Tag Archives: NAFTA

Waking up 5 years late

I have had something like this, I swear it’s true. It was after I came back from the Middle East, I was more of a ‘party person’ in those days and I would party all weekend non-stop. It would start on Friday evening and I would get home Sunday afternoon. So one weekend, I had gone through the nightclub, day club, bars and Shoarma pit stops after which I went home. I went to bed and I get woken up by the telephone. It is my boss, asking me whether I would be coming to work that day. I noticed it was 09:30, I had overslept. I apologised and rushed to the office. I told him I was sorry that I had overslept and I did not expect too much nose as it was the first time that I had overslept. So the follow up question became “and where were you yesterday?” My puzzled look from my eyes told him something was wrong. It was Tuesday! I had actually slept from Sunday afternoon until Tuesday morning. It would be the weirdest week in a lifetime. I had lost an entire day and I had no idea how I lost a day. I still think back to that moment every now and then, the sensation of the perception of a week being different, I never got over it, now 31 years ago, and it still gets to me every now and then.

A similar sensation is optionally hitting Christine Lagarde I reckon, although if she is still hitting the party scene, my initial response will be “You go girl!

You see with “Market power wielded by US tech giants concerns IMF chief” (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/apr/19/market-power-wielded-by-us-tech-giants-concerns-imf-chief-christine-lagarde) we see the issues on a very different level. So even as we all accept “Christine Lagarde, has expressed concern about the market power wielded by the US technology giants and called for more competition to protect economies and individuals”, we see not the message, but the exclusion. So as we consider “Pressure has been building in the US for antitrust laws to be used to break up some of the biggest companies, with Google, Facebook and Amazon all targeted by critics“, I see a very different landscape. You see as we see Microsoft, IBM and Apple missing in that group, it is my personal consideration that this is about something else. You see Microsoft, IBM and Apple have one thing in common. They are Patent Powerhouses and no one messes with those. This is about power consolidation and the fact that Christine Lagarde is speaking out in such a way is an absolute hypocrite setting for the IMF to have.

You see, to get that you need to be aware of two elements. The first is the American economy. Now in my personal (highly opposed) vision, the US has been bankrupt; it has been for some time and just like the entire Moody debacle in 2008. People might have seen in in ‘the Big Short‘, a movie that showed part of it and whilst the Guardian reported ““Moody’s failed to adhere to its own credit-rating standards and fell short on its pledge of transparency in the run-up to the ‘great recession’,” principal deputy associate attorney general Bill Baer said in the statement“, it is merely one version of betrayal to the people of the US by giving protection to special people in excess of billions and they merely had to pay a $864m penalty. I am certain that those billionaires have split that penalty amongst them. So, as I stated, the US should be seen as bankrupt. It is not the only part in this. The Sydney Morning Herald (at https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/how-trump-s-hair-raising-level-of-debt-could-bring-us-all-crashing-down-20180420-p4zank.html) gives us “Twin reports by the International Monetary Fund sketch a chain reaction of dangerous consequences for world finance. The policy – if you can call it that – puts the US on an untenable debt trajectory. It smacks of Latin American caudillo populism, a Peronist contagion that threatens to destroy the moral foundations of the Great Republic. The IMF’s Fiscal Monitor estimates that the US budget deficit will spike to 5.3 per cent of GDP this year and 5.9 per cent in 2019. This is happening at a stage of the economic cycle when swelling tax revenues should be reducing net borrowing to zero“. I am actually decently certain that this will happen. Now we need to look back to my earlier statement.

You see, if the US borrowing power is nullified, the US is left without any options, unless (you saw that coming didn’t you). The underwriting power of debt becomes patent power. Patents have been set to IP support. I attended a few of those events (being a Master of Intellectual Property Law) and even as my heart is in Trademarks, I do have a fine appreciation of Patents. In this the econometrics of the world are seeing the national values and the value of any GDP supported by the economic value of patents.

