The U.S-Canada negotiations ended today without any progress. President Trump delivers a video message about trade:
Foreign Minister Chrystia from Canada is in Washington DC today meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. There are conflicting reports as to the possibility of a trade deal being reached. Canada is heavily relying on internal pressure from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce lobbying group to sway/leverage the negotiation in their favor.
From the Canadian negotiation position every syllable and syntax is viewed through the prism of politics. From comments amid all the Canadian participants and interests, they view President Trump as the only adversarial U.S. entity in the bilateral discussion. As a consequence of this outlook, all Canadian leverage efforts are targeted toward political opposition of President Trump; with assistance from a U.S. congress that has been purchased by Wall Street lobbyists to align with Canada against U.S. interests.
Peel all the layers away and ultimately this is the political position from which Canada is negotiating. All-in-All, the most likely outcome is NO DEAL.
In order for Canada to accept or join, via a NAFTA 2202 modification, they would need to agree to the U.S-Mexico modification terms. For Canada they would have to:
- Open their telecommunications and banking sector (eliminate non tariff barriers). Justin Trudeau calls these “cultural industries” and has refused any discussion on this matter.
- Eliminate soft-wood (lumber) and aeronautics subsidies.
- Begin a process of lowering their assembly use of Chinese/Asian goods.
- Accept the rules of origin for North American manufacturing.
- Eliminate protectionist tariffs on dairy and farm products. This is another issue where Justin Trudeau has expressed an unwillingness to negotiate.
- Accept the U.S-Mexico terms for arbitration and dispute resolution.
If Canada complied with the U.S-Mexico terms, they would likely be exempted from U.S. Steel and Aluminum tariffs, and would not face auto tariffs. However, Canada views any steel, aluminum and auto tariffs as invalid and unlawful.
WASHINGTON/OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday he wanted to see flexibility from the United States if the two sides are to reach a deal on renewing NAFTA, which Washington insists must be finished by the end of the month.
Ottawa is pushing back against increasing pressure by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump and its allies to make the concessions they say are needed for the trilateral North American Free Trade Agreement.
“We’re interested in what could be a good deal for Canada but we’re going to need to see a certain amount of movement in order to get there and that’s certainly what we’re hoping for,” Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa.
[…] Trump has already wrapped up a side deal with Mexico and is threatening to exclude Canada if necessary. Canadian officials say they do not believe the U.S. Congress would agree to turn NAFTA into a bilateral treaty.
An influential Canadian private sector union leader, in Washington for consultations with Freeland’s team, on Wednesday played down the chances of an imminent agreement.
“Do I believe there will be a deal this week? I don’t think so,” Unifor boss Jerry Dias told reporters, saying the United States would need to move on some major files.
Trump and Trudeau spoke by telephone late on Tuesday and discussed NAFTA, the Canadian prime minister’s office said in a brief statement.
The Republican chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee, Kevin Brady, told CNBC on Wednesday that “Canada needs to really step up here this week” to meet the Oct. 1 deadline set by Washington.
But U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue said it would be extremely complicated, if not impossible, for the administration to pull off a Mexico-only agreement.
“If Canada doesn’t come into the deal there is no deal,” Donohue told a media breakfast in Washington. The Chamber, the most influential U.S. business lobby, wants NAFTA to be renegotiated as a tri-lateral agreement. (read more)
Again, the calendar to the mid-term elections looms over the perspective of Canada. They, along with various trade affiliates, multinational corporate interests, Wall Street and political allies, are hoping for Republican losses in congress so their congressional democrat allies will finally stop Trump.
There are trillions at stake…
Published on Sep 19, 2018
Earlier today President Trump traveled to North Carolina for a briefing by local, state and federal officials who are responding to the recovery efforts in North Carolina following Hurricane Florence. Following the briefing, President Trump toured some of the impacted regions and thanked those who are assisting in ongoing recovery efforts.
Transcript] – Cherry Point, North Carolina – 10:47 A.M. EDT – THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you very much everybody. We appreciate it very — the job you’ve done has been incredible. Incredible. They’re talking about it all over the world. And we want to keep it going that way, because some of the hard work is now. We’ve gone through very dangerous work, and still dangerous, but some of the hard work is taking place right now, even though its nice and beautiful and sunny.[
I was talking to the Governor. And, Governor, I want to thank you. A really fantastic — a fantastic job. But in speaking to the Governor, some of the flooding is actually epic. Hard to believe. And we’ve seen all the pictures where houses are literally covered beyond the roof. You don’t even know there’s a house there. And, you know, one of those things. Well, the water is starting to go down now, finally.
But again, I want to thank Governor Cooper. I want to express my gratitude to your Lieutenant Governor, Dan Forest, very importantly. And to all of the state and local leaders who have been really incredible partners throughout this response and recovery.
There’s been a lot of talent. A lot of work and a lot of talent. Without the talent, it doesn’t work either. You had a combination of hard work and that great ability.
Were joined also by Secretary Nielsen, Administrator McMahon, Director Mulvaney, and FEMA Administrator Long. I want to thank you all. Administrator, great job. Incredible job. The planning that went into this is beyond — beyond belief. So I just want to thank the Secretary and Administrator. Really — really something special.
