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Hillary Clinton: her part in her downfall (book review of How I Lost By Hillary Clinton annotated by Joe Lauria)

Hillary Clinton’s defeat in the US Presidential election was the result of the fundamental political and character flaws set out in painstaking detail in Hillary Clinton’s own words in How I Lost By Hillary Clinton, annotated and introduced by Joe Lauria.

Alexander Mercouris

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The single biggest mystery of the 2016 election is why anyone was surprised that Hillary Clinton lost.

Even from faraway London it was obvious to me that she was a terrible candidate who the American people didn’t like and didn’t trust but who the US political elite – which in this context also means the US media – was trying to force on the American people against their wishes.

Unsurprisingly this provoked a reaction, which is why Hillary Clinton lost.

There is no reason to introduce meddling by Russia or the ham fisted and misunderstood interventions of James Comey to explain this.

A book – How I Lost By Hillary Clinton – with a foreword by Julian Assange and introduced and annotated by Joe Lauria (a contributor to The Duran) sets this all out in a way that makes it all perfectly clear.

What makes this book so compelling – and in my opinion what makes it the single best and most interesting book that has so far appeared about the 2016 election – is that explains the phenomenon of Hillary Clinton in her own words.  What Joe Lauria has done is provide selections of things actually said by Hillary Clinton and her associates which make it completely obvious why the American people don’t trust or like her.

The Hillary Clinton who emerges from the pages of this book is a fascinating person.

Firstly it should be said that Hillary Clinton undoubtedly does possess to a very high degree many of the qualities required by a successful politician.  She is tough, extremely clever, and worldly.  However this goes along with being cynical, money oriented to an extreme, and to being manipulative with an overwhelming sense of entitlement.

The single quality which however comes out most strongly of all is however the extraordinary extent of Hillary Clinton’s self-identification as a member of the US elite, and her political identification with the causes of that US elite, especially the financial elite concentrated on Wall Street, and the foreign policy and security elite of the US government in Langley and Foggy Bottom, which she appears to see as her key political constituencies.

The result is that though Hillary Clinton pitches herself as a progressive politician I struggle to find anything in the book which marks her out as genuinely progressive.

On the two central issues which most concern most Americans – the overwhelming power of the US’s financial services industry with the distorting effect this is having on the US economy and on US society, and the US’s hyper-aggressive post-Cold War foreign policy, which has resulted in working class Americans being forced into fighting foreign wars of no fundamental concern or interest to the US – she straightforwardly supports the elite view and the status quo.

Moreover what is even more troubling is that reading Hillary Clinton’s words I for one get the strong impression of someone who holds to these positions not out of any deep sense of conviction but because she thinks that is where power in the US lies, and she wants to align herself with it.

Perhaps in some part of Hillary Clinton’s past there was a person who was a genuine progressive who had the belief that if she played along with the elite they would let her do some progressive things for the actual benefit of the mass of Americans.  If that person ever existed she does so no longer as Hillary Clinton today has come straightforwardly not only to identify with the elite but to claim to be one of them.

This attitude goes hand in hand with strong habits of secrecy and duplicity.

The two of course go together.  It is understandable that Hillary Clinton does not want the great mass of Americans to know what she says in confidential highly paid speeches to the her wealthy friends – the bankers of Goldman Sachs – or what the Clinton Foundation gets up to.

As to the latter, as Joe Lauria says it is difficult to put a finger on any actual wrongdoing involving it, but in a sense the mere fact that immense sums of money are being paid into it by all sorts of wealthy and powerful people from around the world speaks for itself.

Whilst on the subject of the Clinton Foundation I would add that the media’s indifference to its activities – of which voluminous public records exist – contrasts strangely with the media’s obsessive interest in Donald Trump’s businesses and his supposed financial dependence on the Russians for which no evidence exists.

Some politicians have the sort of outgoing confident personality and charm that would enable them to pull of the trick of having a double persona of a progressive populist and of being a self-identifying elitist at one and the same time.  Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton’s husband, is a case in point.

Hillary Clinton however is emphatically not such a person.  Though the book shows that she does have a sense of humour, it comes across as confiding, of the sort which makes jokes to be shared between friends.  About herself Hillary Clinton far from being confident comes across instead as prickly and defensive.

