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Westlake Legal Group > Free trade

David Gauke: Whatever briefings from Downing Street may claim, an election fought on a No Deal platform would be disastrous

David Gauke is a former Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary, and is MP for South West Hertfordshire.

How much has the Conservative Party changed? To what extent has it moved from being a mainstream, centre-right party containing a broad range of views to being a party overwhelmingly focused on delivering an uncompromising Brexit?

It is a question I have asked myself a lot in recent months. Having fought off a deselection attempt because I opposed a No Deal Brexit, and having lost the Conservative whip because I continued to oppose a No Deal Brexit, it is hard to escape the conclusion that quite a lot of Conservatives disapprove of people who oppose a No Deal Brexit. Has the debate become so rancorous and intolerant that there is no longer a place for the likes of me in the Conservative Party?

The answer to that question is uncertain, but I took some encouragement from the Manchester Party conference.
I admit to attending with some trepidation. My position on Brexit is evidently a minority one within the Party. I have not sought to hide my criticisms of the substance and tone of the Government’s approach to Brexit. And I have not ruled out standing in my constituency as an independent if the whip is not returned. If ever I was going to get a hard time from Party activists, now would be the time.

And yet, at fringe event after fringe event, Party members were courteous and polite. Andrew Gimson generously wrote up my appearance at the ConservativeHome event, but a similar report could have been written for those I did with the Daily Telegraph and the Spectator. Don’t get me wrong: I am not claiming that I won the audiences over to my position – the occasional eye-roll, sigh and shake of the head was detectable – but nor was there anything like the hostility one might expect if, for example, you ever read the comments below one of my ConHome articles.

In truth, the Conservative Party felt – in those fringe meetings, at least – very similar to the party of which I have been a member for 29 years. Sensible, practical, well-meaning and decent.

I also take some encouragement from the apparent, new-found enthusiasm within the Government to reach a deal on Brexit. In previous columns, I have argued that seeking a deal and being willing to compromise is the right approach. That view would appear to be in the ascendant at the time of writing.

Until recently, an alternative approach appeared to be prevailing which seemed determined to crash us out on  October 31 at any cost. I have previously acknowledged the electoral case for this strategy, but in terms of the outcome for the country, it is thoroughly irresponsible. As such, it is also a huge departure from the modern traditions of the Conservative Party.

Let me give seven examples of principles that most Conservatives would support. I would happily sign up to each and every one of them but I struggle to reconcile them with those pursuing a No Deal Brexit at any cost.

  • We believe that living standards can only be raised and public services properly funded if you have a strong economy.

It is the argument that we have to fight at every election when our opponents make great promises but we respond by pointing out that we have to create the wealth in the first place if we properly want to fund the NHS, for example. Yet the overwhelming economic consensus is that No Deal Brexit would result in a sharp contraction in GDP. And before anyone rushes to claim that this is all a re-run of 2016’s ‘Project Fear’, remember our economy is 2.5-3 per cent smaller than it would have been had Remain won.

  • We believe in free trade.

Open markets benefit both our exporters but also our consumers. This has not always been the Conservative position but, thankfully, it has been for some time. And I know that there are plenty of Brexiteers who are sincere free traders and think that Brexit provides great new opportunities for bringing down trade barriers.

Unfortunately, it is simply not true. The Government’s analysis shows the benefit of getting trade deals with all the English-speaking nations and the major emerging economies will be just 0.2 to 0.6 per cent of GDP whereas the loss of access to European markets of a Canada-style free trade agreement (let alone a no deal Brexit) will be 4 to 7 per cent of GDP. The net effect of a No Deal Brexit or even a Canada style FTA will be to make our economy less open and more protectionist.

  • We believe in fiscal responsibility.

This was the battleground of British politics from 2009 to 2015 when we made the case for getting the deficit down. The contraction of the British economy will inevitably result in deteriorating public finances. Add to that a political strategy which focuses on winning the support of traditional Labour voters which has meant that we are almost certainly already breaking our fiscal rules.  Remember when we criticised Labour for more borrowing and more debt?

  • We don’t believe that the Government should bail-out unviable industries or businesses.

As a statement, this sounds like a bit of a throw-back to the 1980s when Margaret Thatcher weaned the country off supporting lame-duck businesses. But what do we think would happen when businesses no longer became viable because of the impact of No Deal? The pressure to provide support ‘in order to deal with the temporary disruption’ will be immense. The Government has already prepared for this with Operation Kingfisher but removing that support will be very difficult politically. There is a risk that our economy will become much more corporatist than any time since the 1970s.

  • We believe in our national institutions – Parliament, the monarchy and the independent judiciary.

This should go without saying but when Number Ten briefs that the next election will be people versus Parliament, that the Prime Minister will ‘dare the Queen to sack him’, that the judiciary is biased and that the Government will not comply with the law, we don’t sound very conservative (to put it mildly).

  • We believe in national security and ensuring that we do all we can to protect our citizens from terrorism.

And yet a ‘source in No 10’ says we will withhold security co-operation from those countries that fail to block an extension. Meanwhile, the former head of MI6 says that our security depends upon co-operation with the EU and that leaving without a deal means we will have to ‘start again with a blank sheet of paper’. In addition, it is hard to see how any ‘no deal’ outcome doesn’t destabilise the Good Friday Agreement one way or another. The Prime Minister, it is reported, is increasingly concerned about the risk of an upsurge in terrorist activities by dissident republican groups.

  • We believe in the United Kingdom.

It is obvious that Brexit is placing a strain on the union. A No Deal Brexit would be likely to result in a border poll in Northern Ireland, especially with Stormont not sitting and some form of direct rule being necessary. As for Scotland, the chaos of a No Deal Brexit provides plenty of ammunition for the separatists.

Not every Conservative voter will agree with every single one of those principles, or my criticisms of a No Deal Brexit. But a Conservative Party that fights a general election with No Deal at its heart must know that it will be pursuing an approach that is such a radical departure from the traditions of the Conservative Party and that it is vulnerable to losing the support of millions of our longstanding supporters.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Republicans Should Stop Talking Out of Both Sides of Their Mouths On China

Westlake Legal Group ap-trump-xi-press-conference-620x413 Republicans Should Stop Talking Out of Both Sides of Their Mouths On China United States theft The Bulwark Tariffs republicans Politics NBA National Review Morey Geo-Political Enemy Front Page Stories Front Page Free trade Featured Story dangerous corruption consistency conflict China Allow Media Exception

U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping after a joint press conference at the Great Hall of the People, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, in Beijing. Trump is on a five-country trip through Asia traveling to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

As tensions with China and the NBA boil over, we’ve seen a remarkable showing of unity among all corners of American life. It seems we’ve finally reached a point where people recognize what China truly is and that the long term dangers of continuing to shovel cash and influence their way outweighs the short term gains.

