The Road to War: China vs the US

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In 2016 Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, declared that there was no doubt, in his mind, that the US would go to war with China in the South China Sea in the next five to 10 years.

A US-Chinese military conflict would be on top of a vow by Trump in his inaugural presidential address, to not only take on radical Islamic terrorism but to “eradicate it from the face of the Earth.” This would be done by building up America’s already supreme military. “Our military dominance must be unquestioned,” the billionaire businessman, who now controlled the most powerful political office in the world, declared in his first address to the nation.

A year and a half after that speech, the United States is not at war with China, but its economic saber-rattling is arguably the beginning of a confrontation between the world’s largest and second-largest economies. Trump’s tariff threats against not only China but Europe, Canada, Mexico and its other trade partners, are also symbolic of a shift in US foreign policy towards a more isolationist stance – one that may not strictly be due to Trump’s belligerent personality. This article will get into the antecedents of this economic and military showdown and point the way to some possible future scenarios, including a war in space. Continue reading

Trade war threats get real as US and China impose tariffs

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Donald Trump has turned his threats of a trade war into reality. (Photo: AP)

 

US President Donald Trump fired the biggest shot yet in the global trade war by imposing tariffs on $US34 billion ($46 billion) of Chinese imports. China immediately said it would be forced to retaliate.

The duties on Chinese goods started at 12:01 am Friday in Washington (2:01 pm AEST), which was just after midday in China. Another $US16 billion of goods could follow in two weeks, Trump earlier told reporters, before suggesting the final total could eventually reach $US550 billion, a figure that exceeds all of US goods imports from China in 2017.

US customs officials will begin collecting an additional 25 per cent tariff on imports from China of goods ranging from farming plows to semiconductors and airplane parts. China’s officials have previously said they would respond by imposing higher levies on goods ranging from American soybeans to pork, which may in turn prompt Trump to raise trade barriers even higher.

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In Open Dissent

BERLIN (Own report) – The G7 summit in La Malbaie, Canada, ended in open dissent on Saturday without a joint final declaration. After the G7 state and government leaders had already agreed on a joint statement, US President Donald Trump withdrew his endorsement. The document is still supported by the other six G7 states and is occasionally referred to as the “G6” declaration, to point out the deep rift in the traditional West. Whereas German business circles still call for making concessions in the trade conflict with Washington, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is considering new cooperation frameworks with states “beyond classical alliances, such as NATO.” This however would be in contrast to the agreement reached at the G7 summit on a mechanism aimed at a common response to cyber attacks and attacks such as the nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury. According to scholars of the German Bundestag, Moscow’s alleged responsibility has still not been proven.

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EU ignites Trump War: Brussels to slap trade sanctions on Harleys and Jack Daniels

Jack Daniels whiskey/Harley-Davidson mototrbike

Iconic US brands such as Jack Daniels and Harley-Davidson will be targeted by EU trade commissioners [Getty]

 

BRUSSELS is gearing up for a bitter trade war with US and has pledged to fight fire with fire if Washington carries out its threat to introduce import barriers to steel and aluminium products from Europe.

European Union trade officials have warned such a move would result in counter-tarrifs being slapped on exports from the US within days.

They said iconic US products ranging from Harley-Davidson motorcycles to Jack Daniels whiskey would be targeted in any retaliatory strikes and that preparations for such a confrontation were in full swing. Continue reading

With Japan against China

 

TOKYO/BRUSSELS/BERLIN(Own report) – With the conclusion of their free trade agreement, the EU and Japan are about to establish the world’s largest free trade zone. As was reported, the agreement between the two highly export oriented economic blocks, generating nearly 30 percent of the global economic output, could already take effect in early 2019. According to the EU Commission and German economic institutes the Japan-EU Free Trade Agreement (JEFTA) could lead to significant economic growth and the creation of hundreds of thousands of new jobs. On the one hand, the agreement is aimed at making up for eventual slumps on the US market and, on the other, is part of the containment strategy against China, the emerging powerhouse. Despite their differences, Berlin and Washington continue to cooperate in their opposition to Beijing. Parallel to the JEFTA agreement, the EU, Japan and the USA have declared that they will jointly take on China more aggressively over trade issues.

