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ART OF THE DEAL: China Agrees to First Phase of Trade Deal With Trump

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On Thursday, December 12, 2019, President Donald Trump signed off on a mini-trade deal with China.

Trump then followed up with the Phase One Deal with China on Friday, December 13, 2019.

This tentative agreement, which Trump describes as a “phase one” deal, codifies what was originally agreed to back in October.

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It will demand that China significantly increase its purchases of U.S. agricultural products, open up its financial services sector, and implement new protections against the theft of intellectual property.

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Trump tweeted, “We have agreed to a very large Phase One Deal with China. They have agreed to many structural changes and massive purchases of Agricultural Product, Energy, and Manufactured Goods, plus much more. The 25% Tariffs will remain as is, with 7 1/2% put on much of the remainder….”

 

He then added, “…..The Penalty Tariffs set for December 15th will not be charged because of the fact that we made the deal. We will begin negotiations on the Phase Two Deal immediately, rather than waiting until after the 2020 Election. This is an amazing deal for all. Thank you!”

Additionally, Trump is expected to cancel a 15 percent tariff that was slated for Sunday. Trump is also expected to slash duty rates that are already imposed on previous goods affected by tariffs such as clothing, flat panel TVs, and footwear.

The trade deal will also include new rules demanding China to be more transparent in its currency valuations with respect to the dollar. The Trump administration has already declared that China is a currency manipulator because Beijing intentionally lowers the value of the renminbi— the currency’s official name — thus making exports cheaper.

The second phase of negotiations with China will attempt to tackle systemic trade issues that U.S. companies have complained about for decades, such as Beijing’s subsidization of state-owned companies and the Chinese’ government’s constant demands that multinationals transfer technology in order to operate in China.

So far, Trump has gotten the China issue right.

The country’s not too distant past of authoritarianism should worry Western countries as China becomes more powerful on the world stage.

Tough diplomacy, trade pressure, and other forms of soft power should continue to be used to contain China’s influence.

Trump’s trade deal is a good place to start, however.

Big League Guns

Merrick Garland Suggests that Getting Rid of Lawsuit Protections is Not a Second Amendment Violation

Garland as AG will be a disaster for the right to bear arms.

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If Merrick Garland is nominated as Attorney General, the Second Amendment is in big trouble.

Based on his comments at a Senate hearing on February 22, 2021, Garland made a suggestion that the repeal of lawsuit protections for gun manufacturers is not unconstitutional. 

AWR Hawkins of Breitbart News reminded his readers that President Joe Biden campaigned on a platform of repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which shielded lawful gun manufacturers from lawsuits.

In a previous Breitbart News report, Biden spoke at an MSNBC forum in 2019 alongside gun control organizations such as March for Our Lives where he expressed his support for gun manufacturers to be subject to lawsuits.

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At the speech, Biden suggested that the PLCC be repealed. He declared, “No other outfit in history has gotten this kind of protection” and asserted that the legal actions would bring about “change overnight.”

In a subsequent occasion on February 7, 2020, Breitbart News covered Biden’s remarks to a New Hampshire crowd, in which he stated that it was a “mistake” to shield firearms manufacturers from lawsuits. He continued, “The first thing I’m going to do as president is work to get rid of that.” 

Later that month, Breitbart News recalled how Biden called out gun manufacturers at a South Carolina rally and boasted, “I’m going to take you down.”

According to a report by The Salt Lake Tribune, Utah Senator Mike Lee asked Garland about his views on removing protections for gun manufacturers. Garland responded, “I have not thought myself deeply about this. I don’t think it raises a Second Amendment issue.”

When he was questioned if he is in favor of Biden’s plans to ban so-called “assault weapons”, Garland responded, “Where there is room under the law for the president’s policies to be pursued, then I think the president is entitled to pursue them.”

Biden’s track record as a gun control proponent is well-documented. From his support of gun-free zones at schools to the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, Biden is Gun Control Inc.’s guy. With Democrats in control of the House and the Senate, there will most certainly be attempts to ram gun control down our throats. If they can’t beat us legislatively, they will most certainly use the courts to undermine the Second Amendment. Pro-gun organizations should be ready to lawyer up and use whatever means possible to keep courts from destroying our rights.

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