Tag: trade deals

Months After Damage Began, Trump Reverses Course on Tariffs

By Indri Schaelicke | United States

For months now, it seems that everyone but the president himself has been shouting about the harms of protectionist trade policies. Despite all the outrage, though, the President has stuck to his plan, slapping China and the EU with high tariffs.

Continue reading “Months After Damage Began, Trump Reverses Course on Tariffs”

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China is Ready for War

By Owen Hemsoth | USA

In a recent address to the largest military force in the world, President Xi Jinping urged them to be ready for war and “do not fear death.”

A war in the east is a bigger possibility since the cold war and President Xi seems to be taking the initiative in having his military ready for that possibility. He should his military should “neither fear hardship nor death” during a visit this past Wednesday to the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Central Theater Command according to Xinhua News Agency, the official state news station of China.

The news agency also mentioned a “bumpy journey” in trade with the US on Wednesday. An article published Wednesday said, “It is not surprising that a number of Chinese companies have hit the buffers in Washington as trade tensions between the two countries are flaring.”

President Xi’s quotes are potentially justified with this trade rift, uncertainty in Russia, and of course their neighbors North Korea.

Xi further said that his country needs to, “create an elite and powerful force that is always ready for the fight, capable of combat and sure to win in order to fulfill the tasks bestowed by the Party and the people in the new era.”

In a recent interview with Fox News, foreign affairs journalist and author Gordan Chang warned the US that if they were to strike first on North Korea, there is potential that China, Russia, and Iran would side with North Korea in what could be World War III.

This all comes after President Donald Trump’s controversial tweet reading “North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”

China has the largest active military in the world, with over 2.3 million active members. Their budget is about $215.7 billion USD. They are also equipped with an estimated 260 nuclear warheads.

One thing is clear: Our leaders need to take a bit to learn about mutually assured destruction and the consequences should they push the “nuclear button.”

Trump’s Economic Plan: The Greatest or Statist?

By Austin Anderholt | USA

If you’ve been following Net Neutrality recently, you might have the idea that the Trump administration will stop at nothing to deregulate America’s economy, even if it means repealing regulations that are extremely unpopular among the American people. (What’s happening? You can see the whole story here). Millions of phone calls, emails, social media posts, and internet comments have been made in strong opposition of the repeal of this specific regulation, but the Trump administration doesn’t seem to bat an eye. Is Trump’s determination for deregulation great for libertarians? Is it terrible? Is there more to the story?

As we all know, Donald Trump is a capitalistic businessman who ran on the premise that we should “Make America Great Again!” From this, we can take it as no surprise that Trump is against strong economic regulation in the United States, but is very protectionist in his fiscal ideology.  

You’ve heard leftists talk about how Trump is “cutting taxes for the rich and the big corporations!”, and they wouldn’t be completely wrong. He plans to slash corporate tax into a fraction of its original size, slim the top tax bracket by about 4-10%, and abolish certain taxes altogether, many of which are only usually placed on the wealthy. Despite what’s on paper, he often brings very populist messages: 

“Our framework includes our explicit commitment that tax reform will protect low-income and middle-income households, not the wealthy and well-connected.”

-Donald J. Trump

The president has changed his mind on his tax policy so many times that it’s really up in the air if taxes for the average American will increase or decrease at all.  

Deregulation and potential tax drops are about all of the good news a Libertarian can get out of America’s future economy: 

As far as free trade, the Trump administration seems to be going boldly where no protectionist has gone before. The president has routinely used the phrase “America First” to describe his foreign and economic policy. He’s promised massive tariffs on imports, Chinese and otherwise. Some sources are predicting as many as 60,000 jobs lost as an indirect result of this harsh potential legislation. America may adapt with a strong sovereign economy, but considering the huge American demand for foreign resources, and the efficiency incentive that there is for companies to operate abroad, we won’t be seeing Trump’s chauvinistic fantasy to manifest anytime soon. Expect to be paying higher prices for your “MADE IN CHINA” American flag pins. If you’ve ever picked up an economics book, you’ll find that tariffs haven’t worked so well, but again, we’re seeing an economic agenda based on doubling down, with logic, public opinion, and second thoughts taking a backseat. 

In conclusion, President Trump’s economic policy will probably be an improvement from the last administration, but that’s hardly a compliment. We cannot confuse these chauvinistic deregulations and tariffs with libertarianism. I predict that his tariffs will fail, only raising demand for foreign goods, but his loosening of regulations is definitely a step in the right direction. It’s not exactly a libertarian utopia, but “Trumpenomics” may not end up as statist as we’ve imagined.

5 Nationalist Movements to Watch

By Colin Louis | U.S.

All around the globe nationalism is on the rise. The ideas of right wing populism and nationalism are starting to grow into large movements all over the free world. People are beginning to shift to these ideas. The following five countries are turning nationalist.

5. The UK

Recently, the U.K has shown signs of shifting further to the nationalist right. The Brexit vote provided evidence that the UK is moving further towards nationalism and populism. Brexit clearly signals that nationalism and euroskepticism is on a significant rise in the U.K. The recent UKIP leadership election could help them continue this.

4. Ireland

Irish politics serves as a reminder that nationalism comes in different forms. In the case of Ireland, it’s left nationalism with much momentum. The concept of left nationalism is a form of socialism mixed with nationalism, not to be confused with National Socialism, which is a far more authoritarian belief. Sinn Féin, led by Garry Adams, won around 14% of the vote in the recent 2016 election. Sinn Féin did very well compared to its past performance and that of other less nationalist parties. 14% might not sound like much, but the ruling party, Fine Gael, only received around 36% of the vote.

3. Germany

In the most recent German elections, the new nationalist party, Alternative Für Deutschland (AFD), won a considerable amount of seats in the German parliament. This sent a signal to incumbent Chancellor, Angela Merkel, that the German people are moving further from the European Union and her administration. Germany has always attempted to stray away from their Nazi history and refrain from nationalist movements. Although the election of AFD provides evidence that Germany is losing this mindset.

2. America

The recent election of Donald Trump as President of the United States signals a shift further towards his movement of American nationalism. The policies Trump promised he would put in place, such as protectionist trade deals with China, are designed to put America over the rest of the world. The movement Trump sparked now runs rampant through the Republican Party. The Republican Party didn’t necessarily hold these views until Trump nearly hijacked the party. His America first movement destroyed the Party establishment and put these ideas into action.

1. Netherlands

The one that may surprise people the most is the Netherlands. The once center left nation recently took a swing right in the 2017 elections when Garret Wilders and the Party for Freedom ran a hard anti Islam and European Union campaign. Wilders has come out in support of banning the Koran, even going as far as to compare the book to Mein Kampf. Wilder’s Party won enough seats to place them as the opposition party in the Dutch House of Representatives. Even parties that have never run a hard line anti- Islam campaign are shifting in support of more nationalist ideas. Prime Minister Mark Rutte put out an advertisement that stated, “act normal or leave.” Rutte later said that this wasn’t meant to attack ethnic groups, but instead people who did not share their values. This signals that Wilder’s nationalist movement has spread most everywhere in the Netherlands.