• Same story, different day...........year ie more of the same fiat floods the world
  • There are no markets
  • "Spreading the ideas of freedom loving people on matters regarding high finance, politics, constructionist Constitution, and mental masturbation of all types"

Trump's Economic, Tax & Spending Plans

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Trump to face Merkel one-on-one in private 'pull aside' meeting after attack on Germany-Russia pipeline project and calling Americans 'schmucks' for paying for NATO

  • Trump unloaded on Germany once again as he arrived in Brussels
  • He fumed about a 'massive' pipeline project that will send Russian energy directly to Germany
  • He said Germany is 'totally controlled by Russia'
  • Said Germany is paying 'just paying a little over 1 percent' of its GDP on military
  • The White House says the two leaders will meet privately one-on-one
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...-meeting-attack-Germany-pipeline-project.html
 

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US proposes tariffs on $200 billion more in Chinese imports as furious China says it won't stand for a trade war

  • Donald Trump's administration is planning even more tariffs on China
  • Tariffs of 10 per cent are proposed on 6,031 Chinese product lines
  • Earlier tariffs focused on industrial products, but new ones would hit consumers
  • China threatened 'comprehensive measures' in retaliation
  • This could include harassing American companies trying to do business in China
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5940271/US-proposes-tariffs-200-billion-Chinese-imports.html
 

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Trump: Germany is a 'captive of Russia'
CNN


Published on Jul 11, 2018
President Donald Trump on Wednesday accused fellow NATO ally Germany of being beholden to Russia because it buys energy from Moscow, in pointed remarks ahead of a summit of the military alliance in Brussels.
 

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Trump-Stoltenberg tense talk at NATO summit (FULL VIDEO)
RT



Published on Jul 11, 2018
Trump criticized bloc members that approved the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Europe. The president criticized Germany in particular, calling it a hostage of Russia. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/99tf
 

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Trump's Steel Tariff Squeezes US Can Manufacturer
VOA News



Published on Jul 11, 2018
The Trump administration’s 25 percent tariff on imported steel has been welcomed by U.S. producers of the material but slammed by American manufacturers that rely on a global steel supply chain to make everything from cars to razor blades. VOA’s Michael Bowman visited a can company that is being squeezed by the new tariff and has this report, which was produced by Elizabeth Cherneff.
Originally published at - https://www.voanews.com/a/4477687.html
 

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Report: Trudeau Defies Trump at NATO Meeting, Cuts Military Spending

Newsweek
David Brennan
1 hr ago


New figures show that Canadian military spending will be cut significantly, even as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau prepares to face U.S. President Donald Trump’s demands for higher NATO military spending at the alliance's summit in Brussels.

According to the CBC, Canada will spend around 1.23 percent of its GDP on defense in 2018, down from 1.36 percent last year. This is far below the 2 percent target set for NATO members, which has been a particular bugbear for the American president.

Canadian National Defence spokesman Daniel Le Bouthillier said the drop in investment was largely down to one-off payments. One was a retroactive pay increase for service members and the other was a $1.3 billion payment into the fund that pays out servicemember pensions.

In a statement carried by CBC, Le Bouthillier said, “Canada continues to place a premium on tangible operational contributions as well as on demonstrating a commitment and capacity to deploy and sustain personnel in support of the NATO alliance.”

Meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Wednesday morning, Trump set the tone for what is expected to be one of the most acrimonious conferences in NATO’s 69-year history. The president repeatedly brought up one of his favorite NATO talking points, that the U.S. pays an “unfair” amount towards the defense of Europe. He warned Stoltenberg, “We’re not going to put up with it, we cant put up with it,” demanding that other states step up military spending.

Few NATO nations have met the 2 percent pledge since the fall of the Soviet Union, and the alliance has now committed to meeting the target it will take time for them to deliver. Trump, meanwhile, said he expects the change "immediately."

Germany was the first nation this week that Trump criticized publicly, but it is unlikely to be the last. Trump and Trudeau head to Brussels not long after a public spat that followed the G-7 meeting in Canada last month. Trump’s proposed tariffs were the subject of that disagreement. Trudeau had previously branded the president’s protectionism “unacceptable,” and after the G-7 meeting warned Canada “will not be pushed around.”

Trump then refused to back the G-7 joint statement, and took to Twitter to brand Trudeau “dishonest and weak.” As the war of words escalated, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said there is “a special place in hell” for any leader that “engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door.”

Relations between the leaders were already shaky thanks to Trump’s repeated attacks on NAFTA — another sign of his apparent distrust of any transnational organization, be it NATO, the European Union or even the World Trade Organization. With all, Trump believes the U.S. is being “ripped off” in an unfair marketplace. The president has repeatedly said America will no longer be the “world’s piggy bank.”

NATO leaders in Brussels this week will fear a repeat of Trump's G-7 performance. A fractured summit would play directly into the hands of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who Trump will meet next week in Helsinki, Finland.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world...-cuts-military-spending/ar-AAzV0Zn?ocid=ientp
 

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Donald Trump is RIGHT: Germany imports 70 per cent of its gas from Russia in a deal that has enriched its former Chancellor and it will soon receive even more… and the US is the only alternative supplier

  • Nord Stream 2 is being built between Russia and Germany at a cost of €9.5billion
  • Donald Trump claimed Wednesday Germany imports 70% of its gas from Russia
  • He also argued Germany was 'totally controlled by Russia' because of the gas
  • Trump cited Gerhard Schroeder's influence in pushing through Nord Stream 1
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...RIGHT-Germany-imports-70-cent-gas-Russia.html
 

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Trump Wrecks NATO in Brussels over Germany Depending on Russia For Energy (REACTION)
Anthony Brian Logan



Published on Jul 11, 2018
NATO leaders pledged their “unwavering commitment” to boost defense spending on Wednesday, following stern words from President Trump criticizing European leaders for spending too little.

Before sitting down for the first official meeting of the day, the president engaged in a testy exchange with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. He pressed why the U.S. should continue to pay money to the military alliance while the countries purchase energy from Moscow.

“We are stronger together,” Stoltenberg said, while acknowledging there can be differences among allies.

“But how can you be together when you’re getting energy from the group you want protection from?” Trump responded, using Germany as an example. Trump challenged Stoltenberg to explain why Berlin was getting energy from Russia, and asserted that Germany was “totally controlled” by and “captive to Russia” over a pipeline project.

That pipeline project, Nord Stream 2 pipeline, doubles the amount of gas Russia can send directly to Germany, while sidestepping transit countries like Ukraine. The project is opposed by the U.S. and some European Union members.

“We’re supposed to protect you against Russia and yet you make this deal with Russia,” Trump said of Germany. “Explain that. It can’t be explained.”

Trump followed up on Twitter: "What good is NATO if Germany is paying Russia billions of dollars for gas and energy? Why are there only 5 out of 29 countries that have met their commitment? The U.S. is paying for Europe’s protection, then loses billions on Trade. Must pay 2% of GDP IMMEDIATELY, not by 2025."

(ARTICLE: FOX NEWS)


Trump Takes Another Crack at Merkel in Tweet: NATO Update
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articl...

NATO pledges to boost defense spending after stern words from Trump
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/...

John Kerry's tweet on Trump at NATO Meeting in Brussels
https://twitter.com/JohnKerry/status/...
 