This leads into one of Hillary Clinton’s most unpleasant characteristics, her habit of blaming everyone but herself when things go wrong.

The result is that she is emphatically not a graceful or a good loser.  One of the revelations of the book is that she only conceded to Donald Trump on election night when President Obama told her to do so.

This inability to accept blame or take criticism goes had in hand with an unpleasant victim complex which draws heavily on the growing distance between herself – the self-identifying elitist – and the American people.

If the American people do not vote for her in Hillary Clinton’s mind it is because they are too stupid, too uneducated, too manipulated, and too prejudiced against her to do so.

During the election some of thos spilled out – as in her now notorious “deplorables” comment (quoted fully in the book) – and it was probably the single thing which more than anything other lost her the election.  By contrast Donald Trump, for all his gargantuan flaws, comes across as liking Americans and being at ease amongst them.

The book incidentally settles the mystery – at least for me – of why as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton broke both protocol and the law by using a private server for her work emails.

Such a secretive and insecure personality would be scarcely likely to do anything else.  That would be so regardless of whether she did it in order to conceal activities involving the Clinton Foundation.

As to that, I know that is what many people believe.  There is no evidence for it.  However if it is what many people believe then because of her conduct Hillary Clinton has no one but herself to blame for it.

During the election the vast majority of the American people would not have been familiar with the details of the things which appear in Joe Lauria’s book.

However Hillary Clinton has been an important figure in US national life since her husband stood for and won the Presidency in 1992.  By the time of the election in 2016 the American people would have come to know her well.  The fact that by the time the election came round they had long since decided that they didn’t like her, in light of her personality which comes across so strongly in the book, is completely unsurprising.

This also makes it totally unsurprising that she lost the election.

Realistically Hillary Clinton’s best chance of winning the election would have been against a Republican opponent who was drawn from the elite like herself.  Against someone like Donald Trump – who played brilliantly on the fact that he was an outsider because he actually is one – she found herself in serious trouble.

If there is nothing at all surprising about the fact that Hillary Clinton lost the election, another puzzle of the 2016 election is why the Democratic Party nominated her as its candidate in the first place.

Even if Bernie Sanders was possibly perceived as too radical by some in the Democratic Party to be the party’s candidate in the election, there were surely other prominent Democrats – such as possibly Obama’s Vice President Joe Biden – who would have filled the role better of Democratic challenger better.  Indeed Biden is now said to be bitter that he did not stand, saying that if he had been the Democratic Party’s candidate for the Presidency he would have won.

The answer to this puzzle also be found in Joe Lauria’s book: Hillary Clinton became the Democratic Party’s candidate for the Presidency because she inherited the mighty political machine created by her husband when he was President, and which has if anything continued to grow in strength since.

The US political system and the Democratic Party especially have always been exceptionally susceptible to manipulation by political machines (think of Tammany Hall or the Richard Daley machine in Chicago) but it is questionable if a political machine as mighty as the one Bill Clinton has created has ever existed before.  Like all political machines it brings together disparate groups – including Wall Street financiers, the Congressional black caucus, many of the leading voices in the LGBT community, prominent US intellectuals etc – but is ultimately cemented together by patronage.

The traces of this machine, and the ruthless way it imposed Hillary Clinton on the Democratic Party, are there throughout Joe Lauria’s book, as in the rigging of the Democratic primaries to freeze out Bernie Sanders, and the inside management of the media to bury stories deemed damaging to Hillary Clinton.

The mere fact that this political machine had settled on Hillary Clinton as its candidate was enough to deter other potential heavyweight Democratic challengers such as Joe Biden from standing, leaving it to Bernie Sanders to run against Hillary Clinton on his own.

The great problem is that this political machine is now become so powerful within the Democratic Party that to all intents and purposes it now is the Democratic Party.  In light of that the party’s dismal record in recent elections is completely unsurprising.  In that respect, as in so many others, Bill and Hillary Clinton cast a long shadow.

In my opinion the single most important individual in US politics over the last year continues to be Hillary Clinton rather than Donald Trump.

It is Hillary Clinton’s obsessions and frustrations – and the paranoid conspiracy thinking she has fostered – which continues to dominate US politics even as Hillary Clinton herself slips off the political stage.

