It’s about time we have a president to take EU to task over NATO spending

I have to tell you again, that it is so refreshing to have a president go over to the EU and call them out for their hypocrisy.

Case in point: The US pays on average 67% of NATO’s defense spending and where is a majority of that spending still directed too? Defending the EU against Russian aggression.

In 2017, NATO countries contributed $917 billion for defense, the US portion of that bill was $618 billion. Only three EU members contributed the recommended level of 2% of GDP to the alliance. Greece, UK and Estonia along with the US, which chipped in the most with almost 3.6% of our GDP.

Germany’s Angela Merkel was in President Trump’s sights over their energy spending with Russia.

“Germany, as far as I’m concerned, is captive to Russia because it’s getting so much of its energy from Russia,” Trump said. Turning to Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO secretary-general, he said: “Explain that.”

“We’re supposed to be guarding against Russia and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia.”

If Germany wants to do an energy deal with Russia, then that’s probably a bigger deterrent to hostilities then lining up tanks on the Crimea border. But don’t thumb your nose at US energy companies and then expect Americans to pay for your ease of mind.

Listen allies are one thing and surely if any act of aggression took place on the continent the US would come to their defense. But NATO is a Cold War relic, designed to syphon money from the US to Europe in a 60-year extended Marshall Plan.

If the Europeans and Germans in particular, are so concerned for their safety, then why is Germany only spending 1.2% of its GDP on NATO defense. Because it’s a ruse, a relic and no longer needed in this day and age.

And it’s about time we have a president to hammer that home to Europe.

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JPM’s Dimon eyeing Deutsche with Chinese cash

Is Jamie Dimon looking to goose-step into Frankfurt and take over troubled Deutsche Bank using Chinese money?

That appears to be to the story coming out of Germany as Deutsche’s stock spikes more than 6% in European trading on the news.

JPMorgan and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China are looking to take a stake — size unknown –to bolster the troubled bank, the report from the business weekly WirtschaftsWoche said.

WIWO also reported that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had met Axel Weber, the former Bundesbank head who is now chairman of Swiss bank UBS, to discuss his thoughts on Deutsche Bank.

Newly installed CEO Christian Sewing has not given the market any confidence in his ability to turn around the much maligned institution, which has paid nearly $500 billion in penalties and fines to global regulators for its bad banking actions over the last decade.

Sewing is also seen as an impediment to change since he made his bones at the bank during this troubling time as I have written before.

Before the summer ends something will happen with Deutsche Bank. Whether that’s a merger with fellow-troubled German firm Commerzbank or a bailout through cash injections from EU this bank right now is on the ropes and getting pummelled.

Tariffs and the Art of the deal German-style

As I wrote last week this is more of a tariff tiff than a war.

You announce a number — $50B, $200B in tariffs — it doesn’t matter. It’s just a number to begin negotiations.

Wednesday morning news broke that the German ambassador was about to announce that the EU would abandon all import tariffs for cars between the European Union and the US provided the Trump Administration drop its 25% border tax on all EU car imports.

See its all negotiations and never really gets implemented. It’s the Art of the Deal so to speak. Finally, America has someone who does not bow to pressure from other countries that have enjoyed decades of favorable treatment selling into the US market.

This has everything and nothing to do with President Trump. Presidents Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush could have done this. They couldn’t because they took the money of the multi-national corporations and the globalist free traders who demanded that the US come out on the losing end of most trade deals as a way to pay back for our other sins.

Enter Trump. No ties that bind to these factions. Knows a thing or two about negotiations and plays hardball with them. As I wrote earlier, do you think any country would forgo its ability to sell into the US over tariffs or import taxes?

Of course not. I think I hear China working the abacus to figure out its new proposal right now.

Most Americans should not fear the word tariffs

The tariff tiff between US and China is just that. Nothing even nearing a war.

If you believe that trade between the two countries will be hampered, constrained or restricted it will not it is merely hand wringing by liberal media.

No country would spite their citizens by cutting trade off with the US. We buy more from every country than any other country no matter the product or raw material category.

No the Trump administration is attempting to right a decades-long wrong when it comes to pricing and access to markets for US manufactures. Past administrations have short-shifted Americans for the idea of globalism vs nationalism.

Large US multinational corporations made huge profits working off of a globalist model where products were made in low-cost environments with taxes being held overseas.

The Trump White House wants to curtail this model in order for Americans to benefit from these jobs. The new Apple/Foxconn agreement is a possible template for his trade philosophy.

So the trade war headlines and rhetoric is coming from the left, which wants to continue the move to a globalist model at the loss of American workers. Tariffs are used to level the playing field to make the US stronger.

Why have we not heard of tariffs for over 20 years? Because previous administrations were giving the candy store away to China, EU and the like.

The White House wants to see the pendulum swing back to benefit Americans.

This trade war is about nationalism, not steel

I have to laugh at the reaction to the alleged trade wars on the hike in tariffs.

“Oh Canada is going to charge us more for maple syrup!” “French wine prices will rocket!”

Listen there’s nothing to fear in the trade war, since it’s really more a skirmish than a war. The US has been getting beat up for years on steel prices alone.

The idea that anyone in the world would not trade with the US over a trade war is ridiculous since we are the largest buyer of whatever someone is selling.

And we have more of what the world wants generally than any other country, think corn and soy.

The entire world — despite a push by some for a globalist agenda — is moving towards nationalistic bent. There are too many outcasts in a global economic model to make it successful on grand stage.

Look at Italy waving its hand in a manic gesture of nationalism in its latest election fiasco. Moving away from the euro, threatening to deport hundreds of thousands illegal aliens.

Not so quietly immigration policies in the EU are being questioned by the populace as countries from Greece to Sweden are seeing their way of life changing for the worse in the last 5 years. Nationalistic pride developed over thousands of years being wiped out in less than a decade.

While here in the US — where immigration was in the forefront in the 2016 election — the trade/tariff issue is more about jobs. This tilt toward nationalism and reviving the shuttered rust belt steel industry has greater implications for the Midwest than just raising steel prices for US imports.

The region is so devastated by opioid addiction that getting these people a glimmer of hope for the future is worth so much more. Vast areas of western Pennsylvania through southern Illinois have been so crippled by industry leaving and a way of life that vanished, something had to be done to tip the scale the their direction.

So while the globalist and their leftist mouthpieces in the media talk of the dreaded tariffs and trade wars, President Trump and leaders of other countries in the EU are sticking with the side of the losers in doing what’s right for their citizens.

The pendulum swings both ways and now its headed back towards nationalism.

Damn what the price of maple syrup is. I personally get mine from New Hampshire.