I also want to thank some great friends of mine and some very talented people that love this state. They love all our states, I think we can say, and that’s Senator Richard Burr. Wheres Richard? Richard? Thank you very much. You have great representatives. Senator Thom Tillis, thank you. Thank you. Wheres Thom? Thank you, Thom. Lindsey Graham. Lindsey? What happened? Lindsey. (Laughter.) Oh, look at Lindsey.
Lindsey, do you want to pull up a chair? What happened to you? (Laughter.)
SENATOR GRAHAM: (Inaudible.)
THE PRESIDENT: You know, we could have — (laughter) — Richard, would you let him sit at our table? I don’t know. Come on. Pull up a chair, Lindsey. But Lindsey has been great.
And Tim Scott. Wheres Tim? Good. I don’t know, I feel pretty guilty. Come over here.
They have been fantastic, all of them — all four. And we’ve had a lot help from Congress, in all fairness. And were ready and they’re ready to do whatever we have to do to make this perfect. And that means, unfortunately, the money will be a lot, but its going to come as fast as you need it. We’re going to take care of everybody.
Hurricane Florence was one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the Carolinas. One of the most powerful and devastating storms ever to hit our country.
To the families who have lost loved ones, America grieves with you, and our hearts break for you. God bless you. We will never forget your loss. We will never leave your side. Were with you all way. And to all those impacted by this terrible storm, our entire American family is with you and ready to help. And you will recover.
Most importantly, we give thanks to the incredible first responders, including sheriffs, police officers, firefighters, our great Cajun Navy. They’re all over the place. I put them up online and everybody loved it. Everybody loved it. But they put themselves, all of them, in harms way. And what they’ve done to save precious lives of our citizens has been nothing short of incredible.
Nearly 20,000 federal and military personnel are supporting the response efforts along with Southeast Coast, including brave men and women of North Carolina and the National Guard. Now, of course, were going to South Carolina right after this, and they have been incredible. And I know you’ve worked and coordinated very well also, Governor, with South Carolina. That’s been a really great partnership.
Together with state and local first responders, they’ve assisted and rescued more than 3,000 people. So we want to thank you. And I will say, Ive been watching the Coast Guard with all of the helicopters lifting people off rooftops, and its been an incredible job you’ve done again. We appreciate it. Thank you very much.
More than 1.6 million meals have been delivered to North Carolina, and more than 400,000 are ready in South Carolina as soon as theyre requested. So were standing by with 400,000 meals in South Carolina.
Crews have restored power to over 1.2 million customers already in North and South Carolina. And the power is starting to go on as soon as the water goes down. They’re meeting the demand incredibly well. So I want to thank the power companies and all of the federal workers, but we have to also thank some of the power companies because they’ve been very responsive. As soon as that water goes down, for the most part, people have power.
In moments of despair, we witness the true character of the American people. So true. Citizens all across our country rally together to rescue the stranded, to protect the innocent, and to restore hope to families who have experienced tremendous and unbearable loss.
I want to thank all of the people here today. A very special group of people. Very talented group of people. And we love working with you. Its an honor to work with you. We’ve done a real job, and we’ve got to continue to do that real job because another phase is coming in right now, and were going to meet that phase just like we’ve met phase one.
So, Governor, again, thank you very much. I appreciate it. And to everybody, thank you very much. And whatever we have to do at the federal level, we will be there — and you know that — 100 percent.
And, Secretary Nielsen? Please.
SECRETARY NIELSEN: Yes, sir. Well, first I just wanted to start by thanking you for your leadership. I think we would all agree, we appreciate (inaudible) to respond, to direct all of our federal governments, to support our partners.
And what you see there is how that partnership works so well. We’ve got the private sector, weve got our congressional members, state and local officials. We certainly have all of our partners at DOD and the National Guard. So we are all working together as it should be, in unity of effort, under your leadership. And we greatly appreciate everyone’s partnership.
If I could, Id like to ask the Administrator to give us a brief update as to where we are.
ADMINISTRATOR LONG: So, Mr. President, as you know, a disaster response like this takes all of us working together, not just coordinating the federal government together, which has come together very well so far. But it takes all of us from neighbor helping neighbor, all the way up to the federal government, to help people overcome what they’ve been through.
Ive been on the ground yesterday. Ill be on the ground through tomorrow to make sure that I verify that were doing everything that we can right now. This event is not over; the rivers are still cresting. And so we still have a lot of work to do when it comes to the life, safety, and life sustainment mission.
But were also simultaneously working on making sure that we stabilize all of the critical lifelines in regards to the infrastructure. So its all interconnected. We got to get the roads open to be able to get the power crews into the isolated areas and the flooded areas. And we also have to put a big focus on the hazardous materials, and the health and medical capabilities, and getting them back up and running fully in every community.
One of the things thats most important is that we’re already pushing forward our disaster survival assistance teams into the fields, into the shelters. We need people to register with 1-800-621-FEMA, or they can download the FEMA app, or they can go through DisasterAssistance.gov.
But more importantly, my job is made easier when a governor like Governor Cooper, Mike Sprayberry, Erik Hooks, have truly done their part to be self-sufficient at the state level. They have been very strong and capable partners. So, thank you.
Thank you, Sir.
SECRETARY NIELSEN: And perhaps we turn it over to the Governor. Governor, as you said so well yesterday, Sunshine doesn’t need safety. So we’re right here with you in the midst of a very (inaudible) response.