In this, in 2016 we got “Innovation and creative endeavors are indispensable elements that drive economic growth and sustain the competitive edge of the U.S. economy. The last century recorded unprecedented improvements in the health, economic well-being, and overall quality of life for the entire U.S. population. As the world leader in innovation, U.S. companies have relied on intellectual property (IP) as one of the leading tools with which such advances were promoted and realized. Patents, trademarks, and copyrights are the principal means for establishing ownership rights to the creations, inventions, and brands that can be used to generate tangible economic benefits to their owner“, as such the cookie has crumbled into where the value is set (see attached), one of the key findings is “IP-intensive industries continue to be a major, integral and growing part of the U.S. economy“, as such we see the tech giants that I mentioned as missing and not being mentioned by Christine Lagarde. It is merely one setting and there are optionally a lot more, but in light of certain elements I believe that patents are a driving force and those three have a bundle, Apple has so many that it can use those patents too buy several European nations. IBM with their (what I personally believe to be) an overvalued Watson, we have seen the entire mess moving forward, presenting itself and pushing ‘boundaries’ as we are set into a stage of ‘look what’s coming’! It is all about research, MIT and Think 2018. It is almost like Think 2018 is about the point of concept, the moment of awareness and the professional use of AI. In that IBM, in its own blog accidently gave away the goods as I see it with: “As we get closer to Think, we’re looking forward to unveiling more sessions, speakers and demos“, I think they are close, they are getting to certain levels, but they are not there yet. In my personal view they need to keep the momentum going, even if they need to throw in three more high exposed events, free plane tickets and all kinds of swag to flim flam the audience. I think that they are prepping for the events that will not be complete in an alpha stage until 2020. Yet that momentum is growing, and it needs to remain growing. Two quotes give us that essential ‘need’.

  1. The US Army signed a 33-month, $135 million contract with IBM for cloud services including Watson IoT, predictive analytics and AI for better visibility into equipment readiness.
  2. In 2017, IBM inventors received more than 1,900 patents for new cloud technologies to help solve critical business challenges.

The second is the money shot. An early estimate is outside of the realm of most, you see the IP Watchdog gave us: “IBM Inventors received a record 9043 US patents in 2017, patenting in such areas as AI, Cloud, Blockchain, Cybersecurity and Quantum Computing technology“, the low estimate is a value of $11.8 trillion dollars. That is what IBM is sitting on. That is the power of just ONE tech giant, and how come that Christine Lagarde missed out on mentioning IBM? I’ll let you decide, or perhaps it was Larry Elliott from the Guardian who missed out? I doubt it, because Larry Elliott is many things, stupid ain’t one. I might not agree with him, or at times with his point of view, but he is the clever one and his views are valid ones.

So in all this we see that there is a push, but is it the one the IMF is giving or is there another play? The fact that banks have a much larger influence in what happens is not mentioned, yet that is not the play and I accept that, it is not what is at stake. There is a push on many levels and even as we agree that some tech giants have a larger piece of the cake (Facebook, Google and Amazon), a lot could have been prevented by proper corporate taxation, but that gets to most of the EU and the American Donald Duck, or was that Trump are all about not walking that road? The fact that Christine has failed (one amongst many) to introduce proper tax accountability on tech giants is a much larger issue and it is not all on her plate in all honesty, so there are a few issues with all this and the supporting views on all this is not given with “Lagarde expressed concern at the growing threat of a trade war between the US and China, saying that protectionism posed a threat to the upswing in the global economy and to an international system that had served countries well“, it is seen in several fields, one field, was given by The Hill, in an opinion piece. The information is accurate it is merely important to see that it has the views of the writer (just like any blog).

So with “Last December, the United States and 76 other WTO members agreed at the Buenos Aires WTO Ministerial to start exploring WTO negotiations on trade-related aspects of e-commerce. Those WTO members are now beginning their work by identifying the objectives of such an agreement. The U.S. paper is an important contribution because it comprehensively addresses the digital trade barriers faced by many companies“, which now underlines “A recent United States paper submitted to the World Trade Organization (WTO) is a notable step toward establishing rules to remove digital trade barriers. The paper is significant for identifying the objectives of an international agreement on digital trade“. This now directly gives rise to “the American Bar Association Section of Intellectual Property Law also requested that the new NAFTA require increased protections in trade secrets, trademarks, copyrights, and patents“, which we get from ‘Ambassador Lighthizer Urged to Include Intellectual Property Protections in New NAFTA‘ (at https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/ambassador-lighthizer-urged-to-include-52674/) less than 10 hours ago. So when we link that to the quote “The proposals included: that Canada and Mexico establish criminal penalties for trade secrets violations similar to those in the U.S. Economic Espionage Act, an agreement that Mexico eliminate its requirement that trademarks be visible, a prohibition on the lowering of minimum standards of patent protection“. So when we now look back towards the statement of Christine Lagarde and her exclusion of IBM, Microsoft and Apple, how is she not directly being a protectionist of some tech giants?