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‘I’m a stable genius’: Trump declares victory in battle with NATO saying he forced countries to pay $33bn more on defense after telling them he was 'extremely unhappy'

  • Donald Trump was scheduled to spend hours with world leaders behind closed doors before departing Brussels on Thursday afternoon for a two-day swing through the U.K.
  • He arrived to the summit late on Thursday morning after dashing off new tweets deriding NATO nations that don't pair their fair share of defense costs
  • 'On top of it all, Germany just started paying Russia, the country they want protection from, Billions of Dollars for their Energy needs coming out of a new pipeline from Russia,' he said
  • Trump was complaining about NATO on Twitter all night long - spooking some of his fellow leaders
  • But Trump said Thursday that he was encouraged by members nations' 'spirit' and their willingness to increase the amount of money they're spending on defense
  • He says he told them he'd be 'very unhappy' if they did not meet a 2 percent GDP goal and was 'very firm' in his demands
  • Yesterday Trump claimed that 'Germany is totally controlled by Russia' and 'a captive' of Putin's government
  • He asked 'what good is NATO?' in at tweet that fanned fears he would split the successful military alliance
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ure-NATO-nations-double-defense-spending.html
 

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Macron Denies Trump Claim That NATO Allies Agreed to Increase Spending Beyond Goals

Mediaite
Aidan McLaughlin
1 hr ago

President Donald Trump on Thursday said NATO allies agreed to “substantially up their commitment” to the alliance after he told leaders he was “extremely unhappy.”

“Tremendous progress has been made. Everyone’s agreed to substantially up their commitment. They’re going to up it at levels that they’ve never thought of before,” Trump said at his press conference in Brussels.

“Commitments were made,” he said. “The commitment was at 2 percent, ultimately that’ll be going up quite a bit higher than that.”

French President Emmanuel Macron denied that any NATO members had agreed to boost contributions beyond 2 percent GDP.

“There is a communique that was published yesterday. It’s very detailed,” Macron said, per the Associated Press. “It confirms the goal of 2 percent by 2024. That’s all.”

Macron also denied reports that Trump had threatened to withdraw from the NATO alliance.

“President Trump never at any moment, either in public or in private, threatened to withdraw from NATO,” Macron said.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world...e-spending-beyond-goals/ar-AAzY10Z?ocid=ientp
 

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President Donald Trump Creates His Own Narrative At Press Conference | Morning Joe | MSNBC
MSNBC



Published on Jul 12, 2018
Lawrence O'Donnell, Robert Costa and Doris Kearns Goodwin join Morning Joe for a discussion about President Trump's trip to the NATO summit in Brussels and his impromptu press conference on Thursday.
» Subscribe to MSNBC: http://on.msnbc.com/SubscribeTomsnbc
 

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Trump predicts some NATO allies will use increased defense spending to purchase hardware from American defense contractors because 'everyone wants to buy' it

  • Trump left the NATO summit after demanding nations boost military spending
  • said NATO funds would be spent 'properly'
  • He said less wealthy countries asked if he could 'help them out'
  • Said 'we will help them out a little bit'
  • Plugged U.S. military equipment as the world's best
  • Touted Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Northrop Grumman defense contractors
  • Said he would help countries 'get online' to buy U.S. equipment
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...-NATO-allies-buy-U-S-defense-contractors.html
 

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Trump tells Theresa May her soft Brexit plan will 'kill' any US trade deal after Britain leaves the EU, adds Boris will make a great PM and blames Sadiq Khan for terrorism in explosive start to UK visit

  • Trump said the PM has ignored his advice on Brexit negotiations, explaining: 'I would have done it differently'
  • Sources close to president earlier warned lucrative transatlantic trade deal cannot happen with a soft Brexit
  • It comes after May used a lavish welcome dinner for Trump at Blenheim Palace to press her case for a deal
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...t-trade-deal-tears-bureaucratic-barriers.html
 

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China and U.S. Impose Tariffs on Trade Flows That Don’t Exist
July 11, 2018 by Bloomberg




By Dan Murtaugh (Bloomberg) — Natural gas, the cleanest and fastest-growing fossil fuel, has found itself in perhaps the oddest corner of the multi-billion dollar trade war between the world’s two biggest economies.

When the U.S. added duties to $34 billion of Chinese goods last month, China retaliated with its own list that included piped natural gas from the U.S. And when President Donald Trump added $200 billion worth of items to the possible tariff list Tuesday, he included liquefied natural gas from China.

Of course, neither trade flow exists. China is the world’s second-biggest importer of LNG and doesn’t have any liquefaction plants capable of exporting the fuel. And, unless someone built a 6,200-mile subsea pipeline that everyone was hitherto unaware of, the U.S. doesn’t export any piped gas to China.

Gas isn’t the only item that’s being sucked incongruously into the trade dispute. For example, the U.S. included live trout in the most recent list of tariffs, even though the fish apparently hasn’t been shipped alive from China to the U.S. since at least 1992, according to U.S. Census Bureau trade data.

Radio and tape players for cars are also on Trump’s list, yet they haven’t been imported from China since 2006, five years after the advent of the iPod, according to the bureau. And the U.S. is adding tariffs to electrical energy from China — though the lack of trans-Pacific power lines would probably be the more obvious barrier to trade.

© 2018 Bloomberg L.P

http://gcaptain.com/china-and-u-s-impose-tariffs-on-trade-flows-that-dont-exist/
 

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World’s Biggest Shipping Company Already Feeling Pain from Trade War
July 11, 2018 by Bloomberg



Photo: Corine van Kapel / Shutterstock.com

By Frances Schwartzkopff (Bloomberg) — A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S may struggle to make a profit this year after the U.S. and China descended into a trade war that promises to hurt the world’s biggest shipping company.

Maersk, which is based in Copenhagen, has already lost almost a third of its market value this year as investors gird for more bad news. Trade protectionism means less demand, and history suggests the shipping industry will struggle to make the necessary supply cuts. What’s more, Maersk is now more exposed to shipping as the former conglomerate divests its energy business.

Per Hansen, an investment economist at Nordnet in Copenhagen, says Maersk is currently “in the eye of the hurricane” when it comes to the damage that will be inflicted by a trade war. He estimates the company’s shares could drop at least 10 percent.

Maersk is already bracing itself for lackluster demand in the second half of the year, due to what it says are seasonal effects. The company said earlier in the week it will need to temporarily scale back its service between Asia and North Europe as a result.




“It’s highly likely that Maersk’s valuations could sink to its trough valuations in the coming months as investors avoid shipping stocks until more excess capacity is being removed,” said Corrine Png, chief executive officer and founder of Crucial Perspective, a Singapore-based research provider focusing on transport.

She says that, given all the moving parts, it will be “harder for Maersk to pass on the higher bunker fuel costs effectively compared to last year, raising the risk that Maersk can only be marginally profitable, at best, or even turn loss-making for the full financial year.”

“Maersk is the second-largest carrier in the Far East-North America trade lane, with 15 percent market share, so falling China exports to the U.S. due to tariffs will hurt Maersk’s financial results going forward,” Png said.

A number of analysts have cut their outlook on Maersk recently. Kepler Cheuvreux lowered its share price target by 9 percent last week to 12,000 kroner. Jefferies reduced its price target by 12 percent to 11,500 kroner. Even so, of the 28 analysts covering Maersk, only one is recommending that clients sell the stock. The rest advise either buying or holding on to Maersk shares, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

© 2018 Bloomberg L.P

http://gcaptain.com/worlds-biggest-shipping-company-already-feeling-pain-from-trade-war/
 

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The road to war: China vs the US
By: Richard (Rick) Mills
We are on the road to war with China. It may not be a military confrontation, although that is highly likely considering tensions in the South China Sea - but it is certainly economic. Will China back down, as Trump continues to pile on tariffs? Or is saving face more important than a dip in economic growth? In the end it will be American voters that decide whether beating China is worth higher prices of goods that have been cheap for decades.
 

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"Mr. Trump, Tear Down This Alliance"


by Tyler Durden
Sat, 07/14/2018 - 10:39



Authored by Tom Luongo,

NATO is obsolete. Donald Trump made this argument back on the campaign trail. This week, in his typically hyperbolic manner, he dressed down the organization for its hypocrisy over its mandate, which is to counter any aggression from Russia.



But, the potential threat of a Russian invasion of Europe is nil. And, literally, everyone involved in this farce of a summit knows this. So, Trump was right to call out the hypocrisy, but wrong about how to solve it.

Attacking Germany over the Nordstream 2 pipeline is nonsense. Trade, especially energy trade, stitches economies and peoples together. But to Trump energy is different. Energy is a defense issue.