GOVERNOR COOPER: Well, thank you, Mr. President, for coming to North Carolina as our rescue and recovery continues.
Our rivers are still cresting, and there is still danger for some people. Were hoping that they can get evacuated and that out first responders continue to make sure that people are brought to safety.
Our state took a gut punch, Mr. President. And our people are still reeling. We’ve lost 27 lives, officially, so far. And some more are under investigation. And we mourn their loss.
We have farmers who have lost significantly their crops. A lot of businesses are down. And, of course, people have lost their homes. We have about 10,000 people right now in shelters. I talked to one the other day who had a rescue out of an apartment in downtown Wilmington. And I will say this: All the way from firefighters in Wilmington, to our state responders, our National Guard, and the United States Coast Guard, there have been some heroic first responders who have saved lives.
We are beginning the process of getting our feet under us, Mr. President. We’re getting water and supplies, hot meals to people. We’re beginning to clear roads, although we have a number of roads continuing to be closed, including parts of Interstate 95 and Interstate 40. And you can imagine what that does to commerce and people trying to get from one place to the next.
We have a lot of power that has been restored, but there are thousands of people who are still waiting to get their power back.
I know that this state has a great economy, great education. We are a beacon in the south. And we have weathered storms before in our state. But, Mr. President, we have never seen one like this. This one has been epic, it has been disastrous, and it has been widespread. It is a storm like no other.
We’re beginning the process, with your federal help and with our local county people; many of them are here today. And we want to thank our local responders and all of the help that they have given to deal with people right there on the ground. But we’re starting to figure out how we will build back. We will do it in a smart and strong way. I’ve been grateful for Secretary Nielsen and for Admiral Buschman. Thank you for your help with the Coast Guard and helping to rescue people.
And, Mr. President, Brock Long, as FEMA Administrator, along with Albie Lewis, who has been here, they are helping us right now significantly. And we’re grateful.
I’ve got a great Emergency Management Director in Mike Sprayberry and my Secretary of Public Safety, Erik Hooks. They’re all onboard. Our Adjutant General of the National Guard, General Lusk, has been doing a fantastic job.
And this Title 10 that we’ve invoked with our joint military exercise, we are grateful to the members of the U.S. military who have stepped up and helped us through this process.
But, Mr. President, we’ve got a long road ahead in the days and the months, and even years ahead, to make sure we build back to where we need to be here in North Carolina. And you’re here, and I’m asking you, sir, for your help, every step of the way. All of these federal agencies are going to have to help us in cutting red tape and making sure we can be smart about this rebuilding process.
We still understand that people have a lot of immediate needs, and that’s going to be critically important over the next few days and weeks. But long-term rebuild, I know the resiliency of North Carolinians. We have an amazing state. I know that we can come back stronger than ever. But we’re going to need your help.
And thank you for coming to listen to this.
THE PRESIDENT: And I’ll be there. Congressman, thank you. Thank you, Roy. We will be there 100 percent. And all of the folks from the federal government that are around the table, they’re confirming it. That’s why we started early and we’ll be here late.
And we want to thank the great job you’ve done and all of your people. Thank you very much.
I’d like to maybe ask Richard Burr to say a few words, your great senator who’s done an incredible job. And then we’re going to ask Thom Tillis to say a few words. These are two people that love this state and they love the country.
SENATOR BURR: Well, Mr. President, I’m going to say to this group exactly what I said to you on the plane. I’ve been doing disasters in North Carolina as an elected representative for now 25 years. I’ve never seen the preparation, the coordination, the collaboration between the federal, state, and local government like I’ve seen prior to this event.
If we do half as good in the response as we did in the preparation, then North Carolinians are going to be in good hands.
The challenge is, quite frankly, going to be this: We’re faced with things in this event that we havent been faced with before. And the ability to have the Coast Guard and DOD assets in this state, upfront, before the event, has enabled those at a local, state, and federal level to adjust what plans we might have had in place, and deliver water and food and essentials in a way that we could get into any community in this state. Without that level of collaboration, we’d have people that were in serious, serious problems much worse than today.
And I am grateful for the federal component but I am as grateful, Governor, for the way the state emergency management folks and first responders, who in some cases have been volunteers in local communities that had a boat, aided their neighbors. And that’s what’s so great about this state.
Thank you, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Richard, very much. And Tom?
SENATOR TILLIS: Well, just very briefly, just to echo everything that Senator Burr said, we’re now moving towards the next step, which is getting the initial funding for recovery. We’ve made a request. We’ll be moving forward with trying to get the money in place for some of the initial recovery. But then we’ll work very closely with the Governor.
Governor, thank you for being so prompt on getting the initial need in. That was very instructive to the appropriation request. We’ll continue to work with state and local authorities.
And just thank all the volunteers, as well — the Red Cross and everybody else who have come together. And Congressman Rouzer, every one of the counties in his district were affected. He’s been working hard. He’s been on the ground the entire time. And this is when North Carolina and America is at its best. We’re all coming together and working for the people in North Carolina and South Carolina.
And, President, thank you for your leadership.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Thank you, Thom. Thank you. And for you leadership.
As Thom and Richard said, we’re getting all teed up for a lot of money to come down to the area. You’re going to need it. And we have it, and we will be supplying it. And there will be nothing left undone. You’ll have everything you need.
