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#61 Traveler

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Posted 30 August 2018 - 11:24 AM

A good analysis by El-Arian.

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The U.S. was destined to win this new game because of its economic strength and diversity, entrepreneurial agility and lower relative reliance on external markets. How long it would take for it to prevail depends on how quickly other players come to terms with a new reality (including the Trump administration’s willingness to risk economic damage and its embrace of a negotiating stance that shows less respect for established practice and cordial relations with allies). As such, acceding to U.S. demands would not be the best outcome for others but would still be much better alternatives to a full-blown trade war.


This helps explain why Mexico and the EU have softened their stance. It also is the reason why Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland rushed to Washington this week to try to meet the Trump administration's negotiation deadline. These developments also suggest that it’s only a matter of time before China softens its position, especially now that there are improved prospects for a joined North America-European position on Chinese practices on intellectual property rights, joint venture requirements and some non-tariff barriers.
Underline mine. This is what the EU is up to.
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#62 LFC

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Posted 30 August 2018 - 01:35 PM

I'd be more optimistic if the deal with Mexico actually achieved anything but from what I see it's a bit of window dressing designed to do nothing but allow Trump crow about making a deal. I suspect any deal with Canada will be much the same. If we can't present a coherent set of asks and have a coherent set of things where we're willing to give then we literally have no idea what we're trying to achieve.

With China the main administration complaint is that they're "not fair" but do you think his administration has a clue about what they think they want and how it interacts with anything else in the economy? I'm going to go over to the Trade thread and post John Oliver's coverage of this including Trump's top trade adviser Peter Navarro. The Navarro stuff is so ridiculous that it may be past Onion territory.
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#63 Traveler

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Posted 31 August 2018 - 01:55 PM

No doubt most of this shitshow is noting but pure entertainment for his base. And that Oliver segment was hilarious. Navarro is a total kook and I am the first to concur on that.

But if you think that China is not a major threat in a decade given the radical policy shifts since the Xi regime, then you are misinformed. Navarro is a total idiot, but increasing numbers of economists now realize that China has to be confronted now. Not later. The EU recently filed a WTO complaint about the practices I enumerate. So its not like the rest of the planet hasnt figured it out as well.

It ain't just Trump. But unfortunately, he is the one in charge, so expect all sorts of misdirected moves. All I can say is that everyone is baffled, including the Chinese.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
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#64 LFC

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Posted 31 August 2018 - 02:34 PM

View PostTraveler, on 31 August 2018 - 01:55 PM, said:

But if you think that China is not a major threat in a decade given the radical policy shifts since the Xi regime, then you are misinformed.

I'm not sure I've seen anybody here at TRS disagree with that, I just have zero faith that Trump's approach can work. I was reading a TAC piece on Iran by Larison (probably more worth reading than every other TAC author combined) and this rings true to me.

Quote

Thomas Pickering explains that the Trump administration’s Iran policy is doomed to fail on its own terms:

Quote

The policy of maximum pressure and unachievable demands is based on deeply flawed assumptions about Iran and the wise use of American power.

Pickering is describing Trump’s Iran policy here, but he could just as easily be talking about the president’s handling of many other issues. The Trump administration insists on demanding that other governments capitulate, make sweeping concessions that would overturn most of their current policies, and then punishes them if the other side refuses to comply with insane ultimatums. No one responds well to being dictated to, and that is particularly true of regimes that have made opposition to the U.S. a major part of their reigning ideology. Maximum pressure usually just provokes maximum resistance, and it leads to more of the behavior that the pressure campaign was supposed to stop.


What Larison is missing is that other nations often can't even understand exactly what Trump's demands are because Trump himself doesn't know what they are. He just wants to "win" so he can thump his plump jiggly man-boobs with his tiny little fists. He doesn't understand how he can turn up the heat more quietly. He doesn't understand how to plan to protect our sectors that will get hurt. He doesn't understand shit.

Capitulation is political weakness and no leader who covets their position (or in some of these places their own life) can bow down no matter the damage. It didn't work with Iran. It hasn't worked with North Korea. It's certainly not working with Russia. Even Mexico told him to piss off and we ended up with a "new deal" that was a nothing-burger. There's a point where you have to admit that unless you're capable of bringing such tremendous pressure to bear that a coup might very well oust the leader to make the pain stop then you are likely to fail. And we don't have the ability to bring that kind of pressure to the most populous nation and one of the largest economies in the world. Accomplishing what we need to accomplish to protect ourselves from China's practicies are effing HARD. Throwing tariffs around like a temperamental child ain't gonna' cut it.

