Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Do You Trust Team Trump To Negotiate U.S. Trade Policies? Return Of The Culture Of Corruption


The only photo the Regime is circulating of Lighthizer is 4 decades old

Señor Trumpanzee decided he needs an asshole as his chief trade negotiator-- so he came up Robert Lighthizer. And the 69 year old Lighthizer is delighted to go to work for a president "who argues," according to a report for Bloomberg by Andrew Mayeda, "that the true roots of Republicanism lie in the protectionist bent of such early leaders as Abraham Lincoln." A bumbling ignoramus, clueless about history, is likely to launch the country into a trade war which could very well lead to a worldwide depression, as the same policies-- Smoot-Hawley-- helped do after the Roaring Twenties. In 1930, Thomas Lamont, a partner at J.P. Morgan and a top Hoover economic advisor begged Hoover to veto Smoot-Hawley which, he recalled, "intensified nationalism all over the world." Nationalism in the 1930s... could he be talking about Germany, Italy and Japan? About fascism? About World War II? Before the War, real income of Americans was but by over a third and unemployment skyrocketed from 3% to 25%. International trade cratered and practically dried up. Reed Smoot and Willis Hawley were two typical Republican blowhards.
To get the law passed, Congressmen had to support each others' tariffs. If one needed a tariff to protect textile workers, another needed a tariff to protect farmers. It snowballed, resulting in hundreds of tariffs.

Tariffs for imported eggs went from 8 cents to 10 cents a dozen. Onions rose from 1 cent to 2.5 cents. Sugar, peas and wheat rose too. Those might sound small but this was 1930 after all, and the increases infuriated other nations.

European countries, such as Spain, Italy and Switzerland, retaliated with tariffs of their own, and a trade war began.

The biggest retaliation came from Canada. Gobsmacked that the U.S. raised tariffs on eggs, Canada raised tariffs on U.S. eggs to 10 cents from 3 cents.

Here's how that worked out: U.S. exports of eggs to Canada fell to about 7,900 dozen in 1932 from 919,000 dozen in 1929.

"It sounds easy that we block imports and create jobs here but we forget about what other countries can do to us," says Doug Irwin, an economics professor at Dartmouth and author of Peddling Protectionism: Smoot-Hawley and the Great Depression.

In total, the volume of U.S. imports fell 40% in the two years following Smoot-Hawley, which became law in June 1930... The key similarity between Trump's proposed hardball tactics and Smoot-Hawley is the potential for a trade war.

"If China and Mexico retaliate against the United States, that would be similar to Smoot-Hawley," says Irwin.

Navarro acknowledged that China could retaliate. But he also notes that China would lose the lucrative U.S. market.

Another similarity is that both would fail to protect, or bring back, American jobs. "If we raise tariffs on China, a lot of those jobs would go to countries in southeast Asia."
Lighthizer’s top agenda items will be renegotiating NAFTA and re-working trade with China, worthy goals... but from a Trumpian perspective? No one thinks so. "Some economists," wrote Mayeda, "worry about the potential results. 'Consumers buy a lot of things from China, and the immediate impact of a higher tariff on Chinese goods would be increased prices,' said Chad Bown, senior fellow at Peterson Institute for International Economics. Aggressive U.S. policies risk igniting international trade wars, Bown said. 'China will retaliate,' he said. 'And if you’re a worker or a farmer whose livelihood is tied up in your ability to sell your product to China, you’re also going to be hurt.'" Today will see the Senate debating Lighthizer’s confirmation in the Finance Committee. There's a federal law that prevents people who’ve represented foreign governments-- as Lighthizer has-- from becoming the U.S. Trade Rep. Both the House and the Senate would have to waive that law for him to be confirmed.

William Maudlin, writing yesterday for the Wall Street Journal pointed out that Republican opposition to Trump's and Bannon's economic nationalism-- the basis for their trade agenda-- is going to be even stronger than the opposition from some Republicans to Trumpcare. "Republican lawmakers," he wrote, "are showing increasing resistance to President Donald Trump’s trade agenda, worried that his plans could hurt exports from their states and undermine longstanding U.S. alliances. The concerns indicate that the biggest threat to Mr. Trump’s trade policy-- which emphasizes new bilateral deals and a tougher stance against countries blamed for violating trade rules-- is coming from his own party. The opposition from Republicans, who control both chambers of Congress, stands to complicate Mr. Trump’s efforts to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement, or Nafta, and tackle alleged trade violations in China."