As such, it should be tightly controlled and only deployed to the benefit of those he approves of (or is allied with) against those he doesn’t (China).

And this is what is fundamentally wrong with geopolitically-dominant thinking. Everything gets reduced to the metaphoric chess board. People stop thinking about their individual needs and can only think in terms of nations and governments.

And it makes it easy for authoritarians like Trump, Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel and all the rest to push the public’s buttons, openly stoking people’s in-group/out-group bias against their own best interest.

This is ultimately what allows for equally odious people like Donald Trump and Angela Merkel to achieve and maintain power. NATO is obsolete because the thinking behind why it is necessary is obsolete.

It’s not Russian aggression that everyone has to be worried about, it is the aggression of those who have to this point mismanaged everything they were empowered to take care of in the first place, i.e. the very politicians at the meeting.

The US has subsidized European social welfare states by outsourcing their defense. We, in turn, empowered a corporatocracy built around selling increasingly unnecessary weapons back to them under the false rubric of the evil Russians.

Trump’s position about NATO members not ‘paying their fair share’ is beside the point. NATO’s budget would be far better spent contracting Russia to build the Nordstream 2 pipeline itself than bullying Italy into buying another tank it doesn’t need.

This is nothing more than him trying to turn an obsolete NATO into yet another Keynesian job creation program.

“Buy more of our over-priced, under-performing crap like the F-35 (a plane that should be considered treason by any rational metric of the term) so we can destroy even more precious capital while everyone goes broke issuing more debt to keep the party going a little while longer.”

In Trumpspeak however, this comes out as “Jobs. Yuge jobs!”

It would be better in the end to just give the engineers rocks to throw at windows the assembly team builds. At least there wouldn’t be the massive waste of raw materials. Glass is recyclable after all, though not profitably.

His real complaint, however, is on an imbalance of trade between the US and Europe. This is something he can’t fix without giving up the very source of the power he’s wielding with reckless abandon right now, the US dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency.

Triffin’s paradox is real for the country that issues the currency that liquefies world trade. And for that to occur, that country must run a trade deficit to issue more currency. Dollars go out, goods come in.

The trade deficit is an accounting anomaly, and as Martin Armstrong consistently points out, can be manipulated by the interplay between it and the country’s current account.

The question isn’t the amount of money going out it is the value for that money in the goods received for it. In that respect, the only economic respect that matters, the US gets paid handsomely.

The endless preening and virtue signaling by dead-ender politicians trying to justify their existence while mouthing the will of the lobbyists and rentier-class financiers who stand behind him is worse than nauseating.

It is culturally and psychologically destabilizing. Resistance to change by the bureaucracy is on daily display on both sides of the pond.

From the Peter Strzok hearings to Theresa May’s betrayal of Brexit, none of these people want their ox gored while they continue to live at the expense of others for their benefit, not those they supposedly serve.

Trump has a real opportunity to quell his critics on the left and from libertarians like me to remake the way the business of geopolitics is done when he sits down with Putin next week. His performance at the NATO summit was, as always with him, three steps forward and two steps back.

He’s needs an unfettered five-k jog in Helsinki.

And that means cutting through the nonsense, stopping the demagoguery and getting down to the real business of putting our own houses in order. And that means for Trump, regardless of the agreements he gets from his European counterparts, to pull the US out of NATO, to tear down this alliance that is an albatross around the neck of everyone who lives under the weight of it.

* * *

Please support my work by joining my Patreon.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-14/mr-trump-tear-down-alliance
 

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New York and three other states claim Trump tax law is unconstitutional

CNN
Katie Lobosco
2 hrs ago

New York, Connecticut, Maryland and New Jersey filed a lawsuit Tuesday claiming last year's tax overhaul violated the constitution by unfairly targeting Democratic states.

The law puts a new cap on how much Americans are allowed to deduct for state and local taxes, or SALT, from their federal bill. Once unlimited, the deduction is now capped at $10,000. Deductions help reduce a person's overall tax bill.

The cap will disproportionately harm high-tax states and their residents, the lawsuit says. It also claims the change in SALT interferes with states' rights to make their own financial decisions.

New York has said the cap will increase New Yorkers' federal taxes by $14.3 billion in 2018.

"New York will not be bullied. This cap is unconstitutional — going well beyond settled limits on federal power to impose an income tax, while deliberately targeting New York and similar states in an attempt to coerce us into changing our fiscal policies and the vital programs they support," said State Attorney General Barbara Underwood in a statement.

The Treasury Department said it's reviewing the complaint, and the IRS declined to comment due to pending litigation. The complaint was filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Earlier this year, New York lawmakers approved two proposals that would allow residents to circumvent the cap. Generally, they let taxpayers deduct the state and local taxes they pay in excess of $10,000 by other means.

Similar proposals have been considered in other states. But the IRS has said those strategies may not hold up. Further guidance from the agency is forthcoming, it said.

"The so-called SALT provision is un-American, said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on a call with reporters Tuesday.

"This is their political attempt to hurt Democratic states," he said.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/polit...law-is-unconstitutional/ar-AAAdnjk?ocid=ientp
 

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Japan, EU Sign Free Trade Pact Amid Worries About Trump
July 17, 2018 by Reuters



Port of Rotterdam. Photo credit: By Beketoff / Shutterstock



By Stanley White TOKYO, July 17 (Reuters) – Japan and the European Union signed a wide-ranging free trade deal on Tuesday that both sides hope will act as a counterweight to the protectionist forces unleashed by U.S. President Donald Trump.

The ambitious trade pact, which creates the world’s largest open economic area, comes amid fears that a trade war between the United States and China will diminish the role of free trade in the global economic order.

“There are rising concerns about protectionism, but I want Japan and the EU to lead the world by bearing the flag of free trade,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at a news conference after the signing ceremony.

The United States this month imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods to lower the U.S. trade deficit, and China quickly retaliated with an increase in tariffs on U.S. goods.

The Japan-EU trade deal is also a sign of shifting global ties as Trump distances the United States from long-time allies like the EU, NATO and Canada.

“We are sending a clear message that we stand against protectionism. The EU and Japan remain open for cooperation,” European Council President Donald Tusk, who speaks for the 28 EU national leaders, told reporters.

The deal removes EU tariffs of 10 percent on Japanese cars and 3 percent on most car parts. It would also scrap Japanese duties of some 30 percent or more on EU cheese and 15 percent on wines, and secure access to large public tenders in Japan.

Europe’s food sector is one of the biggest winners from the deal, which should allow it to capitalize on Japanese demand for high-quality cheese, chocolates, meats and pasta.

Japanese car and car parts makers are also expected to increase their sales to Europe, where they have lagged behind European rivals.

However, Japan’s dairy industry is expected to lose market share to European products once tariffs of up to 40 percent on some cheese imports start falling.

Japan and the EU also agreed on Tuesday to establish a regular dialog on trade and economic policy, with the first meeting to be held before year’s end.

The dialog will be chaired by Japan’s trade and foreign ministers and the European Commission’s vice-president for competitiveness, both sides said in a joint statement.

Both Japan and the EU, having seen Trump pull back from free trade relationships, are keen to show they remain committed to removing barriers they say hamper growth, analysts said.

“Trade liberalization and market openness continue to march ahead in Asia-Pacific,” said Ajay Sharma, the regional head of global trade and receivables finance at banking and financial services provider HSBC.

EU accords with Singapore and with Vietnam were at the ratification stage, while deals with Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand were being negotiated, he added.

A China-EU summit ended on Monday with a communique affirming the commitment of both sides to the multilateral trading system.

Trump pulled the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership with Japan and 10 other states on his first day in office in January 2017 and has pushed to renegotiate a free trade pact with Canada and Mexico.

Trump says he is taking a hard line on trade to protect U.S. workers and U.S. companies, but critics say his approach is upending the rules of multilateral global trade.

Japan and the EU account for about a third of global GDP and their trade relationship has room to grow, according to EU officials, who expect the deal to boost the EU economy by 0.8 percent and Japan’s by 0.3 percent over the long term.

