July 27, 2018

US and EU Reach a Trade Agreement

We're officially on Insta! Did I throw on a blazer at 5 am for all you lovely people? You bet I did!

“U.S. President Donald Trump and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker agreed on Wednesday to remove duties on industrial goods and boost U.S. soybean and energy exports to Europe, while working to resolve their tariff dispute.” (Reuters)

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The left is divided about the deal.

Some posit that “President Trump's ‘deal’ with the EU on trade is more a fragile ceasefire — no significant territory was gained or lost, no white flags have been raised, and the president's trigger finger remains itchy. Crucially, though, the guns have gone silent.”

Axios

“The president made no specific commitment to lift the steel and aluminum tariffs he imposed back in June, nor did Juncker pledge to withdraw the retaliatory measures from the E.U. targeting American motorcycles, blue jeans and bourbon, among other products... It’s not clear the two sides made any progress either on one of Trump’s leading bugaboos: European tariffs on U.S. autos.”

Washington Post

“Mr. Trump, in many ways, is taking credit for solving a crisis of his own making. After taking office, he criticized the deals of his predecessor and cut off trade talks with the European Union... But it was not immediately clear what would set the new talks apart from those carried out by the Obama administration, beyond their more limited scope.”

New York Times

Others see signs of progress. “Juncker seems to have convinced our president that he’s better off teaming up with Europe to take on Beijing than he is trying to score points in his weird vendetta against Angela Merkel by going after Volkswagen with tariffs. Also, this suggests that Trump will now work toward fixing the WTO, rather than blowing it up entirely... Score one for the globalists.”

Slate

“There is reason for cautious optimism. The Trump administration has expressed openness to lifting its recent tariff hikes on imported European steel and aluminum, and this small gesture appears to have yielded dividends. Juncker, for his part, is characterizing Trump’s decision to hold off on imposing auto tariffs during trade negotiations as ‘a major concession,’ as if to pave the way for European concessions.”

The Atlantic

“For now, both sides can part with a win for each: The US gets immediate benefits from increased soybean and energy exports, and the EU leaves with no new tariffs on the table. Not bad for an impromptu press conference.”

Vox

The right celebrates the deal as a positive development.

The right celebrates the deal as a positive development.

“We agree... on the benefits of free trade. But if Trump uses the threat of tariffs and access to the U.S. market as a bargaining chip in order to get recalcitrant trade partners to remove or lower their trade barriers, is that bad? If it leads to more trade, not less, in the end, is that not a win?

Investor’s Business Daily

“Boom went the stock market within seconds of the announcement... Making matters worse for the Dems, this new deal entails growing sales of liquid natural gas by our country to Europe. Who does that most affect? Well, duh, Comrade Putin, of course... What do you suppose would trouble Putin more -- the U.S. cornering the LNG market or Trump calling him a bunch of nasty names?”

PJ Media

“Make no mistake, there are plenty of other issues that remain to be negotiated with Europe

and China and Japan).  But the point here is that the truth of President Trump's position has been reaffirmed. Nobody, not China, not Europe, nor any other market economy, wants a trade war. Nations with a trade surplus with America have more to lose than we do from a trade war. Juncker was acknowledging that in the Rose Garden.”

American Thinker

“For two years, pundit class ‘experts’ on the Left and the Right have bewailed President Trump’s negotiating tactics. They’ve questioned his intelligence, his knowledge, and his sanity...

"Meanwhile, across the Pacific, satellite images show North Korea dismantling key aspects of its nuclear program just one month after Kim promised denuclearization at his summit with President Trump...

The Daily Wire

“In case anyone was still wondering – [this] is Trump winning the European front of the Trade World War. Our prediction: We will get much better deals with the EU and Mexico-Canada

the third nation in NAFTA).  And the global anti-US dominoes will continue to fall.”

Red State

Others posit that “the reason Kim is developing missiles that can strike Seattle or LA is that 28,000 U.S. troops are in South Korea… If we cannot persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons in return for a lifting of sanctions, perhaps we should pull U.S. forces off the peninsula and let China deal with the possible acquisition of their own nuclear weapons by Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan…

“After an exhausting two weeks [between North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, and others], one is tempted to ask: How many quarrels, clashes and conflicts can even a superpower manage at one time? And is it not the time for the United States, preoccupied with so many crises, to begin asking, ‘Why is this our problem?’”
Pat Buchanan, Townhall

Counterpoint: “after the War of 1812, President Madison… enacted the Tariff of 1816 to price British textiles out of competition, so Americans would build the new factories and capture the booming U.S. market. It worked. Tariffs [also] financed Mr. Lincoln’s War. The Tariff of 1890 bears the name of Ohio Congressman and future President William McKinley, who said that a foreign manufacturer ‘has no right or claim to equality with our own… He pays no taxes. He performs no civil duties’… [A tariff’s] purpose is not just to raise revenue but to make a nation economically independent of others, and to bring its citizens to rely upon each other rather than foreign entities.”
Patrick J. Buchanan, The American Conservative

A libertarian's take

“The scoop reflects poorly on Trump, who willfully misled the public for a decade in hopes of fraudulently representing himself as a man with a Midas touch. But he could not have succeeded without the assistance of many Americans, some mercenary, others over-credulous, who helped to spread the deceit and deception, generating countless newspaper articles, magazine stories, and TV segments that misinformed the public about the publicity hound’s record in business. New evidence of his staggering losses in that decade therefore provides an apt occasion to reflect on the media’s complicity in Trump’s brazen deceit and deception… Let [this] be a lesson for today’s tabloids, gossip columnists, over-credulous or mercenary journalists, and reality-television producers.”
Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

On the bright side...

Mama duck seen towing about six dozen ducklings in her care.

New York Times

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