 years ago for $350k AUD ($260k USD). Its Brick/tile roof, home theatre, 2 car, walk in robe, ensuite (shower is 8′ long!), 4 bedrooms, etc and is 30 squares (275m2). So homes are of pretty good value.

          Remember our minimum wage is around $20ph and our median is $70k. In 2015 an adult burger flipper (casual) at McDonalds was on $23ph.

          Again, like realestate income varies to regions.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            @ Big Al from Oz

            Sounds lovely. Maybe one day you’ll be good enough to support us shutting our southern border so wages rise here as well.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @TW5: again with the Marxist economic theory. For decades Marxists have been stating that capitalists promote/allow immigration in order to keep wage rates down.

            If you continue with this train of thought, pretty soon you will need to fly the Red Flag.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            TW5,
            We have the highest immigration rate per capita in the OECD. Far higher than the US, with your “illegals” included.

            It actually adds economic value, jobs, etc.

            Why don’t you get some facts correct for once.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            @ BAfO

            We have as many illegal aliens and Australia has citizens.

            I didn’t ask you to recite a fake Australian accomplishment. I asked when you would quit whining so we could address our illegal immigration problem in peace and quiet by adopting laws similar to those in other nations.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            @ Arthur

            I don’t believe capitalists are behind it. Corporations are not interested in capitalism so much as they are interested in collecting public funds while artificially stimulating the black-market supply of laborers.

            Immigrants are not the problem. Illegal immigrants are the problem, and we have so many in the United States that it will require another prolonged period of tight immigration to sort the mess out.

            Whenever you want us to give these people asylum and walk them across your southern border, let us know. Canada’s population will increase 50% overnight. You’ll be so rich and prosperous.

  • avatar
    ernest

    I’m going to jump out there and disagree. Not on politics. Not on my superior foreign policy analystics. And sure as heck not my understanding of how the European or Chinese economic strategy.

    But I have something I watch no one else seems to here- a damn stock market chart. And the “big money” is totally unconcerned about this. By “Big Money,” I’m not talking about rich investors. I’m referring to people and entities with Billions (and sometimes trillions) sloshing around the worldwide investment world. These are the people that not only see LT trends- they can cause them.

    http://bigcharts.marketwatch.com/kaavio.Webhost/charts/big.chart?nosettings=1&symb=spx&uf=32&type=4&size=3&sid=3377&style=350&freq=2&entitlementtoken=0c33378313484ba9b46b8e24ded87dd6&time=13&rand=1519109141&compidx=aaaaa%3a0&ma=0&maval=9&lf=4&lf2=32&lf3=1024&height=820&width=720&mocktick=1

    Just slap a ruler on the bottom of that, and ignore the news. It’ll tell you everything you need to know.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      I don’t like your chart. When I put that ruler between 2008 trough and now, the slope remains unchanged and looks like a regression line with a fit anyone would kill for.

      How am I supposed to credit/blame presidential administrations according to my preconceived notions with a chart like that?

  • avatar
    DaJoNel

    The problem is that Americans want foreign cars far more than foreign markets want American cars. Trump is hurting the American people far more than he’s putting pressure on foreign governments, and when lawmakers finally step in it’s going to be a hugely embarrassing international spectacle.

    • 0 avatar
      ernest

      Cars aren’t the issue… and good luck on the lawmaker side of that equation.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      “…The problem is Americans want foreign cars far mor…”

      What make you think that’s remotely relevant here? If so, then what’s the problem with fair/equal tariffs, all around?

      Since they have nothing to fear, regarding “potential” US imports, why the big stink?

      If they’re not expecting a flood, why are they scrambling to higher ground?

      • 0 avatar
        Astigmatism

        “What make you think that’s remotely relevant here?”

        Because Trump’s complaint is that there are more German cars in the US than their are American cars in Germany: “When you walk down Fifth Avenue, everybody has a Mercedes-Benz parked in front of his house… How many Chevrolets do you see in Germany? Not many, maybe none, you don’t see anything at all over there. It’s a one-way street.”

        Germany could slash their tariffs to zero (and would probably be happy to if the US would get rid of the light truck tariff), but you’re still not going to see Germans passing up Golfs for Malibus.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Just riddle me this: Why does anybody care so much about (overtaxing) US car/truck imports that in the European/Chinese markets, supposedly wouldn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell?

          Why is what could’ve been fixed with a simple phone call, turning into a full-scale trade war?

          • 0 avatar
            DaJoNel

            When we come to the table with fighting words, a fight is what we get. With the automotive interest imbalance, it’s a fight for which we’re not prepared.

        • 0 avatar
          06M3S54B32

          I can see why they don’t want ‘Merican cars. They(less Tesla)tend to be cheaply made, ugly as crap and have no desirable attributes. Give me a German coupe every time.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Someone posted a link that made the case Tesla’s assembly quality was on par with a 90s KIA (Think Sportage and Sephia). Love or hate Tesla, they are not known for having stellar assembly quality.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            And I’ve put well over 300k troublefree miles on multiple Ford and GM products. I have sat in multiple Tesla’s…with respect to traditional marks of quality like panel gaps and what not they are right up there with the Saturns I owned in the 90s. That’s not bad per say…those interiors held up well even if they did feel cheap, but like the Saturns the Tesla’s interior is outclassed by others in it’s price range. That’s cool, you get a Tesla for other advantages, just saying this isn’t their strong suit.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “I can see why they don’t want ‘Merican cars. They(less Tesla)tend to be cheaply made, ugly as crap and have no desirable attributes. Give me a German coupe every time.”

            oh look, another clueless American who thinks being able to spew BMW engine/chassis codes makes him look smart.

            #1 Go spend half an hour with a BMW X1 and tell me how great all German cars are.

            #2 VW has the marketshare lead by far. VW brand alone is #1, and including subsidiaries like Audi and Skoda they have about 35% total. and VW and its subsidiaries make plenty of cheap ugly crap.

            #3 the 5th best selling brand in Germany is FORD.

            #4 Germans buy plenty of sh*tboxes from Skoda, Renault, Dacia, Seat, and Fiat. in fact, for the first quarter of 2018 German buyers bought more Fiats then were sold in North America for the entire year of 2017.

            So, if you’ve got it in your head that Germans all drive S-Classes and M3s, you might want to think differently.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    They don’t want to play fair? Screw ’em!

    Do they really think the US needs them more than they need the US?

    Except it’s stupid to repeatedly bring up the Chicken tax without mentioning the European Chicken tax on import light-pickups and vans, that has real victims, not highly-questionable, Chinese/Indian pickups, not for sale in the US.

