Peter Navarro: If Pelosi Could Pause the Impeachment, Congress Could Pass the USMCA…


White House trade and manufacturing policy advisor Peter Navarro appears on Fox News to discuss two key economic and trade issues: (1) the current status of U.S-China trade discussions “round one”; and (2) the status of USMCA ratification (Pelosi’s delay).

Nothing in the China trade discussion is solid, until everything in the China trade discussion is settled; this is one of the key aspects to President Trump’s directive to USTR Robert Lighthizer.  No deal is a more favorable outcome than the construct of a trade deal that cannot be enforced.

On the USMCA ratification, again it all falls upon the politics of Pelosi.  The agreement would pass tomorrow if it were put up to a vote; there is no controversy.  Speaker Pelosi is holding back the ratification vote for pure political purposes.

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USMCA ratification is the first domino in long-chain of ‘America First’ economic benefits. As soon as USMCA passes a wave of North American investment will surge. The downstream consequences includes leverage for U.S-China, U.S-Europe, U.S-India and U.S-U.K trade agreements.

President Trump Delivers Remarks on Healthcare Price Transparency Initiative – Video and Transcript


Earlier today President Trump gave remarks and held a brief White House presser on the topic of healthcare pricing transparency. [Video and Transcript Below]

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[Transcript] – THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, everybody. It’s a great honor. The stock market is up big today. It set a new record. I think it’s the 22nd time this year, and it’s over 100 times for the time that we’re in office. We’ve set over 100. I think it’s substantially more than 100. We’ll get the exact number because I know you wouldn’t want me to have that wrong. They don’t like that.

But we’re up over 100 times for the stock market. And that means jobs. That means companies are moving back into the United States that left. We have many, many companies coming back.

The employment numbers are at a record. The — or very close. And we just got a new number on African American employment. It’s the best it’s ever been. You could say employment or unemployment — they’re the best numbers they’ve ever been.

So we’re very proud of what’s happened with our economy. A few months ago, you were predicting a recession. Perhaps someday there will be a recession, but we have a long way to go. The consumer has never been stronger, and we’re going to make the consumer even stronger yet, with transparency, because they’re going to get much better pricing at hospitals. So I think we can probably add this to the number.

You saw median household income — for President Bush, eight years — was $450. For President Obama, for eight years — eight years, think of that — was $975. For President Trump — a little over two and a half years — when they did the final number, it was $5,000. And they add to that $2,000, thanks to Kevin and everybody. Thank you, Kevin. You’re behind me someplace, right? Add $2,000 or $2,500, Kevin. What would you say?

REPRESENTATIVE BRADY: Yeah. Right about there, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Right there? So let’s add $2,000, and then add $3,000 for regulation, and add something for the energy savings. So you have $10,000. So it’s $400 and $975 — that’s for eight and eight. And then, for two and half years, it’s $10,000. That’s not bad. But the consumer is very powerful, and this is going to make them more powerful.

So, welcome, everyone. This afternoon, we celebrate something that I’m very proud of: another major victory in our mission to deliver great healthcare at a price that you can afford. This will have a tremendous impact on prices.

A certain gentleman, who is in the room — who will say a couple of words — actually said this is more important than healthcare. And when he said that, my ears really perked up, and I listened. And they were right, and they gave me plenty of examples. And that person recently got the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His name is Art Laffer, and he’s a very talented guy.

Where is Art? Is he here? Yes?

DR. LAFFER: I’m sort of short today. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Hello, Art. I didn’t see you. I didn’t see you back there. All right, stand up here. A great gentleman. And you brought a man here who’s the king of that world. And — hello. How are you? That’s the guy. And you made that statement to me: “More important than healthcare.” That was a big statement. As soon as I heard that, I said, “That sounds good to me.” It’s transparency.

So I signed, as you know, an executive order — historic. And we’re requiring price transparency in healthcare, forcing companies to compete for your business. It’s a very important thing that we’ve done here. I don’t think it’ll be covered by you, but it will be in the years to come.

Our goal was to give patients the knowledge they need about the real price of healthcare services. They’ll be able to check them, compare them, go to different locations, so they can shop for the highest-quality care at the lowest cost. And this is about high-quality care. You’re also looking at that. You’re looking at comparisons between talents, which is very important. And then, you’re also looking at cost. And, in some cases, you get the best doctor for the lowest cost. That’s a — that’s a good thing.

Today, I’m proud to announce two new actions implementing that order. First, we are finalizing a rule that will compel hospitals to publish prices publicly online for everyone to see and to compare. So you’re able to go online and compare all of the hospitals and the doctors and the prices, and, I assume, get résumés on doctors and see who you like.

And the good doctors — like, I assume these two guys are fantastic doctors, otherwise you wouldn’t be here. (Laughter.) And the bad doctors, I guess they have to go and hide someplace. I don’t know. Maybe they don’t do so well. I don’t know. But if they’re not good, we — we are more interested in the good ones. It’s called “rewarding talent.”

Second, we’re putting forward a proposed rule to require health insurance providers to disclose their pricing information to consumers. We’re giving American families control of their healthcare decisions. And the freedom to choose that care is right before them on the Internet and elsewhere, but on the Internet. Very, very open. Very transparent. That’s why it’s called transparency.

And this has been done on a small basis, on individual hospitals. In fact, Art, you were telling me about that, with your hospital, that you’re on the board of a hospital that did this.

I’d like you to actually — before I go further, I’d like you talk about that just for a second. Art Laffer. Art, just mention that, if you could.

DR. LAFFER: Yeah. You’ve got to lower it really far. (Laughter.) Sorry about that.

Let me, if I can, just say I was the chairman of the board of Centennial Hospital. We had some problems. But when you look at this, this is the biggest revolution I’ve seen in generations. I mean — and as opposed to most revolutions, this revolution saves lives; it doesn’t cost lives.

And, in this revolution, it saves money. You don’t have to spend money. And what you’ve seen here before is that we have no transparency whatsoever in medical. It’s like the hermit kingdom of industries. You don’t know what the price is. You don’t know what the outcome is. And you don’t know what the inputs are.

What this does is this pulls away the veil and allows people to see exactly what they can and what they do. And if I can say, I think this will lead to a phenomenal change in the U.S. outcome of employment output production. It’s just one of the industries that desperately needs this.

I’ll stop about here, but the last one I can remember being involved with was with Lady Thatcher when she privatized coal, steel, and the railroads. I mean, the changes there with Sir Keith Joseph. And this outdoes all of those revolutions, sir. It’s the most amazing of all time.

And it takes real leadership to do it and real practitioners to be able to get it through. And Secretary Azar is a great practitioner, and my buddy Larry Ku- — Larry Van Horn is also a great practitioner — as well as Larry Kudlow, by the way. (Laughter.) Thank you, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: And I’d like to have Larry maybe say a few words and explain what this is that we’re being — for the public.