So we’re going to have — it’s going to be probably a rough two weeks, and then it will get a little bit softer. But it’s going to be — people don’t realize how a very difficult phase is beginning probably today with a beautiful sunshine. So your two representatives and your — by the way, your congressman, are working very hard. So we’ll have it all taken care of. Thank you very much, Congressman. Thank you very much. Appreciate it very much. Great job.
Does anybody have anything to say? Any of our folks?
Administrator McMahon, would you say something please?
ADMINISTRATOR MCMAHON: Thank you very much, Mr. President. First of all, I’m a North Carolina girl. I was born and reared in New Bern. Both my parents were civil service employees right here at Cherry Point Air Base. So I feel like I’ve come home.
I’m the Administrator of SBA, and I just want to let all of you know that where SBA comes in is on the front side, but we are immediately right there. As a matter of fact, we’re already staged at East Carolina to deploy our folks into the field to get people’s businesses back up and running, to get them back in their homes. This is the time that SBA actually makes the loans and not just guarantees the loans.
So please go to SBA.gov and click on the “Disaster” banner. It will take you to the right place. We’ve already approved, I think, just a little — fewer than 10 applications already for mortgages and loans for businesses. So they’re low interest, they’re long-term fixed rates. So please allow us to help you. Go online and start getting your applications in so that we can help our communities and our homeowners and even renters who have lost personal property in the storm get back on their feet.
Thank you, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Linda, very much. Anybody? Any questions? Statements? Congressman?
REPRESENTATIVE ROUZER: First of all, let me thank you for being here. You have a great heart for the American people. That’s one of the things I like so much about you. And it just really means a lot for you to be here at this particular time.
We have a lot of folks that are really, really hurting. And I got a couple of points I want to make, but before I forget, though, I want to thank Brock Long and his team. I’ve been with him for the past several days. They’re doing incredible work. Everybody around this table is just doing a lot of collaborative, great work together.
Your Admiral here at Coast Guard — I walked in the airport, RDU Airport, the other day, and saw doctors and nurses that were stranded, trying to find a way back to New Hanover Regional Medical Center. And this guy here helped us get it cleared to get them on that C-130 and take them to ILM Airport.
And I don’t think I’ve ever seen a CEO of a hospital that was happier than our CEO at Hanover Regional the other day.
So your team is doing an incredible, incredible job. A few things I want to mention: Housing is so critically important, as you know. Infrastructure, incredibly important. I serve on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, as you know. Really looking forward to working with you as we move forward on rebuilding our infrastructure, not just here post-storm, but we’ve got to do a lot of pre-mitigation work for the next storm.
You know, these storms aren’t going to end. They’re going to keep coming. And the more we can prepare, the more we can clean out these rivers, these ditches, all the creeks and streams, they’re all — they’re all stopped up. That’s part of the reason why we have such a monumental flood. My district, as Senator Tillis said, eight of my nine counties are completely — almost completely underwater. They’re all major disaster areas. And so I think rebuilding this infrastructure is going to be critically, critically important.
Of course, housing is number one. Agriculture in my district — huge component of this state — $87 billion industry. I see Steve Troxler here in the audience — our Commissioner of Agriculture. We’ve got to have more than just a new farm bill. We’ve got to have a real disaster package for agriculture as well.
And then our beach communities: Our beaches, our inlets and our waterways are a key component of infrastructure in this country. It’s vital to tourism in my district, as you know. And of course, I know you’re quite familiar with Wrightsville Beach in Wilmington and that area, and Brunswick County, Pender County. All these counties need a tremendous amount of help. And I just thank you and appreciate you being here and appreciate all the work of your entire team — not only now, but as we move into the future.
THE PRESIDENT: Appreciate it very much, Congressman.
COMMISSIONER WHITE: Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, please.
COMMISSIONER WHITE: My name is Woody White, and I represent 220,000 citizens of New Hanover County. I want to thank you for coming here. I’d like to echo the comments that were very ably made by David and the others around the table about what’s been done. And I also want to share with you the hope and optimism that our people have about the economy that you’ve created, about the people that you put back to work. Because all these next two or three or four phases of recovery are better because of the preparations, the economy that you have created, and we appreciate it.
I have been out in our community since this storm before it began, in it every day since it was here. And folks are cutting trees, putting power lines up, feeding their neighbors, loving each other, caring for each other, and they have incredible hope and optimism in the future.
It tells me something that you brought the Administrator of the Small Business Association here today, that you’re thinking about the future too. I own a small business, and they’re the lifeblood of our economy in New Hanover County. And we thank you for being here and for your leadership.
THE PRESIDENT: That’s really nice. I appreciate it very much. The economy is, fortunately, doing really well, and I would say maybe the best economy our country has ever had. So that’s important.
And we want to get everybody back to work so they can, you know, take (inaudible) — because this area has been very badly damaged. But we’ll get it up and working again, Governor, very quickly. I have no doubt about it.
Anybody else? Anybody? Yes.
MAYOR JONES JR.: Mr. President, hi, I’m Jerry Jones, the Mayor of Morehead City.
THE PRESIDENT: Hi, Jerry.
MAYOR JONES JR.: And just on behalf of a grateful community — and not just talking about Morehead, but talking about coastal North Carolina — your presence here today means a whole lot to all of us. It means, you know, we’re not left stranded alone on this island. It means the federal government is here helping us, along with the state government and many local governments.
