Canada Just Learned that Trump’s United States is the World’s Worst Friend – opinion

Canada Just Learned that Trump’s United States is the World’s Worst Friend

The administration’s ruling on tariffs shows that the U.S.A. has more respect for its enemies than its good neighbors, so why bother being a pal?

Stephen Marche | The Washington Post

Being close to the United States of America is sort of like having the world’s lousiest friend. In the ordinary course of business, it belittles you, ignores you, takes you for granted. When it needs you, when it’s in the middle of an emergency, it shows up expecting you to drop everything. Then, the moment it has what it wants, it forgets you ever existed.

Canadians are used to dealing with an unpredictable and occasionally insane neighbor to the south, but Thursday’s announcement that the United States would impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from Canada, Mexico and the European Union was a true friendship deal-breaker. American foreign policy is becoming a study in how to lose friends and alienate people, how to turn ancient allegiances into fraught conflicts for the vaguest of possible motivations.         

U.S.A. callousness and intransigence are hardly new to Canadians or to Canadian policymakers. In 1969, Justin Trudeau’s father, Pierre, famously declared in a speech to the Washington Press Club that living next to the United States was “like sleeping with an elephant”.

He did not mention – because he didn’t need to – that the elephant he was thinking of wasn’t the smart kind, the kind that has conversations and celebrates births and buries its dead. He meant the big, dumb kind that rolls around in the filth and doesn’t care whom it tramples.

Despite Canada’s long history of close vigilance and deep anxiety when it comes to the United States, it is highly unusual for a sitting prime minister to take shots, even the mildest ones, even off the record, against its neighbor. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s public comments Thursday were almost without precedent.

“For 150 years, Canada has been America’s most steadfast ally,” Trudeau began, before pointedly citing his country’s recent sacrifices of blood and treasure: “We came to America’s aid after 9/11.” The prime minister tried to end his statement on a positive note, but the anger remained near the surface. “We have to believe that at some point, common sense will prevail. But we see no sign of that.”

It’s not hard to read through the lines to find the real meaning in what Trudeau is saying: Nothing against the United States of America, it’s just President Trump. He’s not anti-American. He’s anti-Trump. The question is how long that distinction can last.

The last time the Canadian government was this upset with the United States, America was in a civil war – maybe we should start calling it the First Civil War – and Canada wasn’t even a country yet. The Union Navy had seized a British vessel, the Trent, containing Confederate diplomats, and Abraham Lincoln had to tell his secretary of state, William Seward, to fight “one war at a time.” Canadian Confederation was, in large measure, a response to the threat posed by the newly militarized and unpredictable U.S. body politic.

The breakdown of U.S.-Canada relations isn’t all Trump, either. U.S.A. faith in the country’s exceptionalism can seem general and total, and for many Canadians, it can be hard to bear. If you went to a random street corner in, say, Chicago, and asked Americans whether Canada fought in Vietnam or Afghanistan or Iraq, how many would know? So why would you fight with people who can’t remember whether you’ve fought with them?

At the news conference where he announced retaliatory tariffs, Trudeau described how a NAFTA deal-in-waiting was jettisoned by Vice President Pence. It was Pence who informed him, at the last moment, that his government wanted a “sunset” clause so that the agreement would expire after five years.

Trudeau demurred. How could he not? A sunset clause would have made the deal useless, offering no reliable guarantees for cross-border businesses. The demand for the clause was typical of the way a lousy friend operates, upping the drama, making sure the drama never ends. Pence was, of course, acting for Trump, who made the demand because he knows there will be little to no cost to him domestically for treating a long-standing ally like a schmuck. He merely reflects ingrained self-regard and indifference.

Trump isn’t known for having friends, and he obsesses over who his enemies might be. He creates enemies so that he has a way to define himself. That process has been extended from his personal life to the U.S.A. political system and, from there, to the international order. His base wants more enemies. And I guess they’ll take them where they can find them. It’s hard to imagine how you work yourself up to hate Canadians, but we’re living in times of great innovation.

Most Canadians still love Americans. “I want to be very clear about one thing,” Trudeau declared. “Americans remain our partners, friends and allies.” For how long? Self-interest is going to start taking over at some point. Fewer tariffs on China, weak sanctions on Russia and new tariffs and new threats of sanctions on us?

