Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 08, 2022

Green-washing The Trade War With China

Under the Trump administration the U.S. launched a trade war against China. It started with various tariffs on Chinese products. The Biden administration topped that by using the flimsy pretext of alleged 'forced labor' in Xinjiang to make it more difficult to import goods from China. This contradicted Biden's plan for climate change as nearly all solar panels are made from raw materials found in Xinjiang. The trade war continued with the chip war against China's technological progress.

The tariffs and restriction run counter to the World Trade Agreement which the U.S. is increasingly willing to ignore.

The administration has now developed a new scheme that will use the pretext of climate change to wage an economic war against China's and other countries' steel and aluminum industries. To be more effective it is trying to get the European Union on board:

The Biden administration on Wednesday sent a proposal to the European Union suggesting the creation of an international consortium that would promote trade in metals produced with less carbon emissions, while imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum from China and elsewhere, according to a copy viewed by The New York Times.
The proposed group, known as the Global Arrangement on Sustainable Steel and Aluminum, would wield the power of American and European markets to try to bolster domestic industries in a way that also mitigated climate change. To do so, member countries would jointly impose a series of tariffs against metals produced in environmentally harmful ways.

This is clearly not a policy to mitigate climate change but to limit free trade to the advantage of domestic industries.

The target of this effort is obviously China:

The levies would be aimed at China and other countries that did not join the group. Countries that did join would enjoy more favorable trade terms among themselves, especially for steel and aluminum produced more cleanly.

To join the arrangement, countries would have to ensure that their steel and aluminum industries met certain emissions standards, according to the document. Governments would also have to commit to not overproduce steel and aluminum, which has pushed down global metal prices, and to limit activity by state-owned enterprises, which are often used to funnel subsidies to foreign metal makers. While the concept paper does not mention China, these requirements appear likely to bar it from becoming a member.

The scheme would give advantage to steelmakers who melt scrap in electric arc furnaces to make new steel. (Just don't ask how that electricity was made ...) But the global population is still growing and will require more steel to be made. With the help of coal it is melted from ore in blast furnaces in a relatively dirty process. The raw iron is then converted into steel using oxýgen converters which are likewise not climate friendly.

Most of the basic steel creation is now done in China, India and other less rich countries while steel making in the west is now often a mere recycling process:

The U.S. steel industry is already among the cleanest in the world, as a result of the country’s stronger environmental standards and a focus on recycling scrap metal. The agreement is designed to capitalize on those advantages and help American companies withstand competition from heavily subsidized steel and aluminum manufacturers in China and elsewhere.

But the United States is also home to many industries that buy foreign steel and aluminum to make into other products. They could object that the move would increase their costs.

Those industries will only protest if they cannot put the price increase onto consumers of their products. They will probably demand more tariffs on imports to hinder their foreign competition.

The really dumb part of the scheme is that there is no way in which the U.S. or Europe could measure or even estimate how environmentally friendly or unfriendly foreign steel production actually is:

If the United States and Europe move forward with the structure, there is likely to be an intense fight over where tariffs are set and how carbon emissions are measured.

The development of a method for figuring out the amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the production of any particular product is still in the early stages, and much more data would need to be gathered at the level of specific products and companies, people familiar with the plans said.

The policy has little to do with the reduction of greenhouse gases and is all about limiting trade to the benefit of domestic industries. Consumers will suffer from it due to higher prices. One could summarize it: as rich countries shall punish poor countries for not being rich.

I hope that the Eurocrats will not agree to this scheme as that could give it some credibility. The U.S. would certainly have no qualms to eventually use similar schemes against Europe's industries.

China, India and other BRICS countries will of course oppose the scheme and would likely retaliate against U.S. exports should it ever be implemented.

For a bit historic background on China and trade policies I highly recommend this talk with Brian Berletic and Carl Zha: China's "Century of Humiliation" & US-Chinese Tensions Today (vid)

Posted by b on December 8, 2022 at 15:47 UTC | Permalink

next page »

In the meantime, it appears that when President Xi arrived in Saudi Arabia, he got a truly royal welcome. This China Arab and China Gulf state summit will be interesting to see.

Posted by: leaf | Dec 8 2022 15:52 utc | 1

Thanks for the posting b

Empire is experienced at hiding externalities to any economic process they want as this would show if enacted.

More of the Rules Based Order that is only focused on control of others....and is doomed to fail......Real Soon Now.....

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 8 2022 15:54 utc | 2

I'm constantly amazed at the intelligence level of the oligarchy. Seriously, you have to be near-genius to come up with up with these schemes to screw everyone else. It's sometimes nice to fantasize of the utopia we could have if these same people put as much effort into making life pleasant as they do into destroying the beauty that still exists.

Posted by: hedlykarok | Dec 8 2022 16:01 utc | 3

thanks for all this b...

quote - "The tariffs and restriction run counter to the World Trade Agreement which the U.S. is increasingly willing to ignore."

rules based order ya know....that's the deal, lol...

Posted by: james | Dec 8 2022 16:09 utc | 4

Back when the western elites were pushing for massive tax subsidies for moving the US industrial base to communist China, all we could hear about is "free trade is always good! There can be no down-side to free trade! Adam Smith is God! Anyone criticizing the MFN treaty with China is a moron who doesn't understand economics!" No dissent was allowed, never mind that the United States was built on protectionism and the "American System" of mercantilism has both strong theoretical groundings and abundant real-world success.

The elites thought that China would be a nice docile low-wage sweatshop like Mexico or Indonesia. The Chinese had other ideas. Oops.

Now the same elites who screamed for 'free' trade over all, now demand mercantilist protectionism - and nobody is calling them on their obvious lying hypocrisy.

Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.

Posted by: TG | Dec 8 2022 16:11 utc | 5

"Green-washing The Trade War With China". . .and Russia, which is far and away the leading source of US metal imports.

And then there is Biden's favoritism for US-occupied Japan:
"I have determined that imports of specified volumes of eligible steel articles from Japan will no longer threaten to impair the national security and have decided to exclude such imports from Japan up to a designated quota from the tariff proclaimed in Proclamation 9705. ". . .here

In the same March proclamation Biden put duties on steel imports "from all countries except Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, South Korea, and the member countries of the European Union; . . .(and) . . .from all countries except Argentina, Australia, Brazil, and South Korea. . .(and) from all countries except Argentina, Australia, Brazil, South Korea, and Turkey"//

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only international organization dealing with the global rules of trade. Its main function is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible. . . .and it over-rules the US rules-based international order™. . .(I made up the last part)

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 8 2022 16:12 utc | 6

@3 The oligarchs would love to keep producing steel the cheap dirty way. The pressure comes from environmental groups.

Posted by: dh | Dec 8 2022 16:17 utc | 7

The objective fact is that the economic world simply does not revolve around the USA. Even less so for the EU, which is continuously declining as a world portion of GDP. Even if GDP has a lot of flaws as a metric, it is still a "coherent" metric and more or less tells rate of change, and direction of change.

