Japan and the E.U. hit back at Trump with major free trade agreement

In Trump’s insignificant little mind he is a master of “the deal,” but his alleged prowess in “dealing” with America’s international trading partners is proving to be a significant detriment to nearly every industry in the United States. That fact was manifest in grand fashion when as expected, Japan and the European Union signed a major trade agreement that is as much a slap in Trump’s bloated orange face as it is going to be an economic benefit to the nations involved – nations that will not include the United States.

President Barack Obama, and this nation’s leading economists, manufacturing industries and corporate leaders, were avid supporters of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) because it allowed America to dictate its own economic destiny. The concept of America ever being able to dictate, or control, its own economic destiny died the day of Trump’s poorly attended inauguration. That is the day when reality sunk in that a know-nothing television celebrity intended to “make America great” by abandoning hard-fought trade agreements negotiated solely to benefit American industries. That reality prompted America’s trading partners to begin seeking new trade agreements without the isolationist-minded United States’ involvement; the Japan and the European Union agreement is a result of Trump’s plan to make America great by isolating it from the rest of the world.

The agreement signed last week is the culmination of negotiations that began exactly one year ago during the so-called G20 economic summit in Hamburg Germany. Those negotiations were a direct result of Trump unilaterally withdrawing America from the TTP and coupled with his campaign pledge to force Canada and Mexico to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

It is noteworthy that just the threat of America reneging on its NAFTA agreement prompted Mexico to initiate its so-called “Plan B” and begin negotiations with other nations eager to supplant America’s powerful agriculture sector. Those negotiations have yielded agreements that benefit Mexico and several other nations at the expense of America’s agriculture sector; the new EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) deals an additional blow to American farmers.

The new EPA drastically reducesmost bilateral tariffs including high Japanese duties on EU products and EU tariffs on Japanese automobiles.” The European Commission projects that the EPA will eliminate roughly $1.2 billion in tariffs for EU exporters and “double the amount for Japanese companies.” Because of Trump, American exporters will be at a major trade disadvantage because they are now “isolated” from the “free-trade zone” the countries making up around 30 percent of the world’s GDP now enjoy. As noted by Bob Bryan writing for Business Insider, “The EPA is the just the latest in a series of liberalizing agreements that have been initiated or formalized by major economic powers around the world;” all while Trump is isolating America and antagonizing the country’s allies and trading partners as a matter of course.

That isolationism and protectionism Trump champions is also one of the reasons the EPA was signed in a very public way. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and European Council President Donald Tusk were forthright in telling the rest of the civilized world why they acted decisively without American participation. Mr. Tusk said:

This is an act of enormous strategic importance for the rules-based international order, at a time when some are questioning this order. We are sending a clear message that we stand together against protectionism.”

Prime Minister Abe also leveled some criticism Trump’s way and rightly asserted that Japan and the EU were taking the lead in international trade that America once enjoyed. Mr. Abe said:

“While protectionism is spreading in the world, Japan and the European Union will take the lead as flag bearers for free trade.”

It bears repeating, ad nauseam, that America is being left out of more and more free trade deals due to Trump. While the imbecile in the White House consults his own moronic mind on international trade, the world’s other “major economic powers” have been negotiating similar deals to the EPA over the past year or so.  It is true that some of the deals were in the works prior to Trump, but the loss of America’s leadership prompted the rest of the world to expedite their commitment to free trade and eliminate the barriers like those Trump is erecting on America’s trading partners.

This EPA deal is not the EU’s only foray into international trade as the new world leader. The EU is in the process of ratifying “a landmark agreement with Canada” and “pursuing deals with Mexico, Australia, and the so-called “Mercosur;” a trading bloc made up of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. The EU is also in talks with China that recently “lowered tariffs on products including vehicles and launched talks with the EU to build a stronger trade relationship;” all while Trump is doing everything in his power to decimate America’s trade relationships with ill-advised unilateral tariffs.

In fact, last Monday, China and the European Union economic leaders issued a rare joint statement reiterating their dedication “to resisting protectionism and unilateralism, and making globalization more open, balanced, inclusive, and beneficial to all;” except for America with its isolationist malcontent incapable of comprehending the benefits of participating in, much less leading, a global economy.

It is unclear how much damage to America Republicans and their corporate funders are going to allow Trump to single-handedly inflict on the nation’s economy before they say enough. He has created a disaster for the agriculture industry with idiotic immigration policies, tariffs, withdrawing from the TTP and just threatening to balk on America’s commitment to NAFTA. And the downstream damage to American manufacturers due to tariffs on steel and aluminum is going to be significantly devastating. All the while, Trump’s supporters who are the first casualties of his isolationism maintain their undying support for him. It is almost certain they will continue their support even as they lose their livelihoods and suffer higher prices due to Trump’s tariffs.