Trump in particular, and the United States of America in general, respect you only if you’re an enemy. So why be a friend?

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Comments

  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On June 2, 2018 at 1:58 pm

    A disturbing development with our northern neighbor and economic partner. My only advice to our Canadian friends: Forgive him, Trudeau, for he knows not what he is doing.

  • Clyde Duncan  On June 3, 2018 at 1:00 am

    A Canadian singer:

  • Clyde Duncan  On June 3, 2018 at 2:34 am

    Trudeau Reaches His Breaking Point With Trump

    The Canadian leader’s response to U.S.A. tariffs formed his sharpest-ever rebuke of the president.

    Krishnadev Calamur | The Atlantic

    Spare a thought for Justin Trudeau. The Canadian prime minister is most often seen smiling while meeting with world leaders, showing off his immaculate sock collection, and uttering the kinds of pronouncements that make him the darling of many progressives.

    But on Thursday, Trudeau took on an unfamiliar role: THAT OF TRUMP CRITIC.

    The occasion was the announcement that day that the U.S.A. would impose tariffs of 25 percent and 10 percent, respectively, on steel and aluminum imports from Canada and the European Union. That decision could spark a trade war that few people expect will end well for any of the parties involved.

    A visibly frustrated Trudeau responded almost immediately, saying Canada will impose tariffs against imports from the U.S.A. of steel, aluminum, and other products.

    “We are imposing dollar for dollar tariffs for every dollar levied against Canadians by the U.S.,” he said, adding the levies will take effect July 1 and will remain in place until the U.S.A. eliminates its measures against Canada.

    Trudeau also said Canada will challenge the U.S. measures at the World Trade Organization and under the North American Free Trade Agreement, a pact that now looks in danger of dying because Trump views it as unfair.

    Trudeau’s politics and worldview might not align with Trump’s, but he was among the first world leaders to congratulate the U.S. president on his election victory, noting Canada has “no closer friend, ally, and partner than the United States.”

    It is a message he carried to Washington where he endured an awkward handshake with Trump; and had what was generally billed as a positive meeting with the American president. When it ended, the two men spoke warmly of each other, and Trump even said he was prepared to tweak NAFTA instead of withdrawing from it.

    But on Thursday, Trudeau seemed particularly aggrieved by the national-security grounds on which the Trump administration imposed the tariffs. He said Canada was America’s “most steadfast ally” in war and peace, calling the tariffs “an affront to the … thousands of Canadians who have fought and died alongside American comrades-in-arms.”

    But what he said next perhaps illustrates just how poor relations between the two neighbors have become.

    “In closing, I want to be very clear about one thing: Americans remain our partners, friends, and allies. This is not about the American people. We have to believe that at some point their common sense will prevail,” he said in the type of language that successive U.S. administrations have used to describe recalcitrant regimes such as Iran.

    “But we see no sign of that in this action today by the U.S. administration.”

    Trump fired back in a statement late Thursday: “The United States has been taken advantage of for many decades on trade. Those days are over. Earlier today, this message was conveyed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada:

    The United States will agree to a fair deal, or there will be no deal at all.”

    On Friday, via Twitter, Trump added: “Canada has treated our Agricultural business and Farmers very poorly for a very long period of time. Highly restrictive on Trade! They must open their markets and take down their trade barriers! They report a really high surplus on trade with us. Do Timber & Lumber in U.S.?”

    – The U.S.A. has a $8.4 billion trade surplus in goods and services with Canada.

    The dispute over tariffs is part of a larger trade dispute between the United States and its two neighbors — Canada and Mexico — over NAFTA.

    Trump says he believes the agreement, which was signed in 1994 and allows for the free flow of goods and services among the three countries, has destroyed American industry, hurt American workers, and eviscerated the American middle class.

    No amount of data from economists, pleas from farmers who have found massive overseas markets for their produce, and entreaties from the Chamber of Commerce seems able to persuade him otherwise.

    NAFTA is being renegotiated by the three countries, but the pact looks set to go the way of the Paris climate accord, the Iran deal, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

    The advisers who advocated for Trump to remain in those multilateral pacts have long left the administration and those who remain say they support Trump’s worldview.

    Indeed, Wilbur Ross, the Commerce secretary, said Thursday the tariffs on Canada were being imposed because of insufficient progress on talks to renegotiate NAFTA.* Just days earlier, investors were optimistic that the three countries were close to an agreement. No longer.