I think that the IMF is also feeling the waters what happens when the US economy takes a dip, because at the current debt levels that impact is a hell of a lot more intense and the games like Moody’s have been played and cannot be played again. Getting caught on that level means that the US would have to be removed from several world economic executive decisions, not a place anyone in Wall Street is willing to accept, so that that point Pandora’s Box gets opened and no one will be able to close it at that point. So after waking up 5 years late we see that the plays have been again and again about keeping the status quo and as such the digital rights is the one card left to play, which gives the three tech giants an amount of power they have never had before, so as everyone’s favourite slapping donkey (Facebook) is mentioned next to a few others, it is the issue of those not mentioned that will be having the cake and quality venison that we all desire. In this we are in a dangerous place, even more the small developers who come up with the interesting IP’s they envisioned. As their value becomes overstated from day one, they will be pushed to sell their IP way too early, more important, that point comes before their value comes to fruition and as such those tech giants (Apple, IBM, and Microsoft) will get an even more overbearing value. Let’s be clear they are not alone, the larger players like Samsung, Canon, Qualcomm, LG Electronics, Sony and Fujitsu are also on that list. The list of top players has around 300 members, including 6 universities (all American). So that part of the entire economy is massively in American hands and we see no clear second place, not for a long time. Even as the singled out tech giants are on that list, it is the value that they have that sets them a little more apart. Perhaps when you consider having a go at three of them, whilst one is already under heavy emotional scrutiny is perhaps a small price to pay.

How nice for them to wake up, I merely lost one day once, they have been playing the sleeping game for years and we will get that invoice at the expense of the futures we were not allowed to have, if you wonder how weird that statement is, then take a look at the current retirees, the devaluation they face, the amount they are still about to lose and wonder what you will be left with when you consider that the social jar will be empty long before you retire. The one part we hoped to have at the very least is the one we will never have because governments decided that budgeting was just too hard a task, so they preferred to squander it all away. The gap of those who have and those who have not will become a lot wider over the next 5 years, so those who retire before 2028 will see hardships they never bargained for. So how exactly are you served with addressing “‘too much concentration in hands of the few’ does not help economy“, they aren’t and you weren’t. It is merely the setting for what comes next, because in all this it was never about that. It is the first fear of America that counts. With ‘US ponders how it can stem China’s technology march‘ (at http://www.afr.com/news/world/us-ponders-how-it-can-stem-chinas-technology-march-20180418-h0yyaw), we start seeing that shift, so as we see “The New York Times reported on April 7 that “at the heart” of the trade dispute is a contest over which country plays “a leading role in high-tech industries”. The Wall Street Journal reported on April 12 that the US was preparing rules to block Chinese technology investment in the US, while continuing to negotiate over trade penalties“, we see the shifted theatre of trade war. It will be about the national economic value with the weight of patents smack in the middle. In that regard, the more you depreciate other parts, the more important the value of patents becomes. It is not a simple or easy picture, but we will see loads of econometrics giving their view on all that within the next 2-3 weeks.

Have a great weekend and please do not bother to wake up, it seems that Christine Lagarde didn’t bother waking up for years.

 

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Batches of three days

After a Law conference of three days and a case of the flu, it is time to get back into the saddle. For the speculative people amongst you, I needed 8 boxes of tissues, so if you invested in Kleenex, their forecast is very expected to be up, so you are all good! There are a few things to deal with, but let’s get into the deep end, with ‘Trump cabinet appointments will ‘undo decades of progress’, rights activists say‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/18/trump-cabinet-appointments-sessions-pompeo-flynn). Yes, from their point of view that might be, but you do not get to cry wolf over Syria, whilst leaving a pussy to deal with the situation. This is now a Republican administration and as such, there will be a change of hearts, minds and a few tactical directions. The first one to look at, director Pompeo is an interesting choice. He has earned his stripes in several events. A thorn in Clinton’s Benghazi disaster and a member of the Tea Party. However, this is not same Jasmine flavoured variety, this member from Kansas is more like gunpowder tea. An acquired taste that is likely to turn a few stomachs in Iran. As I see it, one of the most likely to receive a high Israeli award for keeping them safe from Iran’s bile as some would quote it. My issue has always been no matter how liberal this elected official is, we have seen that the next elections could bring another Ahmadinejad, not something anyone is waiting for.

