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Iain Mansfield: Brexit by October 31. Stop using the Left’s language. And stand for skilled workers. Essentials for our next Prime Minister

Iain Mansfield is a former senior civil servant, winner of the Institute of Economic Affairs Brexit prize and a Conservative councillor candidate. He writes in a personal capacity.

Our next Prime Minister will take office at the most challenging time since the 1970s. Not only is there Brexit – an issue of fundamental national importance, that has destroyed the last two Prime Ministers and poses an existential challenge to the future of the Conservative Party – but the old political assumptions are changing. Across the West, traditional voter coalitions are shifting, as citizens reject centrist compromises. Flatlining productivity, unaffordable houses and millions of voters feeling abandoned, either culturally or economically, are just some of the challenges they will face.

Many of those who voted for David Cameron in 2010 are lost to the party, alienated by Brexit. In Britain today, age and education level are better predictors of a person’s vote than class. To win a general election, our next Prime Minister must forge a new coalition of voters that unites the traditional Tory shires with the left-behind Leave voters in the Midlands and North. Even more importantly, they must deliver authentic right-wing policies that address the causes of ordinary working people’s dissatisfaction. People want change and, if the Conservative Party does not deliver it, they are likely to seek answers in the flawed blandishments of Jeremy Corbyn’s socialism.

In that context, there are three essentials that our next Prime Minister must prioritise for the good of the people, the nation and the party:

  • Leave the EU by 31 October, on WTO terms if needed.
  • Openly champion conservative values rather than speaking the language of the left.
  • Reposition the party as the natural home of the skilled working and lower middle classes.

Leave the EU by 31 October, on WTO terms if needed

Not only is delivering on the outcome of the referendum a democratic imperative, it is vital for the continued existence of the party. Recent polling shows that, if we have not left the EU, the Conservatives are likely to suffer devastating losses in a general election; these figures could be even worse if large numbers of members, councillors or even entire associations defect to the Brexit Party. Many members have held on over the last few months purely out of hope that the next Prime Minister would deliver where May failed: another betrayal in October would see these members permanently lost.

Leaving with a deal is preferable, if some changes to the backstop can be agreed and Parliament will pass it. If not, as I have argued previously on this site, we have nothing to fear from No Deal. Preparations for such should be put into top gear on the first day in office. The Prime Minister must make clear that they will under no circumstances ask for an extension; and that they are, if needed, prepared to systematically veto any measure put forward by the EU on regular business if the UK is for some reason kept in. While every effort should be made to secure a deal, if it cannot be reached, Parliament must be faced with the simple choice of permitting a WTO exit or voting no confidence in the Prime Minister – a gamble, admittedly, but one that is preferable to another disastrous extension.

Openly champion conservative values rather than speaking the language of the left

In recent years too many Conservative politicians have allowed our opponents to define the playing field. We cannot beat the socialists by adopting the language and assumptions of socialism. Our next Prime Minister must stop feeding the narrative of identity, grievance and division, with its assumption that an individual’s potential is defined by their characteristics, that so-called ‘burning injustices’ are solely the responsibility of the state to address, and that the government always no best.

Changing the narrative will be a long endeavour. The systematic appointment of those with conservative values into key ministerially appointed positions; an authentically right-wing approach to policy making in Whitehall; and the withdrawal of state funding from the network of organisations that maintain the left’s grip on the policy narrative are essential. But over and above this, the Prime Minister must be willing to personally stand up and champion individual liberties and freedoms; to condemn progressive authoritarianism and to be visibly proud of Britain, our culture and the rich global heritage of our citizens.

Reposition the party as the natural home of the skilled working and lower middle classes

Young, metropolitan graduates may once have been natural Conservatives, but no longer. There is little hope of reversing this in the immediate aftermath of Brexit. Instead of squandering our effort here, our new Prime Minister should instead make the party the natural home of the skilled working and lower middle classes, particularly in the midlands and north.

Such voters have a natural affinity to the traditional conservative values of low tax and individual liberty, but also greatly value and rely day-to-day onn strong public services. This places the Conservatives in a difficult position after a decade of austerity: Labour made hay campaigning on cuts to police numbers and falls in per pupil spending in 2017. But how to fund significant increases in core services without raising taxes or alienating core Conservative voters, such as via the disastrous proposals on social care in the 2017 manifesto?

To find the funding the next Prime Minister must be bold enough to slay the progressive sacred cows that soak up billions annually in public funding. Three immediately spring to mind:

With the additional £15 billion plus a year, the Prime Minister could at a stroke increase police funding by 25 per cent (£3 billion), boost school funding per pupil by 20 per cent (£8 billion) and increase spending on social care by 20 per cent (£4 billion). And then split the proceeds of further growth between public services and tax cuts.

As well as this, we should champion the interests of the high street, enterprise and small businesses and oppose crony corporatism. Multinational companies that make use of aggressive tax avoidance, abuse their market position or actively work against UK sovereignty should not enjoy government grants, procurement or time in No. 10. Fundamentally, our next Prime Minister should spend more time listening to the Federation of Small Businesses and less time listening to the CBI.

Conclusion

As members, we have two candidates set before us. Both are able politicians and tested leaders who represent the best the Parliamentary party has to offer. As we assess who should be not just our next leader, but our Prime Minister, we should do so against their ability to deliver these vital elements.

Both have committed to delivering Brexit by October 31 – but which one has the ability, the genuine will and the courage to do so by any means necessary? Both are true-blue Conservatives – but which one will truly champion our values, taking the battle to our adversaries with the eloquence and conviction of a Thatcher or a Churchill? Both recognise the importance of reaching out to new voters – but which one can devise and push through the policies needed to unite the Tory shires with the Leave voters of the north? Consider carefully and cast your vote.

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

Henry Newman: The Alternative Arrangements Commission offers the best route through the backstop problem

Henry Newman is Director of Open Europe.

It’s now three years and a day since the referendum was declared for Leave on the morning of 24th June 2016. And yet Brexit seems – if anything – further away than it has for some time. The Conservative leadership race will change the occupants of Downing Street, but will leave the three essential paths unchanged: Brexit with a version of the current deal, Brexit with No Deal, and no Brexit. With almost no Parliamentary majority, it’s hard at this point to see a way through to any one of those paths.