    Trudeau suggested as much when he said Thursday that he canceled a trip to Washington to meet with Trump about an agreement on NAFTA because Vice President Mike Pence told him that a meeting could only go ahead if a sunset clause were added to the pact.

    Canada views such a clause — one in which NAFTA would be renegotiated every five years — as a red line because it creates exactly the kind of economic uncertainty that deals like NAFTA are meant to eliminate. “I had to highlight that there was no possibility of any Canadian prime minister signing a NAFTA deal that included a five-year sunset clause, and obviously the visit didn’t happen,” Trudeau said.

    U.S. officials have said the three countries are still talking about ways to salvage NAFTA, though at this point it looks like an agreement — if one is reached — is a long way away.

    Though as Bloomberg notes: “Failing to reach an accord on an update doesn’t necessarily mean NAFTA is dead, though. The existing pact remains on the books. Any country can quit on six months’ notice, which isn’t binding, in that they can give notice and never actually quit. No country has yet given notice, though Trump threatens to.”

    Giving notice might give the president the room he needs to keep his campaign promises — even if it hurts the U.S.A. relationship with its two closest trading partners.

    Trudeau will no doubt have another opportunity this coming week to make the case to Trump when leaders of the world’s seven richest nations gather in Quebec for their annual G7 summit.

    Trudeau, who is hosting this year’s meeting, had hoped to focus on issues such as climate change, the jobs of the future, growth that benefits everyone, and women’s empowerment.

    But as Politico reported, there is “unprecedented division over the agenda and what joint statements might be issued out of the summit.”

    Trump’s tariffs on European products, as well as his reportedly planned levies on German car imports, is going to make this an awkward event.

    Trade’s not the only reason why:

    The G7 includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

    Of that list, three countries — France, Germany, and the U.K. — are part of the IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL, which Trump pulled out of recently.

    At the summit last year, in Taormina, Italy, it became clear Trump would withdraw the U.S.A. from the PARIS CLIMATE ACCORD.

    This time around, it is TRADE that might get the presidential treatment.

  • Clyde Duncan  On June 3, 2018 at 2:48 am

    Canada Invites a Dozen Extra Nations to G7 Summit

    List of ‘outreach countries’ invited to the summit includes a few surprises

    Evan Dyer | CBC News

    Canada will invite the leaders of a dozen additional countries to the Group of Seven summit in Charlevoix, Que., this month, as well as four international organizations, CBC News has learned.

    Canada holds the G7 presidency for 2018 and will host the summit in Charlevoix June 8-9. Core members of the G7 are:

    • Canada.
    • France.
    • U.S.A.
    • U.K.
    • Germany.
    • Japan.
    • Italy.
    • Heads of the European Union.

    It’s become a tradition at G7 summits to invite countries beyond the core membership of the group. It allows the core members to expand their discussions beyond their own group of wealthy nations.

    Often the invitees come from developing countries, though this year’s crop of “outreach countries” includes one notable exception to that rule.

    The heads of the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the World Bank are also on the guest list.

    Argentina No Surprise
    One nation that comes as no surprise is Argentina, which this year holds the presidency of the G20. All of the members of the G7 are also in the G20.

    A perhaps surprising absence is the country that was the No. 1 recipient of Canadian aid in 2015, Ukraine.

    Canada has made significant efforts on behalf of Ukraine on the world stage.

    After receiving substantial loans from Canada that year, Ukraine has fallen precipitously in Canada’s foreign aid rankings, perhaps reflecting frustration with rampant corruption among the country’s governing elite.

  • Clyde Duncan  On June 3, 2018 at 3:13 am

    Analysis
    Between Trump, Iran & North Korea, Canada’s G7 has a High Potential for Chaos

    The president has driven some deep wedges into the relationship between allies

    Chris Hall | CBC News

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carefully-planned agenda for next month’s G7 summit has taken one hit already from Donald Trump. It appears the U.S.A. president is about to deliver another.

    Trump’s decision to unilaterally withdraw from the Iran Nuclear Deal, and to reimpose economic sanctions on Iran, caused a deep rift with fellow G7 members France, Germany and the U.K.

