President Xi of China, along with I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast. Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get this kind of done!
Donald Trump Tweet (1)
Problem with ZTE isn’t jobs & trade, it’s national security & espionage. Any telecomm firm in #China can be forced to act as tool of Chinese espionage without any court order or any other review process. We are crazy to allow them to operate in U.S. without tighter restrictions https://t.co/AXtTDgufc9
Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) May 14, 2018
Watching the news on June 8th, I watched a befuddled commentator trying to explain Trump’s placating attitude toward China (i.e., the 6/7/2018 “fixing” of the multi-year ban and penalties imposed on China’s ZTE) while, at the same time, announcing tariffs on NATO members, Canada, Mexico and Japan.
“What is he trying to do? It makes no sense…” the shapely female “talking head” intoned.
Well, actually, it makes a lot of sense to me.
On June 7th, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the U.S. had lifted its export ban on Chinese megacorporation ZTE—which had prevented the Chinese entity from buying U.S. products, goods, equipment and software since April 2018–and modified a fine levied on it after it had pleaded guilty to charges of selling to Iran and North Korea, among other things. Under the new agreement, ZTE must pay only $1-billion and place an additional $400-million in suspended penalty money in escrow before the Dept. of Commerce’s BIS (DOC-BIS) will remove ZTE from the Denied Persons List. These penalties are in addition to the $892-million in penalties ZTE has already paid to the U.S government under the March 2017 settlement agreement.(2)
ZTE will also be required by the new agreement to retain a team of special compliance coordinators selected by and answerable to DOC-BIS for a period of 10 years. Their function will be to monitor on a real-time basis ZTE’s compliance with U.S. export control laws. ZTE is also required under the new agreement to replace the entire board of directors and senior leadership for both entities. Finally, the new agreement once again imposes a denial order that is suspended, this time for 10 years, which DOC-BIS can activate in the event of additional violations during the ten-year probationary period.
I seldom agree with Florida’s Senator Marco Rubio. However, because he wants to give Israel more access to China’s markets and investment funds (by blocking direct interaction) he correctly points out that the reprieve will stop ZTE from trading with Iran and North Korea…but will NOT prevent ZTE from complying with orders from Chinese intelligence to eavesdrop on Americans.(3)
The Chinese can always pay Israel to act as a proxy for it to acquire what’s needed from America as well as to provide eavesdropped intelligence (since Israelis reportedly have back doors into data and communications systems worldwide) but it’s much cheaper to get it directly.
Israel has also been careful to position itself to benefit from any actual U.S. trade war. In addition to strong Chinese and Russian connections, it has free trade agreements with the U.S., Canada, the EU, Australia and other countries. With the GMEI (Greater Middle East Initiative as discussed in my 2004 article “Behold the Zone”)(4) and the coming New Mid East, Israel will have a large population of surplus Arabs that can be put to work adding minimal content for re-export to the U.S. and vice versa to other countries, thereby skirting any trade barriers. Do you think more than a handful of U.S. Congressmen and Senators would make even a peep about this if it were to transpire?
In recent articles I pointed out the visceral interest of the Israelis in getting North Korea to “roll over” on Iranian nuclear and chemical-biological weapons work in that country.(5) In this regard, John Bolton is correct in observing parallels with the Libyan situation. Muammar Gaddafi gave up his nuclear program in return for economic normalization but, importantly, also tattled on Arab and other states he had reportedly done such work with. And he gave details…burning his bridges in return for the eternal friendship of the U.S. and the likes of Tony Blair.(6) So Trump’s behavior with regard to “persuading” the Chinese to facilitate such a process is fully understandable.
With regard to the other countries mentioned above, recall that Mr. Trump went so far as to tweet that he would even consider big tariffs on European cars—one that could effectively block them from U.S. markets. And then recall that Israeli PM “Bibi” Netanyahu (Mileikowski) visited many of the impacted countries shortly thereafter to push his sanctions plan to destabilize Iran.
Anyone familiar with organized crime might be tempted to view Trump’s actions and statements in close proximity to Mr. Netanyahu’s travels as a form of extortion. Much as store owners in my old neighborhood in Brooklyn might be offered “broken window insurance” by extortionists. If they didn’t pay? Their business could expect vandalism or burglary.
What disturbs me is that Mr. Trump seems to be using his office and the prestige of the U.S. to overturn international law to benefit a foreign power (Israel.) At the same time, Mr. Trump seems to confuse the well-being of average Americans with the wellbeing of large corporate entities, banks, arms manufacturers, Israel and the super wealthy 1% (a caste he is a member of.) He seems (much like Obama) to whistle past 90-million+ unemployed working-age Americans and the under-employed who are counted as 3 employees when they have to work 3 part-time slave-labor jobs just to get by. And the unemployed not counted as unemployed when they give up looking for a decent job after a year.