At the same time, I find myself frustrated by some of the double talk I’m seeing on the issue because my fear is this new, widespread epiphany may not last.

Let’s remember, it was just five minutes ago that many Republicans within the beltway and their subsequent media circles were vehemently stumping for unfettered free trade with China. I can’t count how many “Trump is an idiot and will destroy the economy” tweets I’ve seen over the past few years. The consistent message has been to call for a total normalization of trade relations with China, absent any additional tariffs or leverage being used to press them.

Take this example of contradiction at play.

I actually agree with French on that point. But here’s the thing, none of this is new.

We’ve known for a long time that China is a human rights violator. We’ve known they cheat and steal when it comes to trade. It’s well documented that they put people in concentration camps and that they’ve killed minority groups via genocide. Heck, there are stories of them harvesting organs of prisoners.

No offense to Guy, because he’s right to point out what China is doing with Muslim minorities, but at the same time, he and many others like him have found Trump’s trade war with China highly objectionable on economic grounds. But if the Chinese are evil and reprehensible, why would anyone support China being such a large trade partner in the first place? These are questions many Republicans haven’t properly grappled with, instead choosing to illogical compartmentalize them.

Getting back to French, since he knows everything about China’s history of atrocities, why has he spent so much of his time levying critiques such as this?

When you hear Donald Trump claim that he can magically negotiate “winning” trade deals with China or Japan, here’s what it means in the real world: more expensive goods at home as tariffs drive up prices, and less opportunity for exports abroad as trading partners retaliate with import restrictions of their own. We won’t see textile mills spring open across the land — we’ll just pay more for shirts and socks.

Again, French isn’t necessarily wrong in a vacuum, although he was wrong about manufacturing not coming back. It actually has increased over Trump’s presidency, but tariffs do hurt American companies in the short term (they also hurt the Chinese). Yet, if he truly believes China is a tyrannical dictatorship and is a dangerous threat, why exactly would he be stumping for the status quo of enriching them and expanding their influence?

You can’t have it both ways. You can’t stump for unlimited trade with China, allowing them exponential growth to challenge us and our ideals, while at the same time proclaiming how terrible they are and how they are destroying democratic freedoms.

It’s time to choose a side and stick to it, even if there’s a cost.

I’m not writing this to call anyone out. I’m writing this to challenge Republicans to come up with a message on China that’s not a convoluted mess. When Trump started hitting China early in his tenure, the Republican response should have been to steer him into doing it for the right reasons (to blunt Chinese aggression and influence), not castigating him for not retreating and letting China do whatever they want just because it may benefit us financially.

You can’t demand unfettered free trade with China out of one side your mouth and then proclaim the vast, dangerous evils of China out of the other. That is a contradiction that can not be squared and Republicans should stop trying.

It’s good to see some are finally getting the message but they need to keep their eye on the ball going forward. China will be far, far more dangerous 20-30 years from now if we continue to heavily rely on them, passing mountains of cash in their direction along the way. It’s fair to say that I even part ways with the President on this matter. I don’t think we need a “better deal” with China (as Trump wants). I think we need to push American businesses to ween themselves off the communist teat completely. The long term gain and security will far outweigh the short term pain. China is not the only country on earth that can make cheap cloths and electronics, among other things.

In the end, the historic normalization of China was a mistake. I understand the purpose was to blunt the Soviet Union, but all we ended up doing was creating a monster. We’ve got precious little opportunity left to cut them down to size. Right now, the U.S. still holds tremendous financial leverage over them and we should use it.


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The post Republicans Should Stop Talking Out of Both Sides of Their Mouths On China appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group chinese-flag-300x153 Republicans Should Stop Talking Out of Both Sides of Their Mouths On China United States theft The Bulwark Tariffs republicans Politics NBA National Review Morey Geo-Political Enemy Front Page Stories Front Page Free trade Featured Story dangerous corruption consistency conflict China Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Matthew Lesh: The radical neoliberal programme which can revitalise the Conservatives

Matthew Lesh is the Head of Research at the Adam Smith Institute.

As the flus from last week’s Conservative Party Conference slowly fade, it is worth turning our minds back to a conference that we must never forget.

It was the autumn of 1980. The country was facing economic turmoil. Decades of Keynesianism was taking its toll with high inflation and low growth.  But there was a leader, a radical neoliberal, who refused to accept the status quo or allow the doomsters to take her off course.  “You turn if you want to, the lady’s not for turning,” Margaret Thatcher told Conservative Party Conference.

Thatcher unashamedly spoke not just of policy change but creating “a new independence of spirit and zest for achievement”. She called her administration “one of the truly radical ministries of post-war Britain”.

Boris Johnson’s party conference speech last week has been lauded for its political nous: get Brexit done, and fund the NHS and other public services.

This makes a lot of political sense, particularly for the party’s ‘Go Midlands, Go North’ strategy: the plan to win northern Leave working class areas who traditionally voted Labour Party.

But Johnson’s spending is frustrating to many free marketeers, who have traditionally found their home in the Conservative Party. Boris speaks of a “dynamic enterprise culture” and the Conservative Party’s history in pioneering “free markets and privatisation”. But so far there has been little meat on the bone, while the party is giving up its reputation for fiscal conservatism by committing to big-spending plans.

Politically, this approach undermines support from economic liberals in London and the Southeast. This danger is heightened by the likes of Sam Gyimah’s defection, signalling the acceptability of the Liberal Democrats to Tory economic liberals. With the Lib Dems also winning over the likes of Chuka Umunna there’s a danger the two main parties are seen by voters to leave the centre stage to the Liberal Democrats — and leave governing alone to the scrap heap of history.

To get a strong majority, Boris needs to win both Chelsea and Fulham as well as Stoke-on-Trent. He needs to be able to hold up his economic credentials to win back Remain-voting Conservatives voters – not just give them another reason to abandon the party.

But this balancing act is nothing new. Thatcher, despite some reforms to childcare and housing subsidies, oversaw a huge increase in social spending. She declared that the NHS is “safe with us” and bragged about “enormous increases in the amount spent on social welfare to help the less fortunate”. David Cameron similarly declared that the NHS is “safe in my hands,” while cutting taxes, introducing free schools and reforming welfare.

