Friday :: Jan 31, 2020

Acquittal: Here Comes the European Automaker Trade War

by paradox

There are few federal policy areas that possess less of the potent punishment catnip to authoritarians than trade policy. Trade instantly offers the option to whining grievances easily exploitable in our brutal capitalist system, along with the fear and punishment so quickly available with tariffs.

But in America the authoritarians have aligned themselves completely with very politically powerful moneyed interests who hate tariffs and regulations of any kind, they put a serious crimp in the ability to exploit a market, or even for a market to be available at all.

Thus for all of our lives Free Trade has been an absolute bedrock pillar of the Republican Party, in 1962 they got truly serious about it and passed the Trade Expansion Act, which primarily gave over almost all trade policy to the President. There were simply too many stupid, obnoxious profit-crushing authoritarian Congressmen who kept sniffing the irresistible catnip of tariffs and making a mess of it.

If in fact the President deemed it necessary to step on trade with tariffs the Expansion Act simply demanded it was because “national security” was threatened and all the President had to do was file a Section 232 report with the Treasury Department precisely stating how this was so.

The lying, stupid, bully President Trump of course could give a damn about any bedrock principle and instantly slapped tariffs on the Chinese, they’d ripped us off (of course, yes, yes) and that instant punishment power, god did that tickle the rancid brain of Trump. We all know the completely disastrous results, farm country has been savaged by Chinese retaliation with higher prices for the rest of us.

It was never clear how calmly it was accepted Trump could really do it, but in the ensuing uproar Trump upped the ante with a proposed trade war with European automakers. Trump is of course clueless and stupid on actual trade policy ramifications, he just wants to hurt and punish someone, those froggy intellectual snot German, French and Swedes will get it and be shown who’s the real boss.

The putrid Republican Party mustered whatever’s been left of its pathetic self and demanded a codified, empirical report on the threat of national emergency from European carmakers, technically that’s what the Expansion Act demands, the President files the Section 232 report on the threat with the Treasury Department and then imposes tariffs.

President Trump kept making threats and warnings, so finally it was demanded that the Section 232 report be released to see the justification. Treasury Secretary Wilbur Ross refused. Why on earth not, what could possibly be secret about alleged trade national security issues?

Kremlin-like policy watchers and political junkies made bets and formed pools, did the clueless, lying bumbling Trump actually file a fantasy 232 (it could be nothing else, please, are the Germans a threat with new navigation software?) or just pass on it and casually lie about a 232 that was never actually written?

After the disastrous China tariff results and the ensuing uproar of everything else the battle of BMW was put off, Congress actually stirring itself for the moxie to demand a Section 232 in the latest budget agreement. Congress actually had to precisely codify that this President in this environment produce a Section 232, instructions on how dress himself put off for another day.

So what happened? President Trump signed the budget, yes, but then produced one of those sickeningly foul Signing Statements saying yeah, well, I did produce a Section 232, but it can be kept secret because knowledge of the justification would crimp and restrain upcoming negotiation stances with the Europeans.

It’s absolute lying hooey, of course, there’s no national security threat whatsoever in car production policy, and if there was there’s no way the Europeans wouldn’t know. It’s so stupid and venal the lying can only mean one thing, the Section 232 was never written, of course not, just another stupid Republican President Trump lie so he can bully someone.

So what happens now? The Washington Post reports the impeachment cover-up of President Trump could be completed today with acquittal this evening. This screaming catastrophe for American Democracy has many ramifications, not the least of which is complete approval from Congress for Trump to break any law he deems to be unworthy.

Like the budget agreement and Section 232, oh my god, the law and Congress? What quaint, pathetic American ideas those were. Lie and bully the Europeans, inflict pain and fear while terribly harming the economy, all for nothing but stupid vengeful grievances. Thus is life in American Democracy, circa 2020, northern hemisphere, planet Earth.

paradox :: 4:33 AM :: Comments (0) :: Digg It!