Former Qatari Premier: Israel and Gulf States to Sign Non-Aggression Pact
Between Israel, GCC nations, Egypt, Jordan, possibly Morocco
The Algemeiner, February 13, 2020 – Qatar’s former prime minister said on Monday that Israel and the Persian Gulf states would soon sign a non-aggression pact that could also include Morocco.
“Now it [Trump’s peace plan] will be followed by a non-aggression agreement between Israel and the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, in addition to Egypt, Jordan and possibly Morocco,” wrote Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani on Twitter, according to i24 News.
NEW WORLD DISORDER:
Elites favor federations like the European Union. Non-elites revolt
EU exception prioritized ‘free trade’ economic integration before attempting political fusion
By Jason Parker, Washngton Post, Feb 10, 2020 – ….But in a largely forgotten part of the story, the “federal moment” in postwar global history, according to historian Michael Collins, saw nearly a dozen federated entities proposed or attempted between 1945 and 1970. These experiments grouped together colonial units into larger, multiethnic federations. Most — the West Indies Federation, the Central African Federation and Malaysia, for example — were vehicles for decolonization. Others, such as the United Arab Republic and the “beta version” of the European Union, were the initiative of already independent states….
What they had in common was that, in virtually all cases, insularity and identity trumped solidarity and cooperation as local non-elites rebelled against the elites who favored federations….
The story echoed in most of the other attempted unions of the federal moment in Africa and the Middle East. The exception to this failure of the federations was the early version of the European Union. The E.U.’s durability stemmed in part from its slower, piecemeal process of integration, reversing the sequence of the other 1950s federations. Rather than prioritizing political integration as a means to economic cooperation, the then-European Economic Community first reorganized trade and economic arrangements long before attempting any meaningful political fusion — an understandable approach, given the herculean task of rebuilding the European economy after the war.
Jason Parker is professor of history and Cornerstone Faculty Fellow at Texas A&M University.
Even so, the theme was given renewed impetus by the creation of the [British] Round Table Movement in 1909, with the journal of the same name founded in 1910. The Movement initially pressed for organic union, but ultimately for a Commonwealth of independent nation states, ironically the antithesis of such a union. The Round Table Movement consisted largely of acolytes of Lord Milner, his so-called “kindergarten” men such as Lionel Curtis. The union in South Africa prompted thinking about a wider conception of union. In his more lofty and idealistic moments Curtis envisaged “an organic union to be brought about by some establishment of an Imperial government, constitutionally responsible to all the electors of the Empire, and with power to act directly on individual citizens.” 10 ….
There were numerous federations or mooted federations across the British Empire during this period, including the Malay Federation, 1948–1963; the East African High Commission, 1948–1961; the previously discussed Central African Federation, 1953–1963; the West Indies Federation, 1958–1962; and the Federation of South Arabia, 1962–1967. These were not always British initiatives, with nationalists and other agents in the colonies themselves thinking through the possibilities of federation for their own ends….
Moreover, that canvas was in fact far bigger than the British Empire. The decolonising federal moment was a genuinely trans-national, world historical one, which deserves deeper, comparative historical analysis. 73
From Decolonisation and the “Federal Moment” by Michael Collins, Published online: 25 Feb 2013
We Don’t Need a North American Union!
The New American, Thursday, February 6, 2020 – Congressman Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) joins The New American’s Christian Gomez to discuss his vote against the USMCA trade scheme and the need for a U.S. “Amexit” from the United Nations and Iraq.
EUROPEAN UNION & BREXIT:
Conservatives Win Commanding Majority in U.K. Vote: ‘Brexit Will Happen’
New York Times, Dec 13, 2019 – Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Conservative Party won a commanding majority in the British Parliament, a striking victory that redraws the lines in British politics and paves the way for the country’s exit from the European Union early next year.
The Conservatives won 365 seats in the House of Commons, versus 203 for the Labour Party, according to the official results. That would give the Conservatives about a 75-seat majority, their largest since that amassed by Margaret Thatcher in 1987.