Thatcher and Cameron balanced public spending with undertaking fundamental free market economic reform to boost the economy. To ensure the Conservative Party remains a broad coalition, it is important that Boris’ free market rhetoric is given meaning. There needs to be some meat on the bone. The Conservative Party will be much weaker if it does not have a serious economic policy offering that creates a clear distinction with Labour.

On the political left, while many may disagree with their approach and ideas, there is undeniably a radical reimagining of policy and a clear agenda: a four day work week, shutting down private schools and nationalising industry.

Some on the Right have chosen to respond to the emboldened Left by adopting parts of their agenda in the hope of placating and preventing the worst. But, as Theresa May’s premiership displays being Labour-lite and adopting policies like the energy price gap, or nanny state policies like the sugar tax, simply does not work.

The Neoliberal Manifesto, a joint project between the Adam Smith Institute and 1828 released last week at the Conservative Party Conference, presents a positive vision for Britain’s future. In the past, the word “neoliberalism” has been twisted by those seeking to manufacture a strawman on which to blame every societal ill.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Neoliberals are champions of freedom. We want government to protect and facilitate your ability to flourish; we believe in the power and ability of each individual; we believe in doing what is most effective; we are optimistic about the future; we support market intervention to address specific issues but reject paternalism; we are cosmopolitan and outward-looking to the world.

The manifesto calls for a liberal, free market approach to trade that encompasses cutting tariffs and pursuing deals based on the principle of mutual recognition. It declares that need to reform Britain’s outdated planning laws to allow for the building of more houses to fix Britain’s housing crisis. The manifesto also calls for a simpler, fairer tax system by getting rid of stamp duty and allowing capital expenditures to be expensed in full immediately.

On migration, it calls for a liberal system that brings the most talented people to our nation. On education, it explains the need for more choice. On innovation and technology, it calls for an optimistic approach defined by permissionless innovation.  It also calls for a liberal approach to drugs and personal choices, a compassionate but cost-effective approach to welfare, and addressing climate change without sinking our economy.

Many of these ideas are radical, and today can be expected to receive a mixed reception. But we think that our politicians should lead from the front, not the back. These policies are not designed with the idea of what may or may not be popular today, but rather setting the agenda for the future.

While not every action she took was immediately popular, Thatcher’s agenda transformed the country for the better and proved a politically successful formula across three general election victories. Cameron similarly won a majority after undertaking difficult decisions.

If the Government does not have an offering for people who want lower taxes and the state to live within its means, they risk unexpected losses.  Johnson can follow in the footsteps of successful leaders with his own liberal, free market agenda.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

The NBA, South Park and Communist China: The Very High Price of Fake ‘Free Trade’

Westlake Legal Group China-NBA The NBA, South Park and Communist China: The Very High Price of Fake ‘Free Trade’ trade Technology south park Silicon Valley NBA national basketball association Front Page Stories Front Page Free trade fake free trade fair trade Communist China China Censorship big tech


Behold the 21st Century’s diet version of an “international incident”:

Could a Tweet Sink the (National Basketball Association) NBA’s Business Relationships in China? It’s Complicated:

“(A) single tweet from a general manager supporting protesters in Hong Kong could threaten that relationship and affect the way the public here and abroad views the league’s intentions on social issues.

“On Friday, Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey tweeted an image – since deleted – that read ‘Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.’”

The world comes to a grinding over a single Tweet.  A Tweet – in defense of freedom-seeking protestors in an appendage to the world’s largest Communist country.

You want an international incident?  Thirty-two years ago, Ronald Reagan demanded of the half-the-planet-dominating Communist Soviet Union – standing in front of the the Wall in question:

Tear down this wall.”

Reagan did not subsequently apologize and delete the speech from America’s archives.  He rightly, righteously stood by it – and two years later, the Wall fell.

At stake for Reagan and the planet – were the lives and freedom of literally billions of people.

At stake for the NBA?  Some money a billion-plus pauper Chinese Communism victims – watch their overlords hand billionaire NBA team owners.

As previously described – a Diet International Incident.

These are the types of awfulness we get – when we sacrifice EVERYTHING on the altar of Fake “Free Trade.”

Communist China knows how feckless just about everyone on the planet is.

China’s CCTV, Tencent Pull Plug on NBA Broadcasts Over Hong Kong Row

These aren’t even regular season games.  They’re exhibition games.  “Preseason” games.  Glorified practices.

Nevertheless – the NBA snapped to:

The NBA Chooses China’s Money Over Hong Kong’s Human Rights:

“Daryl Morey is now being forced to apologize because he… supports Democracy?”

Indeed he is.  Because no sacrifice is to great – to maintain the faux veneer of Fake “Free Trade.”

When it comes to choosing between the lives and freedom of 7.4 million Hong Kong citizens – and the TV revenue generated by its exhibition games – the NBA’s choice is rapidly and readily clear.

Please keep in mind:

When NBA personnel bad mouth the United States’ government – the NBA has zero problem with it.

Ten Times LeBron James Stood Up to Donald Trump

Steph Curry Spoke Out and Burned Donald Trump

Gregg Popovich: President Trump Is ‘Soulless Coward’

Steve Kerr Doubles Down on Donald Trump Criticism

But when confronted with, you know, an actual totalitarian government….

Outspoken Warriors Coach Steve Kerr No Comments NBA’s China Controversy

Which brings us to twenty-two-years-and-still-going cartoon show South Park.

China Banned South Park After the Show Made Fun of Chinese Censorship:

“In a case of life imitating art imitating life, the Chinese government has purged all references to South Park from the country’s highly restricted internet – following an episode of the show that criticized Chinese censorship.”

A spectacular line from the episode:

“You gotta lower your ideals of freedom if you want to suck on the warm teat of China.”

Indeed you do.

South Park’s response to Communist China censoring them was…a little more testosterone-infused than was the NBA’s:

“Like the NBA, we welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts.  We too love money more than freedom and democracy.  Xi doesn’t look just like Winnie the Pooh at all.  Tune into our 300th episode this Wednesday at 10pm!  Long live the Great Communist Party pf China!  May this autumn’s sorghum harvest be bountiful!  We good now China?”

Cartoonists going – where millionaire athletes and coaches and their billionaire bosses fear to tread.  Because money.

But let’s not pick on just the NBA.  Some far more serious industries capitulate to Communist China – with far more serious consequences.

How does Communist China purge “all references to South Park from the country’s highly restricted internet” – ???  How does Communist China make its Internet so very restrictive?

Our Big Tech companies – are more than happy to help them do it.  Because money.

Apple Bans Hong Kong Protest Location App:

“Apple has rejected a crowd-sourced app that tracks the location of protesters and police in Hong Kong.