(Reporting by Stanley White Editing by Darren Schuettler and Clarence Fernandez)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2018.

http://gcaptain.com/japan-eu-sign-free-trade-pact-amid-worries-about-trump/
 

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The cap will disproportionately harm high-tax states
Then lower your f'ing taxes, morons
and their residents, the lawsuit says.
If these States are soooo concerned about their citizens, all they gotta go is let them deduct federal taxes off their State taxes. Or even just a percentage of their federal taxes. If it's all about the people saving money, why wouldn't that work?
 

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Montenegro could get aggressive and lead us into World War III: Trump's bizarre attack on a NATO ally after Fox News's Tucker Carlson asks why should 'my son go to Montenegro to defend it'

  • Trump questioned the Untied States' responsibility to the security of its NATO allies again after a private meeting with Russia's Vladimir Putin
  • Yet he told Tucker Carlson that he has 'questioned' the mutual defense pact, known as Article 5 and a requirement the U.S. go to war for allied nations
  • The Fox News host asked why his son should be enlisted to defend Montenegro if it's ever attacked
  • 'Montenegro is a tiny country with very strong people,' Trump replied. 'They may get aggressive and congratulations, you're in World War III'
  • Said days prior that he was 'totally committed' to the organization now that it has increased defense spending
  • Had a shoving incident a year prior at NATO with Montenegro's prime minister
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...d-World-War-III-Trumps-attacks-NATO-ally.html
 

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Tariffs Are Poised to Wreck Christmas for Container Shipping Companies
July 18, 2018 by Bloomberg



Photo: By E.G.Pors / Shutterstock

By Kyunghee Park (Bloomberg) — Christmas is looking a little less bright for container-shipping companies.

As the industry enters what’s typically its busiest quarter before the year-end holidays, an escalating trade row between China and the U.S. may lead to higher prices for China-made goods from Christmas lights to cooking stoves. With about 90 percent of global trade carried by sea, that could mean a big dent on shipments.

The U.S. has proposed another $200 billion of Chinese goods that could face higher levies after increasing duties by 25 percent on some imports this month. The list is open for comments, with a hearing scheduled for August. In a worst-case scenario, world traffic could be reduced by almost 1 percent, or as many as 1.8 million 20-foot containers, due to the intensifying trade dispute, according to Drewry Shipping Consultants Ltd.

“The trade tensions and uncertainty on the economic outlook is limiting restocking demand as businesses have turned more cautious,” said Corrine Png, chief executive officer of Crucial Perspective Pte., a Singapore-based research firm focused on transportation. “The U.S.-China tariff war will dampen trans-Pacific trade volume and freight rates, global trade flows and supply chains will shift.”

Coupled with higher fuel costs as oil prices in New York have risen around 10 percent this year, boxship operators may only break even at best after posting profits in 2017, according to Drewry. The charts below show the challenges in store for the container-shipping industry this year.

1. Trade Uncertainty
China’s new export orders fell in June to the lowest since February. This contrasts with growth in exports that could indicate companies shipped goods early to beat the first tariff increase, which took effect July 6. For the container-shipping industry, the best of volume growth for this year is likely over, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Rahul Kapoor said.

2. Inflating Costs
Shipping firms worldwide face a $7 billion increase in total fuel costs in 2018 as oil prices climbed close to $80 this year, said Nilesh Tiwary, a Drewry analyst. Drewry now predicts a best-case scenario of box carriers breaking even this year, compared with a previous expectation for about $5 billion in operating profit. The increase in fuel prices is outpacing a recovery in freight rates.

3. Overcapacity
Container shipping lines have been struggling with overcapacity since the global financial crisis, which led to lower freight rates and the collapse of Hanjin Shipping Co. in 2016. While capacity will still exceed demand this year, the situation will be more balanced in 2019 as boxship operators have refrained from ordering new vessels.

© 2018 Bloomberg L.P

http://gcaptain.com/tariffs-are-poised-to-wreck-christmas-for-shipping-companies/
 

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Trade War Sparks More Capacity Cuts on Transpacific Container Trades
July 18, 2018 by The Loadstar



FILE PHOTO: Shipping containers sit at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, U.S. on February 6, 2015. REUTERS/Bob Riha, Jr./File Photo

By Gavin van Marle (The Loadstar) – Container shipping lines on the transpacific trade this week continued to announce capacity cuts in response to the US-China trade war.

Following last week’s news that both the 2M and The Alliance groupings would suspend a service each this summer, the latter announced this week it would also withdraw its PSW4 loop at the end of August.

The service deploys six COSCO vessels with an average of 10,000 teu capacity and has a port rotation of Lianyungang-Shanghai-Ningbo-Long Beach-Seattle-Lianyungang.

In combination with the withdrawal of the 2M’s TP-1/Eagle service from 29 June and THE Alliance’s PS8 on 31 July, total capacity on the trade will be reduced by some 31,300 teu a week, or 6.7%, according to Alphaliner.

However it warned capacity would likely increase again due to planned upgrades to APL’s premium services.

“These capacity reductions will be partly offset by the launch of APL’s new Eagle Express X in August and the upgrade of the carrier’s Eagle Express 1, which will add some 6,600 teu of nominal weekly capacity to the route,” it said.

It believed the effect of capacity cuts on spot rates had been dramatic.

“The capacity withdrawals are being implemented during the traditionally busy summer peak season, and they have triggered a sharp increase in spot freight rates from the Far East to US west coast. SCFI spot rates from Shanghai to Los Angeles have risen by 41% over the past three weeks and currently stand at a 12-month high of $1,685 per feu,” it said.

That is despite the fact that, in September, weekly capacity on the trade is likely to stand at 450,000 teu, compared with 441,700 teu in at the same point last year – an increase of 1.9%.

The Loadstar is fast becoming known at the highest levels of logistics and supply chain management as one of the best sources of influential analysis and commentary.

Check them out at TheLoadstar.co.uk, or find them on Facebook and Twitter.

http://gcaptain.com/trade-war-sparks-more-capacity-cuts-on-transpacific-container-trades/
 

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Is Trump Starting To Lean On The Fed Or Setting It Up?


by Tyler Durden
Fri, 07/20/2018 - 08:01


Via Global Macro Monitor,

President Trump said in an interview with CNBC’s Joe Kernan yesterday morning he “does not agree”, is not “thrilled” or “happy” with the FOMC’s interest rate hikes. The full interview and transcripts will be available tomorrow.


Click here for excerpt of interview

You Heard It Here First
Presidents never, or rarely, comment on monetary policy or currency market moves for that matter (ex, the hackneyed meme “a strong dollar is the best interest of the United States.”)

President Trump hit them all in this interview, from the Fed to the Euro and Chinese RMB (“dropping like a rock”). It doesn’t surprise us.
Recall our March 21st post, The Biggest Risk At The Fed.

But this doesn’t concern us as much as the Fed’s independence.
“Just let it rip”
That is we are worried more about the freedom from White House pressure and interference in conducting monetary policy than getting a few bps wrong on the Fed Funds rate. This is especially true and relevant given the strongman tendencies and lack of respect for institutional norms of the current president.
Here is Larry Kudlow, the president’s new chief economic adviser:
“Just let it rip, for heaven’s sake,” Kudlow said of economic growth in the U.S., during a more than hour-long interview Wednesday on CNBC. “The market’s going to take care of itself. The whole story’s going to take care of itself. The Fed’s going to do what it has to do, but I hope they don’t overdo it.”CNN

We were assured by Fed insiders shortly after that post in March Chairman Jerome Powell was tough and we should not underestimate his independence. He has thus far proven to be an extraordinarily competent Fed leader.

Moreover, the president seems to have appointed very competent and independent Board governors to fill the many vacancies on the FRB.

Nothing Here, Move On
Other than committing another faux pas by publicly criticizing the Fed - and it really wasn’t that critical - the president’s comments, taken in isolation, were relatively benign and does not pose a threat to central bank independence, in our opinion.