British Election, Advancing Brexit, Heralds End of a Global Trade Era
New York Times, Dec 13, 2019 – For more than seven decades, the global powers that be operated on the assumption that greater economic integration amounts to historical progress. But that era is over, as Britain’s voters have now made clear.
The decisive majority secured by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Conservative Party all but ensures that the country will proceed with its abandonment of the European Union.
‘Celebrate Boris!’ – Trump Hails UK Election Result, ‘Massive New Trade Deal After Brexit’
Potential deal ‘Far bigger and more lucrative than any deal that could be made with the EU’
Breitbart, Dec 13, 2019 – U.S. President Donald Trump has hailed Prime Minister Boris Johnson “great WIN!” in Britain’s general election, anticipating a British-American free trade agreement which will put Britain’s commercial arrangement with the European Union in the shade.
“Congratulations to Boris Johnson on his great WIN!” wrote the President, who as a pro-border, pro-sovereignty nationalist has been a long term supporter of the Brexit movement.
“Britain and the United States will now be free to strike a massive new Trade Deal after BREXIT. This deal has the potential to be far bigger and more lucrative than any deal that could be made with the EU,” he added.
Victory for nationalism – Johnson’s win puts UK’s future in doubt
Reuters, Dec 13, 2019 – The election result was hailed as a victory for English, Scottish and Irish nationalism – and it could spell the end of the United Kingdom….
Scotland, England’s political partner for 300 years, voted against secession from the United Kingdom by 55% to 45% in 2014. But Scots backed staying in the European Union in the 2016 referendum and Sturgeon argues Brexit means they should have another say on independence….
A majority in Northern Ireland also voted against leaving the European Union and anti-Brexit parties took more seats in the province for the first time. Nationalists said the result paved the way towards a vote on whether there should be a united Ireland.
The Brexit party folded, but make no mistake: Farage won it for Johnson
Crushing Conservative majority set to secure an exit from the EU
Farage to give stump speeches for Trump
The Guardian, Dec 13, 2019 – Until 11 November, many had assumed that Nigel Farage’s Brexit party was revving up for a general election. But that morning, Farage told an audience of supporters and journalists in Hartlepool that his Brexit party would be standing down in 317 Conservative-held seats to avoid splitting the leave vote. The audience was stunned; there was muted applause after he finished.
This election will be remembered as a resounding, crushing victory for Boris Johnson’s Conservatives. Just as has happened countless times before, Farage will be written off and ridiculed for his party not winning a single seat. But that morning of 11 November was the single most important moment of the campaign. Farage won it for Johnson….
In Farage’s speech, and in the weeks following, he pledged to scoop up the leave vote in Labour heartlands and places people were unlikely to ever vote Tory…. Farage, whatever you think of him, was right. Many Labour leavers, who couldn’t bring themselves to vote Tory, did vote for the Brexit party….
With Brexit a done deal, Farage himself is rumoured to be heading for the US to cash in via the lucrative speaker circuit. Farage basically admitted to Andrew Neil on election night that he would be giving stump speeches for Trump on the campaign trail for the US presidential election 2020.
U.S., Mexico, and Canada Sign ‘Progressive’ USMCA Regional Government Scheme
Mexican senator says judges on USMCA bi-nation panels will have ‘regional jurisdiction’
The New American, Dec 11, 2019 – [Senator Ricardo Monreal Ávila of Mexico’s socialist National Regeneration Movement, known by its Spanish acronym MORENA] didn’t waste any time in touting the supranational nature of the USMCA. “It will now be easier to establish panels of regional jurisdiction, or with regional jurisdiction, composed of judges from both countries that address all types of differences that may arise on any subject covered by the treaty,” Monreal proclaimed.
The “regional jurisdiction” Monreal described would operate outside the established judicial systems or courts of Mexico, the United States, and Canada and not be subject them — thus potentially subordinating U.S. citizens and companies to these panels in the event of a dispute — much like NAFTA’s international dispute settlement mechanisms or “NAFTA courts.”
….On the subject of integration, Freeland added, “These amendments will ensure that rules-based trade between our three countries will continue to support the economic prosperity of all of our people and the global competitiveness of North America as a region.” (Emphasis added.) In other words, the USMCA is not intended to strengthen the individual competitiveness of Canada, the United States, and Mexico as independent sovereign nations, but as an amalgamated “region,” similar to the European Union’s Eurozone or common market.
