Månad: januari 2017 Sida 1 av 2

Donald Tusk: United we stand, divided we fall

Här är Europeiska rådets  ordförande Donald Tusks brev till EU:s stats- och regeringschefer. Värt att läsas i sin helhet:

Dear colleagues,

In order to best prepare our discussion in Malta about the future of the European Union of 27 member states, and in light of the conversations I have had with some of you, let me put forward a few reflections that I believe most of us share.

The challenges currently facing the European Union are more dangerous than ever before in the time since the signature of the Treaty of Rome. Today we are dealing with three threats, which have previously not occurred, at least not on such a scale.

The first threat, an external one, is related to the new geopolitical situation in the world and around Europe. An increasingly, let us call it, assertive China, especially on the seas, Russia’s aggressive policy towards Ukraine and its neighbours, wars, terror and anarchy in the Middle East and in Africa, with radical Islam playing a major role, as well as worrying declarations by the new American administration all make our future highly unpredictable. For the first time in our history, in an increasingly multipolar external world, so many are becoming openly anti-European, or Eurosceptic at best. Particularly the change in Washington puts the European Union in a difficult situation; with the new administration seeming to put into question the last 70 years of American foreign policy.

The second threat, an internal one, is connected with the rise in anti-EU, nationalist, increasingly xenophobic sentiment in the EU itself. National egoism is also becoming an attractive alternative to integration. In addition, centrifugal tendencies feed on mistakes made by those, for whom ideology and institutions have become more important than the interests and emotions of the people.

The third threat is the state of mind of the pro-European elites. A decline of faith in political integration, submission to populist arguments as well as doubt in the fundamental values of liberal democracy are all increasingly visible.

In a world full of tension and confrontation, what is needed is courage, determination and political solidarity of Europeans. Without them we will not survive. If we do not believe in ourselves, in the deeper purpose of integration, why should anyone else? In Rome we should renew this declaration of faith. In today’s world of states-continents with hundreds of millions of inhabitants, European countries taken separately have little weight. But the EU has demographic and economic potential, which makes it a partner equal to the largest powers. For this reason, the most important signal that should come out of Rome is that of readiness of the 27 to be united. A signal that we not only must, but we want to be united.

Let us show our European pride. If we pretend we cannot hear the words and we do not notice the decisions aimed against the EU and our future, people will stop treating Europe as their wider homeland. Equally dangerously, global partners will cease to respect us. Objectively speaking, there is no reason why Europe and its leaders should pander to external powers and their rulers. I know that in politics, the argument of dignity must not be overused, as it often leads to conflict and negative emotions. But today we must stand up very clearly for our dignity, the dignity of a united Europe – regardless of whether we are talking to Russia, China, the US or Turkey. Therefore, let us have the courage to be proud of our own achievements, which have made our continent the best place on Earth. Let us have the courage to oppose the rhetoric of demagogues, who claim that European integration is beneficial only to the elites, that ordinary people have only suffered as its result, and that countries will cope better on their own, rather than together.

We must look to the future – this was your most frequent request in our consultations over the past months. And there is no doubt about it. But we should never, under any circumstances, forget about the most important reasons why 60 years ago we decided to unite Europe. We often hear the argument that the memory of the past tragedies of a divided Europe is no longer an argument, that new generations do not remember the sources of our inspiration. But amnesia does not invalidate these inspirations, nor does it relieve us of our duty to continuously recall the tragic lessons of a divided Europe. In Rome, we should strongly reiterate these two basic, yet forgotten, truths: firstly, we have united in order to avoid another historic catastrophe, and secondly, that the times of European unity have been the best times in all of Europe’s centuries-long history. It must be made crystal clear that the disintegration of the European Union will not lead to the restoration of some mythical, full sovereignty of its member states, but to their real and factual dependence on the great superpowers: the United States, Russia and China. Only together can we be fully independent.

