Conservatives Celebrate Stunning Win in Australian Elections…


The Australian election was held today; voting is compulsory as everyone over the age 18 is required to vote; turnout was greater than 95%…  and all the media and pollsters are stunned, shocked, jaws-agape, as the conservative coalition has received a stunning, unexpected, unanticipated victory.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has won the election.  Yes Alice, 2019 media in Australia look identical to media in the U.S. circa November 2016.

The economy, immigration and push-back against the insufferable climate-change nonsense appear to be the top issues that led to Morrison’s surprising win.  None of the pollsters or media saw it coming.  The BBC are stunned:

BBC – […] The final result of the election may not be known for some hours, but with more than 70% of votes counted the [Conservative] Coalition has won, or is ahead in, 74 seats in its quest for a 76-seat majority, with Labor on just 66 seats.

[…] Try finding someone who says they saw this result coming.

For well over two years, the coalition has trailed behind Labor in the opinion polls, and the assumption had been it would be Labor’s turn to govern.

But somehow Scott Morrison managed to turn things around at the 11th hour – and he did it largely on his own.

With some of his cabinet colleagues considered too toxic to appear in public on the campaign trail, ScoMo made this election about him, and his ability to be the trustworthy, daggy-dad Australia needed.  (read more)

Labor leader Bill Shorten , who has led Labor since it lost office in 2013, conceded defeat and congratulated Morrison.  Shorten’s losing moonbat platform was centered on creating a “fairer society”, similar to the social justice movement in the far-left U.S. Democrat party.

The labor movement planned to increase taxes on the wealthy and bring social justice demands to central government.  Their agenda was counting on strong support from college-aged students and climate change activists.  However, the majority of Australians saw the predictable economic damage that was certain from the proposals to raise taxes and institute the Australian version of the Green New Deal.

Australian left-wing media is going bananas….

The progressive movement is crying in the streets.

“Strategery” – President Trump Instructs Ross and Lighthizer to Focus on Auto Sector….


Further evidence there will be no further engagement with China surfaces in an announced specific shift in directive from President Trump today focusing Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and USTR Lighthizer on a sector, not a specific nation.

The auto industry is the key sector on two specific trade fronts: the EU trade reset and the ongoing negotiations with Japan.  Both trade agreements center heavily on the auto-sector; and both Japan and the EU have cemented intransigent trade positions.

Enter President Trump to cut the Gordian knot.

It’s a small but important note that President Trump had previously assigned geographic trade responsibilities.  Wilbur Ross has the EU as his primary focus and Robert Lighthizer has authority over Asia.  Today the White House connects the objective of both Ross and Lighthizer as President Trump instructs the U.S. Trade Representative to engage in discussions around the specifics of the auto-sector:

White House – […] Following an extensive review of the Department of Commerce’s Section 232 automobile report, President Trump today issued a proclamation directing the United States Trade Representative to negotiate agreements to address the national security threat, which is causing harm to the American automobile industry. (more)

The President has designated the auto industry as a critical component of national security [More Here].  With Ross’s report in hand, the possibility of increasing tariffs on foreign automobiles is the leverage POTUS gives to Lighthizer along with the mandate to engage.

This sector-specific approach makes buckets of sense when we consider the intransigence of both Japan and the EU on the larger trade issues. [Note: in this example the EU is controlled almost exclusively by Germany and Angela Markel.]  Interestingly, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe knows President Trump as a friend, and they both respect each other immensely as trade and economic strategists.  Merkel, not-so-much.

Prime Minister Abe is a tough adversary for President Trump because it’s like having to negotiate with a brother/competitor who really understands your strategies.

Like Chairman Xi and China, Angela Merkel and the EU is an easier challenge for President Trump.

Trump knows the EU pressure points and he’s pre-constructed the Section 232 review for just this purpose.  Quite simply wherever the German auto-industry goes, so too goes the fortunes of German political leadership.

As a result, unless the EU is going to align with communist China, the EU cannot lose U.S. market access.

Now…

There is a possibility that Germany will force the EU to economically align with China; that is part of the current geopolitical dynamic taking place over the tech industry.  However, PM Shinzo Abe, will never allow the Japanese economy to be held captive to the influence of China.  So each trade partner involved in the auto-sector may diverge on that key issue.

Merkel and the EU may decide manufacturing exports to China are worth more to them than manufacturing exports to the United States.  However, as Trump pummels the Chinese economy, he is also changing the dynamic of possible future benefit within the mind of those constructing the EU economic plan.