Yes, weakening EU industries and aggregate demand will hurt the non-western bloc too, but less than themselves. Relative changes are what counts.

Posted by: unimperator | Dec 8 2022 16:18 utc | 8

Mitigate climate change?

The Biden administration is VIGOROUSLY enforcing tariffs restricting EV and solar panel being bought in the US from China. In the bill that was recently passed, restrictions on Chinese parts in new green technologies will cripple the production of EVs and solar panels for at least 5 years. The same bill that cripples green energy also has provisions promoting fossil fuel usage.

If you agree with the 40% or more of Americans that climate hoax is a completely bogus lie, and that the proper policy is to stifle green energy and maximize our use of fossil fuels, then Biden is your man.

Green energy FLOURISHED when Trump was President. Biden is rolling back what Trump did, and reestablishing fossil fuels as the pro-US energy source.

Posted by: Woke American | Dec 8 2022 16:23 utc | 9

I am nonplussed by the Republican obsession with Tiktok

They claim that allowing the CCP to see 15 sec videos uploaded by teenagers is the same as giving away our nuclear codes. GASP! What's next, selfies?

(I love the word nonplussed, "a person surprised and confused so much that they are unsure how to react" because I am scared to death to use the word irony, knowing that I am using that word incorrectly)

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Dec 8 2022 16:27 utc | 10

@7 .... and maybe if we had listened to the environmentalists back in the 70s, instead of the Reagan/Thatcher/ALEC/MIC criminals, we would have cheap, clean ways to produce most everything - and then recycle 99% of it all....

Posted by: hedlykarok | Dec 8 2022 16:28 utc | 11

@ hedlykarok | Dec 8 2022 16:28 utc | 11

we were listening... these 1% oligarch freaks have a different concept and agenda...

Posted by: james | Dec 8 2022 16:32 utc | 12

I want fellow barflys to think about the context within which these trade war feints are being proposed.

As I write there is a 3 day meeting in Riyadh for China-Arab States Summit, China-GCC Summit and state visit for all by Xi

Scan your favorite fascist/corporate/Western media outlet and see if there is any reporting on these events.

The revolution will not be televised....

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 8 2022 16:32 utc | 13

@11 & 12 There were not many environmentalists active back then. And recycling had till to become fashionable.

Posted by: dh | Dec 8 2022 16:36 utc | 14

The revolution will not be televised indeed.

These proposals will only further isolate NATOland from the 87% of the world

Posted by: Exile | Dec 8 2022 16:39 utc | 15

Does this also apply to the US military? "Our bombs and missiles are made from recycled, carbon neutral, earth friendly materials." We have to destroy the world to save it.

Posted by: Immaculate deception | Dec 8 2022 16:40 utc | 16

Is it surprise that oligarchy of the west, which is satanistic, degenerate and mentally sick, come up with plans and decision that will inflict suffering on own people and self, and will (further) destroy it's both physical and mental health and future as the nations.

We are talking about mentally sick people, they usually self destruct after they create mayhem for other people they are living with.

Posted by: Abe | Dec 8 2022 16:42 utc | 17

@16 Military equipment will get a special exemption.

Posted by: dh | Dec 8 2022 16:43 utc | 18

@ dh | Dec 8 2022 16:43 utc | 18

clearly you know how this all works, lol..

Posted by: james | Dec 8 2022 16:44 utc | 19

This is clearly not a policy to mitigate climate change but to limit free trade to the advantage of domestic industries.
Indeed it is, and if they really wanted to "mitigate climate change" they would have to change the climate so it would stop changing!

Posted by: Norwegian | Dec 8 2022 16:47 utc | 20

@psychohistorian | Dec 8 2022 16:32 utc | 13

Scan your favorite fascist/corporate/Western media outlet and see if there is any reporting on these events.

Almost NONE...

A few hours later after President Xi arrived, I finally saw one at Yahoo home page after literally looking for it. Currently, you may see this at Yahoo home page if you scroll DOWN a lot. The west seems hiding their heads in the sand.

Here you can find the video when President Xi arrived.

China knows amerikkkans and to the larger extent anglo-axis is not trustworthy. That's why China talks about dual-circles. Subtracting the west 1 billion, there are still 6x out there. Although most of them needs development, China has shown the way forward and is willing to work with others to get better.

Although it is a high goal, ShiJieDaTong (世界大同, "a world of great harmony") is always an ideal in Chinese mind.

Posted by: LuRenJia | Dec 8 2022 16:53 utc | 21

@19 I've been around the block james. Believe it or not I was quite active in the early days of recycling etc. It took a while to educate the public.

Posted by: dh | Dec 8 2022 16:59 utc | 22

CNN: Saudi’s MBS rolls out the red carpet for China’s Xi, in a not too subtle message to Biden
WSJ: China’s Xi Jinping Meets Saudi Crown Prince in Pivotal Visit . .Leaders to sign agreements worth $29 billion as oil-rich kingdom deepens ties with U.S. rival
Reuters: Saudi Arabia signs Huawei deal, deepening China ties on Xi visit
The Economist: The Gulf looks to China . .A summit in Saudi Arabia will be about energy and money—and sending a message to America

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 8 2022 17:04 utc | 23

The entire climate movement has ALWAYS been to keep undeveloped down, stop the advancement of developing nations, and allow rich developed nations to remain on top.

Since industrial development is proportional to carbon output, the plan is to hobble developing nations by implementing a carbon cap, while the rich nations (who control the world's financial system) can simply buy carbon credits from undeveloped nations and carry on as normal. China's BRI put the kibosh on that plan. The infrastructure development allow formerly undeveloped countries build up their own industry, and suddenly they are unwilling to sell carbon credits anymore (since they need them for themselves).

So now the rich developed nations are trapped in a system they designed: without enough nations willing to sell carbon credits, they either need to de-industrialize and rely solely on their control of the international financial system, or they pull out and end this charade (like Trump tried to do).

Posted by: Sid Victor Cattoni | Dec 8 2022 17:11 utc | 24

Lavrov detailed this sort of crap in his talk yesterday. It will serve to further motivate actors to build the new institutions that omit the Dollar Zone and its rules. I recently linked to a GT article that argued Biden's move hurts the Empire's declared emission reduction effort. As Hudson has proclaimed almost every chance he gets, Biden and the Ds are anti-Climate and very much pro-hydrocarbons. As someone commented yesterday, whatever the Empire declares it's for, you can be sure it's actually against. In the long run this will have devastating effects within the Empire as Biden and crew seem to believe there's a never-ending supply of gas and oil. Again, as this table shows, Canada and Outlaw US Empire have only 12 and 14 years, respectively, of production remaining at current levels of extraction; although as the chart notes, the figures for US are already two years old, thus the actual remaining amount is only 12 years. And EU just signed a deal to completely rely 100% on this rapidly dwindling amount of resources. Meanwhile, Russia continues to add to its proven reserves, and jointly with Iran, Qatar and Saudi Arabia can continue to supply gas for over 100 years.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 8 2022 17:14 utc | 25

dh @22--

Russia mandates recycling and subsidizes it at the federal level. I recently posted a discussion about that veery topic. Russia has lots of resources but is keen on managing them as efficiently as possible. The vast waste of the Soviet years are long gone.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 8 2022 17:17 utc | 26

Of course the francophone parakeet Trudeau, his cryptoNazi sidekick Frau Freeland and his state organ the CBC will echo every US state dept. utterance verbatim as always

Posted by: nwwoods | Dec 8 2022 17:17 utc | 27

@ nwwoods | Dec 8 2022 17:17 utc | 27

just for a laugh i thought i would look and see if i can answer psychohistorians question and unfortunately you two are both right...

