Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-05-16 10:45am

I mean yes, it would, but to have that we need a Congress dominated by people who agree that keeping the lights turned on is more important than plunging their rivals into darkness. When you have an entire presidential administration in which either a sufficient minority or a majority was in firm territory of "always, always choose 'defect' in the prisoner's dilemma, in hopes of fucking over the other prisoner really hard," a lot of bad long-term decisions are going to get made in the name of short-term expedience.

It's only partly the fault of the people who make those bad long-term choices. Because they're being presented with an extremely unpalatable situation by someone who's specifically willing to sabotage the mechanisms of government in order to undermine them personally.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Gandalf » 2018-05-16 06:52pm

Patroklos wrote:
2018-05-16 03:16am
bilateralrope wrote:
2018-05-16 12:46am
If the US was officially at war in those cases, would it have behaved any differently in any of them ?
Absolutely. It should be obvious that if you are exercising war powers entirely through the authority of one branch of government, that provides for a very different character of management and oversight than if its done via the authority of two branches of government.

But the real thing here is that if you had to get Congress to vote on it, to unambiguously have representatives and senators sign their name to vote where they can't weasel words their way out of their responsibility for doing so when the body bags start arriving in their district, you are going to get a lot more scrutiny of military actions up front.
And to look at it from a different angle, think of all if the things that the US government has done in wartime during the 20th century completely legally. Then give those powers to Nixon.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Ralin » 2018-05-16 10:53pm

Seems like a moot point given that so long as the president 1) is Commander-in-Chief and can order the military to go to any particular place and do things on his own authority and 2) Congress either can not or will not impeach the president for doing so it's not possible to require any of those things. Regardless of what the Constitution says, this is how our government works.

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by LaCroix » 2018-05-17 07:29am

How to win a trade war as sitting president...

1. Impose trade restrictions against a nation that endanger their large companies.
2. Said nation invests a couple of billion in a project you profit directly.
3. Tell your Commerce Department to lift restrictions.

Lifting those sanctions isn't a bad thing, per se, as the US could benefit long-term if China does not cut itself off US tech suppliers, but the timing is somewhat fishy...
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by mr friendly guy » 2018-05-17 07:38am

LaCroix wrote:
2018-05-17 07:29am
How to win a trade war as sitting president...

1. Impose trade restrictions against a nation that endanger their large companies.
2. Said nation invests a couple of billion in a project you profit directly.
3. Tell your Commerce Department to lift restrictions.

Lifting those sanctions isn't a bad thing, per se, as the US could benefit long-term if China does not cut itself off US tech suppliers, but the timing is somewhat fishy...
In the long term, this just forces China to speed up development for crucial tech so that they don't become dependent on the US, because its quite clear the US administration is willing to fuck over its own companies just to give the finger to Chinese ones, or at least play chicken in this regard. Its not like the US tech bans cough Obama restricts Intel chips cough didn't force the Chinese to build the world's fastest supercomputer using their own chips. In the short term this deal benefits Donald Trump. Long term, it will be whoever can provide a non US source of tech to Chinese companies, where its other Chinese companies or foreign companies which aren't US based.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-05-17 08:18am

Ralin wrote:
2018-05-16 10:53pm
Seems like a moot point given that so long as the president 1) is Commander-in-Chief and can order the military to go to any particular place and do things on his own authority and 2) Congress either can not or will not impeach the president for doing so it's not possible to require any of those things. Regardless of what the Constitution says, this is how our government works.
See, there's a tacit assumption that Congress (or the cabinet, under the 25th Amendment) would act if the president just randomly woke up on the wrong side of the bed and said "as commander in chief, I'm ordering the military to invade Brazil" and refused to back down when all his subordinate generals said "WTF are you insane."

Whether or not this tacit assumption is true is a whole different question.