“For some, the app was seen as a way for protesters to stay safe, while others saw it as a way to evade the police.”

You know who saw it as “a way to evade the police?”  The ChiComms.

The Hong Kong protestors are desperate to evade the ChiComm police – because the ChiComm police have been thumping Hong Kong protestors’ skulls.  And much, MUCH worse.

But Apple happily banned the app helping the Hong Kong protestors evade their ChiComm-desired fate.  Because money.

Big Tech leaves no stone unturned – if it means helping Communist China.  Because money.

US Companies Help Censor the Internet in China, Too

Big Tech at large is vociferously anti-US government.  While happily helping the Communist China government.  Because money.

Leftist Big Tech: ‘Communist China? Heck Yes. The US Military? Heck No.’

But let’s not pick on just Big Tech – and big men with small balls.

Americans companies from all sectors of the economy – have to twist themselves into pretzels to appease Communist China.  So as to be granted access to Communist China’s 1+ billion slaves.  I mean “citizens.”

China’s Communists Rewrite the Rules for Foreign Businesses:

“One hammer and sickle at a time, the Communist Party is making its way deeper into everyday Chinese life – and that includes the foreign companies doing business there….

“The party is strengthening its influence – often gaining direct decision-making power – over the international firms doing business in China.”

Because money.

And if you don’t manufacture it in Communist China – Communist China makes it REALLY difficult for you to sell it in Communist China.

What Was Free About Our Trade Relationship With China Before Trump?

Short answer – absolutely nothing:

“The lopsidedness of our trade relationship is not just a function of comparative advantage. It’s a function of a Chinese policy that excludes many categories of American goods from being traded into China at all so it can build its own industries instead.

“That is partly why, even though China buys up so many dollars, it buys so few American goods….

“America’s trade relationship with China has strengthened…a (Communist) government and has put it into a position to sell strategic technology to our allies and quiet our humanitarian objections to their persecution of Muslims and to crackdowns on Hongkongers.

“Overall, I’d say this ‘free-trading relationship’ is getting quite costly. Wouldn’t you?”

Indeed I would.

ALL of this – is a lot of things.  A lot of really, REALLY awful things.

What this absolutely is NOT – is actual free trade.

It is Fake “Free Trade.”

It is quite nauseating – the lengths people are going to defend this heinous hegemony.

Because money.

The post The NBA, South Park and Communist China: The Very High Price of Fake ‘Free Trade’ appeared first on RedState.

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India Reminds: What DC Has Long Pretended Is ‘Free Trade’ – Is Not Free Trade

Westlake Legal Group world-fair-trade-day-logo India Reminds: What DC Has Long Pretended Is ‘Free Trade’ – Is Not Free Trade trade import limits trade Taxes Tariffs sugar subsidies Politics Policy News Judicial India Front Page Stories Front Page Free trade fair trade Business & Economy Brazil

Washington, D.C.’s very swampy denizens have spent the last half-century-plus perpetrating a panoply of frauds against We the People.

Perhaps the most Gaslight-y of them all – has been DCs fake free trade.

We the People have watched DCs fake free trade – dispatch millions of our jobs and trillions of our dollars to everywhere else on the planet.  And our nation – has been hollowed out and caved in.

And when We the People complained about the self-destruction – we were yelled at as nationalist Luddites who are anti-commerce.

Yes.  Our opposition to the guys with guns and masks taking our wallets and watches – is “anti-commerce.”

What they do not understand is – commerce occurs between peoples.  Trade Policy – occurs between governments.  And every government – seeks to advantage its people over all others.

Well, except our government, of course.  Because “Free Markets!!!” – or something.

So our half-century-plus of allowing every country on the planet to favor their peoples over ours – has gutted our people and our nation.

The planet tariffs and limits the import of our stuff – which hurts our stuff.  And the planet subsidizes their stuff – thereby giving their stuff an anti-market advantage over our stuff.

We do very little of any of this.  We do absolutely nothing about their doing it.

Fifty-plus years later – we are in the heinous mess we’re in.

In writing about trade with utterly corrupt Communist China, Nicholas Phillips wisely notes:

“(Fake) free trade with China means allowing its distortions into our market.

“Refusing to allow our government to ‘pick winners’ by rejecting industrial-policy support to key sectors means that Beijing will pick winners for us.”

If we don’t prioritize things for ourselves – the planet will prioritize things for themselves.  And much more often than not – it will be to our great disadvantage.

“Key sectors” you say?  I would say food growth and production is a key sector.

Before you can put on your cheap Bangladeshi PJs and watch your cheap Chinese TV – you gotta eat.

And fake free trade has been devastating our farmers, ranchers and food producers.

By not choosing to defend our producers – we have subjected them to the rest of the planet defending theirs.

To wit:

Sugar: Concern Increases Over Subsidies in India:

“Édgar Herrera, executive director of the (Costa Rica) Industrial Agricultural League of Sugarcane (Laica), explained…:

“‘These (sugar) subsidies are greater than those allowed by the World Trade Organization, in the order of $10 billion annually.  At the same time, it causes an artificial increase in sugar production, which surpasses India’s internal consumption.’…

“‘There is an oversupply, which has caused sugar prices to collapse below production costs. And this causes severe damage to countries that do not have these subsidies, as in the case of Costa Rica.’”

Again: $10 billion per year.  JUST in sugar subsidies.  JUST from India.

Yet again, a country is cheating to help its people – and screwing everyone else.  Not just US.  Not just Costa Rica.  Everyone else.

India’s New Sugar Export Subsidy a Bitter Pill for Australia:

“India has announced a fresh round of subsidies to prop up its ailing sugar industry and Australian growers and millers argue the export incentives are an illegal market distortion….

“Previous Indian subsidies have flooded the global market with Indian sugar, and the latest package will extend the glut….

“Brazil and Guatemala joined Australia in an appeal to the the World Trade Organisation (WTO), claiming India’s export subsidies are an illegal market distortion and formal dispute resolution has begun….

“‘We are stunned by this development, just days after the WTO formally established a Dispute Panel to investigate the legality of India’s sugar subsidies,’ said Australian Sugar Milling Council chief executive David Pietsch.

“’India’s government has approved a massive market distortion. The amount of sugar involved dwarfs Australia’s total annual raw sugar exports….’”

So we wait for the WTO to get its act together and do something about this.  If they ever do.

In the meantime, India strip mines the global sugar market – and every non-Indian in it.

Oh: And a huge reason why India’s sugar production was struggling so mightily?  Which led to their sweetening their pot with $10 billion a year in subsidies?