    Besides p!ss poor safety/emissions, their only real/actual trade barrier is some thing called US “Lemon Laws”.

    Yes Chinese and European manufacturers, suppliers, growers, etc, are important to the US, but Trump is right, enforcing trade/tariff fairness.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    The world with a few exceptions depends on the American military and foreign aid to bail them out of any emergency by despot or mother nature – and pay for virtually none this protection. Germany’s 20 operational tanks and fighter jets will certainly worry Putin if they don’t have US backing.

    Americans buy way more stuff from the foreigners than foreigners buy from the US, so we send them scrap iron and US dollar denominated IOUs (bank notes and treasuries) to pay for all the stuff and the US government budget deficits. If a trade war stops much of this trade, the world will lose its only profitable export market and the US will lose a lot of buyers for its IOUs that finance US government deficit spending. The inability to fund deficits will mean the US welfare state will crash and illegal immigrants will therefore no longer think the US is such a great place to break into. The lack of foreign products will mean US manufacturing will need to fill the gap, resulting in more US jobs. So the end result of “losing” the trade war will require the US government to dramatically shrink to just Constitutionally mandated basics of military protection and law enforcement, illegal immigration shrinks to nothing with no need for an expensive wall to be built, and middle America rises again with lots of manufacturing jobs. Meanwhile Europe learns to speak Russian, and China starts some military adventures in Japan, Korea, Australia to grab some resources before they go bankrupt.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Um, you’d be surprised at the foreign aid. I’m thinking you are glossing the US with little knowledge of all else.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        “Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.” Henry Kissinger

        What are the nations involved in all of this exporting? TV’s, Car Parts, Cell Phones, toys…this is the stuff we get from China. We get it from China because it is cheaper to get it from China. We have demonstrated the ability to make this stuff in the past and retain the ability to do so should the need ever arise. A quick bit of googling showed me that Chinas top exports were textiles and machinery…including computers (though in some cases the Chips in those computers are under US control as demonstrated by the ZTE spat.

        Now what are the US’s Top Exports? Food and Beverage is 1, Petroleum (Crude and Refined) is 2. Oil and food will typically find a market (and all else failing would find one in the US).

        Again, at the end of the day, the US can feed it’s population and come very close to providing for it’s energy demands. What of China? I said it the other day…It may seem like we have each other bent over the same barrel, but it only seems that way.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          And before you even go there, yes, we have rare earth mineral deposits within our own borders. Again, it has been cheaper to get them elsewhere.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            ArtV: is correct but needs to ‘dig deeper’. The problems with unfettered capitalism are that it only thinks short term, and has no loyalty.

            Most of the ‘free’ trade agreements were entered into after massive lobbying by multinational corporations. Who then moved production to low cost countries. Often these countries are autocracies or dictatorships, where the ruling families grow phenomenally rich off the backs of their people who have little to no protections.

            The USA grew rich from manufacturing and selling (exporting) goods to other nations after WWII. But how many of those ‘American’ corporations still exist, or don’t have Head Offices offshore in tax havens? Or don’t contract out their production?

            China already has control over much of the resources/raw materials in Africa. They have entered into agreements with those governments and built infrastructure (roads, airports, electrical transmission lines/plants) in return to the rights for those resources. When their deep water port is complete in Pakistan with a superhighway running from it to China, they will install an Indian Ocean fleet.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Arthur you aren’t wrong. History has shown however that maintaining control of those areas may very well require the use of that fleet as well as standing forces on the ground. That gets expensive. Furthermore history isn’t kind to countries that in times of war are forced to rely on natural resources from outside of their borders. This won’t be cheap.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            China will need a larger military than the US. They are more dependant on external resources and they have to keep a sizable chunk of those guns pointe inward.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Art,
            Military doesn’t give power. They fight wars.

            Trade or control of trade is what gives you power. This is what’s unfolding now.

            The US is far less powerful today than it was even in the 80s. There now is 3 significantly powerful trading blocs.

            NAFTA(until Trump reduces this), EU and China. Soon you will have the TTP.

            Then to top it off there are other multilateral trade agreements.

            The direction and fragmenting of these trading blocs is the goal of Trump, he even stated unilateral trade is the only way the US will do business.

            This isn’t faring to well for Trump as he assumed the US is more dominant and can dictate terms. This isn’t occurring.

            He’s resorted to using security to justify his position unilaterally. This backfired.

            There is only one way for him, to back down.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            If you are going to base your economy on global trade you had better be able to protect those trade routes. As the US becomes more energy independent they will pull back from places like the middle East.

            All of those trading blocs have one thing in common…the US Navy keeps the sea Lanes open and flowing.

            Nothing happens in a vacuum. China is actually more vulnerable on this front because they can’t feed their population without those trading Lanes and are dependant on foreign oil at a much higher level than us. And remind me again, who is the largest producer of oil? Not China.

            If your economy is going to be as dependent on foreign trade as the Chinese are, you had better have a large military. They go hand in hand. While an inability to trade at our current levels might impact my lifestyle, the same happening to China would effect their ability to eat. Trade deals are paper that can be torn up. Ask Neville Chamberlain.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    China and the EU will be interesting partners. Each one will expect a massive, permanent trade surplus with the other, lol.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Sub600,
      The EU or Germans/whatever are not teaming up.

      Countries have signed to accords, agreements, etc. They are fulfilling their obligations.

      The reality is the US is the one not honouring these arrangements.

      So, you can’t state everyone or anyone within these arrangements are teaming up, picking on, taking advantage of, etc the US.

      There are processes in place for the US to respond to any “unfair” act.

      Its sort of like the “law”. We don’t like all traffic laws or any laws, but we abide by them.

      The US can’t state or act above and beyond the law, which it had the most influence creating.

      If the US wants to change China (which I’m in ageeance with) it must work with all within the “law”.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        If the US is acting outside of “Law” (I quote it because the US President is really only held to the standard of the US Constitution as a matter of Law), then let the affected nations take it up with organizations like the WTO. Again, I refer you to our top exports (food and oil). They tend to find a market and markets the size of the US tend to not be ignored. Furthermore lets see how these “global” organizations do without Uncle Sugar’s checks coming in.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Art,
          Like I said, look beyond the State you live in.

          The US had significant influence in how, when, where, etc the WTO is set up, running, compliance, conformance …… and on and on. It is a signatory.

          The town laws or whatever you are going on about have little to do with US responsibility and accountability in global trade rules (which the US authored or influence greatly).

