War Is Over! (f You Want It)

What? That was it? No more trade war hysteria? Just when it was starting to get interesting? What Luschen (duds).

EU

The Wall Street Journal reported that Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, has been in talks recently with the chief executives of German car makers BMW, Volkswagen and Daimler, where they pitched the idea of ending car tariffs between the U.S. and the EU.

During these talks, the executives said they would be in favor of scrapping these levies as part of a broader deal encompassing industrial goods, the Journal said.

“Germany has the right approach to resolving this trade disagreement among friends.”

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Germany Preparing Itself To Lose The Next “Illegal” War

A Vicious Cycle – Berlin Worried about Losing Trump’s Trade War.

War

The U.S. has followed through with its threat to impose punitive tariffs on European steel and aluminum and the signs are pointing to a global trade war. The German government is doing what it can to prevent harm to its automobile industry.

… The German automotive industry would also be hard hit by a possible trade war with the U.S., where the most cars are sold in the world after China. German carmakers export around a half-million vehicles to the U.S. each year — particularly the kinds of expensive sedans that have been a thorn in Trump’s side for decades. If punitive tariffs are imposed, carmakers would likely have no choice but to react with higher prices and thus risk a decline in sales. VW subsidiary Porsche is especially at risk. Although the company sells almost a quarter of its vehicles in the country, it does not operate any factories of its own in the U.S.

“Germany stands to lose most.”

Trump To Follow Germany’s Lead

After Germany introduced a ban on German vehicles in the city of Hamburg today, President Donald Trump has announced plans to do the same in US-Amerika, as well. Sort of.

Trump

A report that U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to pursue German carmakers until there are no Mercedes-Benz rolling down New York’s Fifth Avenue dented shares in the luxury car manufacturers on Thursday.

An excerpt from German magazine Wirtschaftswoche’s article, which cited several unnamed European and U.S. diplomats but did not include any direct quotes, could not be independently verified, while a United States Embassy spokesman in Berlin referred questions to Washington.

The news and current affairs magazine said Trump had told French President Emmanuel Macron in April that he aimed to push German carmakers out of the United States altogether. Macron’s administration in Paris declined to comment on the report.

Eine harte Antwort wäre für die deutsche Wirtschaft riskant: US-Präsident Trump hat neben den Metall-Zöllen auch Zölle auf ausländische Autos ins Spiel gebracht.

BREAKING NEWS: Germans Are More Negative Than Americans

When it comes to German-American relations, I mean. Like holy Scheiße! Who would have ever expected that?

Germans

And here I thought Germans were such positive, can-do people who  have always been so, you know, upbeat and cheerful about German-American relations. In the past, I mean. Right? This just doesn’t make any sense. It’s just not their nature. Somebody should double-check these numbers.

6 charts on how Germans and Americans view one another

1. Americans think U.S.-German relations are in good shape, but Germans disagree.

2. German attitudes toward the U.S. have turned sharply negative in the Trump era.

3. Merkel gets positive reviews from Americans, especially Democrats.

4. Many Germans see the U.S. as a top foreign policy partner; fewer Americans feel the same way about Germany.

5. Democrats are more likely than Republicans to see Germany as an important partner for foreign policy.

6. There are transatlantic differences about defense spending.

Only 11% of Germans expressed confidence in Trump to do the right thing in world affairs in 2017, down from 86% for Obama in 2016.

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,”

“Trump is awful but…”

“He’s right.”

Handelsbilanz

Uh-oh. All bets are off now. I may have found a German economist who is willing to take an unpopular stand and defend certain aspects of the Trump administration’s policy. Unpopular? Sacrilegious is more like it, right?

“On one side there’s the EU with a trade surplus that is mostly supplied by the huge German surplus. On the other side is the USA that has been living with deficits for 30 years. Germany is the world’s largest surplus country and the USA is the world’s largest deficit country. The trade practiced between these two national economies may be free but it is not efficient. This criticism of the German undervaluation strategy – that is, the relatively weak salary increases combined with a weak euro – has been around since presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Politicians in Congress have warned about making trade deals with notorious surplus countries. Trump is just the first one to do anything about it.”

“Every country can do whatever it wants – but not when it is part of a currency union in which there are no exchange rates that could be adjusted. Germany procures an advantage in global trade not just due to the quality of its products vis-a-vis its EU partners, the USA and other countries. In the past 15 years salaries in Germany have remained far behind productivity. We gain advantages over other national economies through wage dumping.”