That said... It bears pointing out that in something like 16 months in office, Trump hasn't actually invaded anybody or launched much in the way of military attacks except for areas we were already attacking under Obama. He's bullying other countries, not mugging them. It's honestly unclear to me what would happen if Trump decided to do something that was far outside the Overton window of consensus among the military-security-political complex (like invading Brazil). Or what would happen if a more competent evil president (e.g. Nixon) did the same.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-05-17 10:02am

Either way, the Overton window would shift with the actions of the President in question, as it did when a previous administration sanctioned(and either the Renquhist or the Roberts Court approved) "enhanced interrogation " techniques for unlawful enemy combatants.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by mr friendly guy » 2018-05-23 05:04am

People who see my posting history on Trump will know I am more worried about a trade war being likely than an actual war against America's big trading partners. Well the trade war with China seems to be hold, possibly dying before its begun. *

https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-shie ... 1526981400

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/won ... 25bcd3bd52

Wall Street Journal and WaPo have their own analysis on what happened, although the gist is, China came off better, "conceding" things they were planning to do anyway, eg increasing energy imports and food imports. Although to be fair, while I agree China is planning to do increase imports in the above two categories, there was no guarantee that it would have been from the US.

* a few tariffs doesn't match the definition of a trade war. Its supposed to be a certain percentage of tariffs, and so far the ones each country imposed or threaten to impose didn't come close to that level.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by EnterpriseSovereign » 2018-05-31 06:14pm

US to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium from Europe, Mexico and Canada, risking trade war.
The Trump administration has announced it will impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Europe, Mexico and Canada after failing to win concessions from the American allies.
The decision could provoke retaliatory penalties and exacerbate trans-Atlantic and North American trade tensions.
US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross said the tariffs would be 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium as the administration followed through on the penalties after earlier granting exemptions to buy time for negotiations.
Let's see the Trumpers defend this one.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Tribble » 2018-05-31 06:22pm

EnterpriseSovereign wrote:
2018-05-31 06:14pm
US to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium from Europe, Mexico and Canada, risking trade war.
The Trump administration has announced it will impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Europe, Mexico and Canada after failing to win concessions from the American allies.
The decision could provoke retaliatory penalties and exacerbate trans-Atlantic and North American trade tensions.
US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross said the tariffs would be 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium as the administration followed through on the penalties after earlier granting exemptions to buy time for negotiations.
Let's see the Trumpers defend this one.
Well Trump has been campaigning for quite a while now how Canada and Mexico are the biggest threats to US national security, and I wouldn't be surprised if they totally agree with him. North Korea and Iran are clearly just small potatoes in comparison.

Maybe this will lead to a Canadian Bacon scenario. Trump wants a war somewhere after all.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Crossroads Inc. » 2018-05-31 06:35pm

EnterpriseSovereign wrote:
2018-05-31 06:14pm
Let's see the Trumpers defend this one.
I really wish people would stop saying this. It implies that these people actually have a point that they could ever say "Trump fucked up"
you REALLY want to "see the Trumpers defend this one" ? Fine here you go:
I know it's hard for liberals to see the positive after drinking the Democrat kool-air for decades but you can come back to logic and common-sense, this is a brilliant move by the President that will save America BILLIONS.
“Progressive” globalism is a cancer. It must be removed. America first! America forever!
THANK YOU TRUMP! The EU and WTO will be crying on the loss of BILLIONS they have cheated us out of for years like the weak CRYBABIES they really are! OH and Mexico will pay for that wall OR ELESE, how bout them apples.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Raj Ahten » 2018-05-31 09:32pm

It seems everyone in the world wants to roll back the clock to when everyone got into nationalist dick measuring contests over trade and everything else. Since that worked out so well in the 20th century. Christ neoliberalism kinda sucks but it looks like my dear old boss Trump wants to go back to the even shittier model that proceeded it as fast as possible. All the US is signaling these days is that all our allies should abandon us as soon as practical. I expect the process to take a few decades but who the fuck would rely on the US after Trump?