          Trump can’t just say fnck all, we will change the rules because most can and are more competitive now than the US.

          The focus should be China, but while Trump and his goons are reaming and fncking Allies, friends and other nations how can Trump expect support on his China quest?

          Lets get real here.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Al, with regard to what goes on outside my community, read slowly and try to keep up…

            I
            DONT
            CARE

            Again, those people elected their leadership and get the government they deserve. On the national level, a rise in prices due to the tariffs??? Eh, I make plenty and own my own home. I don’t care about China. So prices go up? Doesnt really effect me all that much. Like the people who make smug comments when gas goes up about people like me getting screwed because we wont be able to drive our F150s…not really how it works. We grumble and still pay it (unlike the poor who now take the bus). I have worked hard over the course of my life to put myself in the position of not having to worry about this stuff and I have made it so again, China??? I DONT CARE. They have much to lose as well and frankly very little of it effects me…that stuff is for the little people like yourself to worry about.

        • 0 avatar
          ect

          “the US President is really only held to the standard of the US Constitution as a matter of Law”

          Huh? I’m not sure what you mean, Art, but the President is subject to the laws of the land, and there are a number of laws that specifically set out rules for the conduct of the President and the White House staff.

          According to the CIA, capital goods, industrial goods, consumer products and agriculture (in that order) are the leading US exports. So manufactured goods dominate the list, and they will now be more expensive to make because the new tariffs have dramatically raised the price of basic inputs (steel and aluminum) – which will damage their competitive position in global markets. This is not smart policy, it is just plain stupid.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            What I meant was that Al was implying that at the end of the day organizations like the WTO have any real legal power over the President (no matter who that person is).

            You make legitimate points, but so does the other side. Many of these trade deals were not beneficial in the long run.

            But both sides have much to lose in all this and our policy here is not infallible. Doesn’t mean that Trump is wrong on everything, especially China. Our pal Al only ever points out where we are vulnerable. He isn’t always wrong but he never talks about the other sides vulnerability. Things like shutting ZTE down with the stroke of a pen. We do hold some cards as well here.

            This could get painful for many on both sides. Then again, the modern definition of “Painful ain’t exactly “The Grapes of Wrath” and the Great Depression and Dust Bowl either, at least not in the US.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Art,
            I have NEVER stated I support the Chinese or Russians for that matter.

            I if you have ever been involved in assessing risk you will know that your analysis is to identify gaps.

            That is how I approach this issue.

            Gaps are deficiencies, they are not positive. In economics there are many KPIs you need to assess.

            Also in planning you need goals, gates they are called prior to moving forward.

            This is Trumps weak point. His planning lacks gates prior to moving to the next phase. So now you many incomplete actions on his part, which he’s totally responsible for.

            If his primary goals was the Chinese, flattening import tariffs, NATO,etc globally he needed to identify which goals was most significant.

            China would of been. If that was the case he would of realised the EU hold similar views as the US here and could of been of great assistance. But what did he do? He’s fncking over the very people he needs help from.

            Watching and understanding what’s unfolding here makes it easy to see why Trump has been bankrupt before and why he operates outside what is deemed morally acceptable. He operates immorally to make up for deficiencies in his planning and reach goals.

            You can’t be like this on the global stage or business.

            The US is powerful, but not one country irrespective of its power can withstand poor managent, it will regress.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @ArtV: however it ends it does impact you greatly. The French and Russian aristocracy didn’t think that these types of things would effect them either.

            Or the rich and corporate CEO’s in pre-revolution Cuba.

            Or the middle class living in Detroit.

            You are not ‘an island’.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            No Art, but I have really marketable skills. If that industry dies I have a different set of marketable skills and if it all goes to crap, again, I have another skill set. When you plan your life and develop contingencies you spend a lot more time earning money and a lot less time depending on handouts. Again, I know this attitude makes me a prick and again, I don’t care. I’m here for me and my family and barring a large meteor impact or big nuclear exchange I will always be able to feed them…even if I have to invoke another set of skills and grow/shoot it myself. That is freedom. “Free” stuff from Uncle Sugar…that is slavery.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @Art: however your society and civilization depends on others. Even the pioneers formed communities in order to support each other.

            That is how civilization has progressed since time immemorial. Those societies with the strongest infrastructure, supported by functional governments were the most advanced.

            Which is why in the west, we did not achieve a ‘lifestyle’ equal to that of the Roman Empire for hundreds of years after its fall.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            I agree Arthur, but the manner in which those groups supported one another was different. It was more “Look, Tom Joads crops had trouble this year, let’s help him fix that and give him some food to get through the winter” or “A ttee fell on his roof, let’s help him fix his roof” and less ” Let’s take like a third of his crops and give it to people who couldn’t be bothered to grow any crops and if he doesn’t want to pay up we will toss him in jail or kill him and take the crops”

            Everyone cares about what is important to them. I am more concerned with my own government’s theft than what the Chinese may be doing right now. My number one expenditure, even beyond my mortgage is taxes. That is absurd. Therefore I don’t care about the plight of most others…I’m already doing my freaking part.

  • avatar
    TW5

    Who gets mad when someone threatens to cut them off? Not full grown adults who take care of themselves. Dependents get angry when someone threatens to cut them off.

    Does anyone really think the EU or China are functional economies given their behavior? They are engaged in wide scale fraud against the United States, and they have no plans to curb their economic aggression. If not for Trump we would have been lured into TPP and Paris Accord, which would have provided the economic leverage necessary to eliminate American economic independence.

    This is a battle worth fighting, and it must end with the disintegration of the EU. Brussels does not act in the best interest of the member states, and it is openly hostile towards the US.

    • 0 avatar
      Lockstops

      The sad thing is that the EU is going to get hurt but there is no leadership there, at least one who cares about the wellbeing of the whole region and its people. They have no leader, only an army of lobbyist kleptocrats.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    My opinion is that China will come out on the better end on a trade agreement with the EU than the EU will with China. China will demand the same concessions from EU that it has from the US–partnering with a Chinese company and producing more vehicles in China.

    As for the EU they will expect the US to lower or eliminate the 25% tariff on trucks. Negotiating a lower tariff will be tough. We need the alliance with the EU but at the same time we need a more reciprocal tariff agreement and less restrictions.

  • avatar
    W210Driver

    The reason Europeans and much of the rest of the world do not buy American cars is because the vast majority of American cars are not designed for foreign markets. It‘s that simple, really.