R-CALF USA says beef industry ‘ignored’ in USMCA agreement, urges Congress to vote against
No restoration of country-of origin labels (COOL) on imported beef
DRGNews (Dakota Radio Group, South Dakota), Dec 11, 2019 – R-CALF USA, the nation’s largest producer-only cattle trade association that lobbies on behalf of America’s cattle farmers and ranchers released the following statements following announcement of an agreement between House Democrats and the White House on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
“Once again the House of Representatives and the White House have reached an agreement on a measure that will provide windfall profits for Agribusiness giants at the expense of America’s hard-working cattle farmers and ranchers….
“In fact, the new USMCA is worse than the old NAFTA because at least for several years during the old NAFTA American cattle farmers and ranchers received the tool they needed to finally compete against the growing volume of cheaper imported beef and cattle from Canada and Mexico. From 2013 through 2015, mandatory country-of-origin labels for beef empowered America’s cattle producers to finally begin competing against this growing tide of cheaper, undifferentiated foreign beef.
“We’ve asked Congress and the President to, at the very least, restore mandatory country-of-origin labels (COOL) so American cattle farmers and ranchers could compete against the duty-free, cheaper and undifferentiated cattle and beef flowing into our country and depressing our markets.
“We’ve been ignored.
“We should now expect the downward trends caused by NAFTA to continue, if not accelerate, under the USMCA.
Moving Jobs to Mexico Was a Feature, Not a Bug, of NAFTA
By Dean Baker, FAIR, Dec 4, 2019 – The Washington Post (11/21/19) gave readers the official story about NAFTA, diverging seriously from reality, in a piece on the status of negotiations on the new NAFTA. The piece tells readers:
NAFTA was meant to expand trade among the United States, Canada and Mexico by removing tariffs and other barriers on products as they were shipped between countries. The pact did open up trade, but it also proved disruptive in terms of creating new manufacturing supply chains and relocating businesses and jobs.
This implies that the disruption in terms of shifting jobs to Mexico to take advantage of low-wage labor was an accidental outcome. In fact, this was a main point of the deal, as was widely noted by economists at the time. Proponents of the deal argued that it was necessary for US manufacturers to have access to low-cost labor in Mexico to remain competitive internationally. No one who followed the debate at the time should have been in the least surprised by the loss of high-paying, union manufacturing jobs to Mexico; that is exactly the result that NAFTA was designed for.
Economist Dean Baker is a senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC.
Will Answer US Tariff Threats Against France “As One”: European Union
NDTV (India), Dec 4, 2019 – The European Union will answer tariff threats by the United States against France “as one” and urged Washington to engage in dialogue, an EU spokesman said on Tuesday.
“As in all other trade-related matters the EU will act and react as one and it will remain united,” said EU Commission spokesman Daniel Rosario after the US threatened tariffs on French goods on Monday.
The threat was in response to a French digital services tax that Washington says is discriminatory, claiming that it singles out US tech giants such as Google and Facebook.
US May Increase Tariffs After WTO Rejects European Union Claims Over Airbus
New York Times, Dec 3, 2019 – The World Trade Organization on Monday rejected European Union claims that it no longer provides subsidies to planemaker Airbus, prompting the United States to say it could increase retaliatory tariffs on a wider range of European goods.
A new compliance report from the Geneva trade watchdog found that the Airbus A380 and A350 jetliners continue to be subsidised as a result of past European government loans.
Qatar emir’s invite to join Gulf summit signals regional thaw
San Francisco Chronicle, Dec 3, 2019 – Qatar said its emir has been invited by the Saudi monarch to attend this month’s summit of Gulf Arab nations in Riyadh, in what would be a major breakthrough in intensifying attempts to end a 30-month feud.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and trade links with Qatar in 2017 after accusing the gas-rich state of building close ties with their chief regional foe, Iran, and funding militant groups. Qatar has repeatedly denied the charges.
