Trump Still Really Evil But…

German Carmakers Jump on Potential U.S.-China Tariff Truce. This is how Germany works, folks.

BMW

BMW AG rallied the most in more than three years after U.S. President Donald Trump said China had agreed to remove painful tariffs on imported American-made cars shipped to the world’s biggest automotive market. Daimler AG and Volkswagen AG also rose sharply.

BMW and Daimler, which export sport utility vehicles from U.S. plants to China, stand to be the biggest gainers from a potential reduction of tariffs. Six of the ten best-selling U.S. auto imports to China are made by the two German luxury auto manufacturers.

Autobosse treffen Trump Kurse von BMW, VW und Daimler schnellen in die Höhe.

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When Had We Left The Jungle?

I wasn’t aware that we had.

Jungle

WTO Faces Existential Threat in Times of Trump -U.S. President Donald Trump has set his sights squarely on the World Trade Organization in Geneva. Even its critics are worried that without the organization, the world of trade would revert to the law of the jungle.

The U.S. and other industrialized nations made several concessions to developing economies when the WTO was founded in 1995 and significantly reduced their tariffs. In return, they were able to push through stronger protections for intellectual property. They hoped that the strategy would help slow China’s rise.

But from the U.S. perspective, the system has not been beneficial. And once China joined the WTO in 2001, that dissatisfaction only grew, partly because the Chinese proved adept at taking advantage of the rules. Even today, there is significant dissent within the WTO because the economic superpower China is still classified as a “developing nation” by the organization, which gives it certain privileges. On the other hand, China is fighting for recognition as a market economy, to which both the U.S. and the European Union are opposed because it would mean they could no longer defend themselves against state-subsidized Chinese exports with anti-dumping duties.

On top of all that, the WTO is facing a more fundamental problem: its size and its sluggishness. Negotiating rounds focused on removing tariffs have become increasingly complex. And because everything is up for negotiation at the same time, every member state can paralyze the process by simply exercising its veto. The Doha Round, launched in 2001, is a perfect example: It never achieved any results and has become symbolic of the WTO’s failure.

“The problems are coming from the behavior of a single country that would like to return to the jungle.”

But Nobody Said We Couldn’t Do It Until Now

Trump is right about trade and Merkel needs to do something about it, former German state secretary says.

Trade

In early March, Trump started by implementing tariffs on aluminum and steel imports — measures that did not represent a big impact for China, but did for countries like Japan and potentially Europe too.

Germany has also faced international criticism for its trade surplus, which means its exports outweigh its imports, as some see it as unfair, imbalanced and a cause for protectionism elsewhere.

“Germany is really out there as the main culprit, so to say, because Germany has the highest surplus, much higher than China in terms of GDP… Germany has to do something against it, that’s absolutely clear,”

And Yet Another Leap Forward Already

Back to the past, I mean.

Transrapid

Step one: Develop a a maglev train technology that any ecology-minded tree hugger and profit-minded industrialist ought to have been thrilled about.

Step two: Go out of your way as ecology-minded German tree huggers to make absolutely sure that this technology is a complete failure at home.

Step three: Give up as a government years later by auctioning off the technology to the lowest bidder. Fine, to the highest bidder. But they’ll be giving it away “for an apple and an egg,” as the German idiom goes.

Jahrzehntelang stand der Transrapid für die Mobilität der Zukunft – die in Deutschland aber nie Gegenwart wurde.

Germany Increases Its Pressure On China

This time by selling the Chinese 130 Airbus aircraft for $17 billion.

Airbus

And two pandas were also included to sweeten the deal. For Germany, I mean.

“Generally speaking, … in all our meetings with Chinese officials, human rights, rule of law and democracy issues play a role but I won’t go into specifics here.”

China’s communist authorities have launched a crackdown on elements of the country’s burgeoning civil society, jailing dozens of activists.

German Of The Day: König Kunde

That sounds a bit like King Kong but actually means king customer or the customer is king, if you prefer. And it’s nice to be the king, as you well know.

Uncle Sam

For decades, France was the single biggest importer of German goods. But that’s changed now. The United States has taken the pole position among clients for “Made in Germany” goods for the first time.