A weakened (more poor) China presents a less valuable economy for exported consumer goods.  As China devalues their money to retain export leverage, they simultaneously drive up import costs.  Those German cars become much more expensive and the Chinese consumer won’t be able to afford them.  It’s an interesting dynamic.

There’s always been a good chance that President Trump would apply auto tariffs on the EU in order to leverage trade reciprocity, eliminate non-tariff barriers and protectionism, and simultaneously force Germany to pay for their own NATO defenses.

However, the potential for auto tariffs on Japan has been more singular in focus. Trump wants fair and open access for U.S. agriculture goods as a hedge against China refusing to purchase.  President Trump was always positioning Japanese auto sector tariffs as straight one-for-one leverage toward more exports.  Trump doesn’t look at Abe’s cars as anything other than ordinary leverage toward a traditional trade deal.

Guess what?  Shinzo Abe knows this…

Like I said, it’s like negotiating a better position with your brother as your competitor… he knows your objectives.   Cue the audio visual:

Japan has agreed to lift longstanding restrictions on American beef exports, clearing the way for U.S. products to enter the market regardless of age, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Friday.

The news comes on the heels of other important trade developments on Friday, including the Trump administration’s plans to delay auto tariffs on the EU and Japan and lift steel tariffs on Canada and Mexico.

In 2005, Japan imposed restrictions on cattle over 30 months old for U.S. beef imports in response to the outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, sometimes known as mad cow disease.

According to the USDA announcement, Japan agreed to remove that age limit for U.S. beef imports. The new terms, which take effect immediately, allow U.S. products from all cattle, regardless of age, to enter Japan for the first time since 2003, the government said.

“This is great news for American ranchers and exporters who now have full access to the Japanese market for their high-quality, safe, wholesome, and delicious U.S. beef,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a statement. “We are hopeful that Japan’s decision will help lead other markets around the world toward science-based policies.”

American beef sales to Japan topped $2 billion last year, representing approximately one-fourth of all U.S. beef exports. (read more)

Trust me… Grab a Snickers with these two challenging each-other…. it’s gonna be a while.

…Brothers

President Trump Remarks to National Realtors Association…


President Trump delivers remarks to the National Association of REALTORS Legislative Meetings and Trade Exposition.

President Trump Removes Steel and Aluminum Tariffs From Canada and Mexico….


A combination of the NAFTA “Fatal Flaw” & transnational Chinese shipments, was always at the heart of President Trump placing steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico during negotiations that culminated in the USMCA trade agreement.  The goal was to block China from dumping product into the U.S. through the doors of Canada/Mexico.

Within the USMCA President Trump and Robert Lighthizer placed a specific rule Article 32:10 which grants the U.S. the right to veto (control) Canadian and Mexican purchase agreements with “Non FTA Market Countries”, ie. China.

This Article 32:10 rule is at the core of the USMCA agreement.   However, after the USMCA agreement was reached President Trump kept the Steel/Aluminum tariffs in place.  For those who don’t understand Trump (insert Chrystia Freeland here) the question was always: why?

Quite simply the answer behind the question was President Trump’s retention of leverage. Yes, in 2018 the USMCA was agreed to; however, the USMCA was not ratified by either Canada or Mexico…. it was only an agreement.  Why would Trump remove critical leverage on an initial promise.

Trump is not a politician; he’s a businessman who knows promises are paper until they become action. Additionally, President Trump is a tactician; the tariff leverage was held until such a time as removing it would generate an immediate gain in national compliance toward his trade objective… That’s the action.  Today:

(Bloomberg) President Donald Trump said the U.S. will lift steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico, boosting efforts to encourage lawmakers to ratify a new North American trade deal.

“I’m pleased to announce that we’ve just reached an agreement with Canada and Mexico and will be selling our product into those countries without the imposition of tariffs or major tariffs,” Trump said at an event Friday. “Hopefully Congress will approve the USMCA quickly.”

In a joint statement Friday, Canada said it will lift retaliatory duties on U.S. products as part of the deal, which will take effect within two days. Mexican Deputy Foreign Minister Jesus Seade, in a Twitter post, welcomed Trump’s removal of the duties. Both nations suggested it would open the way for their lawmakers to approve the new trade pact.

