BERLIN (Own report) – With intense shuttle diplomacy, members of the German government are seeking to avert the impending US punitive tariffs on European goods and the loss of access to the important US market. Following Germany’s Finance Minster Olaf Scholz’s visit to the US capital yesterday, Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected in Washington on Friday. Already in the run up to these visits, Berlin seems ready to envisage a revival of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). This strategic decision is accompanied by a clear frontline position against China, as was resolutely demanded by the Trump administration. In addition, German-Russian business relations are increasingly under attack in Washington. At the same time, EU criticism of Germany’s unilateral trade policies is growing. Germany’s export oriented economy is particularly vulnerable to the protectionism that is gaining strength on a global scale. Berlin’s Beggar-thy-Neighbor-Policy could prove a strategic disadvantage under these new global economic conditions. Continue reading
Brussels: The European Union and Canada signed a far-reaching trade agreement on Sunday that commits them to opening their markets to greater competition, after overcoming a last-minute political obstacle that reflected the growing scepticism toward globalisation in much of the developed world.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had been forced to call off an earlier trip to sign the deal after Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium, used its veto to withhold Belgian approval of the deal. The pact required the support of all 28 signatory countries.
Mr Trudeau signed the pact on Sunday, joined by Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, which represents the leaders of the member states; Prime Minister Robert Fico of Slovakia, which holds the rotating presidency of the body that runs the bloc’s ministerial meetings; and Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm. Continue reading
Beijing has a documented plan to be the premier global superpower by 2049. It’s over halfway there.
Americans think in four-year election cycles. Chinese leaders think in terms of centuries. Just leaf through the glossy, cream-colored, gold-flecked pages of The Governance of China. This anthology of political theories by Chinese President Xi Jinping is considered almost sacred scripture in Beijing.
Across 18 chapters about leading the most populous nation on the planet, Xi outlines his utopian vision for the Chinese people. In the world he describes, the Chinese are heirs to an ancient and unique civilization entitled to a privileged position among nations. In this world, China is an economic, cultural and military superpower, while the United States is no longer a major geopolitical power.
BARACK Obama was last night condemned for trying to “blackmail” Britain into remaining in the EU.
The US President warned the UK would be “at the back of the queue” for a trade deal with America if it quit Brussels.
But his threat provoked outrage and scorn from pro-Brexit campaigners, who dismissed it as yet another scaremongering ploy from the pro-EU lobby.
Mr Obama, who will no longer be in office when decisions on a trade deal are made, delivered a lecture to the British people on why he thinks it is in the UK’s, America’s and the world’s best interests for Britain to vote to stay in the EU on June 23.
Under the draft provisions of the latest trade deal to be leaked by Wikileaks, countries could be barred from trying to control where their citizens’ personal data is held or whether it’s accessible from outside the country.
Wikileaks has released 17 documents relating to the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), currently under negotiation between the US, the European Union and 23 other nations. These negotiating texts are supposed to remain secret for five years after TISA is finalized and brought into force. 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
China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) initiative is a means to achieve its goal of bolstering regional integration and connectivity through its “Belt and Road” strategy, Lu Chung-ta, director of investments and marketing at Shin Kong Investment Trust Co.
The establishment of the AIIB is widely regarded as an effort by China to create an international financial institution that rivals the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the Asia Development Bank and curb the US’s leading position in global financial decision-making bodies in the post-World War II era. Continue reading
Chapter 17 on Economic and Monetary Policy will be opened ”soon”, according to Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.
The European Union supports opening new chapters on Turkey’s accession into the 28-nation-bloc, the President of the European Council Donald Tusk has said. Continue reading
Even though two of the most bloodiest wars in modern history resulted from pacts between Europe and Russia, the Europeans have always accepted that risk and usually chose Russia as a partner over the United States. This needs to be remembered when considering what direction Europe is going today. History does in fact repeat itself.