And being a mayor of a small town and having to — being the boots on the ground and walking the food lines with my constituents — and not just my constituents; I’ve got people from outside the county. Just building up something that you said earlier about community pride and spirit — I mean, the community spirit is, from what I’ve witnessed, is as high as it’s ever been.
THE PRESIDENT: Great.
MAYOR JONES JR.: It is — it is not — and what I’ve learned also, that communities aren’t just in neighborhoods, they’re not just in towns and states; I’m talking about a national community. People have come from all over the nation to come to Carteret County to assist us. And just on my way up here, I had three phone calls from people throughout the state that wanted to bring provisions down to Carteret County. And so I’m helping organize that.
And when I walked through the lines of the people — and I have to say this: My first experience, I’ve never stood in line before to get a drink of water or a meal or sandwich or any way. The people, you know, when I ask them, my first question to them is, “How are you? Are you safe?” And they said, “Yeah, we’re safe. However, my neighbor, you know, they lost everything they had. You know, my house is under water.” And my response to them always is, “Yes, but at least we are here today talking about it.” And they always just give praise to God when that’s mentioned.
And so I’ll know we’ll get through this together. It’s baby steps, as we all mentioned. Although it happened overnight, the rebuilding is not going to be overnight. But from the state and local level, the federal level, we’ll make it happen.
And again, just the presence of everybody around this table is going to mean a whole lot to everybody affected with Hurricane Florence. So, thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, Mayor. Appreciate it.
COMMISSIONER MANSFIELD: Mr. President, Mark Mansfield, Chairman of the Carteret County Commissioners. And I want to thank you and your team for coming down with Governor Cooper, Senator Tillis, Senator Burr, and other representatives.
And I’d especially like to thank Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest. He came down the day after the hurricane and visited us personally at the emergency operations center.
Things are still dire in Carteret County. We have — over half of our whole county is without power. We obviously have had the river and the creek flooding — storm surge flooding. And Williston to Stacy, they had probably 8 to 12 feet of water in homes.
These people have been displaced, and we are temporarily sheltering, neighbors are sheltering, but we’re going to need help with shelter.
The big thing is public safety. We haven’t had trash pickup since the Wednesday before the storm. They’ve cut and run. We’re getting back open now. But for health reasons, we need to make sure that we get all of your guys’ help to expedite the boots on the ground.
I mean, I know protocols and procedures — you’ve got manuals — but as I look around, I see the military force here, anybody who’s done training, you know training is one thing, but being in the foxhole when the bullets are coming by your head are completely different. And we hope we will have all your continued support to help our boots on the ground, facilitate the resources, and help the people of our county and the surrounding counties in Eastern North Carolina.
I thank all you guys again. We appreciate all you’re doing. And we’ll probably be asking you for more. Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Appreciate it. Excuse me?
MS. GOOD: (Inaudible.)
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, please.
MS. GOOD: Mr. President, thank you so much for being here, for coming to North Carolina. The story for Duke Energy is also a story of partnership. And so I’m pleased to report that we’ve restored a million and a half citizens for power. We have 150,000 to go. And we will not leave until that power is restored.
Now, we had the opportunity to work with so many around the table that have made it possible with the Governor and his administration, with Director Sprayberry, with the federal agencies, Secretary Nielsen, Under Secretary Krebs, not only the planning but the resources necessary to restore power on this scale. So we thank you for the leadership and the partnership. It’s made it possible. And we’re anxious to get 150,000 more citizens back.
THE PRESIDENT: Good. Thank you very much. And how is Lake Norman, that area? How is that doing?
MS. GOOD: Good.
THE PRESIDENT: It’s doing good?
MS. GOOD: But still 10 or 12 inches of rain.
THE PRESIDENT: I love that area. I can’t tell you why, but I love that area.
MS. GOOD: It’s very nice. Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: It’s been really terrific.
GENERAL O’SHAUGHNESSY: Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
GENERAL O’SHAUGHNESSY: Mr. President, Secretary Mattis gave us very clear direction from the Department of Defense to make sure that we anticipate every need that the states could have so we could help the citizens.
Governor Cooper’s team here was phenomenal to help us understand what exactly those needs were going to be so we could pre-posture and be ready for immediate response. So, hats off to Governor Cooper and the broader team here in North Carolina.
And also, at FEMA, Brock Long was able to help us coordinate that federal response that was seamlessly tied into the state and local efforts. And I’d like to highlight, Mr. President, that there are 28 different states that have contributed to the National Guard, through the EMACs — the compacts that they have with the state of North Carolina, between North Carolina and South Carolina — and that just shows the strength of the National Guard as well, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Great job, General. Appreciate it.
Okay. Thank you very much. Let’s get back to work.
Departing the White House this morning -heading to North Carolina- President Trump held an impromptu presser with DC media on a variety of topics.
[Transcript] South Lawn – 9:20 A.M. EDT – THE PRESIDENT: Were going to North Carolina. Well then be heading to South Carolina. Were doing very well there, but the rivers are cresting. They’re just starting to crest. We’re really just going to say hello to all of the folks from FEMA, the military, the people that are working so hard. And I think it will be an incredible day. We’ll be coming back at about six or seven tonight.
Q Your reaction to Ford calling for an FBI investigation?
THE PRESIDENT: Say it?