But the totality and cumulative mistakes of amateur hour at the White House, from foreign to domestic economic policy, are slowly chipping away at the world’s confidence in the management of America, Inc..

What we fear most is the loss of confidence in the world reserve currency status of he U.S. dollar, which is slowly eroding. There doesn’t currently seem to be a viable replacement, however. We do live in a nonlinear world, where technological advancements can rapidly change and turn sectors upside down overnight, so that could change in a heartbeat,

Just look at the rise of crypto and mobile payments in the past decade?

Who is to say that a replacement for the dollar won’t come along in the next few years? That would be a huge game changer and could render the U.S.economy to the dustbin of highly indebted countries, with large deficits, and irresponsible monetary policies. And you know who they are.

Is Trump Setting Up The Fed As The Fall Guy?
CNBC’s Steve Liesman raises an interesting question: is Trump setting up the Fed to take the fall for his trade policies gone bad? Farmers are really starting to feel the pain.

As Dale grain and beef cattle farmer Dennis Whitsitt watches his crops grow in the fields, he also watches grain prices tumble as tariffs between the U.S. and several other countries take effect.
The Trump administration began talking about imposing tariffs on Chinese imports in January, starting what has come to be called a trade war.
Trump’s threats led China to threaten retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods, including soybeans and pork. Both countries enacted the threatened tariffs on July 6.
The administration also imposed tariffs on goods from the European Union, Canada and Mexico, leading those countries to impose retaliatory tariffs as well.
Those tariffs also included farm goods as foreign leaders looked to hurt areas that voted for Trump. In Whitsitt’s opinion, the tariffs have hit their mark, as far as farmers go.
“It doesn’t seem like a good strategy,” Whitsitt said of the trade war.
— The Herald, Jasper, IN

What Worries Us Most About The Interview
This is what tweaked us most about the president remarks,

Now I am just saying the same things what I would have said as a private citizen. So somebody would say oh maybe you shouldn’t say that as a president. I couldn’t care less what they say. Because my views haven’t changed. – President Trump

“I couldn’t care less” — Are you frickin’ kidding me?

As we posted last night, the president’s not even ambiguous (double negative) comments on coming to the defense of a NATO country, coupled with the U.S. public, which some could read, acquiescence to the Russian annexation of Crimea only increases the risks that China moves on Taiwan.

The U.S. would then have to decide if it willing to “send its boys” to defend Taiwan and enter World War III.
Serious business, folks.

By the way, this just in,

CHINA WAR GAMES NEAR TAIWAN
As Washington pundits and government officials debate President Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, China is busy sending a strategic message to the United States with large-scale war games near Taiwan.
China on Wednesday kicked off live-fire drills in the East China Sea north of Taiwan in an area simulating the size of the island state — a not-so-subtle message to the country Beijing regards as a breakaway province.
The military maneuvers at sea also will be held not too far to the west of the Japanese island of Okinawa, home to U.S. military forces.
The six-day war games were announced Monday in a sea closure zone that warned all vessels to stay clear of the area, where Chinese ships are firing missiles and other weaponry.
The sea closure zone covers an area off the coast of Zhoushan, south of Shanghai, to Wenzhou about 200 miles to the south. The Communist Party-affiliated newspaper Global Times noted the exercise zone’s “similar size to the island of Taiwan.”
The exercises are designed to warn Taiwan, Chinese military expert Song Zhongping, told the newspaper. “The drill’s main objective is to send a serious warning to Taiwan separatists,” Mr. Song said.
According to another Chinese military expert quoted by Global Times, the East China Sea is viewed by the Chinese military as the main battle zone if war breaks out.
The expert, who was not named, said this week’s drills are larger than in the past and require more troops and weapons. The maneuvers will test the Chinese military’s combat capabilities, tactics and training methods and its new weapons and hardware.
“The [People’s Liberation Army] air force and navy have been frequently conducting island encirclement exercises,” Mr. Song said.
“The drill this time will add up and form a military deterrence of high pressure against the Taiwan separatists.”
According to Mr. Song, the war games will involve joint military operations in a bid to simulate real combat. — Washington Times, July 18th

Stay tuned!

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-20/trump-starting-lean-fed-or-setting-it
 

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How Hard Will Trump’s Trade War Hit?
by Barry Ritholtz

Short answer, according to WaPo: hit harder than people think it will:

“These categories show a similar trend. Most durable goods (brown lines) have become cheaper since the end of 1999. Durable goods are typically used for three years or more, such as furniture, cameras and automobiles. As a category, they are more likely to be traded across borders — and thus the most likely to get pricier should a trade war escalate.​
Some nondurable goods (teal lines), such as toys and clothing, are also easy to manufacture cheaply abroad and ship to the U.S. It’s no coincidence that they are among those with the lowest price increases.​
Most services (red lines), such as restaurants and health care, are challenging to import and haven’t seen the type of competition that would keep prices low.​
We can also go one step farther and calculate just how much each category has contributed to the annual inflation rates watched by the Fed.​
Durable goods — many of them cheap imports — have been the only category that helped slow price growth. There are a few exceptions, such as the periods in 2009 and 2015–2016 when volatile oil prices sent the prices of nondurables into free-fall.”​

This chart shows that the tariffs are starting to bite . . .

See the full column for the details . . .


Source: Washington Post


Steel prices have gone up after the trade war broke out


Source: Torsten Sløk, Deutsche Bank Securities

http://ritholtz.com/2018/07/one-chart-shows-trumps-trade-war-will-hit-harder-people-think/
 

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Trade wars are the biggest risk of Trump's presidency: Werthstein Institute | In The News
CNBC Life



Published on Jul 20, 2018
Giles Keating, managing director at Werthstein Institute, speaks about the impact of President Donald Trump's presidency.
 

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REVEALED: Macron told Trump he would use his own 'Art of the Deal' tips against him as trade tariff talks got heated

  • President Macron revealed he had read the book at the NATO summit in Brussels
  • He reportedly used tactics from it to counter Trump's recent tariffs on the EU
  • Trump recently imposed steel and aluminium duties on several European nations
  • The EU hit back by imposing its own tariffs on famous American-made products
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5981537/Macron-told-Trump-use-Art-Deal-tips-against-him.html
 

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I’m all for producers getting more (((FRN))) notes for their products.
What about higher the cost to the consumer you say?
Never liked that word “consumer” sounds like some over eating fat sloth of an individual any problems they experience because a producer is getting his right reward are there own.
 

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Europe Can't Rely On The US To Maintain World Order, Merkel Warns


by Tyler Durden
Tue, 07/24/2018 - 02:45


Having been called a "foe" by President Trump last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed that she was right to say a year ago that Europe could no longer rely on the United States to impose order on the world, and that it needed to take matters close to home into its own hands.

“We can’t rely on the superpower of the United States,” Merkel told a news conference in Berlin.​
As AntiWar's Jason Ditz notes, Merkel did not elaborate on exactly what this “order” meant, but it comes in the context of recent polls showing German voters resistant to her desire to increase military spending. This suggests Merkel is trying to sell increased armament as a way to intervene regionally.



Merkel also said she intends to continue to work on improving Germany’s relationship with the United States. This appears to be an uphill battle, with the two nations at odds over a number of issues, but she insisted ties are “crucial.”

Just last week, President Trump said he has “a big problem” with Germany, and the US was threatening to sanction German companies for investing in a Russian energy pipeline. Trump expressed particular anger at the pipeline, saying it means Germany is effective “captive” to Russia.

Putting this accusation into context, Statista's Sarah Feldman points out that Germany secures roughly three fifths of its energy needs from foreign sources. A fifth of its overall energy consumption comes from natural gas.


You will find more infographics at Statista

These dependency numbers have been creeping up over the past decade and are expected to steadily increase in the years to come as Nord Stream 2, a natural gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea, takes effect bringing a stream of natural gas directly into Germany.

