EU to try to hold Britain hostage?

Image result for Wolfgang Schaeublehttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/11/17/germany-warns-that-britain-faces-decade-of-eu-contributions-afte/

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10-18-16   Wolfgang Schäuble told an audience at a Berlin think-tank that the EU would “soon need a common defence budget”, adding that by pooling its resources the EU would have a military budget several times larger than Russia’s. https://www.ft.com/content/a20e8ade-9554-11e6-a1dc-bdf38d484582

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11-17-16   The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on Thursday that would block the sale of commercial aircraft to Iran, a bid to stop sales by Boeing and Airbus that have already been approved by President Barack Obama’s administration.  The bill passed the Republican-led House by 243-174 largely along party lines. Eight Democrats joined Republicans in favor.  All 174 “no” votes were from Democrats.   http://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-aviation-usa-idUSKBN13C2MJ

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11-17-16

A powerful U.S. senator said he is concerned that state-owned ChemChina, which is buying Swiss crop protection and seed group Syngenta (SYNN.S) for $43 billion, could use U.S. sovereign immunity laws to shield itself from claims in U.S. courts.

Some Chinese state-owned entities have argued that they have sovereign immunity and thus can’t be sued in U.S. courts under the U.S. Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) of 1976.

The acquisition by China National Chemical Corp (ChemChina) [CNNCC.UL] of Syngenta, the largest global investment by a Chinese company, won U.S. regulatory clearance in August despite concerns from some lawmakers over U.S. food security.

This week, a U.S. congressional panel urged lawmakers to take action to ban Chinese state-owned firms from acquiring U.S. companies.

In a Nov. 9 letter to U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley that was posted on his website, ChemChina said its U.S.-incorporated businesses are subject to U.S. civil law, and that FSIA does not apply to commercial activity.  http://www.reuters.com/article/us-chemchina-syngenta-usa-idUSKBN13C12D

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11-17-16      JPMorgan agreed to pay about $264 million to settle U.S. allegations that it hired children of Chinese decision-makers to win business in violation of anti-bribery laws. Investigators described a systematic effort to curry favor with government officials and business executives.    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-17/jpmorgan-to-pay-264-million-to-end-three-year-hiring-probe

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move against possible gay marriage act (favored by its leader) in Taiwan:

“How the law defines marriage should be decided by the entire population,” demonstrators said, accusing the committee of planning a “black box vote” to pass the bill.  The group said in a petition that individual clauses could be amended to protect the rights of the LGBT community, including ensuring emergency-room visitation and inheritance rights.

However, they added that “the fundamental concept of what marriage is — the combination of a man and a woman — should not be changed,” saying that doing so would be “very confusing for children.”  http://www.chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/national/national-news/2016/11/18/484306/10000-rally.htm

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11-10-16      the 600 lb. gorilla in the room is oil.  We’re importing 8 million bbls/day, well over 1 million of that from from Saudi Arabia, a country that is inarguably waging war against our domestic oil and gas producers….

Among all our Gulf Coast refineries are three that are owned and operated by Motiva. Motiva is not an American company.  It is a 50 – 50 partnership between Saudi Arabia and Royal Dutch Shell with the crown jewel being their state-of-the-art Port Arthur, TX refinery which produces more gas, diesel and petroleum products than any other refinery in the U.S. Shell and the Saudi’s designed it to run on low quality sour (sulphur heavy) crude from the Kingdom.  Better quality Saudi crudes are sold elsewhere in the world market.

This buy into American soil occurred in 1989 through Texaco.  A few years before, also during the Reagan administration, Venezuela’s state owned Oil Company, PDVSA was allowed to acquire CITGO’s large Gulf Coast refineries.  Like the Saudi crude, the Venezuelan crudes are also notoriously heavy, sour and cheap, only more so.

Exxon’s Chalmette, LA refinery is also a buyer of Venezuelan crude through a JV and is in a supply arrangement with Mexico for its heavy, sour Mayan crude at its Baytown, TX refinery.  Shell’s Deer Park, TX refinery is another of Mexico’s JV partners and Chevron’s and Valero’s Gulf Coast refineries have supply arrangements there as well.

Exposing ownership and supply sources is not meant to be a gotcha moment for now, but in the future it should be. Our Gulf Coast refineries were built to process these heavy foreign crudes at a time when shale was not even a pipe dream.  Now that shale oil is here, these refineries should start running more North American crude. Every barrel imported, about 2.7 million bbls/day into the Gulf Coast alone, is a lost opportunity for U.S. labor and for the U.S. tax base.

This is not an argument against trade.  Trade is a balance of exchange between two sovereign nations.   It is not a one way ticket out of town.  That’s foreign aid, not trade….The Gulf Coast refineries operating under foreign ownership, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, will likely continue to import their own crudes.  The refined products, predominately gasoline, are then sold directly or indirectly throughout North America under the Shell, CITGO and Exxon brands….China is aligned with Venezuela and will soon own the country if prices don’t rebound.  Mexican crude output is on the decline.  But the Saudis are in a war they masterminded for market share.  They have absolutely no incentive to see their refineries run more American crude at the cost of their own.  http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/President-Trump-This-Is-How-To-Bring-Back-1-Million-Energy-Jobs.html

 

 

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