Sunday 21st of July 2019

tax on your exquisite EU cheese platter from the IQ man who only eats shit-food...


The Tariff Man is on track to hit hard again this summer, and it's bad news for EU companies ranging from Dutch cheesemakers to industrial heavyweight Airbus.

European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström warned the EU's trade ministers at a meeting on Monday that they need to steel themselves for U.S. President Donald Trump to hit billions of euros worth of European goods with tariffs, ramping up a decadeslong dispute over unwarranted subsidies for Airbus.

Three officials in the room said Malmström warned them that the U.S. has rejected attempts to negotiate a deal on aviation subsidies and added that Washington is now willing to proceed with the tariffs, which would be legal under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

"We should brace for this," the officials cited Malmström as saying.

Although the WTO ruled that not only Airbus but also its American competitor Boeing benefited from illegal state aid, the U.S. case against Airbus is more advanced. Washington said last month it wants to levy retaliatory tariffs on up to $21 billion of European products, a decision that still needs to be confirmed by a WTO arbitrator. The verdict is expected to come in July.

"There is a big probability that the U.S. will apply these tariffs as soon as the WTO arbitrator has ruled," said one EU diplomat who attended Malmström's briefing. The diplomat added that the U.S. duties would likely hit the EU by the end of July or early August: "It's what this U.S. administration likes."

An official from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said that Washington has stressed throughout the dispute that it is seeking a negotiated outcome. “It is our hope and expectation that the additional duties, if needed, will provide an incentive for the EU, once and for all, to stop subsidizing Airbus in ways that have adverse effects on the United States,” the official said.


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Picture at top by Gus Leonisky.


Note: not only Airbus but American competitor Boeing also benefited from illegal state aid. This is a fact that will escape our super IQ genius on a windy day (if the EU case is "not as advance" as that of the USA is only due to the way the US administration has been hiding the facts). The REAL adverse effects on the United States is that Boeing made shitty planes called the 787 MAX 8 that killed nearly 300 people recently. This is far more damaging than subsidies. As well the way the USA has waged ILLEGAL WARS IS A HORRENDOUS BEHAVIOUR — and the entire world should be compensated for this US crap.

his IQ number came from a lucky dip at a school fete...


“Part of it comes from his insecurities about not being perceived as intelligent,” a former White House official added.

In recent years, Trump has accused Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), actor Robert De Niro, Washington Post staffers, former President George W. Bush, comedian Jon Stewart, Republican strategist Rick Wilson, MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski, and Rick Perry, now his Energy secretary, of having low IQs.

He once suggested he’d like to compare his IQ to that of then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, adding, “And I can tell you who is going to win.” He privately mocked former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ intelligence, according to a former White House official. All the while, Trump has claimed his Cabinet has the highest IQ of any assembled in history.

“Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest -and you all know it! Please don't feel so stupid or insecure, it's not your fault,” Trump tweeted in 2013

Just last week, the president again referred to himself as an “extremely stable genius,” and he has spent years insisting has a high IQ score, though he has never revealed the exact number. When a Twitter critic challenged him in 2013 to prove his high IQ, Trump responded simply, “The highest, asshole!”

Democrats are increasingly fed up with Trump's name calling, encouraging journalists to ignore it altogether and arguing it's a sign that the president isn't serious about policy or governing.

Trump has been obsessing over IQ and pedigree for decades, long before he moved to the White House. Barbara Res, a former Trump Organization official, recalled that Trump used to brag about one of his executives graduating from Yale Law School at the top of the class, even though Yale Law doesn’t rank its students. Trump later made the same false assertion about Brett Kavanaugh.

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Bullies like The Donald have no IQ, they have BQ, "brawn quotient"... but they nearly always win because a rabid stupid soldier can always kill a philosopher, while the reverse is nearly impossible, even a philosopher with the best IQ in the world. OUR PROBLEM IS THAT TRUMP KNOWS THIS...

redecorating europe...

The décor of the room in which the German chancellor hoped to convince the French president to support her favored candidate was telling: brown leather chairs, a lonely potted plant at the window, a bottle of mineral water and a thermos of coffee on the table. It was clearly more Chancellery than Élysée.