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-05-31 10:23pm

EnterpriseSovereign wrote:
2018-05-31 06:14pm
US to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium from Europe, Mexico and Canada, risking trade war.
The Trump administration has announced it will impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Europe, Mexico and Canada after failing to win concessions from the American allies.
The decision could provoke retaliatory penalties and exacerbate trans-Atlantic and North American trade tensions.
US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross said the tariffs would be 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium as the administration followed through on the penalties after earlier granting exemptions to buy time for negotiations.
Let's see the Trumpers defend this one.
Are you kidding? This sort of shit is exactly what the Trumpers want.

And here's Prime Minister Trudeau's response:

https://www.youtube.come/watch?v=aHxzG-VdO_A
Prime Minister Trudeau wrote:Let me be clear: these tariffs are totally unacceptable.
Prime Minister Trudeau wrote:That Canada could be considered a national security threat to the United States is inconceivable.
Prime Minister Trudeau wrote:These tariffs are an affront to the long-standing security partnership between Canada and the United States, and in particular, an affront to the thousands of Canadians who have fought and died alongside their American brothers in arms. Comrades in arms. The ties of commerce, friendship and in many cases, family, between Americans and Canadians are undiminished. Indeed, they have never been stronger. The government of Canada is confident that shared values, geography and common interests will ultimately overcome protectionism.
Prime Minister Trudeau wrote:I want to be very clear about one thing: Americans remain our partners, our allies and our friends. This is not about the American people. We have to believe that at some point, common sense will prevail. But we see no sign of that in this action today by the US administration.
Minister Freeland wrote:In response to these measures, Canada intends to impose tariffs against imports of steel, aluminum and other products from the United States, representing the total value of 2017 Canadian exports affected by the US measures. That is 16.6 billion dollars. We are imposing dollar for dollar tariffs for ever dollar levied against Canadians by the US. 25% and 10% are the tariff rates today imposed by the United States on Canada. We are today publishing two lists of goods: one list which will be subject to a 25% tariff. The second list will be subject to a 10% tariff. These countermeasures will only apply to goods originating from the United States. These countermeasures will take effect on July 1st., 2018. They will remain in place until the United States eliminates its trade-restrictive measures against Canada. Our steel and aluminum workers have our government's full support. That is why we have included American steel and aluminum products in our list. As for the other products listed today, we have ensured that these can be easily sourced from Canadian companies or non-US trade partners, in an effort to avoid any costs being passed on to Canadian families, and consumers.
Minister Freeland wrote:The unilateral trade restrictions by the United States are also in violation of NAFTA and WTO trade rules. Canada will therefore launch dispute settlement proceedings under NAFTA Chapter 20 and WTO dispute settlement. Canada will also closely collaborate with like-minded WTO members, including the European Union, to challenge these illegal and counterproductive US measures at the WTO.
You tell him, Justin. I can honestly say, as a citizen of both Canada and the United States, that I have never been more proud of my Prime Minister than I was today. I can't even say I'm a fan of NAFTA or the WTO, but "Fuck our country's closest ally, the rules don't apply to us" is not the way to go about renegotiating those issues.

That said, I'd personally prefer tariffs that target the business interests of Trump and his allies (actually, were it up to me, the Trump family and cabinet would be subject to financial sanctions and travel bans, along the lines of certain Russian officials, but that's another matter).
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Coop D'etat » 2018-06-04 12:22am

What's notable about picking a NAFTA fight right now is that the Trump administration is already showing obvious signs of strain from trying to manage crises of their own creation with North Korea and Iran as well as a China trade spat. A fully staffed and well led administration would struggle juggling those balls, the Trump admin doesn't believe in hiring full staff and using their professional civil service. Plus he decided to put the screws to Canada and Mexico on NAFTA in a way that was guarenteed to get the Japanese and EU involved on their side and at a point in the political cycle where both the Canadians and Mexican leadership have a lot to gain by standing tough on Trump rather than caving.