Given that this is likely to remain the case for some time, Joe Lauria’s book is indispensable reading for anyone interested in understanding this phenomenon.

In that respect it could be the single most enlightening book about US politics today.

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While US seeks to up the ante on pressure on the DPRK, Russia proposes easing sanctions

These proposals show the dichotomy between the philosophy of US and Russian foreign policy

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The United States last week accused the DPRK of violating refined petroleum caps imposed as a part of UN nuclear sanctions dating back to 2006, and is therefore submitting a proposal to cut all petroleum product sales to North Korea.

The Trump administration is keen on not only preserving pressure on North Korea over its nuclear arms development, but in increasing that pressure even as DPRK Chairman, Kim Jong-Un, is serially meeting with world leaders in a bid to secure North Korea’s security and potential nuclear disarmament, a major move that could deescalate tensions in the region, end the war with the South, and ease global apprehensions about the North’s nuclear arsenal.

Meanwhile, Russia is proposing to the UNSC sanctions relief in some form due to the North’s expressed commitment to nuclear disarmament in the light of recent developments.

Reuters reports:

MOSCOW/UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Russia’s envoy to North Korea said on Wednesday it would be logical to raise the question of easing sanctions on North Korea with the United Nations Security Council, as the United States pushes for a halt to refined petroleum exports to Pyongyang.

“The positive change on the Korean peninsula is now obvious,” said the ambassador, Alexander Matsegora, according to the RIA news agency, adding that Russia was ready to help modernize North Korea’s energy system if sanctions were lifted and if Pyongyang can find funding for the modernization.

The U.N. Security Council has unanimously boosted sanctions on North Korea since 2006 in a bid to choke off funding for Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs, banning exports including coal, iron, lead, textiles and seafood, and capping imports of crude oil and refined petroleum products.

China tried late last month to get the Security Council to issue a statement praising the June 12 Singapore meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and expressing its “willingness to adjust the measures on the DPRK in light of the DPRK’s compliance with the resolutions.”

North Korea’s official name is Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

But the United States blocked the statement on June 28 given “ongoing and very sensitive talks between the United States and the DPRK at this time,” diplomats said. The same day, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi about the importance of sanctions enforcement.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is due to informally brief U.N. Security Council envoys along with South Korea and Japan on Friday.

Diplomats say they expect Pompeo to stress the need to maintain pressure on North Korea during his briefing on Friday.

In a tweet on Wednesday Trump said he elicited a promise from Russian President Vladimir Putin to help negotiate with North Korea but did not say how. He also said: “There is no rush, the sanctions remain!”

The United States accused North Korea last week of breaching a U.N. sanctions cap on refined petroleum by making illicit transfers between ships at sea and demanded an immediate end to all sales of the fuel.

The United States submitted the complaint to the U.N. Security Council North Korea sanctions committee, which is due to decide by Thursday whether it will tell all U.N. member states to halt all transfers of refined petroleum to Pyongyang.

Such decisions are made by consensus and some diplomats said they expected China or Russia to delay or block the move.

When asked on June 13 about whether sanctions should be loosened, Russian U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said: “We should be thinking about steps in that direction because inevitably there is progress on the track that should be reciprocal, that should be a two-way street. The other side should see encouragement to go forward.”

The proposals of both the United States and Russia are likely to be vetoed by each other, resulting no real changes, but what it displays is the foreign policy positions of both nuclear powers towards the relative position of the DPRK and its rhetorical move towards denuclearization. The US demonstrates that its campaign of increased pressure on the North is necessary to accomplishing the goal of a denuclearized Korean peninsula, while Russia’s philosophy on the matter is to show a mutual willingness to follow through on verbal commitment with a real show of action towards an improved relationship, mirroring on the ground what is happening in politics.

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Europe divided over possible trade compromise with Trump

Even if a European proposal could score a trade cease fire, the war isn’t over

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US President Donald Trump has just lectured NATO on it member’s commitment performance and held a controversial meeting with the Russian President Vladimir Putin and is next week to receive EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, with trade matters being high up on the agenda.