Posted by: james | Dec 8 2022 17:19 utc | 28

CNN: Saudi’s MBS rolls out the red carpet for China’s Xi, in a not too subtle message to Biden
WSJ: China’s Xi Jinping Meets Saudi Crown Prince in Pivotal Visit . .Leaders to sign agreements worth $29 billion as oil-rich kingdom deepens ties with U.S. rival
Reuters: Saudi Arabia signs Huawei deal, deepening China ties on Xi visit
The Economist: The Gulf looks to China . .A summit in Saudi Arabia will be about energy and money—and sending a message to America

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 8 2022 17:04 utc | 23

It sounds like the above news organizations are taking jabs at President Biden.

Posted by: Ed | Dec 8 2022 17:20 utc | 29

@26 People in the West are quite conscientious about recycling I find. I guess it assuages some of the guilt. I'm not sure what effect it has at the land-fill/CO2 emissions level.

Posted by: dh | Dec 8 2022 17:26 utc | 30

According to, recycling of steel and iron scrap in the US has mostly declined with a high in 2008 of approximately 67.5 million metric tons to a low of 43.5 million metric tons in 2020. Several months ago we had to replace our hot water tank. The plumber informed me the old tank would not be recycled. It would be dumped in the local landfill.

Posted by: Michael A Crockett | Dec 8 2022 17:28 utc | 31

>Al Jazeera
--China’s Xi meets Saudi’s MBS ahead of summit with Arab leaders . .Saudi Arabia and China are expected to sign deals worth around $30 billion ahead of a summit with Arab leaders. . .here
--The Carter Doctrine was a policy proclaimed by President of the United States Jimmy Carter in his State of the Union Address on January 23, 1980, which stated that the United States would use military force, if necessary, to defend its national interests in the Persian Gulf.
--That's "national interests" not national defense.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 8 2022 17:30 utc | 32

The crucial moment for focussing attention to environmental problems - not necessarily understood then as “climate change”, rather a recognition of careless and wasteful practices which should be reformed - was 1989-91 when the Cold War bloc started to break down and the concept of a “peace dividend” became common parlance. Declassified briefings from this era, particularly from the GHW Bush presidency, reveal an uneasy awareness of the concept amidst elite opinion that massive defence budgets must continue and public support for economic reorganization must be dampened.

The “solution” became baiting Saddam Hussein to invade Kuwait and thus change the topic. “If you are looking for the peace dividend, “ an American admiral famously said in late 1990, “it just left on an aircraft carrier headed to the Gulf.”

It was a very successful bait-and-switch operation which has served as a template for western agendas since.

Posted by: jayc | Dec 8 2022 17:36 utc | 33

@31 A lot of stuff is not recyclable. Not economically anyway. Do they still send shiploads of old laptops and cellphones to Asia for kids to pick through?

Posted by: dh | Dec 8 2022 17:48 utc | 34

@dh I was young then but remember Carter had solar panels installed on the White of Reagan's first things was to have them removed. I think that was even before Nancy had the entire place redecorated at taxpayer expense.

Posted by: hedlykarok | Dec 8 2022 17:56 utc | 35

Ooops, my bad it was years later he did that

Posted by: hedlykarok | Dec 8 2022 17:57 utc | 36

Russia has accurately labeled US as "not agreement capable".

Also reality incapable.

Want to save energy? Start doing everything smaller. Most fun car I ever played with was a 1962 Austin Mini Minor. Weighed 1300 pounds (600kg). That was with severely primitive engineering and construction. With trivial application of modern methods that car could weigh half that. It got 40mpg if driven sensibly. Which was almost impossible as it was too much fun. Above 30mpg driving like a maniac. Sat low to ground so any speed at all felt you were going fast. Extremely heavy 1930s tech 850cc engine. A good 1960s engine could do same power with half the displacement and a third the weight. A modern engine, you could run that car on a quarter the displacement.

"Modern" Mini weighs 3000 pounds and is no fun at all. Fast and pretentious, yes. Fun, no. Basically a BMW so annual repair costs would purchase a good car. Collectors will still keep 60 year old Minis alive, new ones are scrapped when the repair costs exceed perceived status.

Same with houses. Americans feel poor if they don't have 3000 square feet to play in. I grew up with four siblings and parents in 1000 square feet and it was fine. Would be luxurious to many.

I insulated properties in the late 1970s/early 80s that have had no heating or cooling cost since. Save energy? You can do that effectively with 40 year old tech and it retrofits well too. Will anyone do that? No. Our old projects the insulation is often removed when a new owner doesn't know what it is. Then the building falls down. Fine. We wanted something new anyway. Lets replace the entire built environment every decade. The way shite is built now, again, the repair costs are out of control when the building is other than new. No one wants to maintain anything. F___ing janitors do maintenance. Real men build new.

Everything said to be green is idiotic. Were anyone serious about the task every part of the job would be completely different than what the ad agencies and politicians are selling.

Posted by: oldhippie | Dec 8 2022 17:57 utc | 37

@35 Doesn't surprise me. I can't see Ronald and Nancy being great environmentalists. Pretty typical of their social set I imagine.

Did the solar panels ever get reinstalled?

Posted by: dh | Dec 8 2022 18:04 utc | 38

Thanks to Don Bacon and all for the follow up on my claim of no MSM coverage of the Xi visit to SA

So there is some now but my point stands about the attempt to write current history that conflicts with reality in substance and context.

History is written by the winners and I posit we are still in the civilization war.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 8 2022 18:25 utc | 39

@ jayc | Dec 8 2022 17:36 utc | 33

"The “solution” became baiting Saddam Hussein to invade Kuwait..."

Thank you for this. Most people still believe that Hussein invaded Kuwait out of some bloodthirsty hunger for conquest. But it's my understanding that Kuwait had been stealing oil from Iraq by drilling horizontally across the border, and had been doing this for some time. Hussein then conferred with US President George H.W. Bush (Bush the 1st), who gave Hussein the green light to attack Kuwait, saying something along the lines of, "That's your squabble, I'm not involved." Only to use the attack on Kuwait as a pretext to launch the first Gulf war against Iraq.