But let’s get back to nominated director Mikey. The one part that was part of the Wichita Eagle (link lost) was that Mike Pompeo predicted a new energy bill would cost millions of jobs and make the United States a net food importer. There are two sides to all this, the first the energy part. There are too many question marks (apart of the change to make it realistic), the net food importer is another matter, and it also drives at the core of national security. You see, NAFTA, opened up a whole range of options in regards to the trade with Mexico and overall there is a benefit, yet when we realise that this opens up regional security options (as stated by s Col. Michael Dziedzic, USAF), we see that in light of multiple sources stating that the Mexican Cartels have been assisting ISIS members to get into the US to explore targets. The fact that ISIS sleeper cells are reported by a few sources to be close to the US border gives cause to consider certain new avenues for the CIA to consider. That is, if they aren’t already doing that, because we can all agree that yours truly isn’t being kept up to date by Langley for reasons that need no clarification.

The Wichita Eagle also gives us: “Pompeo ended up co-authoring a separate report from the main committee investigation, which accused former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic nominee for president, of downplaying the attack to boost President Obama’s re-election efforts” (at http://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/article115756373.html), which is only half the truth I reckon. I mentioned earlier that the intensely wrong acts by people in the US Department of State in 2012 was centre in all this and the events since have only shown that they were utterly negligent in several ways (not only the office of State Secretary Clinton), the downplay has been beyond that office and as such left too many concerns, especially when you do not react strongly to such an event, should you be considered President of the United States?

I reckon that once confirmed, Mike Pompeo might be one of the strongest members of the Trump government and could possibly be one of the better CIA directors of these last three administrations, which is speculative, and time will tell. Jeff Sessions is another interesting pick, although the President elect could have taken several extreme options, which in light of following Eric Holder, the only cabinet member in history to be held in contempt of congress (there will always be a first one), the President Elect had a few options, yet those were basically taken off the table when Loretta Elizabeth Lynch, the 83rd United States Attorney General decided

On June 27, 2016, Lynch and former President Bill Clinton met privately aboard Lynch’s Justice Department jet which was parked on the tarmac in Phoenix. ABC15 Phoenix reporter Christopher Sign broke the story on June 29, citing unnamed sources. (at http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/central-phoenix/loretta-lynch-bill-clinton-meet-privately-in-phoenix), in light of Benghazi, when we see the quote ““Our conversation was a great deal about grandchildren, it was primarily social about our travels and he mentioned golf he played in Phoenix,” said Lynch Tuesday afternoon while speaking at the Phoenix Police Department“, now we can agree that if you have 35 things to do before lunch, having a social meeting on the tarmac of an airport in a jet is rather odd, to say the least. It is true that it might not have been about Benghazi, it might have been about future careers, yet the event on the tarmac and not in some closed of 1st class business lounge implies that this was about deniability, not something that is required when Golf is on the menu of conversation. The image of Benghazi remains, whether just of unjust, when you decide to do a Deep Throat (read: Woodward, Bernstein & Washington Post), you set yourself up for all kinds of gossip.

So when we see Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, a former senator of Alabama, we have to wonder what America will get this time. The media is already all over it. The Guardian stated: “The hawkish trio have made inflammatory statements about race relations, immigration, Islam and the use of torture, and signal a provocative shift of the national security apparatus to the right“, the subsequent quote is “For liberals they appeared to confirm some of their darkest fears about the incoming Trump administration“. To them I have this message. ‘Over a period of 8 years, this administration has done absolutely nothing to reign in corporate accountability, the financial sector can go its own sweet way and this American administration turned 180 degrees around on corporate taxation. Their acts, together with the IMF is why Brexit is now a fact and is also still the driving force for Frexit. Those who are now fear mongering in the direction of France better realise that a second bad estimate (like Brexit) will be regarded as clear evidence to dismiss their services’. Columbia Threadneedle was quoted in Reuters on what a catastrophe it will be. Yet, who would it be disastrous for? The quote “Mark Burgess, chief investment officer for the firm in EMEA, said that unlike the positive or even ambiguous market reaction to the British vote on an EU exit or Donald Trump’s win last week, a win for avowedly anti-euro, anti-EU party in one of the many euro zone elections next year could spell disaster for the still-undercapitalized European banks“, the banks have had more than enough time to get their affairs in order. We have seen bail-out after bail-out and we have been all subject to a large loss of quality of life, whilst the financial sector played and gambled living on incomes that most people have never seen, not even before the financial crash. This has driven anti-European Union sentiments. The sentiment of all talk and no achievements, no forward momentum for anyone but the large corporations. This is what the Democratic Party left America with, no real future and a 20 trillion dollar debt. It is now up to the Republican Party whether they can return the USA towards a status of less debt and a healthy economy. This will take a years to achieve, but no matter how far it is taken, America seems to realise that the party is over, they only have themselves to blame on how they got to this point.