    Can American brands sell in Europe? Of course – if they are specifically tailored for European markets with the correct size, engine options and so forth. For example, Ford of Europe is quite successful because they design cars in Europe for Europeans. They receive consumer feedback and tailor their products appropriately. And I seriously doubt the European consumer is lusting after an F-150 pickup with an inefficient V8.

    The last time I was in Europe I noticed the Chevrolet Cruze was pretty popular. At the same time I think GM and Chrysler are going to have a hard time competing against what are arguably superior products from various European, Korean and Japanese manufacturers in that specific market. Is the Chevrolet Cruze a global car? It may be so, but I think first and foremost it was specifically designed for the type of American consumer who wants something cheap and affordable and does not value performance, handling and fun behind the wheel. A similar-minded shopper in Europe can purchase the same type of car from say Renault (would that be the Renault Megan?) and perhaps expect better handling and more driving pleasure out of it while also having access to various Renault dealerships across the continent. Where are Chevrolet Cruze‘s serviced on the Old Continent? Opel dealers?

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      The V8 isn’t what makes the F-150 “inefficient”. But most newer F-150s are turbo V6s and not much more efficient.

      Cars designed for the EU market, by Europeans, they still can sell good in the US, as there’s no shortage of niche buyers wanting downsized, tiny engine cars, and don’t seem to mind marginal reliability.

      Except cars/trucks designed by Americans for Americans definitely have the deck stacked against them in Europe, even before tariffs.

      The F-150 and Mustang (plus Silverado, Ram pickup, Camaro, Challenger, etc) should remain All-American, V8 rumble, especially in Europe, since niche buyers of these aren’t looking for a European type compromise.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      I think we have this vision that the Europeans all drive E30 chassis BMWs. It just isn’t true. When I lived there the best selling car in Europe was the FIAT Punto. Similar cars are still plentiful there. Ford does well there, as you pointed out selling this style car.

      The F150 thing is just noise. Yeah it won’t take off over there. Even with tariffs removed there are other regulatory barriers such as displacement taxes and fuel cost. Besides US Truck makers don’t need the market…the F Series is the number 1 selling vehicle in the world as it is despite primarily selling in North America. Likewise a flood of people arent suddenly going to say “You know, I was kicking around the Escape, but now that that X5 is a little cheaper, I’m going that route. The 2 markets just don’t overlap that much.

      The best you could say is that it may keep small cars, and even cars in general alive in the US (Assuming the removal of other regulations, cars like the Mondeo and Fiesta may become profitable to import from Europe in volumes smaller than are currently required to support a factory in a NAFTA country) and give Europeans a few more options (Cars like the Mustang may be more competerive).

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        The F-150 would need to join the party through the service entrance. Stripper pickups, base V6 and regular cabs, rivaling the price of entry level, global Rangers, Hilux, Navara, etc, which do sell in Europe in a niche capacity.

        Then it’s not as intimidating or scary of a buying/driving/parking/feeding proposition to the unfamiliar, especially compared to the not terribly impressive price/size/mpg of midsize pickups and likewise aimed and industry/commerce.

        Then it could bleed over on to the EU mainstream to a small degree, adding four doors, 4wd, leather, sunroof, bling, etc, as midsize pickups have done.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      @ W210Driver

      The issue isn’t about American brands as much as it is about American-built or assembled vehicles. The US is the biggest market for various types of vehicles that are assembled by foreign automakers. The US is a huge market for the F30 3-Series, and it’s assembled in 10 different countries, none of which are the US or NAFTA.

      When foreign countries place tariffs, quotas, and other non-tariff barriers on US built goods, it also prevent foreign manufacturers from investing in US manufacturing. Foreign nations must liberalize or we must force foreign companies to build in the US by applying reciprocal tariffs.

      Exports are great, but if we can’t make it happen, we’ll settle for eliminating imports. The world gets to choose which one they prefer.

  • avatar
    pdog_phatpat

    So, no new news then. Welp, better run with it to get those angry mob comment clicks.

  • avatar

    France in 1939 was much more powerful militarily than Germany and whole EU today. Germans do not want to be friends with US anymore? No problem – disband NATO and let China to protect EU (but from whom?). NATO is the waste of money. China is the friend of EU, Russia have no plans to start war with EU. NATO proved many time to be a useless, during wars in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Livia, Ukraine. Even Turkey have no respect for NATO.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Turkey is the only sizable military in NATO other than the US. Absent NATO, the US may very well support an independent Kurdistan as they have proven time and time again to be strong allies as well as solid fighters. This would anger Turkey greatly of course.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Well finally some recognition that it was the Kurds who stopped ISIS.

        It has been proven many times that only ‘boots on the ground’ can win a war. And it was Kurdish boots.

        Then their ‘allies’ turned on them.

        Never underestimate the Turkish military. Unfortunately the secular Turkey of Ataturk is being systematically dismantled, using to a degree funds from Saudi Arabia, the home of militant Islam.

        However if the POTUS continues with his tirades he may alienate most if not all of America’s allies. For example Australia fought in Vietnam as well as Korea. The UK in Iraq and Afghanistan. If the alliance between the western democracies crumbles, then the POTUS will have accomplished exactly what the Soviets and KGB were unable to accomplish, despite trying, for over 40 years.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          I have seen Kurdish forces in action firsthand. By far the most effective fighters inside the Iraqi borders to include the Army that we spent a decade and billions training. I have nothing but respect for them.

          The same applies to Turkish forces. NATO should be equally worried about politics and Russia peeling them away because they are not only the second largest fighting force in NATO, but in my opinion far more effective than any of the traditional European powers (and us for that matter in certain situations). I would never make the mistake of underestimating them.

      • 0 avatar

        Of Western countries Poland has the strongest military IMO. I am sure that today Poland would beat Germany if there is a conflict.

        Refusal of Old Europe to defend itself does not bode well for the future of those former colonial superpowers.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Inside Looking Out,
          It seems everyone here judges a nations military capability purely on money.

          In the EU the UK fllowed closely by the French are the most capable military powers.

          Purely based on “battlefield” time and experience recently. They also possess the best deterent capability in NATO other than the US. Nuclear weapons. So Trump and his goons should appreciate what’s on offer instead of generating negativity and pushing close Allies away.

          Canada, Australia and Ireal are up there.

          The nation with the strongest military potential is China. In the beginning of the 20th Century the British were the strongest, but the US had the most military potential.

          Due to China’s population and industrial might gives it the gong.