Over the next few weeks things may become clearer, unless Brexit day ends up being delayed again. A new Prime Minister will make no difference in of himself to the Parliamentary maths – although the stock of patronage in the Whips’ office may be reset. But various Conservative factions are already threatening to bring down the next government. One group would withdraw confidence if the Government pursues a No Deal Brexit; another has also threatened to do so if the Government fails to deliver Brexit on 31st October.

Opinion has polarised in Parliament and across the country. There’s little mood for compromise. The spoiled ballot paper in the final round of voting on the leadership last week was ominous. To make matters worse, the Conservatives will soon face a challenging by-election in Brecon and Radnorshire. The Tories face a simultaneous squeeze from both the Brexit Party and the Liberal Democrats.

The landing zone for a negotiated way through Brexit is slim but just discernible. At its core would be ensuring that the UK can avoid being permanently trapped in the backstop. The Alternative Arrangements Commission, chaired by Nicky Morgan and Greg Hands, and backed by Prosperity UK, is attempting to provide reassurance on that.  The Commission argues that the backstop is “at the heart of the UK Parliament’s objections to the existing Withdrawal Agreement”. Of course, the only time when a majority was found for a particular Brexit scenario was Graham Brady’s vague amendment on replacing the backstop with Alternative Arrangements – the Commission is attempting to clarify what that could entail.

I have previously argued that the Withdrawal Agreement (including the backstop) is more advantageous to the UK (and to Northern Ireland) than many critics accept. I have also outlined how the backstop itself poses various problems. But we are rather beyond that sort of analysis now – Parliament has refused to support the deal as is. That’s why it’s so crucially important that the Government gets behind the work of the Commission on Alternative Arrangements.

There’s plenty of cynicism about the Interim Report and the Commission overall. And certain pundits seemed keen to dismiss all the suggestions out of hand. But, although some of the ideas are ambitious, they deserve serious consideration. Radical ideas will be needed to find a way through. Brexit poses unique problems for Northern Ireland, and it’s overwhelmingly in the interests of the UK, Ireland and the EU to find a way of resolving these issues together.

The EU has somewhat legitimately complained that the UK had not put forward proposals to resolve the Irish border. (Although, of course, the entire Chequers policy was designed to do just that). But if Brussels and Dublin reject out of hand all innovative answers to address the border, then it will be hard to persuade Brexiteers that the UK will not end up trapped in the backstop.

Back in March at Strasbourg both the UK and EU agreed to fast track the search for alternative arrangements. The EU agreed that these alternatives could apply on a provisional basis to allow the UK to avoid the backstop altogether. The Strasbourg instrument also places obligations on Brussels to find alternative arrangements. A Policy Exchange report concluded that “it would be clearly incompatible with its obligations… for the EU to adopt a negotiating stance that boils down to the position that only ‘backstop 2.0’ can replace the current backstop”. So, the EU must accept workable alternatives to the backstop and these can’t simply be the same thing packaged up with a different name.

Yesterday’s interim report by the Alternative Arrangements Commission argues that working alternatives should be up and running within three years. They note that there is no single solution to the border, and that a combination of existing technology and best practice will be needed. Importantly, the report argues that “futuristic high-tech solutions are not required”.

Several of their interim recommendations tally with arguments that Open Europe has previously made, including an expanded trusted trader scheme in Northern Ireland with exemptions for smaller businesses. The most radical proposal amounts to an option to create a common area for Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary measures between the UK and Ireland. Irish sources have dismissed such a possibility out of hand. There are obvious problems with this sort of suggestion, but it’s also the sort of bold idea that both sides will need to consider if a way through is to be found that can provide a sustainable answer for region and meet the concerns of the UK, Ireland and the EU.

Unfortunately, trust is in short supply. That’s hardly surprising when European capitals watch British politicians promising to use Article 24 of the GATT treaty to provide for tariff free trade in the event of No Deal. Or when they hear senior figures suggesting we use a transition period to negotiate a trade deal, if we leave with No Deal. And they watch as some claim that we should “just” go back to the offer of an FTA which Donald Tusk made. (Unfortunately, Gatt 24 would only work if the EU also agrees to tango in the event of No Deal – so far they have refused; there will be no transition period without a deal; and the offer from Tusk (and indeed the EU as a whole) was always an FTA with a backstop for Northern Ireland.)

On the other hand, the EU will need to accept that the trust issue cuts both ways. The more that the Commission rubbishes alternatives to the backstop, the harder it will be to persuade people that a path out is possible. Equally, Brussels must now see that something will have to give. There is practically no chance that the exact same deal can pass the Commons, without further legally-binding changes. The EU’s preferred answer of a cross-party arrangement failed to bear fruit. And there is still little sign of a majority for a second referendum, nor indeed a clear swing in public opinion against leaving the EU.

Back in April, Tusk pompously warned the UK not to “waste” the extension to Article 50, while the Council decided to delay Brexit by the worst possible length of time – long enough to ensure that MPs felt no pressure to make decisions, but too short really to allow for a change in politics or a reset in negotiations. With Brussels out of action following European elections, and with August summer breaks looming, these months were always going to be largely fallow. When things do get back underway, there will be precious little time to get anything agreed before the first scheduled meeting of the European Council on 17th October – the biggest priority for both sides must be to rebuild trust.

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

Pauline Latham: Why I am voting for McVey

Pauline Latham is MP for Mid Derbyshire.

The political class has exhausted the country over the last couple of years. Deadlock in Parliament and our failure to grapple with delivering the historic referendum result has ensured that our Party has been pounded in the recent elections.

Not only do people feel ignored, but the Brexit stagnation has meant that we haven’t been able to focus on other important areas, such as health, housing, local transport, education and policing. We can’t continue blindly marching on in the same way as before. If we do, we may as well crown Jeremy Corbyn Prime Minister today.

We have had a great record as a Party over the last nine years. We’ve seen the fastest growth in wages in almost a decade, record amounts of money going to the NHS, high employment levels and economic growth.