On the Canadian side, knowing completely well that this is the bullshit move that Trump thinks is good negoitating was going to come at some point, I'm happy it happens right now when the Americans are distracted from fighting 5-10 different other fights and on a subject where the Europeans are inclined to align with us. The subtext is that Trump is considered by most in the know to be pretty bad at the negiotiating skill he claims defines him (Trump's real talent is in marketing).

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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by LaCroix » 2018-06-04 07:11am

It's all about Trumps personal worldview. In a deal, one gains, the other gets screwed. The one who bullies the hardest, wins - because the other can't afford to fight back in court.

Sadly for him, that doesn't work on a free world market, or in politics. The other just walks away from the table if he tries to bully them, and can hit back dollar for dollar.
He's just to set to his ways to realize that he has to make fair deals, for once.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Crossroads Inc. » 2018-06-04 11:56am

LaCroix wrote:
2018-06-04 07:11am
It's all about Trumps personal worldview. In a deal, one gains, the other gets screwed. The one who bullies the hardest, wins - because the other can't afford to fight back in court.
This actually explains a lot of his actions and his constant cries of "We made a bad deal!"
If you look at the world through the lens of "In a 'good' business deal, You have a winner and a looser.. If the other side is not being screwed it means YOU are" In all of the deals Trumps says are "Bad" it makes sense, the other side isn't being directly screwed, therefor YOU must be getting screwed QED. His method of "Renegotiating." these days has been all about bullying and trying to make an all take and no give trade deal.

These obviously must exist in Trumps fantasy world but not in real life.
Again, this view point sadly explains SO much
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by LaCroix » 2018-06-04 12:37pm

That's also why he pulls out of agreements - he did it all the time. The moment he has what he wants, he pulls out and doesn't do his part (like paying for services rendered).

So, in his world - if the other side is happy with the agreement (e.g. he did not feel like he's having them over a barrel), than it means that either they know they will benefit from this (thus, "I will get screwed", for there is no win-win situation, ever, in his mind), or they are intending to pull out early after the US has done their part, and make it eat the losses.

tldr; He is so used to everybody conning everybody in his business world, that he can't believe that someone would do a fair, mutual deal.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Crossroads Inc. » 2018-06-04 12:49pm

Once again, it is sad but makes perfect sense.
He has lived his life screwing people over in business deals and conning them. The concept of a "win win" itself is anathema to his world view.
it isn't JUST about 'not' being screwed, but actively screwing over your business partner. Again, since he pulls out of / bails on virtually every business deal he has ever been in, he obviously distrusts any mutually beneficial business deal. Such a "win win" could not possibly work because after all, the OTHE guy will sure bail and at some point screw you over, so best to screw them first.

This...is the business philosophy of Trump.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-06-05 08:04am

And this kind of thing is why zillions of us are screaming "NO, RUNNING A COUNTRY LIKE A BUSINESS IS A TERRIBLE IDEA."

A frightening number of businesses are like animals in a zoo. They live out their lives, they interact with a limited selection of other animals, never really needing to wonder where their food is coming from or what pains their caretakers are going to in order to ensure that they get the food they need. If anything goes badly wrong, they're abruptly tranquilized and they wake up with the problem having been made to go away, through no effort of their own. They don't need to understand, and are frankly incapable of understanding, how the means of their survival are procured, organized, and provided to them. They just need to know how to eat, defecate, and interact with their handful of packmates or whatever.

Meanwhile, the government? Has the job of being the zookeeper.

Promoting a zoo animal, even a well-loved zoo animal, to run the zoo is a terrible idea. Even if the animal were somehow sapient and able to think and carry on conversations, it wouldn't matter. You can't put a talking bear in charge of the zoo, and the talking bear's thirty years of experience doing tricks for tourists and balancing a plank on its nose won't help.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by mr friendly guy » 2018-06-07 01:30am

Some effects on Trump's policies

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canadia ... -1.4686655
In fact, the top U.S. aluminum industry consultant says the tariff has, so far, actually enriched Canadian aluminum producers.