Q Your reaction to Ford calling for an FBI investigation? (Inaudible.)
THE PRESIDENT: Well, it would seem that the FBI really doesn’t do that. They’ve investigated about six times before, and it seems that they don’t do that.
Q They would do it if you asked them to, Mr. President. They will do it if you ask them to. Will you considering asking them to?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I would let the senators take their course. Let the senators do it. They’re doing a very good job. They’ve given tremendous amounts of time. They’ve already postponed a major hearing. And, really, they’re hurting somebody’s life very badly.
And it’s very unfair, I think, to — as you know, Justice Kavanaugh has been treated very, very tough, and his family. I think it’s a very unfair thing what’s going. So we’ll see. But I do think this: They’ve given it a lot of time. They will continue to give it a lot of time. And, really, it’s up to the Senate, and I really rely on them. I think they’re going to do a good job.
THE PRESIDENT: I’d really want to see her. I really would want to see what she has to say. But I want to give it all the time they need. They’ve already given it time. They’ve delayed a major hearing. There’s no more just about — look, when I first decided to run, everybody said the single most important thing you do is a Supreme Court justice, okay? We’ve all heard that many times about a President.
I would say this: I think he’s an extraordinary man. I think he’s a man of great intellect, as I’ve been telling you. And he has an unblemished record. This is a very tough thing for him and his family. And we want to get it over with. At the same time, we want to give tremendous amounts of time. If she shows up, that would be wonderful. If she doesn’t show up, that would be unfortunate.
Q What did you mean when you said you don’t have an Attorney General? What did you mean by that?
THE PRESIDENT: I’m disappointed in the Attorney General for numerous reasons. But we have an Attorney General. I’m disappointed in the Attorney General for many reasons. And you understand that.
Q Are you going to fire Jeff Sessions?
THE PRESIDENT: We are looking at lots of different things. I have a great Cabinet. We have the greatest economy ever in the history of our country. So we’re very happy with the way things are running, generally speaking. I dont think we’ve ever had an economy like this. Somebody was on just this morning, from Reagan — from the Reagan White House. He said this is one of the great economies in history. So we’re very happy.
THE PRESIDENT: I can’t hear you.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, the FBI has been very involved with respect to Justice Kavanaugh. They know Justice Kavanaugh very well. They’ve investigated him, I guess, six times. And they’ve investigated him for this hearing.
Look, if she shows up and makes a credible showing, that will be very interesting and we’ll have to make a decision. But I can only say this: He is such an outstanding man. Very hard for me to imagine that anything happened.
Q (Inaudible) Kim Jong Un?
THE PRESIDENT: We had very good news from North Korea, South Korea. They met, and we had some great responses. I got a tremendous letter from Kim Jong Un. As you know, it was delivered three days ago. We’re making tremendous progress with respect to North Korea.
Prior to becoming President, it looked like we were going to war with North Korea, and now we have a lot of progress. We’ve gotten our prisoners back. We’re getting our remains back. They continue to come in. A lot of tremendous things.
But very importantly, no missile testing, no nuclear testing. Now they want to go and put a bid in for the Olympics. No, we have a lot of very good things going.
Remember this: Prior to my coming into office, a lot of people thought we were going — it was inevitable — we were going to war in North Korea. And now we’re — the relationships, I have to tell you, at least on a personal basis, they’re very good. It’s very much calmed down.
Q (Inaudible) Kim Jong Un says he wants reciprocal measures.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, we’ll see what he’s looking at. We’ll see. But in the meantime, we’re talking. It’s very calm. He’s calm; I’m calm. So we’ll see what happens.
Q Are you concerned about what Paul Manafort will tell investigators?
THE PRESIDENT: No, I’m not.
THE PRESIDENT: I’m not. Because if he’s honest — and he is — I think he’s going to tell — as long he tells the truth, it’s 100 percent. He was with Ronald Reagan. He was with Bob Dole. He was with McCain. He was with many, many people. That’s what he did. Paul Manafort was with me for a short period of time. He did a good job. I was very happy with the job he did. And I will tell you this: I believe that he will tell the truth. And if he tells the truth, no problem.
Q Would you consider a pardon for Paul Manafort?
THE PRESIDENT: I dont want to talk about it now.
Q Why are you (inaudible) refugees into the country? Why are you cutting the refugee number to 30,000?
THE PRESIDENT: Because we want to be able to take what we can handle.
Q Mr. President, you said you feel badly for Brett Kavanaugh and this is a tough time for his family. Do you feel anything for Christine Blasey Ford?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I’d have to see what she has to say. I’ve given her a lot of time. The senators have given her a lot of time. We continue to give her a lot of time. We’ve held up the whole hearing.
What I don’t like is that Senator Feinstein had this letter for a period of like three months, from July, maybe even before that — but from July. Why didn’t Senator Feinstein bring this up at her meeting with Judge Kavanaugh? Why didnt the Democrats — they knew about the letter, because she was showing it to Democrats — why did they wait until everything was finished and then bring it up? That doesn’t look good.
Thank you very much. I’ll see you in North Carolina.
Q Will you be meeting with Kim Jong Un soon?
THE PRESIDENT: We will be.
