Happy Birthday, America.
If we were looking for some inkling of capitulation from the globalists, we found it…….. at long last, and the impact will be bigger than we can understand in the snapshot of a 24hr news cycle. Next month, the debacle of Shampeachment will be a distant memory, but this…… what happened today in Davos……… this will last for decades…. and it’s glorious.
Imagine being a 7yr old kid, anxiously awaiting your birthday. All year long, you go to other kids’ parties, your mom buys great presents….. things you secretly wanted…… which you give away to other kids. The seasons fade, summer ends, and the weather turns cooler in time to head back to school. Months tick by….. and YOUR birthday finally comes up on the calendar. You divulge your deepest desires to your parents in coded hints. The anticipation builds and you scour the house, like a secret spy, to search for a brightly wrapped present. Endlessly you pester mom, then dad, finally siblings, for clues as to what you might be getting. By birthday week, as friends are expected at your party, you can barely contain the excitement.
Finally, your big day comes……. and it’s more than you ever imagined. As the scene unfolds, it’s a 10′ tall birthday cake, a new bicycle to ride – one for every day of the week, HUNDREDS of buddies at your party – people you don’t even know (but they’re your friends), the whole school is there, an entire circus, a train, and planes to ride, even your beloved deceased Grandma is at your party..…. somehow…. and she brings a big stash of your favorite candy…… enough to last for years. Everyone loves you and it’s the best day of your life.……. all in slow motion….. recorded…… so you can replay the moment again and again.
THAT is what President Trump and the Trump Team gave us today.
Let’s all understand, at the Davos 2020 conference, the final presser from the President of the USA is probably the biggest event of the week. Here, President Trump took the stage for a few minutes and then….. surprisingly…… introduced the Director General of the WTO, Roberto Azevedo. whom Trump refers to as “Roberto”. Did any of you know this guy before today?
Normally, it would be highly unusual for the President of the USA to share a stage with ANYONE at such a momentous occasion, but here, only 6 minutes into his presser, President Trump called “Roberto” to the podium. And we saw capitulation like we’ve never seen before…….
The WTO is on the chopping block and Team Trump will largely write the new rules. Wait…….. whut??? Otherwise, as Trump implied, he will dismantle the WTO. I stopped dead in my tracks with a half eaten banana. I actually felt the news move through me as a physical force. Today…. was my big birthday party, bigger than I ever imagined……. and it was America’s birthday party as well.
Never in a million years did we imagine President Trump would be able to accomplish this much in such a short period of time. He’s giving us our entire wish list. It’s the best Christmas and birthday rolled together. It’s a new bicycle for every day of the week, the big cake, the elephants to ride, and airplanes to fly. It’s the rebirth of the United States. It’s prosperity for our kids. It’s the gift of a level playing field for all of America’s workers. It’s the promise of fairness. No more screwing over America. It’s vindication and acknowledgement of the decades of pain felt by regular Americans. It’s the endless stash of birthday candy which will last long enough for my grandchildren.
It really is……… THAT BIG.
The reporters, pundits, most Congressmen, and even young trade reps, will never be able to understand the impact of what happened today. To be fair, it’s not their fault, they only receive a paycheck and are not responsible for the whole company with this kind of DUNS category#, or this section of the Blue Book. You can’t understand the pain unless you feel it, and work in it. Most employees and companies don’t produce anything tangible. They simply have no life experience in this arena.
ONLY a business person, one who has bought supplies originally in the USA, and now forced to buy overseas for decades, could see the problem firsthand. ONLY someone old enough to see how we used to do business, and then compare it to how we have to do business now, would have the correct perspective…. the vision to see the glaring errors. ONLY a man who has been frustrated by local suppliers going out of business, and witnessed the agony, been to the foreclosure sales of friends – caused by unfair foreign competition, and annoyed at the policies of DC, would understand how America lost our wealth. AND ONLY an exceptional man would have the ability and courage to fix the problem.
THAT man is Donald Trump, and he is surrounded by other men, like Wilbur Ross, with similar experience.
As a partner in a brokerage firm during the 80’s, I traded FOREX, okay fine, BUT back then I didn’t understand how much bad trade harmed our whole economy – and hurt our people. Later in life, when I was forced to trade internationally for building products, my life, my customer’s lives, were filled with frustration and endless angst. We KNEW what was wrong with American Trade Policy and we were tired of being defeated at every turn. We were all business owners, responsible for our employees and their families. We were active politically and called our Senators, Governors, and demanded that the ROBBERY of America STOP. Yet, like the 7yr old kid awaiting a birthday, our moms (the government) were always buying presents for some other kid (China/Brazil/India/Turkey). Our day, America’s day, to celebrate never came. As the years turned into decades, at OUR annual conferences, we pounded bourbon and railed at the idiocy of our leaders…. our friends in peril, and opportunities lost.
