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Trump administration withholds report justifying 'shock' auto tariffs
A confidential government report has provided President Donald Trump with a legal rationale to impose heavy new tariffs on foreign cars as soon as this spring, a prospect fiercely opposed by White House officials and congressional Republicans alarmed by its enormous economic and political stakes.

The Commerce Department submitted the report to the White House in mid-February, triggering a 90-day period for Trump to decide whether to impose tariffs, which could reach as high as 25 percent, on imported autos. It concluded that Trump could justify the tariffs on national security grounds and offered a range of options in response — putting the decision in the president’s hands, four people familiar with its conclusions told POLITICO.

Although the existence of the report was previously known, the administration has kept its findings hidden — including from a powerful Republican senator who has demanded to see it — and its conclusion had not been previously reported.

Trump has not yet made a decision, but he has long complained that the U.S is exploited economically by its allies and has repeatedly told aides he wants to impose a “ring tax” around U.S. borders to protect the country from foreign imports. Trump also has a particular interest in foreign auto competition: In a 2017 interview with the German newspaper Bild, he complained that Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue was filled with Mercedes-Benzes, adding: “It’s not mutual. How many Chevrolets do you see in Germany?”

But Trump’s senior economic advisers are almost universally opposed to slapping new tariffs on auto imports, warning of dire economic and political consequences. They argue that the tariffs would infuriate close U.S. allies from Asia to Western Europe. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said last month that the idea German cars threaten the U.S. would be “a shock.” The move could also undermine efforts to persuade Congress to approve the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal.

And while Trump can brag that he is standing up for American workers, imposing tariffs could ratchet up the price of cars by several thousand dollars, depending on the model, analysts warn.
deptofcommerce  usa  legal  security  stupid  tariffs  trade  diplomacy  government  EuropeanUnion  DonaldTrump  from instapaper
23 hours ago by jtyost2
The Big Brexit Short - YouTube
On the night of the Brexit referendum the British pound went into free fall, but while many watched with horror, a handful of hedge funds were making staggering profits. This is the story of the Brexit Big Short.
Brexit  EuropeanUnion  finance  currency  hedgefunds  UK  Bloomberg  2019 
9 days ago by inspiral
UK Parliament rejects leaving the EU without a Brexit deal
The deeply divided British Parliament can only seem to agree on one thing: It doesn’t want the United Kingdom to leave the European Union without a deal.

The UK Parliament rejected a “no deal” Brexit on Wednesday. This was part of a series of votes that Prime Minister Theresa May promised would take place this week, and it followed another humiliating defeat of her Brexit deal in Parliament on Tuesday.

The outcome of this no-deal vote played out as expected, though the process was somewhat strange. Members of Parliament introduced and approved an amendment to May’s motion (which specifically ruled out a no-deal exit on March 29) to eliminate a no-deal Brexit altogether. That amended motion ultimately prevailed, 321 to 278.

But this vote solves absolutely nothing when it comes to finding a solution to Brexit. It instead leaves the UK in pretty much the same position it’s been in for months: with a desire to exit the European Union with some sort of deal, but with no apparent majority for the compromise agreement May painstakingly negotiated with EU leaders.

Wednesday’s vote also doesn’t necessarily avert a no-deal Brexit. A no-deal Brexit is the default position of the Article 50 process, the provision of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty that the UK is using to exit the bloc. The only ways for the UK to avoid a no-deal exit are by approving an agreement with the EU or canceling Brexit altogether.

Parliament will have another chance to direct the Brexit process this week, with one more vote on Thursday — this one on whether to ask the EU for a short extension to the Brexit deadline. Postponing Brexit beyond March 29 requires the approval of all 27 EU member states, and they will likely require the UK to give them a specific reason for the delay. The EU has been firm that a reason can’t be more negotiations.
UnitedKingdom  EuropeanUnion  brexit  government  politics  stupid 
12 days ago by jtyost2
Boeing: Europe and India join wave of countries grounding the 737 Max - BBC News
The European Union and India have banned the Boeing 737 Max from flying over their airspace to ensure passenger safety.

They join a long list of countries in suspending the plane, including the UK.

It comes after an Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed on Sunday, killing 157 people on board. It was the second fatal accident involving the 737 Max 8 model in less than five months.

US officials say the aircraft are still safe to fly.

However, the US Association of Flight Attendants-CWA union is now calling for the Federal Aviation Administration "to temporarily ground the 737 Max fleet in the US out of an abundance of caution".
boeing  business  boeing737  airline  airplane  safety  regulation  government  EuropeanUnion  india 
14 days ago by jtyost2
Brexit: MPs reject Theresa May's deal for a second time
Theresa May's EU withdrawal deal has been rejected by MPs by an overwhelming majority for a second time, with just 17 days to go to Brexit.

MPs voted down the prime minister's deal by 149 - a smaller margin than when they rejected it in January.

Mrs May said MPs will now get a vote on whether the UK should leave the EU without a deal and, if that fails, on whether Brexit should be delayed.

She said Tory MPs will get a free vote on a no-deal Brexit.
TheresaMay  politics  brexit  UnitedKingdom  EuropeanUnion  government  from instapaper
14 days ago by jtyost2
Theresa May Secures E.U. Help, Hours Before Brexit Vote
On the eve of a critical parliamentary vote, Britain’s prime minister, Theresa May, flew to Strasbourg, France, on Monday in the hope of rescuing her unpopular plan for exiting the European Union from a second, potentially terminal, defeat.

Even for Mrs. May, who has made a habit of pushing decisions to the wire, Monday night’s mission came at the 11th hour. It ended a day of political confusion, swirling speculation and high-wire negotiation with her European counterparts.