King Salman’s written invitation was delivered to Qatar’s foreign minister by the secretary-general of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, the official Qatar News Agency reported.
Mercosur presidents meet, stung by U.S. metal tariffs
Member nations not able to agree on reducing common external tariff
Reuters, Dec 3, 2019 – The presidents of South America’s Mercosur trade bloc meet on Wednesday under the cloud of tariffs restored by U.S. President Donald Trump on steel and aluminum imports from its two largest members, Brazil and Argentina.
Hobbled by political differences and government changeovers, the four-nation common market is not expected to take a joint stance against Trump’s surprise move on Monday, which shocked South American officials and left them scrambling for answers….
But Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri has less than a week left in office and his left-leaning Peronist successor, Alberto Fernandez, has sparred openly with Brazil’s right-wing president, Jair Bolsonaro, who called the incoming leader a “red bandit.”
Brazil to leave Mercosur educational area
Xinhua, Nov 30, 2019 – Brazil would leave the educational area of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) due to its lack of concrete results, the country’s Education Minister Abraham Weintraub announced on Friday….
The decision would take effect immediately, the minister said, adding that it would have no immediate impact on Brazilian students studying in other Mercosur countries to obtain diplomas….
Brazil’s departure from the educational area did not mean that the country is leaving the entire bloc, Weintraub added.
Mercosur is a South American trade bloc that gathers Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.
Solá asked to “deideologize” foreign relations
Ratifies Argentina’s membership in Lima Group: ‘Unasur is not going to be reborn….I don’t think Prosur has a destiny’
El Pais (Spain), Dec 3, 2019 (Google Translate) – Felipe Solá, future foreign minister, confirmed Monday that Argentina will continue in the Lima Group, an alliance of countries with a position that condemns the Nicolás Maduro regime in Venezuela. At the same time, he asked to “deideologize” relations between countries….
However, he clarified that he cannot be “that the only point of unity among so many countries is what is thought of Venezuela.” “There are a number of factors that unite us or lead us to debate,” he added.
Solá referred to the block of countries in the region. He considered that “Unasur is not going to be reborn, it is something that has already happened, I think”. “I don’t think Prosur has a destiny, which was absolutely temporary,” he added.
The most important definition was made on that subject, when he said: “there is the Lima Group, so we will be there.”
Column: New NAFTA not good for Iowa
Quad City Times, Nov 26, 2019 – My name is Bob Morrison. I spent the last 30 years of my life being well paid to build steam turbines at the Siemens plant in Burlington. It was meaningful work that gave me a very good quality of life…. Just before Christmas last year, I lost my job when Siemens outsourced our work to pay sweatshop wages to workers overseas who face repression when they try to organize unions…. Siemens is one of many federal contractors who receive U.S. government contracts but contrary to Trump’s campaign promises are not being required to stop job outsourcing or carry out those contracts with U.S. workers. Indeed, despite Trump’s talk, when he renegotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), he left in place NAFTA’s ban on the Buy American procurement rules in place since the Roosevelt administration.
UN, African Union make significant joint commitment to global health
Drive towards universal health coverage
News.UN.org (United Nations), Nov 18, 2019 – In the drive towards universal health coverage, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the African Union (AU) Commission cemented their mutual commitment to global health by signing on Monday an historic agreement….
“The Addis Ababa Call to Action is a powerful commitment from African Union leaders to increase domestic financing for health, and to hold themselves accountable for that commitment”, he added….
Following a political declaration on universal health coverage, which was approved in September by all UN Member States, the General Assembly adopted a global resolution to translate that commitment into reality by legislators in 140 countries.
The New NAFTA Won’t Protect Workers’ Rights
Trump’s new United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement repeats the disasters of the original agreement.
By David Bacon, The Nation, Nov 8, 2019 – In NAFTA’s first year, 1 million Mexicans lost their jobs. According to Jeff Faux, founding director of the Economic Policy Institute, “The peso crash of December 1994 was directly connected to NAFTA.” Yellow corn grown by Mexican farmers then had to compete with corn from huge US producers, subsidized by the US farm bill. Corn imports into Mexico rose from 2 million to over 10 million tons, driving 2.5 million Mexican farmers and farm workers off their land.