But we have become inward-looking, and seem to have stopped listening to what people out there are saying. We must re-connect, start listening to voters, remember why we’re in the political business in the first place, and start to renew that fragile bond of trust with the British people. And the way to start this is by delivering Brexit.

We need a leader who believes in Brexit, and who is passionate about us making a success of our future as an independent, self-governing nation. They must be prepared to rule out, unequivocally, any extension to our leaving date of October 31st. Businesses have prepared, the country is ready to leave the EU and it’s only politicians who seem to be lagging behind, causing endless fatigue and uncertainty for people and businesses.

The EU and our excellent civil servants have spent months agreeing an array of mini-deals so that we won’t be operating under World Trade Organisation rules alone from November 1st. Deals will be in place ensuring that planes fly, lorries can move their goods and business can continue.

So we need a clean break: no resurrecting the botched Withdrawal Agreement and no more talk of backstops. We are tired of it, we’re ready to do without a Withdrawal Agreement deal – and the only candidate who is calling for this is Esther McVey, which is why I am backing her for the leadership of our Party.

Esther is one of the rare politicians I’ve met who is able to communicate authentically with voters in all parts of the country. People hate it when politicians are not completely straight with them, and we need a leader who can reach out beyond our core supporters, and who say it as it is. We need someone who doesn’t hide behind bland, non-committal, political waffle; who isn’t posturing on Twitter but who’s out there, talking to real people and saying exactly what she thinks and what her values are. That’s the kind of straight-talking politics the public are crying out for.

Labour has been taking its northern heartlands for granted and has abandoned hard-working families and communities, who used to vote for them in favour of their metropolitan members. This is an opportunity for us as a Party ,and Esther will be able to capitalise on it. She will be able to articulate how Corbyn’s socialist plans will destroy these voters’ jobs and leave them worse off, and her Blue Collar Conservatism project demonstrates that she shares their values too.

Esther has been out in the country, talking to voters to hear what their priorities are as we move beyond Brexit. There’s one thing that people are saying, time and time again, and that’s that they want us to stop the cutting the amount of money we give to our police and schools.

The Conservatives have already made changes in education that have been transformational, but we are now risking all that by under-funding our schools. Classrooms are creaking at the seams and, whilst more money is not the answer to everything, it will make a real difference to teachers.

And our police are becoming increasingly stretched as well. There’s nothing officers in my constituency want more than to be able to do the best possible job in keeping our streets safe and stemming the tide of rising violent crime. But we have cut their budgets to the bone.

So Esther has pledged an extra £7 billion for our police and schools, allowing our public servants and communities the chance to breathe. £4 billion will go towards making up for shortfalls in the education budget and £3 billion a year extra will go our police. This works out as a huge 25 per cent boost on the current funding we are giving to the police, and nine times what the Home Secretary has promised. This debate shouldn’t involve politicians setting headline-grabbing, arbitrary numbers of police officer numbers. It should be about making a transformative shift in priorities so that the police, themselves, can develop a force that’s fit to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century.

And Esther has now gone further than this. She wants to enshrine the nation’s thanks to the police – for all the tireless work they do to keep us safe and to protect us – in a new Police Covenant, similar to the one we developed for our Armed Forces. We expect so much from our police and it’s time we treated them with some respect. The Police Covenant will support officers during their service and in their retirement and, importantly, part of the £3 billion will be used to ensure that officers’ pay rises in line with inflation.

This is what Blue Collar Conservatism is all about: practical, Conservative policies that will make a real difference to the lives of our hard-working communities. And it’s exactly the direction our Party needs to take, under Esther’s leadership, if we are to become a fighting force at the next election.

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

Stanley Johnson: Unplugging or unscrambling? Lamy, high priest of harmonisation, sets out a Brexit choice.

Stanley Johnson is a former MEP and parliamentary candidate.

Pascal Lamy’s recent speech at to a packed meeting organized by the Henry Jackson Society in Committee Room 9 in the House of Commons, chaired by Suella Braverman, was both invigorating and illuminating.

If any man knows his oignons  as far as the EU is concerned, that man is Lamy.  When Jacques Delors became President of the European Commission in 1985, he brought Lamy with him to Brussels as his Chef de Cabinet. In that position, Lamy was one of the most influential personalities in the Delors Commission.

If the Common Market evolved, as it did during the 19080s, into the Single Market, it was because of the clear understanding that Lamy and his colleagues had that you could not have frictionless trade between the member states of the EU (then the EEC) without a degree of regulatory alignment in key sectors (transport, agriculture, industry etc).

The concept of ‘harmonisation’ provided much scope for journalistic parody (one-size-fits-all condoms, straight bananas, lawn-mower noise etc) but the Delors Commission (supported by the Thatcher Government and by Britain’s Trade Commissioner, Lord Cockfield) was tough to the point of ruthlessness.

The mechanism which enabled the Single Market project to progress as rapidly as it did was the introduction of Qualified Majority Voting in the Council of Ministers.  In that context, of course, the issue of ‘sovereignty’ rapidly became more salient and, in some quarters, toxic.  As Lamy wryly observed last night, the real Brexit negotiation seems to have been taking place not across the Channel but within the UK itself.

And those internal dilemmas still have to be resolved.

Lamy was quite clear about it.   The UK politicians who seek to deliver Brexit face a choice.  They can ‘unplug’ or they can ‘unscramble’.

He admitted that ‘unplugging’ – the ‘clean break’ concept; would involve a degree of disruption.   On the issue of the Irish border, for example, it was – as he saw it – inevitable that problems would arise, if two separate countries, in this case the UK and the Republic of Ireland, headed off on different regulatory trajectories.

The alternative to ‘unplugging’ was ‘unscrambling’. The idea that the UK could negotiate a fully-fledged trade agreement with the EU within the time-frame of the so-called ‘transition period’ was far-fetched.  As a former Director-General of WTO, Lamy knows a thing or two about negotiating trade agreements.  And he pointed out that a successful negotiation, however long it took, would most likely have to be succeeded by a possibly equally long implementation period.  We are talking years, not months.