Ahhhh, but we were babies in the international trading arena. Citizen Trump built big things, and one can imagine his frustration and indignation loomed larger. Trump’s resolution and payback has been a long time in coming. For him, it is personal. It’s the big nut for America. Solving the problem of trade inequity gives America the money to solve the other problems we have…. the bridges, schools, even humanitarian issues beloved and deficit funded by the left.
You think the problem started with President Trump? That President Trump is the source of the controversy? That he is mean, a bully, racist, or dumb, for trying to solve the problem? Ohhh, hell no.
Look here, at Citizen Trump, November 21, 1991, providing testimony to the House Budget Committee about the problems with passive losses in the Tax Act of 1986 which, once implemented, cost the the country about 500 billion dollars, the loss of 700K construction jobs, and the recession of ’91&’92. HERE, beginning at 39:30, Republican Congresswoman, Helen Delich Bentley, talks about Free Trade versus FAIR TRADE, and the problems of shipping jobs overseas.
You think “Free Trade versus Fair Trade” is a new slogan? No. Were you surprised? Republicans and Democrats were arguing about the concept, concerned about American manufacturing, using the same slogans, 30years ago.
Trump knew. All our leaders knew. The wipe out of America was never addressed. It was intentional negligence.
When the WTO allowed China to enter with “developing nation” status, it meant Chinese imports into the USA were allowed at the lowest tariff rate of any other country’s products entering the USA in the same category class. In other words, China was granted the best deal on customs duties, access to our markets, with no protections for OUR industries, and targeted subsidies by the CCP to wipe out our companies. Today, we’re are familiar with how the Chinese targeted our farmers during negotiations. Well, imagine a situation whereby American farmers were targeted for 30yrs, and the CCP supplied Chinese farmers with seed, fertilizer, and tractors to help them compete…….. oh, and Chinese farmers don’t have to pay back their loans. THAT is what China does.
Industry by industry, the Chinese stole (or were given) our technology starting with basic housewares and easily manufactured items, graduating to autos, airliners, and precision medical devices or construction equipment. The great glassware manufacturers of upstate NY, Ohio, and Indiana were sold out, first. Then came the rest of our manufacturing base, the furniture companies in the Carolinas, the textile mills (from 8000 to about 50 remaining in the USA), auto parts, blue jeans and underwear….. steel, cabinetry, drywall, nails, lighting, plumbing fixtures, …….. almost all gone.
Kohler still has a corporate office in the USA, beautiful hotel attached, gorgeous facility, and sponsors a well known golf tournament. Are they in the Fortune 100? Probably. You probably think Kohler is a great American company……. Yet, I have Kohler fixture prototypes in my master shower – because they walked out the back door of their factory in Xiamen. One of my guys in Xiamen had a nephew who worked at the factory, and thought Miss Daughn might like a nice little present in her container. Surprised? I sure as heck was. So much for copyright protections in China…. I mean…. the prototypes were walking out the BACK DOOR.
Were we not paying attention in 2001? The approval for China to join the WTO came on November 11, 2001 (formally approved a month later), but only came after FIFTEEN YEARS of negotiations. The meeting, in Doha Qatar, was guarded by helos, 2 ships, and 2100 American Marines – only 2 months after the Trade Towers came down. America was in disarray at that time. This deal began in later stages of Reagan, proceeded under Daddy Bush, was pretty much “inked” under the Clinton Admin. Did we know what we were signing? https://www.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/asiapcf/central/11/10/china.WTO/index.html
In the CNN article above, a few leaders were worried about China’s ability to keep their promises, but Chinese officials dismissed those concerns.
To Team Trump’s credit, Wilbur Ross, our Wilburine, who has been to China 86 times BEFORE he became our Commerce Sec, immediately began investigations and leveled charges against the Chinese at the WTO. Pretty soon, judgments started rolling in. We didn’t hear much about them in the press but the Trump Admin was determined and extraordinarily aggressive. Wilbur also pursued charges against France (Airbus) and other countries. The cases at WTO often take years to resolve, and sometimes those victims bringing charges are out of business or hobbled when the time comes for their birthday party (like the great settlement for Delta Faucets which DOUBLED the tariff on Chinese manufactured stainless sinks – the CCP, via subsidies, was intentionally trying to wipe out remaining American manufacturers of kitchen sinks!!!!).