          But between NATO, Japan, Australia, Korea, etc we can stave off China and the Russian thugs for decades or even permanently.

          This is where the US needs to lead and form a more cohesive multilateral team, not fragment it as Trump and his goons are currently doing.

          The US ain’t big enough to take on China or by the looks of Germany, Canada, Mexico or even France. They just give him the middle finger, which he deserves.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Oh our forces are plenty strong and are in fact built to do just that Al. You will not like the weapons deployed to do it however. And no doubt they would respond and nobody wins. Look, mutually assured destruction is alive and well in the 21st century. Even alone, they wouldn’t screw with us due to that.

  • avatar
    syncro87

    If anyone is interested in a big-picture analysis of geopolitics / geostrategy which encompasses this whole trade thing and more, I recommend checking out Thomas P. M. Barnett’s series on the subject. The most recent videos I’ve found are on Youtube, you can find them by looking for NDU Barnett 2015 Speech 1. More in the series after that, 7 or 8 total I believe. Fascinating stuff.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Here’s a possibility.

    The US (Trump and his goons) is successful in removing itself from the WTO. So Trump can exercise whatever tariffs and barriers he wants on imports into the US.

    What happens. Either the WTO or a newly created global trade regulator is created pretty much plagerising WTO rules and guidelines.

    Where will it be based? The EU or China. If this does occur hopefully the EU is the “controlling” body.

    You will find even Canada and Mexico will join the new trade organisation. Asian countries will as well. At best the US might have the UK and a couple of minor nations.

    If this was to occur would make it the 4th(??) destruction of an organisation/business for Trump.

    I really believe the US needs to change course for its own good.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      “The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible.”- George Washington

      I am fine leaving these organizations. The United States is in a unique position in that it can operate in a bubble. We are large enough and rich enough in resources to make it work (We already generate most of our own energy and as a net exporter could do more).

      I do hope we don’t abandon NATO entirely…at least the Eastern European nations in it. I feel like they having only recently come out from under the thumb of Soviet Communism need our assistance and are by in large doing what they can. Also I feel without it some countries would be vulnerable to Putin coming back in, especially places like the Baltics that were part of the USSR propper and have large Russian speaking populations.

      But Western Europe is wealthy for the most part. If they want to cozy up with China, fine. Let China keep Putin out of the Fulda Gap. I don’t live there…not my problem.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Also, in your scenario Canada is a stretch. Our economies are both well developed and on a much more level playing field, but lets assume Mexico does as you say. If the Country has gone that far then there becomes the real possibility that the United States militarizes the Southern border (since Mexico is now a chinese puppet). Furthermore if your scenario holds out wed see unemployment rise sharply. All the sudden thos jobs Americans wont do start to look a little more attractive so maybe deportations pick up and you cant come back because in your new world, people crossing the border illegally get run over with a tank like Tienamen Square protesters.

    Anyway, my point is that you always seem to operate under the assumption that the US always deals from a position of weakness and everyone has us by the balls. It just isnt true. If the US ever truly became hostile to Mexico they’d feel it.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Also, in your scenario Canada is a stretch. Our economies are both well developed and on a much more level playing field, but lets assume Mexico does as you say. If the Country has gone that far then there becomes the real possibility that the United States militarizes the Southern border (since Mexico is now a chinese puppet). Furthermore if your scenario holds out wed see unemployment rise sharply. All the sudden thos jobs Americans wont do start to look a little more attractive so maybe deportations pick up and you cant come back because in your new world, people crossing the border illegally get run over with a tank like Tienamen Square protesters.

    Anyway, my point is that you always seem to operate under the assumption that the US always deals from a position of weakness and everyone has us by the balls. It just isnt true. If the US ever truly became hostile to Mexico they’d feel it.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Art,
      First, I didn’t state it would occur.

      Secondly, over the past several years the Canadians have been looking beyond the US and China.

      Third, the US and Canada are very intertwined, but Trump is unravelling the relationship.

      Trump is finding out (hopefully) you don’t treat friends as he does. As the Canadians have expressed and shown they are prepared to challenge the US with taxes as the US taxes them.

      How is this in any shape or form positive for the US – Canadian relationship?

      Like I said Trumps a fool, bigtime.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        There are more pro US voices in Canada…like us they aren’t monolythic and Trudeau is far from a show in to remain the PM up there.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          The general tone of conversation in Canada is quite anti-Trump regardless of political affiliation.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          “There are more pro US voices in Canada”

          yes, most of them are in their 60s and sound just like the aging Boomers down here.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            So Jim because they are older their voices don’t count as much? Heck I am a Gen Xer…dies my voice only count a little because we are a smaller generation that is now in our 40’s?

            Or di they count more because they have money and tend to vote more than the younger generations because they are financially secure and typically show up at the polls reliably unlike those loud kids that for all their “resisting” and protesting historically can’t be bothered to vote in as great a number as their parents and grandparents and who also historically move towards the center and right as they get older…at which point they start showing up to vote reliably.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Bottom line, you wouldn’t be dealing with Trump if young people had simply showed up in the numbers they did for Obama. That wasn’t Russia, that was having the worst candidate in the modern era foisted upon them. Anyone else on the stage during the Democratic Primary would have beaten Trump. Jim Webb would have won in a landslide but how dare he be proud of his Vietnam service so…you nominated the one candidate Trump could beat and you rigged your system to do it. Good job.

            Incidentally, I was a Rand Paul guy so I was equally disappointed in my side and would have voted for any a Democrat at their been a decent choice.

            For the record, if either party nominates a Gen Xer they have my vote. This dumb Boomer vs millinneal fued is moronic and collectively both generations suck equally as does your music. The reason they hate each other is that they are just alike…self absorbed me me me. Some of that is our fault for sure but my kids are still at home so I’m trying.

            Anyway, Krist Novoselic is in politics so maybe he will run. He’s probably 180 degrees from my politics but at least I get his views and hearing Smells Like Teen Spirit at cpaign rallies with Dave Grohl opening would make the whole thing so much better than anything the boomers or millinneals could offer.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            At least I wouldn’t have to hear that twit Katy Perry flap her gums or “sing”. That alone was enough to make me vote for anybody else. Literally anybody.

          • 0 avatar
            Sub-600

            “..and sound just like the aging Boomers down here.” Ouch! Somebody never got any approval from daddy, lol. What a tragedy.

      • 0 avatar
        06M3S54B32

        “Trump is finding out (hopefully) you don’t treat friends as he does.”
        tRump is complete moron or epic proportions; he won’t learn anything.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Also, up until recently Germany had rejected even the 2 percent. Now Merkel is vocally supporting it. I do not think the phrase “middle finger” means what you think it means.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Art,
          Merkel will support changes only under the WTO and EU framework.