Lamy did not exclude the possibility that the Withdrawal Agreement, the necessary first step in the long unscrambling process, might be adopted in the next few weeks.  Speaking from the floor, I put it to him that the chances of the agreement being approved by the House of Commons might be considerably improved if the EU took the Brady Amendment seriously on board and agreed to drop the Irish Backstop from the Withdrawal Agreement, remitting the Irish issue to the post-Brexit ‘negotiation’ period where it properly belonged.

Lamy prudently avoided giving a direct answer to that question, referring instead to the EU’s time-honoured practice of ‘stopping the clock’ in order to allow time for a last minute compromise. We must wait and see.

Whenever it happened, there would be consequences.  “You can’t get the egg back out of the omelette”.

He also wisely refused to express an opinion as to whether a Second Referendum was a good idea. “That is a matter for you” he said firmly.

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

Manufacturing is Back – Now We Need a Food Manufacturing Restoration

When President Donald Trump was Candidate Donald Trump – he promised a restoration of the US manufacturing sector.

Which his predecessor – thankfully-ex-president Barack Obama – dismissed as impossible:

“When somebody says – like the person you just mentioned, who I’m not going to advertise for – that he’s going to bring all these jobs back.  Well, how exactly are you going to do that?  What are you going to do?  There’s no answer to it.  He just says ‘Well, I’m going to negotiate a better deal.’  Well, how exactly are you going to negotiate that?  What magic wand do you have?  And usually the answer is – he doesn’t have an answer.”

Undaunted by Obama and the Downers, just after winning election – Trump yet again teed up his administration:

“Our goal as a nation must be to rely less on imports – and more on products made here in the USA….This is our mantra: Buy American – and hire American….Our country is all about making dreams come true.  Over the last number of years – that hasn’t been necessarily the case.  But we’re going to make it the case again….My focus has been all about jobs.  And jobs is one of the primary reasons I’m standing here today as your President.”

Two years hence, it would appear Trump is a combination of Merlin and Gandalf – wielding magic wands aplenty.

The Trump Manufacturing Jobs Boom: 10 Times Obama’s Over 21 Months

Things do not appear to be slowing down.

Trump’s Policy ‘Magic Wand’ Boosts Manufacturing Jobs 399% In First 26 Months Over Obama’s Last 26

All of which is, of course, spectacular news.

Westlake Legal Group farm-aid-panorama-620x241 Manufacturing is Back – Now We Need a Food Manufacturing Restoration WTO World Trade Organization Welfare trade wars Trade War trade tea party Taxes tax reform tax day Tax Tariffs tariff sugar subsidies sugar policy modernization act sugar republicans Regulation President Barack Obama Politics Policy Obama News merger law Government Google Front Page Stories Front Page Free trade food stamps fiat farm policy farm law Farm Bill EPA Environmental Protection Agency elections Economy Economics EBT donald trump Department of Agriculture democrats Cronyism crony socialism crony capitalism China Chicago Campaigns Budget Affordable Care Act acquisition “federal spending”

The world has spent the last half century-plus – totally tilting the global market playing field against us.

Titanically stupidly – we have been allowing the world to do it.

Which Citizen Trump spent decades pointing out.  Here he is on The Oprah Winfrey Show – in 1988:

“We let Japan come in and dump everything right into our markets.  And it’s not free trade.  If you go to Japan right now and try to sell something – forget about it, Oprah.  Just forget about it.  It’s almost impossible.  They don’t have laws against it – they just make it impossible.  They come over here – they sell their cars, their VCRs.  They knock the hell out of our companies.  And hey – I have tremendous respect for the Japanese people.  You can respect someone who is beating the hell out of you.  But they are beating the hell out of this country.”

Oprah says “This sounds like presidential talk” – and asks if he’ll ever run.  To which Trump responds:

“Probably not.  But I do get tired of seeing the country ripped off….I do get tired of seeing what’s happening to this country.  And if it got so bad – I would never want to rule it out totally.  Because I really am tired of seeing what’s happening to this country.  How we’re really making other people live like kings – and we’re not.”

(Certainly sounds like a guy who would sell out to the Russians to get elected, does it not?  What a bunch of idiots those people are.)

Flash forward three decades – and Citizen Trump…is now President Trump.

Stupid Trade Policy Isn’t the Only Reason We Lose Jobs – But It’s a Big One

Crony Socialism: Governments All Over the World Are Messing Up a Free Trade Market

Trump Rightly Demands End to All Trade Tariffs And Subsidies – of Everyone

President Trump’s chief weapon to better the trade playing field – has been the tariff.  Dishing out an infinitesimal amount – of what we have been taking on the chin by the ton for decades.

The DC People who allowed the global market to become so anti-free trade and anti-American – freaked the heck out.  Bizarrely, in the name of “free trade.”

Is Trump’s Protectionism The Death Knell For Global Free Trade?

There’s a Glaring Problem with Trump’s Trade War that Could Drag out the Fight Indefinitely

As Trump Ponders Auto Tariffs, Free-Trade Republicans Push Back

And the DC People – were dead wrong.  And they STILL don’t get it.  To wit:

Despite Trump’s Tariff and Border Threats, Mexico Is Now the Largest U.S. Trading Partner

Not “DESPITE Trump’s tariffs” – “BECAUSE OF Trump’s tariffs.”  Trump put pressure on Mexico – and Mexico buckled.

It’s happening – all over the world.

Trump Tells EU’s Juncker He Seeks ‘Reciprocal’ Trade

No Deal: EU Resists Trump’s Zero-Tariff Trade Offer, Prepares New List of Sanctions to Add Pressure

Except less than seventy-two hours after that latter headline….

Trump and EU Officials Agree to Work Toward ‘Zero Tariff’ Deal

It’s almost like – no, it’s exactly like – Trump was right all along.

And despite Trump’s tariffs – oh wait…BECAUSE OF Trump’s tariffs – how’s our economy doing?

U.S. Economy Grows 3.2% in the First Quarter, Well Above Estimates

“Well above estimates?”  Oh look – the DC People were wrong AGAIN.  Shocker.

Just as we globally trade just about every other commodity – we globally trade food.