Seit dem Jahr 1961 kauft kein Land so viele deutsche Produkte wie Frankreich. Das hat sich nun geändert. Und auch damit zu tun, dass Amerika wieder mehr auf die Industrie setzt.

PS: But thank goodness Germany still has its trade with ten foot tall China, too.

 

Russian And Chinese Intelligence Services Now Big Edward Snowden Fans, Too

It’s not just the Germans who worship the very ground this guy whistleblows on. The Russian and Chinese spy communities are really thrilled with him, too. Particularly when it comes to the secret information they have now been able to access by breaking into the encrypted files held by the heroic American turncoat.

Snowden

“Snowden has done incalculable damage,” one British intelligence source has just reported. “In some cases the agencies have been forced to intervene and lift their agents from operations to prevent them from being identified and killed.”

Russland und China sollen streng geheime Dokumente des früheren US-Geheimdienstmitarbeiters und Whistleblowers Edward Snowden entschlüsselt haben.

We Are Not Soft On Russia

Germany said today. “We’re pretty soft on China, though.”

China

When asked why this is, the craven central European country replied “Well duh. We’re just like real pushovers when it comes to Chinese cash, that’s all. Isn’t every exporting powerhouse? We had a trade volume with China of 140.4 billion euros ($193 billion) last year, after all. That makes them our number 3 trading partner! And here you thought we were just dependent upon Russian gas.”

Asked whether China should stand up more assertively against Russia’s actions in Ukraine, Xi said that “China has no private interests” on the matter and added that Beijing always insists on non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs, as well as respecting nations’ territorial integrity.

Chinese And Eastern European Spy Attacks Boring Spiegel Readers To Tears

1) Chinese intelligence agencies have apparently carried out a spy attack on the federal government of Germany. Yawn.

China

2) Some 16 million email addresses and passwords of 600 government employees at every German ministry have been taken in a massive data theft operation. The attack was carried out by eastern European criminals, according to Der Spiegel. Snooze.

When asked for more detailed information, a German government spokesman replied “More detailed information. Of what? Like who cares? It’s not as if these attacks were carried out by the NSA or anything.”

Researchers declined to speculate about the possible origin of the malware, but noted that none of the victims were from China.

PS: As for this year’s Berlinale, hmmm. The Chinese just won the Golden Bear for best film this year, too. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

Some long-established film festivals, such as Cannes and Venice, can legitimately claim to be timeless. Berlin, however, seems to be stuck in the past, and not only because the event somewhat coasts on its bygone reputation as a festival of discovery…

The Berlinale’s 64th edition was the most lukewarm in years. You don’t usually expect swoons and scandals here, but you do hope that every year’s competition will bring one major discovery, or at least an unassuming gem that everyone falls in love with. There was one universally adored film in competition – but it doesn’t quite count as a Berlin revelation, as it came straight from wowing Sundance…

Berlin always provides its share of A-list red-carpet promenades – this year, by the likes of George Clooney, Bill Murray and Uma Thurman – yet these never quite disguise the festival’s essential earnestness…

Otherwise, I suspect that Berlin 2014 will be best remembered for its major innovation – the addition of a pop-up line of gourmet food wagons. Festival-goers will turn up undeterred again next year – but many of them will be doing it less for the films than for this Berlinale’s real discovery, the pulled pork baps.

Buy Our Debt, Please

Angela Merkel just finished up another quick and dirty visit to China, this time to calm the Chinese down about the euro zone debt crisis and, well, to grovel for money. Neither aim was achieved just yet. But hey, you’ve got to be really patient with the Chinese, I’m told.

“The trip has a lot of ambitions: one, is to explain the euro zone debt crisis to the Chinese and two, convince the Chinese to keep supporting the euro zone and buying the bonds from some of the euro zone countries such as Italy and Spain and also Germany.”

And just in case you were wondering, no. She did not find the time to express German concern for human rights violations in China during this visit.

As Europe’s crisis persists, China increasingly sees Germany—its largest European trading partner—as a vital player in pulling the continent out of its slump, analysts say. Mr. Wen said his talks with Ms. Merkel Thursday have made him “more confident” in Europe’s ability to resolve the crisis.