In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Germany urges EU to speed trade deals after Trump, Brexit

Posted by seumasach on January 28, 2017

Reuters

27th January, 2017

Germany called on the European Union on Friday to speed deals to open trade with a dozen or more countries, mainly in Asia, and to boost support for free trade around the world in response to scepticism about it from new U.S. President Donald Trump.

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Trump administration asks top State Department officials to leave

Posted by seumasach on January 28, 2017

In addition Victoria Nuland has resigned

CNN

27th January, 2017

Two senior administration officials said Thursday that the Trump administration told four top State Department management officials that their services were no longer needed as part of an effort to “clean house” at Foggy Bottom.

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May and the eternal triangle

Posted by seumasach on January 28, 2017

Cailean Bochanan

28th January, 2017

If Theresa wants a special relationship with Donald  and Donald wants a “fantastic relationship” with Vladimir, what kind of relationship with does Theresa  want with Vladimir? She wants to “engage but beware”: beware, no doubt, that Vladimir’s relationship with Donald doesn’t get too fantastic.

All in all, May’s response seems to be in keeping with with Britain’s values of tolerance and laissez faire but the reality is that May used the Washington trip to mark a complete about turn in British foreign policy aligning it with that of Donald Trump. Indeed, her words are the surest confirmation yet of the winds of change blowing in Washington.
Quite simply May totally the contradicted the Fallon doctrine, an obvious shot across the bows of Trump, proposed by her defense secretary only last week that “The UK is sending a clear message that we are committed to defending democracy across the world and support Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.” According to May, however: “The days of Britain and America intervening in sovereign countries in an attempt to remake the world in our own image are over.” The shift is confirmed by her foreign secretary’s statement on Syria in which, ever gracious in defeat, he concedes that Assad may be allowed to stay after all.
Of course, one could point to elements in May’ speech contradicting this interpretation, notably her claims that the UK and US will continue to lead the world in the face of rising challenge of Russia and China. I would respond that these contradictions stem from the hybrid nature of her speech: it is like an adaption of the speech she would have given had Clinton won the presidency to the emerging Trump doctrine. Indeed, she continues to sing the praises of doctrines which Trump has totally repudiated such free trade and adherence to the various “globalist” institutions. In an unfortunate lapse she said at the joint press conference that she “thinks” Trump has just given his 100% backing for NATO.
Most interestingly, May reaffirms that she doesn’t wish the EU to fail. I wouldn’t rule out that she is telling the truth on this. After all, she has only recently given a long speech focused on Britain’s need to make a trade deal with Europe post-Brexit. Is that really compatible with this new deal with the USA. Europe rejected TTIP: will they really accept it through the back door via a trade deal with Britain. May may be cognizant of Ukraine’s attempt to play both sides in trade deals with Russia and the EU: they ended up with nothing.
UK/US leadership in the world is bluff and bluster: trumpet the charge whilst stealthily retreating. But the West truly will be lost if we don’t begin constructive engagement with the rising stars of the East soon and May must already deep in anxious dreams be haunted by that smug grin of George Osborne standing triumphantly alongside President Xi.

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Deutsche Bank sees end to pound’s reserve status

Posted by seumasach on January 28, 2017

Mr Winkler has cited data from the IMF which shows that the sterling share of global reserves has fallen slightly in the two quarters to September.

He also says the Chinese central bank is moving out of sterling more rapidly than it moves out of other currencies, as it sells down its massive hoard of reserves in order to stop the value of the renminbi from falling too fast.

27th January

Read Independent article:  Is the pound in danger of losing its reserve currency status because of Brexit?

 

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China will drive a hard bargain with post-Brexit UK

Posted by seumasach on January 25, 2017

It’s sad to think back on how I covered in these pages the emerging strategic partnership between the UK and China and how we spurned the whole thing in favor of Brexit. That was a highpoint in UK diplomacy which will never again be attained not only because a coherent UK state will likely no longer exist but also because our being a gateway into Europe would have been  the key element in that partnership.

Emanuele Scimia

Asia Times

23rd January, 2017

In her January 17 speech outlining Britain’s rough plan for exiting the European Union (EU), British Prime Minister Theresa May hailed Brexit as an opportunity to advance a “truly Global Britain” that “goes out into the world to build relationships with old friends and new allies alike.”

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Taking the long view

Posted by seumasach on January 25, 2017

Justin Raimundo

Antiwar.com

24th January, 2017

The other day on Twitter someone tweeted me the news of the latest drone strike in Yemen, with the taunting message: “Congrats, @JustinRaimondo.” I had to laugh, and bemoan my fate: “I am now to be held responsible for everything the Trump administration does, especially their failure to go full pacifist!” Of course, you don’t have to be a pacifist to oppose our drone campaign, in Yemen or elsewhere, as I do, but the comment and my response underscore a basic flaw in the thinking of Trump’s anti-interventionist critics.

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Rex Tillerson means business and it’s fine with Russia and China

Posted by seumasach on January 25, 2017

M.K.Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline

24th January, 2017

Rex Tillerson, US President Donald Trump’s nominee as state secretary, has narrowly won confirmation from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee – 11 senators in favor and 10 against. The split is on party lines and the clincher came on Monday when Republican senator Marco Polo (who regarded Russian President Vladimir Putin to be a ‘war criminal’ and vainly insisted that Tillerson agreed with him) fell in line at the eleventh hour.

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Trump’s win marks end to Clinton-era interventionism

Posted by seumasach on January 25, 2017

Sputnik News

22nd January, 2017

Donald Trump’s election victory has brought an end to the Clinton era of intervention in Serbia’s internal affairs, including the murky web of connections between NGO’s in the US and abroad, experts told Sputnik Srbija.

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Foreigners are dumping U.S. debt at a record pace

Posted by seumasach on January 25, 2017

The dollars will also be coming home. What this is leading too is the non-acceptance of dollars as international payment. However, Trump can resolve the debt issue through international agreement, above all, with China: a global reset,  a trade-off between the declining hegemon and the new leader of globalization.

Economic Collapse

22nd January, 2017

While most of the country has been focused on the inauguration of Donald Trump, a very real crisis has been brewing behind the scenes. Foreigners are dumping U.S. debt at a faster rate than we have ever seen before, and U.S. Treasury yields have been rising. This is potentially a massive problem, because our entire debt-fueled standard of living is dependent on foreigners lending us gigantic mountains of money at ultra-low interest rates. If the average rate of interest on U.S. government debt just got back to 5 percent, which would still be below the long-term average, we would be paying out about a trillion dollars a year just in interest on the national debt. If foreigners keep dumping our debt and if Treasury yields keep climbing, a major financial implosion of historic proportions is absolutely guaranteed within the next four years.

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Supreme Court ruling heralds constitutional chaos

Posted by seumasach on January 24, 2017

Cailean Bochanan

24th January, 2017

It is not necessary to read beyond the first sentence of today’s Supreme Court Ruling to arrive at the heart of the matter

“The devolution Acts were passed by Parliament on the assumption that the UK would be a member of the EU, but they do not require the UK to remain a member.”

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Wagenknecht: ‘Dissolution of NATO, military alliance with Russia’

Posted by seumasach on January 24, 2017

RT

17th January, 2017

A military security system, which would include Russia, should be set up instead of NATO, Sahra Wagenknecht, leader of the German Left party said in an interview, echoing Trump’s recent statements on NATO.

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