Trade wars AREN'T easy to win after all. Who knew? Nobody knew.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#65 LFC

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Posted 31 August 2018 - 04:07 PM

I decided to do a bit of searching over at TAC to see if Larison addressed China trade recently. He hasn't but I found an excellent piece by an author named Brian Saady. I've never heard of this guy but a little bit of searching makes me think he might be a real small-c conservative. After a good explanation of just how bad the theft of IP really is he gets into approach we could be taking but aren't.

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With that said, it’s important to note that much of China’s IP theft isn’t entirely illegal. The Chinese government forces foreign companies to partner with Chinese companies in several key industries. Hence, many U.S. businesses have begrudgingly handed over their IP in order to gain access to the Chinese market.

Therein lies an opportunity for Trump to negotiate better terms for U.S. businesses that are interested in expanding into China. It would be wonderful if he had a bloc of like-minded heads of state who were equally fed up with China’s shenanigans. However, Trump has alienated most of America’s foreign allies. Furthermore, he’s neck deep in developing trade wars with Canada, Mexico, Japan, and the European Union.

Again, Trump is fighting for an absolutely worthy cause, but his methods are deeply flawed. Trade tariffs won’t recover any of the property that’s been stolen. Furthermore, China will simply respond in kind with tariffs of its own and by manipulating its currency.

Trump spoke to the scale of this crime by citing the estimates of the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property. However, he hasn’t heeded the advice of these experts on how to properly address the issue.

The IP Commission has a lengthy list of recommendations and, notably, trade tariffs aren’t mentioned. What they do stress are the need for more vetting and ongoing evaluation of foreign companies that acquire American businesses.

All in all, Washington’s approach to IP theft has no teeth. There are tools at its disposal that aren’t widely used, including sanctions for the companies and individuals responsible for this crime. Furthermore, the Chinese government has essentially harbored these criminals, but there’s never been enough international pressure for extradition.


As an aside I saw that Jon Huntsman is or was involved with the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property. That automatically gives it more intellectual heft in my book than every single solitary snapperhead in the Trump administration. I only skimmed the nearly 100-page report they delivered in 2013 but they have pages on short, medium, and long-term solutions. Trump has his "gut", the same type of "gut" George W. claimed to depend on. That's ... just ... great.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#66 Traveler

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Posted 01 September 2018 - 08:43 AM

Thanks for those links. Funny, Saady didnt mention the EU complaint to WTO on precisely this topic, which kind of puts paid to this para.

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... It would be wonderful if he had a bloc of like-minded heads of state who were equally fed up with China’s shenanigans. However, Trump has alienated most of America’s foreign allies...

But this is dead on.

Quote

All in all, Washington’s approach to IP theft has no teeth. There are tools at its disposal that aren’t widely used, including sanctions for the companies and individuals responsible for this crime. Furthermore, the Chinese government has essentially harbored these criminals, but there’s never been enough international pressure for extradition.
What is going on now is only the first step. Trump wont even bother with the WTO, because it is toothless in this matter. Reason being that it classifies China as "developing". The EU is leading that charge. I bet Lighthizer is likely paying close attention to this next step. Which will absolutely infuriate the Chinese. Put them in the same boat as the Russians.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
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#67 LFC

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Posted 01 September 2018 - 11:20 AM

View PostTraveler, on 01 September 2018 - 08:43 AM, said:

What is going on now is only the first step. Trump wont even bother with the WTO, because it is toothless in this matter.

While you may be correct about the WTO being toothless you are wrong about Trump's "reasoning." He just hates them because he doesn't control them. Plus he knows more about what goes into a Big Mac than he does about what the WTO does.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#68 George Rowell

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Posted 28 September 2018 - 06:35 AM

I stumbled across something the other day that seemed to explain a lot about the Chinese condition. For those who do not know I have spent 20 years in China and still in many ways find it an enigma. The Chinese are many things. I saw in one post that they are selfish, but that is a national trait and nobody is disadvantaged by it except foreigners and foreign companies. The key thing in my mind is that you must judge a culture from within although that may sound odd. One thing you cannot deny is they are smart. Chinese and Japanese have the highest average IQs, sorry folks. They meter about 107 compared to the US of 98. So why is if they are so smart their biggest inventions are gun powder, the compass and paper? I am tired of hearing these three.