In practice, the pipeline issue is more about the US wanting to increase LNG exports to Europe than being worried about Russia increasing trade ties there. Where US and European interests don’t align, however, it seems to fuel tensions, and that’s liable to mean Angela Merkel faces an uphill battle in improving relations.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-23/europe-cant-rely-us-maintain-world-order-merkel-warns
 

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NATO Trump'd


by Tyler Durden
Tue, 07/24/2018 - 03:30


Authored by Patrick Armstrong via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Those of us who regard NATO as one of the primary sources of international instability thanks to its wars of destruction in the MENA and provocation of Russia were looking forward with delighted anticipation to Trump's appearance at the NATO summit.



We were not disappointed. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when Trump came late to the meeting where Ukraine and Georgia were banging on about the Russian threat, started ranting about spending and blew up the decorous charade. Ukraine and Georgia were then dismissed and a special meeting was convened. (A side effect of his "creative destruction" was that the Ukrainian President delivered his speech to a practically empty room). He started his assault before the meeting, opening Twitter fire on Germany, returning to the attack in his breakfast meeting with NATO's GenSek:


Good fun for some of us but a stunner to the Panjandrumocracy: "meltdown", "tantrum", "latest diplomatic blowup", "making bullying great again" and so on.

As ever, Trump's statements were extreme and his numbers might not stand up to examination but most commenters (typically) left out the context. Which was a piece by German Chancellor Merkel herself in which she called for NATO to focus on the threats from Russia: "the alliance has to show determination to protect us”.

This gave Trump the opening to pose these questions (posed in his own way, of course, in a strategy that most people – despite the example of North Korea – have still not grasped).

1. You tell us that NATO ought to concentrate on the Russian threat. If Russia is a threat, why are you buying gas from it?
2. You tell us that Russia is a reliable energy supplier. If Russia is a reliable supplier, why are you telling us it's a threat?
3. I hope you're not saying Russia is a threat and its gas is cheap but the USA will save you.​

Good questions to be sure; questions that crystallise the contradiction of NATO. If Russia is such a big military threat to them – as NATO communiqués incessantly say it is – then why aren't the Europeans, presumably first on Moscow's cross hairs, doing more to meet that threat? And, if, as their doing so little about their defence suggests, they don't fear Russia, then why do they say that they do? From the latest NATO communiqué: meeting Russia’s aggressive actions, including the threat and use of force to attain political goals, challenge the Alliance and are undermining Euro-Atlantic security and the rules-based international order.

I always like to count words in these cliché-ridden screeds: it gives a metric of importance and saves force-marching my eyeballs through 12,000 words of self-satisfied pap. In the countries where NATO forces are actually deployed, the communiqué mentions Afghanistan twice, Kosovo six times and Iraq 14 times. NATO destroyed Libya but it only gets six references; it's doing its best to repeat the performance in Syria (nine).

But Russia leads with 54 mentions, none of them complimentary. Why even NATO's favourite mush words, "values" (16) and "stability" (26), appear fewer times. Ukraine, on the other hand, has 25 appearances, all in what could be called the phantasmagorical verbal mood: "We welcome significant reform progress". So, in NATOland, Russia's back. By contrast, the Riga Summit communiqué in 2006 mentioned Afghanistan 17 times, Iraq eight times and Russia ten times ("values" and "stability" scored 15 each). But NATO was still looking for a purpose then:


The logic of NATO's very existence creates the contradiction. NATO, having lost its raison d'être when the Warsaw Pact and the USSR disappeared, having floundered around in out-of-area operations and the "War on Terror", has returned to "the Russian threat". (But in a bureaucracy nothing ever actually stops: this week's meeting approved a NATO training (!) mission in Iraq Year 15 and more British troops in Kabul Year 16.) Without the "Russian Threat" there would be no reason for NATO to exist, and certainly no big arms contracts, and all the warm butterscotch sauce of "common values" or "projecting stability" could not keep it together. Because, the brutal truth is that military alliances are kept together, not by common values, but by common enemies.

But, no question about it, it's Washington that bears the major responsibility: Washington pushes NATO expansion, adding monomaniacal anti-Russian members; Washington foments colour revolutions; Washington blew up Ukraine and tried to snatch the Sevastopol naval base; Washington "twists arms"; Washington demands European sanctions and Magnitskiy Acts; Washington's failed wars in the MENA suck in NATO members; Washington dropped the ABM Treaty inspiring Russia to create its super weapons. The truth is that, whatever might have happened otherwise, Washington drove NATO in the anti-Russia direction.

But Donald Trump is not that Washington: he is the anti-Washington. He tosses bombs into gatherings of complacent apparatchiks: if you believe what you're saying, act on it; if you don't act on it, stop saying it. Then he threw the spending bomb. For years there has been a vague commitment that NATO members should spend 2% of their GDP on defence; the commitment appears to have been formalised in 2014. (14) But the members aren't paying much attention. Few have achieved it and the downward trend, begun at the end of the Cold War, has continued. Regardless of whether "2%" makes any sense or how it is calculated, Trump was right to remind NATO members that they themselves agreed to it. Again Trump raises the pointed question: why don't you act as if you believe what you're saying?

Indicators of European NATO members' actual readiness and combat capability are stunning; the latest being "Only 4 of Germany's 128 Eurofighter jets combat ready — report"; "Ground force: Half of France's military planes 'unfit to fly'". "Britain’s ‘withered’ forces not fit to repel all-out attack". "Europe's Readiness Problem". Obviously they're not expecting a Russian attack any time soon. NATO is, as I have argued here, a paper tiger. It is questionable whether NATO members can conduct any operation without the USA providing satellite navigation and observation, air defence suppression, airborne command and control, inflight tankers, heavy lift and ammunition resupply to name a few deficiencies. So, either the Europeans are not worried; or, as Trump likes to say, they are free riders.

Six months ago I suggested that Trump may be trying to get out of what I called the "Gordian knot of entanglements".

President Trump can avoid new entanglements but he has inherited so many and they are, all of them, growing denser and thicker by the minute. Consider the famous story of the Gordian Knot: rather than trying to untie the fabulously complicated knot, Alexander drew his sword and cut it.

How can Trump cut The Gordian Knot of American imperial entanglements? By getting others to untie it.

He stomps out of NATO leaving them quaking: if you say Russia is the enemy, why do you act as if it isn't; and if you act as if it isn't, why do you say it is? And firing, over his shoulder, the threat: 2% by next January.

I believe it is a threat and a very neat one too:

If you don't get up to 2% (or is it 4%?) and quickly too; I warned you. Goodbye.
If you do get your spending up, then you don't need us. Goodbye.

Another strand of the knot gone.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-23/nato-trumpd
 

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Trump - The De-Globalizer!


by Tyler Durden
Mon, 07/23/2018 - 23:55

Authored by Peter Koenig via The Saker blog,

Looks like Trump is running amok with his “trading policies”. Not only has he upset the European Union – which doesn’t deserve any better, frankly, for having been and still being submissive vassals against the will of by now 90% of Europeans; but he has also managed to get China into a fury. Well, for China it is really not that important, because China has plenty of other markets, including basically all of Asia and probably increasingly also Europe, as Europe increasingly feel the need for detaching from the US.

What is striking, though, is that even at the outset of the G20 Summit now ongoing in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Trumps Ministers have made it clear that unless Europe cancels all subsidies – referring primarily to agricultural subsidies – and eliminates the newly imposed retaliatory import duties, new trade deals are not going to be discussed. Never mind that the US has the world’s highest farm subsidies.

From afar this looks like the most wicked and non-sensical trade war the US via Trump, is waging against the rest of the world – à la “Make America Great Again”. Will it work? Maybe. One can never predict dynamics, especially not in a neoliberal western world that is used to live on linearism, which by definition is always wrong. Knowingly and deliberately the west and it’s financial key institutions, IMF, World Bank, FED, European Central Bank – trick the public at large into believing their statistics and predictions – which, if one goes back in history, have always been off, way off.

All life is dynamic. But to understand this it takes independent thinking – which the west has long given up, unfortunately.