In 1990, 4.5 million Mexican migrants had come to the United States. In 2008 that number peaked at 12.67 million. About 9 percent of all Mexicans now live in El Norte. This displacement and forced migration was a direct consequence of the economic damage the treaty dealt to Mexico’s economy. Timothy Wise, senior research fellow at Tufts University, says, “The real assault was NAFTA, along with the neoliberal economic policies adopted by the Mexican government, of which NAFTA was an integral part.”
David Bacon is author of Illegal People—How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants (2008), and The Right to Stay Home (2013), both from Beacon Press.
Mercosur nations agree to let police cross borders in pursuit of criminals
Buenos Aires Times, Nov 8, 2019 – The security ministers of nations aligned under the Mercosur bloc agreed Thursday to allow their respective police officers to cross each others’ borders when pursuing criminals on the run.
The agreement, sealed in Foz de Iguaçu was signed by the security ministers of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. However, to enter into force, the accord must be ratified by the governments and legislatures of each individual country.
European Union establishes standalone border force to boost Frontex service
Security force for bloc’s perimeter border will be ‘Europe’s first uniformed service’
WION (New Delhi), Nov 8, 2019 – The EU on Friday formally established its first standalone border force, boosting the Frontex service with a new permanent corps that will number 10,000 officers by 2027.
The adoption by EU member states means Frontex, the border and coast guard agency for the bloc’s Schengen area, will have personnel wearing its uniform and on its payroll who can be deployed to the EU’s external borders to handle crises or general management….
Frontex says its new corps will be “Europe’s first uniformed service”, a boast affirming the EU’s goal to build integrated security institutions to match its economic and political heft.
Securing South Asia Through Regional Economic Integration
Afghan ambassador: SAARC, other regional blocs’ dreams of integration not ‘on a par with Europe’
The Diplomat, Nov 6, 2019 – These harsh experiences and Western Europe’s resulting adoption of a common economic market soon began inspiring other regions of the world to form such regional groupings as SAARC, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Eurasian Economic Community, the North American Free Trade Agreement, the African Union, and the Union of South American Nations, to name a few. As we know, however, not all these regional groupings have achieved their dream of meaningful economic integration on a par with Europe.
SAARC stands out in having lagged far behind others because two of its key member-states [India and Pakistan] remain hostile to each other….
Indeed, this won’t come to pass unless South Asian governments learn relevant lessons from pre- and post-war Europe…. The government of Afghanistan has done our part and continues to do so.
M. Ashraf Haidari is the Ambassador of Afghanistan to Sri Lanka, as well as a Senior International Security Fellow at the New America in Washington DC.
Asean Should Unite Against Trump and EU on Trade, Mahathir Says
Will Kissinger’s ‘new mercantilism’ of ‘competing regional units’ become reality?
Bloomberg, Nov 2, 2019 – Southeast Asian countries should band together and speak with one voice in global trade disputes with the U.S. and European Union to avoid being bullied, according to Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad….
“We don’t want to go into a trade war but sometimes when they do things that are not nice to us, we have to be unnice to them,” he said. “Always try to speak with one voice. You go alone, you’ll be bullied.”
In 2009, globalist and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger threatened a “new mercantilism” of “competing regional units” would grip the world if nations dared to resist the advance of globalism. The ASEAN regional bloc’s threat of a trade war against Trump nationalism, as well as against the hegemonic EU regional bloc, fits Kissinger’s scenario.
U.S. State Dept Pushes EU Expansion Despite Trump Backing Brexit, Sovereign States
Breitbart, Oct 22, 2019 – The U.S. Department of State told Breitbart London it respects the sovereignty of European states after appearing to swerve from President Donald Trump’s long-standing commitment to Brexit and independent nation-states by publicly backing the further expansion of the European Union….
Yet the State Department later moved to qualify their remarks, insisting they respected both the hopes of North Macedonia to enter the European Union, and of the British people to leave it.
The Hotel ‘European Union’: You Can Check Out Any Time You Want, But You Can Never Leave
Does Brexit give glimpse of chaos if Trump withdrew from NAFTA?