IQ scores do not tell the whole story. Some of you were waiting for this, yes? The superiority of the White race! Well if you were then please drop out out now, you are boring. The distribution of a populations IQ is in the form of a Bell curve and all bell curves look the same, right. But hang on, when you look at a Bell curve for a western population the bell curve is spread out, there are lots more dumb and dumber and lots more smart and smarter people. The Asian Bell IQ curve is much more centered around the norm of 107. The Western Bell curve is spread out around 100 (or 98 if you are a yank bigot). It is so pronounced that when you get into smart and very smart territory there is 18x more incidence in the Western Bell curve than in the Asian Bell curve, despite that head start of 7 points. In other words there are many more really smart people in the West. When you start to look at geniuses, well the Asian Bell curve is hard on the bottom.

Progress is driven by the very smart not by the masses and Asians are not exactly masters of invention. A factory full of smart workers on the other hand is a real advantage. I think Michael Moorcock might have a view on this. Progress comes from divergence not uniformity. You look within China and there is uniformity and it is not communist uniformity anymore. It is a vibrant place with smart people of like minds connecting in a way I have not seen any where else. They are cool and logical and fun too. They have a way of connecting with their children that is enviable and wonderful to watch. My take away is we can learn a lot from studying how a smart organised culture like China works.

----

I do not want to change the context of my post but upon further reading only one study supports the standard deviation theory and 2 other studies do not. They are all old studies. There seems to be little data on the subject. I can totally believe the theory however since there are other studies showing that men and women are also very different, men having a very wide dispersion so why not races? The chances are that more women are married to dummies than men. And of course that more women are married to geniuses than men.

Edited by LLEWOP, 28 September 2018 - 09:54 PM.

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#69 George Rowell

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Posted 28 September 2018 - 08:09 AM

If Xi Ji Ping had Trumps cards then he would be rubbing his hands in glee. China would never allow a peer competitor to exist, it would use every resource to choke it before it ever became a threat. There is now no military solution to the coming Chinese hegemony, there is only a trade war. I do not want to diverge too far but allocate $1.4 trillion on the F35 which is projected to protect us for the next 50 years is laughable. My personal belief is that Photonic radar will make the thing obsolete in 5-10 years anyway. But we still think of war as a first solution. As Wesley Clark might say, when the only thing you own is a hammer every problem is a nail. The key to advancing American influence is stop IP theft and excel at trade. The West is far far more innovative than the East. We can peacefully engineer our way out of this
A doctor knows a little about a lot. A specialist knows a lot about a little. In time the doctor knows less and less about more and more and the specialist knows more and more about less and less until ultimately the doctor knows nothing about everything and the specialist knows everything about nothing.

#70 JackD

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Posted 28 September 2018 - 08:43 AM

How can the US stop IP theft?

#71 LFC

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Posted 28 September 2018 - 10:36 AM

View PostLLEWOP, on 28 September 2018 - 06:35 AM, said:

It is so pronounced that when you get into smart and very smart territory there is 18x more incidence in the Western Bell curve than in the Asian Bell curve, despite that head start of 7 points. In other words there are many more really smart people in the West. When you start to look at geniuses, well the Asian Bell curve is hard on the bottom.

I'd be very interested to see the makeup of the Western geniuses. Are they homegrown or imported (i.e. first or second generation American citizens). Simply asked do we grow talent or attract it? Or a reasonable balance of each?
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#72 AnBr

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Posted 28 September 2018 - 01:46 PM

View PostJackD, on 28 September 2018 - 08:43 AM, said:

How can the US stop IP theft?

Wasn't this supposed to be one of the issues that the TPP addressed?
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#73 JackD

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Posted 28 September 2018 - 02:16 PM

The TPP: perhaps everyone will recall that progressive Democrats, as well as Hillary Clinton, opposed the TPP because of its dispute resolution processes that were feared could allow end runs around US regulatory requirements such as those of the EPA.

#74 George Rowell

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Posted 28 September 2018 - 09:44 PM

View PostTraveler, on 20 August 2018 - 08:21 AM, said:

LLEWOP, great post. You, DCoronata and I all have experiences in China, so it is very instructive to exchange anecdotes. I know this has been posted before, but you might not have seen it. Another Chinese trait that defines how they approach things. I can verify that this is most certainly the way things get done. They short change us on our projects but not having us supervise, and then pay twice to rip out the faulty materials and replace with the proper stuff. Another element is the ever present hurry up and wait.