    Canada also expressed its regret over Trump’s decision, setting the tone for a difficult discussion on global security when the G7 leaders meet in Charlevoix June 8-9.

    Now Canadian officials are bracing for an equally difficult discussion at the summit about Trump’s planned meeting with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un — which may or may not take place as scheduled on June 12.

    No one knows, of course, what Trump plans to say about North Korea in Charlevoix. But Trump’s penchant for making decisions on the fly, and for overruling members of his own administration, has nerves on edge.

    “It’s hard to see how the G7 leaders could coalesce around a statement on North Korea now,” said former Canadian diplomat James Trottier, who led a number of diplomatic delegations to North Korea while posted to the embassy in Seoul from 2013 to 2016.

    “The Korean meeting has taken on undue importance for Trump, with Republicans in the U.S. playing up a possible Nobel peace prize.”

    Trump the Provocateur

    Trump’s view of himself as the consummate dealmaker needs no elaboration.

    But his willingness to play the provocateur is just as important a factor in assessing the challenge he poses to his G7 partners.

    That pattern started with his earliest days in office — when he pulled the U.S.A. out of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact and then the Paris Climate Change Accord shortly after.

    He’s vowed to build a border wall, tear up NAFTA and slap tariffs on steel and aluminum from Europe and Canada. He’s demanded that NATO allies spend more on defence.

    He refused to join the other G7 leaders last year at their summit in Italy in signing a final communique that reaffirmed their commitment to combating climate change.

    But it’s Trump’s decision earlier this month to withdraw from the Iran agreement — despite heavy lobbying from his allies to stay in — that stokes concerns about what the president thinks he can get from a meeting with Kim, and what he might expect from his G7 partners heading in.

    “There are linkages here,” said former diplomat Colin Robertson, now vice-president of the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute.

    “The Europeans are not happy with the U.S. decision on Iran and this will play out with North Korea. There’s a whole busload of issues around security and North Korea is just one of those in which there’s a divergence of views.”

    Canadian officials are downplaying the potential for discord. They note there’s broad support among all seven leaders for Trudeau’s stated priorities:

    Economic growth that works for everyone, advancing gender equality, preparing young people for the jobs of the future and working together on climate change and oceans.

    Canada’s lead organizer for the G7, Peter Boehm, told a conference in Ottawa earlier this month that there is no need for consensus on every issue.

    “If leaders were to agree on everything, there wouldn’t be a point in having these meetings.”

    But others see Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran deal as another sign of his indifference toward America’s allies, and toward multilateral efforts to promote stability in the Middle East and the Korean peninsula.

    “Donald Trump doesn’t have a grand strategy or a comprehensive plan for his meeting with Kim,” said Joe Cirincione, president of the Ploughshares Fund, a global security think-tank based in Washington.

    “I expect him to go into the G7 with a couple of carefully-prepared briefing books that he will ignore in favour of winging it.”

    What does Trump want?

    Cirincione said that makes it nearly impossible for the G7 to anticipate what Trump will want, let alone reach any sort of consensus.

    Will he demand G7 members signal their support for lifting economic sanctions if the meeting with Kim produces a result that he alone thinks is workable?

    Will he signal his intention to withdraw the nearly 23,000 U.S. troops now based on the Korean peninsula as part of a deal with Kim — a proposal that surely would alarm next-door neighbour Japan?

    Or will he adopt the hard line of his new national security adviser, John Bolton, who suggested last weekend that the U.S.A. use the same approach to North Korea that it employed with Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, who was killed in the Arab Spring protests after a NATO-led military intervention?

    “The poor Canadians,” said one foreign diplomat who asked not to be identified. “Under the circumstances, they are keeping so cool, collected and constructive.”

  • Clyde Duncan  On June 4, 2018 at 1:42 am

    American Foreign Policy: It is Worse Than it Looks

    James Fallows | The Atlantic wrote:

    I argued a few days ago that Trump’s new war-of-choice trade showdowns with Mexico, Canada, most of Europe, and other countries are self-defeating, pointless, impulsively irrational – choose your other synonym for crazy-bad.

    Robert Turnbull, a reader in Canada, says that’s not the half of it:

    In the article on Trump’s recently-imposed steel and aluminum tariffs against Canada, Mexico and the E.U., you make the right technical arguments for why the tariffs are misguided – [an understatement].