Forbes, Oct 21, 2019 – So it must seem, at times, to Britsh Prime Minister Boris Johnson…. Imagine President Trump trying to force Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to bring USMCA to a vote by formally filing for withdrawal from NAFTA. Granted, they are differently constructed agreements, the European Union and NAFTA, but are we not getting a glimpse of the chaos that could ensue?
….Boris on Saturday was, if not fully throttled, at least temporarily thwarted in his efforts to extract the United Kingdom from the European Union…. Johnson sent a letter to the European Union, as required by law, asking for an extension.
But he didn’t sign it.
He sent another letter asking those same European leaders not to grant the extension he requested in the unsigned letter.
Come on, Boris. You can check out any time you want but you can never leave…
‘Anger, frustration’ and ‘betrayal’ in Northern Ireland after new Brexit deal
CNBC, Oct 21, 2019 – The border between the U.K.’s Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland — a 310-mile frontier set to represent the only land border between the U.K. and the European Union from Oct. 31 — has proven to be one of the biggest hurdles to a Brexit deal….
“We will feel like we will be second class citizens … whenever they decide to bring in laws and legislation on tariffs and all the other things, we will be subject not to Westminster … but subject to the EU,” [Jim] Shannon [Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party] told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
“Makes me less British, less of a Unionist,” he said.
WORLD ORDER OF REGIONS:
United Nations Is Dead, Democratisation Alone Can Save It
Proposes Security Council of Regional Blocs
Mohan Guruswamy, The Citizen (India), Oct 19, 2019 – ….Thus the major political and economic groupings such as the European Union (EU) or North American Free Trade Association (NAFTA) or Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) or South Asian Association of Regional Countries (SAARC) or Organization of American States (OAS) or the Organization of African Unity (OAU) or Asia Pacific Union (APU) could each chose its member in the Security Council. Instead of a single veto being able to derail its intentions, a certain minimum threshold, say of three or four members should only thwart the Security Council’s majority.
Johnson says: I’ll tell the EU that Brexit delay is not a solution
Reuters, Oct 19, 2019 – Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote to lawmakers on Saturday saying he would tell the European Union that a further Brexit delay was not a solution and that the bloc might well reject what he said was parliament’s request for an extension.
“I will not negotiate a delay with the European Union,” Johnson said in the letter, Sky News reported. “I will tell the EU what I have told the British public for my 88 days as Prime Minister: further delay is not a solution.”
Meetings in Abu Dhabi, Riyadh highlight deepening Russian-GCC ties
Arab Weekly, Oct 19, 2019 – The meetings, analysts said, reflected a turning point in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) foreign policy as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates increasingly look to the East and Russia for security support.
“Putin’s visits come amid what seems to be a US withdrawal from the Middle East,” said Albadr Al Shateri, professor of politics at the National Defence College in Abu Dhabi….
Theodore Karasik, a senior adviser at Gulf State Analytics in Washington …. said Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, along with China, are likely to build “a growing clustering of like-minded states that are creating an arena of influence that will find its interests growing in Africa.”
“In addition, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are going to continue to coordinate their foreign policy objectives throughout the MENA region,” he said.
European Union is a sideshow in Syria conflict
Verhofstad: Europe should build defence union, part of emerging ‘world order that is based on empires’
Arab Weekly, Oct 19, 2019 – In truth, the European Union has very little leverage with Turkey because it relies on Ankara to help manage migration…. European politicians are only now waking up to the fact that without military power they are, outside international trade, a minnow.
The European Union depends on the whim of the United States and sometimes Russia but the former is a long-standing ally, which decided, before Donald Trump was elected president, to reduce its footprint in the Middle East.
Liberal MEP Guy Verhofstadt recently said: “Europe must take its destiny into its own hands by building a defence union.” He was making the case that the European Union needed to be part of an emerging “world order that is based on empires.”
