News Archive – Sept-Oct-nov-dec 2016
Sarkisian Expects More from Eurasian Union
Asbarez (Armenian-American), Dec 16, 2016 – President Serzh Sarkisian on Friday defended Armenia’s membership in the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), while acknowledging that it has not yet lived up to his expectations….
The Armenian president unexpectedly decided to make Armenia part of the Russian-led bloc in September 2013 just as his government, then headed by Tigran Sarkisian, was close to signing an Association Agreement with the EU. The U-turn was widely attributed to Russian pressure.
ASEAN’s regional trade pact gaining growing momentum
China Daily, Dec 15, 2016 – The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership has come into the global spotlight with the imminent demise of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement…. Given that the US-led TPP deliberately excluded China, the RCEP has been perceived by some as a China-led design to counterbalance the TPP. In fact, this is a misperception as the RCEP was masterminded by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations with an aim of deepening trade ties with its six regional partners including China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.
Time for an ASEAN Criminal Court?
The Diplomat, Dec 16, 2016 – A push has begun for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to take a long hard look at establishing its own criminal court, perhaps based along similar lines as the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.
Gulf States Hope to Coordinate After Trump’s Election
Effort to morph GCC into ‘Gulf Union’ drawing inspiration from EU
The Media Line, Dec 4, 2016 – Now Manama and Riyadh are leading an effort to morph the GCC into a “Gulf Union” that draws inspiration from the European Union. “The transformation of the GCC into a Gulf Union is essential to address security problems and economic challenges, as well as other serious issues confronted by the region,” said Bahraini Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa….
“Particularly following the election of Donald Trump as president, the successes of the far-right in elections in Europe and the spread of Islamophobia across several countries, I’d like to see a Gulf political and economic vision based on the common agreements of the member states,” said Hama al-Amer, a former GCC undersecretary. “This will make the GCC the sixth largest economic bloc in the world and strengthen its international economic power.”
Congress Moves To Strengthen Trade Ties With Mexico, In Teeth Of Trump Threats To Kill NAFTA
Houston Public Media, Dec 1, 2016 – The Senate has unanimously passed a bill to improve trade flows along the Texas-Mexico border, sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn. In a conference call with reporters, Cornyn responded to a question about whether he was in a rush to get the measure to President Obama before Trump takes office.
Trump’s Commerce pick: NAFTA likely starting point on Day 1
CNN Money, Nov 30, 2016 – President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for Commerce Secretary said Wednesday night that the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement is one of the first — if not the first — things he will tackle on Day One of the job. In an interview on CNN’s “Erin Burnett Outfront,” Wilbur Ross, the chairman of private equity firm WL Ross & Co, said “we’re working out the fine-point details, but NAFTA is a logical starting point,” adding that it would make sense because it was a large part of Trump’s campaign.
Sorry, Trump: NAFTA isn’t going anywhere
Los Angeles Times, Dec 1, 2016 – NAFTA is a congressional-executive agreement created by statute, not treaty. Trump cannot terminate it — or even renegotiate it — without the approval of Congress…. This constitutional balance of power effectively means that NAFTA and the WTO are here to stay. Both houses of Congress are friendly to free trade. In the Senate, a minority of just 40 senators could successfully filibuster any effort to terminate NAFTA.
Pakistan welcomes Trump’s role in resolving ‘outstanding issues’
Business Standard (India), Dec 1, 2016 – “Pakistan welcomes Trump’s willingness to play a role in resolving the outstanding issues between Pakistan and India, including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir,” Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria said, a day after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made a congratulatory call to Trump…. “Peaceful resolution of all the disputes can make our region prosperous,” he said, alleging that India has been “instrumental” in scuttling the SAARC summit and in bringing the bilateral issues in the multilateral arena.
Financial Watch (Nigeria), Dec 1, 2016 – Customs officials from ECOWAS member States have commenced the review of the draft code in readiness for the implementation of common external tariff…. Mr. Laouali Chaibou, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Trade, Customs & Free Movement, described the review and validation meeting as another positive step in the building of a customs union in accordance with the objectives of the Treaty establishing the ECOWAS.
Gulf union may go ahead without Oman: Bahrain minister
Gulf News (Dubai, UAE), Nov 27, 2106 – A union between the states comprising the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will be on the table at the summit to be hosted by Bahrain next month. However, the Gulf union could be launched without the participation of Oman, a founding member of the GCC alongside Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE…. In the wake of the hesitation of some to upgrade the cooperative framework into a union, observers said that some of the member countries could set up a core union of two or more states and that the other members could join later at their own pace.
