As the world watches breathlessly if Trump will follow through with his threat to slap steel and aluminum import tariffs, Europe continues to quietly ratchet up its own trade war with China and nobody seems to mind. Continue reading
A popular thesis since the 1930s is that a natural progression exists from currency wars to trade wars to shooting wars. Both history and analysis support this thesis.
Currency wars do not exist all the time; they arise under certain conditions and persist until there is either systemic reform or systemic collapse. The conditions that give rise to currency wars are too much debt and too little growth.
In those circumstances, countries try to steal growth from trading partners by cheapening their currencies to promote exports and create export-related jobs. Continue reading
Yesterday, the WSJ reported that the Trump administration is planning to begin a probe of what the U.S. sees as violations of intellectual property by China. Against a backdrop of Trump’s frustrations with domestic policy, sliding approval ratings and disagreement with China over North Korea, the chances of protectionist action are rising, as is the probability of a “hot”, retaliatory trade war. This morning ow learn when Trump is set to fire the first shot. Reuters reports, citing White House officials, that President Trump is expected to make a speech and sign a memorandum at the White House on tomorrow, Friday, that will target China’s intellectual property and trade practices, effectively firing the first shot in what could escalate into a major US-China trade war. Continue reading
And America still has no replacement for the Russian rockets it uses to send things into space with. America is hemorrhaging.
Cheap Chinese aluminum is undermining national security.
At the dawn of the 20th century, the United States of America emerged as a world power. At the heart of its rise was a powerful manufacturing economy. Following the rapid expansion westward of Manifest Destiny, the collective resources of the continent were combined with the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of the American people. The steel smelters of Pittsburgh, and the automobile factories of Detroit were symbols of America’s manufacturing might.
While American manufacturing drove forward peacetime prosperity, it wasn’t long before it would be mobilized for war. The armies of freedom were fortunate that the American industrial machine was on the side of the Allies, for it proved unmatched in the world. It is doubtful that the Allies could have won World War II if America was less industrialized. Despite the vital nature of American manufacturing, it has crumbled into oblivion since 1945.
The continuous outsourcing of American manufacturing and the over production of other countries has eroded away any industry America had. The smelters around Pittsburgh have long disappeared, and Detroit has become a ghost town. While this has led to fewer jobs and domestic issues, it is also becoming a national security threat. Continue reading
BEIJING – There’s a Chinese saying that stems from the philosophy in Sun Tzu’s ancient text “The Art of War”: You can kill 1,000 enemies, but you would also lose 800 soldiers.
Centuries later, the proverb is suddenly apt again, being mentioned frequently in discussions around Beijing. Now, it highlights the potential damage U.S. President-elect Donald Trump could inflict if he makes good on his threat to start a trade war with China, the world’s second-biggest economy.
Having backed off some other campaign pledges, it’s unclear if Trump will end up slapping punitive tariffs on China — and Beijing has signaled some optimism he will be more pragmatic in office. Still, the message from China is that any move to tax Chinese imports would bring retaliation: The U.S. economy would take a hit and America would damage its long-standing ties with Asia. Continue reading
Last night, Chinese President Xi Jinping rang up President-elect Donald Trump to congratulate him on his recent election win.
During the phone call, Xi stressed the need for cooperation between China and the United States in terms of trade, reported Beijing’s state-run TV channel China Central Television (CCTV) this morning. Continue reading
China decried a decision by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce yesterday to impose steep duties on the country’s cold-rolled flat steel, which is primarily used for car manufacturing.
The United States imposed a new 522% fee on steel products, reported CNN. New China tariffs also include a 266% anti-dumping duty and a 256% anti-subsidy duty. Continue reading
Secret negotiations between the US and EU for the biggest bilateral trade agreement ever negotiated resume on April 20 in New York. The talks are attracting increasing criticism as activists guess at the proposals while politicians keep the details behind closed doors.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is a massive new trade deal, expected to be completed in the next few months, that would cut tariffs on imported goods between the two powers while standardising safety rules.
That might mean Scottish manufacturers can sell woollen jumpers in the US cheaply, while give US brands direct access to the EU market. Critics say it could reduce European safety standards and allow the privatisation of services such as the NHS. Continue reading
Is Moscow’s proposed Eurasian Union an initiative to revitalize stagnant economies, or an attempt to re-establish a Soviet Union “lite?”
After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the world suddenly had 15 more nation states, some of whom had not been sovereign territories since the 19th century.
Nevertheless, calls for a re-integration of the Eurasian region were soon heard, often led by Russia, according to (pdf) a Chatham House paper.
In 2005, Russian President Vladimir Putin called the fall of the USSR “a major geopolitical disaster of the century.”
There’s been a smattering of different attempts at unification, including the Commonwealth of Independent States security union, but a lack of commitment to creating the institutions have stalled efforts, Chatham House writes.
Open question: Was giving up an internet under American control done as a ‘measure of good faith’ in order to push the trans-Atlantic deal through?
(Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama and European Union leaders will promise to remove all tariffs on bilateral trade at a summit on March 26, an ambitious step towards the world’s largest free-trade deal, according to a draft statement seen by Reuters.
The joint declaration, if delivered as laid out in the draft, seeks to overcome tensions following Washington’s offer to cut its duties by less than the Europeans had hoped for and after Brussels pledged to remove almost all of its own tariffs. Continue reading
The US –EU transatlantic trade deal, will go to a second round of talks in mid- November, but could hit a stumbling block over Germany’s demand for data protection as a condition to signing the treaty.
The EU and US policymakers agreed to hold two more rounds of trade negotiations over the next two months, The Wall Street Journal reports. The first round will take place in Brussels on November 11-15 and cover investment and energy sector trade, as well as address regulatory issues. In December officials will congregate in Washington DC for another round of talks. Continue reading
After claiming for years that austerity was “right thing to do”, before eventually admitting growth was in everyone’s best interests, you’d have thought Brussels would have learnt its lesson by now.
Not so … it seems.
For this week eurocrats went a step further and— having already exasperated many of the EU’s own members— they managed to alienate the one of the block’s biggest trading partners too, by slapping tariffs on cut-price Chinese solar panels. Continue reading