Britain: Just Stay in the EU

The “president” is eager to make a trade deal with the UK in the event it leaves the EU. If this doesn’t scare Brits into putting a decisive end to Brexit, it should.

Brits: Trump is not your friend. He is more like a big, nasty vulture who just wants to pick over your corpse.

From the Financial Times:

The US president, on the second day of a UK state visit, claimed that transatlantic trade between the two countries could be “two and even three times what we’re doing now” after Brexit, but made it clear that it would involve painful choices for Britain. “Everything will be on the table — the NHS, everything,” Mr Trump said at a joint conference with UK prime minister Theresa May, as he looked ahead to a post-Brexit trade agreement.

Trump saying that the NHS must be “on the table” was not the smartest negotiating tactic. Let’s face it; Mr. “Art of the Deal” couldn’t negotiate his way out of a wet paper bag.

From the New Statesman:

Absent a free trade agreement, American healthcare providers already compete to deliver services in the UK where the NHS puts out contracts to competitive tender. This is not without its own controversy, but was a unilateral decision made by a British government seeking value for money.

However, US demands regarding reimbursement regimes for pharmaceuticals and medical devices give greater cause for thought. The US has long taken issue with the fact that the NHS’s approach to drug procurement — where it makes its own assessment as to the fair value of the drugs it buys — pulls down prices worldwide. Previously, in negotiations with Australia and New Zealand, the US backed away from trade asks on drug pricing in order to get agreements over the line, but due to the NHS’s global significance and market power, the incentives for the US to push the UK harder are more pronounced.

The idea of opening up the taxpayer-funded NHS to more US medical companies — the health service already buys in some capabilities from the private sector, including US groups — is highly controversial in Britain. A trade deal with the US could also potentially involve the NHS having to pay higher prices for drugs made by American companies. The NHS currently pays significantly less for medicines from US companies than American healthcare purchasers.

Such a deal, Britain. You, too, can watch your loved ones die because insulin and supplies cost up to $1,300 per month.

The U.S. also wants the UK to lower its agricultural standards so that we can sell them our famous chlorinated chicken and our soon-to-be uninspected pork. Some guy named Woody Johnson, identified in The Guardian as “a close friend of the US president,” suggests that Brits don’t have to buy the stuff.

Johnson was also pressed on whether the US would seek a loosening of agricultural standards, including the importation of chlorinated chicken. He said the products should be offered to British consumers who could decide whether to buy them.

“There will have to be some deal where you give the British people a choice,” he said. “American products can come over and be allowed to come over. Agriculture is extremely important to the president and to any American president … but if the British people like it, they can buy it; if they don’t like it, they don’t have to buy it.”

Johnson said complaints about US food standards were ill-informed. “It’s completely safe. They can have a choice, we have five million Brits coming over every year and I’ve never heard a complaint about anything to do with chicken,” he said.

And I’m sure Woody interviews every one of those five million and asks what they thought of the chicken. The issue is that the U.S. is really good at mass producing chicken very cheaply. For that reason we Americans eat more chicken than any other meat, in spite of the fact that our chicken carries more diseases like salmonella than any other meat. What would cheap American chicken do to the British poultry industry, hm?

In other stable genius news, some congressional Republicans actually are talking about taking away Trump’s tariff privileges.

Congressional Republicans have begun discussing whether they may have to vote to block President Trump’s planned new tariffs on Mexico, potentially igniting a second standoff this year over Trump’s use of executive powers to circumvent Congress, people familiar with the talks said.

The vote, which would be the GOP’s most dramatic act of defiance since Trump took office, could also have the effect of blocking billions of dollars in border wall funding that the president had announced in February when he declared a national emergency at the southern border, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the talks are private.

Trump’s plans to impose tariffs on Mexico — with which the United States has a free-trade agreement — rely on the president’s declaration of a national emergency at the border. But the law gives Congress the right to override the national emergency determination by passing a resolution of disapproval.

I say the only possible reason Republican lawmakers would even think about overriding Trump is that they are hearing from big-ticket corporate Republican donors who are losing money because of Trump’s tariffs and trade wars.

You might remember that Congress already passed one resolution disapproving the so-called emergency, but Trump vetoed it and there weren’t enough votes to override the veto. Maybe they’ll try again?

This time around, some GOP lawmakers and aides say there could be the votes in the Senate to overturn a presidential veto, because of the intense GOP opposition to tariffs. Such an outcome would be an embarrassing rebuke to the president by members of his own party — even if the veto override vote ultimately failed in the House, where Republicans have shown scant willingness to oppose the president. It takes two-thirds support in the House and Senate to overturn a presidential veto.

Traditional pro-business Republican groups have also announced strong opposition to the tariffs, and some are urging Congress to act. The Koch-backed group Americans for Prosperity sent a letter to congressional leaders on Tuesday calling the proposed tariffs “the largest tax hike in modern history” and urging “it’s time for Congress to do its job.”