Brazil has LONG been subsidizing their sugar production – to the tune of $4 billion per year.  Which artificially got them – to controlling almost half of the 100+ country global sugar market.

Again: Commerce is between peoples.  Trade Policy – is between governments.

We’re now in a subsidy arms race.  With governments heading in the wrong direction – ratcheting upward, rather than down.

Which results in:

Brazil Ethanol Boom Pushes Sugar Outlook to 14-Year Low

Our farmers and producers – getting omni-directional screwed.  Yet again.

Brazil Says India’s Subsidy Will Extend Cycle of Low Sugar Prices

If our farmers and food producers can’t get a decent price for their stuff – they’ll stop growing and producing their stuff.

And then where will we be?

In the name of fake free trade – DC has gutted our industrial manufacturing.

Which is inconceivably terrible.

In the name of fake free trade – DC is on the verge of gutting our food manufacturing.

Which is cataclysmic.

Let’s stop pretending fake free trade is free trade – shall we?

The post India Reminds: What DC Has Long Pretended Is ‘Free Trade’ – Is Not Free Trade appeared first on RedState.

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David Gauke: Why I believe that Parliament must stop a No Deal Brexit this week

David Gauke is a former Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary, and is MP for South West Hertfordshire.

Following Nicky Morgan’s return to the Cabinet, the Editor of this website (and my esteemed former colleague in George Osborne’s Shadow Treasury team) asked if I would like to be a regular columnist. My role, as I understood it, would be to demonstrate that all strands of Conservative Party thinking was represented on this site and, in doing so, I should therefore stir it up a bit. I gladly accepted.

It hasn’t passed my notice that my views are not entirely in harmony with the majority of ConservativeHome readers when it comes to Brexit. And, given that this article is being published at the beginning of one of the most contentious and important weeks in the Brexit saga – and I have found myself somewhat in the thick of it – this is not likely to be a gentle introduction.

Before turning to the events of the week ahead, I should say a little about the evolution of my thinking. Like most Conservatives of my generation, I came to political age in the era of Margaret Thatcher. I admired her determination to transform the British economy, her willingness to take on vested interests, her belief in the free market, free trade, sound public finances, low inflation and the need for a pro-business tax and regulatory environment.

I also shared her instincts on Europe. I was opposed to our membership of the Exchange Rate Mechanism, feared that the Delors European Commission was trying to reverse her supply-side reforms and always believed that the UK should stay outside the single currency. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, I feared that, in the end, we would have a choice as to whether to become part of a United States of Europe or leave the EU altogether. If it came down to that choice, I would be a Leaver.

When I entered Parliament in 2005, I joined a small group of Eurosceptics who chipped in a contribution from their Parliamentary Staffing Allowances to pay for a researcher to ensure we were ever vigilant against the advance in Euro-federalism. I even had a spell as Treasurer of this organisation, called – accurately enough – the European Research Group.

It would be fair to say that the ERG and I drifted in different directions over the years. I came to the view that the UK could be part of the EU without being destined to be part of an EU superstate.

I also came to accept that it is only possible to bring down trade barriers on the basis of co-operation with other countries. There is a trade-off between regulatory autonomy and the openness of markets and I am a free trader.
By the time we got to the 2016 referendum, I was firmly in the Remain side. Not a starry-eyed, Ode to Joy-singing Europhile, still concerned about EU overreach but, nonetheless, a believer that, on balance, our interests were best served by continued EU membership.

I was on the losing side. Having provided a referendum, we had a duty to implement it. Failure to do so would ensure our politics would be scarred by the politics of betrayal.

The only responsible way to do so was with a deal, ensuring that we entered into a deep and special partnership and that we would have a smooth and orderly departure from the EU. But the problem with this is that leaving the EU was always going to be complex. It was never possible to maintain exactly the same benefits of EU membership whilst walking away from the institutions and the rules. Leaving in the abstract was one thing; the specifics of leaving – where detailed trade-offs have to be made – is another.

The Leave campaign made big promises in terms of our independence from EU institutions. It also reassured the public as to the minimal impact on businesses and sectors trading with the EU. The problem is that it is impossible to deliver on both sets of promises at the same time.

Theresa May tried and, in my view, got a good deal – a compromise that struck a pragmatic balance. But, as measured by the absolutist hopes of some Brexiteers, it fell short of delivering the dreamed for ‘independence’. Any deal will. But the cost of failing to reach a deal – in terms of our prosperity, security and the integrity of the UK – is far too high.

Leaving with a deal remains much the best outcome. But, given that Parliament has three times rejected a deal, this is not going to be easy. The Prime Minister clearly wants a deal but he has set out one big red line – the replacement of the Northern Irish backstop.

Will the EU change their position? The purpose of the backstop is to ensure that there is no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. This is an important and legitimate objective, and it is unrealistic to think they will abandon the backstop unless there is an alternative that works.

The Prime Minister has accepted that it is for the UK to propose a workable replacement to the backstop. To succeed, it must have the confidence of the people and businesses on both sides of the Irish border. If we engage positively in that endeavour, the EU has always said they would work constructively with us. But if we fail to come up with credible plans, threats of a no deal departure (which will obviously impact the UK more than the EU) will not force the EU to abandon its long-held position.

Assuming a deal is reached (and that is a very big assumption), the deal then needs to get through Parliament. It may well face opposition from a significant number of Conservative MPs who want wider changes to the Withdrawal Agreement. The more my colleagues say they want wider changes, the more remote it appears any kind of deal could be delivered.

Even with the numbers, there is the question of time. The European Council is on 17 October and the Queens Speech debates will conclude on 22 October. Is anyone seriously suggesting that a Withdrawal Agreement Bill can be concluded in nine days? All stages in both the Commons and the Lords in just over a week? Those of us who served in the previous Cabinet will recall that those responsible for managing House business would advise us that the Withdrawal Agreement Bill would take two to three months to complete.

The conclusion is clear. If the Prime Minister is sincere that we leave on 31 October ‘do or die’ (and I believe he is sincere) the overwhelming likelihood is that, unless Parliament intervenes this week, we will leave without a deal. Some may welcome that. But for those of us who believe that this would be a tragic mistake, Parliament will have to step in.

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WSJ Op-Ed Gets Social Conservatives (and Trump Supporters) Way Wrong – Yet Again

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I begin with a disclosure.

The Wall Street Journal piece we will examine was penned by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI)’s Iain Murray.  CEI is a fine organization.  And I consider a great many of their people to be friends – including Murray.