Juncker is expected to present Trump with a package of proposals to help smooth relations and potentially heal areas of division, particularly those surrounding Europe’s trade relationship with America. Those proposals are precisely what is cropping up as another area of divergence between some members of the EU, specifically France and Germany, just after a major contention on migration has been driving discord within the Union.

This gets down to whether Europe should offer concessions to Trump on trade while Trump is admittedly describing the Union as a ‘foe’ and has initiated a trade spat with the Union by assessing trade tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Europe, spurring retaliatory tariff measures from the EU Commission.

France, specifically, is opposed to any sort of compromise with Trump on the matter, where Trump is perceived as an opponent to the Union and its unity, whereas Germany is economically motivated to seek an end to the trade dispute under the threat of a new round of tariffs emanating from the Trump administration, and is therefore seeking to find some sort of proposal that Trump will accept and therefore back down on his protectionism against the EU, and Germany in particular.

Politico reports:

Only a week before European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker flies to Washington, France and Germany are divided over how much he should offer to U.S. President Donald Trump to end a deepening trade war, say European diplomats and officials.

But, they add, Germany has the upper hand. Berlin is shaping Juncker’s agenda, suggesting three offers that he could take to Trump on July 25 to resolve the dispute, according to people familiar with the plans.

The French are uneasy about the wisdom of such a conciliatory approach, however, and publicly accuse Trump of seeking to splinter and weaken the 28-member bloc, which he has called his “foe.”

Despite Paris’ reservations about giving away too much to the increasingly hostile U.S. president, the diplomats say that the European Commission’s powerful Secretary-General Martin Selmayr supports the German attempt at rapprochement, which makes it more likely that Juncker will offer some kind of trade fix next week.

“It’s clear that Juncker can’t go to Washington empty-handed,” one diplomat said. He stressed that Juncker’s proposals would be a political signal to Washington and would not be the formal beginning of negotiations, which would have to be approved by EU countries.

European ambassadors will meet on Wednesday to discuss the scope of Juncker’s offer — and indeed whether any offers should be made at all. France’s official position is that Europe must not strike any deal with a gun to its head, or with any country that has opted out of the Paris climate accord, as Trump’s America has done.

While Berlin is terrified by the prospect of 20 percent tariffs on cars and is desperate for a ceasefire deal, France has more fundamental suspicions that the time for compromise is over and that Trump simply wants to destroy EU unity. Paris is concerned that Trump’s next target is its sacred farm sector and is putting more emphasis on the importance of preserving a united political front against Washington.

Two diplomats said Berlin has a broad menu of offers that should be made to Trump: a bilateral deal to cut industrial tariffs, a plurilateral agreement to eliminate car duties worldwide, and a bigger transatlantic trade agreement including regulatory cooperation that potentially also comes with talks on increasing U.S. beef exports into Europe.

Making such generous offers is contentious when Trump crystallized his trade position toward Brussels on CBS news on Sunday: “I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade. Now, you wouldn’t think of the European Union, but they’re a foe.”

This undiplomatic bombshell came not long after he reportedly advised French President Emmanuel Macron to quit the EU to get a better trade deal than he was willing to offer the EU28.

In announcing Juncker’s visit on Tuesday, the White House said that he and Trump “will focus on improving transatlantic trade and forging a stronger economic partnership.”

Talking to the enemy

Diplomats note that a French-led camp in Brussels reckons Trump’s goals are strategic, and that he’s not after the sort of deal Germany is offering.

A French government official said that Washington quite simply wants to shift the EU off the stage: “Trump’s objective is that there are two big blocs: The United States and China. A multipower world with Europe as a strong player does not fit in.”

France’s Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire this month also issued a stark warning that Trump is seeking to drive a wedge between France and Germany — courting Paris, while simultaneously attacking Berlin’s trade surplus with the U.S. “In this globalized world, European countries must form a bloc, because what our partners or adversaries want is to divide us,” Le Maire said at an economic conference in Aix-en-Provence. “What the United States want, that’s to divide France and Germany.”

Despite these remarks from Le Maire, Anthony Gardner, former ambassador to the EU under the Barack Obama administration, said that he suspects the full magnitude of the threat has not sunk in. “Europe wake up; the U.S. wants to break up the EU,” he tweeted on Sunday. “Remember Belgium’s motto: L’union fait la force. [Unity creates strength]. Especially on trade. No side deals.”