And just as we have with every other commodity and their manufacturers – we have allowed the rest of the planet to screw our farmers…and the rest of us.  To wit:

Tiny Thailand’s 2016 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was $407 billion.  Tiny Thailand subsidies sugar – just sugar – at $1.3 billion per year.  Which has ably assisted tiny Thailand – to cheat its way controlling 10% of the global market.

That’s nothing.  Bigger Brazil’s 2016 GDP was $1.8 trillion.  Bigger Brazil subsidizes sugar – just sugar – between $2.5 and $4 billion per annum.  Which has ably assisted bigger Brazil – to cheat its way to controlling almost 50% of the global market.

More than one hundred countries sell sugar on the global market.  Two countries – control 60% of that market.  Because they government-money-cheated their way to the top.

We import sugar.  Which means we are importing the government-money-poison Brazil and Thailand are injecting.

Which is obscenely unfair to our farmers.

Brazil’s subsidies – allow them to charge 20% less for their crop.  Thailand’s subsidies – allow them to charge about 10% less for their crop.

Which is obscenely unfair to our farmers.

Thankfully, Trump is also looking to straighten out the farm market.  To wit:

Trump Looks for End to Japan Farm Tariffs Ahead of Two Visits:

“President Donald Trump urged Japan to end tariffs on U.S. farm products when he met Prime Minister Shinzo Abe….

“‘We’ll be discussing very strongly agriculture because as the prime minister knows Japan puts very massive tariffs on agriculture, our agriculture, for many years, going into Japan, and we want to get rid of those tariffs,’ Trump said during an Oval Office meeting with Abe on Friday.”

Trump REALLY needs to have a sugar talk with Brazil’s new president.  Methinks he might find him receptive.

Conservative Jair Bolsonaro Elected President of Brazil

Jair Bolsonaro: Brazil’s Firebrand Leader Dubbed the Trump of the Tropics

The Great Brazilian Foreign Policy Realignment:

“If Jair Bolsonaro continues to push for privatization in infrastructure and a drastic reduction in red tape, then foreign investment will likely follow.”

And actual free trade will follow as well.

For sugar – and everything else.

Which would be a whole lot fairer for manufacturers – food and all others – everywhere.

Most importantly – here in the US.

Most importantly – because #AmericaFirst.

The post Manufacturing is Back – Now We Need a Food Manufacturing Restoration appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group SteveSeagal-300x191 Manufacturing is Back – Now We Need a Food Manufacturing Restoration WTO World Trade Organization Welfare trade wars Trade War trade tea party Taxes tax reform tax day Tax Tariffs tariff sugar subsidies sugar policy modernization act sugar republicans Regulation President Barack Obama Politics Policy Obama News merger law Government Google Front Page Stories Front Page Free trade food stamps fiat farm policy farm law Farm Bill EPA Environmental Protection Agency elections Economy Economics EBT donald trump Department of Agriculture democrats Cronyism crony socialism crony capitalism China Chicago Campaigns Budget Affordable Care Act acquisition “federal spending”   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

US Farmers Are Food Manufacturers – and We Need Policies that Keep Them Here

Westlake Legal Group us-farmers-are-food-manufacturers-and-we-need-policies-that-keep-them-here US Farmers Are Food Manufacturers – and We Need Policies that Keep Them Here WTO World Trade Organization Welfare trade wars Trade War trade tea party Taxes tax reform tax day Tax Tariffs tariff sugar subsidies sugar policy modernization act sugar republicans Regulation President Barack Obama Politics Policy Obama News merger law Government Google Front Page Stories Front Page Free trade food stamps fiat farm policy farm law Farm Bill EPA Environmental Protection Agency elections Economy Economics EBT donald trump Department of Agriculture democrats Cronyism crony socialism crony capitalism China Chicago Campaigns Budget Affordable Care Act acquisition “federal spending”

As we have very often pointed out, the US spent the last half century-plus very stupidly outsourcing our prosperity to the rest of the planet.

This has been devastating to the middle class.  A vital, once-thriving driver of our once very successful nation – we have spent decades thinning this essential herd to near extinction.

The chart lines run all-but-parallel: As we decimated our middle class – we decimated our economy.

A fundamental component of this inanity – was outsourcing our manufacturing.  Over decades, this represented hundreds of millions of middle class jobs – packed up and sent away.

The Rust Belt – wasn’t always rusty.  It was once the thumping heart of a robust US economic engine.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal of massive government expansion didn’t end the Great Depression – it exacerbated and elongated it.

It wasn’t paying for parks and artworks that restored prosperity.  It was modernizing and maximizing our manufacturing that did.

Hideki Tojo’s Japan bombing Pearl Harbor – ended the Great Depression.  We ramped up our domestic manufacturing of everything needed for the Second World War – and set ourselves up for the glorious Dwight Eisenhower 1950s.

We couldn’t have won the War – or restored our moribund economy – if we had in the half century prior outsourced our manufacturing to Chairman Mao’s Communist China.

Imagine trying to fight in Europe and the Pacific – while awaiting delivery of our guns, tanks and planes…from the other side of the planet.  Delivered in ships – subject to half-a-world’s worth of open water attacks from our enemies.  The very worst supply lines – in the history of warfare.

Imagine the massive amounts of money it took to win the War – not being spent in America.  We would have spent the War – setting up Communist China to dominate the latter half of the Twentieth Century.  Which would have been additionally fantastic news – what with our looming half-century Cold War with Communist Russia.

God bless President Donald Trump – who has prioritized bringing back American manufacturing.  Thank God – it is working.

Westlake Legal Group Kenney US Farmers Are Food Manufacturers – and We Need Policies that Keep Them Here WTO World Trade Organization Welfare trade wars Trade War trade tea party Taxes tax reform tax day Tax Tariffs tariff sugar subsidies sugar policy modernization act sugar republicans Regulation President Barack Obama Politics Policy Obama News merger law Government Google Front Page Stories Front Page Free trade food stamps fiat farm policy farm law Farm Bill EPA Environmental Protection Agency elections Economy Economics EBT donald trump Department of Agriculture democrats Cronyism crony socialism crony capitalism China Chicago Campaigns Budget Affordable Care Act acquisition “federal spending”

Of course, before we can manufacture anything – we have to eat.  Food (and water) – trump everything else.