But there was no immediate reason to think that the concessions on offer from the European Union would be enough to prevent another defeat of Mrs. May’s deal in Parliament on Tuesday — one that could threaten her control over the process, or even her job.

On Monday, after a telephone call with Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, Mrs. May set up a meeting with him in Strasbourg, where the European Parliament is holding a plenary session.

Tuesday’s vote is seen as a pivotal moment in the endless withdrawal saga, known as Brexit, coming less than three weeks before the deadline for Britain to leave the European Union.

If there is no agreement by March 29, Britain will depart the bloc without any deal. That could mean a brutal economic adjustment, as the terms of trade would change overnight, disrupting the flow of goods to and from the continent.
TheresaMay  brexit  economics  EuropeanUnion  politics  UnitedKingdom  from instapaper
14 days ago by jtyost2
France Gets a Taste of Post-Brexit Mayhem
For Adam Kirkwood, a weekend getaway in Paris that included museum visits and strolls along the Seine had gone pretty smoothly.

Until it was time to go back to London.

On Monday, he got a flavor of France’s protest culture combined with a taste of Brexit when his Eurostar train was delayed for two hours at Gare du Nord. The wait was caused by a French customs officers’ protest against what they see as France’s lack of preparation ahead of Britain’s exit from the European Union.

“I am not sure that we, in Britain, are as worried as the French customs officers about Brexit,” Mr. Kirkwood, 68, said. “Maybe we should stop drinking tea and start thinking about what comes next.”

As Britain prepares for another crucial vote on Tuesday about the withdrawal, customs workers on the other side of the Channel have been showing what might happen. Without extra funding and staffing ahead of the March 29 deadline, they say, the ports, train stations and tunnel linking Britain and France will face serious mayhem.

The slowdown by the customs officers has gone on for a week, with dozens of trucks backed up for miles outside the Channel tunnel’s entrance in northern France and near the French ports of Calais and Dunkirk. And hundreds of passengers like Mr. Kirkwood have been stranded in Paris, waiting to board delayed or canceled Eurostar trains.

The French government says it is ready for Brexit. It has announced that 700 additional customs officers will be hired by 2020, with about 260 of them stationed in northern France and starting before March 29. In addition, 10 agents will be added to the 120 already at the Gare du Nord.
brexit  government  EuropeanUnion  france  politics  union  protest  immigration  transportation  from instapaper
14 days ago by jtyost2
US ends diplomatic protocol tiff with EU - BBC News
The United States has ended a spat with the European Union over diplomatic protocol that came amid heightened tensions over trans-Atlantic trade.

US ambassador Gordon Sondland said the bloc was "one of America's most valuable partners in ensuring global security and prosperity".

The dispute surfaced in January over an apparent downgrading of the EU's diplomatic status.

The EU said it was pleased the US had decided "to revert to usual practice".
EuropeanUnion  diplomacy  usa 
22 days ago by jtyost2
Brexit won't necessarily lead to an EU army
With the Brexit deadline fast approaching, there's a growing belief that the U.K.'s exit from the EU could galvanize calls for a European army. President…
nato  EuropeanUnion  politics  military  diplomacy  from instapaper
4 weeks ago by jtyost2
The Observer view: Jeremy Corbyn must honour his party’s pledge | Opinion | The Guardian
The Labour party has a duty to speak out for all those alarmed by Theresa May’s strong-arm tactics for the sake of the country
JeremyCorbyn  LabourParty  Brexit  EUReferendum  EU  Europe  EuropeanUnion  UKPolitics  Politics  Article50  UKParliament  Voting  People'sVote  Remainers  2019  Editorial  TheObserver 
5 weeks ago by dk33per
Dear Theresa May, your Brexit plan is doomed. Here’s a deal that will work | Gina Miller | Opinion | The Guardian
We’re heading for a no-deal disaster. But there’s a UK-EU agreement already worked on that she can use to move forward
GinaMiller  Opinion  TheGuardian  Comment  Leadership  Brexit  TheresaMay  NoDealBrexit  EU  EuropeanUnion  UKPolitics  Politics 
6 weeks ago by dk33per
So, poorer Brexiters voted to be worse off? There’s nothing wrong in that | Gary Younge | Opinion | The Guardian
Many working-class leavers were not motivated by self-interest, but by values. Well-off liberals who back tax rises should understand that
Brexit  EuropeanUnion  workingclass  values  UK  review  author:GaryYoung  Guardian  2019 
6 weeks ago by inspiral
European Commission - Rapid Alert System - Alert number: A12/0157/19 - Smart watch for children
"The mobile application accompanying the watch has unencrypted communications with its backend server and the server enables unauthenticated access to data. As a consequence, the data such as location history, phone numbers, serial number can easily be retrieved and changed. A malicious user can send commands to any watch making it call another number of his choosing, can communicate with the child wearing the device or locate the child through GPS."
product  alert  europeanunion  smartwatch  privacy  enox  policy  europeancommission  safety  children 
7 weeks ago by danhon
How I learnt to loathe England | Prospect Magazine
Ever since the referendum, friends from across the world have been enquiring whether it is true that the British have gone mad. Without those six years in London, I would have unhesitatingly said “yes.” “A temporary bout of insanity” still seems the preferred explanation in much of Europe and among many British Remainers. But years of immersion in English culture and society have convinced me that actually, the Brexit vote should instead be seen as the logical and overdue outcome of a set of English pathologies.
Brexit  socialclass  EuropeanUnion  UK  review  personalaccount  critique  Prospect  2017 
7 weeks ago by inspiral

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