The move will lift the 25% steel and 10% aluminum tariffs the U.S. placed on the two trading neighbors almost a year ago in the name of national security. The decision sparked tit-for-tat duties from Canada and Mexico on U.S. farming goods and other products, and became an obstacle for lawmakers in all three nations to ratifying the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

As part of the agreement, the U.S. will be able to re-impose the tariffs on metals imports if not enough is done to prevent any surge of metals imports beyond historical levels. The nations have also agreed to ramp up efforts to trace where the metals have come from originally, to stop the diversion of shipments from other nations to dodge tariffs.

The enforcement system will aim to advantage primary steel and aluminum producers in the three-nation trading bloc to ensure that the metal is melted, poured or smelted regionally. (read more)

President Trump is strategic.  The timing is perfect as the U.S. has shown the world the administration’s response to China is unrelenting.  As a result of Beijing failing to uphold their end of the prior agreement between Vice-Premier Liu He and USTR Robert Lighthizer, the negotiations with China have stopped.

The consequence of China failing to reach a free, fair and reciprocal trade agreement with the U.S., with strong enforcement mechanisms, means that China remains a “non market-based economy”.  Tariffs against China now increase, and both Canada and Mexico are specifically accountable under the USMCA to retain the U.S. market position toward Chinese goods.

In essence, if Mexico or Canada violates USMCA Article 32:10, they will suffer similar consequences as currently visible toward China.  The U.S. will enforce all the regulatory and compliance verification to ensure that Canada and Mexico do not engage in transnational shipments of Chinese products.  That is the “enforcement system” that both nations will adhere to enjoy the benefits of steel/aluminum tariff removal.

Mark Knoller

@markknoller

The resulting trade dynamic, an inherent lopsided benefit to the U.S, is genuinely brilliant as executed by Trump’s team.  Notice who wins.

President Trump and Secretary Wilbur Ross created the tariffs out of thin air. Yes, they simply created killer trade leverage…  Now, two years later, in exchange, for removing a punishing trade restriction that (A) previously didn’t exist; and (B) was crushing both economies; Canada and Mexico remove all countervailing duties which further opens their markets to U.S. goods…. and, simultaneously, agree to the terms which were at the core of the original demands, intents and purposes of President Trump.

USTR Washington, DC –Today, the United States announced an agreement with Canada and Mexico to remove the Section 232 tariffs for steel and aluminum imports from those countries and for the removal of all retaliatory tariffs imposed on American goods by those countries.  The agreement provides for aggressive monitoring and a mechanism to prevent surges in imports of steel and aluminum.

If surges in imports of specific steel and aluminum products occur, the United States may re-impose Section 232 tariffs on those products. Any retaliation by Canada and Mexico would then be limited to steel and aluminum products.

This agreement is great news for American farmers that have been subject to retaliatory tariffs from Canada and Mexico. At the same time, the Agreement will continue to protect America’s steel and aluminum industries.  (USTR)

Canada and Mexico can no longer broker themselves as back-doors to the U.S. market; and at any given time, if either nation flinches, a future administration can pull out Article 32:10, enforcement entirely in the control of the United States, and POOF insta-leverage.

Don’t forget President Trump’s entire purpose for eliminating NAFTA was to stop Canada and Mexico from exploiting their access to the U.S. market at our expense.  Initially both nations said they would never agree to terms that undercut their independent abilities.  Here we are two years later, and they have agreed to the exact terms that underlined the original foundation of Trump’s position.

President Trump, Secretary Ross and Ambassador Lighthizer took the entire North American business community on a scenic two-year tour deep inside the land of leverage.

Greatest economic President in modern history.

A businessman.

A Titan.

(LINK to Article 32 pdf)

…”Complicated business folks, …complicated business”….

Why Trump Will Win the US China Trade War—Stephen Moore


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Can China really hurt the US with its financial weapons in the US China trade war? Is the US in a “fantastic” position, as US President Donald Trump says? Is dumping US Treasury bonds really an option for the Chinese? And how does all this impact the 2020 election? This is American Thought Leaders and I’m Jan Jekielek. Today we sit down with Heritage Foundation economist Steve Moore, who played a major role in the development of President Trump’s economic policy, and is co-author of the book, “Trumponomics: Inside the America First Plan to Revive Our Economy.” More on US China trade! See: US China Trade War: ’Trump is Not Going to Back Down… This is a War of Values’—Curtis Ellis: https://youtu.be/oSjlGNaWPbc

 

UK Intel: On Second Thought Maybe “Huawei is a Risk to Britain”…


Funny how that happens. Less than 24 hours after President Trump declared new tech telecommunication is a national security issue; and one day after Secretary Wilbur Ross bans Huawei (and affiliates) from buying parts and components from U.S. companies without U.S. government approval; all of a sudden the UK is having second thoughts.