It was here, in one of the German delegation's rooms on the fourth floor of the new European Council building in Brussels, that Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron met on Tuesday afternoon before joining their counterparts for an informal EU dinner 45 minutes later. Merkel's spokesman posted a photo on Twitter in advance of the meeting: Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron, both smiling. 

But appearances were deceiving. The relationship between Berlin and Paris is tenser than it has been in quite some time. Ever since Macron moved into the Élysée Palace two years ago, the German-French relationship has been a bit more heated. Macron wants to change Europe, but the Germans prefer to stall. 

Berlin has rejected Macron's proposals to reform of the Eurozone and the two countries are fighting over armament projects and weapons exports. It was difficult to find a compromise on Brexit and common ground German-Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline proved just as elusive. 

And now, following European elections, the EU is now in the process of choosing new occupants for its top positions -- and additional tensions may be on the horizon. In the wrangling over those leadership positions, Paris and Berlin have conflicting interests. Macron wants to take advantage of the opportunity to remake the EU, as he has said in numerous speeches. To do so, he needs an energetic European Commission president who shares his aims.

Merkel, meanwhile, must support Manfred Weber, the German lead candidate for the European People's Party (EPP), the center-right European Parliament group to which Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) belong. She has little choice in the matter, particularly given that her party already suspects her of having left them in the lurch during the campaign. Ever since Merkel gave up her position as the chairperson of the CDU and announced her impending retirement from politics, she has become a lame duck. To prevent her power from crumbling further, the chancellor needs to prove she can still represent German interests in Brussels. She needs to prevent a commission president from being selected whom the Germans do not like. 

Macron, meanwhile, has joined forces with the European liberals and hopes to form an alliance -- ideally with the Greens -- to finally end the dominance of the big blocs in EU politics, the center-right conservatives and the center-left Social Democrats. He rejects the very concept of the lead candidate. More than that, though, he is opposed to the man for whom Merkel has to fight: Manfred Weber, of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party of Merkel's CDU. 

And so they stand opposed: a frustrated French president, disappointed by the timidity and worries of the Germans, determined if necessary to move Europe forward with help of other partners. And an outgoing chancellor, who wants to remain the most powerful woman in Europe to the end. Merkel and Macron spent an hour and a half on the phone the evening the European elections ended, but so far there are no signs that they are approaching agreement on top European jobs.

When Macron says the word "spitzenkandidat," German for lead candidate, it's clear how little he thinks of the concept. He rushes through the long German word, putting the stress on the third syllable and making it sound pointed, almost like barbed wire in the middle of the French surrounding it.

A New Landscape

After the meal with the heads of state and government, Macron explained for the umpteenth time how little he thinks of this selection process according to which only someone who campaigned as lead candidate in the elections can become commission president. Weeks ago, he was already insisting that there is no legal foundation for the process. Now, with the election now over, he sees it as anachronistic, mirroring as it does the old power structures characterized by the dominance of the erstwhile big-tent parties. 

"These elections mark a turning point for Europe," Macron said in Brussels. For the first time since 1979, the two largest parties might not be able to form a majority, he said. "So we cannot simply continue as we are used to doing."

Macron had just experienced the opposition to his point of view during dinner, when Merkel -- over pork filet, asparagus and green beans -- clearly threw her support behind Weber. It was a tense discussion, and mobile phone reception was even blocked.

Merkel contradicted Macron's argument that Weber didn't have the necessary experience. It was something people had said about her, she recalled, when she took office 14 years ago. The evening ended with a temporary victory by the chancellor. Then on Tuesday, Merkel parried attempts by the French and others to finalize a set of firm criteria for the future commission president. 

Merkel, of course, like Macron, has never been a fan of the lead candidate system. She does, though, see Weber is an acceptable candidate. She is accustomed to much worse from the CSU. More than anything , though, the chancellor knows that the CDU and the CSU back home are expecting her to get Weber through in Brussels. As a result, she finds the stubborn opposition from Macron and others to be unsettling. 

From the German perspective, Macron's combativeness violates an unwritten EU rule. EU leaders know the expectations that each are facing from their own country; they all know the constraints firsthand. For that reason, they generally try not to make compromise more difficult by making statements in public.