China would not allow a trading partner to get powerful. The moment it looked like it could be a challenge it would get crushed. The Fa leng gong, and Christians are signs of that. Sadly the only way to handle China is take it by the throat and throttle it. Their negotiations and promises are worthless. I notice with a grin that the administration are talking about promise fatigue. Ha. They should get some Chinese businessmen in and ask them what they would do. They would say 'throttle' - and make it obvious. Kill a chicken to scare the monkeys.
A doctor knows a little about a lot. A specialist knows a lot about a little. In time the doctor knows less and less about more and more and the specialist knows more and more about less and less until ultimately the doctor knows nothing about everything and the specialist knows everything about nothing.

#75 George Rowell

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Posted 28 September 2018 - 10:03 PM

View PostJackD, on 28 September 2018 - 08:43 AM, said:

How can the US stop IP theft?

Only by throttling China. Nothing else will work, and that seems to be the US intent.
A doctor knows a little about a lot. A specialist knows a lot about a little. In time the doctor knows less and less about more and more and the specialist knows more and more about less and less until ultimately the doctor knows nothing about everything and the specialist knows everything about nothing.

#76 JackD

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Posted 28 September 2018 - 10:08 PM

I doubt that is feasible. what do you think?

#77 George Rowell

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Posted 28 September 2018 - 10:16 PM

View PostLFC, on 28 September 2018 - 10:36 AM, said:

I'd be very interested to see the makeup of the Western geniuses. Are they homegrown or imported (i.e. first or second generation American citizens). Simply asked do we grow talent or attract it? Or a reasonable balance of each?

That is a good point. I notice that indigenous African groups fair badly compared to American Africans. About 15 points in fact, as do Askinazi Jews who rocket about 30 points.
A doctor knows a little about a lot. A specialist knows a lot about a little. In time the doctor knows less and less about more and more and the specialist knows more and more about less and less until ultimately the doctor knows nothing about everything and the specialist knows everything about nothing.

#78 Traveler

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Posted 29 September 2018 - 05:34 AM

Great thread LLEWOP. thx.
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#79 George Rowell

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Posted 29 September 2018 - 10:13 AM

View PostJackD, on 28 September 2018 - 10:08 PM, said:

I doubt that is feasible. what do you think?

China will not play ball so the only thing to do that will work is do what Xi Ji Ping would do in Trumps shoes - use every means to cripple your opponent fair or foul. They would see it as an existential threat and respond accordingly.

China no longer has a cheap labor market. All their neighbors have lower labor costs, some several times lower so give loans to help them develop their infrastructure. We are talking about Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and nearby Thailand.

Put an ever incrementally tax on all Chinese imports. This will encourage importers to look elsewhere.

Encourage Google, Facebook and all other digital companies denied access to China to go to the WTO and make claims worth hundreds of billions.

Put sanctions on China for their human rights (whether it is valid or not).

Stop exports of all hi-tech products to China. Sanction other countries if they supply.

Bring in laws that only second generation immigrants may work in critical areas of technology, especially defense. Make spying sentences longer.

Arm India to the teeth. Force a military hi-tech arms race to drain their resources.

Recruit more Chinese to spy. Pay over the going rate. This will force China to waste resources.

Who knows what the real relationship is with Russia and America. Russia has always been suspicious of China and it will get worse. See the article in nature about global warming. nature.com/articles/s41467-018-05252-y In 50 years there will be a swathe of land passing right through China near Mongolia where 400 million Chinese now live that will be so hot and humid people will die outside in 6 hours. Just north in Russia there will be fertile farmland in a temperate climate. Long before then where do you think the Chinese will go? If Russia is not already on our side then get them in - quick. They will probably need our help.

Get congress on board. Make them understand the situation. Get tough.

Start a witch hunt for spies.

Finally, if an American company has IP stolen then fine that company heavily, if necessary imprison the directors for repeated offences. Advertise on television awareness of spying. Make air spacing mandatory. Stop use of USB flash memory, period.



That will do for a start.
A doctor knows a little about a lot. A specialist knows a lot about a little. In time the doctor knows less and less about more and more and the specialist knows more and more about less and less until ultimately the doctor knows nothing about everything and the specialist knows everything about nothing.

#80 JackD

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Posted 29 September 2018 - 10:41 AM

"That will do for a start." Do you think corporate America will sign on to eliminating its China market, and if it doesn't, do you think Republicans would go ahead with the program anyway? I understand that I asked if it was feasible, not if it was likely. I'm changing the question.





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