Upsetment
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Upsetment
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Curated by Kenneth Weene
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Trump pushes ‘Made in America’ as White House defends Trump companies making products overseas

Trump pushes ‘Made in America’ as White House defends Trump companies making products overseas | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Trump wants products made in America — except his own, apparently.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
To be fair, the role of companies is to maximize profits. That's why there has to be a government that sets policies that will make it more profitable for those companies to do what is in the social interest, in this case to create jobs in America. From tax policies, setting import criteria, offering inducements, and supporting research in manufacturing: there are many things the government can do to bring jobs back to these shores. 

If Mr. Trump were smart, he would say the obvious, "Trump products, including my daughter's, should ideally be made in America. The goal of my presidency is to create the economic conditions that will bring those jobs back to our shores while making sure that the workers who hold those jobs can afford a decent, American lifestyle. Alternatively, we have to create jobs that will sell even more products to the rest of the world so that our balance of trade is better and so that our work force can have the best possible employment." 

Sadly, he cannot say that because he really doesn't get the purpose of government and because, well I hate to say it, he isn't that bright. Also, he really isn't interested in the average working person. He may talk jobs, but he really thinks about capital and land. He's an opportunist and a speculator, not a maker of things. While "Times to Try the Soul of Man" is not about him, he was doing similar things in the Upper West Side of Manhattan when the real events that inform my novel were unfolding in Alphabet City. Check out the trailer:
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Canada vows to fight ‘unfair and punitive duty’ as Trump slaps tariff on softwood lumber

Canada vows to fight ‘unfair and punitive duty’ as Trump slaps tariff on softwood lumber | Upsetment | Scoop.it
U.S. President Donald Trump has intensified a trade dispute with Canada, in a move that drew swift criticism from Ottawa, which vowed to sue if needed
Kenneth Weene's insight:
This will make American lumber companies happy, especially those that have taken a hit from the decline in newsprint production. However, it will drive up costs for consumers. Get your seatbelt fastened before you head off to HomeDepot. More to the scary point for me is the implicit call that American lumber companies be allowed to cut in national forests. That is the hidden agenda when such cutting is called an unfair advantage for Canadian producers. As he heat us a trade war with one of our closest friends and allies, Mr. Trump moves us away from one friend that has consistently worked with us in foreign affairs. Anybody want to take bets on how the court case will end up? My guess, the US will lose and will end up facing a bigly fine along with reparations. Of course, if Mr. Trump is still in the White House, he'll try to refuse to pay and to settle for pennies on the dollar. IMO, America is becoming the home of the shyster.
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Why Trump is right: China isn't playing by trade rules

Why Trump is right: China isn't playing by trade rules | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The president toned down his anti-China rhetoric during this week's summit with China's President Xi. Now, some urge him to follow up with consistent multinational pressure on Beijing.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Quite simply, China engages in industrial espionage, steals intellectual property, and frequently places sub-standard and even adulterated products into the market. The Obama administration had some success approaching these issues on a specific instance by instance basis. However, no pressure has been put on American distributors to stop importing products that are produced by a Chinese company that has been found adulterating or cheating beyond the specific product in question. And in China, responsibility is typically directed only at the person in charge of the "shamed" company and not at government officials who should have prevented those shameful actions. And, those Americans who provide information to Chinese companies that is supposed to be restricted, seldom face serious criminal consequences. However, the simple reality is that China is not stealing American jobs as much as globalization and new technologies are making those jobs disappear. 

If the US government wants to exercise more influence on Chinese manufacturing, let it have more inspectors, perhaps even creating some to work in China to make sure that products meet US standards instead of waiting for inferior and often dangerous products to appear in US (often mega-)stores. Let's go after those individuals who either provide sanctioned information or facilitate its theft by introducing an FBI department of international-commerce-crime. And, let's go after importers of goods that don't meet health and safety standards. Let's insist on fines being levied and proceeds given to those in the US who have created pirated intellectual property and enforce this if necessary by a tariff, which would only need be fairly low to create the necessary fund, on Chinese manufactures. And, we could limit American purchases by creating tax laws directed at the funds taken out of the US to purchase in standards-non-compliant countries. It might take some bookkeeping, but I bet we could do that so we would be taxing the big-box companies that are more the real culprits in my mind than any Chinese entities. 