But that's exactly what Macron is doing. He has heaped pressure on the chancellor and made the leadership issue into a power struggle. Now Merkel is defending Weber in part because she doesn't particularly like Macron's approach. 

Macron is the fourth French president with whom Merkel has had to work during her chancellorship. To understand the fidgety Nicolas Sarkozy, she allegedly watched Louis de Funès films. François Hollande, meanwhile, blended into the woodwork next to the chancellor. But Macron stands up to her. He wants to shape Europe, and is threatening her position as the unquestioned top dog in Europe.

A Pushy Macron

Merkel knows that there could be a point at which she might have to give up on Weber. She seemed to lay the groundwork for this on Tuesday evening when she argued that the EU needs to remain functional and believes that the situation can't be allowed to become so contentious that the EU becomes blocked. She issued a warning at the summit that the leaders should "interact with one another carefully."

But Brussels diplomats fear that Macron is determined to use the admonishment as a sign of weakness, and to celebrate Merkel's defeat as a victory. Berlin is making it correspondingly clear to Paris that Macron shouldn't hope to place a French person in one of the top jobs if Merkel isn't able to bring in a German. 

Macron's preferred alternative to Weber is either Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier or liberal Dane Margrethe Vestager. Barnier is, like Weber, a member of the EPP, which is still the strongest single group in parliament. And he is French. 

But that is precisely the problem. The CDU -- the Germans, in other words -- are said to be especially opposed to Barnier. "Definitely no Frenchman," was the stance in Berlin, according to a leading European conservative. One observer described the negotiations as a "nasty relapse into nationalism" of the kind that many had hoped belonged to the past.

It's a danger that Paris also sees: "This is first and foremost about substance, not about nationalities. The position of the head of the Commission is not a battle for a national flag," argued Amélie de Montchalin, the state secretary for European affairs in the French Foreign Ministry. "This is not about a conflict between France and Germany, that has nothing to do with this."

The defeat of Merkel's CDU in the European elections and the self-destruction of her coalition partner in Berlin, the Social Democrats, threatens to throw her government into crisis. But Macron came to Brussels strengthened. Although his party La République en marche! only came in second behind Marine le Pen's Rassemblement National, the gap separating them from the right-wing populists was much smaller, at 0.9 percent, than had been feared.

More than anything, though, La République en marche! believes the election confirmed its position as a new political power in the country. The old-school French Republicans, Merkel's allies in the EPP, received 8.5 percent, an historic low. The Socialists received just over 6 percent. For En Marche, the election confirmed that they have irreversibly changed the French political landscape. That also has consequences for Brussels. Why, En marche argues, should the French trust Weber, a representative of the traditional center-right to lead European politics?

The conflict over the leadership post, to be sure, is just one of many conflicts paralyzing the German-French relationship. Increasingly, Paris and Berlin are supporting conflicting positions in Brussels. It is, as diplomats from smaller countries openly admit, a dangerous development.

The council's Polish president Donald Tusk said as much behind closed doors on Tuesday during dinner. Smaller EU member states, he said, don't particularly like it when the German-French motor is running smoothly since that means they don't have much influence. These days, though, he said, they are all hoping that Paris and Berlin could once again find agreement.



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his elder brother died of alcoholism...

The President of the United States has suggested that he could impose customs duties on French wines. Yet, access to the US market is already not so easy for foreign wines...

When Donald Trump says that French wines are "very good", it's not from personal knowledge. An advisor probably whispered this in his ear, because the American president does not drink. And when he claims that "France taxes wine a lot and we tax little French wine" in an interview with CNBC, he is not completely honest because he does not take into account the high margins of wholesalers.

What market for French wines in the United States?

Unlike the president — whose older brother, Fred, died of alcoholism at age 40 — Americans love wine. America is also the top consumer country. 13% of the world wine production is drunk in the US, against 12% in France. Four out of five bottles are produced locally in the USA, including California.

Foreign wines therefore represent only 20% of US consumption. Among them, French wines are doing well. Exports of French wines and spirits to the United States rose 4.6% to 3.2 billion Euros last year, according to the Federation of French Exporters of wines and spirits (FEVS). In value, the United States is the leading market for French wines, ahead of the United Kingdom, Germany and China. Thanks to an American middle class with a great purchasing power, the world-renowned Bordeaux Crus are in a good position in supermarkets and wine shops.