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China Sends One of the West’s Most Critical Materials Soaring

Photographer: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

 

  • Tungsten prices have jumped 50 percent in the last two months
  • China is enforcing output quotas for the steel-hardening metal

The price of one of the most critical materials for the Western world’s economy and defenses is spiking faster than any major commodity. Continue reading

Trump To Launch Trade War With China On Friday, Beijing Vows Retaliation

 

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

America’s Dying Aluminum Industry

And America still has no replacement for the Russian rockets it uses to send things into space with. America is hemorrhaging.

 

High purity aluminum is used to make jets such as this Boeing F-18. (ASANKA BRENDON RATNAYAKE/ANADOLU AGENCY/GETTY IMAGES)

 

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

EU Prepares for Trade War with U.S. – Süddeutsche Zeitung

Photo: RIA Novosti / Aleksey Vitvitskiy

 

EU countries are considering three main variants of answering possible changes in the US trade policy.

Active discussions on how to react to plans of US President Donald Trump to introduce a 20 percent duty on imported goods in the US are held in EU countries, the German Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported.

First of all, EU states themselves could subsidize their enterprises in order to save the companies from additional costs for new duties. In addition, companies would manage to remain competitive. However, this variant would hit the budget of European countries. Continue reading

White House Prepares For Trade War, Warns US “Will Not Be Bound By WTO Decisions”

In the latest warning from the White House that it is set to unleash trade policy that will be in sharp conflict with generally accepted trade norms, most likely a reference to some form of Border Adjustment Tax, the Trump administration has warned that the U.S. isn’t and won’t bound by decisions made at the World Trade Organization, in outlining a new trade agenda that “promises to root out unfair practices by foreign countries” and to escalate what are already simmering trade conflicts. Continue reading

Germany Considers Economic Retaliation Against Trump

Caption: German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

 

If America unleashes a trade war starting with BMW, Germany is prepared to fight back.

Senior German politicians have threatened to unleash a trade war on the United States if President Donald Trump follows through his threats to German industry.

President Donald Trump famously threatened to put a 35 percent tax on the German car manufacturer BMW in an interview published by the Times of London and Bild on January 15. German politicians were quick to respond. The next day, German public broadcaster ZDF asked German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble if the world is entering a time of more protectionism. Schäuble said he hoped not but also pointed out one way Germany could hit back.

“I also want to point out that currently American companies don’t have to tax their gains which they make outside of the U.S.,” he said. “That means that hundreds of billions of untaxed gains, of great American companies, rest in a tax oasis” (Trumpet translation throughout). Continue reading

China Readies Itself for Global Trade War with U.S. and WTO

You see, when Beijing negotiated the terms that allowed China to accede to the WTO in 2001, the United States agreed to treat China as a “non-market economy” (NME) in antidumping cases.

At least for the next 15 years, after which China would then get a WTO status upgrade to “market economy.” Continue reading

China declares WAR with EU and US: Beijing launches legal action against Juncker AND Trump

CHINA has launched legal action against the EU and the US for failing to recognise it has a market economy.

The move is likely to fuel worsening relations, particularly with the US after President-elect Donald Trump has been engaging in a war of words with Beijing, criticising its military build-up in the South China Sea as well as pointing the finger over the country’s alleged failure to rein in North Korea.

China’s leaders have been seeking official market economy status with the World Trade Organisation. Continue reading

EU seeks to strengthen measures on Chinese dumping

The European Commission presented new anti-dumping measures on Wednesday (9 November) that are mainly aimed at countering Chinese steel imports.

The commission wants to change the way it calculates dumping when products come from a country where the economy is distorted because of state intervention.

According to the proposal, the EU will scrap the usual distinction made between countries with a market economy status (MES) and countries which are not recognised as such. It proposes treating all members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in the same way.

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Rare-Earth Market

Rare earths… A topic that was explored here years ago when it realized then the implications today’s press are just starting to wake up to.

See also:

US defense industry over-reliant on rare earth from China

Rare Earths Rouse Pentagon Fears

China warns of backlash if U.S. presses rare-earths case with WTO

 

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By monopolizing the mining of rare-earth metals, China could dictate the future of high-tech.

Beyond high-tech gadgets, rare earths play a critical role in national defense, enabling radar systems and guided missiles. Ironically, they also power clean-energy technologies, such as wind turbines and electric cars. This year, global consumption is expected to be about 155,000 tons, far more than the 45,000 tons used 25 years ago. Demand will only grow — likely at an accelerated pace — as the world tries to rein in climate change. Continue reading