Grind for December 7th, 2018
“As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings happy death.”
– Leonardo da Vinci
Pompeo defends Trump’s foreign policy at NATO meeting
Speaking on the sidelines of a key NATO meeting taking place in Brussels this month, Sec. of State Mike Pompeo defended Trump’s foreign policy agenda and called for the creation of a new world order.
“Bad actors have exploited our lack of leadership for their own gain,” said Pompeo. Under President Trump, “We are acting to preserve, protect, and advance an open, just, transparent, and free world of sovereign states.”
Pompeo left his position as CIA Director in April to accept the position of Secretary following Trump’s decision to fire Rex Tillerson. As America’s top foreign affairs adviser, he has displayed remarkable negotiating skills, smart rhetoric, and staunch support for President Trump’s foreign policy decisions.
“In the finest traditions of our great democracy, we are rallying the noble nations to build a new liberal order that prevents war and achieves greater prosperity,” said Pompeo. “This project will require actual – not pretend – restoration of the liberal order among nations. It will require an assertive America and leadership from not only my country, but of democracies around the world.”
Pompeo dismissed claims that America was acting unilaterally or in isolation and pushed back against critics frustrated by Trump’s decision to withdraw from the JCPOA and the Paris Climate Accord, his decision to move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and his support for Brexit.
Treaties – once broken – must be “fixed or discarded,” continued Pompeo. “Our Administration is thus lawfully exiting or renegotiating outdated or harmful treaties, trade agreements, and other international arrangements that don’t serve our sovereign interests, or the interest of our allies.”
Signing treaties with other nations isn’t enough, he added.
“Multilateralism has, too often, become viewed as an end unto itself. The more treaties we sign, the safer we supposedly are.”
Pompeo insisted the Trump Administration was “boldly reasserting” the kind of American leadership that won the Cold War, reunited Germany, and helped create the international organizations needed to maintain global order following the end of WWII.
But he also criticized some of those organization – including the World Bank, United Nations, and International Monetary Fund – for losing sight of their initial goals.
“Every nation must honestly acknowledge its responsibility to its citizens and ask if the current international order serves the good of its people as well as it could. And if not, we must ask how we can right it.”
Days after cancelling a planned tariff increase on Chinese imports, Trump says he is a “tariff man”
President Trump on Tuesday promised to raise existing tariffs on Chinese imports if the two nations fail to negotiate a trade deal. Prior to his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping last weekend, Trump had planned to raise tariffs on Chinese goods from 10% to 25% in January.
It will be up to Trade Rep. Robert LIghthizer to decide whether a “real deal” with Beijing is even possible, said Trump. “If it is, we will get it done. But if not remember, I am a Tariff Man.”
Trump’s reminder comes less than five days after he agreed not to increase tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods for 90 days and China agreed to buy more American goods. The Trump Administration also expects China to immediately address intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers.
Investors have responded to the suspended tariff increase with relief, but worry that 90 days isn’t enough time to strike a deal.
“The negotiations with China have already started,” said Trump. “Unless extended, they will end 90 days from the date of our wonderful and very warm dinner with President Xi in Argentina.”
GOOD TO THE LAST DROP:
Did you know… During the Cold War, the US had planned to detonate a nuclear weapon on the moon.