The U.S. is going to lose more jobs than it gains. No question about it.
- Jorge Vasquez, Harbor Aluminum
That's because they responded to the announcement in March by factoring the tariff into their prices, and then essentially pocketed that 10 per cent surcharge during the two months that Canada enjoyed a tariff exemption.

Following Trump's announcement the base price of aluminum on the London Metals Exchange, which has been trending lazily downward, suddenly spiked from about 90 cents a pound to $1.20. It remains 15 per cent higher than it was, a bonanza for producers. It rose again on Thursday's news that allies' tariff exemptions would end.

"Trump wrote a cheque for $600 million to Canadian aluminum producers," said Jorge Vasquez of Harbor Aluminum in Austin, Tex., who has served as an adviser to both the U.S. International Trade Commission and the Canadian Trade Tribunal.

In effect, Trump's actions transferred more than half a billion dollars from the U.S. economy to Canada's since March.
Making Canada great again. :D Nice to see he is sharing the love around, not just with Russia.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by K. A. Pital » 2018-06-07 02:18am

Trump is actually the US having to face the consequences of actions for the first time in decades. But I think the lesson will go unlearned.
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-06-07 08:51am

Fundamentally, this is because Trump is the first case in decades of the US electing a president too stupid and too disconnected from reality to gauge with some semblance of accuracy where the line is between actions with and without unavoidable consequences.

I read an interesting string of Tweets on this that basically boils down to:

1) The problem with Trump that causes him to be this idiotic on tariffs, is that at heart, he's a con man with no empathy and no imagination. As such, he assumes everyone is secretly a con man with no empathy. He has no concept of a 'deal' between two parties that isn't, on some level, a con or a leonine contract forced on one party by the other.

2) Consequently, in every 'deal' he takes for granted that one party has all the leverage and reaps all the profit, and the other party is being screwed.

3) So when he sees a 'deal' (like a bilateral security agreement or trade arrangement) in which the other party is profiting, or has any leverage, he concludes that this is because HIS party is being screwed. And his lifelong reaction to such 'deals' has been to walk away. Which because of the way his real estate business has worked, and the way he's creatively abused bankruptcy, he's been getting away with.

4) Consequently, he cannot make real, lasting international arrangements, and will disrupt the international arrangements he finds himself in the middle of. Because the only kinds of deal he can comprehend are the kind where he has the other party over a barrel (in which case in real life they just don't sign the treaty), or the kind where in his mind they have him over a barrel (in which case he doesn't sign up and denounces the deal).
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by ray245 » 2018-06-07 09:19am

K. A. Pital wrote:
2018-06-07 02:18am
Trump is actually the US having to face the consequences of actions for the first time in decades. But I think the lesson will go unlearned.
Oh it will be learned. That is by other countries Basically it tells the whole that if the American electoral system is dysfunctional enough that a person like Trump can be elected, there is no reason why they should pay heed to America as a world leader.

The damage goes beyond Trump. It's a demonstration that the Amercian-led world order have severe issues and the will of the American people can actively act against the interest of the rest of the global community. If a decent portion of Americans see the whole world as out to get them, then the rest of the world will simply proceed to isolate America diplomatically.
Humans are such funny creatures. We are selfish about selflessness, yet we can love something so much that we can hate something.

Simon_Jester
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-06-07 11:42am

A unipolar world is never going to be as good or stable an arrangement of things as a multipolar one.
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K. A. Pital
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Re: Trump Dump: Foreign Policy (Thread I)

Post by K. A. Pital » 2018-06-07 11:55am

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-06-07 11:42am
A unipolar world is never going to be as good or stable an arrangement of things as a multipolar one.
Neither is going to be stable - nor the imperialism of many great powers, neither the imperialism of two or one great superpowers, all such configurations are objectively lacking stability.
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