So how did I get from these three to Frexit and Greed? Let’s face it, the President-elect is part of a system of greed and Frexit is pretty much next on the agenda. All those ignorant economists and media that have been ignoring these events for over two years, all with comments on how this was never a reality now have faced Brexit and after that, they played anti-republican for 8 years, they now see their options cancelled and they are left in the dark regarding events in the White House. How many wrong predictions does it take for the media to realise that reporting is not the same as speculative empowering?

As the world is now setting the stage of how the first three picks of the President-elect is to be regarded. We need to realise that the world is a lot larger than America and our choices are indeed diminishing when we side with only one group of governing people. For those who seem to be focused on how bad this upcoming president will be, perhaps we need to take a look at a little place like Syria and how this current administration has not achieved anything at all. With bombings increasing and the Non-Assad supporting Syrian population getting closer to zero, we need to ask questions that no one is asking and even less are willing to answer.

The last part in all this is the IMF, as mentioned before. When we see the Australian, we get: “The IMF has given powerful backing to Labor’s call for a crackdown on negative gearing saying Australia’s tax rules are encouraging people to take on too much debt to invest in the housing market, pushing prices higher. The IMF’s annual mission to Australia has also criticised the Turnbull government’s May budget, saying it is trying to narrow the budget deficit too rapidly and risks hurting the economy.” Can anyone please explain what the fuck (pardon my French), the IMF is doing telling a sovereign nation on how we prefer not to be in deep debt and that is not OK with them? Consider in what state the debt driven economies are when it can be endangered by one economy removing its deficit. Consider on how many papers have given proper attention to debt driven economy (read: meaning almost none have done so, apart from those ridiculing the issue), this in light of the IMF quote in the Australian “The IMF says the government has been right to allow deficits to blow out over the past few years, saying the shortfalls have been mainly due to weak revenue, not excessive spending. The fund suggests that if the government spend more on infrastructure, it would generate enough economic growth that there should be little impact on the ratio of debt to GDP“, we need to wonder on how we were all kept in the dark when the media at large ignored calls for clarity, when we were (as I see it) intentionally misinformed, now we see that ‘right to allow deficits to blow out‘, which was never OK, even as Australia is getting out of that dark valley, other nations are still fighting their own battles. This is one of the driving sides to France, who have been pushed into a $2.4 trillion dollar debt. Perhaps President Hollande will have the same excuse that it was ‘mainly due to weak revenue‘, so the French people get to live with consequence of the IMF driven ‘equalising’ of debt. Now this last part is purely speculative from my side, yet how wrong is my train of thought? And as other nations realise that these debts are orchestration and the governments refused to tighten belts, spend irresponsibly regarding the need of other nations, keeping debt at a maximum. How do you think people will react when they realise that irresponsible behaviour will keep their quality of life down, perhaps for more than one lifetime? Are you still wondering whether Frexit will happen, or are you realising that Frexit not happening is no longer being considered?

Now, events differ from nation per nation, yet there is clear evidence that nations have been overspending for well over a decade and none had the idea to tighten the belt (except Germany in 2009). This is how Europeans feel and all this to enable big business, whilst they get more and more deals offered. This is the setting in which President elect Trump finds himself. The three nominations are not part of any of it, but they give rise to the question, who will be the elected officials in the departments, of State, Interior and Commerce, these three subsequent nominations will be at the core of what will happen next. No matter what the pressures are for the upcoming American Administration, they will be at the core of events that will take centre stage in 2017 and 2018. So many eyes, not just in America will be on those nominated for these three fields. We will have more and more questions, we only need to await the first results.

