will there be a trade war? We’ve already had one for the last four decades. And guess what? China has already won.
George Dubya tried, Barack Obama tried, they failed.
Beijing knows its trade practices are unfair and tilted towards protecting its domestic industries. The surprise is only that it has been able to get away with it for so long.
Seems they might retaliate by limiting imports of sorghum, used to make gut-busting baiju alcohol. That should go well in places like Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma. The EU and Canada are also likely to retaliate.
China is often praised by economists because trade has lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty. But strategies include:
- China’s decades-long manipulation of its currency to keep its exports cheap, its subsidies to key state-owned enterprises, the restrictions and burdensome regulations imposed on foreign companies, the forced transfer of high-end technologies and the pilfering of intellectual property are all well known and long established.
Hardly from the free-market neoliberal textbook.
Trump has called then out openly, so we’ll see how he gets on. He says ‘trade wars are good, and easy to win’. Economists say his tariffs will nix more American jobs than they will save. Basically more workers use steel rather than make it.
The remaining Australian steel industry may end up being collateral by-kill.
Putin says Russia has tested a new “invincible” nuclear weapons that could reach almost any point in the world and are immune to anti-missile systems, including a high-speed underwater drone that is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead capable of targetting both aircraft carriers and coastal facilities, plus a missile that can deliver a warhead at hypersonic speed.
The Russian President said the creation of the new weapons has made NATO’s US-led missile defence “useless”…
If you want to scare yourself, look at ABC RN’s Rear Vision, which has just done a program on false nuclear alarms, which has a transcript.
Apparently back in 1979 a computer broke down and the backup still had a training tape in it showing a full-scale Russian attack with over 2,000 incoming warheads streaking towards the United States at four miles per second. National security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, was woken up at 3am and was within a minute of waking President Jimmy Carter to get an immediate decision.
Bruce Blair, nuclear security expert and research scholar at the Program on Science and Global Security at Princeton University and co-founder of Global Zero, says:
- It’s important to understand that events happen every day of the year that require a close look to determine whether they represent a missile attack against North America. I’m sure the same thing is happening in Russia. So there are early warning crews 24/7 in Colorado and in Nebraska near Omaha that are receiving a continuous stream of data from satellites and ground radar installations that will pick up a missile launch within a minute in the case of satellites and 2 to 3 minutes normally in the case of ground radar, and report those missile launches to these early warning crews. And every day events happen that require these crews to take a look at the data to determine whether it represents an attack or not. It could be Japan firing a ballistic missile to put a civilian satellite into space, it could be North Korea testing one of its ballistic missiles, or it could be China or Russia testing missiles.
Just to make us relaxed and comfortable.
Andrew Romano reported to Sarah Macdonald on Nightlife that the US defense hierarchy said ‘nothing new here’, which was not exactly reassuring.
3. What the media is not reporting
As the politicians and much of the media obsess about scandals and personalities in Canberra, Bernard Keane at Crikey (no doubt pay-walled) took a look what’s happening with the issues that affect real Australians outside the Canberra bubble, which aren’t receiving substantial coverage because scandals are dominating the media cycle.
He reckons it’s a big success story for the government, even though much of the growth is coming from state government health and education spending.
Low wages growth is a problem besetting many Western economies and no-one knows what to do about it.
We are basically marking time on reducing the difference between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians on health, education and economic opportunity. Turnbull last year commenced a process to “refresh” the CTR strategy, but he issue received virtually no coverage due to Barnaby Joyce.
What was once a bipartisan process with real momentum from all sides has run into the sand courtesy of the Prime Minister’s rejection of the Uluru Statement, and his misrepresentation of the proposal for an indigenous voice to parliament as urging a “third chamber” of parliament. The Oz has maintained some focus.
Keane says policy has been a “product more of the Liberal Party’s internal wars between climate denialists and people with a functioning brain”.
He also says we have been having a blackout-free summer, which goes to show that blackouts in Queensland don’t count. We’ve had heaps – 500 wires down from a single storm recently, with Energex deploying 700 people by day and 200 by night to get it sorted. Quite commonly some are left without power for more than a day.
Resolute inaction from the man who once said he wouldn’t lead a party that wasn’t as committed to climate action as he was, in spite of record hot weather and increasing carbon emissions.
Basically nothing in a policy sense. The media never stops talking about it, but to no good effect.
The Commonwealth has been slack apart from rorts like inland rail, but the states together with industry super funds.
Again, plenty of media coverage, but often of the “angry residents fight new tunnel” kind of NIMBY nonsense from Fairfax.
Much has happened through the royal commission, APRA etc, but the Commonwealth has been forced to act and gets none of the credit.
Australia’s most important, and certainly most expensive, environmental strategy — once bipartisan — has run off the rails courtesy of greedy irrigators, malicious indifference from the Queensland and NSW governments, possible corruption within bureaucracies and an agriculture portfolio that implemented the hostility to the plan of its then-minister, Barnaby Joyce.
He gives credit to the ABC, but the coverage has still come up short.
My experience is that governments churn out masses of media releases (Queensland here) which appear to be largely not read by people working in the media. Ministerial offices around the land seem to represent the main employment opportunity for journalism graduates, churning out heaps of stuff that goes nowhere.
4. Tasmanian election
As expected, Will Hodgman’s Liberals retained power in Tasmania:
- Labor and the Greens had earlier both accused the Liberals of effectively buying seats in parliament, citing the widespread belief the government’s campaign had been heavily bankrolled by the gaming and hospitality industry.
By late on Saturday night, the Liberals had won at least 13 seats in the state’s 25-seat parliament. Labor had at least eight seats and the Greens one. Three seats were undecided, with each party in the race for two of them.
Labor had a 5% swing in its favour across the state, mostly at the expense of the Greens. The third party saw its vote fall nearly four percentage points to just over 10% of the vote. With 82.3% of the vote counted, the Liberals were sitting on 50.4% and Labor 32.8%.
Hodgman’s success was notable:
He has become only the second Liberal premier, after Robin Gray, to win a consecutive majority.
In fact, winning majority government for the Liberals in general is no mean feat.
There have only been four Liberal majority governments in the state’s history.
Labor was faced with needing to win six extra seats in a 25-seat parliament. They scored a 5% swing, which they say shows that grass-roots campaigning still works.
Labor stole the anti-pokies issue from the Greens, who had no high profile issue to run on.
It will take a year to find out, but Labor claims the Liberals with pokie interests behind them outspent Labor by 4 or 5 to 1.
The economy being OK for once obviously helped the Liberals.
Detailed comment at Kevin Bonham.