As we have seen, the politically oafish Trump has been threatening Republican members of Congress with primaries if they oppose Trumpcare. Will he do the same towards Republicans who oppose his trade agenda? If so... expect a lot of primaries in Republicanville.

And no one wants to mention anything about the Chinese government bribing Trump with trademark grants and putting hundreds of millions of dollars into Kushner-in-law's pockets, right? 
A company owned by the family of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, stands to receive more than $400 million from a prominent Chinese company that is investing in the Kushners’ marquee Manhattan office tower at 666 Fifth Ave.

The planned $4-billion transaction includes terms that some real estate experts consider unusually favorable for the Kushners. It provides them with both a sizable cash payout from Anbang Insurance Group for a property that has struggled financially and an equity stake in a new partnership.

The details of the agreement, which is being circulated to attract additional investors, were shared with Bloomberg. It would make business partners of Kushner Cos. and Anbang, whose murky links to the Chinese power structure have raised national security concerns over its U.S. investments. In the process, an existing mortgage owed by the Kushners will be slashed to about a fifth of its current amount.

The document offers a rare look at a major deal by a close Trump associate and family member. It’s unclear whether the deal could prompt federal review, as occurred when Anbang bought other properties, like the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan. Anbang could also face review by the Chinese government, which has been clamping down on overseas investments and which has a range of pending issues with the Trump administration.

The proposed partnership is seeking additional participants through a controversial federal program known as EB-5, which is intended for economically distressed neighborhoods and provides residency permits to major foreign investors.

The deal would value the 41-story tower at $2.85 billion, the most ever for a single Manhattan building: $1.6 billion for the office section and $1.25 billion for the retail section. The new partnership will refinance $1.15 billion in existing mortgage debt.

"This is a huge, huge exit strategy for an office building," said Joshua Stein, a New York real estate lawyer. "It does sound like a home run of a transaction for Kushner and his group.”

...Asked for comment, a White House spokeswoman said Kushner will recuse himself from any matter where his impartiality could be reasonably questioned, including an examination of the EB-5 program.

Some government ethics experts argue that the Kushner family and business are so close-knit that the steps Jared Kushner has taken do not go far enough. Also at issue: as-of-yet undisclosed lenders who are financing the project and the forgiveness of a portion of a $250 million loan which will allow the debt to be cleared for one-fifth of its value.

"At the very least, this raises serious questions about the appearance of a conflict that arises from the possibility that the Kushners are getting a sweetheart deal," said Larry Noble, general counsel at the Campaign Legal Center. "A classic way you influence people is by financially helping their family."

The transaction would allow the Kushner Cos.’ investment in the tower to be salvaged by lenders and businesses that could have extensive dealings with the federal government, while also permitting the Kushners to buy back into the building’s more lucrative retail spaces and maintain a 20 percent stake.

The deal would allow Vornado Realty Trust-- which is partnered with Trump in his two most valuable properties-- to exit a troubled asset with a 10-fold payout on its stake in the building’s offices and a doubling of its investment in its stores. It declined to discuss the deal.

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At 6:08 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

This is SO DISGUSTING. Please, someone stop this rape of America and enrichment of the the Trump family through use of their political gravitas!! This must be against the Constitution and exactly what the founding fathers warned against. STOP!!!

At 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

..um.. "RETURN" of the culture of corruption?!??! WTF!!

Wait, when did the culture of corruption ever leave? I've been tracking the ubiquitous culture of corruption since Reagan. Pure, unadulterated, undiluted corruption. Molly Ivins (may she RIP) wrote about it in the early '80s.

Where did it go? How long was it gone?

You think $hillbillary was the democrap candidate out of altruism? You think Clinton gleefully signed GLBA and CFMA because banks were NOT going to pay him millions once out of office? You think obamanation refused to put the likes of dimon and blankfein in prison because they were fucking INNOCENT?

Would you trust trade policy more with $hillbillary, she of the TPP orgasm and NAFTA love?

At 3:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To anon @ 9:17AM

Excellent, thanks.

John Puma

At 5:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now if these criminals were taking these positions in order to find safe haven refuges for when the American People hit the wall where they are mad as hell and can't take it anymore, I could almost understand. But since there is no one they won't swindle or abuse, I question why any other nation even talks to these sorry excuses for humanity.


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