Posted by: Clever Dog | Dec 8 2022 18:27 utc | 40

b writes: "Consumers will suffer due to the higher prices."

b, you continue to impress! You would fit-in fine here in the states where lardass-men and hippopotamus-women will destroy their very soul to save a shekel. I can see you in my head at Wal-Mart now shopping the clearance section.

Our fine overlords need:

* No genders

* No patriots

* No manufacturing

* Bloated white-collar sector to facilitate the needs of the Academic-Industrial-Complex

* Super cheap consumer goods for aforementioned fatties

* Everyone to worship at the Altar of Holocaustianity

I realize that Biden's actions here probably are meant to exert pressure on China to relent and be "Less-like Russia," and that there is a growing likelihood of all-out war between the west and Russia and China, but exactly what would be the problem with thumbing your nose at Chinese goods?

Red-blooded Americans both on the right and left used to do this all the time when we would say "Buy American!"

We used to point out the exploited labor needed for less consumer prices whether in the Maquilladoras in Latin America or the overcrowded ones in Asia.

Not anymore it seems.

I am beginning to think moreso alongside Scorpion's line that the "struggle" between the U.S. and China is mere theater, meanwhile we are so confused domestically that we don't even realize we do not need the government to stick it to China for us: we could simply stop buying its goods, entirely.

You say kabuki, I say kayfabe.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Dec 8 2022 18:41 utc | 41

@40 I don't think George would have invaded Iraq if he hadn't had a stern lecture from Mrs, Thatcher. But we may never be sure.

Posted by: dh | Dec 8 2022 18:47 utc | 42

The current wave of globalization is over. We're going back to trading blocs.

Posted by: Monos | Dec 8 2022 18:55 utc | 43

The China-US trade fracas has reached a really strange pitch:

To constrict China's semiconductor development, Trump started in 2018 twisting Taiwan's arm to locate some of TSMC manufacturing facilities to Arizona. Trump called it part of MAGA of course, and it was intended as a $10 billion venture. The old CEO of TSMC said at the time it ain't gonna fly because America is now depleted of top engineering talents, poor in construction efficiencies, and laden too much with regulations and bureaucracies. But Taiwan being a vassal of the empire, it has no choice.

Now that $10 billion project has ballooned to $40 billion. 1000+ top engineers and their families have been moved to live in Phenix. You heard absolutely no report of this in the USA MSM. It's all done insidiously. Now it's a done deal.

Poor Taiwan/DPP. What they got in return is another batch of USA passed-expiration-date weaponries and perhaps more promises of US support for independence in the form of politicians sneaking into the Island to generate publicity. Stupidity!!!

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Dec 8 2022 18:59 utc | 44

Oldhippie: Houseisolator here, done that work in Norway. Knife and glava, or even eggcartins.

Posted by: Fnord73 | Dec 8 2022 19:18 utc | 45

No environmental movement in the 70s?
What about the beginning of Earth Day, the laws establishing the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Endangered Species Act?
We didn't need to recycle as much, because we reused. Empty bottles were the Payday Loan system of the 70s. When the money ran out, it was time to take the bottles back to the store and collect the deposit.
The bottles were then washed and refilled. How the hell can anyone think it is more environmentally friendly to melt them down and then remake them and then refill them? It is actually insane to do that when they could simply be washed.
Appliances were made to last, so they didn't have to be recycled every 5 years.
Cars went to junk yards, where they were stripped for every part that could be reused.
Many things were sold in bulk, instead of individually wrapped (especially food items) and people could bring in their own containers and fill them.
We used far less oil back then and there was less waste.
People just didn't know that they were being environmentally friendly when they hauled their bottles back to the store.

Posted by: wagelaborer | Dec 8 2022 19:19 utc | 46

Oriental Voice, moving semi-conductor production to Arizona is insane.
There is a shortage of water in Arizona that will only worsen, even without putting a water hungry factory there.
But we're supposed to believe that our rulers are environmentally aware? When they don't understand the most basic fact of life, that all life depends on water and water must be protected?
No, they are insane. In their world money is life, and all other necessities can be replaced with money.
They are wrong.

Posted by: wagelaborer | Dec 8 2022 19:25 utc | 47

Xi's visit to Riyadh to attend the China-Arab Leadership Summit resulted in China and Saudi signing the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement. This is the highest form of diplomatic relationship China has with any nations, one step short of an outright Alliance. Russia currently is the only other nation that China has such a relationship with.

This is a new page in geopolitics. China's energy needs and Arabia's need in infrastructure development makes the China-Arab affinity a natural match. The Belt and Road enterprises would have lots of business to do.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Dec 8 2022 19:28 utc | 48

@wagelaborer, #47:

Insanity is understood to be a good part of western politics, in the minds of Chinese.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Dec 8 2022 19:30 utc | 49

Global Times conducted an online poll of Chinese regarding China-Arab Relations and presents the results as a zoomable infographic, which is then followed by a similar poll of how people from six Arab nations view China. I know many abhor polls, but there really isn't any other type of measure. Some results are surprising. Furthermore, GT has published another infographic it describes thusly:

"Check out the latest report by the Chinese Foreign Ministry and a survey from the Global Times Research Center to see how both sides have maintained friendship through thousands of years and how people in the Arab nations are viewing China's role in the region."

And in an article datelined December 9, GT opens with the following crucial agreement:

"On Thursday, President Xi Jinping and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud signed an agreement on the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries and also agreed to hold a meeting between the two heads of state by turns every two years."

What a slap in the face of Uncle Sam. And also a slap in the EU's collective mugs. Let EU industry migrate to the Outlaw US Empire where it will stagnate and die; China has other plans with actors who can be trusted and who trust China.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 8 2022 19:35 utc | 50

We must not misunderstand the perspective unless we risk a false reading.
Between 1950 and 2019, world steel production has increased by a factor of almost 10.
The obvious parallax error is that steel from scrap recycling does not have the same market as ordinary steel from ore.
Specialized electrical steels are used by industry. Ordinary" steels are used in construction and infrastructure, which represent half of the world's consumption, but above all, most of the needs and 80% of the needs of developing countries.

The G7-EU countries only want to prevent their competitors from moving upmarket. The traditional import barrier will only raise prices and artificially make the G7 financial economies more profitable.
(Just look at what has been happening for the last 12 months with energy, oil and gas).
The world will have produced almost 2 billion tons of steel by 2021, including 1 billion tons for China alone, which consumes only 800 million tons and has reduced its production capacity in order to use it at 90% .
The Chinese steel industry is now more efficient, with the capacity to export 300 or 400 million tons within a few years.

The European Union is six times smaller and used to produce only about 160 million tonnes.
At around 110 Mt, India continued to make progress, with plans to double its capacity by 2030, while at over 100 Mt Japan remained stable. Further down, the United States is around 86Mt and South Korea at 71 Mt.
The US imports about 40 million tons but little from Asia. The European Union imports about 30 million tons but its traditional export markets are down.
The problem is therefore not a competitive one in the current situation.