But Murray really misses the mark with Tuesday’s “Free-Marketeers Have Taken Social Conservatives for Granted.”

And let us please take a moment to note:

In this piece, the Venn diagram of Social Conservatives and Donald Trump supporters – is a nigh perfect overlay.

Murray fundamentally misunderstands Social Conservatives – in almost exactly the same way the Never Trump Right misunderstands Trump supporters.

It’s why the Never Trump Right (and many others) has spent the Era of Trump wondering how Social Conservatives can possibly support the serially-marrying-and-philandering Trump.

As you read on, when you read “Social Conservatives” – you can mentally add “and Trump supporters.”

Actually, Murray’s title is semi-accurate.  The Free-Market-Uber-Alles Contingent has indeed taken Social Conservatives for granted.

But the title’s unspoken, incorrect assumption is Social Conservatives – aren’t also free-marketeers.  Many if not most…are.

The subtitle really begins to reveal the inaccuracies:

“Capitalists need to make the case that prosperity is crucial for protecting tradition and security.”

Again, most social conservatives already understand and agree with this.

What Social Conservatives have witnessed for the last half century-plus – is the Free-Market-Uber-Alles Contingent fail to protect the free market – AND tradition and security.

DC is a two-party collusive cabal.  Democrats and Republicans put on Partisan Theater – squawking at each other on TV and in print.  But it is all for show.

All the while, Ds and Rs have been working together to empower and enrich themselves and their cronies – at the expense of the nation.

DC gets bigger and bigger.  And regulates more and more.  And spends more and more.  Because the bigger DC is – the more power and money the DC cabal has.

All the while, America has grown poorer and poorer.

The Free-Market-Uber-Alles Contingent – failed miserably in their many attempts to stop any of this.

Meanwhile, DC has left our nation’s borders wide open to a mass Third World invasion.  Because Democrats want Third World votes – and Republicans want Third World cheap labor for their donors.

And the Free-Market-Uber-Alles Contingent – has been the right-of-center head cheerleader for this insanity.

Stop right there.

Murray acknowledges social conservatives want to protect tradition and security.  Mass Third World immigration – completely destroys both.

Social Conservatives do not oppose mass Third World immigration – because of anything having to do with race.

Social Conservatives oppose mass Third World immigration – because they have witnessed a half century-plus of it…and it has eviscerated our nation’s tradition and security.

We have idiotic sanctuary cities and states.

Which much more closely resemble the Third World they’ve imported than they do the US.

Which refuse to work with law enforcement – and release illegal alien gang member murderers and rapists back into our disintegrating society.

Mass importing Third World Worlders – has obscenely overcrowded the likes of our nation’s classrooms and emergency rooms.

Teachers spend most of their time working with students who do not speak English – at the expense of everyone else.

Americans wait endless hours to see health care providers – because there simply aren’t enough health care providers to handle the overload.

And the Free-Market-Uber-Alles Contingent – has long championed open borders.  Which would turn America – into a sanctuary nation.  And this tradition-and-security insanity – would occur EVERYWHERE.

I can’t imagine why Social Conservatives have tuned out the Free-Market-Uber-Alles Contingent.

Mass Third World immigration – is awful American economic policy too.  Because America is a nation – with an economy.  Not an economy – with a nation.

Americans elect American officials – to do what’s best for America and Americans.  Crazy, I know.

Mass importing Third Worlders – takes jobs from and drives down wages for Americans.

Mass importing Third Worlders – drives up the likes of housing and health care costs for Americans.

Mass importing Third Worlders – costs us tens of billions of dollars per annum (and probably much more) in government money.  In welfare, health care and education money spent on the invaders.

Americans are taxed more and more and more – to pay for all of this.  They are taxed more and more and more – on fewer jobs and lower wages, and while paying higher housing and health care costs.

I can’t imagine why Social Conservatives have tuned out the Free-Market-Uber-Alles Contingent.

Murray only mention’s Trump once:

“While President Trump’s antipathy to free trade was well-known, his and other conservatives’ sudden embrace of aggressive antitrust actions was more surprising. Now self-described ‘national conservative’ thinkers are pushing industrial policy—government planning that meddles with economic decision-making to promote favored industries or social outcomes.”

This is just…so much wrong.  In the interest of verbiage conservation – we’ll only address the free trade wrongness.

Trump doesn’t have “antipathy to free trade.”  He’s just about the only guy in DC actually trying to achieve it.

Trump has rightly highlighted the incredibly awful, one-sided, anti-US trade deals DC has spent decades cutting – and the Free-Market-Uber-Alles Contingent has been applauding.

The US engages in free trade.  The rest of the planet – absolutely does not.

Nigh every other nation tariffs the daylight out of our stuff.  Nigh every nation severely limits the import of our stuff.  Nigh every other nation subsidizes their stuff – thereby rendering it artificially cheaper on the global market.

This isn’t free trade.  This is FAKE tree trade.

Social Conservatives work on farms.  And on assembly lines.  And in mines.  And on oil rigs.

They’re the ones whose jobs are outsourced, whose wages are crushed, whose towns are hollowed out – by DCs fake free trade.

Because DCs fake free trade makes making anything in the US less attractive than…anywhere else on the planet.

And now the Free-Market-Uber-Alles Contingent is defending this obscenely awful DC status quo – against Trump trying to even things out.

I can’t imagine why Social Conservatives have tuned out the Free-Market-Uber-Alles Contingent.

One last thought….

We’ve noted the Free-Market-Uber-Alles Contingent’s pronounced, prolonged inability to effect any positive change.

Trump has already delivered a ton.

The best US economy in decades.  The lowest unemployment in decades – including the lowest Black and Hispanic unemployment ever.  Great Wall Street growth.

And great consumer confidence and spending.  In large part because for the first time in half a century-plus – wages are actually, substantially increasing.

How and why are wages finally increasing?

Because Trump is deporting competitors to Americans for jobs and wages.

And because Trump is – amongst other helpful things – imposing tariffs on trade cheats.  Thereby making America exponentially more attractive to job creators – who are returning to our shores in growing numbers.

Two things to which the Free-Market-Uber-Alles Contingent are vociferously opposed.

I can’t imagine why Social Conservatives have tuned out the Free-Market-Uber-Alles Contingent.

Trump just this week achieved yet another Social Conservative win – by delivering yet another economic policy win.

Trump banned federally funded clinics from giving abortion referrals.  Which caused the nation’s largest abortion mill – Planned Parenthood – to refuse the federal funding.