DR. VAN HORN: Sure, Mr. President. This is a momentous day. Americans, year over year, have been faced with higher and higher healthcare costs, facing higher and higher obligation to pay for those out of their own wallets without information around the price and the quality associated with that.

The charges that have been put out are fictitious. Nobody pays the charges. This effort is to make real prices transparent. The net allowed amounts that drive the decision-making for patients every day will now be in their hands. They can make better trade-offs and have, hopefully, more money in their wallets and their paychecks to pay for all of the goods and services they need to live their lives.

So this is a very momentous day. And I appreciate the efforts of the administration all the way through in terms of being able to follow through and execute this.

THE PRESIDENT: And it we did max, right? We didn’t do a smaller version?

MR. VAN HORN: We did it max.

SECRETARY AZAR: A-plus.

MR. VAN HORN: It’s A-plus.

THE PRESIDENT: I kept saying —

MR. VAN HORN: A-plus. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: There are versions of this. I said, “No, I don’t want the C or the D. I want the A-plus.” And we did it the A-plus, so I’m very happy with that. And I think you’re going to see things. It’s kicking in immediately. It’ll kick in as of today, but it’s going to really start going during the course of the year, the following year — this year coming. And you’ll see some results that are going to be actually incredible in terms of costs coming down and, I think, in terms of the quality of the care because you’re picking people that you’d want to be with.

This afternoon, we’re grateful to be joined by Secretary Steve Mnuchin — wherever you may be, Steve. Where is Steve?

SECRETARY MNUCHIN: Right here.

THE PRESIDENT: Hi, Steve.

Secretary Gene Scalia. And I hear you’re really doing a job over there. Huh?

SECRETARY SCALIA: We’re doing our best.

THE PRESIDENT: Labor is doing okay. Your numbers are certainly doing very good. It’s a good time to be Department of Labor. Right? This is a —

SECRETARY SCALIA: A great story to tell.

THE PRESIDENT: Right. Thank you very much. Good.

Secretary Alex Azar. Thank you, Alex. Thank you. Thank you, Alex.

And Administrator Seema Verma. Thank you very much, Seema. Where’s Seema? This is an unusual group today. They’re spread all over the place.

I also want to welcome Representatives Kevin Brady, Michael Burgess, and Greg Walden. They’ve been so fantastic on getting us to a really good position with the taxes.

We’re going to be doing a major middle-income tax cut if we take back the House. And we’ll talking about that sometime later. But we’re going to be doing a very major middle-income tax cut, mostly devoted to middle income who have really been big beneficiaries of the tax cut we did, which was the largest in the history of our country. But we’re doing a major tax cut for the middle income, and that’ll be subject, obviously, to take — taking over the House, because Democrats like tax increases, not tax cuts.

I also want to thank our state leaders. We have a lot state leaders here today at the highest level, and I want to thank them for being here. And a special thanks again to highly respected economists, Dr. Art Laffer and Dr. Larry Van Horn.

And, really, it was those two people that came to my office. We were talking about Art, and we were all congratulating him because he did an incredible job over a lot of years with Ronald Reagan and beyond. And when I said, “The Presidential Medal of Freedom,” which is the highest civilian award you can get, he told me this little story about a certain hospital he was involved with where they did this. And every hospital has had just incredible experience with it. And I said, “Tell me more.” And then we got involved with Larry and Larry Kudlow also, by the way. And we had a little group of four people that talked about it a lot. And I think it’s going to have a tremendous impact.

And again, the statement was made: “This is bigger than healthcare.” And I think it will be. I think it’ll be more meaningful, in many ways. You’ll save so much money and you’ll get the care that you want, and you’ll choose the doctor you want, which was not possible despite the many pleas. You know, “You can have your plan and you can have your doctor.” Well, they turned out to be untrue statements about Obamacare.

For decades, hospitals, insurance companies, lobbyists, and special interests have hidden prices from consumers so they could drive up costs for you. And you had no idea what was happening. You’d get bills that were unbelievable and you have no idea why.

For example, researchers found that for the same MRI at the same hospital, patients were charged anywhere from $248 to $2,500. So, 10 times more, at the same hospital. I assume that would be different doctors within the same hospital. I don’t know if the hospitals are going to like me too much anymore with this, but that’s okay, right? That’s okay. I think the doctors are going to, actually.

In the Boston area, the price of delivering a baby can cost anywhere from roughly $4,700 to nearly $16,000. One survey found that within a single metro area, the highest negotiated price for a simple blood test was roughly 40 times more than the lowest price. They were given exactly the same service — in some cases, sent them to the same labs — and were charged 40 times more money.

Under the new price transparency rule we are finalizing today — and it will be all finalized — it is finalized; it’ll be put out today — all of that will change. Hospitals will soon be required to publish the price of everything from individual medical supplies to the total cost of common procedures.

Next, we will bring much-needed price transparency to insurance companies. I’m sure they’ll be thrilled. This will allow you to see your out-of-pocket costs and other vital price information before you go in for treatment. So you’re going to know what it’s going to be and you’re going to be able to have lots of choices, both in terms of doctors, hospitals, and price. And we’re stopping American patients from just getting, pure and simple — two words, very simple words: ripped off. Because they’ve been ripped off for years. For a lot of years.

With us today is Melissa Ural who works for a company that benefits from price transparency. And, Melissa, could you come up and say a few words?

MS. URAL: Thank you, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: Great. Thank you, Melissa. Thank you very much.

MS. URAL: Thank you, Mr. President. My name is Melissa Ural, and I am the vice president of human resources for HB Global. We are an employee-owned mechanical contracting company.

Transparent pricing initiative aligns with our ownership model because it allows employees to get the care that they need at the cost that they want.

Currently, we are partnering with a broker to work and negotiate prices for surgeries and other procedures at local surgical centers. This allows our employees to know what the procedure or what the cost will look like when they walk through the door.

This also allows our employees to get great care at a fraction of the cost, with the same quality and standard of care that they would have gotten, and they won’t receive any surprise bills.

Right now, we have some price transparency behind the scenes, but with full price transparency up front, our employees can make the best decisions possible.

We wouldn’t expect our employees to go buy a car or a house without knowing the price up front. Why should their healthcare be any different?

I want to thank the President for bringing this important initiative to the front. Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, Melissa. (Applause.)

MS. URAL: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Good job, Melissa.

We’re also joined by Kara Boeckel, who works for the same company and benefitted when her employer shopped for the best price on a surgery — a surgery that she needed. And I’d like to have Kara come up and please tell us about it. Kara? Please.