One EU diplomat insisted that Brussels is not blind to these dangers in the run-up to Juncker’s visit.

Trump thinks that Europe is “too big to be controllable by DC, so it’s bad for America. Simple logic. And therefore the only deal that will bring the president to stop the trade war is the deal that breaks up the European market. I don’t quite think that’s the legacy Juncker is aiming for,” the diplomat said.

Europe is source of a deep frustration for Trump, as it runs a massive goods surplus with the U.S., at $147 billion in 2016. In particular, the U.S. president blames Germany’s mighty car exporters for this imbalance.

Leveling the field is not easy, however. With its market of 510 million consumers, Europe not only has the clout to stand up to the United States, but is increasingly setting global standards — particularly on food. This not only limits U.S. exports in Europe but also means that the European model is used in a broader trading ecosystem that includes Canada, Mexico and Japan.

New world order

Marietje Schaake, a liberal Dutch member of the European Parliament, observed that the U.S. trade strategy meshed with Trump’s political agenda.

“You could say there’s a new transatlantic relation emerging, of nationalists, populists and protectionists,” she said, pointing out that Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin has cast doubt on America’s commitment to supporting European security.

Trump’s opposition to the EU partly builds on an long-standing American discomfort about the EU’s economic policies.

“We already saw problems during the negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, where the U.S. didn’t like EU demands such as on geographical indications [food name protections], and certainly didn’t like that we had ambitious requests in areas like public procurement,” said Pascal Kerneis, managing director of the European Services Forum and a member of the now defunct TTIP advisory group.

Kerneis said that Trump’s trade attacks are shifting the tensions to a completely new level: “He’s attacking on all fronts, hoping to break our unity, particularly between Germany and France.”

France particularly fears that Trump’s duties on Spanish olives could only be the first salvo on Europe’s whole system of farm subsidies.

EU lawmaker Schaake said that France is right to worry about a conflagration. “Once we give in in one area, he will attack at the next one,” she said. “If we allow Trump to play Europeans against each other, sector by sector, it will be a losing game.”

Even if Europe goes about capitulating to Trump’s gripes about the Union, whether it gets back to NATO defense spending or the trade deficit, the question remains whether this will satiate Trump’s political appetite and result in an improved trade perspective and politically acceptable position with Washington, and France’s concern that the matter runs deeper and has a foreign policy agenda behind it, and that caving to Trump’s pressure will only end in defeat for the EU would therefore appear reasonable.

But Germany is staring down the barrel of a possible new round of tariffs that would hurt some of their largest industries and is therefore under a lot of pressure to find a solution, or at least some sort of agreement that could deescalate the situation.

However, Germany’s recent record of resolving international issues is such that Germany is really only scoring cease fire agreements, rather than ending the real political conflicts, referring mainly to the immigration issue which recently resulted only in diffusing some inter Union tensions, but without resolving the problem itself.

In this context, Germany could promise the moon and stars to Trump, possibly avert further trade tensions, but yet fail to address the core political and trade conflicts that have already broken out. Essentially, then, such a compromise would only serve to function as damage control, while leaving Germany and the Union at a further disadvantaged political position relative to the States at the political table.

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EU and Japan ink free trade deal representing over 30% of global GDP

The free trade agreement represents a victory for free trade in the face of growing protectionism

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In a bid to preserve free trade and strengthen their trade partnership, the European Union and Japan have finished a free trade zone agreement that has been sitting in the pipeline for years.

The present global economic outlook provided the needed spur to action to get the ball rolling again and now it has finally reached the end zone and scored another point for free and open trade against the growing influence of protectionism, which has been creeping up with alarming rapidity and far reaching consequences in recent months.

Under the deal, Japan will scrap tariffs on some 94% of goods imported from Europe and the EU in turn is canning 99% of tariffs on Japanese goods.

Between the European Union and Japan, the trade deal impacts about 37% of the world’s GDP, making it one of the largest and impactful of such agreements.

The Japan Times reports:

Top European Union leaders and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signed an economic partnership agreement Tuesday in Tokyo, a pact that will create a massive free trade zone accounting for 37 percent of the world’s trade by value.