We must therefore take assertive and spectacular steps that would change the collective emotions and revive the aspiration to raise European integration to the next level. In order to do this, we must restore the sense of external and internal security as well as socio-economic welfare for European citizens. This requires a definitive reinforcement of the EU external borders; improved cooperation of services responsible for combating terrorism and protecting order and peace within the border-free area; an increase in defence spending; strengthening the foreign policy of the EU as a whole as well as better coordinating individual member states’ foreign policies; and last but not least fostering investment, social inclusion, growth, employment, reaping the benefits of technological change and convergence in both the euro area and the whole of Europe.

We should use the change in the trade strategy of the US to the EU’s advantage by intensifying our talks with interested partners, while defending our interests at the same time. The European Union should not abandon its role as a trade superpower which is open to others, while protecting its own citizens and businesses, and remembering that free trade means fair trade. We should also firmly defend the international order based on the rule of law. We cannot surrender to those who want to weaken or invalidate the Transatlantic bond, without which global order and peace cannot survive. We should remind our American friends of their own motto: United we stand, divided we fall.

Länk till brevet: United we stand, divided we fall.

Foreign Affairs: The Jacksonian Revolt

Walter Russell Mead i Foreign Affairs:

The challenge for international politics in the days ahead is therefore less to complete the task of liberal world order building along conventional lines than to find a way to stop the liberal order’s erosion and reground the global system on a more sustainable basis. International order needs to rest not just on elite consensus and balances of power and policy but also on the free choices of national communities—communities that need to feel protected from the outside world as much as they want to benefit from engaging with it.

Läs hela essän här: The Jacksonian Revolt.

Charlie Rose: Intervju med Michael Froman

Michael Froman, tidigare handelsrepresentant för USA under Obama administrationen, intervjuas av Charlie Rose om Trump administrationens handelspolitik.

Ett klipp ur intervjun:

 

Se hela intervjun här (ca 20 min): Michael Froman.

 

George Will: The Real Cost of Protectionism

Kolumn från George Will om protektionism:

Reactionary liberalism has long held, and today’s faux conservatism agrees, that existing jobs should be protected by policies that reduce the economic dynamism that threatens those jobs. Such protection means a net decrease in jobs but an increase in the self-esteem of blinkered protectionists who see the jobs “saved” but not those that, as a result of lost dynamism, are lost or never created.

Läs hela kolumnen här: The Real Cost of Protectionism.

Lawfare Blog: National Security Presidential Memorandum 2—President Trump’s NSC and HSC

Lawfarebloggen har analyserat National Security Presidential Memorandum 2, ett dokument som presenterar hur National Security Council (NSC) och Homeland Security Council (HSC) ska organiseras under Trump administrationen. Mest noterbart från NSPM-2 är att president Trumps chefsstrateg Steve Bannon får en permanent plats i den s k Principals Committee. Det här förstärker i min mening inte bara den politiska men framför allt ideologiska dimensionen av säkerhetspolitiskt beslutsfattande i den nya administrationen, vilket inte är positivt ur vår synvinkel.

Ett texturval:

The President’s Chief Strategist (Steve Bannon) is invited to attend all NSC meetings and will be a regular member of the Principals Committee (on par with the Secretaries of State, Defense, Homeland Security, and Treasury). This is unusual; the NSC function usually does not include participants from the political side of the White House. In the Bush Administration, Karl Rove would not attend NSC meetings. According to former Chief of Staff Josh Bolten, President Bush did not want to appear, especially to the military, to insert domestic politics into national security decisionmaking.

Läs hela analysen här: National Security Presidential Memorandum 2—President Trump’s NSC and HSC.

Associated Press: Diplomatic debut: Trump makes uneven entry onto world stage

Associated Press har publicerat en artikel som ger den mest insiktsfulla bilden hittills sedan Donald Trump installerades som president om hur beslut fattats m.m. kring utrikespolitik i den nya administrationen. Ett par noteringar: (1) Taktiken att göra ett utspel och sedan tona ned det om det möter motstånd (2) Jared Kushner och Steve Bannon har stort inflytande på utrikespolitiken (3) Säkerhetsrådgivare Mike Flynn verkar i sin tur inte ha särskilt mycket inflytande.

Ett texturval:

The episode, an uneven diplomatic debut, revealed the earliest signs of how the new president plans to manage world affairs. In a matter of days, he both alarmed and reassured international partners. He picked fights, then quickly backed away from them. He talked tough, and toned it down. And at each step, Trump relied on the small clutch of advisers that guided his norm-breaking campaign, a group with scant foreign policy experience but the trust of the president.