The President frequently brings American farm products and raw materials into his great proposed deals to equalize trade imbalances. Possibly Mr. Trump slept through history class. The American Revolution was fought primarily over the issue of mercantilism. The colonies were not allowed to manufacture essentials like nails, window glass, and many necessaries. They had to pay for costly imported manufactured British goods with raw materials.(7) This led to a depressed economy. A similar system was imposed by the British on India, whose citizens were even prohibited from weaving cloth in India in order to support British textile mills. Many Americans failed to understand the nature of Gandhi’s protest in 1946 when he operated a spinning wheel in front of British troops.(8) Spinning yarn and weaving cloth was restricted in favor of British imports.
In 19th Century America, the agrarian states of the Confederacy were subjected to Northern neo-mercantilism by high tariffs forcing Southerners to pay dearly for the manufactured products of Northern factories (protected by high tariffs that allowed the factories to charge higher prices than foreign producers) while demand for prices of their agricultural goods were depressed by high retaliatory tariffs by countries they sold cotton and other produce to.
So, when the President brags about opening foreign markets to U.S. agricultural goods and raw materials in return for foreign manufactured goods—what exactly is he saying to many of his MAGA supporters? His recent moves to allow repatriation of hundreds of billions of dollars that has been stashed overseas by U.S. companies—with no strings and little tax–do little to assuage my suspicions that he’s going to allow continued mercantilization of the U.S. economy, returning the bulk of the “little people” to the status of pre-Revolution colonial serfs. Because, so far, these monies have largely been used for nonproductive purposes rather than construction of new plants and retraining of American workers vs. importing slave-wage talent from overseas. Purposes such as corporate stock buybacks that prop up the stock market, boost the portfolio values of corporate executives and bankers, and heavily overcompensate top management and directors.(9)
The President’s Marie-Antoinette-like“let them eat cake”(10) seeming lack of empathy with his “MAGA” base is highlighted by his support for expanded immigration of skilled workers to the U.S. rather than training or retraining existing citizens. I once spoke with a Ph.D. in mathematics from India on an H1B visa(11) who told me his graduate education had cost about $2000 and that he had no student debt. He was working for about half the salary of a U.S. graduate typically a graduate carrying $50,000 (or more) of compounding student debt that cannot be discharged through bankruptcy. (American taxpayers—not the wealthy fat-cats, business and banking interests who profit from H1Bs–will soon be asked to foot the bill for American de-industrialization as over $1-trillion of student loans default.)
(The subject of a future article: Trump is apparently considering the Neoliberal privatization of American roads, bridges, waterways and water/sewage systems to implement his promised infrastructure program. After the mid-term elections or, possibly, in his second term. Let me guess. The size of state and local government will not decrease, taxes will not go down, and the people will get soaked for currently free services by corporate and foreign overlords—many of whom may be Chinese.)
So how well are Trump’s deal-making skills working out? Pretty good from Israel’s standpoint.
Let’s take Canada, now facing significant tariffs. Previously, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was aggressively calling for an independent investigation into the Israeli massacre of over 100 unarmed Palestinian civilians in Gaza. Then he got blindsided by Mr. Trump and then a call from Mr. Netanyahu. Says one Canadian source:
“Trudeau is caught like a deer in the headlights…Many observers were surprised when, a few days after Prime Minister Trudeau called for an investigation into Israeli killing unarmed protesters in Gaza, Canada seemed to reverse field. Our representative to the UN in Geneva strongly criticized a resolution passed 29 – 2 by the UN Human Rights Council calling for just such an investigation. Only Australia and the United States voted against it...Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland told the House of Commons on Tuesday that Ottawa believes that the UN resolution was “mostly pushed by Pakistan and other Muslim countries” and was “biased against Israel”…It appeared to be an awkward “walk back” by a Prime Minister under pressure. “(12)
To me, at least, there is even less mystery in Trump’s imposition of tariffs on the EU countries backing continuation of the JCPOA with Iran, an agreement which the U.S. withdrew from in violation of international law as Iran had not violated the agreement. Imagine going to the U.S. Supreme Court and appealing a home eviction because the agreement you signed with the bank was a “bad one”? If the bank had fulfilled its contractual obligations the case would be ignored. Israel and Saudi Arabia—both close and avowed enemies of Iran—reportedly have large undeclared nuclear stockpiles. Israel is believed to have acquired missing and stolen fissionable materials from the U.S. and other countries. Saudis reportedly funded the Pakistani nuclear program and were given nukes in return. Yet Iran, which has not attacked another country in over 200 years and is a signatory to the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT), has every right to have a nuclear program and undergoes rigorous inspections, is persecuted at the behest of these countries!
Netanyahu seemingly got no traction with the UK, France and Germany on his road trip. This is all theater, in my opinion. These governments will certainly maintain their cynical public stance to honor the Iran treaty. However, as Netanyahu pointed out on June 6th, his trip was successful because many European companies are already pulling out of Iran. I wonder what banking interests control these companies? None of the companies appear willing to face the wrath of the U.S. “golem” (a Frankenstein monster of Jewish mythology that serves Jewry.)
Why do I consider Netanyahu’s performance theater? Because he knew before he left the Israeli state that the European official position would not change.