In that light we get to look at some of the issues I predicted two years ago. Last Saturday I got the Quote “European leaders have come to a 27-nation consensus that a “hard Brexit” is likely to be the only way to see off future populist insurgencies, which could lead to the break-up of the European Union” (at https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/nov/19/europes-leaders-force-uk-hard-brexit-farage-le-pen). The subtitle gives us even more ‘Fears grow about impact of populist surge as Nigel Farage predicts Marine Le Pen could win French presidential election’. I got there a year earlier, even now there is still some doubt as Sarkozy is making an about turn move on French National issues, yet Marine Le Pen remains a contender. Slightly stronger than before Trump got elected and there is where the issue for Europe now resides. Their indecisiveness in certain matters is driving people towards nationalism, with President elect Trump now approaching office, those issues will polarise and the shift will move stronger towards the right. The additional quote: “The latest intervention by Farage will only serve to fuel fears in Europe that anti-EU movements have acquired a dangerous momentum in countries such as France and the Netherlands, following the precedent set by the Brexit vote”, is one that is not correct as I see it. You see, Brexit was always a risk, yet those working behind the screens were so intent on the Status Quo that they forgot sight of the effects of the actions that they caused, Greece being the first and strongest elements. By trying to hang onto a non-realistic 300 billion, they now stand to lose 14.5 trillion, you tell me how stupid this was. The Netherlands is not the strongest influencer and at present, the Dutch PVV might be strong, twice as many seats as the number three (CDA) and leading by merely 4 seats on number 2, the reality is that this party became the largest fast and as they were only regarded as something not to be taken serious, the size they are now does not warrant such consideration, they are the largest player. Yet in all this, the issue is that 150 seats are there and a majority requires 76 seats, which cannot be done without some coalition that will require the PVV. In this the PVV is the only clear anti-EU party. The example as given by me in ‘A noun of non-profit’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2013/05/15/a-noun-of-non-profit/), where I state: “Consider a large (really large) barge, that barge was kept in place by 4 strong anchors. UK, France, Germany and Italy. Yes, we to do know that most are in shabby state, yet, overall these nations are large, stable and democratic (that matters). They keep the Barge EU afloat in a stable place on the whimsy stormy sea called economy. If the UK walks away, then we have a new situation. None of the other nations have the size and strength of the anchor required and the EU now becomes a less stable place where the barge shifts. This will have consequences, but at present, the actual damage cannot be easily foreseen”, What I predicted on May 15th 2013 is not just coming to pass, finally others are admitting that this is the future, a future they kept you in the dark about, consider that when you realise that this had been known for some time. They played their ignorance and fear mongering game and those who have done so are now considering what one more bad prediction will bring them. I still believe that it required the second of four to truly collapse the EU barge, but that reality is now getting closer, with the Republican push we see, the chances for Marine Le Pen getting elected as President is now an actual reality. I knew that there was a chance just within France and as President Hollande failed again and again her chances increased, now with the Republican view of nationalism, the French view only enhances that view for themselves, enabling Marine Le Pen as a possible President of France. This links to Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III and his conservative views. He plucks the same chords on the musical loom of government as Marine Le Pen will when it comes to immigration. In that regard, the choices that still have to come will make even stronger impressions for European nations as they unite or dissent from that view. You see, we still need to realise that America is 20 trillion down, which implies that if Europe decides to exit hard for the second European nation (France most likely), the economic view for America changes, especially as it has been a net importer of food and a few other materials. It would need to strengthen ties with Canada and Mexico by a lot, allowing those two to get a better overall deal, increasing the cost of living for Americans. At this point, we see that Wilbur Ross is now the strong favourite for the Commerce position. It is CNN that gives us a quote, which seen in a different light implies the issue I had for a long time. The quotes “Pritzker strongly supported free trade, traveling to 38 countries over her tenure. She advocated clean energy partnerships and the Trans Pacific Partnership deal” as well as ““Free trade is like free lunch: There is no free lunch,” Ross told Lou Dobbs of Fox Business in August. “Somebody wins and somebody loses. And unfortunately, we’ve been losing with these stupid agreements that we’ve made””, Here we see that someone visited 38 countries, which sounds like an office paid world tour and we know that is NOT the case, but all that travelling must be nice. Following that, we see Wilbur Ross stating that there is no such thing as a free lunch. That we have all learned, many of us learned it the hard way and the TPP was a bad deal from the get go for several nations. These quoted came from CNN (at http://money.cnn.com/2016/11/20/investing/wilbur-ross-donald-trump/index.html) and are at the core of changes for commerce, which will reverberate in both the English and French minds as well. So 4 of the 6 main nominees are also powering the European Exit. I believe that one of them is in for quite the challenge. Michael Flynn is a veteran on several levels, as a retired General he knows the military and as former director of the DIA he knows the intelligence whip. Yet, the premise he faced will start to change dramatically in 2019, as such the America he will be the National Security Advisor for will have new challenges, some none have seen before. Time will tell how realistic those challenges are, yet we are already faced with the limitations of dealing with 4G and the next wave is now less than 365 days away. The funds needed for cyber security and cyber development were never forthcoming, giving nations at large new challenges and totally new issues in Criminal law. All fields untouched to the degree they needed to be. Another reason why W. Ross and J.B. Sessions need to sit down sooner rather than later. In that regard, the UK needs to clearly revisit some of the protocols that never worked in the first place.

