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Thread: Trump's Card

  1. #51
    johnr's Avatar
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    Tubby Isaacs wrote: I have it on DVD but not with me. It is good, great cast.
    I'll pick it up next time I'm passing through Tower Hamlets.

    On another tack, I don't know much about TPP; is it like TTIP - with allegations of secrecy, ability to sue Governments for re-nationalising health services etc - and therefore, as many think about TTIP, should it be abandoned?

    Actually, behind this question is probably another; are there any or Trump's 'policies'/intentions (as far as we know them, given they keep changing), that anybody on here thinks are any good - even if by accident?

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    I'm not opposed to term limits for Congress. I'd rather have stricter ethics rules enshrined in a constitutional amendment, but that's not going to happen.

  3. #53

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    A $1tn infrastructure investment would be a good thing, on the face of it.

    But Trump's method of creating it using tax cuts for companies to build private toll roads in highly populated areas is, clearly, utter nonsense.

    Opposition to TPP is - as I understand it - partly old, paranoid, protectionist nationalism, and is partly concern at how opaque the negotiations have been and how unclear the treaty is, similar to TTIP.

  4. #54

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    johnr wrote:
    On another tack, I don't know much about TPP; is it like TTIP - with allegations of secrecy, ability to sue Governments for re-nationalising health services etc - and therefore, as many think about TTIP, should it be abandoned?

    Actually, behind this question is probably another; are there any or Trump's 'policies'/intentions (as far as we know them, given they keep changing), that anybody on here thinks are any good - even if by accident?
    Yes, the two trade deals are similar, multinationals would be able to sue local governements on items like changes in environmental regulations, or changes in labor law like increases in minimum wages. Those kinds of toxic provisions which enable multinationals to supersede national or local legislation are the reasons behind the lack the transparency in those deals. It was never really just about "free trade" and tariffs, those were sweeping laws which would have profoundly altered the regulatory environment in favor of multinationals.

    Trashing the TPP was an excellent decision, one that Sanders would have probably made as well. Hillary would have changed a couple of items and rammed it through.

    Foreign policy under Trump is a bit of an unknown right now. There is an ongoing battle between the neocons, who are trying to place a total scumbag/moron like Bolton as SoS, and paleoconservative military brass who favor a scaling back of US interventionism. Trump has reportedly told off Kissinger earlier this Fall, but he has a very close personal relationship with Nethanyahu (that's probably one of the most troubling aspects of his presidency IMHO). It's hard to tell if there will be a real departure from Hillary's neocon approach or if inertia from past administrations prevails, his staffing decisions in weeks to come will give us some indication.

  5. #55

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    multinationals would be able to sue local governements on items like changes in environmental regulations, or changes in labor law like increases in minimum wages.
    I don't get this.

    Bernie Sanders put forward a strongly pro-labour agenda, and HRC took a few points on board. Now you tell me they couldn't do it without being buried under an avalanche of NAFTA suits? Same with California's plans to raise its minimum wage.

    Those kinds of toxic provisions which enable multinationals to supersede national or local legislation
    How? They allow for- and I certainly recognise it's controversial- arbitration for loss on investments. The multinational doesn't special dispensation to ignore the law.

    It was never really just about "free trade" and tariffs, those were sweeping laws which would have profoundly altered the regulatory environment in favor of multinationals.
    I can see why you don't like the ISDS, and I see that, but trade is surely very important, albeit more as a means than an end. It's intended to bind the region closely to US "interests" rather than Chinese ones or Russian ones.

  6. #56

    Trump's Card

    Tubby Isaacs wrote:
    multinationals would be able to sue local governements on items like changes in environmental regulations, or changes in labor law like increases in minimum wages.
    I don't get this.

    Bernie Sanders put forward a strongly pro-labour agenda, and HRC took a few points on board. Now you tell me they couldn't do it without being buried under an avalanche of NAFTA suits? Same with California's plans to raise its minimum wage.

    Those kinds of toxic provisions which enable multinationals to supersede national or local legislation
    How? They allow for- and I certainly recognise it's controversial- arbitration for loss on investments. The multinational doesn't special dispensation to ignore the law.

    It was never really just about "free trade" and tariffs, those were sweeping laws which would have profoundly altered the regulatory environment in favor of multinationals.
    I can see why you don't like the ISDS, and I see that, but trade is surely very important, albeit more as a means than an end. It's intended to bind the region closely to US "interests" rather than Chinese ones or Russian ones.
    It's hard to be pro labor and pro Goldman Sachs at the same time, the two interests are often going to be at odds, whose "US interests" are those? How did GS' interests align with those of the citizens of Greece?