MS. BOECKEL: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.

MS. BOECKEL: My name is Kara Boeckel and I work for HB Global, along with Melissa. And in January of this year, I had surgery on my ankle. I’m the sole provider of my two-year-old son, so this impact was huge for his and my day-to-day life.

When I initially went to an orthopedic urgent care, I had no idea what I was going to pay, no idea what the costs were going to be. I just know that I needed to get help. I ended up with a bill for over $1,000. This was an unexpected expense that my family now had to endure, and it had a huge impact on us.

I would — it was a huge stresser to know that I needed surgery and not know what the cost was going to be and how it was going to impact my life.

Thankfully, my company was able to work with a brokerage firm and shop around to know what prices were going to be beforehand. With insurance, the claim my company would have paid was $19,500, and we wouldn’t have known that cost until afterwards. By shopping around beforehand, we knew the claim was going to be $7,800, which is a 60 percent price difference. And it was at zero cost to me. I was even able to get the care out of the same facility that I was going to go to if I would have used my insurance.

I want to thank the President for making healthcare more transparent so that others in my situation don’t have to have these unexpected financial surprises and hardships.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.

MS. BOECKEL: Thank you. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, Kara. Also with us is Dr. Rick Schultz, Chief Medical Officer at Texas Free Market Surgery. Doctor, I’d like to have you come up and say a few words about what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. Thank you, Dr. Rick.

DR. SCHULTZ: Thank you. Well, thank you very much for having us here today. This is a very exciting day. I’d like to take a minute to talk about stewardship.

First, I’d like to thank Jesus for allowing me the opportunity and charging me with being a good steward of the opportunity and the abilities to practice orthopedic surgery in Texas for the last 20 years.

I’d also like to thank the President for his leadership and stewardship in this effort and the fact that, since he’s been elected, he trusts Americans to be courageous and make smart decisions with their own money and their own healthcare. And he knows that we’re smart enough to make good decisions now.

This policy — this transparency will be the fuel for healthcare innovation very similar to what we’re doing with Texas Free Market Surgery and Texas Medical Management. Right now, every day, we take good care of patients at a very fair price, and it’s completely transparent. This is not something in the future; this is something we’re doing today. If you don’t believe me, just check out our website.

Finally, I’d really like to challenge the Americans that this is a right that you’re getting back, to know the price of your healthcare. This is going to be a fight. This is very disruptive. The people who are currently making a lot of money off of us are going to fight this tooth and nail. If you aren’t ready to fight for this, then don’t complain when it gets taken away from you.

Mr. President, thank you for stepping into the gap, taking the slings and arrows, and helping to get this going.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Thank you.

DR. SCHULTZ: Thank you. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. I think, if I could, I’d like to have Kevin Brady come up just for a second and talk about what we’ve done with the individual mandate and how that’s just a part of our — a small part, but it’s a very big part in terms of healthcare; what we did with respect to our tax cuts and our reforms. And you might want to discuss the individual mandate. Getting rid of it was such a big deal. Thank you.

REPRESENTATIVE BRADY: So thank you — thank you, Mr. President. So, first, thank you for being the President who led on letting people keep more of what they earn so they can afford healthcare costs, utility costs, college costs, all of which has seemed to go up.

Secondly, thank you for — when we saw the failings of the Affordable Care Act, especially forcing average Texans, average Americans, into buying healthcare they couldn’t use and couldn’t afford, you stepped forward with Congress to eliminate, effectively, that mandate. So — which was another tax cut on the American people.

You’ve also created association health plans. Because if you’re in a small business — if you work for a small business or have one, you’ve been left behind under the Affordable Care Act. Your plans that allow our small businesses to join together to afford healthcare the way the big companies do — they’re cutting prices 30 and 40 percent, making healthcare affordable again. Hugely helpful.

And then, today, as Art Laffer has pointed out — and you too, Mr. President — look, patients are confused. Families don’t know what things cost. You can’t shop around and don’t understand the price. This, pulling back the curtain on healthcare prices, will help competition occur; give us, as families and patients, choices ahead of time; and will ultimately lower the healthcare costs.

And I’ll close with this: It’s easy to have quality care or affordable care. The goal is to have both. Making these prices transparent allow our families and our businesses to have quality care and affordable at the same time. This really is transformational. Thank you, Mr. President. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. It all, sort of, fits in. It’s like a puzzle. And I see my friend, Greg. I can’t believe you’re going to be leaving Congress one of these days. I was so disappointed to see that, but you’re fantastic. And we all work together with everybody — all of us.

Come on up here, the two of you. I’d like you to discuss Right to Try a little bit. And, I mean, you think about — it’s really a very important part of healthcare.

REPRESENTATIVE WALDEN: It is.

THE PRESIDENT: The ultimate part of healthcare. And for 45 years, they’ve been trying to get it passed and they couldn’t do it. And Greg Walden, the three of us plus a lot, we’ve got it done.

REPRESENTATIVE WALDEN: Hear, hear.

THE PRESIDENT: Congressman, thank you very much.

REPRESENTATIVE WALDEN: Hear, hear. Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Go ahead. Please.

REPRESENTATIVE WALDEN: Well, thank you, Mr. President. We’ve never had a President lean further, farther forward on behalf of patients than President Donald Trump. (Applause.) And we finally got into law — we finally got into law Right to Try. Now you’re going to get in place “Right to Know.” (Laughter.) We should have the right to know what these things cost.

This is — I was here with you when you talked about surprise medical billing. And we are very close to legislating on that, Mr. President. And that is a huge win for consumers. This is a huge win for consumers. You’re doing the right thing. And Dr. Mike Burgess, who was my Chairman of the Subcommittee on Health Care, now the top Republican on healthcare, has really been a leader in this effort as well, Mr. President.

And your team, working with the Secretaries and Seema and others, have been at the forefront of this. And Americans are benefitting. And the one thing I hear about is what Kevin Brady talked about: We want affordable care, we want innovation, but we have to be able to afford it. And you can’t know what things cost if they won’t tell you. And it’s all hidden back behind the curtain.

So, Mr. President, thanks for your leadership and your team’s leadership.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Michael, say a few words, please.

REPRESENTATIVE BURGESS: Well, what I hear from constituents all the time — I practiced medicine for 25 years — they’re concerned with the cost and complexity of healthcare. This is a major step — major step — in delivering on that promise for patients.

Look, there’s another party in town that just wants to take away all your choices and give you one choice. This President is trying to expand your choices. That’s a better choice.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Michael. (Applause.)

REPRESENTATIVE BURGESS: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you very much.

So the actions that we’re announcing today are only the latest steps in our campaign to deliver great healthcare for American patients. Our efforts to reduce the price of prescription drugs — and I don’t know if you know that, but this is the first time, Secretary Azar, I think in 51 years, that prices have actually gone down —

SECRETARY AZAR: Yep.

THE PRESIDENT: — for prescription drugs. So, that’s quite an achievement.

And if we had the help of the Democrats, which we don’t — it’s a shame, because we could knock drug prices down so low. We will be giving states the right to go to other countries to buy their drugs, because other countries — because they don’t have these crazy, arcane rules that we could fix so quickly if we had the help of the Democrats. But they want the price of drugs to say high, I suppose.

But we brought it down the most in 51 years, and we’re very proud of that. But we can bring them down much more. And one of the things I’m doing is, as an example, Canada will pay much less for drugs because they don’t have to pay for research and development, so their pricing is much cheaper. So we’ll buy — I’m working with Ron DeSantis in Florida and some other governors — great governors. And they’re going to buy from other countries and skip all of the nonsense. And I think, ultimately, what that’s going to do is the drug companies will bring the price of their drugs down, or they’ll buy from other countries. That’s okay, too.

The same pill, made in the same factory, made by the same company, sells for 50, 60, and 70 percent less in one country than it does in another. And we’re always the high country. So, I’m going to be giving governors the right, very shortly, to buy — I’ve already given some the right — to buy their — their prescription drugs from other countries. And we avoid — we skirt a lot of — a lot — that probably sounds like a pretty good idea to you. What do you think, huh?

DR. LAFFER: We love it. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: You, as the great economist. So, anyway.

So, the actions that we’re announcing today are the latest steps. Our efforts to reduce the price of prescription drugs — we’re going to have some tremendous results. We could do it so simply if we had any kind of help from the Democrats. But they’re doing so many other things, namely one: wasting a lot of time. And very bad for our country, what they’re doing.

And they should approve USMCA. By the way, it’s the greatest trade deal ever made. (Applause.) And they should stop playing games. And, you know, Mexico signed it many months ago. Canada keeps calling me: “When is this deal going to happen? Is this deal going to happen?” And it’s sitting on Nancy Pelosi’s desk for about three months, four months. Nervous Nancy — she needs a little nervous energy to get it done because all she has to do is put it up. She’s got plenty of Democrat votes. A lot of Democrats are pushing her, but she doesn’t want to do it because she doesn’t want to have a victory for the American people. And that’s all it is. So either she does it or she doesn’t do it.

But Mexico wants to know what’s happening. Canada wants to know what’s happening. They could live without it. Because it’s a great deal for us. They could live without it. And they want to know what’s going on.

We eliminated the Obamacare individual mandate penalty, and we’re expanding affordable alternatives which cost up to 60 percent less than Obamacare plans. And it could be even quite a bit higher than that, in some cases. And we will always protect patients with preexisting conditions, and, as I’ve been saying lately, and also patients with preexisting physicians. (Laughter.) I thought that was good. I made it in one speech. I said, “You know, people like that.” But it’s true, because you didn’t have your doctor, you didn’t have your plan. And now you have the plan and you have the doctor. So, it’s pretty good.

In everything we do, my administration is fighting for the rights of American consumers, the wellbeing of American patients, and the health of American people. We’re taking on the bureaucrats in more ways than one. You probably notice that, right? We’re taking on a lot bureaucrats. We’re taking on the insurance companies, and we’re taking on the special interests.

And that’s one of the difficulties I have in Washington because I’ve taken on a lot of the establishment. And a lot of the politicians are taken care of by the establishment, and they don’t like that I take on the establishment. But I’m taking it on for the consumer, for the American people. And that’s why you see prices going down. And you haven’t seen anything yet. Things are going to happen that will be shocking. But there are people in Washington — as I say, there are people in the swamp that don’t like what I’m doing for that reason.

We will not rest until every American has access to the highest quality, most affordable healthcare anywhere in the world.

And, again, I want to thank you all. And I’d like to ask Secretary Azar to come up and say a few words. Thank you very much. Thank you. (Applause.)

SECRETARY AZAR: Well, thank you very much, Mr. President. And thank you for your leadership. You asked us, as you said earlier, to deliver “A-plus” transparency in healthcare. Well, right now, our system wouldn’t even get a passing grade on transparency. Patients are at the mercy of a shadowy system with no control over their care. But thanks to your leadership and your transparency executive order, we’re changing that.

The changes you described, what we’re doing at HHS, will be revolutionary to our healthcare system — perhaps the biggest single change that President Trump has made to Americans’ healthcare experience. More than 70 percent of the most common hospital services are shoppable. We’re delivering American patients the information they need to make the right choices for themselves.

That’s crucial to the kind of system that we’re building for American patients with affordable, personalized, patient-centric care that puts you in control and treats you like a human being and not like a number.

So thank you, Mr. President, for delivering American patients the affordability that you need, the options and control that you want, and the quality that you deserve.

A key leader in this work has been Administrator Verma, who will now say a few words. Seema. (Applause.)

ADMINISTRATOR VERMA: Thank you, Alex.

First of all, I want to thank the President because people have been talking about price transparency forever. We all know that what’s been going on in the healthcare system has been wrong. It’s not fair that patients don’t know the cost of the services that they’re going to get. But only one man has been willing to stand up to special interests and do what’s right for patients and put them back in control of their healthcare. So, thank you, President Trump.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.

ADMINISTRATOR VERMA: Really appreciate it.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much.

ADMINISTRATOR VERMA: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Thank you. (Applause.)

So, after many, many years, we finally have transparency. It’s going into effect today. It will have a tremendous impact. It will, sort of, go in sections and stages, but it all begins today. And within about 12 months, I think it’ll be fully implemented — and, we can even say, probably a shorter period of time than that. Some of it’s complex and some of it’s very easy. But it’s all very good. It’s — there’s never been anything like this.

So the word is “transparency,” and I love transparency in many ways. And this is going to be something that’s going to be — it’s going to be incredible for the consumer, for the patient. I think it’s going to be really good for the good doctors, maybe not so good for other doctors. I think it’s going to be really good for the great hospitals, frankly. And it’s very exciting.

And it’s something that again, Art, I want to thank you very much because you really did bring it to my attention and I appreciate it very much. Thank you very much.

Yeah, please.

Q Mr. President, what do you say to Democrats that say you were witness tampering this morning when you made that tweet (inaudible) Ambassador Yovanovitch?

THE PRESIDENT: You don’t want to talk about transparency?

Q Well, (inaudible).

THE PRESIDENT: You know, I’ll talk about transparency. I like transparency here. And I’m the most transparent President in history.