Finally, let's continue to engage China in positive directions such as the cooperation of the Paris Accords. 
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Foreign exodus from Russia gathers pace - FT.com

Foreign exodus from Russia gathers pace - FT.com | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Foreigners are leaving Russia in unprecedented numbers in a sign of how the political stand-off with the west and economic crisis are deepening the country’s international isolation. Excluding people who fled to Russia to escape the war in eastern
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Is Putin turning Russia into a pariah state? Is an isolated Russia going to work towards more and more war as in Ukraine? Are these the throes of a dying government? And of course, the one question to which we know the answer: will a single one of these ex-pats or their companies learn anything or will they flock back as soon as they see a profit?

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Trump says he'll revisit 'horrible' US-South Korea trade deal, demands payment for missile defenses

Trump says he'll revisit 'horrible' US-South Korea trade deal, demands payment for missile defenses | Upsetment | Scoop.it
"I informed South Korea it would be appropriate if they paid. It's a billion-dollar system," Trump said. "It's phenomenal, shoots missiles right out o
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I guess being POTUS is a little more complicated than Mr. Trump figured. First, there is the issue of free trade. Does he really think that tariffs work for the betterment of America? Second, there is the question of mutual defense and who pays for what. I do agree with him that it is time for South Korea to bear some of the cost of its own defense. Providing land is hardly sufficient. However, we can't sell our best defensive weapons, not even to an ally. Of course, this may be an opening salvo for negotiations, but I fear that he doesn't get the process. Meanwhile, in Seoul, his words have consequences that may poison our relationship with another ally. Subtlety, thy name is not Trump. 

My suggestion, negotiate a new defense treaty with clear financial contributions from Korea in return for our presence. Otherwise, we could start removing our personnel and weapons. My guess is that Seoul doesn't want that to happen. 
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The great dairy trade war that will test President Trump

The great dairy trade war that will test President Trump | Upsetment | Scoop.it
75 family farms, and $150 million, hang in the balance.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The American dairy industry has been overproducing for years, but I will be very sad to see family dairy farms disappear. Growing up in Maine, there was a small farm just across the lake. I remember bringing kids there to pet cows and learn about milk. One day, one of the kids asked the farmer, a man named Berry, what the word was for the cows udders from which he was extracting the warm rich milk. "Don't know what you call them in the city," Mr. Berry said, "but up here we call 'em tits." Anyway, there is something wonderful and homey about farms and farming. I never actually worked on a farm or even lived on one (except for a summer at age 3). However, my love of them has found its way into my writing. Here's a poem I wrote for the Berry's daughter Rheeba Jane:

Rheeba Jane's big tits stood attention
tight beneath her cross-tied blouse,
and we young lads who would be men
worshipped her each time we came.
She was a local farmer's daughter
who smelled of horse and sweat;
and we, all city boys, agreed
she was the prettiest girl we'd me.
"Rheeba Jane," we'd call out to her
whenever we rode past her house;
and she would greet us with a wave
that made those lovely tits stand out. 
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Mexico says new EU trade deal is 'paramount', eyes 2017 conclusion

Mexico says new EU trade deal is 'paramount', eyes 2017 conclusion | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A new free trade agreement with the European Union is of "paramount" importance for Mexico and both parties aim to conclude a deal this year, Mexico's deputy economy minister has said.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Yet another way in which Mr. Trump's wall is going to come back to bite the US in the ass: Mexico is now more motivated than ever to build trade relationships with Europe and China. One of our biggest trading partners may soon discover it's a lot better to trade with rest of the world. One big cost in that will be at the grocery store as we compete with other markets for Mexican produce. The worst part is that much of that farm production was developed with American investment and support. Oh well, eat your guacamole now before the price of avocados soars. And, let's not forget the manufactured products that will now be shipped east and west instead of north to say nothing of the corn and other products that might just find it more difficult to go south. 
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Obama’s Covert Trade Deal

Obama’s Covert Trade Deal | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Why is the Trans-Pacific Partnership being kept under wraps?
Kenneth Weene's insight:

My bet, this time he will need the Republicans' support to overcome Democratic resistance. I am betting this will be a very pro-business deal, not one that will protect American workers and consumers.

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