          She has stated this a number of times.

          This does not suit Trump as it makes immpossible for him to move forward. This leaves Trump where he (the US) are required to use National Security on his tariff quest.

          Steel and aluminium was far easier to “justify”. Consumer goods, not so.

          The Chinese know this as well. Its not so much the EU and China working together as they are using the best possible path against Trump.

          Remember once Trump is gone much of what he is doing will be unwound. But how many businesses and jobs will be lost. And when the time comes to rectify the US position I would think many of those “Trump” lost jobs and businesses will pop up in overseas markets and not the US.

          The “Trump Effect” will impact the US negatively for a while. Hopefully the US finds a way to remove incompetent Presidents in the future.

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        @ BAfO

        You misunderstand who is a threat to Canada. Right now Canada is being used by US industrialists and foreign bureaucrats to get foreign content into the NAFTA zone. The same is true of Mexico. That’s why neither nation is willing to work with Trump to renegotiate. This puts Americans, Canadians, and Mexicans out of work, but Canada and Mexico get compensatory considerations, like preferred status for purchases of oil, natural gas, lumber, gold, diamonds, nickel and other vital exports.

        This isn’t in the best interest of the common man in the NAFTA zone, particularly since commodities are mostly fungible, but it does wonders for the profit margins of NAFTA businesses who don’t have to invest in NAFTA workers, and politicians get some really nice kickbacks for selling out their own people.

        Trump is an ally of the common man. Tribal instincts prohibit some from understanding what he is doing, but Trump can’t let up on Ottawa, Mexico City, or DC. He needs to increase pressure until corruption no longer pays.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          TW5,
          After reading many of your posts it is apparent much of what you base your paradigms on just doesn’t exist.

          You can’t successfully manage a country or business on incorrect information in which you use for goal setting.

          Because you are kicking goals that don’t exist.

          You must be in the game to win, kids create ficticous challenges.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Oh, TW5,
          Read the latest article here on TTAC.

          Big Brother is coming to an auto factory near you.

          So, Trump and his goons are succeeding? Then why does Trump need information like he asked for?

          Obviously my assessment above is spot on.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    @Big All leave you with this. Yes, the NATO relationship is beneficial to the US and the non US members. But you speak in terms of risk, consider this:

    The population of the EU is around 510 million. The Population of the US is around 320 million. If the poop hit the fan and the US was attacked, US forces would make up the vast majority of the response. That’s cool, it is our back yard so that makes sense.

    Now put the shoe on the other foot. If an EU member (NATO or not) or the Bloc as a whole were attacked US Servicemen and women would still make up the overwhelming bulk of the responding force. You know that is the truth.

    Take away NATO. Yes, we are weaker. No doubt. But the European powers are downright sitting ducks without spending way more than that 2 percent or cozying up to another power which, for all of our faults as a nation and room for improvement will have a far worse record on things like human rights than we do.

    The best for all involved is a strong NATO. But it needs to be strong not because the strongest kid on the playground is on the team and them and a few others carry the rest, it needs to be strong because all of the members are strong. I do believe there is a Russian agenda to peel off the US and Turkey from NATO. Why do you think that is? At the end of the day is what Trump is asking unreasonable? (Maybe the 4 percent is, but that is likely a negotiating number). Got it, you don’t like his tone but Presidents have been asking nicely for decades to no avail and we can no longer afford to shoulder so much of the burden.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Art,
      Just because the US spends X amount doesn’t mean another nation needs to. What if the other nation is more adept at finding resolutions via diplomacy?

      What if another nation is better at pin pointing what capbility is required to adequately defend? This saves money.

      What if another nation has a more efficient contract model. This saves money. Really how much money is wasted by the US military industry?

      How much money has been spent by the US investing in military capability never used?

      Importantly how can the US dictate what should be spent on military?

      Many nations (per capita) provide foreign aid at a greater level than the US. This also contributes to military security.

      All Trump will do is escalate a military build up and all of a sudden, like the Cold War each EU nation will spend 3.6% on military like they did in the 80s, more than the US spends now.

      Its not that the EU has never invested lots into military. Go back over the Past 150 years and EU countries have most likely exceeded US spending.

      Remember WWI and WWII was not free for Europe it had to be paid back to the US,Australia, Canada, etc.

      So, sit down and look at what is going on. There is much to digest.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Ok, then give me specifics. What capability do these countries that fail to meet the 2 percent threshold bring to the table that should exempt them. I don’t see it but I’m all ears.

        You know why the Germans don’t spend 2 percent on military defense? Because there are 34000 US troops garrisoned in Germany. The German Army itself is 60,000 strong. Germany is listed as having 255 aircraft (though the amount that are combat ready is proportedly much lower). A single Nimitz class aircraft carrier has somewhere around 80-90 aircraft at any given time.

        Can you begin to see the issue that the US Taxpayer has with this arrangement? So again, other than not repeating the whole Hitler thing, which I think we can all agree is not really something the modern German people have any desire whatsoever to repeat, what do they bring to the table that represents that sort of value to the US Taxpayer and NATO as a whole.

        The 2 percent was a number agreed upon by NATO members, not something Trump pulled out of his kiester. If these other nation’s have some incredibly valuable capability, well you are the only one talking about it an you are being pretty freaking vague. So what do they bring that is worth the US Military comprising 1/3 of their own nation’s defense?

        NATO is important, but some nation’s are absolutely abusing the status quo. Naturally they don’t like being called on it.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          And yes we get value from being there (though that value may be much less given the end of the cold war, German reunification, and the willingness of former Soviet and Warsaw Pact nation’s to host US forces. But the fact is those 30000 troops and by proxy the other 1.2 million active and 800,000 reservists that will be there should you mess with them pose a real deterrent to anyone eyeing Germany. Their current force is not adequate without the deployed US troops. This vexes the US Taxpayer.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Germany is used not just with NATO, but ME ops, which involves a different force.

          I would say half of the US, German Forces are directly used for the ME.

          Your carriers/fleets were initially designed to protect an expanding US trade.

          Most of the US military was to protect US interests, not NATO. NATO was apart of US interests.

          Japan? Part of the deal was for Japan to not rearm. So does this lift US defence spending and by how much?

          Sorry Art, you just can’t sit there and state how great the US is and how much it spent when it was mostly for its own interests.