And I’ll tell you about what tampering is. Tampering is when a guy like Shifty Shift [sic] doesn’t let us have lawyers. Tampering is when Schiff doesn’t let us have witnesses, doesn’t let us speak. I’ve been watching today. For the first time, I started watching and it’s really sad when you see people not allowed to ask questions. It’s totally — nobody has ever had such horrible due process. There was no due process. And I think it’s —

Q Republicans have been asking questions all day.

THE PRESIDENT: — I think it’s considered a joke all over Washington and all over the world. The Republicans are given no due process whatsoever. We’re not allowed to do anything. It’s a disgrace what’s happening. But you know what? The American public understands it. And that’s why the poll numbers are so good. And that’s why other things are so good. What they’re doing in Washington with that hearing — and, by the way, it’s a political process. It’s not a legal process.

So if I have somebody saying, I’m allowed to speak up. If somebody says about me, we’re not allowed to have any kind of representation, we’re not allowed to have almost anything. And nobody has seen anything like it. In the history of our country there has never been a disgrace like what’s going on right now. So, you know what? I — I have the right to speak. I have freedom of speech, just as other people do. But they’ve taken away the Republicans’ rights.

And I watched today, as certain very talented people wanted to ask questions, and they weren’t even allowed to ask questions — Republicans. They weren’t allowed to ask questions. It’s a very sad thing.

Go ahead.

Q Why did you attack her?

Q Sir, with your freedom, were you trying to intimidate Ambassador Yovanovitch?

THE PRESIDENT: I just want to have a total — I want freedom of speech. That’s a political process. The Republicans have been treated very badly. And I watched a little bit of it today. I wasn’t able to yesterday because we had the President of Turkey here, and I wasn’t able to watch much. I watched some of it this morning. I thought it was a disgrace.

When we have great Republican representatives — people elected by the people — and they’re not allowed to even ask a question, they’re not allowed to make a statement; we’re not allowed to have witnesses; we’re not allowed to have legal counsel, White House Counsel — it’s a disgrace and it’s an embarrassment to our nation.

Q Do you believe your tweets and your words can be intimidating, sir?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes — go ahead, please.

Q Sir, do you believe your tweets and words —

THE PRESIDENT: Quiet. Quiet.

Q — can be intimidating, sir?

THE PRESIDENT: Quiet. Please.

Q Sir, do you believe your tweets and words can be intimidating?

THE PRESIDENT: I don’t think so at all.

Go ahead.

Q Mr. President, do you think you’re going to get impeached?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I shouldn’t be. In fact, I thought, last night, it ended. Because last night, I was in Louisiana, where we’re going to hopefully elect a great governor — a Republican governor. And I was getting off the plane, and they handed me a statement that was just made by the Foreign Minister and President of the Ukraine.

And Ukraine — they came out loud and clear that there was no linkage whatsoever, not even a little bit. And you saw it. You all saw it. I said, “Oh, well, that ends the impeachment.” And you people don’t even report it.

Look, the press is unbelievably dishonest. That was a major statement put out last night by the Foreign Minister of Ukraine and also by the President of Ukraine, and you don’t even report it. It’s a disgrace. Because it’s sad. There was absolutely no linkage. We had a perfect conversation.

And I also, because of transparency — whether it’s medical transparency or just transparency, generally — I also put out, today, a statement. And in the statement, we released — and then Congressman Nunes read — a call that I had with the President of Ukraine. And it was a great call. It was a very nice call. Everybody said it was perfect. I always say it was equally as good as the other call.

And I put it out today, and nobody even wants to report it. Because it was so good, they don’t want to report it.

Look, if we had an honest press in this country, we would be so well served. And you know what? When I look at your approval numbers, they’re the worst they’ve ever been in the history of our country. The media, the approval numbers — they are horrible. And you ought to get yourself back and you ought to put yourself back in a position where people respect the media again.

And I know some great journalists, I know some great people in the media, but there aren’t enough of them. There’s a lot of dishonesty. And many of you, I just consider members of the Democrats, and it’s a shame.

Okay. Thank you all very much. Thank you. (Applause.)

END 2:47 P.M. EST

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Secretary Wilbur Ross Discusses Status of China Deal, 5G Tech and USMCA Ratification…


Earlier today Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross appeared for an interview with Maria Bartiromo on the status of phase-one for the U.S-China trade deal, Huawei and ZTE national security concerns, and Speaker Pelosi blocking ratification of the USMCA agreement.

Secretary Ross cautions the Chinese deal is contingent on some very particular and important enforcement details. Additionally Ross discusses the potential national security issues with 5G network and AG Bill Barr having strong concerns about Huawei and ZTE.

President Trump MAGA-KAG Rally, Bossier City Louisiana – 8:00pm ET Livestream…


Tonight President Trump heads to Bossier City, LA for a MAGA-Keep America Great Rally at the CenturyLink Center.  Anticipated start time for President Trump is 8:00pm ET.

RSBN Livestream Link – Fox Livestream – Global News Livestream

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Main Street Deplorables Driving Strong U.S. Sales for WalMart – Inflation Remains Low (1.8%)…


A very strong jobs market, and wage growth for the middle-class at the highest rate in decades, continues to benefit Main Street USA.  As noted within the sales and earnings report from Walmart today, the U.S. middle-class continues to thrive in a MAGA-driven U.S. economy.

(Reuters) […] Consumer spending going in to the crucial holiday season remains healthy, Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs told Reuters in an interview on Thursday. Retailers earn a sizeable chunk of their annual revenue during November and December.

“The consumer remains in pretty good shape, employment situation is good, fuel prices are low … wage growth is pretty good,” he said. (more)

It is easy to forget how two-years-ago the doomsayers and financial pundits were claiming President Trump’s tariff policies were going to create massive price increases.  They were completely wrong in their predictions.  The latest U.S. inflation reports show low inflation at 1.8 percent year-over-year.

Average wage growth is in the 3.5 percent range across all workers; however, the wage growth at the lower end of the scale is a stunning 9 percent for non-supervisory employees.  This is a direct outcome of internal U.S. economic growth that benefits Main Street.

Wage growth is created by job market pressure for workers.  The middle-class is gaining wealth, consumers feel secure in making purchases and spending on goods and services is strong.  The consequence of a strong middle class is increased demand for goods and services; that creates increased job demand and upward wage pressure amid lower-skilled industries and sectors.  All boats rise with an increasing economic tide.

The strongest financial benefits are centered around those companies invested heavily inside the domestic U.S. economy.  Main Street U.S.A. companies like Walmart are seeing strong sales.  There is no reason to think this trend will not continue.  In fact, MAGAnomic policies are specifically designed to create positive America-First outcomes.

Meanwhile:

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43 people are talking about this
Main Street consumer spending was up $64 billion on goods and $36 billion on services in the 3rd quarter. As those who follow MAGAnomics closely will remember, the Main Street economy is founded upon middle-class spending. Strong jobs, wage growth, low taxes, low inflation, and low energy costs, means more disposable income. Disposable income grew 4.5% in the third quarter.