It is a travesty that although America is a powerful economic force, it ceded its global leadership to other nations like Japan, Canada, China, and the European Union simply because Trump fails to recognize the benefits of globalization and the value of free trade. The bigger travesty is that Trump’s supporters, those who are already feeling the effects of his isolationist and protectionist policies, will continue supporting him for two overriding reasons unrelated to international trade; he pledge to make America white and Christian.

Image: South China Morning Post

Japan and the EU Show Trump Real Global Leadership At G20

This week all eyes were on the meeting of the Earth’s 20 largest economies and particularly American idiot Trump’s meeting with his puppet master Vladimir Putin. What seems to have been lost, at least thus far, in the highly anticipated gathering was an announcement that because Donald Trump is as ignorant about world trade as he is the U.S. Constitution, America will no longer be the leader in global trade; it will likely not be second either. There had been plenty of warnings that Trump ceded America’s global economic lead to China with any one of the global agreements he unilaterally decided didn’t make America great, but it appears that the global lead is going to Japan and the European Union with China in second place and Trump’s “great America” falling far behind.

Some may recall that one of the reasons President Barack Obama, and this nation’s leading economists, manufacturing industries and corporate leaders, gave for being intricately involved in the Trans Pacific Partnership was to allow America to dictate its own economic destiny. Because Donald Trump is such a failure at business, and he is a flaming failure, and because he is an ignorant sot and megalomaniac, he extricated America from the TPP.

According to Trump, he and only he can “make the best deals” and only he can force the rest of the world, including our valued allies and trading partners, to bend to his will. So, on Trump’s first full day in a place he doesn’t belong, he unilaterally withdrew America from the TTP and pledged to force Canada and Mexico to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Those actions solidified Japan and the European Union’s commitment to take control of their global economic futures and force America out of its leadership role in global economics and trade and relegate it to a less than significant role. The two economic powerhouses waited to announce what is being hailed worldwide as a “massive trade deal” until the G20 meeting this weekend. By putting off their announcement, all 20 of the planet’s economic leaders were present to witness Japan and the EU “take the leadership reins away from America” because Trump has “withdrawn America from the global trading arena” to be “great again.”

As the Trump was dazed and confused, and wandering around lost on a stage in Poland, Japan and Europe were “sending a pointed message to the U.S. We’re taking your place as global leaders in free trade.”

The “massive trade deal” more than rivals the largest free trade accord in the world, NAFTA, and as a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, Caroline Freund stated:

Two big, highly globalized economies are stepping up and showing they’re going to continue liberalization — with or without the US,”

As noted in the Washington Post, the massive trade pact between Japan and the EU “is yet another momentous consequence of Trump’s decision to withdraw from Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations during his first full working day as president.”

Those consequences are in addition to the damage Trump inflicted on America’s massive agriculture industry with the threat of withdrawing from NAFTA, or at least “renegotiating” what he thinks would be a better deal. By now only an idiot refuses to admit that dumb Don Trump is too ignorant to know what a good deal is, much less negotiate a “a better” one. At a meeting last month American, Mexican, and Canadian trade representatives concurred that they all “want NAFTA left alone.” Trump may have easily screwed over investors, students, suppliers and contractors in his corrupt business “deals,” but powerful nations’ economic leaders are not going to be swindled by the likes of Trump.

In recent years Japan’s top priority has been the TPP because it would have allowed it to trade with the largest and most advanced economy in the world, the United States of America. And it would have become a key player in the “largest free trade bloc in global history” accounting for a whopping 40 percent of global GDP. It also would have given Japan a “strategic counterweight to communist China’s hegemony in Asia.

That prospect inclined Japan to put aside a promising trade agreement with the European Union; that is how promising a prospect for all the players the Trans Pacific Partnership was. Now there is an even more promising deal and besides not being one of the players, America will not be involved because Trump.

According to Edward Alden, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and noted trade expert:

I have no doubt the final rounds [of the negotiations] were accelerated to try to conclude the deal as quickly as possible and send a message that the EU and Japan are prepared to lead on trade – without the US. The fact that it was concluded right before Trump’s first G-20 summit is a symbolic poke in the eye to the Americans.”

America under the antagonistic Trump regime has incurred more than a few “pokes in the eye” in just a few months. A recent global poll found that Trump has singlehandedly “tarnished America’s image” on six continents, and that doesn’t include making a laughingstock out of himself at the G8 meeting last month. Because of his predilection to running his big bigoted mouth, he has created a world of economic hurt for the American agriculture industry with not one, but two ill-advised and bigoted policies. He has also damaged the American tourism industry because very few foreign travelers want to set foot in a nation of racists and bigots.

The kind of America that Trump thinks is great will continue alienating our friends, allies, and trading partners; something that was not occurring prior to Trump being allowed to move into the White House. America may still be great as far as having a powerful military, but like any business or corporation with a clueless and single-minded simpleton at the helm, the United States surrendered its global leadership on trade because Trump.