Earlier today President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump welcomed the President of the Republic of Poland and Mrs. Kornhauser-Duda to the White House in advance of bilateral talks between the two leaders and a press conference. Oval Office Remarks:
[Transcript] Oval Office – 12:26 P.M. EDT – PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, thank you very much. It’s a great honor to have President and Mrs. Duda of Poland in the Oval Office and the White House.
We’ve had a great relationship. As you know, about a year ago, I went and we made a speech in Poland, and it was really a very special day. It was a great day for our countries.
I’ll never forget the reception we got — how beautiful it was, how tremendous the people of Poland are. And I will certainly never forget the crowds. They stretched 10 blocks long, down the roadways, and they were all over. We had just tremendous crowds, because I think that’s really a sign of affection for the United States by the people of Poland.
So the relationship between the President and myself has been outstanding, and it’s really, I think, gotten even better between our countries. And I just want to say that, on behalf of the United States, it’s an honor to have you both.
Thank you very much. Thank you.
PRESIDENT DUDA: Thank you very much, Excellency. We are very happy to be here. And thank you for your kind invitation, and especially thank you for your great, unforgettable speech in Warsaw that was very moving for the Polish people. And you talked about the Warsaw Uprising and all of these very important moment in our history.
So thank you very much, once again, because it was — it was wonderful.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, we have a tremendous relationship on trade. We’re doing a lot of trade, a lot of security, obviously. We talk about the pipeline going to Germany, where Germany is paying billions and billions of dollars to Russia, which, frankly, we dont think that’s appropriate. I never thought it was appropriate. I think it’s ridiculous. And I think it’s certainly a very bad thing for the people of Germany. I’ve said it very loud and clear.
But we discuss that, and we’ll be discussing various other things. But trade is going to be a big factor today, and security.
So I want to thank you all for being here. Thank you. Thank you.
Q Mr. President, will you say yes to a U.S. permanent base in Poland?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I think we’re going to be discussing that. Poland is willing to make a very major contribution for the United States to come in and have a presence in Poland, and certainly it’s something we’ll discuss. If they’re willing to do that, it’s something we will certainly talk about.
Q Are you convinced that there should be a permanent base in Poland?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, we’re looking at it very seriously. I know Poland likes the idea very much. And it’s something that we are considering, yes.
Q Mr. President, on China, are you still considering the $267 billion in tariffs — the additional $267 billion?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: So we’re having a tremendous impact on China. As you know, we’re doing a very good job with China. China has been taking advantage of the United States for a long time, and that’s not happening anymore. We can’t let that happen.
I have a great relationship with President Xi; he’s a friend of mine. But we can’t — you know, I’ve been telling him, we can’t let it happen. So we may make a deal at some point, but right now, we just imposed $200 billion at 25 percent. We — it just went on. It actually kicks in on January 1st at 25 percent. It starts off at 10 percent, but shortly thereafter, it goes to 25.
And if there’s a retaliation against our farmers and our industrial workers, our ranchers, if any of that goes on, we’re going to kick in another $257 billion. And that will be also at 25 percent. We dont want to do it, but we probably — we’ll have no choice.
So we’ll see what happens. But we’re making a lot of headway with China. China wants to come over and talk, and we are always open to talking. But we have to do something. We have a tremendous trade imbalance with China, tremendous trade deficit. And the way I look at it: Last year, we lost over $500 billion to China. We can’t do that. I dont want to do that. And that’s been going on for many years. Other Presidents should have taken care of this situation, and they didnt. But I’m going to.
Q Sanctions on companies involved in Nord Stream II — Russia and Germany — project?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We’re not looking to do that. We just think it’s very unfortunate for the people of Germany that Germany is paying billions and billions of dollars a year for their energy to Russia. And I can tell you the German people dont like it.
Q What about the visa — the waiver program for Poland?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We’re looking at that very strongly.
Q Mr. President, you have 10 million Polish Americans in the United States. You were in Chicago —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Say it? I can’t hear you.
Q There are about 10 million Polish Americans in the United States —
PRESIDEN TRUMP: Yeah.
Q You were in Chicago two years ago — a great meeting. So when are you returning to Chicago? And will you —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Did you say it was cut off? It was cut off?
Q It was great.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: What is he referring to, Mr. President?
PRESIDENT DUDA: The visa waiver program, I think.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: We love the people of Poland coming to the United States in any way, shape, or form. Okay? Does that answer your question?
Q Yes — (inaudible).
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Any way, shape, or form. It’s our honor.
Q Mr. President, how long of a delay is acceptable, sir, on the hearings for Judge Kavanaugh? There’s some discussion that the accuser may not be coming in on Monday? How long of a delay —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I mean, I think it’s a great question, frankly. We are looking to get this done as quickly as possible. He is a truly outstanding person, as you know. Hes got an unblemished record. This is a terrible thing that took place, and it’s, frankly, a terrible thing that this information wasnt given to us a long time ago, months ago, when they got it. They could have done that, instead of waiting until everything was finished, and then all of a sudden spring it. But that’s what the Democrats do. That’s what they do. It’s obstruction, it’s resist. It’s whatever you have to do.
With all of that being said, it’s a process. And we all feel — speaking for all of the Republicans, we feel that we want to go through this process and we want to give everybody a chance to say what they have to say.
So we have time available. We will delay the process until it’s finished out. I guess weve invited everybody. I know — I can tell you this — that Judge Kavanaugh is anxious to do it. I dont know about the other party, but Judge Kavanaugh is very anxious to do it.