…Huh, go figure:

LONDON (Reuters) – China’s Huawei poses such a grave security risk to the United Kingdom that the government must not allow it to have even a limited role in building 5G networks, a former head of Britain’s MI6 foreign spy service said on Thursday.

In what some have compared to the Cold War arms race, the United States is worried that 5G dominance would give any global competitor such as China an advantage Washington is not ready to accept.

The Trump administration, which hit Huawei with severe sanctions on Wednesday, has told allies not to use its technology because of fears it could be a vehicle for Chinese spying. Huawei has repeatedly denied this.

But British ministers have discussed allowing Huawei a restricted role in building parts of its 5G network. The final decision has not yet been published. (read more)

Oh, and we are not naive enough to overlook the current status, and subsequent leverage,  of the executive declassification process which might well outline how the U.K. intelligence apparatus was aligned to defeat President Donald Trump in 2016.

…”Well, where we go yuan, we go all didn’t work out… now what”?

President Trump Releases 2018 Financial Disclosure…


President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump release their 2018 financial disclosure forms.  Summary: They’re Rich….

Deep State – Former Trump Senior State Dept. Official Tells Beijing to Wait Until Trump is Removed…


A clear example of the Administrative State’s seditious alignment with global financial interests and DC indulgences.  This is the deep state at its deepest and most statist.

Mrs. Susan Thornton, the former acting assistant secretary of state in the Trump administration, tells her Beijing audience to stop negotiating until President Trump is removed from office in 2020.

(BEIJING) […] “I want to be optimistic,” said Thornton, whose 27-year career in Washington ended in July. “I tell all our foreign counterpartsthey should keep steady, keep their heads down and wait. [They should] try to not let anything change dramatically.”

“If this skeptical attitude towards talking diplomacy continues in this administration, you might have to wait till another administration,” Thornton said at an event held by National Committee of US-China relations and Shanghai’s American Chamber. (read more)

There was a prescient article written in Politico when Thornton announced her exit from the State Department.

POLITICO […] – Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson pushed for Thornton to lead the state’s East Asia bureau during his tenure, but then-White House chief strategist Steve Bannon tried to block her advancement. Bannon claimed she was too soft on China, but her nomination moved forward after he was ousted from the White House. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) also said he did not want her to be confirmed. Thornton did receive a confirmation hearing, but never a vote.  –link

This type of undermining of the president by a well known top diplomat is likely why the Chinese politburo rebuked the deal put together by USTR Robert Lighthizer and Chinese Vice-Primier Liu He.

Obviously President Trump’s opposition is confident they can remove him from office; and giving advice to the Chinese who are making long-term strategic decisions with that confidence in mind.

Again, just another example of the scale and scope of the challenges faced by President Trump as he attempts to negotiate strength for the U.S. economy, and is undermined by bureaucrats who make more personal wealth selling out our nation to foreign  governments.

There are trillions at stake; and former bureaucrats like Ms. Susan Thornton use their former positions to make millions at the trough even if that means advocating for the interests of a communist government.

Disappointing would be an understatement.

Those who have sold out our nation despise President Trump.

President Trump Delivers Immigration Reform Speech – White House, 2:30pm Livestream…


Today President Trump is delivering remarks from the White House on “Modernizing Our Immigration System for a Stronger America.” A new immigration proposal from President Donald Trump focuses on bolstering border security and rethinking the green card system.

The shift would favor people with high-level skills, degrees and job offers instead of relatives of those already in the country. The anticipated start time is 2:30pm EDT:

WH Livestream Link – Global News Livestream – Fox Business Livestream

CNN Reporter: Russia at War with US, but America Clueless


Published on May 15, 2019

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A new book by CNN national security reporter Jim Sciutto chronicles “The Shadow War” conducted by Russia against the USA. Active on land, and sea, in space and cyber, Vladimir Putin is already on a war-footing toward the United States. Will President Trump and the American public understand the roots of Russian hostility in time to save both countries? Discussion of foreign policy, domestic economics, culture, and more, happens daily among a devoted group of conservatives who are Members at BillWhittle.com. As one Member said, when he first logged into the Member-exclusive website, he felt he was home. Find your people today at https://BillWhittle.com/register/