The U.S. economy is strong because approximately 70% to 80% of everything produced inside our economy is consumed inside our economy. As long as the underlying jobs market stays strong, consumer spending leads to self-fulfilling economic expansion. Main Street is doing very well.

For 30+ years Wall Street has been investing overseas for production of goods; and with that process U.S. jobs were lost. President Trump has positioned the best return on production investment as the U.S. Tariffs on China and the EU bolster that approach.

The key to reignite domestic investment is to pass the USMCA trade agreement which will provide certainty and allow corporate CFO’s to calculate Total Cost of Production (TCP). Once TCP can be calculated within the 5-year and 10-year rolling business plans, manufacturers will be able to determine specifics of U.S. investment; and/or retraction from Asian investment.

Unfortunately, Nancy Pelosi knows USMCA ratification is the key corporate investors are looking for. As a result, and with the intent to keep the Trump economy as favorable as possible for her 2020 ambitions, Pelosi has been stalling the passage of USMCA.

China and the EU continue to struggle as the U.S. economy remains strong. China and the EU devaluing their currency is driving up the value of the dollar, and dropping the import cost of goods. As a result, despite the tariffs, the U.S. continues to import deflation (lower prices of imports). Domestic production is healthy and inventories are turning.

 

President Trump and President Erdogan Deliver Remarks Prior to Bilateral Discussions – Video and Transcript…


Earlier today President Trump and First Lady Melania welcomed President Recep Erdogan from Turkey and his wife to the White House.  Prior to bilateral discussions the leaders held a joint availability in the oval office. [Video and Transcript below]

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[Transcript] – PRESIDENT TRUMP: Okay. Thank you very much. It’s a great honor to be with President Erdoğan and Mrs. Erdoğan. Thank you very much. We very much appreciate you being here. First Lady, thank you very much. And I know you’re going to go out to lunch after this. Great honor to have you.

The border is holding very well. The ceasefire is holding very well. We’ve been speaking to the Kurds, and they seem to be very satisfied.

As you know, we’ve pulled back our troops quite a while ago, because I think it’s time for us not to be worried about other people’s borders. I want to worry about our borders. We’ve got plenty of borders to worry about.

I want to thank the President for the job they’ve done. Again, this has been thousands of years in the process, between borders, between these countries and other countries that we’re involved with, 7,000 miles away. So, we want to worry about our things.

We’re keeping the oil. We have the oil. The oil is secure. We left troops behind, only for the oil.

And I have to just finish by saying that the President and I have been — we’ve been very good friends. We’ve been friends for a long time, almost from day one. And we understand each other’s country. We understand where we’re coming from. I understand the problems that they’ve had, including many people from Turkey being killed in the area that we’re talking about. And he has to do something about that, also. It’s not a one-way street.

So, I just want to say it’s a great honor to have you both and thank you very much. Thank you.

PRESIDENT ERDOĞAN: Thank you.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: You, go ahead, please. Would you like to say something?

PRESIDENT ERDOĞAN: Thank you. (As interpreted.) Well, Mr. President, thank you. In a few moments, we shall be having a larger-scale press meeting, that’s why I don’t feel the need to come up with longer statements here.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Okay.

PRESIDENT ERDOĞAN: Thank you.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Okay, well, that was good. That’s good. It’s true. A lot of truth to that.

I will say, we’re also talking about a trade deal. We do, proportionately, very little trade with Turkey. They make great product. We make the greatest product in the world. And, frankly, we’re going to be expanding our trade relationship very significantly. We think we could be doing $100 billion with Turkey. And right now we’re doing about $20 billion. But we think that number should be easily $100 billion, which would be great for Turkey and good for us.

So, we’re going to be expanding. We have our people from Commerce here. That’s one of the meetings we’ll be having. And having that big relationship, I think, is a very good one. So, we think we can bring trade up very quickly to about $100 billion between our countries. Okay?

Q What do you do, Mr. President, about the S-400s, in terms of getting that trade deal?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We’ll be talking about it, John. We’ll talking about the S-400. We’ll be talking about that and we’ll be talking about the F-35 fighter jet, too.

Q Are you satisfied with the ISIS fighters that Turkey is keeping an eye on? Are you happy so far with the progress?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Turkey is watching the ISIS fighters. When I became President, ISIS was all over the place. I had no idea to the extent. In fact, it was shown to me about a month ago. We came in. It was a mess. And we took over 100 percent of the caliphate.

And, last week, as you know, we killed its leader and its founder. And we’re very proud of that fact. And we’ve also knocked out number two. And we have our eye out on number three, who was supposed to become number one, but he’s running right now. He’s running for his life, but we have our sights right on him.

So, we are — we’re doing very well. ISIS is very much — very much a factor that’s different than it was when I took over. When I took over, thousands and thousands of ISIS fighters were all over. Now they’re mostly imprisoned.

I will say, the Kurds are watching over them and Turkey is also watching over them. And Turkey recently has captured over 100 ISIS fighters and they are taking care of them.

Q Is there any way, Mr. President, that Turkey can possess both S-400s and F-35s? Or are those things mutually exclusive?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, John, we’re going to be talking about that. So, we’ll — we’ll talk about it. We may report to you later on about that because we’re having a second meeting in a little while.

So, we’ll see you in a little while. We’re going to be having press conference of sorts in a little while. It’s an honor to have the President and Mrs. Erdoğan with us, and they’re highly respected in their country and in the region. And we’ll see what we can do. But the relationship that we’ve had is good.

And, you know, I’ve heard all the pundits — three, four, five weeks ago. They were against what I’ve — what I did. Now, all of a sudden, they’re saying, “Wow. That’s really working well. Why are we guarding other country’s borders? We want to take care of our country.” And they’re saying it really is surprising what’s happened. Plus, we have our troops out of there, and we’ll be bringing a lot of them back home. But again, we’re keeping the oil.

Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you.

Q Mr. President, have you watched the impeachment — have you watched any of the impeachment hearing?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you. No, I didn’t.

Q You didn’t watch any of it at all?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I didn’t — I did not watch it.

Q Have you been briefed on what’s —

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I’m too busy to watch it. It’s a witch hunt. It’s a hoax. I’m too busy to watch it. So, I’m sure I’ll get a report.

Q Have you been briefed?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: There’s nothing — there’s nothing — I have not been briefed, no. There’s nothing there. I see they’re using lawyers that are television lawyers. They took some guys off television, you know. I’m not surprised to see it because Schiff can’t do his own questions.

Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you.