So, in response to the latest Trump-promoted trade fiasco at the G20 in Argentina, the IMF is up in arms, saying this might lower world GDP by at least 0.5%. – Even if true, so what?

In reality, there is a totally different scenario that nobody dares talk about.

Namely, what renewed local production and monetary sovereignty can bring to the world economy; precisely what Mr. Trump says he wants to propagate for the US of A – local production for local markets and for trade with countries that respect mutual benefits. The latter is of course a question not easily achieved by any trade deal with the US. But the former is an enormous economic power keg. The stimulation of local economies through internal credit, is the most commanding means to boost local employment and GDP.

Then there is the sanctions game. It’s getting ever more aggressive. New sanctions on Russia, new sanctions on Venezuela – and new heavy-heavy sanctions on Iran. And the European puppets still follow suit, although they are the ones that most suffer from US sanctions imposed on others, especially because out of ‘stupidity’ or fear, they cannot let go of the destructive empire, hobbling away on its last breath. Or is it perhaps, that those fake leaders of the Brussels construct are bought? – Yes, I mean bought with money or with favors? – It’s not out of this world, since those of the European Commission who call the shots are not elected, thus, responsible to no one.

Take the case of Iran, Trump and his peons, Bolton and Pompeo, have threatened every oil company around the globe with heavy sanctions if they keep buying hydrocarbons from Iran beyond November 2018. Particularly concerned are the European Petrol giants, like Total, ENI, Repsol and others. – As a consequence, they have canceled their literally of billions of euros worth of contracts with Iran to protect themselves – and, of course, their shareholders. Just recently I talked to a high executive from Total. He said, we have no choice, as we cannot trust our people in Brussels to shield us from Washington’s sanctions. So, we have to look elsewhere to fulfill our contractual obligations vis-à-vis our clients. But, he added, we did not buy the American fracking stuff; we are negotiating with Russia. – There you go.

The European market for Iran’s hydrocarbon is estimated at about 20% of Iran’s total production. An amount, easily taken over by China and others which are too big (and too bold) to be sanctioned by the empire. Some may actually resell Iranian hydrocarbons through their backdoor to the otherwise sanctioned European oil corporations.

Iran has another strong weapon which they already made clear, they will use, if the US attempts seriously to block anyone from buying Iranian oil and gas. Iran can block the Gulf of Hormuz, where daily about 30% of all hydrocarbon used by the world is being shipped, including about half to the United states. This might increase the price of petrol exponentially and ruining many countries’ economies. However, higher prices would also benefit Russia, China and Venezuela, precisely the countries that Washington wants to punish.

Would such a move by Iran provoke a direct US aggression? – One never knows with the war profiteers of the US. What’s for sure, such an intervention would not pass without a commensurate response from China and Russia.

* * *

On the other side of the scenario – imagine – countries mired in this global mess, made in the US of A, start looking for their own internal interests again, seeking their own sovereignty, independence from the globalist dependency. They are embarking on economic policies furthering self-sufficiency, self-reliance; first foodwise, then focusing on their scientific research to build their own cutting-edge technology industrial parks. A vivid example is Russia. Since sanctions were imposed, Russia has moved from a totally import-dependent country since the collapse of the Soviet Union, to a food and industry self-sufficient nation. According to Mr. Putin, the sanctions were the best thing that happened to Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union. Russia has been the world’s largest wheat exporter for the last two years.

Europeans have started quietly to reorient their business activities towards the east. Europeans may finally have noticed – not the elitist puppets from Brussels, but Big Business and the public at large – that the transatlantic partner cannot be trusted, nor their self-imposed EU central administration of Brussels. They are seeking their own ways, each one of these nations are seeking gradually to detach from the fangs of Washington, eventually detaching from the dollar dominion, because they notice businesswise the dollar-based economy is a losing proposition.

There is BREXIT, the most open move away from the ‘freedom limiting’ European dictate which is nothing else but a carbon copy of the economic dictate of the dollar, as practiced in the United States and everywhere the dollar is still the main international contract and reserve currency.

The Five Star Movement in Italy was created on similar premises – breaking out from Brussels, from the Euro-policy handcuffs. In a first attempt towards sidelining the Euro, they received a spanking from the euro-friendly Italian President, Sergio Mattarella, when he refused to accept the 5-Stars coalition partner’s, Lega Norte, proposed Eurosceptic Minister of Finance, Paolo Savona, who called Italy’s entry into the eurozone a “historic mistake”. This thrive by Italy to regain monetary sovereignty has by no means ended. To the contrary, it has taken strength and more determination. Germany moves in the same direction – quietly opening doors to Moscow and Beijing.

Unfortunately, these moves have little to do with a new more human and peace-loving consciousness, but rather with business interests. But perhaps conscious awareness – the reconnecting with the original spark of a humanity solidified in solidarity is a step-by-step process.

* * *

What if, considering the motion towards peoples’ new self-determination - Trump’s jumping from chaos to more chaos, to the never-ending sanction game (punishing, or threatening friends and foes alike) - will lead to a genuine de-globalization of the world?



If this were to happen then, we the 90% of the globe’s population, should be very grateful to Mr. Trump who has shown and created the path to enlightening – the enlightening of de-globalization.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-23/trump-de-globalizer
 

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Trump calls Nord Stream 2 ‘horrible,’ but two-thirds of Germans disagree – poll
RT



Published on Jul 24, 2018
Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is currently under construction, is set to deliver natural gas from Russia to Germany. The project has been widely criticized by the US which wants to supply its own liquid natural gas instead. Trump has also warned that the pipeline will make Berlin too dependant on Moscow, but, according to a recent poll, it seems the majority of Germans don't see it that way. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/9awl
 

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Trump and War With China? Goldnomics Podcast ( Episode 6 )
GoldCore


Published on Jul 23, 2018
In this the sixth episode of the Goldnomics podcast we discuss the deepening trade war between the U.S. & China and the risk of a wider war. GoldCore CEO Stephen Flood and GoldCore's Research Director and respected precious metals commentator Mark O'Byrne in discussion with Dave Russell.

Our discussion starts with the “Tweet” from Ray Dalio, founder of hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, that states; “Today is the first day of war with China”. The tweet from the founder of the world’s largest hedge fund, which manages some $160 billion, comes after the U.S. slapped levies on some of China’s exports to the U.S., and President Donald Trump threatened further action.

Is he suggesting that there is something more than just a Trade War brewing between the U.S and China? Is he warmongering, is he suggesting that Donald Trump is warmongering, or is he just alluding to what the unintended consequence of a trade war could be, as we have seen throughout history?

Is this part of Trump’s goal to Make America Great Again? We look at the serious unintended consequences of these actions. We look at the backdrop to these trade wars and how Globalization can be a double edged sword.

How will the economies of the world react; China, EU, Canada?

The trade war is on and the gloves are off!

Listen to the full episode or skip directly to one of the following discussion points:

2:00 Ray Dalio is followed widely, respected and is important to listen to
2:32 Dalio is rightly concerned that trade wars might lead to actual wars
2:52: Whats the background, why trade wars globally and why now?
4:22: The effects of a globalisation since World War II
4:27 What effect did globalization have on the work-force - working and middle classes?
5:04: How China leveraged their cheap labour force for an international competitive advantage?
5:22: Imported Chinese goods are cheaper than the goods that are being domestically produced in America, how is this effecting peoples’ jobs in America.
5:40: Are Chinese workers now competing with the Vietnamese workers?
6:04: How Trump’s intention to safeguard American manufacturers and workers may cause American consumers to pay more for domestically produced goods instead of buying cheaper imported goods
8:06 The U.S. has a deficit with 140 countries around the world and why this can’t be fixed with a trade war.
8:30: History suggests that trade wars lead to currency wars which eventually result in to actual wars.
9:00: Ray Dalio is right to be concerned
15:10: What is the response of China?
15:11 How Trump’s action to protect the domestic industries and workers is not just targeting China but also impacting Europe and Canada as well
16:14: Why Trump’s supporters continue to back his actions and decisions
17:36 How the European Union is responding
17:50 Harley Davidson and the unintended consequence playing out.
18:00 How Trump’s actions to protect domestic jobs is resulting in the contrary
18:41 How Trade War will add an extra premium to the cost of doing business all over the world
19:05 Why China is putting more and more money in infrastructure - partly so they can easily get their goods to markets
20:52 Behind the scenes of trade wars, is a currency war actually going on?
21:52 Why are the Chinese continuing to quietly accumulate gold
22:22 The Chinese government are planning for the long term, unlike the U. S. government
23:26: How personal prosperity of Americans is diminishing while certain corporations continue to do better
24:34 Why globalization is not delivering security for individuals and their families
24:41: Historically trade wars were the portent of an actual war
29:10 How Europe’s massive economy has an important role to play in this trade war
29:38: What action might investors and savers take in this situation?
32:08 Trump’s actions until now only focuses on a short term protection of the U.S. economy
32:47: Why investors need to diversify and re-balance their portfolios
33:07: Why diversification needs to be geographical and not just asset focused
33:54 How gold can be used to protect a portfolio in a trade and actual war
35:17 Ray Dalio’s Tweet doesn’t’ necessarily signifies the first day of war with China but there’s definitely a trade war going on between U.S. & China, the gloves are off and there may be unintended consequences.

People mentioned in this episode:
Ray Dalio: https://twitter.com/RayDalio
Harald Malmgren: https://twitter.com/Halsrethink
Pippa Malmgren: https://twitter.com/DrPippaM
Gerald Celente: https://twitter.com/geraldcelente

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China’s Xi on tour of Africa to expand trade, months after Trump's 's***hole' comment
RT


Published on Jul 24, 2018
Chinese President Xi Jinping is in Rwanda, as part of a four-nation trip to Africa to establish deeper trade ties. He earlier visited Senegal, which is the first West-African country to be involved in China's 'Belt and Road' infrastructure project. In 2016 alone, China invested $39bn in the continent, bringing the total to more than $200bn. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/9asi
 

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Chinese president Xi Jinping on state visit to SA
SABC Digital News


Published on Jul 24, 2018
President Cyril Ramaphosa will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping today ahead of the Brics summit in Johannesburg.
 

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‘Tariffs Are the Greatest’ Trump Tweets Before Juncker Meeting

Bloomberg
Terrence Dopp
1 hr ago

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump proclaimed that “Tariffs are the greatest!” in warning U.S. trade partners that he’ll impose more sanctions unless they negotiate a "fair deal" as negotiations with European officials are to get underway at the White House.

Trump’s tweet Tuesday comes as he’s scheduled to meet with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Washington for talks aimed at heading off a trade war, and as he continues to deal with domestic fallout from his deference to Vladimir Putin last week over Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

"Either a country which has treated the United States unfairly on Trade negotiates a fair deal, or it gets hit with Tariffs,” Trump said in a Twitter posting. “It’s as simple as that - and everybody’s talking! Remember, we are the ‘piggy bank’ that’s being robbed. All will be Great!"

Trump has been critical of the EU over its $150 billion trade surplus with the U.S. But Europe is only one front in Trump’s attacks on trading partners. Earlier this month, the president imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods, with similar penalties on an additional $16 billion worth of products expected to go into effect shortly and he’s threatened levies on an additional $200 billion of Chinese products in the next month.

Beijing responded to Trump’s first wave by matching duties on a similar amount of U.S. imports and has threatened to retaliate against any further U.S. tariffs.

The Trump administration has also looked to protect specific industries with new tariffs, including a round of levies on imported metals. The 25 percent tariff on steel and 10 percent tariff on aluminum impact not only China, but traditional U.S. allies like the European Union, Canada, and Mexico. The president is also weighing additional tariffs on domestic autos and automobile parts, a topic expected to be discussed at length when he meets Juncker on Wednesday.

U.S. companies and industry groups are finding it increasingly difficult to escape the impact of Trump’s tariffs. More than 80 witnesses are scheduled to testify during a two-day trade hearing starting in Washington Tuesday focused on products from resins and chemicals to large freight containers, electric bicycles and vaping devices. Most of the companies and business groups that have filed comments are seeking to have goods spared from duties on grounds the tariffs are ultimately a tax on consumers and hamstrings them with their global supply chains.

On a separate trade issue, Trump on Monday said he’s heading toward a “dramatic” deal with Mexico, without giving more details. Mexico is redoubling its efforts to reach a Nafta agreement with the U.S. and Canada by the end of August, according to three people familiar with the negotiations.

Trump has been seething over criticism of his Helsinki summit last week with Russia’s Putin and public doubts Trump expressed about U.S. intelligence findings that Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential election. He has been lashing out at a variety of foes, whether political or economic, and his press secretary said Monday he is considering revoking the security clearances of former FBI Director James Comey, ex-CIA Director John Brennan and other Obama-era national security officials who have criticized him.

To contact the reporter on this story: Terrence Dopp in Washington at tdopp@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Derek Wallbank at dwallbank@bloomberg.net, Elizabeth Wasserman, Bill Faries

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/polit...-before-juncker-meeting/ar-AAAlo2T?ocid=ientp
 

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Trump To Announce Multibillion Stimulus For Farmers


by Tyler Durden
Tue, 07/24/2018 - 10:35


Earlier this month we reported that not everyone was happy with Trump's trade war, and as a result of plunging commodity prices, especially soy, one group emerged as especially hard hit by the administration's tariffs: farmers.



Two weeks ago, we quoted Casey Guernsey, a spokesman for Americans for Farmers and Families, who said that "China dealt its latest blow to American agriculture today with threats of even more tariffs on the horizon. Following Canada’s tariffs on U.S. products earlier this week, America’s farmers and families are staring down a dark path with no signs of relief in sight. We are counting on the administration and Congress to reach a resolution on responsible trade policies -- before we’re forced to shut down our operations for good."

Many others joined in, begging the administration for relief: John Heisdorffer, a soybean grower from Keota, Iowa, and president of the American Soybean Association, said in a statement on the website:

"Soybeans are the top agriculture export for the United States, and China is the top market for purchasing those exports, The math is simple. You tax soybean exports at 25 percent, and you have serious damage to U.S. farmers."​

Cheese producers were also hard hit, forced to discount their products to keep customers, with many putting orders put on hold and resulting in the biggest cheese inventory in US history.

"We have seen large drops in our dairy product sales prices at all levels," said Catherine de Ronde, economist for the Agri-Mark Inc. dairy cooperative. "It will create a significant backup of dairy products."​
Iowa Senator Joni Ernst appeared on CBS' "Face The Nation" warning that: "farmer ranchers are “always the first to be retaliated against” in these types of “trade negotiations," adding that farmers have been put in “very vulnerable position.”

Meanwhile, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig said that "there are real issues in our trade relationship with China that need to be addressed, but Iowa agriculture cannot continue to bear the brunt of the retaliation from our trading partners."

In short, America's farmers were getting ever more angry with Trump's policies.

* * *

This morning, Trump responded and according to Politico "the Trump administration is planning to ease fears of a trade war by announcing later Tuesday billions of dollars in aid to farmers hurt by tariffs." The Washington Post puts a number to the aid: $12 billion.

Under the White House plan, the money will be disbursed in at least three ways, coming through direct assistance, a food purchase and distribution program, and a trade promotion program.

The plan, which has been in the works for months, seeks to ensure U.S. farmers and ranchers — a key constituency for President Donald Trump and Republicans — don’t bear the brunt of an escalating trade fight with China, the European Union and other major economies.

Trump, back in April, directed Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to devise a plan to mitigate any financial damage to U.S. agricultural producers’ bottom lines that could result from the ongoing trade battles. But the administration has so far offered few details on the amount of aid that would be provided and how it would be distributed.​
And since subsidies are merely another facet of trade warfare, expect China - which has also revealed similar subsidies to its own exporters - and especially Europe, to respond in kind shortly, as the tit-fof-tat global trade war continues.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-24/trump-announce-multibillion-stimulus-farmers