What was Netanyahu after and what did he get? The Europeans continue to insist Iran abide by its JCPOA commitments, hamstringing Iran, while the sanctions imposed by the U.S. and sanctions privately re-imposed by European companies weaken the Iranian government. Can anyone really believe May, Macron and Merkel have the intestinal fortitude to buck Israel and the U.S.?
An added benefit of Trump’s sanctions—which have actually benefitted the targets in some cases—is that Iran will be driven deeper into the new Rosneft oil cartel, the BRICS alternative to OPEC (which the U.S. is a member of.)(13) An accident? And, at some point when the U.S. is on the ropes—do you think Russia would deny Israel a place at the table? Doubt it, judging by the speed with which Russia backed out of its promise to supply Syria with S-300s to satisfy Netanyahu. (Russia even tried to put a base on the Lebanese border, a reported Victory Day demand by Netanyahu, but withdrew forces after a call from the Syrian President.) Without the support of the powerful Chabad Lubbavitcher world syndicate, Putin would not be in power. And neither would Trump.
A bit of Israeli-Lubbavitcher history here: Ronald Reagan in collusion with Lubbavitcher Rabbi Schnerson helped resettle over a million Russians–some only friends of Jews and some with some Jewish ancestry–in Israel on the ridiculous pretext that Jews were somehow persecuted in the USSR.(14) There was a standing death penalty for active antisemitism in Russia at the time, although I don’t know if it was being enforced. Oy, such persecution! Jews in the USSR created and largely ran the so-called Russian Revolution(15), designed and ran(16) the infamous Gulag system that killed millions of Russians, and even had their own separate Yiddish-speaking Oblast in the USSR: Birobidzhan.(17) In any case, today’s atavistic Israeli state would likely not have survived without this infusion of Soviet manpower and technical knowhow from the soon-to-be-defunct USSR. Another accident?
President Trump supporters and other Americans not on board with his Israel-and-mercantilist trade policies should give him much-needed feedback that contradicts what he’s hearing from Bolton, Menuchin, Kushner and their ilk. Because, by 2020, the process may be irreversible.
(2) On April 15th, 2018, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur L. Ross, Jr. had announced that the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) imposed a denial of export privileges against Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment Corporation, of Shenzhen, China (“ZTE Corporation”) and ZTE Kangxun Telecommunications Ltd. of Hi-New Shenzhen, China (“ZTE Kangxun”) (collectively, “ZTE”). This prevented the Chinese firm from obtaining goods, equipment and software from the U.S. Previously, in March 2017, ZTE had agreed to a combined civil and criminal penalty and forfeiture of $1.19-billion after illegally shipping telecommunications equipment to Iran and North Korea. In addition to these monetary penalties, ZTE also agreed to a seven-year suspended denial of export privileges—which had been activated.
(4) See “Behold the Zone” my 2004 article reproduced in full in “Monomania: Method to the Madness”
(5) “Monomania: Method to the Madness,” by Tom Mysiewicz, B’Man’s Revolt, April 13, 2018 https://buelahman.wordpress.com/2018/04/14/monomania-method-to-the-madness/ and “Novichoks and China Tariffs: Mideast-Related Spooky Action (MRSA)?” by Tom Mysiewicz, B’Man’s Revolt,
(7) After the French and Indian War, the clever colonists found a way to boost the economy by issuing colonial scrip to be used in addition to British currency. Soon a report was made to London bankers that, due to this scrip, “scarce a poor person can be found in the colonies.” King George and Parliament were immediately pressured to end the practice and impose more taxes on the colonies, such as the hated Stamp Act. The return to depression coupled with burdensome taxes and the enforced mercantilism led directly to the revolt of the American colonies.
(9) “Trump’s Tax Cut Plan Will Fuel Stock Buybacks,” by John Divine, U.S. News and World Report, May 8th, 2018 https://money.usnews.com/investing/articles/2017-05-08/why-trumps-tax-cut-plan-will-fuel-stock-buybacks-not-jobs
(10) Marie Antionette did not say “Let them eat cake” out of malice, it’s reported. She honestly believed starving peasants could simply go out and eat cake if they did not have bread! I have heard Trump chide a small investor for only making 30% on his stocks (in the Menuchin-rigged stock market) and that the investor should have made much more. Trump probably does not realize that between 50- and 100-million Americans, such as myself, do not have enough money to even open a brokerage account. And the majority of Americans only participate in these markets through IRAs they may never get to enjoy if the market crashes over the 2019-2021 period.
(13) Good backgrounder on Rosneft and OPEC at https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-10/shots-fired-opec-has-practically-stopped-existing-rosneft-ceo-mocks-defunct-oil-cart
(16) Alexander Solzhenitsyn in the seldom-read second and third volumes of The Gulag Archipelago, relates that the Gulag system was created by the Jew Frenkel and run with the help of co-religionists including Berman, Rappaport, Aaron Solts, and Yagoda. This could be in YOUR future! See also: