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'Modern Piracy': Germany Joins France & Canada In Accusing Trump Of Stealing Masks

Berlin slams “Wild West methods” after “confiscations” of virus protective gear shipments out of China.

On Friday Germany lashed at the United States for what one top lawmaker in Berlin called “an act of modern piracy” after US authorities “confiscated” a Chinese-manufactured shipment of 200,000 protective masks after they arrived at a port in Thailand while en route to Germany.

In an amazing irony, the masks had actually been purchased by the German government from an American company — though manufactured in China — and yet the US still intercepted them at a moment Trump has warned US companies with factories in China they’ll “have a big price to pay” if they don’t increase supply to the US.

By the end of the week in total three US allies accused Washington of theft over intercepts and seizures of supplies being shipped out of China, namely Canada, France and Germany.

Berlin Interior Minister Andreas Geisel stated bluntly of Washington’s brazen move: “Even in times of global crisis, we should not be ruled by Wild West methods,” according to Deutsche Welle. The German newspaper explained further:

The state of Berlin had ordered FFP2-class respirators for Berlin police officers, who continue to operate during the crisis.

The chairman of the SPD parliamentary group, Rolf Mützenich, said the confiscation was “illegal” and called for the incident to be clarified.

Interestingly, this whole episode underscores just how desperately strained the US health system is becoming under the COVID-19 panemic, considering the unprecedented lengths the US administration is willing to go, essentially resorting to “piracy” – as Germany put it.

Canada on Thursday also lashed out after US authorities apparently muscled their way into redirecting a protective gear shipment intended for America’s northern neighbor. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was “concerned” over reports that a crucial major shipment was depleted after “a higher bidder” took advantage of the situation. “We understand that the needs in the US are very extensive, but it’s the same in Canada, so we have to work together,” Trudeau said.

The same allegation was made by French officials. “The leader of the Ile-de-France region, which includes Paris, accused unidentified Americans of swooping in with cash at the last minute to secure shipments already promised to French buyers,” AFP reported.

Valerie Pecresse, government minister over France’s most populous region, said that Washington is “just looking to do business on the back of the whole world’s distress,” in a television interview. Other French ministers reported similar experiences when trying to procure emergency protective gear.

As a planeload of masks was loaded up and prepared for departure from Shanghai to France this week, American buyers turned up on the tarmac at the last minute to purchase the shipment for three times its value. “A French order was bought out with cash by Americans on the tarmac, and the plane that was to fly to France took off for the US instead,” Rénaud Muselier, the head of the southeastern Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region told RT France on Wednesday. 

The US side, meanwhile, has vehemently denied the allegations. “The United States government has not purchased any masks intended for delivery from China to France,” a senior Trump administration official told AFP. “Reports to the contrary are completely false.”

However, it’s highly unusual if not unheard of that three close US allies at the same time would come forward to accuse the US of ‘theft’ and even “piracy” — and further of bullying tactics at a moment global crisis. It will be interesting to see if the reports continue and grow into next week as Trump ramps up his rhetoric both against China and domestic companies over-reliant on their foreign-based factories. 

Regardless, the damage is done, and US officials should be wary that inevitably in international relations what goes around comes around — meaning the Europeans are no doubt already planning their revenge, and could ‘return the favor’ sometime in the near or distant future, at some crucial moment Washington will be desperate to swing things its way.

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/modern-piracy-germany-joins-france-canada-accusing-trump-stealing-masks

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Art of the Steal
Art of the Steal
April 5, 2020

Why should anyone expect less from a guy who’s cut his teeth in the cut throat NY real estate market where amongst other techniques, a convenient bankruptcy’s often the preferred and legitimate means to screw the other guy. It’s more than just show your colors time. It’s show your true colors time.

Art of the Steal
Art of the Steal
Reply to  Art of the Steal
April 5, 2020

Sure, it’s every man for himself for supplies and everyone’s playing hardball but when hardball means that you’re out to subvert legitimate purchase contracts like allegedly the US is doing, then you’re equivalent to the guy at a 95% off closeout mob rush that resorts to grabbing merchandise out of another shopper’s hands, sometimes even after he’s left the store. On the less pejorative side, it’s often probably traders/speculators on both supply & demand side at work and you’d not expect less from them.

TravelAbout
TravelAbout
April 5, 2020

Obviously Trump never read the book by Dale Carnegie titled “How to win friends and influence people”. But then again Germany, France & Canada aren’t considered friends by the US, merely vassals. Why then should these three countries complaint about such behavior by their Master?

Mister Mxyzptlk
Mister Mxyzptlk
Reply to  TravelAbout
April 6, 2020

It’s sad but even a ten year old can inherently understand that in times of crisis, a simple gesture of good will go toward accomplishing 100 times over the very agenda that was desired and that that denying it will go to destroy it a 100 times over.

Trump has created generations of enemies in the very rank and file population that he professes to support. It’s a shoot yourself in the foot strategy designed by idiots and implemented by fools.

dannyc
dannyc
April 6, 2020

the Europeans never stand up to the US so I doubt they’ll do anything

Victor
April 6, 2020

One can certainly make the case that the transnational corporation operating in a stateless society is much to be preferred to the present farrago of nationalist political fiefdoms. And by the way this should not be confused with globalism. Globalism is the opposite, where an army of lawyers and bureaucrats in a universal mono-state dictate the terms of ‘free’ trade on behalf of a consortium of transnational corporations. In the stateless society security and justice are mediated in a free market just like cellphones and toothpaste – which is to say that justice would bear no relation to the justice… Read more »

Ronn
Ronn
April 7, 2020

China is winning the proxy war or 3rd world war already by bringing the so called super power countries to their knees…

David Andel
David Andel
April 7, 2020

To the victor belongs the spoils.

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