Boom.  Something very simple the Free-Market-Uber-Alles Contingent could have very easily delivered at any point for years and years – but never, ever did.  (Where were you on this, George W. Bush Administration?)

Trump is time and again delivering on Social Conservative priorities – on economic, traditional and security grounds.

The Free-Market-Uber-Alles Contingent – never, ever has.

And is now actively working against – the policies that are benefiting Social Conservatives.

I can’t imagine why Social Conservatives have tuned out the Free-Market-Uber-Alles Contingent.

The post WSJ Op-Ed Gets Social Conservatives (and Trump Supporters) Way Wrong – Yet Again appeared first on RedState.

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NBC: Support for free trade reaches new high thanks to Trump

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His most lasting conservative legacy might be turning the trade war into such an economic trainwreck that neither party goes near tariffs again for decades.

In fact, I wonder if Trump’s trade policy might end up so unpopular by next year that even some like-minded Democratic candidates will be forced to scramble to the center to try to pick up voters who feel disaffected by it. Elizabeth Warren’s trade program is plenty protectionist in its own right, demanding as a precondition to negotiations that potential trade partners meet certain standards on labor, taxes, energy, and the environment which even the United States at present doesn’t meet. If the U.S. ends up in a recession and the public concludes that Trump’s trade war with China is the prime suspect (a belief that’ll be eagerly encouraged by the media), how aggressive can Warren really be on the stump in trying to shift blame away from tariffs and onto Wall Street?

Whether or not Trump creates a long-term public consensus in favor of free trade, it’s a cinch that ardent anti-Trumpism among Dems will create a short-term Democratic consensus in favor of it.

Westlake Legal Group ft NBC: Support for free trade reaches new high thanks to Trump wsj War Trump trade The Blog Tariffs recession Protectionism nbc Free trade Economy

NBC didn’t provide a partisan breakdown but its story notes that “Democrats and independents much more supportive than they were four years ago.” That’s the best-case scenario for protectionists here, that most of the new love for free trade is pure, mindless opposition to anything Trump does. Even if we dodge a recession and the economy remains healthy into next fall, some critical mass of Dems will decide that the policy is bad because everything the orange man does is bad.

The worst-case scenario for protectionists? Well…

In the survey by the National Association for Business Economics, out Monday, 72% of economists predicted that a recession would occur by the end of 2021. That’s up from 67% in February and according to data gleaned from more than 200 respondents.

The new figure combines the 38% of economists who said they expect a recession to strike in 2020 with the 34% who said they see one befalling the US economy in 2021. In a survey conducted in February, 42% said they saw a 2020 meltdown, while just 25% forecasted one in 2021.

Trump is already incorporating some preemptive scapegoating into his rhetoric about this, insisting on the one hand that the economy has never been better while also informing the country that if he’s wrong then it certainly isn’t his fault:

Having already passed tax cuts and alienated Democrats to the point that no infrastructure stimulus is in the offing, he has few legislative tools at his disposal to try to goose growth if the economy falters. So we’re left to wonder what strange forms his panic might take if the monthly numbers begin to slow down. Would he try to fire Powell? Would he capitulate to China on trade in a desperate attempt to reverse unemployment trends? Would he start ranting on Twitter every day about a vast left-wing conspiracy to talk down the economy in hopes of defeating him next fall? Actually, he’s already started doing that, notes the Times:

“The Fake News Media is doing everything they can to crash the economy because they think that will be bad for me and my re-election,” Mr. Trump tweeted last week. “The problem they have is that the economy is way too strong and we will soon be winning big on Trade, and everyone knows that, including China!”

Mr. Trump has repeated the claims in private discussions with aides and allies, insisting that his critics are trying to take away what he sees as his calling card for re-election. Mr. Trump has been agitated in discussions of the economy, and by the news media’s reporting of warnings of a possible recession. He has said forces that do not want him to win have been overstating the damage his trade war has caused, according to people who have spoken with him. And several aides agree with him that the news media is overplaying the economic fears, adding to his feeling of being justified, people close to the president said.

WaPo says that behind closed doors he’s taken to accusing his enemies of manufacturing phony data to shape public opinion: “Trump has a somewhat conspiratorial view, telling some confidants that he distrusts statistics he sees reported in the news media and that he suspects many economists and other forecasters are presenting biased data to thwart his reelection, according to one Republican close to the administration who was briefed on some of the conversations.” Odds can’t be worse than 50/50 that if we end up in a true recession he’ll figure out a way to pin it on Soros.

By the way, this same poll found 89 percent in favor of universal background checks for gun purchases and 62 percent in favor of banning assault weapons, which is in line with other recent surveys. Is Trump still open to expanding background checks? Twelve days ago he said, “I’m looking to do background checks. I think background checks are important.” Yesterday he sounded more cautious, saying, “We do have a lot of background checks right now” and emphasizing that mental illness is the core problem that needs to be addressed. Sounds like gun-rights supporters have been talking to him since his insta-reaction after the El Paso and Dayton shootings.

The post NBC: Support for free trade reaches new high thanks to Trump appeared first on Hot Air.

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Jamie Arnell: The conventional wisdom about a trade deal with America is wrong. Trump will want a fair one. Here’s why.

James Arnell is a partner at Charterhouse. He writes in a personal capacity.

I disagree with most commentators who believe that the UK will get a raw deal in any US-UK trade negotiations after Brexit.

I do not underestimate the fickleness of Trump, nor the Irish-American lobby in Congress. I recognise the overwhelming weight of the US relative to the UK.  I know that the US looks after its interests and does no one any favours.

But I don’t think any of that will stop us agreeing a decent trade deal. I believe that the US has major strategic interests in a trade deal with the UK, and that it will decide not to use all the undeniable leverage it has to strike the toughest possible terms.  It will want to strike a fair deal.

The US is in “America First” mode.  Contrary to what most people seem to believe, I believe that means Trump, and the American people, wish to see a global trading system which it sees as fair from its perspective.  There are many senior American business people who believe that the renegotiation of NAFTA was long overdue, and who are throughly fed up with the uneven playing field between the US and China.

Yes, they worry about the effects of the US-China trade war on the US economy, but many of them believe that some fights just have to be had.  There is more patriotism in American business and much more business support for Trump’s China line than the media presents.

The opportunity to strike a trade deal with a long-term ally like the UK is timely.  Agreeing an even-handed trade deal sends a strong message: this is about fairness, not American economic bullying.  I am optimistic that the US, across the political spectrum, will support a fair deal with the UK, because I think that it has a very strong interest in sending that message.

And that is not all.