Desperate EU leaders and Remainers accused of plotting to block Brexit
The Express (London, UK), Nov 26, 2016 – …Maltese premier Joseph Muscat said the EU was “not bluffing” about ending British access to the single market. His intervention coincided with comments by Tony Blair who said Brexit could be reversed by a second referendum if the “pain” of leaving could be increased to change voters’ minds. There was also anger at another former Prime Minister, Sir John Major, who shared a platform with Mr Blair during the referendum. He claimed Brexit was “the tyranny of the majority” and suggested the will of British voters should be ignored.
Donald Trump faces risks and obstacles if he tries to exit or even renegotiate NAFTA
Kansas City Star, Nov 14, 2016 – If President-elect Donald Trump keeps his campaign threats to “terminate” the North American Free Trade Agreement, divorcing Mexico and Canada could be both messy and costly. NAFTA, a trade treaty enacted with congressional legislation, was designed to integrate the three economies and their 530 million consumers into a powerful trading bloc. It offers excruciating detail on how the three countries bind their economies together, but virtually nothing on how to unwind it….
For Trump, It’s Time for “NAFTA 2.0” – New America Media, Nov 14, 2016 – It’s important to revisit how NAFTA came into being. A response to the creation of the European Union (EU), the North American Free Trade Agreement was designed to make the U.S., Canada, and Mexico more competitive. But Washington didn’t want to go as far as the EU: no common currency, no open borders, not “North American Parliament.”…. In Mexico, for example, NAFTA allowed cheap American agricultural products that put hundreds of thousands of small farmers out of business. Their children had to move to large cities—or migrate, often illegally, to the U.S. Worse still, the changed dietary habits unleashed an epidemic of diabetes and coronary disease. In the U.S., a feckless and pompous political class ignored the hardships that American workers whose jobs were shipped to Mexico suffered
Brexit leader Farage blasts plans for EU army following Trump win
CNBC, Nov 14, 2016 – Trump ally and the driving force behind the U.K.’s Brexit from Europe Nigel Farage has blasted the European Commission (EC) president for his call to create a European army. Following the U.S presidential election last week, EC president Jean-Claude Juncker said Europe had to recognize the need to take care of its own defense needs. “The Americans, to whom we owe much, will not ensure the security of the Europeans in the long term. We have to do this ourselves,” Juncker told reporters in Berlin on Wednesday night.
EU is much more dangerous than Donald Trump, says Leo McKinstry
EU will use Trump’s success to push for more central power
Express (London, UK), Nov 14, 2016 – The chronic weakness of their regime has been further exposed by the triumph of a US presidential candidate who does not share their devotion to open borders, the destruction of national identities and the march of globalisation.
What makes Trump’s victory all the more chilling for EU leaders is that he looks certain to be a strong ally of Britain as we regain our independence. Ever since the referendum, the Brussels elite has comforted itself with the illusion that Britain outside the EU will be left hopelessly isolated.
Yet, in truth, the EU politicians are so manically attached to their federalist dogma that they would not dream of adopting a pragmatic, flexible response to Trump…. On the contrary, they will just use Trump’s success to push for more central power, more integration, more unity. “The EU should treat his election as a wake-up call to take charge of our own destiny,” says Guy Verhofstadt, the Belgian federalist fanatic. The EU will this week discuss plans to impose a European defence strategy, complete with its own EU army and military headquarters.
Turkey decides to join Eurasian Union: within 5 years Turks to oust Azerbaijanis from Russia
Trump victory prompts decision
Baku, ABC.AZ (Azerbaijan), Nov 14, 2016 – Trump’s victory in the presidential election in the U.S. has fastened all processes occurring in the world economy and politics. Precisely for this reason, Mikhail Khazin, the founder and head of the Russian Mikhail Khazin Economic Research Fund, considered it possible to inform Fineko/abc.az that Turkey made a decision to join the Eurasian Economic Union…. I can assure you that in 5 years their number in Russia can exceed the rate of immigrants from Azerbaijan…,” Khazin emphasized.
Gulf single currency inevitable – Oman c.bank chief quoted
Reuters, Oct 31, 2016 – The creation of a single currency in the Gulf Arab region has become inevitable and is only a matter of time, the executive president of Oman’s central bank was quoted as saying. Oman is not one of the countries pushing for a common currency, but “serious measures” are being studied to achieve it, the Saudi Arabian-owned Al Sharq al-Awsat newspaper quoted Hamood Sangour al-Zadjali as saying in a statement…. The creation of monetary union became a primary objective of the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council in the early 1980s. Four of them – Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain – formed a joint monetary council and a forerunner to a Gulf central bank in March 2010.