Seems to me Trump has put the GOP between a rock and his own hard head. They’re going to have to choose between their deep-pocket donors like the Kochs or Trump and his rabid voter base.

(Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images)

13 thoughts on “Britain: Just Stay in the EU

  1. Good article,  maha. I'm so sick of their sick agenda. I want to hear Dems say "vulture capitalism" everything they use the socialism word. I want a Democrat senate that passes laws against nepotism, using emergency excuse to move money from one dept to another, using tariff orders with made up national security rationales, against nepotism in whitehouse,  codify into law all the abuses of power we have seen the past two years . Without the Senate we have nothing. Elaine Chao needs to be investigated for obvious conflicts of interest with her family's business. 

    And speaking ofinvestigations , fine every obstructor 25,000 daily for being "loyal" and pretending executive priviledge exists when it doesn't. 

    Britain  don't do it. You will regret it. 

    • Britain doesn't have any choice any more. They've painted themselves into a corner so they can't even revoke the declaration under Article 50 (i.e., the notice that they are leaving the European Union). I don't think the EU is going to grant any more extensions past October 31.

      I believe we already have laws against much of what Trump is doing. Maybe not nepotism, so I agree we should pass laws against that, but there are laws against transferring funds from one department to another. Heck, there are laws against transferring funds from one program to another, but they've never been enforced against the Pentagon,  which is what happened to most of the $21 trillion they couldn't explain. Since the only thing you can do with a President* who breaks the law is impeach him you have to wonder if McConnell is ever going to allow that. Maybe if the deep-pocketed donors demand it?

  2. " Democrat senate "

    Right wing hate speak or reasoned question?

    The great thing about Tump and his cartoon Family is they are making deals. The deals never end, good deals, bad deals, who fucking cares, it's one fucking deal after another, so many deals that the fake news can't keep up. Trump was 24 when this great song was written, I'd bet he never listened.

    • The one deal he couldn't close on was winning the approval and love of his father. Trump's old man went to his grave knowing the his son was a total loser. I think his dying words were…"Oh, I go to my eternal rest in the knowledge that I leave behind a son of no substance. For what sin hath I committed that has wrought such cruelty upon me?"

  3. After Trump’s dismantling of what it means to be the President of the United States in England or anywhere in the world, we should not hang or heads in shame for too long.

  4. "Congressional Republicans have begun discussing whether they may have to vote to block President Trump’s planned new tariffs"

    I would be curious how the Democrats would vote on this. On one hand the Dems in Congress largely support fair trade, which includes tariffs, but on the other hand, they know Trump's method is not the best way to working toward moving jobs back here. This may be an opportunity for them to slip in some language from an original bill Pelosi got through the House when Obama was in office, but died in the Senate from the filibuster.

    • I would be curious how the Democrats would vote on this.

      I’m not curious at all. Any Dem who didn’t vote to take Trump’s tariff toy away would be persona non grata in the party. I can’t imagine why you would think otherwise.

      • Tariffs are a funny thing. I live in big union country, steelworkers, trades, auto, most of these folks love tariffs. The argument is tariffs create jobs at home, it is a simplistic argument that is of course not 100% but it is still effective. Democratic congress critters from big union districts like mine won't be quick to shit can the whole tariff issue.

      • "I’m not curious at all. Any Dem who didn’t vote to take Trump’s tariff toy away would be persona non grata in the party."

        Really? Because free trade (little to no tariffs) is predominantly a GOP thing yet Pelosi voted for NAFTA along with 100 other Democrats. I understand that the path Trump is taking is the wrong way to do it, and Pelosi has spoken out against those tariffs, but is she doing so because it's the wrong way or because she's against tariffs in general? Yet, she did manage to get a bill through the House during Obama's time in office that more or less reversed these types of trade agreements.

        The larger point is how their votes would be perceived. Working Americans see tariffs as a positive, but most likely don't know they work best if incentives for corporations to ship jobs overseas are taken away. Yet, those losing jobs now and especially farmers see the present way tariffs are being handled is hurting them.

        A sound bite or a bumper sticker slogan can't explain how and why a fair trade policy works best for the American worker and US media won't provide the time or the details to be put out there.

  5. Your ending choice might be only theoretical. Trumpism doesn't seem to discriminate on the basis of financial means. The only tests for admission are stupidity or one or more serious neuroses. If the Mutant Ninja Senate Majority Leader pokes his head out, it will likely be removed.

     

  6. So long as the Trump apes can be ginned up for a primary challenge, and so long as primaries decide candidates, then R incumbents will by & large tell the Kochs et al. to go pound sand (in, of course, a sweet way) if it comes to the point. Were the Kochs to wager every penny they have on William Weld (or any other such R), for instance, does anyone seriously think Trump would have to break a sweat in the primaries? I don't.

  7. “Everything will be on the table — the NHS, everything,” Mr Trump said at a joint conference with UK prime minister Theresa May, as he looked ahead to a post-Brexit trade agreement.

    I would give roughly even money odds that Trump didn't know what NHS stands for.

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