And farmers – are manufacturers of food.  Maintaining and protecting domestic food manufacturing – is more important than…everything else.

The US Department of Agriculture recently released its Census of Agriculture:

“(A) complete count of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. Even small plots of land – whether rural or urban – growing fruit, vegetables or some food animals count if $1,000 or more of such products were raised and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the Census year.

“The Census of Agriculture, taken only once every five years, looks at land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures….

“The Census of Agriculture provides the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agriculture data for every county in the nation.”

How our food manufacturing sector is doing – is something you want to keep a good eye on.

And lately – it’s been more than a little extra tight.

The Midwest Flooding Has Killed Livestock, Ruined Harvests and Has Farmers Worried for Their Future:

“Historic, widespread flooding will continue through May, NOAA says.

“These are especially cruel times for Nebraska and Iowa farmers who had to scrape money to keep going just eight years ago, when floods overtook their lands in 2011.

“‘I would say 50% of the farmers in our area will not recover from this,’ Dustin Sheldon, a farmer in southwestern Iowa’s flood-devastated Fremont County near the swollen Missouri River, said this week.”

These floods are an act of God.  About which we mere humans can do nothing – in advance. But we can do something in response – and we absolutely should.

Because domestic food manufacturing – is a national security imperative.  Our supply lines should be as short as possible.  Our food supply lines – should be the shortest of all.

We can not alter acts of God.  We can alter terrible government policy.

The traditional conservative/less government movement – has spent a ton of time and effort, air and ink trying to end the US government’s relatively infinitesimal farm programs.  Their efforts – are decidedly misguided.  Well…mis-aimed.

As on all things global trade – we import foreign government subsidies that are orders of magnitude larger than ours.  Which is inordinately stupid – because it is devastating to our domestic manufacturers.

Take sugar.  Which ain’t just in your coffee and on your cereal – it’s in just about everything.  Food is a staple – and sugar is a food staple.

In the name of the free market, conservatives have for decades been freaked-the-heck-out about our TINY sugar program.

Public Interest Groups Oppose Sugar Subsidies – Competitive Enterprise Institute

Top Five Reasons to End U.S. Sugar Subsidies – Americans for Tax Reform

Sugar Subsidies Hurt Consumers and Cost the United States Jobs – FreedomWorks

You know what these well-intended groups – never, ever mention?

In Global Trade, We Need Equal Protection from All Governments:

“Brazil’s government gives its sugar industry every year more than $2.5 billion in cash infusions and other favors.  That’s a lot.

“Think that leads to a free global market?  Of course not.

“Brazil’s massive subsidies have warped the world market into a Brazil-dominated unequal nightmare mess:  ‘Brazil currently controls, roughly, 50 percent of global sugar exports. To put that into perspective, Saudi Arabia controls about 19 percent of the crude oil exports….’”

Brazil dominates the global market – because their government cheats.  Billions and billions of dollars per year – in cheating.

Which is decidedly unfair to our domestic manufacturers.  Who I am quite sure would like a fair shot at some of the 50% market share Brazil has unfairly grabbed.

Instead, we have allowed Brazil to continue its massive unfairness.

And even worse and stupider – we have imported Brazil’s massive unfairness.

Which has been dramatically damaging to our domestic manufacturers.  Who have had to compete – even in their own domestic market – against Brazil’s massively subsidized product.

This ain’t a free market.  This ain’t free trade.  It ain’t fair trade.  It is suicide trade.

We have engaged in this stupidity for decades – on just about every farm product produced.  And various governments the world over – subsidize to excess just about every farm product produced.

And then we blankly stare – and wonder why our farmers are struggling.

And then we go back to demanding we end the US’s TINY farm program.

Tell you what: We’ll end ours – when they end theirs.

And in the interest of proportionality and best time allotment – let’s expend our effort on the government programs requiring the most reform.

Which are – by orders of magnitude – theirs.  Not ours.

The post US Farmers Are Food Manufacturers – and We Need Policies that Keep Them Here appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Kenney-300x224 US Farmers Are Food Manufacturers – and We Need Policies that Keep Them Here WTO World Trade Organization Welfare trade wars Trade War trade tea party Taxes tax reform tax day Tax Tariffs tariff sugar subsidies sugar policy modernization act sugar republicans Regulation President Barack Obama Politics Policy Obama News merger law Government Google Front Page Stories Front Page Free trade food stamps fiat farm policy farm law Farm Bill EPA Environmental Protection Agency elections Economy Economics EBT donald trump Department of Agriculture democrats Cronyism crony socialism crony capitalism China Chicago Campaigns Budget Affordable Care Act acquisition “federal spending”   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

US Farmers Are Food Manufacturers – and We Need Policies that Keep Them Here

As we have very often pointed out, the US spent the last half century-plus very stupidly outsourcing our prosperity to the rest of the planet.

This has been devastating to the middle class.  A vital, once-thriving driver of our once very successful nation – we have spent decades thinning this essential herd to near extinction.

The chart lines run all-but-parallel: As we decimated our middle class – we decimated our economy.

A fundamental component of this inanity – was outsourcing our manufacturing.  Over decades, this represented hundreds of millions of middle class jobs – packed up and sent away.

The Rust Belt – wasn’t always rusty.  It was once the thumping heart of a robust US economic engine.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal of massive government expansion didn’t end the Great Depression – it exacerbated and elongated it.

It wasn’t paying for parks and artworks that restored prosperity.  It was modernizing and maximizing our manufacturing that did.

Hideki Tojo’s Japan bombing Pearl Harbor – ended the Great Depression.  We ramped up our domestic manufacturing of everything needed for the Second World War – and set ourselves up for the glorious Dwight Eisenhower 1950s.

We couldn’t have won the War – or restored our moribund economy – if we had in the half century prior outsourced our manufacturing to Chairman Mao’s Communist China.