    And yes, the ISDS provisions are one key sticking point, imposing new property rights of foreign investors that supersede local business, environmental or labor standards. The TPP is more of a sovereignty transfer deal than a trade deal. Here are a few short articles that flesh out its downfalls:

    Beware of TPP’s ISDS Provision
    http://rooseveltinstitute.org/beware-tpps-investor-state-dispute-settlement-provision/

    TPP would let foreign investors bypass the Canadian public interest
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-commentary/tpp-would-let-foreign-investors-bypass-the-canadian-public-interest/article27463985/

    TPP's clauses that let Australia be sued are weapons of legal destruction, says lawyer
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/nov/10/tpps-clauses-that-let-australia-be-sued-are-weapons-of-legal-destruction-says-lawyer

    Why Canada must reject the Trans Pacific Partnership
    https://www.greenparty.ca/en/tpp-need-to-know/read-more

    Ten ways the TPP gives too much power to foreign investors
    http://rabble.ca/news/2015/09/ten-ways-tpp-gives-too-much-power-to-foreign-investors

  7. #57
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    It's his Aberdeenshire course built on an SSI (the subject of the documentary You've Been Trumped!) sand dune type coast that will be 'blighted' by turbines miles offshore. He's fucked a good stretch of land that is practically tourist free for a reason - it's about the worst place on the (lacking in mini-fjords/mountains that make tourists put up with hell) East coast for rain/see haar/miserable wind nine days out of ten.

    All for the sake of a course employing a few locals and no sign of the promised hotel that would have maybe half justified the business case. Both Salmond and earlier SLab First Minister McConnell behaved very shabbily for fuck all lucre or Jobs! in return for overturning planning laws etc.

    Fuck knows what Trump's plans are for Turnberry (can you asset strip a shabby genteel golf course?) but it's hilarious he can do fuck all about the Yuge offshore wind turbine installation near his Aberdeenshire course (lost in UK Supreme Court).

    EDIT: erm, seemed to have missed the third page completely there. As you were.

  8. #58

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    Scrapping TPP is indeed a plus mark for Trump. And TTIP is the biggest obstacle to enthusiasm for the EU.

    It is depressing and angering of course, but also pretty bewildering, how keen the negotiating countries/blocs are to surrender their legislative freedoms to multinational business in these utterly awful and malignant treaties. The only logical explanation is that the corrupt influence of the big business lobby is as deep and powerful as one could possibly imagine. It's also deeply frustrating that the issues aren't more widely understood and the subject of more campaigning by left of centre parties around the world. I mean, in the case of TPP, Trudeau ffs, isn't he supposed to be a good guy?

  9. #59

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    Australian trade Minister on radio this morning talking about them and the Asian nations going on with TTP. New deals with China likely.

    How on earth would that be good for America?

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  11. #61

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    Did you even read any of my links above Tubby?

    Evariste Euler Gauss wrote: Scrapping TPP is indeed a plus mark for Trump. And TTIP is the biggest obstacle to enthusiasm for the EU.

    It is depressing and angering of course, but also pretty bewildering, how keen the negotiating countries/blocs are to surrender their legislative freedoms to multinational business in these utterly awful and malignant treaties. The only logical explanation is that the corrupt influence of the big business lobby is as deep and powerful as one could possibly imagine. It's also deeply frustrating that the issues aren't more widely understood and the subject of more campaigning by left of centre parties around the world. I mean, in the case of TPP, Trudeau ffs, isn't he supposed to be a good guy?
    Trudeau, Brian Mulroney, Paul Martin, Jean Chretien among others owe their political careers to the Desmarais clan, architects of NAFTA and dedicated proponents of the TPP. Trudeau Jr is going to play the rock star, but he's not going to rock the boat.

  12. #62

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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free-trade_agreements_of_Canada

    Canada has a lot of trade deals, and has been pursuing them for a long time. Isn't it possible they genuinely think free trade is a good thing for Canada? You don't have to agree, but you don't have to suppose there's somebody's sinister tentacles behind it all either.

  13. #63
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    Instructive piece on Trump's course outside Aberdeen

    As many Americans are trying to figure out what kind of president they have just elected, the people of Balmedie, a small village outside the once oil-rich city of Aberdeen, say they have a pretty good idea. In the 10 years since Mr. Trump first visited, vowing to build “the world’s greatest golf course” on an environmentally protected site featuring 4,000-year-old sand dunes, they have seen him lash out at anyone standing in his way. They say they watched him win public support for his golf course with grand promises, then watched him break them one by one.

    A promised $1.25 billion investment has shrunk to what his opponents say is at most $50 million. Six thousand jobs have dwindled to 95. Two golf courses to one. An eight-story 450-room luxury hotel never materialized, nor did 950 time-share apartments. Instead, an existing manor house was converted into a 16-room boutique hotel. Trump International Golf Links, which opened in 2012, lost $1.36 million last year, according to public accounts.