Recent events, such as the overthrow of the government in Ukraine, the secession of Crimea and its decision to join the Russian Federation, the subsequent military campaign against civilians in Eastern Ukraine, western sanctions against Russia, and, most recently, the attack on the ruble, have caused a certain phase transition to occur within Russian society, which, I believe, is very poorly, if at all, understood in the west. This lack of understanding puts Europe at a significant disadvantage in being able to negotiate an end to this crisis.
Whereas prior to these events the Russians were rather content to consider themselves “just another European country,” they have now remembered that they are a distinct civilization, with different civilizational roots (Byzantium rather than Rome)—one that has been subject to concerted western efforts to destroy it once or twice a century, be it by Sweden, Poland, France, Germany, or some combination of the above. This has conditioned the Russian character in a specific set of ways which, if not adequately understood, is likely to lead to disaster for Europe and the world. Continue reading
If 2015 is anything like 2014 we can expect a wild ride. Oil price volatility – including its downward trend – will linger well into the first and second quarters as global production persists and key conflicts in Eastern Europe and the Middle East show no end. For its part, the United States is better positioned than most – the US is poised to carry the global economy in 2015 with projected GDP growth of 3.1 percent. However, converting this potential into meaningful energy trade and/or soft power is another matter altogether and 2015 offers limited opportunities. Continue reading
In the end, they will side with Russia. Not only because of legal issues or political issues such as the Snowden ‘scandal’, but because they have historically leaned pro-Russian despite the last 70 years of strong relations with the United States. The current Chancellor, Angela Merkel, is heavily Russian influenced as she grew up in the Soviet controlled eastern portion of Germany and voluntarily participated in the DDR — and held leadership positions. She was groomed to be pro-Russian. Her predecessor, Gerhardt Schröder, strengthened business ties between nations during his tenure, plus he now works for Gazprom, a state-owned (KGB/FSB) Russian gas company — and knows exactly who and what entity he works for.
It doesn’t take a genius to see where this is going as leaves don’t fall far from the tree. The espionage ‘scandal’ is only an excuse — because it’s quite clear every nation spies on another, including allies — to do what Germany has long wanted to do: Kick NATO and the Western powers out and rule the European continent on its own.
NATO being shown the door is only one crisis away and a Russian invasion of Ukraine could prove that. NATO, the protectorate of Europe against Soviet aggression, is unprepared to fend off a Russian attack and will sit idly by while anger stirs against its intentional complacency. That would be the nail in the coffin for the West and a boost for Germany’s Fourth Reich to take the military lead, as it’s slowly pushing for now.
Germany is to scupper a free trade agreement between the European Union and Canada because the clauses giving legal protection to investors would give them too much power, according to a report in a leading Germany newspaper.
The Canada deal is considered a template for the United States-EU free trade agreement, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which is still under negotiation. If Germany rejects the Canada agreement, then the American deal looks likely to fail, too.
A senior European Commission official in Brussels told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung: “The free trade treaty with Canada is a test for the agreement with the United States.” If the one with Canada is rejected, “then the one with the United States is also dead.” Continue reading
BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) – The German Chancellor is suggesting that the EU should take a “new look at its energy policy” as a whole. As Angela Merkel confirmed last week, several EU countries are at least partially “very highly dependent” on “the supply of raw materials from Russia.” Spurred on by the Ukrainian crisis, Berlin and Brussels could, however, in the long run, seek to liberate themselves. Merkel made her remarks following talks with Canada’s Prime Minister, who is considering the diversification of his country’s energy exports and does not exclude exporting natural gas to Europe. This, along with gas, which is extracted in the USA by the controversial “fracking” technique and should be exportable soon, could shake Russia’s strong position on the European gas market. Massive price cuts could result, forcing Moscow to drastically cut its budget, according to US experts. Whether Putin could politically survive such measures is unknown. In Berlin the debate continues over the new perspective of transatlantic energy. Representatives from US-oriented sectors are in favor and those from energy companies doing business with Russia and from the SPD, are opposed. Continue reading
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