Wednesday 12th of December 2018

fair trade, US style...

fair trade...

President Donald Trump has said the US will no longer tolerate "chronic trade abuses", in a defiant address at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) summit in Vietnam.

He said he would always put US interests first and Apec nations should "abide by fair reciprocal trade".

In stark contrast, China's Xi Jinping said globalisation was irreversible and voiced support for multilateralism.

Mr Trump is currently on a five-nation Asia tour, with China one of his stops.

Apec brings together 21 economies from the Pacific region - the equivalent of about 60% of the world's GDP.

Since taking office, President Trump has pursued his "America First" agenda and pulled the US out of the regional Trans-Pacific Partnership - a major trade deal with 12 Apec nations - arguing it would hurt US economic interests.

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"no more" cheating the US...

Donald Trump has abruptly ended the diplomatic streak he displayed on his 12-day tour of Asia by launching a tirade against “violations, cheating or economic aggression” in the region, just hours after heaping lavish praise on China.

Speaking at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) conference in Da Nang,Vietnam, on Friday, the US president’s words had the tone of a fierce reprimand. The speech was clearly, sometimes explicitly, focused on China and other countries he blamed for predatory economic policies, accusing them of having “stripped” jobs, factories and industries out of the United States.

“We can no longer tolerate these chronic trade abuses and we will not tolerate them,” he said, with audio speakers in the large hall crackling as Trump raised his voice at times.

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Trump forgets that the US big(and small) multinationals went to Asia to make cheaper goods, to sell them everywhere at huge profits... Say an Apple iPhone made in the US would cost about 4 to 5 times the present price. Inflation in the USA and the western world would hit the roof without the "cheap goods" from Asia...  

paying the US debt in petro-IOUs...

Three Chinese state-run corporations signed an agreement with the government of the US State of Alaska on the production of liquefied natural gas on the territory of the state with its subsequent transportation to China. The contract is evaluated at 43 billion dollars.


Noteworthy, the deal is paid for by US securities - USA's "debt receipts" to China. Their holders are the Bank of China and the state fund of the PRC.

In a nutshell, the USA will give China shale gas as debt payment. It is clear now why the Chinese have decided not to sign new gas contracts with Russia.

Representatives for the Chinese administration said that they did not see the need for the Power of Siberia-2 gas pipeline (with a capacity of 30 billion cubic meters per year), nor does China need the pipeline to deliver natural gas from Sakhalin Island (8 billion cubic meters per year), even though Russia and China were discussing these projects for the last two years.

Professor of the Russian State University of Oil and Gas named after I.M. Gubkin, Valery Bessel, said in an interview with Pravda.Ru that the contract with the Americans and the refusal to implement new projects with Russia was a "normal business process," in which there is nothing to worry about. China and the USA are major trade partners, and a contract worth 43 million dollars is simply not serious from the point of view of the scale of the US-Chinese turnover.

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horrible free trade in horror free fall...

PRESIDENT TRUMP has started a trade war.

He has done so in defiance of his own political party, of the advice of almost all economists and of conventional wisdom.

He says he is doing this to protect American jobs.

His opponents point out that by increasing the domestic cost of steel he will be raising costs across manufacturing industries in the U.S. and provoking America’s trading partners into retaliation. This would mean that every job saved in the steel industry – a highly capital intensive industry which will not create many jobs if it expands in any case – might cost several jobs elsewhere in the economy.

Many economists talk with the horror of old-time preachers, denouncing sin of evil distortions to divine principle of free trade. References to recession abound — and it can only be a matter of time before people start to talk of the "beggar-my-neighbour" policies of the 1930s, of a threat to the world order and to America’s position in the world. Even the great oracle known as the stock market has sounded an alarm.


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Be afraid of the lot, including "conventional wisdom"... The stock market as a "great oracle?" Wow! The place is full of thieves and immoral greedy sods who are happy to rape the planet!


Back to what Baudelaire thought of "commerce" in 

soft collision of clouds and of democracy...

the steel cage for trumble...

Donald Trump "emphatically" promised to exempt Australian steel and aluminium from US tariffs during a meeting with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull last year, it can be revealed.

Key points:
  • Mr Trump and Mr Turnbull had a meeting last year in the so-called "Steel Cage"
  • The US tarrifs would impose a 25 per cent tax on imported steel and 10 per cent for aluminium
  • Mr Trump promised Australia would be exempt during a meeting last year


The ABC understands the promise was witnessed by high-ranking officials on both sides of the meeting, which was held on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany, in July 2017.

Among those in the US delegation who saw the undertaking first-hand were US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and White House Chief Economics Adviser Gary Cohn.

On the Australian side were Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet David Gruen.

This revelation explains why the Australian Government has been stunned by Mr Trump's declaration last week that the tariff regime will be enforced, and subsequent statements by Mr Ross that country-specific exemptions are unlikely.

The conversation between the President and the Prime Minister was in the so-called "Steel Cage", a secure communications pod that travels with the US President.

Sources have told the ABC Mr Trump's promise was emphatic and that he instructed Mr Ross to work out the specifics to "make it happen".

The Prime Minister and the Australian delegation was "absolutely certain" that a deal had been struck during the Hamburg meeting. 

And having secured the assurance, the Turnbull Government dispatched Ambassador Joe Hockey to follow it through with the Trump administration in Washington.


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Ah, ye ol' steel cage where many a geezer in a mask died of lonesomeness... Meanwhile I thought all Australian steel industry, apart from the manufacture of corrugated iron from imported rolled sheets, was kaput — and that the Aussie aluminium industry was more expensive than the USA's... Meanwhile bumbling Joe Hockey would have discovered that the "end of entitlements" was not just for lazy bones...

I have already mentioned that many industrialists in Germany use the steel cage — a Faraday cage made of "chicken wire-mesh" to prevent any listening devices communications in or out — to minimise industrial espionage. The movie  "Enemy of the State" shows the character played by Gene Hackman using one of these to prevent the NSA locating him.


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fair trade...

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - US President Donald Trump has given Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau an ultimatum on trade, saying he would not accept any deal that is not "fair."

"The Unite States has been taken advantage of for many decades on trade. Those days are over," the White House said, citing Trump’s message to Trudeau. "The Unite States will agree to a fair deal, or there will be no deal at all."

Earlier, US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that Washington would impose a 25-percent steel tariff and 10-percent aluminium tariffs on the EU, Canada, and Mexico.


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