A thriving UK, in a comprehensive free trade relationship with the US, right on the periphery of the EU, will put massive pressure on it.  Other EU countries, fed up with the federal agenda of the EU, will look at the UK and wonder whether they too might be better free and able to strike their own trade relationships.  This threat to the EU will be eyed by the US as great leverage to force the EU into what the US would see as a fair trade deal.  They will want the UK to succeed in its deal with the US.  They won’t want to screw us – because that would make it far too easy for the EU to keep its trade barriers up.

The US’ leverage is greater if any UK-US trade deal is designed to be as close as possible to something the EU could, should and, ultimately, would accept.  There is no leverage in agreeing a deal which does not work for the UK and which certainly would not work for the EU, and the smart money in the US will know it.

Aside from its desire to show an openness to trade with partners who do not play the US for fools, and its desire to pressurise the EU, the US will also welcome a committed ally in the global struggle for a new trade order, binding the three big blocs (US, China, Europe) into a more open, more level world trade regime or, at least, binding the rest of the world into a trading system around an unreformed China.  That is the best chance of America remaining “First”.

At present, we are in the phase of pulling down the old system, which the US sees as rotten and against its own interests.  We should not confuse that with isolationism.  My firm belief is that the US will relish the opportunity to show the world what its new order should look like, by agreeing a sensible deal with the UK.

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International Trade – Is Rife with Omni-Directional Anti-Free Trade Practices


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One characteristic of humans – is we each view the world through our personal prism.  Perfectly understandable – how else would we?

But it can lead to difficulties.

If you are an honest and honorable person – you tend to look at everyone else as being honest and honorable.

You think “That’s how I would handle this situation – so that’s how he/she/they will handle it too.”

Unfortunately, more often than not, he/she/they will not handle the situation the way you would.

Americans are for the most part open and optimistic people.  Because we live in the most open and optimistic governmental system ever devised and enjoyed by humans.

So we enter the world – with smiling faces and arms wide open.  And far too often, the many other nations of the world – punch us in the face.

Our nigh eternal optimism – very often costs us dearly.

For my part, I am a realist – or a cynic.  Take your pick.  We realists/cynics look at optimists and pessimists both – a little askance.

So too did apparently realist-cynic writer William Arthur Ward:

“The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The realist adjusts the sails.”

Of the three – only the realist is actually looking to solve the problem.

Far too often, pessimists and optimists accept far-from-optimal situations.  Pessimists assume it could always be worse – optimists that it can’t be any better.

We realists – are always looking to improve things.

And so it is with international trade.

International trade can be a very good thing – in theory.

In practice – many, many problems rapidly arise.

Actual international free trade – is free from government interference or imposition.

That’s mostly how we in the US do it.  That’s not how nigh any other country in the world does it.

Other nations tariff the daylight out of our stuff.  Other nations severely limit the imports of our stuff.  And other nations mass-subsidize their stuff – thereby artificially lowering their prices when competing with our stuff.

None of that is free trade.  Nor is it fair trade.

We the Optimistic – have smilingly endured this one-sided, anti-US insanity…for decades.  We’ve been lost in Ridgemont High – rigidly adhering to #3 of Mike Damone’s Five-Point Plan:

“Act like wherever you are – that’s the place to be.  ‘Isn’t this great?’”

No, Trade-Uber-Alles freaks – it hasn’t been great.  At all.

We have been getting royally screwed – for half a century-plus.  By basically the entire planet.

And these nations – often get very creative in their screwing of US.

Including: Screwing us internationally – then screwing us domestically…so as to further screw us internationally.

California Olive Growers Seek More Duties on EU:

“One year after winning anti-dumping and countervailing duties averaging about 35 percent on imports of Spanish olives, California growers are hoping a long-running dispute over European support for Airbus will lead to even more taxes on the tasty Mediterranean fruit.

“Michael Silveira, chairman of the Olive Growers Council of California, testified at a Trump administration hearing on Monday in favor of USTR’s proposal to include olives on the list of EU goods that could be hit with 100 percent duties in the aircraft dispute. He also asked that three ‘bulk’ categories of olives be added to the nine olive categories already proposed.

“Silveira complained that ‘the Spanish industry is working overtime’ to find any way it can to avoid the duties imposed last year. ‘A Spanish olive company has just invested in a U.S. ripe olive processor. The combined company has now terminated nearly all its contracts with U.S. growers, enabling it to import provisionally prepared bulk olives from Spain,’ Silveira said.”

“But wait” the Trade-Uber-Alles freaks screech – “Why did we impose tariffs in the first place?

Glad you asked:

“On June 12, 2018, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) announced its affirmative final determinations in the antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of imports of ripe olives from Spain….

“In the AD investigation, Commerce…established a final dumping margin of 20.04 percent for all other producers and exporters of ripe olives from Spain.”

Spain’s government is mass-subsidizing olives.  Then Spain is mass-dumping them into the US.

Which has absolutely zero to do with free or fair trade.  And is egregiously damaging to our olive farmers.

So we imposed some tariffs.

The Trade-Uber-Alles freaks will ignore all of Spain’s anti-free-trade actions up to this point – and screech “Protectionism!!!” and “Tariffs are taxes!!!” when we finally respond to getting royally screwed.

The Trade-Uber-Alles freaks – appear to be thoroughly America Last.  At least when it comes to the hundred-million-or-so Americans who grow and make things.

The Trade-Uber-Alles freaks – appear to be international trade masochists.  I have a feeling more than a few of them – are Animal House’s Kevin Bacon:

“Thank you Sir – may I have another.”

Spain responded to our tariffs – by infiltrating our domestic supply chain.  And cutting almost all ties with domestic producers – and replacing them with Spanish producers.

Which has absolutely zero to do with free or fair trade.  And is even more egregiously damaging to our olive farmers.

About which the Trade-Uber-Alles freaks will say…absolutely nothing.

But if our olive growers get their way – and the tariffs are rightly upped and broadened to further deal with Spain’s anti-free-trade behavior…the Trade-Uber-Alles freaks will again screech “Protectionism!!!” and “Tariffs are taxes!!!”

“Thank you, Sir – may I have another?”

I’ll give Spain credit for its creative ways to implement its anti-free trade agenda.  And for their putting Spain First – even cheating out the wazoo to do it.

But that doesn’t mean we have to remain the eternal optimist – and continue to take it in the shorts.

We have to be a realist – and adjust the sails.

Which in this case means – upping and broadening the Spanish olive tariffs.

We should be at least as America First – as Spain is Spain First.

The post International Trade – Is Rife with Omni-Directional Anti-Free Trade Practices appeared first on RedState.

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