Saturday, July 8, 2017

Must Be Obama's Fault

The tensions [at the G20 meetings] were a measure of Trump’s sharp break with previous U.S. policies. They were also a warning signal of Washington’s diminished clout, as the leaders of the other nations who gathered in Hamburg mulled whether to fix their signatures to statements that would exclude Trump or to find some sort of compromise. Two European officials said they were leaning toward a united front against Washington.

Well done, Mr. Trump! Well done!
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who faced the difficult job of bridging the differences, made little attempt to paper over the disagreements after the first day of meetings.


Some of the clearest divides had to do with climate change after Trump’s decision to pull the United States from the Paris climate accord. There were sharp warnings about U.S. steel policy as Trump mulls restrictions on imports.


In one of the most consequential decisions of his young administration, Trump could within days impose the restrictions on steel, a move that could affect trade with more than a dozen major countries.


Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has nearly finished a multi-month review of U.S. steel imports, and he has said that the large amount of steel imported by the United States puts national security at risk because it has weakened the domestic steel industry. The White House is considering using this rationale to impose new restrictions, either by imposing tariffs or quotas, or a combination of the two.


“We will respond with countermeasures if need be, hoping that this is not actually necessary,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told reporters, adding figuratively: “We are prepared to take up arms if need be.”
Jesus Fucking Christ.
European officials not only do not fear Trump but also see much to gain from opposing him. Trump is deeply unpopular in Europe, and politicians here can get a boost when they emphasize their differences.


The White House’s National Economic Council has changed the Trump administration’s approach to steel in the past week, people familiar with the strategy said. It is hoping to galvanize other countries at the G-20 to work together to confront China over its government support for its steel industry, with the idea that joint pressure could be more effective and remove the possibility that the United States has to move alone.

It is unclear, though, whether that approach will be effective.
Not if they fucking hate him.
“It’s up to us to avoid such things as protectionism, this very simple thing. That would be wrong,” Juncker said.

The E.U. has pointed proudly at a wide-ranging trade deal with Japan, concluded Thursday, as a retort to Trump’s protectionist inclinations.


As Trump entered the meetings Friday morning, he strode up to Merkel, smiling, then shook her hand vigorously. Walking away, he looked toward reporters and pumped his fist in the air.
Jesus. Help us.

 ...but hey, do what you will anyway.

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