Imagine trying to fight in Europe and the Pacific – while awaiting delivery of our guns, tanks and planes…from the other side of the planet.  Delivered in ships – subject to half-a-world’s worth of open water attacks from our enemies.  The very worst supply lines – in the history of warfare.

Imagine the massive amounts of money it took to win the War – not being spent in America.  We would have spent the War – setting up Communist China to dominate the latter half of the Twentieth Century.  Which would have been additionally fantastic news – what with our looming half-century Cold War with Communist Russia.

God bless President Donald Trump – who has prioritized bringing back American manufacturing.  Thank God – it is working.

Westlake Legal Group Kenney US Farmers Are Food Manufacturers – and We Need Policies that Keep Them Here WTO World Trade Organization Welfare trade wars Trade War trade tea party Taxes tax reform tax day Tax Tariffs tariff sugar subsidies sugar policy modernization act sugar republicans Regulation President Barack Obama Politics Policy Obama News merger law Government Google Front Page Stories Front Page Free trade food stamps fiat farm policy farm law Farm Bill EPA Environmental Protection Agency elections Economy Economics EBT donald trump Department of Agriculture democrats Cronyism crony socialism crony capitalism China Chicago Campaigns Budget Affordable Care Act acquisition “federal spending”

Of course, before we can manufacture anything – we have to eat.  Food (and water) – trump everything else.

And farmers – are manufacturers of food.  Maintaining and protecting domestic food manufacturing – is more important than…everything else.

The US Department of Agriculture recently released its Census of Agriculture:

“(A) complete count of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. Even small plots of land – whether rural or urban – growing fruit, vegetables or some food animals count if $1,000 or more of such products were raised and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the Census year.

“The Census of Agriculture, taken only once every five years, looks at land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures….

“The Census of Agriculture provides the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agriculture data for every county in the nation.”

How our food manufacturing sector is doing – is something you want to keep a good eye on.

And lately – it’s been more than a little extra tight.

The Midwest Flooding Has Killed Livestock, Ruined Harvests and Has Farmers Worried for Their Future:

“Historic, widespread flooding will continue through May, NOAA says.

“These are especially cruel times for Nebraska and Iowa farmers who had to scrape money to keep going just eight years ago, when floods overtook their lands in 2011.

“‘I would say 50% of the farmers in our area will not recover from this,’ Dustin Sheldon, a farmer in southwestern Iowa’s flood-devastated Fremont County near the swollen Missouri River, said this week.”

These floods are an act of God.  About which we mere humans can do nothing – in advance. But we can do something in response – and we absolutely should.

Because domestic food manufacturing – is a national security imperative.  Our supply lines should be as short as possible.  Our food supply lines – should be the shortest of all.

We can not alter acts of God.  We can alter terrible government policy.

The traditional conservative/less government movement – has spent a ton of time and effort, air and ink trying to end the US government’s relatively infinitesimal farm programs.  Their efforts – are decidedly misguided.  Well…mis-aimed.

As on all things global trade – we import foreign government subsidies that are orders of magnitude larger than ours.  Which is inordinately stupid – because it is devastating to our domestic manufacturers.

Take sugar.  Which ain’t just in your coffee and on your cereal – it’s in just about everything.  Food is a staple – and sugar is a food staple.

In the name of the free market, conservatives have for decades been freaked-the-heck-out about our TINY sugar program.

Public Interest Groups Oppose Sugar Subsidies – Competitive Enterprise Institute

Top Five Reasons to End U.S. Sugar Subsidies – Americans for Tax Reform

Sugar Subsidies Hurt Consumers and Cost the United States Jobs – FreedomWorks

You know what these well-intended groups – never, ever mention?

In Global Trade, We Need Equal Protection from All Governments:

“Brazil’s government gives its sugar industry every year more than $2.5 billion in cash infusions and other favors.  That’s a lot.

“Think that leads to a free global market?  Of course not.

“Brazil’s massive subsidies have warped the world market into a Brazil-dominated unequal nightmare mess:  ‘Brazil currently controls, roughly, 50 percent of global sugar exports. To put that into perspective, Saudi Arabia controls about 19 percent of the crude oil exports….’”

Brazil dominates the global market – because their government cheats.  Billions and billions of dollars per year – in cheating.

Which is decidedly unfair to our domestic manufacturers.  Who I am quite sure would like a fair shot at some of the 50% market share Brazil has unfairly grabbed.

Instead, we have allowed Brazil to continue its massive unfairness.

And even worse and stupider – we have imported Brazil’s massive unfairness.

Which has been dramatically damaging to our domestic manufacturers.  Who have had to compete – even in their own domestic market – against Brazil’s massively subsidized product.

This ain’t a free market.  This ain’t free trade.  It ain’t fair trade.  It is suicide trade.

We have engaged in this stupidity for decades – on just about every farm product produced.  And various governments the world over – subsidize to excess just about every farm product produced.

And then we blankly stare – and wonder why our farmers are struggling.

And then we go back to demanding we end the US’s TINY farm program.

Tell you what: We’ll end ours – when they end theirs.

And in the interest of proportionality and best time allotment – let’s expend our effort on the government programs requiring the most reform.

Which are – by orders of magnitude – theirs.  Not ours.

The post US Farmers Are Food Manufacturers – and We Need Policies that Keep Them Here appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Kenney-300x224 US Farmers Are Food Manufacturers – and We Need Policies that Keep Them Here WTO World Trade Organization Welfare trade wars Trade War trade tea party Taxes tax reform tax day Tax Tariffs tariff sugar subsidies sugar policy modernization act sugar republicans Regulation President Barack Obama Politics Policy Obama News merger law Government Google Front Page Stories Front Page Free trade food stamps fiat farm policy farm law Farm Bill EPA Environmental Protection Agency elections Economy Economics EBT donald trump Department of Agriculture democrats Cronyism crony socialism crony capitalism China Chicago Campaigns Budget Affordable Care Act acquisition “federal spending”   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Graham Gudgin: If the EU delivers No Deal after all, there will be little to fear – and much to gain

Dr Graham Gudgin is Policy Exchange’s Chief Economic Adviser. He is a visiting Professor at the University of Ulster and Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Ulster University Economic Policy Centre.