Q Mr. President, have you decided to postpone auto tariffs? Are you postponing the decision on auto tariffs?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I’ll make a decision fairly soon. I was full briefed and I’ll make a decision fairly soon.

END 12:21 P.M. EST

President Trump Joint Press Conference With Turkish President Recep Erdogan – 3:10pm EDT Livestream…


President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Erdogan hold a joint press conference at the conclusion of bilateral discussions between the two leaders.  Anticipated start time 3:10pm EDT

[Update Video Added]

WH Livestream Link – Fox News Livestream Link – Global News Livestream Link

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When Justice Isn’t


by Tabitha Korol

A letter written by a local elementary school teacher, I’ll call “Mrs. Krieg,” was brought to my attention by a mutual acquaintance.  In light of the notice that honor classes will be discontinued, she thoughtfully agreed that equity (defined as fairness and impartiality) in the schools should benefit all students.  Regrettably, she has been influenced by terminology that has been devalued and redefined to become a tool for social engineering among students.  Such revisionism has been applied to Equity, Diversity and Social Justice, and comes at the expense of freedom and true justice.

Honors classes were designed to challenge students academically.  The advanced work, faster pace, and higher course-credit weight have provided for smarter, happier, well-rounded children who had the opportunity to flourish according to their capabilities and not misbehave out of boredom.  But now, the authorities have determined it best to cancel the honor courses across the country because of a “lack of diversity” – that is, more Caucasian and Asian students were engaged than Blacks, Latinos and Native Americans.  Instead of also providing honors classes that meet the interests of the low-energy students – perhaps music, theater, artisanal handicrafts – the Department of Education has decided to close the achievement gap by lowering the bar and expectations and discontinuing all incentives.  Mrs. Krieg did not foresee that by eliminating the incentives and opportunities, the resulting “equity” would be mediocrity and the loss of exceptional achievement.

Now the Department of Education will generate equity in boredom, discontent, resentment, truancy and delinquency.  Academia is not unaware of these inevitabilities.  Their purpose is not an improved education but the decline of achievement and the elimination of the exceptional. Former President Obama expressed a similar derogatory outlook when he denounced high-achieving Americans with, “You didn’t build that.”

Diversity in the schools no longer describes a richness of ideas, course studies, or specialty careers, but defines and categorizes the students themselves, by race, religion, ethnicity, financial status, sexual orientation, and however else the students choose to differentiate themselves.  As with the term “equity,” the meaning of “diversity” has been corrupted, as it now implies division, divisiveness, and discord, the opposite of E Pluribus Unum – Out of many, One.  These differences have led to a totalitarian-style monitoring and bullying – called Speech Control, necessitating “Diversity Officers” with doctoral degrees, credentials in counseling and inclusion techniques, and six-figure salaries reflected in higher tuition costs.  The officers’ mere presence confirms the growing disharmony, isolation, discrimination, harassment, and violence that characterize the socialist strategy.  These points are significant:

  • Many schools have implemented a policy of discouraging the bonding between classmates, beginning with Kindergarten, alleging that “best friends” keep the students from mingling with This is false and destructive.  Best friends are a mutual support system, as they learn to agree, compromise, comfort, accommodate, and be reliable, traits needed throughout their adult lives.
  • Schools now place students at their computers for hours, removing eye contact and discussion opportunities with others, disallowing autonomy over time scheduling, reducing writing and penmanship with its inherent creativity. Presidential hopeful Kamala Harris said she would increase daily school time by three hours, thereby seriously reducing home and family activities, personal growth, and individual achievement.
  • Academia has introduced “intersectionality” to diminish the self and encourage victimhood by race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, family class; the more the classifications, the higher their status.  Instead of a unitedness with school and pride of citizenship in their own country, they are now tribalistic, divisive, and intolerant.
  • Bigotry against Jewish students and staff (antisemitism) is on the rise and spreading.  History has shown that Jews are always the first, but never the only ones, to be attacked.  The hostility is growing to include whites (white supremacy), extending to our founding and history by the socialists and Sharia-compliant; and towards boys (toxic masculinity), diminishing their self-worth and ambitions, and damaging their  God-given purpose of contributing to our nation’s growth and defense.  Boys must become men: marry and support their families, be strong fathers and teach morality to the next generation.
  • The removal of God from the schools and population’s psyche has produced a plethora of new definitions that facilitate a ruling class, convince the public to tolerate lawlessness over sovereign borders, and to submit to the measured demands of sharia made by the Muslim Brotherhood and affiliates on campus and in the media.
  • The Common Core standards introduced new courses: intentionally convoluted math that prohibits parental participation; dystopian and uninspiring literature that offers limited creative vocabulary and replaces inspiration with fatalism; inaccurate and indoctrinating history lessons that misinform students about our growth and successes and secretes the truths about Islam; and social studies that support a political agenda.
  • With individuality stifled, the children are indoctrinated to think alike, falter alike, and expect equal return for widespread mediocrity.  This equity in communist countries has produced  stagnation in education, the economy and real income; slow improvement in everyday services and medical care; shortages of goods; rising criminality and corruption, along with an increase in alcoholism, particularly in Russia.  Socialism kills the spirit of personal endeavor.
  • The introduction of transgenderism is ruining the lives of many children, psychologically and physically, wrecking all opportunities for happiness in marriage and family, leading some to suicide.
  • The threat of climate change, perhaps the greatest hoax, is the extensive control over all life, which would bring a scarcity of energy, failing manufacturing firms and  retail operations, vilified consumerism, diminishing food supplies, curbed transportation for people and food distribution.  The environmentalists purposely falsify the data about climatic conditions in order to throttle human activity – which they hate – to produce their worshipped green planet.
  • In short, the goal of the left is to crush the human spirit.  Pride in accomplishment must be stifled, progress discouraged, and the dispirited population reminted into the globalists’ compliant working class.

Contrary to Mrs. Krieg’s understanding, the term “diversity” was invented to con the populace into accepting all incoming non-citizens.  Regardless of criminality, disease, or hatred for the American flag, they must be housed, fed, clothed, educated and medicated.  Multiculturalism is already the downfall of several European countries due to cultures that are too disparate for assimilation.  Muslims come to replace their hosts’ laws with their sharia and establish yet another oppressive totalitarian Islamic state.

Justice becomes injustice when the word needs a modifier.  “Social justice” means a revision of laws to accommodate a socialist agenda.  True justice is served only when the interests of Americans are considered, when Americans can, of their own volition and in their own time, partake of the promise of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”  The authoritarian government seeks total/totalitarian control over the masses to forcibly produce identical workers, taught and indoctrinated to comply with the needs of the regime.

The final outcome is not unknown to mankind.  We have seen countries fall to socialism, fascism, and Islam, and the vulnerable children are always the first to feel the effects of the increasing control.