Overall, Asia produces more than 70% of the world's steel, and its domination of the steel industry is far from over, as its needs for structural steel are reaching their peak. It would be able to supply 80% of the world's needs and focus on upgrading its steel supply. And this without taking into account the brutal effect of the Western embargo on Russian energy.
The world is divided because the West has a vital need to isolate itself from Asia, in the steel market as in many others, starting with China but not only. And time is running out.

Posted by: Weimar | Dec 8 2022 19:48 utc | 51

While recognizing the complete corruption of the Biden regime, it can also be recognized that you people sure make a lot of excuses for China. China is a totalitarian nightmare that's just going to get worse. What next, you're going to tell us that Tiananmen Square never happened?

Posted by: Ken | Dec 8 2022 20:10 utc | 52

How much new forest has Europe and the US planted compared to China in the last few decades? Yeah.

Posted by: Jusses | Dec 8 2022 20:13 utc | 53

@Ken, #51:

Tiananmen as you understood it to be never happened.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Dec 8 2022 20:17 utc | 54

@ Oriental Voice | Dec 8 2022 19:28 utc | 48
Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement. This is the highest form of diplomatic relationship China has with any nation, one step short of an outright Alliance. . .and of course China (also Russia) favor partners not alliances which the US favors because it can dominate the alliance. . .Goes back to the UN Charter where all states are equal before international law no matter the size of their territory, population, economy or military.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 8 2022 20:23 utc | 55

Leaders of the Empire are not crazy/insane; rather, they understand political power and know how to aquire and keep it. I've told people for years that to understand politics in the USA at least you need to watch/read the Godfather stories it gives you some idea of what is going on and has been going on for some time. The Empire is run by criminal gangs.

The goal vis a vis China/Russia is to create a sharp separation between them and us in order to rule over the hoi polloi who crave drama and conflict as a for of both entertainment and go give a sense of meaning to life. That's why despite the obvious lies the government and media crank out daily the majority "believe" the lies even if they suspect they are lies. To go along to get along is the average person's goal plus advocating for tribalism in all its levels. Some fly American flags and identify as "Americans", some as parts of ethnic/cultural groups, and so on. The Chinese and Russians are convenient villains--in fact the Imperial leaders don't have anythig against those people they just use some arbitrary and usually made-up series of issues that describe "those people" as profoundly alien and evil. On the down-low the oligarchs will make deals with Russia/China and force the media to ignore whatever these oligarchs are doing--for example, the "sanctions" against Russia are an income opportunity for well-connected middle-men and smugglers and so on.

There is absolutely no chance to change this situation. Oligarchs come and go but the system that maintains this neo-feudal order will remain in the West as it gradually walls itself off from the rest of the world.

Posted by: Chris Cosmos | Dec 8 2022 20:24 utc | 56

So glad to see that even climate collapse is being weaponized.

China has had a tremendous renewables buildout over the last decade, along with their high speed rail. They could clean up these industries as well. There's no rational reason why you wouldn't want this to happen, aside from megalomaniac dreams of empire.

Could anticipating Chinese momentum be part of this? The Chinese have shown themselves more than capable of bootstrapping technically sophisticated systems in a very short time, if at great environmental cost. They are in fact the workshop of the world--because we shipped our entire industrial base there. Did the brains behind that not imagine what would happen once the Chinese were the ones who make everything?

Posted by: D | Dec 8 2022 21:06 utc | 57

oldhippie | Dec 8 2022 17:57 utc | 37

Love the Morris Minor! A mate had the van version, put big speakers in the back with 1/4" jack inputs so we could plug in guitars/basses etc and jam anywhere. Must have been pretty rare in the states, I thought the VW Beetle had that market locked up.

My crew were all driving 60s-70s British cars in late 90s NZ, reuse is the best recycling.

Interesting that steel scrap recycling requires electric arc furnaces like aluminum smelting. I would guess Russian smelting would have the lowest carbon footprint, with the electricity coming mostly from Nuclear.

Posted by: S.P. Korolev | Dec 8 2022 21:17 utc | 58

This is another chapter on US/EU self-demolition. They have already figured out that they cannot outproduce China, so their natural tendency is to create rules and regulations that isolate them from the Asian competitors. The problem is that in doing so they shrink more and more their markets and extract more wealth from their own citizens. In a few years, the EU will be related to trade only with the US in a colonial relationship. Most of the world will be trading among themselves and growing, while todays rich countries will shrink and impoverish.

Posted by: Charles | Dec 8 2022 21:21 utc | 59

wagelaborer | Dec 8 2022 19:25 utc | 47
“…No water in Arizona…………
Yep. But there’s plenty in Lake Michigan.
Wot…. You don’t think they won’t pipe it across… just because the plan has Opposition …. And is Crazy + Expensive.
That’s their plan. Water from the Great Lakes.

Posted by: Melaleuca | Dec 8 2022 21:22 utc | 60

Ken | Dec 8 2022 20:10 utc | 51
Tiananmen Square never happened?
You know just about *everything* you’ve been told about anything is a lie, right?
Occasionally people here post the real footage of Tiananmen.
Some have really good links to the background and the purpose of the psyop.
But yeah. Tiananmen, the Showreel for corporate media… that never happened….

Posted by: Melaleuca | Dec 8 2022 21:28 utc | 61

Piping water from Lake Michigan to Arizona is not only crazy and expensive, it's really, really bad for the environment.
Maybe China should sanction the US over it.

And it's funny that someone posted that the Tiananmen Square narrative the Mighty Wurlitzer constantly spins is an example of an uncontested truth.
Well, you know what Goebbels said, repeat a lie enough and most people will believe it.

Posted by: wagelaborer | Dec 8 2022 21:35 utc | 62

@46 "No environmental movement in the 70s?
What about the beginning of Earth Day, the laws establishing the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Endangered Species Act? "
Too true, Nixon was a total paranoid racist but he did do several positive things. If it wasn't for starting the drug war and bombing indochina, he might be in the top 10 instead of bottom 10 presidents.

Posted by: hedlykarok | Dec 8 2022 21:41 utc | 63

@Melaleuca | Dec 8 2022 21:22 utc | 59

That’s their plan. Water from the Great Lakes.

Would water from Gulf of California be closer to Phoenix, AZ? And it is flavored water (salty)!! /sarc...

Posted by: LuRenJia | Dec 8 2022 22:25 utc | 64

S.P. Korolev@57
There were lots of Minors in Canada, thanks to Commonwealth Trade Preference policies. And the Minor was very different from the Mini, to which reference has been made. The British motor industry including Jaguar, Rolls-Bentley, Rover, the many brands collected into the BMC, and the Ford and GM operations was a thriving concern. It was smashed up by the neo-liberal Tories as part of the
de-industrialisation process carried out by Haute Finance and its American friends.
The UK is still being punished for electing a socialist government in 1945.

Posted by: bevin | Dec 8 2022 22:43 utc | 65

The UK is still being punished for electing a socialist government in 1945.