European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker hastily arranged their visit to Tokyo after Abe was forced to abruptly cancel plans to attend a July 11 signing ceremony in Brussels in the aftermath of flooding and mudslides in western Japan.

Japanese officials said the signing is particularly important to counter intensifying protectionism worldwide triggered by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Negotiations on the pact between Japan and the EU, which started in 2013, had stagnated for a time but regained momentum after Trump took office in January 2017.

“We are sending a clear message that we stand together against protectionism,” Tusk said at a joint news conference with Abe after they signed the agreement.

“The relationship between the EU and Japan has never been stronger. Geographically we are far apart, but politically and economically we could be hardly any closer,” Tusk said. “I’m proud today we are taking our strategic partnership to a new level.”

Tusk stressed that the EU and Japan are partners sharing the same basic values, such as liberal democracy, human rights and rule-based order.

Abe also emphasized the importance of free and fair trade.

“Right now, concerns are rising over protectionism all around the world. We are sending out a message emphasizing the importance of a trade system based on free and fair rules,” he said.

The pact will create a free trade bloc accounting for roughly 30 percent of the world’s gross domestic product. Japan and the EU hope to have the agreement, which still needs to be ratified by both parties, come into force by March.

Under the EPA, tariffs on about 99 percent of Japan’s exported goods to the EU will eventually be eliminated, while duties on 94 percent of EU’s exported items to Japan will be abolished, according to the Foreign Ministry.

The EPA will eliminate duties of 10 percent on Japan’s auto exports to the EU seven years after the pact takes effect. The current 15 percent duties on wine imports from the EU will be eliminated immediately, while those on cheese, pork and beef will be sharply cut.

In total, the EPA will push up domestic GDP by 1 percent, or ¥5 trillion a year, and create 290,000 new jobs nationwide, according to the government.

“The world is now facing raging waves of protectionism. So the signing ceremony at this time is particularly meaningful,” a senior Foreign Ministry official said earlier this month on condition of anonymity.

“The impact for Japan is big,” the official said.

Fukunari Kimura, an economics professor at Keio University, said the EU is now trying to accelerate the ratification process.

“This is a repercussion of President Trump’s policies. They will try to ratify it before Brexit in March of next year,” he said in an interview with The Japan Times last week.

But the deal has raised concerns among some domestic farmers, in particular those from Hokkaido, the country’s major dairy producer.

According to an estimate by the Hokkaido Prefectural Government, the EPA will cut national production in the agriculture, fishery and forestry industries by up to ¥114.3 billion a year, with Hokkaido accounting for 34 percent of the predicted losses.

“The sustainable development of the prefecture’s agriculture, forestry and fisheries industries is our top priority. We need to make efforts to raise our international competitiveness,” Hokkaido Gov. Harumi Takahashi said during a news conference July 10.

Japan and the EU had reached a basic agreement on the EPA in December.

Tokyo also led negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact after Trump withdrew the U.S. from the deal in January 2017.

In March, 11 countries including Japan signed the so-called TPP11, or a revised TPP pact that does not include the U.S.

“The Japan-EU EPA is another important step for Japan to strengthen its trade relationship with key trading partners, and demonstrate that trade liberalization is alive and well, even if the United States is taking a different stance,” wrote Wendy Cutler, a former acting deputy U.S. Trade Representative, in an email sent to The Japan Times last week.

“The EU deal also reduces Japanese dependence on the U.S. market and thus increases its leverage to resist unreasonable trade demands by the United States,” she wrote.

According to the Foreign Ministry, the EU, which accounts for 22 percent of the world’s GDP, was the destination for 11.4 percent of Japanese exports in 2016. In the same year, the figure for the U.S. was 20.2 percent and 17.7 percent for China.

In 2016, Japan’s exports to the EU totaled ¥8 trillion, while reciprocal trade was ¥8.2 trillion.

The deal provides tariff relief for both parties and can improve the quantity of trade between them, expand the economy and create many jobs. It also helps to further diversify their trade portfolios in order to mitigate the prospect of a single global trade partner wielding too much influence, which in turn provides a certain amount of cover from any adverse actions or demands from a single actor. In this way, current trade dependencies can be reduced and free and diversified trade is further bolstered.

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