Now is the time to act if we are to avoid Orwell’s dire warning: If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.

Tabitha Korol

https://tinyurl.com/y7e6z63d

 

Leverage – EU Pledges Increased U.S. Investment in Effort to Avoid U.S. Auto Tariffs…


Funny stuff amid headlines discussing the likelihood of President Trump postponing a 25% tariff on European autos.  What the pundits are missing is how President Trump has positioned a myriad of trade dynamics that make EU action unavoidable.   This is the fun stuff, so let’s enjoy the details.

The current headlines surround President Trump “postponing” a 25% tariff on EU automobiles as an outcome of the major EU manufacturers (mostly Germany) promising increased investment in their U.S. operations.  By itself this would be considered a win for President Trump, but that’s not the whole picture, not even close.

What the more broad trade and manufacturing dynamic includes will explain what EU economists are only just now starting to realize.  Yes, the major European auto-makers will put more investment into the United States (thereby lessening the EU industrial economy); however, the auto decision is not because they are presenting a magnanimous benefit of sorts, but rather it is a foregone conclusion; an unavoidable reality due to a previous trade agreement construct.

Within the USMCA agreement President Trump negotiated a win-win-win for Mexico, Canada and the U.S. through a requirement that 75 percent of North American auto content must originate from manufacturing within North America.  Failure to reach that threshold means the auto company will be subject to a 25 percent tariff to bring the product to the U.S. market.

Example: Seeking to exploit the previous NAFTA loophole BMW recently opened a $2 billion assembly plant in Mexico.  However, as soon as the USMCA was announced; and once they saw the loophole closure; BMW also had to announce they would open up a new engine and transmission manufacturing/production facility in the United States.

The USMCA deal meant BMW could not bring German transmissions and engines into Mexico for assembly.  The origination requirements changed the dynamic of their production plan; and as a consequence their investment plan.

Keep in mind the steel and aluminum tariffs already exist.  Most trade partners with the U.S. are operating under exemptions, waivers, provided by President Trump and his trade team.  Those waivers can be withdrawn at any time.

The only time the Steel and Aluminum tariffs are gone permanently, is when the nation signs into an official trade agreement with the United States. [Keep this nugget in mind]  All U.S. trade agreements also forbid the partner country from participating in transnational shipping of steel and aluminum.

Additionally, President Trump instructed USTR Lighthizer and Commerce Secretary Ross to use the leverage created within the USMCA (auto sector), in combination with the Steel and Aluminum tariffs, as pressure points -leverage- in all trade agreements with Korea, Japan, China and the EU.  [Auto sector 232 tariffs]

Does it work?

Well, two examples: (1) South Korea opened up the KORUS deal to renegotiation specifically to avoid those tariffs (think Hyundai and Kia).  The new KORUS deal positioned greater benefit to the US.  (2) Japan opened up their market to U.S. agriculture exports in large part to avoid those tariffs (think Nissan, Toyota, Mazda etc.); and that became the framework for the recently signed U.S-Japan trade agreement.

So yes, it works.

That same leverage principle is at play with the EU.  Germany must avoid U.S. auto tariffs at all costs.  Additionally, Germany and the EU industrial companies, writ large, want to keep their waivers from Steel and Aluminum tariffs. However, Germany cannot avoid the tariff structure within the USMCA. President Trump has the EU over a barrel.

As an outcome of the USMCA, Germany was already going to have to manufacture content in the U.S. in order to avoid auto tariffs.  Germany is not going to be able to bring German parts into the U.S. and assemble in U.S. made vehicles. They are going to have to produce more auto parts inside the U.S.   The issue is a matter of timing.

As soon as the USMCA is ratified, Germany is going to have to make their U.S. investment.  However, with the USMCA not yet ratified, President Trump has deployed the 25% auto tariff threat directly.  This forces the EU to make their already unavoidable auto investment in U.S. manufacturing faster than they would like.

So there’s some nuggets of truth within the New York Times article:

The president has not yet announced a decision, and there is no guarantee that dangling new investments will stop him from imposing levies. Mr. Trump has repeatedly criticized Europe for flooding the American market with cars while limiting imports of United States vehicles.

[…]  Some analysts say Mr. Trump and his advisers are more interested in the leverage the specter of auto tariffs creates than in actually imposing the levies. They have been willing to threaten tariffs to extract concessions in negotiations with Japan, South Korea and Europe.

Mr. Trump could decide to try to preserve his leverage by extending the deadline to make a decision. That would be frustrating for European officials, who say the trade war’s uncertainty has been dragging down economic growth. Germany, whose economy depends on car making, is on the brink of recession. (read more)

EU Begins Accepting Serious Consequences From U.S. Economic and Trade Position…


The major industrial economies of the European Union (U.K., France, Germany) have been the beneficiaries of a decades-long system which allowed one-sided benefits -via tariffs- against U.S. products.

With President Trump demanding reciprocity, and with less industrial purchasing from China, the EU is now starting to contemplate a dramatically different economic future.

(Reuters) – Persistent weakness in euro zone manufacturing raises the risk of other sectors of the economy being infected, extending the currency bloc’s recent downturn, European Central Bank policymaker Yves Mersch said on Monday.

“The longer the weakness in manufacturing persists, the greater the risk that other sectors of the economy will be affected by the slowdown as well,” Mersch told a conference.

“Risks to the growth outlook remain on the downside overall.” (read more)

I think it is safe to say the majority of American voters have no idea how deeply the global economy is dependent on systems of trade that are based on the U.S. trade deficits.

The $500+ billion annual trade deficit the U.S. was running with China was the primary vault Beijing used to purchase industrial goods from the EU.  With President Trump reversing the outflow of dollars into China, the EU economy has been hit hard.

Simultaneously, President Trump has begun the process of confronting EU tariffs against U.S. products that have existed since the 1948 Marshall Plan was enacted.  Under the Trump administration USTR Robert Lighthizer and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross have put the EU on notice that U.S. trade agreements will no longer accept the one-sided benefit; the current U.S. position is reciprocity without compromise.

Against both standards of diminished Asian purchases and diminished protectionism for their collective economy, the EU is entering into a phase of severe economic consequence.

The social spending within the EU is heavily reliant on their ability to capture U.S. wealth through exports (China) and trade tariffs against the U.S.   As the EU central bank is starting to realize, a diminished influx of money into their system will likely have significant consequences that extends far beyond the simple lost revenue from global industrial purchases.

Combine that financial reality with a significant loss in revenue from the U.K. via Brexit; and then overlay the generous social payments to the mass influx of migrants; and you can see a storm cloud appearing that seems unavoidable.

NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg is coming to the White House this week, and we can be sure his visit is directly related to this EU reality.

Interesting times…