    But while the tariffs will cause significant damage to the economies of both the U.S.A. and the target countries, I believe the more lasting and pervasive damage will be the loss of trust in the U.S.A. among its closest allies.

    Canada is by far the largest exporter of steel and aluminum to the U.S.A. The American defence and auto industries are utterly dependent on reasonably-priced Canadian metals. The overall trade deficit/surplus between Canada and the U.S.A. is generally balanced, with the U.S.A. currently holding a slight surplus.

    As you pointed out, some Chinese steel has been transshipped to the U.S.A. through Canada. But Prime Minister Trudeau undertook to the President in March to restrict this and succeeded in putting the necessary control measures in place with Canadian steel makers.

    So why would Trump choose to hit Canada with 25% tariffs on steel and aluminum?

    Ostensibly, because they pose a threat to U.S. “national security”. The best words that the ever-polite Trudeau and Foreign Minister Freeland could come up with in response to this were “absurd” and “insulting.”

    Insulting because there is no closer security relationship between two countries in the world. The U.S.A. depends on Canadian metals to supply its defence industries because it can’t meet those demands itself.

    And after Canadian and American troops fought and died beside each other in two world wars, Korea and Afghanistan, the two country’s defence establishments are the most integrated in the world.

    In announcing Canada’s retaliatory tariffs, Trudeau was careful to point out that they are intended to send a message to the U.S. administration, NOT TO HURT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

    Of course, this is almost as laughable as the Trump administration’s “national security” justification:

    THE RETALIATORY TARIFFS ARE TAILORED TO HURT AMERICAN WORKERS THE MOST IN THOSE STATES THAT WERE INSTRUMENTAL IN ELECTING TRUMP.

    Trudeau’s careful distinction between the U.S. administration and its people does, however, reflect the visceral response of most Canadians to the current U.S. administration.

    As much as most Canadians revile Trump and the Trumpists, they continue to cling to the belief that this nightmare can’t represent the views of most Americans.

    Like many Canadians, I read, watch and listen to mainstream American media – including The Atlantic – and talk to my American friends and family members for reassurance that the America that has lead the world and generally maintained order for 75 years is still out there — it’s just been temporarily hijacked.

    But this belief becomes harder and harder to sustain as the assaults by Trump pile up.

    I suspect that the feeling is much the same in those other countries that were, until recently, America’s closest allies.

  • Clyde Duncan  On June 4, 2018 at 2:33 am

    A reader in the U.S.A. chimes in to support these previous views:

    I would argue that our relationships with Canada, followed closely by Mexico, are by far our most important and strategic relationships.

    The truth is that – thanks to being surrounded by oceans – we really could have neutral and minimal, maybe even mildly unfriendly, relations with the rest of the world and still be able to maintain our peace and security, our freedoms, and a reasonable level of economic well-being. . . IF we have good relations with Canada and Mexico.

    With our land borders secured, we have the oceans for defense with strategic depth, provided that we invest enough in our navy and air force.

    With Canada and Mexico as good trading partners, we have enough resources available in North America to sustain an admirable standard of living.

    Any involvement that we have with the rest of the world outside of North America builds on this foundation and should be seen as optional icing on the cake. Nice to do if we can, but we could live without it if absolutely necessary.

    To damage either of these primary relationships, though – even just a little bit – is sheer folly of the first magnitude, and is the strongest and clearest evidence yet that the current USA administration, from the top on down, are utterly ignorant and don’t have the slightest idea what they are doing.

    • kamtanblog  On June 4, 2018 at 4:39 am

      Echo the sentiments but “relationships”go less deeper today.
      Yes ROW can survive without USA but USA is part and parcel of our world.
      The hardest way to “hit” USA is in the
      short term …isolate the USD by replacing it with a new reserve currency …crypto comes to mind !
      Fantasy money !
      WTO legalised/regulated.

      We then not only have “free trade”
      hopefully fairer trade…no tax or tariffs as per the USA/EU model.

      Just an idea on how to “hurt” the bully.
      Head on confrontational approach.

      Kamtan

  • Clyde Duncan  On June 4, 2018 at 10:34 am

    kamtanblog: Your opinion might be taken into consideration, but in the context of supreme leader Traitor Trump who is reported to have informed ….

