EU ready for ‘stupid’ US trade war


… from Press TV, Tehran

Junker – “We can also do stupid.” 

[ Editor’s Note: Trump has thrown the challenge glove down and the EU has picked it up, really having no other choice. I am on board with the concept that a big upside down trade financial volume cannot go on indefinitely.

But it seems the 64,000 thousand dollar question is how to work out ways to balance it. Trump seems to have chosen the trade war to position himself in a commanding position for working out an eventual deal. But we are in uncharted waters here as to whether this could spiral down out of control

The EU could also learn a lesson from Russia about import substitution and find new markets for its goods and suppliers, too.

The US is in an economic war with everybody now. The real wildcard will be if it spills over into the international political realm, as it will encourage the EU want to end the Russian sanctions to make up for the lost US trade.

The same could go for US oil and gas imports, their being redirected Russia’s way, who has always been a reliable supplier. Needless to say Trump has no idea what is going to happen, and he might not even care, as he told the press yesterday that he likes chaos... Jim W. Dean ]

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– First published … March 07, 2018

The European Union says it’s ready to retaliate against the US over President Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum — with counter-measures against iconic US products like Harley Davidson motorcycles, Levi’s jeans and bourbon.

The EU threat and Trump’s insistence that the tariffs will go ahead escalate the risk of a trade war, in which countries try to punish each other by increasing taxes on traded goods. In the end, that tends to hurt all sides as exporting producers suffer but so do consumers who face higher costs, experts say.

There was some hope that free trade proponents in the White House, like economic adviser Gary Cohn, would dissuade Trump from going ahead with the tariffs. But Cohn’s resignation Tuesday dealt a blow to that expectation.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said Wednesday that the EU is circulating among member states a list of US goods to target with tariffs so that it can respond as quickly as possible.

The list is being finalized but so far includes US steel and agricultural products, as well as other products like bourbon, peanut butter, cranberries and orange juice. She did not say what level of tariffs the EU would set, leaving it unclear what the economic impact would be.

“This is basically a stupid process, the fact that we have to do this. But we have to do it,” EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had said Friday. “We can also do stupid.”

The EU considers itself to be caught in the crossfire of this particular trade dispute, in which Trump has mainly singled out China for being unfair in its commercial deals.

Trump last week said his government would levy penalties of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports, but left it not clear whether trading partners like the EU and Canada would be exempt.

So the EU has moved ahead with preparations for the worst. Malmstroem said that the EU, the world’s biggest trading bloc, rejects Trump’s reasoning that the tariffs are backed by the international legal right to protect national security.


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  1. Trump said, during the pipeline deal with Standing Rock and the usurpers, we will make the pipes out of good steel. This is a builders mentality and his logic is , the leaks are primarily due to bad steel. he said ” we will use good American steel to build the pipes”, And my question is this, ” are the British profiting from buying cheap Chinese steel and reselling it to the American interests building pipes ? ” And the source of ore is Australian.
    So, on this point, I give credit to where credit is due, and the rest is up to you. The steel we use for pipes is crap, and where does it come from ? Who are we selling our scrap to and what do we get in return ? Pipes.
    Railroads,, cars that dissolve in salt and rain and snow, brake lines that dissolve, and all kinds of planned obsolescence. This ties into infrastructure. Who makes the best steel ?

    • I know this. If I sell truck loads of rusty lawnmowers to a salvage yard for 200 dollars a ton, and the main shipping point is China, then the goods we receive in turn are made of these lawnmowers.
      I am not in favor of tariffs, but if the product and material is intertwined, then I have to submit to whatever authority is at the apex of entanglement. If it is a demagogue, then I need to plan accordingly.
      The ideal situation is honesty at all points of trade, no haggling. But , that is not the case. We like to haggle, and everyone smiles, at the best deal. One thing is a goal for the environmentalist. Get good steel for the pipes that run under our water supplies. Please. That is not too much to ask, and even demand it, with your utmost passion.

    • I think leaks would come from shoddy construction and even worse quality control as they have the instruments now to test welds and seals. If they can lay endless pipelines under the sea and none have leaked to my knowledge, to have them leak 10 ft under the ground suggest a lowest big contractor was used.

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