Gulf-wide integration needs a bit of fast-tracking
Speed up the building of a Gulf-wide infrastructure…. in line with quest to found a common market
Gulf News (Dubai, UAE), Oct 19, 2016 – The General Secretariat of the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Arab Thought Foundation recently organised a workshop on “The GCC: Achievements and Challenges”.
….The workshop highlighted the need to speed up the building of a Gulf-wide infrastructure as it will play a pivotal role in development. The Gulf rail network is one of the projects that some members need to work on it. The UAE and Saudi Arabia, for instance, have made significant progress while others are lagging, which might cause a delay to the completion date scheduled for 2018…. As the six states adopt futuristic development visions, the general secretariat has taken a significant step to coordinate and complete these efforts, in line with the quest to found a common market through which the combined economies can be one of the largest in the world by the next decade.
AFRICAN UNION – EAC:
EAC kick starts monetary union move
‘The dream is to …eventually have an East African common currency’
The Citizen (Tanzania), Oct 19, 2016 – Speaking here recently, the EAC secretary general, Mr Liberat Mfumukeko, said the process to lay the foundation for establishment of a monetary union were on gear. “The dream is to have east Africans trade easily using any of their currencies and eventually have an East African common currency,” he said in his maiden press conference recently…. Further liberalization of free movement of skilled labour across the six partner states; Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda and South Sudan will be enhanced as is regional industrial development through deliberate investments in skills development, technological advancement and innovation.
‘She wants a Hemispheric-wide common market which is the way the European Union formed.’
‘And she wants free movement of people and free movement of goods. This is indefensible. That’s why she denies it.’
Breitbart, Oct 13, 2016 – “It means they have never wanted a lawful system of immigration. They have frustrated it at every turn. They say they do, for 30 years they have promised and Republicans have promised to produce a lawful system of immigration. They’ve had multiple opportunities to do so with the American people supporting them overwhelmingly. But have they done it? No. Why? Just what that email reveals. She doesn’t do it because she believes in open borders.”
European Union launches new border force in ceremony in Bulgaria
‘External EU border of one member state is the external border of all member states’
Malta Independent, Oct 6, 2016 – A new European border and coast guard force was officially launched Thursday at a checkpoint on the European Union’s external border with Turkey in Bulgaria.
The new task force, launched at the Kapitan Andreevo crossing, was built from the border management agency Frontex because national coast guards were overwhelmed by the refugee emergency.
“From now onwards, the external EU border of one member state is the external border of all member states — both legally and operationally,” said Dimitris Avramopoulos, the EU commissioner for migration, home affairs and citizenship.
AFRICAN UNION – EAC, ECOWAS:
Africa: New Era Beckons As EAC Courts West African Bloc
‘Time for Ecowas Parliament to get legislative powers’ like EAC parliament
Pan-African Parliament also campaigns to pass laws for continent
All-Africa, Sept 28, 2016 – Now the two blocs are increasingly forging political ties as seen during a visit by the Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) Daniel F Kidega to Abuja, Nigeria a fortnight ago where he addressed the Ecowas Parliament. It appears Eala wanted to use its experience as one of the successful regional Parliaments in the African continent to assist its counterpart which has three times the number of member countries than its East African counterpart.
“The time for Ecowas Parliament to get legislative powers is now. Such a move would be a precursor to capacitate the Legislature to enact laws and respond to demand of the populace of the West African region,” he said when he addressed the Ecowas Parliament in the Nigerian capital Abuja on September 22nd.
….At the moment, the South African based Pan-African Parliament (PAP) is also campaigning for the ratification of the new Protocol that is envisaged to give it powers to pass model laws for the continent.
Europe’s long road in search of common defense
Britain had blocked such plans, fearing an EU army
Reuters, Sept 28, 2016 – With Britain set to leave the European Union, hopes have risen in Paris and Berlin for the realization of a nearly 70-year-old ambition to coordinate European defense policy Britain blocked such plans in recent years, fearing an EU army, but France and Germany have come forward with new proposals…. EU leaders are set to meet to consider the new policies in December.
Commentary: It’s time for Europe to stop holding referendums
Reuters UK, Sept 29, 2016 – The European Union lexicon, already stuffed with ugly words and phrases, needs to coin a new one: “plebiphobia.” Unlike some anxieties, the fear of referendums is well-grounded. Following Britain’s vote in June to leave the union, plebiscites this autumn in Hungary on migration and in Italy on constitutional reform may further destabilize the EU. More fundamentally, plebiphobia rules out the very reforms needed to prevent more Brexit-like uprisings.
There you have it. EU elitists want to proceed without being bothered with a vote of the people.