As World Wavers on Free Trade, Africa Embraces It
AfCFTA to facilitate movement of capital and people in continent-wide customs union
Washington Post, Oct 17, 2019 – Amid trade tensions between the U.S., China and Europe, and the U.K.’s fraught departure from the European Union and single market, African leaders are moving in the opposite direction to establish the world’s largest free-trade zone. The African Continental Free Trade Area formally went into effect in May, four years after negotiations began. If it comes to full fruition, the deal could cover a market of 1.2 billion people with a combined gross domestic product of $2.5 trillion….
Among other things, it aims to lower or eliminate cross-border tariffs on 90% of goods, facilitate the movement of capital and people, promote investment and pave the way to the establishment of a continent-wide customs union….
While the agreement recognizes eight decades-old trade communities as the building blocks of AfCFTA, the continent-wide deal will take precedence if there’s a conflict or inconsistency.
AFRICAN UNION – ECOWAS:
Can a West African Currency Union Work?
Project Syndicate, Oct 15, 2019 – The eurozone’s experience showed how unruly currency unions can be, and how important it is to continue experimenting and adapting. A currency union comprising the 15 members of the Economic Community of West African States will be no different – but that doesn’t mean it can’t work.
….A successful ECOWAS currency union would likely spur progress on the proposed East and Southern African Monetary Zones. This would go a long way toward advancing progress on the ambitious African Continental Free Trade Area.
Qatar joins emergency GCC security meeting in Saudi
Middle East Monitor, Oct 4, 2019 – Qatar’s envoy yesterday joined the Chiefs of Staff of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) held an emergency joint meeting to discuss security cooperation and counter terrorism.
According to a statement published by Saudi media, the GCC states declared that their military forces are ready to counter any threats or terrorist attacks.
The statement, issued at the end of the meetings held in Riyadh, stressed that any attack on a GCC member state targets all countries who are part of the body.
Trump intensifies ‘Arab NATO’ talks after Iran strike – Al-Monitor, Oct 1, 2019 – Even as the Donald Trump administration has struggled to rally the international community to respond to a series of alleged Iranian attacks in the Gulf that culminated in this month’s strike against a Saudi oil facility, the US is making another effort to forge a military alliance of Middle Eastern states.
Remarks by President Trump to the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
September 24, 2019
whiteouse.gov, Sep 25, 2019
‘The future does not belong to globalists…. The future belongs to sovereign and independent nations’
Looking around and all over this large, magnificent planet, the truth is plain to see: If you want freedom, take pride in your country. If you want democracy, hold on to your sovereignty. And if you want peace, love your nation. Wise leaders always put the good of their own people and their own country first.
The future does not belong to globalists. The future belongs to patriots. The future belongs to sovereign and independent nations who protect their citizens, respect their neighbors, and honor the differences that make each country special and unique.
AFRICAN UNION – ECOWAS:
An evaluation of the single currency agenda in the ECOWAS region
Would mean governments transfer national political authority to ECOWAS institutions
Euro ‘never just about monetary policy and trade,’ but vision of ‘united Europe’
Brookings Institution, Sep 24, 2019 – Earlier this year, the 15 heads of states and governments of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) agreed to launch a new currency, the “Eco,” in January 2020…. A monetary union with a single currency for the 15 member states would mean that governments would transfer national political authority to ECOWAS institutions. Are the member states willing to subordinate national interests to regional interests? Are there lessons from the eurozone? Will Nigeria ever give up its national currency, the naira? Let us also be clear that the euro was never just about monetary policy and trade. It was shaped by a vision of a united Europe.
AFRICAN UNION – EAC:
East African bloc eyes single currency to boost intra-regional trade
East Africa Monetary Institute to be transformed into East Africa Central Bank
Xinhua (China), Sep 24, 2019 – Kenneth Bagamuhunda, director general of customs and trade at East African Community (EAC) said in Nairobi ….that the East African Monetary Union Protocol which is a requirement of a single currency has already been signed and ratified by all partner states.
“The law on the establishment of the East Africa Monetary Institute that will be gradually transformed into the East Africa Central Bank has also been finalized,” he said.