Posted by: bevin | Dec 8 2022 22:43 utc | 64

It was a good thing they did, otherwise I could have been born there. The post-war socialist austerity program made it impossible for my father to get financing to rebuild the family business in central London that had been bombed by the Germans.

In frustration, he relocated to Canada. Dad was just one of many the best and brightest that came here. Another Socialist "own goal" that set back the country.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Dec 8 2022 23:25 utc | 66

@ Don Bacon | Dec 8 2022 17:30 utc | 32

The ability to actually execute the War Plan to seize & hold the oil fields & infrastructure has long since past ... a lot has happened in the intervening 40 years. Cheers.

Posted by: Outraged | Dec 9 2022 0:04 utc | 67

@ Clever Dog | Dec 8 2022 18:27 utc | 40

Iraq had spent 8 bloody years at war against Iran after invading at US instigation. Iraq. We've got yer back!(USA)

See: Iran-Iraq War '80-88, Iran Contra, drugs, arming both sides, Intel package support to Iraq, Chemical weapons & targeting by Empire to Iraq, Nerve gas attacks against civilians, etc

After peace declared, Empire promptly demanded it's $1Trillion+ imposed debt from a shattered Iraq ... See: Ukraine, proxy, future indebtedness for Empires War.

Kuwait, slant drilling, multiple of, deep across the border. US ambassador had 'no objections' to Saddams advisory re 'chastising' Kuwait. US then did a song & dance with fake Sat Imagery, false Intel Packages with KSA of a massive Iraqi army(fake) about to invade KSA next.

The rest is history.

Posted by: Outraged | Dec 9 2022 0:19 utc | 68

@ Ken | Dec 8 2022 20:10 utc | 51


How's Barbie doing ?

Posted by: Outraged | Dec 9 2022 0:31 utc | 69

bevin | Dec 8 2022 22:43 utc | 64

Ah cheers bevin, my stupid brain inserted the 'Morris' bit on the 1st skim, hoped nobody had noticed but not much gets past you! Had a friend with the Mini also. The destruction of the UK car industry was one of the many tragedies on the early neoliberal era. We never had a true car industry in NZ but used selective tariffs to encourage auto manufacturers to import their products as parts for final assembly here. It really tore the guts out of our manufacturing sector when we abandoned this policy under the "Blairite-before-Blair" Labour government of the 1980s.

Posted by: S.P. Korolev | Dec 9 2022 0:43 utc | 70

I worked with prisoners across the USA. They WANTED to do the prison labor. The Money wasn't the problem. They were not forced at any level other than boredom with prison life and humans desire to do things constructive. Now, they were ripped off, sort of. Because of the prison rules costs of supervision and facilities are much higher. But the Prison Industry is a revolving door, just like congress. The wardens get fat jobs with the companies they hired for the prisons.

Posted by: Jimmy Walter | Dec 9 2022 0:47 utc | 71

Green steel? Where is it supposed to come from? That only works if you have enough nuclear power plants. In Europe, various countries already have problems supplying the civilian population with electricity. There is not enough electricity for industry. That's why the big steel mills in Germany have shut down.

We now have the situation in Germany that I wrote about some time ago. Dunkelflaute. No wind, no sun. For days. Ninety percent of the electricity comes from conventional energy sources. Of that, about 30 percent comes from natural gas. Slowly, panic is setting in. Because if the situation continues, our gas storage will be empty as early as January. Without gas, no electricity. What is so hard to understand about the fact that "green energy" only works if there is sufficient and affordable storage? Otherwise, you're building the entire infrastructure twice. For every wind farm, a gas-fired power plant at the same time. Oops, now we have no more gas for the power plants.

No one takes the trouble to calculate the land consumption and the wind turbines needed to switch to green energy. If only the private cars in Germany would drive as electric cars, we would need 960 000 wind turbines and the old German territories, which now belong to Poland, to build the wind turbines. We have built "only" 30 000 wind turbines in 20 years. However, traffic in Germany consumes only a quarter of the energy needed. So we still have to conquer a few neighboring countries to install enough wind turbines. And what do we do when the wind doesn't blow?

In the last 20 years, no one has managed to invent something to recycle the rotor blades of old turbines. They are simply buried. It has been known for 10 years that both wind turbines and solar plants (if they are placed on free areas) produce exactly the climate that we supposedly want to prevent with them.

Until 10 years ago, I myself planned and sold large wind and solar parks. From 50 MW upwards. That's why I know who owns them and what returns they generate. Until one day I realized what kind of crime I was participating in and withdrew.

Translated with (free version)

Posted by: Uwe | Dec 9 2022 1:17 utc | 72

@Ken scoffing “doh, now ya gonna say Tiananmen never happened, exclamation mark + lol.

Here Ken:

A non corporate account of the Tiananmen Square incident.
Corporate media only ever show the stills images.
Here’s the vid.
Once again…. Western msm have told a different story than what happened.

Nancy at Tiananmen Square 31 years ago …. Unfurled a protest flag
Oh. Wait. What. Account Memoryholed…. Golly gosh. I wonder if Nancy and her CIA pals might have given it away that they were on the ground and playing the insurgency games they play….

Posted by: Melaleuca | Dec 9 2022 1:31 utc | 73

Re: Christian Chuba | Dec 8 2022 16:27 utc | 10

It is not the Chinese being able to see what idiotic USA tenagers post on TikTok, but their ability to determine which of those posts go viral in the USA, which I imagine could be of concern.

Posted by: Dave | Dec 9 2022 1:40 utc | 74

China and the WTO: An uneasy relationship

US industry loved the PRC labor environment and agreed to keep China listed as developing nation for their own stockholders valuation. Today this situation is totally different.

Posted by: Antonym | Dec 9 2022 1:50 utc | 75

How long ago was the US sanctioning steel & aluminium from Canada and the EU on "national security" grounds, hurting business on both sides of the border, since a large part of the trade is two ways in specialty applications.

» competition from heavily subsidized steel and aluminum manufacturers in China and elsewhere «

This old canard constantly resurfaces.
China is using its money to dump below cost goods to harm EU/US producers, and it earns all that money by selling below cost.
Like the beer brewer who produces for 3 cents but sells for 2. How can you make a profit?, he is asked. Volume, Volume !

Posted by: Webej | Dec 9 2022 1:54 utc | 76

Christian Chuba

I prefer to use gobsmacked instead of nonplussed. It is far more descriptive and beloved of football managers and players. And according to reports it has made inroads in the United States because it is so evocative and still has novelty value.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Dec 9 2022 2:11 utc | 77

Melaleuca | Dec 9 2022 1:31 utc | 72

Tienanmen is not complete without Gene Sharp. The father of colour revolutions. Wikipedia - "In 1968, he received a Doctor of Philosophy in political theory from Oxford University.[12] Funding for Sharp's research at this time came from the DARPA project of the US Department of Defense."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Dec 9 2022 2:37 utc | 78

So now we should believe prison guardians? No -- The work hard so they can get out sooner.