There are many changes coming towards us, some will drive others, some will just be met with complaints, and others will just drive the Democratic Party insane, which will be used to the entertainment of the media at large.

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For those doubting Brexit

There have been a few issues with the EU, some are petty and some only seem petty. You see, many are all in arms and all about the issue on how Canada is a good place, and it really really is. Yet, we have to understand that a trade agreement tends to be an agreement where one is better off than the other. That is a simple fact of life. A trade agreement, when completely balanced equally to all parties is a figment of the imagination of the visionary who wanted it, for the simple reason that it was in their interest. Now, that does not make the person evil or greedy, it is merely the reality of any trade agreement. Yet, when the trade agreement is done in secret, there will be additional issues. This is not such a case, but in the case of CETA (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/oct/24/belgium-eu-ultimatum-canada-trade-deal-ceta-wallonia), there is the image that French speaking Belgium (aka Wallonia) will miss out too much in this EU-Canada deal, so they are all about not letting it happen. The article gives us ‘Paul Magnette, the leader of the Wallonia region, says the deal is bad for Europe’s farmers and gives too much power to global corporate interests‘, which would give ample voice to the justification of Wallonia trying to scuttle this deal. It does not make Canada bad or evil, it only gives voice to the European side that Wallonian farmers lose out, from their point of view too much. This shows partially the justification of Brexit; yet in equal measure it shows how the Bremain group feels scared and scarred as well as their justification that together the UK would be stronger. On one side they have a point, on the other side, we see here that if Wallonia gives in, the EU basically sells their future short and away from them. The quote “One European diplomat said that the reassurances “responded to all of Mr Magnette’s concerns”” implies that Magnette is unreasonable as reassurances were given, yet we have all seen how politicians can roll on their backs when the wind turns, so is he wrong? In this case I very much doubt it, as does politico (at http://www.politico.eu/article/meet-monsieur-paul-magnette-the-man-killing-ceta-deal-trade-agreement/). Here we see two mentions. The first is “Wallonia did its homework” as well as “In particular, he protested that CETA would leave European governments vulnerable to court action from unscrupulous multinational companies“, these are issues raised in both the TTIP and the TPP. In the TPP it was New Zealand that showed backbone, whilst Australia folded like a tissue in front of a hair dryer on high, it was not a pretty picture. We have had several issues with the US in the past, yet not with Canada. It is my personal believe that large corporations are dictating the trade agreement language to governments at large, which is cause for concern in two ways.

In the first it means that the governments are not enough about governing and a little too much regarding the status quo of the Fortune 500 they have connections to and in the second it implies that they overall quality of government legislators is dwindling too much and as such national interests are not being met, which now implies that proper taxation laws are about a decade away and nations at large cannot afford to work that way.

In that light the quote in Politico seems pretty decent: ““This treaty affects the lives of 500 million Europeans and 35 million Canadians for years and years,” Magnette told La Première channel Wednesday. “We can take a few weeks, a few months to analyse the problems and overcome them.”” Is that such a bad idea? The fact that a decision is demanded in less than 12 hours gives additional cause for concern. Why the speed?

Canadian Global Research had this quote “The CETA agreement –presented to public opinion as an innocuous “bilateral” EU-Canada trade deal– constitutes a TTIP in disguise, which would eventually evolve towards the integration of NAFTA and the EU, i.e into what might be described as a giant “North Atlantic Trade and Investment Area”. Those who are involved in the negotiations are fully aware that CETA is a back-door mechanism which would would create the underlying conditions for the formation of a North Atlantic Trading Block, i.e. a US “Imperial Project” controlled by Washington“.

This now implies that this is a new approach to TTIP, a backdoor. The part where we see “US “Imperial Project” controlled by Washington“, gives voice to the part that I have given for close to two years. The United States of America is broke and bankrupt. This is the only path that the US has left to remain in the game for a little while longer, whilst giving 98% of American power to large corporations, which n my humble opinion was never a working or acceptable solution. The fact that pressures are applied to get this done quicker and quicker only gives rise to the fact that this American Democratic administration could end up being the worst in American history and this administration needs a clear ‘win’ to be less regarded as less of a failure. What a legacy President Obama brings, no matter how this goes, it will make progression for the next US administration near impossible, so we can see why the Clinton campaign was against the TTIP to begin with. In addition, the Canadian Tyee (at http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2016/10/22/CETA-Failure-Reflects-Public-Rejection-Trade-Deals/), gives us “Leaving aside the odd reference to how nice Canada is, this is remarkable language that lays bare the obvious frustration and disappointment for the government, which prioritized the CETA agreement above all trade deals“, in that my personal response becomes: ‘drop the option to large corporations to sue governments‘, first they get tax breaks, now they get to sue for missed alleged profits? When did we get ourselves so retarded that this: “Currently, the US Lone Pine energy company is using ISDS provisions in NAFTA to sue the provincial government of Quebec for $250 million because it suspended shale gas mining pending an environmental study in response to community concerns“? How on earth was the mining of Shale Gas ever allowed before clear environmental studies were made?

