Making Political Enemies And Allies

Grind for December 5th, 2018
“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

– Maya Angelou


The Headline

After G20 summit: Trump pauses trade war and promises to cancel NAFTA

The Grind

After speaking with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Argentina last week, President Trump agreed not to increase tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods (at least for now).

“The deal amounts to a cease-fire in the series of escalating, tit-for-tat tariffs that the US and China have imposed on each other’s goods throughout the year,” reports NPR.

Before the summit, Trump had intended to raise tariffs from 10% to 25% starting January 1st. As it stands, tariffs will remain at 10% for the next three months while China and Washington continue to negotiate.

In the meantime, China has agreed to purchase more American goods (something Trump had been pushing for) and to label fentanyl a “controlled substance.”

The Details

Trump also left the G20 summit with plans to move forward with the US Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA), the pact that was negotiated to replace NAFTA.

The deal was signed by all three nations on Friday, but requires congressional approval before it can take effect.

Trump said he intends to pressure lawmakers into approving the USMCA by cancelling NAFTA. “Congress will have a choice of the USMCA or pre-NAFTA,” he told reporters.

Trump had also planned to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the summit, but decided to cancel the meeting after his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, admitted to lying to Congress about a plan to erect a Trump Tower in Moscow during the 2016 elections.

Another One Bites The Dust

The Headline

UK minister Sam Gyimah resigns, says second Brexit vote could be the only option

The Grind

Former Science & Universities Minister Sam Gyimah resigned last week over Prime Minister Theresa May’s controversial Brexit proposal; more specifically, over her decision to remove the UK from the EU’s Galileo sat-nav system (which is kind of like Europe’s version of GPS).

On Saturday, Gyimah told reporters that a second Brexit vote could be the only way to move forward with divorce negotiations:

“We have given up our voice, our veto, and our vote. Our interests will be hammered because we have no leverage,” said Gyimah, referring to May’s proposal. “If Parliament was in deadlock, Theresa May could get herself out of that deadlock by backing a second referendum.”

The Implication

Gyimah’s resignation makes him the 10th minister to quit over May’s proposal, which has already been agreed on by the UK and EU.

“Mr. Gyimah’s departure shows it is not just Brexiteers who are unhappy and feel her deal ties us too closely to the EU for good – but also Remainers who are worried the deal is an unsavory halfway house,” says BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg.

Parliament is set to vote on the Brexit agreement on December 11th.

The UK’s official separation date is set for March 29th of next year, and extending the deadline to continue negotiations would require approval from all 28 EU states (May insists this is not an option).

Meanwhile, President Trump has expressed concerns that the Brexit agreement could hamper a future trade deal between the US and the UK.

May insists the Brexit proposal wouldn’t interfere with a US-UK trade deal even though it blocks the UK from all trade agreements outside the EU until 2021.

Did you know… Your heart rate can rise as much as 30% during a yawn.