          Even the US presence in the West Pacific and EU is a legacy of the Cold War to protect its own interests.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            It is for our own interests…but there are other countries that have been benefiting from that and are upset that our interests have changed and as such, we want to change the deployment of our forces. Germany will have to spend way more on defense should we leave. Seems to be in their interest as well. Question is is it in ours? What do we get for maintaining a larger force in Germany than Afghanistan…a force that frankly a sizable chunk of Germans and Americans no longer desire there? If it is only or predominantly bfor our interests, then why do the other nation’s even bother with us? Why do they care? Because for all your talk of trade a defense is still necessary and expensive. Those social nets get a little weaker when a country has to double or triple defense spending because there are now 30000 empty barracks rooms.

            You have to look at the whole picture. A global trading power on the scale of the US or where China wants to be has to have a large military. The EU does not…because they have an ally with a large military.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            And again, what capability do these countries bring to a defensive aliance to which they have pledged to spend 2 percent of GDP on defense that should exempt them from that pledge. Got it, the US Military supports US goals. Good, as a US Taxpayer I’m glad to hear that. But all that firepower benefits NATO. All the US is asking is that they live up to their own promise. We spend 4 percent. Without our NATO obligation it would be less. Every other NATO country would likely spend more (save Turkey). So again, what are they bringing to the table that represents value added to the US Taxpayer?

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “And again, what capability do these countries bring to a defensive aliance”

            why do people seem to think that a “defensive alliance” formed with countries still reeling from WWII devastation to counter a powerful enemy who doesn’t exist anymore (the USSR) needs to continue in perpetuity?

            The US military is sized and equipped to fight the World War III which never came.

            And probably never will.

          • 0 avatar
            Sub-600

            “..to counter a powerful enemy that doesn’t exist anymore (the USSR) needs to continue in perpetuity? Gee, Mr. Wizard, why not ask the people in the Crimea? D’oh!

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Then why do they care Jim? So tell Trump to stick it and send those 30000 US troops in Germany (1/3 of the combat forces in Germany) home. You got this Europe.

            Yet they don’t.

            WWIII may never happen. Or it may be happening based on who you ask. We have a lot less to lose however than Continental Europe if we shut it down and are wrong though.

            I think that is why nobody has sent Trump packing.

          • 0 avatar
            ernest

            So let’s talk about Europe for a minute.

            1. The Chinese have correctly ascertained that the EU cannot or will not do anything to correct aggressive Chinese trade/theft.

            2. A few million Muslim men correctly saw the Europeans were hopelessly divided, and totally incapable of protecting their sovreignity.

            3. The Russians know an unarmed, energy hungry Europe will not stop any Russian expansionist threats.

            This all works because Europe is ruled by an Academic Elite that is insulated from the consequences of their policies.

            No- no one not European takes Europe seriously anymore.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “No- no one not European takes Europe seriously anymore.”

            uh-huh. there are more people in this world than the handful of people you personally know who agree with you.

  • avatar
    ernest

    @ Big Al

    At the risk of sounding obnoxious, consider a few points.

    1. We really don’t care what the EU thinks- in particular, Britain and Germany. Odd as this may sound, I think there’s excellent odds Trump will be working with new PM’s from both countries before it goes the other way around.

    2. While Trump struggles with diplomacy, he has tapped into some deep feelings inside of his own borders. That’s going to make some of these decisions harder to unwind over time (without judgement of their merits).

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      ernest,
      You should listen catefully, seriously.

      Because it ain’t Europe. Its the US that will ultimately fail. This really concerns me.

      • 0 avatar
        ernest

        I would take that bet and raise you $100. (grins). We have a fundamentally different view of how the world works. I think it’s between the US and Asia- Europe got left behind decades ago, including Eastern Europe. That and 98 cents will buy you a coffee @ McDonalds.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Maybe. But you live in the 60s when the US was completely unchallenged, totally dominant.

          Now it is different, something Americans need to realise. The rest of the World has never had the level of dominance the US had in its past.

          So, they are better able to work together, they had to, to survive and develop.

          • 0 avatar
            ernest

            From a resource, economic, or strategic basis, name the country that challenges the US today? #2 isn’t even close. This will no doubt change, but I question whether it’ll be in my lifetime.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Ernest,
            You are approaching this like Trump.

            I’ve pointed many times even the global auto industry has two systems in place. The US and everyone else. But, the everyone else system is designed to facilitate trade, where the US system is designed as a protectionist barrier.

            Even aviation globally is moving in the direction of EASA.

            Standards are not based on SAE.

            The metric system.

            Even finance has a system of conformance and compliance globally.

            The US is now the smallest market as everyone else is more advanced at integration across the who spectrum of business, economics, science, etc.

            The US is like the Brits, hanging onto the past.

            This is the truth. Don’t look at we have the biggest military or we sell and use this more, because you are only fooling yourself to placate your insecurity.

            Look at global markets and how they are connected. The EU is nearly as big as the US, China on a PPP basis is bigger than the US.

            The US as you are seeing doesn’t have enough clout to take on a multilateral world. That’s why Trump is trying to destroy it, to make the US what you think it is.

            Don’t get me wrong the US is still very powerful, but not against an organised/unified and Allied world.

            Trump has bitten off more than he can chew.

      • 0 avatar

        “Because it ain’t Europe. Its the US that will ultimately fail. ”

        Really? And how? Europe cannot even defend itself, European army is not functional and EU can fall apart easily and quickly. Do not forget also about population explosion in Africa that is coming soon – there will be billions of hungry people trying to migrate to Europe. Syria is a small country and Europe could not handle wave of few million of migrants well. How EU will be able to accommodate several billion migrants from African countries?

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      @Ernest:I do agree with your 2nd point. Trump tapped into 1) those who felt alienated, 2) those who had lost hope and 3) those who resented the demise of the old Protestant, male, caucasian (WASP) power structure.

  • avatar
    ernest

    @ Big Al: “The US is now the smallest market as everyone else is more advanced at integration across the who spectrum of business, economics, science, etc.”

    I’m not sure what metric you’re using there, but it doesn’t exist on this planet. I don’t want to sound pro-Trump (or anyone else). I’m a pragmatist when it comes to my worldview. When the asteroid hits tomorrow, what other land mass would be better equipped to survive the aftermath than the US?

    @ Arthur Dailey: that’s the point I was making. Good, bad, or otherwise, we’re witnessing a powerful pushback to 8 yrs of Progressivism. As it’s playing out, the pushback is quite a bit stronger than anyone anticipated. Trump never should have won, he should have been impeached, policies stopped… and so on. Hasn’t happened- just the opposite actually. Never Trump Republicans are out looking for a party to hand their hat on, and Democrats are running in circles trying to find a strategy that works. Newsflash- they haven’t found one yet.

    We live in interesting times.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Ernest,
      The US auto market can’t even compare to the UNECE market.

      Why is it all the UNECE markets are not having the issues confronting the US vehicle market regarding exports?

      I really believe you need to look at trading blocks, not individual nations. As this is the way trade occurs.

      When the TTP roles out it will rival the US and Chinese economies. The US will then need to negotiate with a larger more inflential market.

      Man. Wow. We have conversed before, but really approach this from a different angle.

      Why do you think Trump is not successful in gaining any headway with his negotiations? Because of the Germans? Its the EU he must deal with, like Brexit, they don’t deal with each individual EU nation, they can lobby them, but that’s it.

      • 0 avatar
        ernest

        @ Al. Good points there- trading blocks. Here’s another perspective- I watch the stock market a lot… charts tell a story. The S&P500 is telling a very interesting one right now- The BIG MONEY (institutional, wealth funds, major financials, etc) isn’t showing a lot of concern over the trade kerfuffle. And BIG MONEY always knows best (and first), either because they sit in the center or they’re big enough to actually make the trends that we follow. The MSM news is just noise.

        Pull up a 10 yr chart of the SPX (S&P 500. Good proxy for “the market.”)

        http://bigcharts.marketwatch.com/

        • 0 avatar
          probert

          One reason the stock market is doing OK now is that the tax giveaway to corporations has resulted in corporations buying their stock. This is a bubble that will not withstand the shear stupidity of the current regime.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Stock market and real economy are two different animals Ernest, I thought you would of known this. Even the realestate market has little to do with the stock market.

          Understand economics, I think we’ve been here before.

          • 0 avatar
            ernest

            @ Al.
            “Stock market and real economy are two different animals…”

            Of course they are. That’s why I said pull up a 10 yr chart and look at the patterns, not the numbers. Studying the patterns tells you the story. The numbers are only good for the 6:00 news.

            Re market has nothing to do with an economic system… got that.

            Respectfully, you need to remember many of us here are quite a bit more educated, well read, and financially saavy than you think we are. And some of your comments go so far over the top, I can instantly spot that you aren’t quite as informed as you might think on occasion. ;-)

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        “…Why is it all the UNECE markets are not having the issues confronting the US vehicle market regarding exports..?”

        “…Why do you think Trump is not successful in gaining any headway with his negotiations..?”

        @BAFO – Do you really have your head that far up your..? Or are you simply trolling?

        Have you not been paying attention? This entire stinkin’ saga was brought on by the ease of importing in to the US, vs the battle US_market_autos face “exporting”, at every turn, not the least of which are trade-barriers blocking the way of midsize and larger “exports”, with less than puny engines, including lack of diesels, all lobbied by EU automakers to lessen import competition, increase EU auto prices, thereby increase profits and often on crappy Euro-specific cars that couldn’t be realistically sold elsewhere, without extreme EU “protection”.

        Obvious to anyone with a pulse, Trump can’t gain headway against leaders insanely desperate to protect their domestics automakers and industry payoffs.

        Or are you just that stupid?

        • 0 avatar
          probert

          sounds like you’re referring to tax rates on large engines that domestic car makers also have to pay. Hard to call that an unfair trade policy. Fact is Trump’s an idiot desperate to please an ignorant 30% base – and this will do nicely.

          He also imposed a tariff on imported solar panels “to help domestic producers’. But there are no domestic producers and the rate increase cost 10s of thousands of solar panel install jobs.

          The man is an ignorant turd and people are getting hurt. Maybe when you feel it DenverMike you might resort to thinkling..

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            The largest barrier to solar panels isn’t any national policy, it is local and state power companies that have stacked the deck against individuals desiring to install solar panels on their home. It is illegal in many states to go off the grid. Again, this is why I have been screaming that it is local politics that matter. Bad schools, crap roads…this is the stuff that matters and it is all local crap. Why does a state like Florida get the power back on in days following a hurricane while somewhere like Puerto Rico takes months? My numbers are quick, so feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. The federal response to Hurricane Andrew was 44 billion in 2017 dollars. Katrina was 108 billion. Irma and Maria have been 90 billion.

            The federal response likely could have been better but much of the blame rests with local corruption (things like the power grid are largely local matters).

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            An really? Tens of thousands of solar panel installers lost their jobs? I could find nothing approaching the same universe as those numbers. Might you have a source @probert?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Are you kidding? The whole circus is set up to thwart US auto makers, including Toyota, Nissan and others to a great degree.

            If there’s a side benefit for the EU, it’s just bonus.

            Yes right down to the way fuel consumption is figured. Liters to 100 kms? Why? So even the little things can’t line up. It’s diabolical.

            Everyone knows how “Horse Power” relates to work/motivation, but the EU converts engine torque to “kilowatts”? Other than just to be “special” and confuse everyone, why?

            It’s deluded thinking, it’s all a coincidence. EU regulations zig every where US regs “zag”, to the point of comedy.

            If they came up with a “better way”, here or there, it was bound to happen eventually.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            “The man is an ignorant turd and people are getting hurt. Maybe when you feel it DenverMike you might resort to thinkling..”

            That’s bizarre. I just came back from a funeral for a 48 year old. I wound up the evening at a dinner attended by ten people ranging from a Lieutenant Colonel in the Marines to an importer of Vietnamese home décor. Everyone was hurt by the Obama regime and is better off under Trump. Even the liberals too conditioned to #walkaway from the their suicide cult lamented what Obamacare had done to their family finances.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        @Al, not sure if you, being outside of the US know of all of the politics over TPP. You know, the US wasnt, as a whole opposed to TPP until they were told they didn’t get to read it. Congress literally locked it in a room and if they wanted to read it they had to sit in there and read it. Normal people like me? Forget it…the common voter would never get to know. There was already deep suspicion following NAFTA by many. This was a stupid strategy.

        Honestly had they just posted it online it likely would have passed…unless of course they actually did have something they were hiding. Alas We will never know.

        But seriously, why would they do that? If it was really good for America wouldn’t they want it out there? We are talking a trade deal, not locations of Nuclear Subs here. We had a right to know. They took away that right and as such were pressured to vote it down. Furthermore the whole affair played right in to Trump’s MO that “The Man” was trying to screw you over.

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