Much of the foreign policy decision-making has rested with Kushner and Steve Bannon, the conservative media executive turned White House adviser, according to administration officials and diplomats. Rex Tillerson, his nominee for secretary of state, is still awaiting confirmation. Officials at the National Security Council, an agency Trump has described as bloated, are still seeking marching orders from the new administration.

Läs hela artikeln här: Diplomatic debut: Trump makes uneven entry onto world stage.

The Economist: The retreat of the global company

Senaste briefing i The Economist handlar om framtiden för multinationella företag.

Ett texturval:

Individual bosses will often blame one-off factors: currency moves, the collapse of Venezuela, a depression in Europe, a crackdown on graft in China, and so on. But the deeper explanation is that both the advantages of scale and those of arbitrage have worn away. Global firms have big overheads; complex supply chains tie up inventory; sprawling organisations are hard to run. Some arbitrage opportunities have been exhausted; wages have risen in China; and most firms have massaged their tax bills as low as they can go. The free flow of information means that competitors can catch up with leads in technology and know-how more easily than they used to.

As a result firms with a domestic focus are winning market share. In Brazil two local banks, Itaú and Bradesco, have trounced global lenders. In India Vodafone, a Western mobile-phone operator and Bharti Airtel, an Indian multinational active in 20 countries, are losing customers to Reliance, a domestic firm. In America shale firms stole a march on the global oil majors. In China local dumpling brands are eating into KFC’s sales. A blend of measures for listed firms shows that multinationals’ share of global profits, 35% a decade ago, is now only 30%.

Läs hela briefingen här: The retreat of the global company.

Van Jones: What coal country expects from Donald Trump

Ett kort men mycket djupt inslag med CNN:s Van Jones där han talar med en grupp väljare från West Virginia om vad de förväntar sig från president Trump. Det som slår mig mest är det som Van Jones själv påpekar, att dessa människor inte är de karikatyrer som ibland uppmålas, utan deras beslut att rösta på Trump var komplext och sofistikerat.

Iran-Pakistan-Kina?

Det här är en intressant artikel i Asia Times. Kan notera att en sådan triangeln skulle ha stora implikationer för situationen i och kring Afghanistan.

Ett texturval:

However, Broujerdi’s next remark, namely, that Iran, China and Pakistan ‘should form a triangle of cooperation which will benefit the three important countries of the region’ certainly is a matter of utmost interest to India and it can possibly be viewed as a significant development in the geopolitics of India’s western neighbourhood.

This may well be the first time that an authoritative voice in the Iranian regime has openly articulated on the imperative of ‘a triangle of cooperation’ between Iran, Pakistan and China as a factor of regional stability.

Läs hela artikeln här: Iran seeks strategic depth in Pakistan.

Peterson Institute: The Mexican Border Tax: Will It Backfire?

Här är en analys från Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) om Trump administrationens skatteutspel:

But first Congress would have to approve this tax, whether applied across the board to all US imports or to Mexican imports alone. Lawmakers are likely to look at how it would affect their constituents, and the picture might not look pretty to them. For example, it is unclear who would actually “pay” the tax. That would depend on whether the tax comes out of the profits of Mexican exporters, or whether it raises the cost of Mexican products (from avocados to tequila) purchased by US consumers, or increases production costs of automobiles and other goods made by US producers who may or may not be able to pass the added cost on to their customers in the form of higher prices. Suffice it to say, some or most of the cost is likely to come out of the pockets of US taxpayers!

Imposition of such a sizeable border tax would constitute the beginning and ending salvos of a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The disruption to production and trade would be so large that it would precipitate the collapse of the NAFTA. The proposed tax would be more than three times higher than US duties applied against Mexican goods before NAFTA was negotiated in the early 1990s. The tax would violate US obligations under the NAFTA and the World Trade Organization and trigger immediate Mexican countermeasures against US exports.

Läs hela analysen här: The Mexican Border Tax: Will It Backfire?

Tips: Uttalande från Senator John McCain angående Nafta.

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