The biggest problem with the WTO is no teeth to enforce a judgement. China often simply ignored a ruling against them. Yet………… Methinks Wilbur and his team have worn out the WTO. I’m just guessing……. (and I just make muffins).
Keep in mind, other countries have already addressed the Chinese problem to protect their own workers. Brazil has a 35% tariff against all foreign manufactured goods. About 17% supports their version of Social Security, and the other 18% supports local municipalities (police/fire/admin). Turkey charges an 18% tariff on Chinese goods but they implemented it when China began to play games with currency manipulation. Heck, even IRAN has a 40% tariff on Chinese imports AND a 40% tariff when China buys raw materials from Iran (the Chinese are known to raid mining operations in Iran because Iran is so rich in natural resources).
So why were the Americans and Europeans so stupid? More importantly, WHO benefited from American and European stupid trade policies?
American companies (and Europe was in on it too), multinationals, helped the Chinese develop manufacturing to take advantage of low wages, and no OSHA requirements. Forget about extra expenses for eye goggles, hardhats, and steel toed boots in China – flip flops are okay. And forget about Workman’s Comp for an accident, or suing the company. It’s easy to pollute in China. I’ve often told the story of the white marble factory we bought from, who had to move, because the blue jeans factory upriver was dumping blue dye into water and all the WHITE marble was suddenly BLUE. So, the water in Flint Michigan was important but I bet those same leftists bought those blue jeans……….. YES, those same executives, who are often the most radical politically, LOVE to pollute and exploit low wages abroad, in factories with dangerous working conditions.
But judgement day has come to the WTO and the American globalists on Wall Street and in London/Brussels/Berlin. It’s a safe bet……. as happy as I am today, the US Chamber of Commerce, the lobbying arm which was most responsible for shipping our jobs overseas, was probably in panic mode. Yeah, Tom Donahue was throwing up today………… for me, I’m feelin’ pretty good about it.
In order to share with you guys, I finally found the transcript from the Davos presser this morning when I checked back in this afternoon. Read the words yourself and watch the video above from Trump’ presser. It’s capitulation and it feels so good. It is the biggest birthday gift – ever. The big “get” from Davos this year was …….
THE CHANGE at the WTO.
And everything changes from this moment forward. Here is what Director General Roberto Azevedo, whom Trump refers to as “Roberto”, said in front of the entire international press corps. Emphasis is mine.
DIRECTOR-GENERAL AZEVÊDO: Well, thank you, Mr. President. And I think it’s fair to say that we have been saying, for quite some time, that if the multilateral system, if the WTO is to deliver and perform its role in today’s global economy, it has to be updated. It has to be changed. It has to be reformed.
This is an agenda that is squarely before members. I don’t think anybody in Geneva misses the point. I think they understand that the — the system has not been functioning properly in many areas. That’s something that we’re trying to address.
I’m very happy that, in the conversation today with President Trump, he agreed that this is something that needs to happen; the WTO has to change. We are committed to effect those changes. And this is something that we’re serious about.
And I am going to be, together with President Trump, as soon as possible, discussing what needs to change, what needs to be effected in the WTO, and we’re committed to doing that.
And, of course, I will be talking to all of the other WTO members, making sure that they all understand that this is serious. This is a path that we all have to be on together if we want to make the WTO relevant and performing to today’s requirements, frankly.
So thank you very much, Mr. President. It’s an honor to be with you and with everybody else. Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Great.Transcript from Davos 2020 Presser for the President of the USA https://publicpool.kinja.com/subject-remarks-by-president-trump-in-press-conference-1841160983
Yeah, the WTO execs will be in DC this week or next.
Does that sound odd to anyone here? Urgency? When did “urgency” happen? Sounds like President Trump and his team lit a fire underneath the seats of some cushy bureaucrats. Have you ever seen bureaucrats with a desire for urgency?
Wonder what the offer was?
Sure, I know, some of the Eeyores will come along and ruin my birthday party with dire warnings of stealth operations by the US Chamber to water-down WTO changes. I’m not sure they matter so much anymore. Those boys have lost their luster….. as if men wearing “wife beater” white t-shirts to the grocery store was ever attractive. We should not have been so enamored with the globalists 40yrs ago. Bottom line, China has become a dangerous place to do business, American sentiment has turned, and tax policy in the USA is MUCH better AND safer. Companies will do what is in their best interest, of course. Yet the case for manufacturing in the USA has never been stronger.
And we’re gonna get a new and improved WTO. Happy Birthday!
Just don’t tell the press until we’re finished writing the rules.