Posted by: blues | Dec 9 2022 3:13 utc | 79

Prison labor is merely slavery by other means. All courtesy of the 'great' U.S. Constipation.

Posted by: blues | Dec 9 2022 3:18 utc | 80

I don’t believe in the CO2 scare, but for those who do: the PRC emits more CO2 than the rest of Asia combined. And it’s emissions are still increasing.

Posted by: Antonym | Dec 9 2022 4:12 utc | 81

Greenwash is a fairly transparent fraud. First there was the offset fraud by which imaginary allowances are given to nations by size of population to offset against carbon emissions. Fraud.

The there is the Carbon fraud in which it is imagined that global warming is caused by burning hydrocarbons, while ignoring the much bigger damage done by chlorofluoro refrigerants, still in use everywhere in leaky A/c units across the world. Fraud.

Then there is the subsidy fraud. In Communist country the state supposedly owns the land and can give unfair advantage to its loyal supporters out of its collectivised resources. Predator Capitalists love to project their predatory theft and manipulation of lands and resources onto Communist politics. To deceive others is one thing, but self-deception, the projection of one's own crimes onto others , is particularly odious imho.

Top of the list of self-deception is the pathetic self- lie that materials made in for example China and exported to for example Britain , are China's green guilt , not Britain's. This self-fraud makes politicians look supid, which is why Sunak walked out of Cops 22.

Above the top of the list of open frauds in Greenwash are many criminal frauds, such as secretly polluting the sea and rivers with highly toxic chemical compounds or chemical fertilisers. This fraud masks
accoubtability under commercial confidentislity. Commerce cannot claim the right to confidentiality, like individuals.
But one of the consequences of legally claiming confidentiality , is that competitors in poorer countries also feel entitled to do the same.

Britain loves telling us how they lead thecway in this and that, but the reality of Greenwash is that Britain leads the way in lack of commercial accountability.

Posted by: Giyane | Dec 9 2022 4:13 utc | 82

Antonym 80

China argues that she is entitled to the equivalent of our polluting industrial revolution. That's not right. China has to incorporate our mistakes into their thinking, and they probably would do that IF the West was not making much bigger mistakes now, and not listening to Russian and Chinese wisdom.

The biggest mistake of all is threatening the world with nuclear destruction in order to control weaker nations. The scale of anti-greenwash in Western thinking , by pointing these destructive weapons at other nations is a Stygian pile of un-green filth which far far outweighs China's pollution.

Posted by: Giyane | Dec 9 2022 5:08 utc | 83

@24 Sid Victor Cattoni | Dec 8 2022 17:11 utc

Carbon credits. Thanks for that scenario, I hadn't looked at it that way. Rings true.

My subjective memory of things is that on a certain day, Goldman (or maybe Morgan?) announced that it had created the first derivative* for tradable carbon credits. And since that day, my impression is clear that what had been wholesale corporate denial of climate change turned, quite abruptly to my mind, into an endorsement of the concept.

It always seemed that the minute they created a way to game the market, everyone was happy to join. It adds compelling leverage to your scenario also.

* It was probably an ETF (exchange traded fund) they created, which my quick search shows is different from a derivative. I always used the terms interchangeably, but I know nothing about these instruments. But whatever was created, and by whomever, that was when the public messaging started to change, it seemed to me.

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 9 2022 5:33 utc | 84

@ Grieved 83

Yes, carbon credits is a fiat currency fraud same as Bitcoin or dollar, backed by nuclear terrorism. The human mind works in wonderful ways. The Judaic and Islamic scriptures forbid Interest, or profit on a loan which can accumulate beyond a person's affordability. Humans are prepared to gamble the profits that can be made from mortgages against the losses that might accrue through misfortune.

Even when the inevitable misfortune arrives, the human will continue to mortgage the planet with carbon credits instead of acting responsibly. What is responsibility? Not bringing farm produce from Poland to Britain by diesel engines.
Not fighting wars over whoppers the profits from a cross-continental train China to London. Not releasing energy stored in the earth's crust without knowing how to control it - Fukushima, Nuclear waste disposal. Not releasing heat into cities through refrigeration, making them hotter than the non- urban areas outside the cities. Not destroying countries for oil or for growing crops . Not procrastinating the insulation of buildings.

The greed of a handful of super rich neocons in Washington creates more global warming than a billion people living normal lives. They mortgage the planet when they are the ones whose book tells them not to mortgage, and not to covet.

Posted by: Giyane | Dec 9 2022 6:23 utc | 85

Whitewashing the CCP from C19 research and lab escape: Jordan B Peterson with Matt Ridley on YouTube.
Done by Dazrak and Fauci as well as the CCP. Wuhan was into gain of human to human air spread of this virus, and deleted their whole public bat DNA database in September 2019.
Looks like Xi Jinping is scared of his own shadow here !

Posted by: Antonym | Dec 9 2022 9:27 utc | 86

Whitewashing the CCP from C19 research and lab escape: Jordan B Peterson with Matt Ridley on YouTube.
Done by Dazrak and Fauci as well as the CCP. Wuhan was into gain of human to human air spread of this virus, and deleted their whole public bat DNA database in September 2019.
Looks like Xi Jinping is scared of his own shadow here !

Posted by: Antonym | Dec 9 2022 9:27 utc | 87

Anything with "green" in the title is almost guaranteed not to be green.
Anything with "clean" in the title is almost guaranteed not to be clean.
Anything with "revolution" in the title is almost guaranteed not to be a revolution.
Defense means attack. Security means lack of control. Green means brown. Health means sickness. Peace means war. Entertainment means boredom. Democracy means oligarchy.
I wish someone, just once, would say the truth, but they don't.

Posted by: Benn | Dec 9 2022 10:31 utc | 88

Benn | Dec 9 2022 10:31 utc | 87

Thanks I needed that. Excellent :-)

Tried to point out in a similar way the basic reality encircling Russia v USA today but no one can face that head on either. Apparently it's all coming up roses for Russia and I'm the childish immature teenager dolt who don't know shit. LOL

Well I expect the shit will hit the fan in Ukraine not too long from now, 2-3 mths maybe more, depends, and then everyone here can say oh they all saw it coming and knew the US would do that. But what could Russia or Putin have done the poor things. (shrug)

Posted by: SeanAU | Dec 9 2022 11:32 utc | 89

@Antonym | Dec 9 2022 4:12 utc | 80
It's the per capita emission that must be compared.
Even if the US removed the MIC they probably would remain the worst CO2 emitters per capita.
The Green reset, if established, will 'cure' that though...

Posted by: petergrfstrm | Dec 9 2022 12:05 utc | 90

@ Posted by: oldhippie | Dec 8 2022 17:57 utc | 37

Interesting. Before the Ted Heath/Maggie Thatcher butcher hatchet job killed off Leyland Austin Rover by slow death from the "Peter Principle infested to the rotten core" management at the top. There was a separate Leyland spin-off in 1975.