    Donald Trump Boasts that HIS Nuclear Button is Bigger THAN Kim Jong-un’s

    And a side-kick whose mantra is ‘Bomb – Bomb – Iran’

    You would NOT be making any sense!!?!

    • kamtanblog  On June 5, 2018 at 3:56 am

      Partly agree…
      But “war” is not a solution or an option. USA (POTUS) knows he cannot “bomb” whoever/whenever
      without the ok from the UN Security Council….he also knows he would not obtain its approval. Therefore he can only act “independently” …
      Question
      Will Russia (Putin) spectate in such an
      act of aggression. Doubt it !

      Why is Jesus hook up in Singapore now taking place.? Maybe Putin holds the key to POTUS decisions in matters military.

      Negotiating military action is not negotiating the economic one.
      As for the political one POTUS will
      have to negotiating table…like it or not

      We shall see

      12 June in Singapore

      Kamtan

  • walter  On June 4, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    Mexican, Arab, Russian, Chinese, Whatever Have their BANK ACCOUNTS in US CURRENCY Jump high jump low they will all cower before losing their “ill gotten” wealth. American politicians of both sides sold out their country for a buck,
    and weakened the US economy. Globalist were destroying the world with their agenda,while maintaining their wealth. trudeau is a weak ass “leader” in deep water with his incompetent band of ministers etc. Canada is heading towards the gutter, hoping that the US can turn out to be a lifeline. HOLD ON let me put on my cup. NOW GO!

    • kamtanblog  On June 5, 2018 at 4:18 am

      May add there is more usd outside in central banks than in BOA.
      Simple Simon says
      2000 we saw the creation of the €euro
      2018/19/20 we can see the creation of
      another. Can it be a CRYPTO (fantasy money) ? Or something else.
      As USA implodes ROW expands.
      USA needs ROW for its survival
      In my opinion
      The USD$ may soon be an internal currency used as legal tender.
      90% of Americans have never left USA
      If no one outside USA accepts
      USD$ Americans who travel abroad
      will have to use either plastics or crypto currency.

      It follows that if more Americans
      decided on a foreign holiday currency
      regulation will be introduced.
      When the £ was under threat
      Max currency allowed to take
      on holiday £50 … plastics the
      other option with banks charging
      for its use abroad.
      My gut feeling is that the USD$
      may loose its status as WORLD RESERVE CURRENCY

      $M Question when ?

      We shall see

      • walter  On June 5, 2018 at 12:48 pm

        Your gut is probably wrong. Removing/replacing USD as the pillar of all currency is a dream that was tried by many crooked politicians and failed. if you think that Internet $$$$ will ever catch on with the big guys, never gonna happen, think they want to go broke with touch of a key, naw. Just me, with the bias and shady dealings of the WTO and the UN exposed by PRESIDENT TRUMP America might be the life raft of many countries, unless you feel everything was going A OK before him. BTW $10, the last thing the #1 exporter, China, would like to see, weakened USD. I am willing to wait.

      • kamtanblog  On June 6, 2018 at 4:27 am

        Walter an interesting take on the usd
        as the World Reserve currency.
        Let me then offer a “compromise” scenario….why not have two or ten world reserve currency.
        £ is King Kong against others …
        It always was but it can give way
        to the €Euro …2000 we saw the
        birth of the € ..sadam and OPEC
        wanted to switch trading Oil in $
        so had to be taken out. Gadaffi also
        and any oil producer. Why ?
        Did not trust USA/UK $£

        Yes Chinese were acused by
        Barry of willful devaluation of
        CNY …now Jesus is waging war
        on china …
        The Chinese are playing games with
        the dotard while the exchange rate
        ¥ $ £ € exists as the buffer to trade.

        What if £ $ € ¥ all par …1=1
        for world trade with no tax or tariffs
        as per EU model…USA has had $
        as its currency as long as £ and their
        internal markets legal tender.

        It’s a big “if” but not an ifpossible
        One !

        We will see
        G6+1 and other invited attendees

        Followed by G20

        Interesting developments

        Kamtan

      • walter  On June 8, 2018 at 10:27 am

        I was going to ask you your views of “mining’ that fantasy money. (hate cut and paste but most people lot smarter)
        Cryptocurrency mining is an incredibly power-intensive process. It involves using energy hungry computers to solve complex problems, generating intense amounts of heat and using quite a bit of electricity. As a result, miners and mining companies have been on the hunt for inexpensive electricity. Operating from within a coal plant meets that requirement for sure.