And a delay is certainly acceptable. We want to get to the bottom of everything. We want everybody to be able to speak up and speak out. The fact is, though, this should have been done a long time ago. And when Senator Feinstein had Judge Kavanaugh in her office for a long time, she never even mentioned this. And that was a long time ago. Never even mentioned it. So why wouldnt you bring this up, when he is sitting in her office for a pretty extended period of time?
So, it’s unfortunate. He is an incredible man. He’s an incredible intellect. He will make an incredible Supreme Court justice. But we feel that we want to go through a process. We want to hear both sides.
Q Will you ask the FBI to open his file?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I dont think the FBI really should be involved because they dont want to be involved. If they wanted to be, I would certainly do that. But as you know, they say this is not really their thing. But I think, politically speaking, the senators will do a very good job. They really will. They’re going to open it up, and they will do a very good job.
Q The security of Poland — how important is it to you, security of Poland?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Oh, very important. The security of Poland, to me?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Almost as important as it is to this man. I can’t say “as,” but “almost.”
PRESIDENT DUDA: For me it’s the most important, and I hope that we will build Fort Trump in Poland together, Mr. President.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: That’s right. You know what? It’s very important to me. Extremely important. They’re very special people. It’s a very special country. It’s a very brave country.
I think one of my best moments was making that speech in Poland. People liked me, and I like them. They’re very, very exceptional people. The security of Poland is very important to me, and it’s very important to our country.
Q Mr. President, are you willing to declassify other items regarding the Russia investigation?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, we’re going to see. We want transparency. What I want is I want total transparency. This is a witch hunt. Republicans are seeing it. The Democrats know it’s a witch hunt, too, but they dont want to admit it because that’s not good politics for them. But it’s a terrible witch hunt, and it’s hurt our country.
And the things that have been found over the last couple of weeks about text messages back and forth are a disgrace to our nation. And I want transparency, and so does everybody else. As you know, congressional committees came to me and they wanted this. And I did it based on their request. But I think it’s a good thing, because we should open it up for people to see.
Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you.
Q Have you talked to Judge Kavanaugh?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, I havent.
Q Why not?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Specifically, I havent wanted to. I think it’s something that he will do very well. I think, specifically, I havent wanted to speak to Judge Kavanaugh because I knew somebody would ask me the same question that you asked me: “Have you spoken to Judge Kavanaugh?” So, specifically, I thought it would be a good thing not to. He can handle himself better than anybody. Hes a very outstanding man. Thank you.
Q So you still support him. He knows you support him though.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Oh, Im totally supportive. Yes, Im very supportive. He’s a — I would say few people that Ive ever seen, that I’ve ever known — and I know people of great success — have been so outstanding as Judge Kavanaugh.
Q Is this all politics?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I dont want to say that. Maybe I’ll say that in a couple of days, but not now.
Thank you very much, everybody.
Q Aren’t you afraid of hostile Russia reaction to this close friendship with Poland? Sir, arent you afraid of hostile Russia reaction to the close friendship with Poland?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I love our friendship with Poland. I love our friendship with Poland.
A few days ago, September 13th, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes was given the Keeper of the Flame Award in Washington DC. Within his acceptance speech Chairman Nunes discusses the significance of this time in U.S. history.
In the days and months following Watergate, the HPSCI was given specific rules within their legislative branch oversight, which actually became the most significant tools -utilized for the first time- to uncover intelligence abuses by the former administration. Additionally, Chairman Nunes expands on the “next steps.”
Armstrong Economics Blog/Rule of Law
RE-Posted Sep 18, 2018 by Martin Armstrong
The United States is on a major confrontational course with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. The White House National Security Adviser, John Bolton, threatened entry bans and other sanctions against court judges and prosecutors if they dare to try to prosecute any US citizens for an investigation into possible US war crimes in Afghanistan. Bolton made it very clear that the United States would NEVER cooperate with the Hague Tribunal and it regards the international court as an “illegitimate court” for the ICC is only good when it prosecutes non-Americans for war crimes.
Indeed, Bolton virtually declared war on the Hague and said that the United States and Israel, with other allied states, would put immigration bans on judges and prosecutors of the ICC, and it would also freeze any potential assets of Hague lawyers in the United States.
Part of the issue is their interpretation is begin expanded as to what is a crime of aggression. According to the ICC, “crime of aggression” means the planning, preparation, initiation or execution of an offensive action that by its nature, severity and scope constitutes a manifest violation of the Charter of the United Nations by a person who is actually capable to control or direct the political or military action of a state. In other words, the USA could not invade Syria or Iraq for that matter.
Any attack on a nation actually violates the prohibition of violence in Art. 2 No. 4 of the UN Charter, which is also a customary international norm -i.e. Iraq invasion of Kuwait. The generally accepted exceptions to the prohibition of violence are:
- Military coercive measures authorized by the UN Security Council pursuant to Art. 39, 42, 53 UN Charter
- Measures in the exercise of the right to self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter, which is also a norm of customary international law.
The USA, Russia, China, Israel, Turkey or India are not contracting states of the ICC and thus are not covered by the jurisdiction of the ICC. The USA is fine with prosecuting everyone else, but it will not allow the ICC to investigate Americans in its court system or to prosecute anyone in the U.S. government.