Translation by Jules Letambour.



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californian shiraz...

How the US-China trade war squeezes California's wine country

Chinese tariffs have targeted the US agricultural industry - including wine makers - as farmers are a key voting bloc for Donald Trump.

The president wants to cut the trade deficit with China - a country he has accused of unfair trade practices since before he won the White House.

Produced by Sophie Long, Annie Phrommayon and Chuck Tayman


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donald hates airbus...

Donald Trump has threatened fresh tariffs on $4bn (£3,2bn) of European products including cheese, scotch whisky and olives, ratcheting up pressure on the EU in a long-running row over aircraft subsidies.

The US trade representative’s office released a list of 89 additional items – including olives, Italian and Dutch cheese, Scotch whisky, Irish whiskey, pasta, coffee and ham – that could face tariffs. These join products worth $21bn that were announced as potential targets for tariffs in April, which included roquefort cheese, wine, champagne, olive oil and seafood such as oysters. The latest list also includes a number of copper products and other metals.

The move came days after a truce was reached in the trade war between the US and China.

The US and the EU have both threatened to impose tariffs on planes, tractors and food in a tit-for-tat trade row that was sparked by aircraft subsidies given to US aircraft maker Boeing and its European rival, Airbus.


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the french hate google...

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration said on Wednesday that it would investigate whether a French plan to impose a tax on American technology giants like Facebook and Google amounts to an unfair trade practice that could be punished with retaliatory tariffs, escalating its global trade fight.

The investigation, to be carried out by the United States trade representative, is the latest attempt by the Trump administration to shelter American companies, particularly in tech, by taking a more aggressive stance toward allies’ trading practices.

It is likely to further stoke tensions with the European Union, which President Trump has already threatened with auto tariffs and criticized for selling more goods to the United States than it purchases. Mr. Trump has repeatedly said the European Union is worse than China when it comes to trade practices and has lashed out at its top antitrust regulator, Margrethe Vestager, saying she has unfairly targeted Google, Apple and other American companies.

The American action announced on Wednesday is aimed at France, which has moved independently from the European Union to seek a tax on technology companies.


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our aussie products give better headache than theirs...

The landscape drops away like a cliff face.

Rocks and jagged edges make way for a sea of green leaves that cover mostly hidden rickety wooden vines that dissect the hills, almost as if in spite of the incline.

“For me it represents the tradition and also our dream,” Elena Moschetta says.

She’s standing at the window in her winery’s tasting room, overlooking the vineyard her grandfather started in Italy’s Treviso region decades ago.

It’s grown vastly in the years since.

When her father took over, he expanded the plantings to grow more prosecco grapes. Now, the third generation to run the family business, Elena and brother Enrico Moschetta have added a winery to their vineyard.

“It was our dream to produce prosecco,” she says.

Prosecco in this region represents more than just a bottle of sparkling wine. It’s a product that dates back to 1382, with the first mention of wine production in the region recorded during the Roman Empire. 

“Prosecco was born here,” says William Spinazze, a third-generation vineyard owner.

“It’s a historical wine that was made, always, here.

“It’s very common on Sunday — after mass, after Papa — to stop in a bar and drink a prosecco before having lunch with the family.

“This way of living, you can’t drink heavy wine, so this is why prosecco broke into our culture, because it was the perfect way to enjoy your life.”

The threat other countries pose to Italian prosecco is laid bare in the approach its farmers and Government are demanding of the European Union as it pursues trade deals around the globe.

“Because it’s so popular, it’s easy to copy it [and] make it in different areas, [so] we need to protect it with all our forces,” Spinazze says. 

“We know that some countries are producing prosecco as well, but it was born here and it’s the same as Champagne.”


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Gus: I have industrial espionage pictures that can show "Methode Champenoise" being done in Australia — with better results than in the Reims region... The Aussies should find new names of course, like Champ, Chimpagne, Champers, Prosecur, Camembrutal (for that extra taste), Gonzolartar, Mozurello Sharp, etc.