Many like to claim that No Deal is off the table, but it remains the legal default position on April 12 – and the EU may not be bluffing in suggesting that it is now the most likely endgame. It has of course been decisively rejected in the Commons – but so has almost everything else. Decisive parliamentary rejection has hardly been a bar to reclaiming options from the dead.

What is certainly true is that there has been little cool consideration of what no deal involves. The Cabinet Secretary’s letter to last Tuesday’s cabinet meeting claimed that No Deal would lead to recession and currency depreciation. One could almost hear the laughter in the aisles as the civil service once more tried its hand at economic prediction.

Historians are likely to judge the demonisation of No Deal as one on the great triumphs of the Remain campaign. With impressive discipline, Remainers ubiquitously link the phrase No Deal to the adjectives ‘catastrophic’ or ‘disastrous’. In this, they have been greatly helped by the BBC and other media which invariably allow such descriptions to pass with no attempt to elicit any evidence.

The idea that No Deal would greatly damage the UK economy started early with detailed studies by the Treasury and other economics groups during the EU referendum campaign of 2016. Their absurdly mistaken short-term forecasts damaged the department’s credibility, but the its equally flawed long-term impact estimates live on, and were cited recently by John McDonnell as the key evidence for Labour’s aversion to No Deal. Nor has the Bank of England been much better, with its estimates for No Deal jumping all over the place.

CBI assessments of No Deal

All of this has muddied the water for what should have been a serious national debate, but this has not taken place. The CBI’s assessment of its opposition to no deal is unfocused and vague. The CBI website’s comments from individual businesses are limited to say the least. Most fear delays at ports, and appear to ignore positive statements from HMRC, Calais and other ports. They seem to be reacting to alarmist press reports rather than to up to date information. Ford views a no deal Brexit as ‘catastrophic’ (that word again) but much of its reasoning (‘border friction, a deteriorating economic outlook, further sterling devaluation and tariffs’) is speculative and outside its direct expertise.

Tariffs

The potential dangers from no deal come largely from high tariffs facing and the threat of border delays. Tariffs of 10 per cent or more would affect car and food producers but account for only four per cent of UK exports. Since firms have already benefitted from a 15 per cent depreciation of Sterling, even a 10 per cent tariff on car exports into the EU would not be decisive. The UK’s own published tariff regime would be one of the most liberal in the advanced world. Many tariffs which only protect continental producers but raise prices for UK consumers would be abolished. The average tariff on imports would fall to an estimated 0.7 per cent versus 7.7 per cent for the EU now. This would make the UK an attractive place for international firms to invest because the vast bulk of imported components (including car parts, electronics and machinery) will be tariff-free.

Non-Tariff barriers

Much of the concern over a ‘WTO exit’ has revolved around ‘non-tariff barriers’ to trade. Here again, preparations and agreements over recent months mean that the picture is much brighter than usually claimed. The UK has agreed rollovers of ‘mutual recognition’ agreements with key non-EU trade partners, and many UK firms have acted to transfer product registration and safety certification to EU approved bodies. A range of contingency measures and memoranda of understanding have secured the future of finance at least until a free-trade agreement can be negotiated.

Dangers for food and agriculture

The CBI and others rightly point up the dangers to agriculture which has important exports to the EU facing tariffs of 20-40 per cent or more, enough to make some trade in food completely uneconomic. However, this affects under two per cent of UK exports and the CBI makes no mention of the authoritative AFBI study which concluded that UK prices and output would rise for most farming commodities.

The reason is that UK food producers would replace imports from the EU which face high tariffs into the UK. Proposed UK tariffs steer a sensible middle ground between higher prices for UK consumers and higher incomes for UK farmers. The main exception is UK lamb production, where the large EU market could be devastated by high EU tariffs. Much of sheep farming is however already heavily subsidised, and can be further subsidised to maintain farm incomes.

On sensitive agricultural products, there are worries that the entry of animals and goods would be prohibited unless the UK is “listed” as meeting EU sanitary standards. However, the EU has announced that it will “swiftly” list the UK to allow the entry of live animals and animal products from the UK. The French authorities have arranged for any food safety checks to be undertaken inland from Calais to avoid congestion.

Customs Delays

The risk of major delays at ports is now remote even for food products. Calais port says that there will be no more checks than today. On the UK side, HMRC says it will prioritise a free flow of goods. Eurotunnel has made it quite clear that its services and business model remain unaffected by Brexit. Government claims that large numbers of firms with EU markets have not signed up to HMRC’s new customs procedures are irrelevant. Firms will do so as they need to.

Air travel and Safety Concerns

Air transport was another supposed danger area. But the EU, despite previous threats, has now agreed to allow British planes to fly over, land in and return from the EU27. Meanwhile, the UK has 111 bilateral agreements in our own right which continue unchanged. Of the 17 negotiated via the EU, virtually all – covering 98 per cent of the passengers carried – have been successfully renegotiated. The Government has also said that there will be no implications from the UK leaving Euratom including on the flow of radioactive isotopes for the NHS.

Other safety regulation concerns have evaporated. Car manufacturers have swapped their approvals over to the recognised Swedish body, with other industries taking similar steps. The EU has also agreed to extend EASA design, production and maintenance approvals for aerospace firms temporarily, with a permanent solution to follow.

Conclusions

Fears of a ‘no deal’ Brexit are hugely exaggerated, not least because ‘no deal’ is not what will happen under any circumstances. A series of mini-deals between the UK, the EU and non-EU countries, plus unilateral preparations by the UK, means that most of the building blocks for a managed ‘no deal’ Brexit are already in place.

Moreover, the assumption that leaving without a deal means we will never have a free trade deal with the EU is not true either. In reality, “no deal” would not last very long, since both sides have strong mutual interests in quickly agreeing at the very least a basic free-trade agreement with no tariffs or quantitative restrictions.

It would even be possible to avoid new tariffs altogether using GATT’s Article 24, as long as a mutual intention was announced to begin free-trade negotiations. Temporary side deals would need to be made permanent, but since these are mutually advantageous no issue of principle should be involved. All of this seems manageable as a means to securing an independent trade policy.

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