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    Tubby Isaacs wrote: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free-trade_agreements_of_Canada

    Canada has a lot of trade deals, and has been pursuing them for a long time. Isn't it possible they genuinely think free trade is a good thing for Canada? You don't have to agree, but you don't have to suppose there's somebody's sinister tentacles behind it all either.
    Canada lives and dies by trade with other countries. We're 30 million people sitting on virtually the greatest cache of natural resources - both renewable and non - that the world has known. And we're next to the world's biggest consumer market. Of course we're going to want to export. And, based on ratios, for every job we lose inserting flap A into slot B, we should theoretically gain 9 more adding value to lumber, petroleum, minerals and food.

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    Wanting to trade freely is one thing. Wanting to give businesses the right to sue nation states for loss of profit caused by new laws or regulations, whether on workers' rights, envionmental protection or whatever, is something else altogether. That (in addition to free trade) is what TTIP, TPP etc. are aiming to do. The governments who are seeking to enter these treaties (which seems to be most governments in the western world) are stealing the sovereignty of their future citizens, screwing workers, screwing the environment. It's horrific. No doubt Trump is against the deals for mainly the wrong reasons, but let's appreciate the incidental benefit of his stance. .

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    I don't disagree. But it's the inevitable result of the refining of trade agreements. A first generation agreement might simply remove protectionist tariffs. A more refined agreement might address (with specific example) the [unequal] savings that result from logging on government land vs paying to log on private land. A further refinement might then get into union vs non, or environmental barriers vs non, or clean energy vs cheap coal. It's very complicated. But again, doesn't mean that something nefarious is going on. (Doesn't mean that it isn't, either.)

  17. #67

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    There was an interesting article in the Irish times about the effects of trump's policy on foreign jobs. It seems as though his plan is little more than lowering the corporation tax rate for the US, which is rather similar to the Amnesty they had for Profits held overseas under the GW Bush regime.

    The effects in ireland were twofold. the first was that a lot of money that was just sitting in bank accounts in ireland, went back to the US usually to be divided up among shareholders. It had no discernible effect on multinational employment in Ireland where job growth dipped slightly from very high, to quite high, before immediately reverting to very high again.

    In fact it had no discernible effect on American Jobs either, because this isn't about investment, It's about money. It's about laundering money held offshore for use within the American economy.

  18. #68
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    Some time around 2010 I went to a show by David McWilliams where he said there was $800bn sat in the IFSC waiting specifically waiting for this tax holiday. Undoubtedly it has grown since then.

  19. #69
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    The latest overall figure I've seen for US corporate profits held overseas is USD 2.4 trillion. A good chunk of that will be in Ireland.

    As Berbaslug notes, it would extremely naive to expect that any significant percentage of such cash that is repatriated will go to working people.

  20. #70

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    The governments would say they were trying to increase FDI at home and protect their firms investing abroad from discrimination.

    The main problem with ISDS seems to be that "appropriation" was defined too loosely before and you could get away with describing stuff as indirect appropriation that wasn't.. The Economist, not a great fan of earlier agreements, says appropriation is being more tightly now. But it's certainly something to be watched very closely. Not that TTIP is likely to happen anyway.

    The other TPP countries could now do a deal with Indonesia and China- Australia has said it'll invite them to talks already. However you define American interests, yielding the space to the Chinese Communist Party doesn't make much sense to me.

  21. #71

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    Actually, I reckon there could be a Trump U turn. He doesn't give a shit about ISDS or anything else to do with TPP. He'll get up one day and decide he can get his public worked up about China instead.

    In other news, James "Dragon" Caan likes what he's seen of Trump since the election. Oh, he doesn't like what he said in the campaign and all that, but hey. He's assembling the Team of All the Talents or something.

  22. #72

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    I thought you were talking about the Rollerball star, is he still around?

    Actually Trump is opposed to the TPP and its clauses on sovereignty grounds, the idea that an international organism could rule over trade issues is an anathema to most American conservatives.

    The US would be in the driver's seat negotiating bilateral trade deals with China, given the ongoing trade imbalance:


  23. #73
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    Actually Trump is opposed to the TPP and its clauses on sovereignty grounds, the idea that an international organism could rule over trade issues is an anathema to most American conservatives.

    Isn't more likely he opposes them because international trade agreements make it harder for him benefit personally?

  24. #74

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    Do you really believe Trump cares about sovereignty, Linus? I don't know. I heard him making far more of NAFTA costing American jobs than the ISDS. That seemed like a fairly fringe Pat Buchanan type issue on the Right, but I guess it's changed.

    If a deal were done with China now, then the US looks in a strong position, but they can't make China do one now, and there isn't any deal. The balance might look much more even in the future between the two countries- it's not so much the trade deficit/surplus that matters as the size of each economy and how much of them are exports to the other. With TPP though, the US would be part of a bigger group that could set terms v China.

    Australia and the others are distrustful of China, so they might be playing games inviting them in for talks. But it might put some pressure on Trump. There will be Republicans in Congress who might get stuck in.

  25. #75
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    "Sovereignty" goes down big with his base of mouth-breathing xenophobes who believe the UN is trying to install a global communist government or whatever.

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