Trump Says Clinton Would ‘Effectively’ Abolish U.S. Borders
Bloomberg, Sept 17, 2016 – Speaking in somber tones from a teleprompter, Trump, 70, said Clinton wants to “give lifetime welfare and entitlements to illegal immigrants.” …. According to the plan laid out on her website, Clinton would introduce “comprehensive immigration reform” if elected, including a pathway to “full and equal” citizenship for many undocumented immigrants.
EU to Step Up Cooperation with ASEAN
Tempo (Indonesia), Sept 15, 2016 – The European Union (EU) is poised to step up cooperation with Southeast Asian nations, considering their strategic positions in global economy as well as successful agreements between the bloc and the ASEAN since 2014.
The European Union Ambassador to ASEAN Francisco Fontan said ASEAN member states have been developing rapidly in the past few years…. “We have a committment to improve funding and cooperation in a wide range of sectors to support ASEAN, particularly after the agenda of ASEAN regional integration was set in 2015,” he said Tuesday, September 14, 2016, as quoted by Bisnis.com.
In Flint, Donald Trump bashes Ford for Mexico decision and is then cut off
CBS News, Sept 14, 2016 – “It was just announced that Ford is moving all small car production — all of it — 100 percent to Mexico over the next two to three years. It just happened. We shouldn’t allow it to happen,” the GOP presidential nominee said at Bethel United Methodist Church during a campaign stop in Flint, Michigan.
“They’ll make their cars, they’ll employ thousands and thousands of people not from this country and they’ll sell the cars through a very weak border — no tax, no nothing. And we’ll have nothing but more unemployment in Flint and Michigan,” Trump added.
He slammed Hillary Clinton for supporting the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and said she has “failed on foreign policy.” The pastor of the church, Rev. Faith Green Timmons, suddenly joined Trump on stage and interrupted him.
‘MADE IN THE EURASIAN UNION’ :
Goods produced in EAEU may receive “Made in EAEU” labeling
Armenian News Agency, Sept 7, 2016 – The goods produced in the Eurasian Economic Union’s states can have “Made in the EAEU” labeling starting from 2017, Director of the EEC Industrial Policy Department Nikolay Kushnarev said, Rossiyskaya Gazeta reported. He said the transformation from the labeling of “Made in Russia”, “Made in Belarus” or any other EAEU states to “Made in the EAEU” labeling is an important stage of integration cooperation.
Similarly, if the globalists have their way, “Made in North America” will be the next sequential step to open borders and NAFTA.
Is fighting terrorism key to ASEAN unity and credibility?
CNBC, Sept 10, 2016 – Unlike other political issues that have caused ruptures among members, nations so far seem to be in unison on terrorism, as indicated by the ASEAN summit in Laos this week…. Much of the group’s discord can be attributed to its philosophy, dubbed the ASEAN Way, which promotes non-interference in domestic affairs. In an April paper, Mark Beeson, professor of international politics at the University of Western Australia, noted that while the principle is admirable, it’s an obstacle to effective cooperation.
Asean is coming together — slowly
‘Asean integration is a means to an end, which is to make the most of broader globalisation’
Financial Times, Sept 5, 2016 – Unlike the imposing and often inaccessible buildings of the European Union in Brussels, Asean’s low-rise offices sit in the shadow of a partly constructed overhead railway in the southern part of Indonesia’s traffic-clogged capital. “The appetite to surrender sovereignty simply is not there,” said Jayant Menon, lead economist at the Asian Development Bank in Manila. “I don’t see a single currency coming into play in Asean, and I don’t see that as a bad thing.”….
“Asean integration is a means to an end, which is to make the most of broader globalisation,” said the ADB’s Menon. “The important thing is not whether intra-Asean trade has grown, but whether Asean’s trade as a whole has grown, which it has.”
Saarc foreign ministers push for economic union
‘Accelerate the process’ in phased and planned manner
Khaleej Times (Dubai, UAE), Sept 4, 2016 – Eight finance ministers from South Asia who recently met in Islamabad pushed for the fast-track formation of the South Asian Economic Union (SAEU) to ensure larger investment inflows, higher trade volumes and energy generation. The decision was taken at a conference of finance ministers of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) – including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The finance ministers urged leaders in the Saarc region to “accelerate the process of formation of the SAEU in a phased and planned manner, as decided in the Declaration of the 18th Saarc Summit.”
Should the European Union Have Its Own Army?
Newsweek, Sept 7, 2016 – While the American news media have been preoccupied with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, a more important development has taken place in Europe that has received scant attention. The prime ministers of both Hungary and the Czech Republic have urged the European Union to build its own army. That is a very significant shift in attitude. Until now, the European countries had been content to channel security matters through NATO and to focus the EU’s attention on economic issues.