Bannon: Warren-Trump Election Would Be ‘Populist Nationalism vs. Populist Socialism,’ Warren Is ‘Trump-Lite’
USMCA: ‘Nobody’s talking about it… It makes North America a geo-strategic manufacturing base’
Real Clear Politics, Sept 19, 2019 – He also said the trade deficit with China “is why Donald Trump is president.”
“….This is about shifting the supply chain back to the United States,” he explained, citing the US/Mexico/Canada trade agreement Trump is trying to push through the Senate. “Nobody’s talking about it… It makes North America a geo-strategic manufacturing base, the U.S., with Mexico and Canada, you’ve got the India deal he is talking about, and Japan. Pieces on the chessboard are coming together, and this is the industrial democracies now working together….”
U.S. RETALIATION AGAINST EU CLEARED FOR TAKEOFF:
Politico, Sept 16, 2019 – A World Trade Organization dispute settlement panel has formally submitted to Washington and Brussels its decision on how much European Union cheese, wine, aircraft and other goods the U.S. will be able to hit with new retaliatory tariffs as part of a long-running case on commercial aircraft subsidies…. The decision means U.S. President Donald Trump is almost certain to soon announce tariffs on European products. One official said Trump had won the right to collect a total of €5 billion to €8 billion.
As if he needed their blessing, the WTO’s ruling underscores the fact that Trump didn’t “start” any trade war with the EU by his long-needed response to the EU’s ongoing trade war provocation against the US.
Chamber of Commerce Begs Trump to Surrender to China: ‘Nobody Wins a Trade War’
Breitbart, Aug 23, 2019 – Executives at the Chamber of Commerce, stalwart defenders of free trade at all costs, are now asking Trump to end the trade war with China and return to standard negotiations, calling U.S.-China free trade “for the most part productive, constructive, and mutually beneficial,” despite having cost Americans at least 3.4 million jobs across all 50 states….
Earlier this year, the Chamber of Commerce lobbied members of Congress to tank a plan that would have allowed the U.S. to impose reciprocal tariffs on imported products. The law would have given Trump the power to raise tariffs on specific foreign products if those countries’ tariffs were much higher on the same U.S. product.
Our Country has lost, stupidly, Trillions of Dollars with China over many years. They have stolen our Intellectual Property at a rate of Hundreds of Billions of Dollars a year, & they want to continue. I won’t let that happen! We don’t need China and, frankly, would be far….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2019
President Trump should know that past US trade negotiators, backed by Chamber of Commerce “free traders,” were not stupid. They expertly deceived Americans for decades by purposely ignoring tariffs and unfair trade practices from China and the European Union against the US, and refusing to reciprocate against those practices.
Covert foreign aid, ‘region-building’
These officials’ supposed incompetence, was, in reality, part of an intentional act of covert foreign aid, in addition to the billions of dollars in openly legislated foreign aid, wealth-transferred overseas. This cabal has actually been “nation-building” China into an economic and military threat.
As for the EU, the practice has been even worse than nation-building: It’s been “region-building.” Without overt and covert foreign aid from the days of the Marshall Plan unto the present day, the EU monstrosity would not even exist.
AFRICAN UNION – EAC:
‘Free trade’ duplicity revealed: ‘Eliminate tariffs’ mantra cast aside for EAC regional integration
“Free trade’ bloc pushes common Regional external tariffs against non-members to expedite open borders among member nations
EAC states call for swift review of tariffs to boost trade
Xinhua (China), Aug 22, 2019 – The East African Community (EAC) bloc on Thursday called for swift review of the regional common external tariff (CET) in order to boost trade in the region….
The member states put together country positions on how they intend to review duties on goods entering the regional bloc that set the stage for negotiations ahead of the then-proposed deadline of July 1 for implementation.
E.Africa confederation constitution making starts
Confederation transitional step toward full political federation of nations
The East African (Kenya), August 17, 2019 – Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni is expected to launch the East African Community constitution-making process in Kampala on August 19, setting the pace for the attainment of the bloc’s fourth and last integration pillar — political federation.
However, the region has decided to start with a political confederation. At the 20th Ordinary Summit in Arusha in February, the EAC heads of state asked President Museveni to oversee and provide political guidance to the legal experts tasked with the drafting of the Confederation Constitution.