In 2001, BMH became part of BMW. Operating very profitably, even today. Called "British Motor Heritage" in Oxfordshire UK. A company that specialized in the production of completely assembled bare primer bodies and all replacement panels for the BMC Minis.

Old rusted Minis in the UK, From the roof down, can be completely replaced. As every body panel on the car can is available as a listed spare part. Both local and export too.

Posted by: Bad Deal Motors On | Dec 9 2022 12:20 utc | 91

The US's Ruling Elite created modern China. China owes its entire modern existence to Henry Effing Kissinger, and those effing ingrates should be worshipping 100-ft statues of the pasty, fat American Traitor at every Commie Reeducation Center!

Posted by: Tom SteChatte | Dec 9 2022 12:36 utc | 92

hedlykarok | Dec 8 2022 16:01 utc | 3

The brightest engineers end up making nuclear weapons, the most talented artists end up in marketing. Its a never ending race to the bottom for them and the system they have been the architects of.

Posted by: Dan | Dec 9 2022 12:52 utc | 93

"The development of a method for figuring out the amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the production of any particular product is still in the early stages"

That may be true for the agreement, but is not true for Environmental Engineering. The process is called Life Cycle Assessment (or LCA) and is very advanced. I know, I worked with professors, postdocs and Ph.D candidates working on actually using this process to evaluate both product items and larger things like a solar power station.

Posted by: YesXorNo | Dec 9 2022 13:44 utc | 94

A somewhat different take on the tariff issue from Matthew Ehret published in Strategic Culture a while back. He claims that Trump's team were multipolarists fighting the unipolar 'deep statists.' Of course we all know who won out. He goes back to previous iterations in this struggle to the FDR administration and the changes to US policy that happened once Truman took over.

I lived in a small steel town in Cape Breton twenty years ago during which period an almost new state-of-the-art factory was dismantled and shipped to China. This was partly due to a local 'tar ponds' pollution issue that later - after over 20 years of wrangling and high cancer rates nearby - was finally remediated. However it was mainly due to general shut-downs of steel factories all over North America due to their not being able to compete with far lower prices of steel from both India and China. The steel plant was closed around the same time various nearby coal mines - still quite productive - were closed because climate. The small city was devasted for decades. It is now trying to develop a Panamax deepwater port, but because Covid and now Geopolitical tectonics, everything seems to be on hold.

Tariffs would have protected that industry both preserving native employment and also avoiding exactly what has happened: a large, complex state unable to provide for itself with vital necessities like steel, aspirin or face masks during health scares. Common sense should never be abandoned on the altar of free trade or any other ideology.

Posted by: Scorpion | Dec 9 2022 13:53 utc | 95

Tariffs would have protected that industry both preserving native employment and also avoiding exactly what has happened: a large, complex state unable to provide for itself with vital necessities like steel, aspirin or face masks during health scares. Common sense should never be abandoned on the altar of free trade or any other ideology.

Posted by: Scorpion | Dec 9 2022 13:53 utc | 94

I agree. I would add that without some intelligent industrial policy, tariffs are just an indirect tax on the population, and do not help maintaining and re-generating industry. And "green-washed" tariffs may be sensible as an idea and botched in execution.

Three examples. Steel: recycling of iron uses less energy than primary production (same story with other metals), so decreasing recycling in North America in favor of imported primary steel is a loss of jobs, trade balance and hit on the global environment. How it that happen?

Aluminum: China dominates the production, and uses coal-generated electricity. US has no electricity surplus (non-carbon), so globally, it would be good to have tariffs encouraging hydro power. Countries like Russia, Canada, part of Africa have potential of expanding hydro but it is hard to use the resulting power without energy-intensive applications like aluminum that can be expanded in remote places like northern Siberia or Congo.

Solar panels. Right now, it does not seem possible to avoid Chinese components without wrecking economics of solar panel. Tariffs forced relocation of assembly to Malaysia... zero industrial gain for USA. Can USA avoid sabotaging solar power while improving its own production capacity? Not with some intelligent industrial policy.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 9 2022 14:58 utc | 96

"US has no electricity surplus"

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 9 2022 14:58 utc | 95

I have been wondering for some time where all the electricity to run these new electric cars is going to come from ...

Diesel powered power plants perhaps?

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 9 2022 15:09 utc | 97

@Michael A Crockett 31

Most US 'recycling" involved packing trash into ships and sending it to Asia to be sorted and reprocessed. When, in response to the treacherous Trump tariffs, China banned this practice, US "landfill" utilization immediately soared and has remained at historic high levels, while recycling, even of glass, steel and aluminum, took a major hit.

This is not about the environment but about money. Our banksters have used the trillions of dollars of public money we thrust upon them to buy anything left worth stealing, and now they want their returns or there will be hell to pay.

PS Not only are we running out of legacy carbon to waste by burning it (don't expect pharmaceuticals, chemicals, plastics or even agriculture to play a long term role in the US economy), but anyone burning remaining reserves will simply result in additional global heating, potentially accelerating our impending self-inflicted extinction. See e.g. Carana Sam (2022-11-12). There is no Carbon Budget. Arctic-News). Arctic-News is a blog run by around 100 leading geo-physicists, glaciologists, paleoclimatologists and other related academics, who have accurately noted that the politicized system is demonstrating the accuracy of Will Bartlett's assessment that, "The Greatest Shortcoming of the Human Race Is Man’s Inability To Understand the Exponential Function".

Posted by: Hermit | Dec 9 2022 16:27 utc | 98

@Tom SteChatte 91

The modern world, which looks ever more like the feudal world, owes it's existence to the English and their allies, in destroying China, until then by far the world's leading economy since prehistory, in the devastating "Opium Wars" involving Britain, France, and the United States against China's Qing dynasty, with Russia eventually ending up as a mediator. China is now merely reasserting it's rightful preeminence in a world where the poor global South has recently begun to object to the continuing net transfer of about $US 4 trillion to the once rich West.

The ongoing transitions are likely to be highly disruptive.

Posted by: Hermit | Dec 9 2022 16:45 utc | 99

US has no electricity surplus"

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 9 2022 14:58 utc | 95

I have been wondering for some time where all the electricity to run these new electric cars is going to come from ...

Diesel powered power plants perhaps?

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 9 2022 15:09 utc | 96

Theoretically, in California you could do the following.

1. Expand "green power".
2. Reduce agricultural use of water. Alflalfa, rice etc. can be grown elsewhere, relying on rain.
3. Use saved water to increase the use of hydro-power, in part as a massive energy storage to balance the intermittent nature of "green power".

One could also expand nuclear power, but one would need to invite Rosatom to avoid doubling/tripling construction time and cost.

In the same time, for a fixed amount of money, rather than electric vehicles, you save more energy by switching to hybrid vehicles that use gasoline but much more efficiently, discouraging the use of pickup trucks and other overweight vehicles, except for business reasons, mass car sharing platforms that could reduce urban congestion etc.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 9 2022 16:51 utc | 100

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