“Will the punitive tariffs have a real effect on the German economy? Not so quickly. They have just been little needle pricks up until now. But if the EU now pursues the loud-mouth announcements made by Commission President Jean-Claud Juncker and reacts with its own punitive tariffs it is possible that the USA’s reaction will be more massive. Yet Trump is merely following a very simple rule here that no one in Germany wants to believe: The losers in such a trade conflict will be the trade surplus countries and the winners will be the deficit countries.”

Aber wenn die EU jetzt den großmäuligen Ankündigungen des EU-Kommissionspräsidenten Jean-Claude Juncker folgt und mit eigenen Strafzöllen reagiert, kann es sein, dass die USA noch massiver reagieren. Trump folgt doch einer einfachen Regel, die in Deutschland niemand wahr haben will: Verlieren werden in einem solchen Handelskonflikt die Handelsüberschussländer und gewinnen werden die Defizitländer.

Too Lidl Too Late?

More like too Lidl too big and too early.

Lidl

The expansion of German discount chain Lidl into US-Amerika is turning out to be less successful than hoped, to put it mildly. Sales are disappointing and the two billion euros planned to cover investment and start-up losses will not be enough. Management apparently chose too many wrong locations and built stores that were much too big. Instead of the 100 stores planned for last year only 47 actually opened.

This puzzles me a bit. You can’t walk a quorter of a mile in Germany without running into one of these places. And when I read how Lidl prices in the US seem to be just as low or lower than they are here, how could they possibly fail? Well, if they do, there’s still Aldi, right?

Die extrem jungen Expansionsteams haben in Amerika oftmals falsche Standorte ausgewählt. Zudem wurden zu große und zu teure Märkte gebaut. Die Umsätze sind enttäuschend. Die ursprünglich kalkulierten zwei Milliarden Euro für Investitionen und Anlaufverluste werden nach Informationen vom manager magazin nicht ausreichen.

While Russia Simulates Bombing Germany…

The Germans are up in arms about Donald Trump’s tax code overhaul in US-Amerika.

Russia

I don’t make this stuff up. It’s all about setting priorities, people. One has to stay focussed on the real dangers facing Germany out there today. Getting annihlated by Russia would be unfortunate, for sure, but the American President handing out “a Christmas present that the majority does not even want” is just too damned much to stomach.

Who knows? That could even give taxpayers in Germany ideas about getting tax breaks over here. Nah. Believe me, it couldn’t.

Das Verhältnis des Westen zu Russland ist seit der Krim-Krise stark belastet. Eine Entspannung ist nicht in Sicht. Nun soll das russische Militär in einem großen Militärmanöver namens “Sapad” die Einnahme Westeuropas geübt haben.

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Buddhists, Baptists And Scientologists Urge Recognition Of Jerusalem As Their Capital Now, Too

With Israel urging the rest of the world to recognize West Jerusalem as its capital and Muslim nations now urging that East Jerusalem be recognized as the Palestinian capital, other pushy and state-less religious denominations have gotten into the fray, as well.

Palestine

Buddhists have staked a claim for North Jerusalem while Baptists have already set up their tents in South Jerusalem. Where the Scientologists are going to find any room to move is anybody’s guess.

Germany, for its part, has stressed that it will continue to refuse to recognize any of these nations and/or religions until it is finally recognized by the rest of the world as being completely unrecognizable. From what it used to be, I mean. Which has already been recognized, hasn’t it?

Nachdem US-Präsident Trump Jerusalem als israelische Hauptstadt anerkannte, forderte Israel die EU-Staaten auf, dies auch zu tun. Eine deutliche Mehrheit der Deutschen lehnt dies ab, wie der WELT-Trend zeigt.

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More Crazy Protests Going On Down There In The Middle East Again

I mean over there, of course. Over there in the middle eastern part of Berlin.

Berlin

Angela Merkel has condemned the burning of Israeli symbols during protests against the US decision on Jerusalem. Germany’s interior, foreign and justice ministers have also expressed criticism of the weekend’s protests…

On Sunday, some 2,500 demonstrators marched through Berlin’s Neukölln district and burned flags with the Star of David, the Berliner Zeitung reported, to demonstrate against the controversial decision by US President Donald Trump.

Wien, Berlin, Göteborg, Athen, Amsterdam. In den vergangenen Tagen häuften sich Übergriffe auf jüdische Einrichtungen.

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