Environmental regulations are there for a reason. When the environment is damaged, these companies tend to get really far and away when the invoice is due, trying all kinds of loopholes not to be held accountable. The Australian Newspaper The Age gives us “The high cost of ISDS makes the threat of arbitration a potent tool for the tobacco companies“, meaning that in not so wealthy countries, Tobacco, Soda drinks and alcohol companies can hold a nation over a barrel when they can find an option to apply the ISDS. Australia Spend $50 million to defend its plain packaging requirement in cigarettes. A system that allows for Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), where we see the issue of alleged discriminatory practices is too dangerous. In addition, the proven dangers of tobacco, how many people died and were not compensated? How discriminatory is that?

Yet the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade gives us “Is ISDS a threat to Australia’s sovereignty? No. ISDS does not prevent the Government from changing its policies or regulating in the public interest. It does not freeze existing policy settings. It is not enough that an investor does not agree with a new policy or that a policy adversely affects its profits”, yet this is the opposite of what we see when we the Australian case of Philip Morris. The fact that only 5 days ago, News.com.au (at http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/govt-wont-reveal-tobacco-case-costs/news-story/7a81f7003241d0290685b5ce1d83f6db) gives us “Nick Xenophon wants to know what it cost taxpayers to defend the case, but the department insists it needs to be kept secret“, it gives light to the danger that the ISDS poses, it shows that Paul Magnette, the leader of the Wallonia region seems to be a lot more clued in and a lot more on the ball than those trying to get this dangerous trade pact passed and in addition, the fact that court costs are kept secret means that the taxpayer is not getting properly informed. The ISDS is more than just investors feeling safe, it is a secondary tool to get revenue up when the forecast gets downgraded by (amongst others) environmental needs and governmental freedom to set policy, although some deny that this is happening now (like the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade), yet the fact that the cost is kept in secret gives indication that the sum is likely to be running towards the 9 digits, whilst it was about opposition on a health policy. Two cases like this could make most Eastern European EU nations bankrupt overnight, so there is cause for concern and in that Paul Magnette has a clear mindset in requiring more time.

In all this, the one part that is not making sense is that the ISDS could be seen that this is to protect non-visionary investors, investors that aren’t doing their homework, to give an additional option to get their money’s worth. Why on earth are we facilitating for corporate losers? If for example a UK company decides to cut corners and go for places where they learn that they are blocked, why would we give them any allowance for suing the UK government? If this example seems fair fetched, consider Philip Morris Asia Limited (Hong Kong) v. The Commonwealth of Australia. They might have lost, but the costs were really high. And this was whilst plain packaging was already in place. So getting rid of parts, or better the ISDS as a whole, would be a decent idea. Let’s not forget that if these companies were truly wronged, most common law nations have the option of proceeding through Torts.

Giving them additional options seems too far-fetched and in the end only counterproductive. No matter how many tears Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s trade minister brings to the table. In that part I wonder, why she had not considered removing the ISDS. Let’s face it, if investment is too dicey or dodgy, those companies should not go there to begin with, would that not be common sense? So why drive the ISDS? Perhaps I am oversimplifying the problem. I know that the ISDS makes sense, yet the Australian Philip Morris case shows the ISDS parts to be flawed and in light of how American and Chinese companies play the game, it is time to face the harsh reality that facilitation is becoming the lesser healthy alternative. In the end if there is profit, these companies will come.

So in the end, this was not about Brexit, but here we see in clarity, that this one market deal is not as great for the people at large as they think it is. For those only iterating that a one market deal is the only way, consider Wallonia, no matter how you slice it, people will lose out and if the court case is strong enough, you could lose a lot. A side that the Bremainers are not giving a clear view to, which is equally disturbing. There are elements on both sides, yet the disturbing one that Paul Magnette is bringing to light is one that too many have ignored. Brexit might end up giving the UK options and protections, that the EU trade agreements are currently trying to remove from the UK.

 

 

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