An Open Letter

trade war

An open letter on trade — from 29 European Union ambassadors to the U.S.:

There has been a lot of talk recently about the trade and investment relationship between the European Union and the United States. Who wins? Who loses?

The fact is, we are both winning and have been for years. Claims to the contrary, including that the United States is at the losing end of this relationship, deserve to be debunked. Because the United States makes more money doing business with the E.U. than with anyone else.

The facts speak for themselves:

Fact No. 1: Together, the U.S. and the E.U. have created the largest and wealthiest market in the world. The transatlantic economy accounts for half of the global gross domestic product by value, which directly supports more than 15 million high-quality jobs and $5.5 trillion in commercial sales. And nearly one-third of the world’s trade in goods occurs between the E.U. and United States alone.

Fact No. 2: The United States has a partner in the form of the European Union that invests more in the United States than the United States does in it. The E.U.’s foreign direct investment in the United States is $2.56 trillion, compared with $2.38 trillion in the other direction. Seventy percent of all foreign direct investment in the United States comes from Europe.

Fact No. 3: There is no “buy European” policy for U.S. enterprises to compete with. We have a level playing field in public procurement, regardless of whether you are a European or American company. On top of that, we have eliminated thousands of legal and bureaucratic barriers to trade, leading to an open and thriving marketplace of more than 500 million consumers.

Fact No. 4: The European Union is the top destination for American exports — in 2016, we bought $269.6 billion worth of goods from the United States. And U.S. exports of services to the E.U. — increasingly the backbone of any modern economy — have been steadily increasing over the years, coming in at a record-setting $231 billion in 2016. That makes us the top destination for U.S. services – in fact, transatlantic trade in services results in a surplus for the United States.

Fact No. 5: Our tariff rates are constant, level and predictable, helping U.S. enterprises to seamlessly enter our markets without having to fear sudden, perhaps unforeseen heightened charges. The United States currently imposes individual tariff rates of more than 15 percent on 330 separate manufactured goods. Yet when U.S. companies sell their products to the E.U., they encounter only 45 such tariff peaks.

Simply put, the E.U. invests more in the United States, buys more American services and employs more American workers than the other way around. As a ready comparison: 45 of 50 U.S. states export more to the E.U. than they do to China. And what of China’s foreign direct investment into the United States? It’s around one-hundredth that of Europe’s.

This is a relationship, indeed a partnership, that other countries can only dream of. It’s a partnership underpinned by a broad set of shared values, grounded in a common determination for freedom, peace and prosperity. But, as with any partnership, the prospect of unilateral action by one side, to the detriment of the other partner, places the entire mutually beneficial relationship at risk. Placing tariffs on E.U. steel and aluminum imports — imports that are high value and support critical U.S. industries — is a significant step in that protectionist direction. So is going after the European auto industry — an industry that invests billions in the United States and creates millions of jobs.

Instead, as the two most free and open economies in the world, let’s focus on what benefits us both. We should work together to address Chinese steel overcapacity and other market distortions. We should work together toward a fair, open and rules-based global trading system. We should work together to improve market access for our companies and farmers around the world. Together we should tackle intellectual property theft and look at how we can further reduce red tape, regulatory barriers and tariffs between us — facilitating innovation and investment, to the mutual benefit of business and consumers on both sides of the Atlantic. This, not tariffs and quotas, would be moving in the right direction.

Ambassador of Bulgaria to the United States, Tihomir Stoytchev

Ambassador of Austria to the United States, Wolfgang Waldner

Ambassador of Romania to the United States, George Maior

Ambassador of Finland to the United States, Kirsti Kauppi

Ambassador of Croatia to the United States, Pjer Simunovic

Ambassador of Germany to the United States, Peter Wittig

Ambassador of Portugal to the United States, Domingos Fezas Vital

Ambassador of Slovenia to the United States, Stanislav Vidovic

Ambassador of France to the United States, Gérard Araud

Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the United States, Hynek Kmonicek

Ambassador of Sweden to the United States, Karin Olofsdotter

Ambassador of Spain to the United States, Pedro Morenés

Ambassador of Belgium to the United States, Dirk Wouters

Ambassador of Hungary to the United States, Laszlo Szabo

Ambassador of Poland to the United States, Piotr Wilczek

Ambassador of Denmark to the United States, Lars Lose

Chargé d’affaires of Cyprus to the United States, Andreas Nikolaides

Two Autocrats, One Preaching Division, the Other, Unity and Love

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Translation:

China produced an Uncle Xi,
He dares to fight the tigers.

Not afraid of heaven, not afraid of earth,
Dreamers all look to him!

China also has a Peng Mama,
Give her the most beautiful flowers.

Protect and bless her,
Flourishing family, flourishing country, flourishing under heaven!

Xi Dada loves Peng Mama,
This sort of love is legendary,

Peng Mama loves Xi Dada,
The realm with love is the strongest!

Men should study Xi Dada,
Women should study Peng Mama,

Love like they do,
Love can warm everyone!

Men should study Xi Dada,
Women should study Peng Mama,

Love like they do,
People with love can win everything!

Brave love is called Xi Dada loves Peng Mama,
Together, he’s always smiling happily at her.

Brave love is called Peng Mama loves Xi Dada,
Hand in hand, her smile is the most beautiful flower.

As you can tell, it sounds better in Mandarin.

End Times

end times

Observations from Professor Janelle Wong:

“What we’re seeing is that on the right, the rank-and-file white evangelicals aren’t really interested in moving positions in terms of immigration reform,” [Wong said]. The white evangelical has entered its latter days, and the bloc’s support for Trump can be seen as a reaction against the inevitable. “I had expected that white evangelicals, especially the leadership, would maybe modify its agenda to accommodate some of these new sources of growth,” she said. “But the opposite happened. That demographic change actually created a lot of anxiety, I think.”

Each party now faces distinct difficulties. Republicans can’t survive without the support of their white base, which binds them, for now, to the grievance politics that put Trump in office. Democrats can’t surrender ground on reproductive justice or same-sex marriage, yet their immigration policies should make them attractive to the coming wave of non-white evangelicals. White evangelicals, in the meantime, find themselves in a trap of their own creation. In so many respects, their grip on American politics appears doomed—by the xenophobia they have embraced, and the young adults they’ve failed to retain.

Backfire

backfire

Thanks to Hans for sharing this from Handelsblatt Global on Germans’ reaction to Trump’s Ambassador Dickwad:

Trump ambassador slammed as ‘regime change envoy’ by angry Germans

Donald Trump’s envoy to Germany blurred the lines between politics and diplomacy by saying he hopes to “empower” conservatives across Europe. For Germans it smacked of advocating regime change. …

[L]ess than one month into the job, the latest comment has even prompted the first calls for Mr. Grenell’s resignation: “If this is how it was [said], then this man should leave the country,” tweeted Johannes Kahrs, a parliamentarian from the Social Democrats. His former party leader Martin Schulz was more colorful, likening the US ambassador to a “far-right colonial officer.” …

Like most political interventions by outsiders, the comments have also rallied Angela Merkel’s opponents to her side. Sevim Dagdelen of the opposition left party “Die Linke” slammed Mr. Grenell for outing himself as Trump’s “regime change envoy.”

In other words, calls for an “awakening” of conservatives could well have the opposite effect. That’s a lesson even Mr. Trump’s predecessor might agree with. After all, remember what happened when Barack Obama urged Britons not to vote for Brexit?