  • Clyde Duncan  On June 4, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    A Second Civil War? Robert Reich Explains | AlterNet

    The United States of America is premised on an agreement about how to deal with our disagreements. It’s called the Constitution

    Professors Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page’s analysis of policy demands of wealthy individuals and moneyed business interests for the period 1981 to 2002 – before the Supreme Court opened the floodgates to big money in its “Citizens United” decision – indicate the system is “rigged”. It’s likely to be far worse now.

    So when Trump says the political system is “rigged,” he’s not far off the mark. – Bernie Sanders said the same thing.

    A Monmouth Poll released in March found that a bipartisan majority of Americans already believes that an unelected “deep state” is manipulating national policy.

    Here is the crucial distinction. Trump’s “deep state” is NOT the moneyed interests.

    It is a supposed cabal of government workers, intelligence personnel, researchers, experts, scientists, professors, and journalists – the people who make, advise about, analyze, or report on public policy.

    In the real world, they’re supposed to be truth-tellers. In Trump’s conspiracy fantasy they’re out to get him – in cahoots with former members of the Obama administration, liberals, and Democrats.

    TRUMP HAS NEVER BEHAVED AS IF HE THOUGHT HE WAS PRESIDENT OF ALL AMERICANS, ANYWAY.

    He’s acted as if he’s only the president of the 63 million who voted for him – certainly not the 66 million who voted for Hillary or anyone who supported Obama

    Nor has he shown any interest in unifying the nation or speaking to the nation as a whole. Instead, he periodically throws red meat to his overwhelmingly white, rural, and older base.

    And he has repeatedly shown he couldn’t care less about the Constitution.

    So what happens if Trump is about to be removed – by impeachment or even an election?

    In early April, Sean Hannity predicted that if impeachment began, “there’s going to be two sides of this that are fighting and dividing this country at a level we’ve never seen” – “those that stand for truth and those that literally buy into the corrupt deep state attacks against a duly elected president.”

    Last summer, Trump consigliore Roger Stone warned of “an insurrection like you’ve never seen,” and claimed any politician who voted to oust Trump “would be endangering their own life.”

    A second civil war? Probably NOT.

    But the way Trump and his defenders are behaving, it’s not absurd to imagine serious social unrest. That’s how low he’s taken us.

    • Emanuel  On June 4, 2018 at 10:02 pm

      I hear you.

    • kamtanblog  On June 4, 2018 at 10:16 pm

      In my opinion
      Trumps “strength” is his “unpredictability”
      Schizophrenia !

      Would anyone want to “shake hands”
      on any “deal” with a lunatic !
      A compulsive liar who believes his
      own lies to be “truthful” …gospel.
      Let’s see how the two “bullies”
      fare in their hook up on 12 June…
      which of the two will win/loose the
      PR exercise. Saber rattling ?

      Which will walk away from the confrontation …egg in face !

      Not long to go now.

      Bollywood stuff !

      Kamtan

  • Clyde Duncan  On June 5, 2018 at 1:19 am

    Kamtan: While you are mentioning a date, 12 June 2018

    U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood gave lawyers for Michael Cohen and Donald Trump until 15 June 2018 to complete their review of seized documents.

    Paul Manafort who is under house arrest, has now been accused of witness tampering, because he allegedly attempted to contact some witnesses.

    Manafort is about to find out why it is called ‘house arrest’ and NOT jail.

    There is a significant difference in freedom of movement.

    This June episode of the Traitor Trump drama excites me.

    Here is a clip from Business Insider:

    • If the special counsel Robert Mueller has enough evidence to prove Manafort did what he has been accused of, it could strike a blow to his defense, and also spell trouble for Trump.

    • A witness tampering charge, like lying to the FBI, can be used as evidence to show a guilty mind and may be “enticing to a jury,” said one former federal prosecutor.

    • If a judge believes Manafort sought to hamper the criminal trial, they are less likely to side with the defense during potentially close calls in a hearing, which could prove disastrous for Manafort.

    • And if a court revokes or restricts Manafort’s bail agreement in light of a witness tampering charge, it ramps up the pressure on him to cooperate — which also spells trouble for Trump.

    Business Insider | Sonam Sheth

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