Massenbach-Letter. NEWS 27.01.17

Massenbach-Letter. News

  • “Europe’s interests are not difficult to define. They fall into three categories: security, trade, and stability.”
  • From our Russian News Desk *Trump & Russia * Russia-Syria-Turkey-Iran
  • What Trump Should Mean for Europe
  • The Eurozone Faces Tough Questions
  • Deutsche Bank Research: What future for European trade policy?
  • Mattis – On the job, reassuring NATO
  • Senate Democrats unveil a Trump-size infrastructure plan
  • Six maps that show the anatomy of America’s vast infrastructure
  • China’s Limits in the Indo-Pacific

Massenbach* FT: Energy and industrial policy: the case for a long-term view

By Nick Butler

Long-term thinking is needed: the London Metropolitan Underground railway in 1863.

This week, the UK government will launch an industrial strategy designed to help the economy as we leave the EU. To be effective, policy in this area needs to be sustained. Short-term incentives are not enough to create new industrial strengths. This raises the whole question of how policy-makers deal with long-term issues. How do governments, companies or investors assess the value of assets with a long or very long life?

Looking around the world, the infrastructure we use every day from the internet to the road network defies the presumptions of standard analysis by growing in value as time passes rather than declining.

But markets are increasingly focused on short-term returns — after all, many pension funds and similar investment vehicles need a steady inflow of money to meet their obligations. Hedge funds and venture capital investors expect new or turnaround businesses to produce a good return and an exit opportunity in five to seven years. Chief executives have to concentrate on quarterly results and annual dividends. What chance is there for investments with a life expectancy of 100 years or more, particularly if they have high up-front capital costs on which payback and profits will only be generated over decades? The whole methodology of discounting future cash flows favours short-term activity.

The question is provoked by the generally negative response to the proposal to build a tidal energy scheme off the South Wales coast. A review conducted by Charles Hendry, the former energy minister, was extremely positive but failed to address the challenge of financing a project requiring up-front investment of £1.3bn and costing an index-linked £92.50 per MW/h for 60 years — almost twice as long as the period granted to Hinkley Point.

The ministerial response to the idea has been distinctly lukewarm, with a junior energy minister telling the House of Commons in December that the project would be a very significant deviation from existing policy. As a statement of fact that is true. But no attempt is being made to address the challenges associated with long-term capital investment.

Of course long-term investments have enormous value. Where would London be without the underground network, most of which was built 100 years ago? When the first section of what became the Circle Line between Paddington and Farringdon opened in 1863, who could have envisaged that it would be a key part of a complex system carrying up to 4.8m travellers every day 150 years later? Even if the future had been foreseen, how could it have been fitted into a conventional economic model?

On any conventional analysis tidal power looks very expensive, particularly if repayment of the capital involved is required over, say, 10 to 15 years. Against other sources of supply the headline strike price required to guarantee a return to investors is out of line with shorter-term solutions. Over 100 years, the actual operating cost of tidal power is very low and once the capital has been repaid, the net price to consumers would be minimal, especially given that the tides are eternal and predictable — something absent in the case of many wind and solar projects which require expensive back-up schemes.

Because of the bias of the methodology I see no chance of tidal power getting government approval and support. If tidal power could produce huge volumes of electricity that might make a difference. Scale matters, and is one of the reasons why new nuclear has been favoured even though the costs are extortionately high. But the Swansea tidal scheme would make little impact on the national supply. The advocates of the scheme talk about building up to 10 such projects but that seems a remote prospect.

But that should not be the end of the story. Markets are about matching supply and demand and if there is no demand within the government-controlled part of the market the operators of tidal power have to look elsewhere. The source is essentially local and the natural market is therefore the immediate area of Swansea.

The natural buyer is the local authority, which could procure for its citizens and businesses a source of supply for a century and more. Given a secure buyer the challenge of funding is reduced. The steady income stream guaranteed by a local authority could be monetised, bringing forward the capital necessary to fund construction, and that can make the cost to final consumers much lower than would be possible under the current thinking. Thus, the scheme could be genuinely competitive. That is only one form of financial engineering; the point is that the headline cost is the product of the way the numbers are constructed.

The requirement for short-term returns is real. But financing issues should not be allowed to dictate everything. The development of long-term infrastructure is important and should be part of any government’s natural thinking, especially in the context of a new industrial strategy. Just saying no to schemes that don’t match rigid methodology is rather pathetic. Many elements of our infrastructure were built on the basis of financing schemes that sometimes included local authorities. The London underground would not have been built without investment by the City of London — the local council.

In his book on the Victorian radical politician Joseph Chamberlain Nick Timothy, Theresa May’s joint chief of staff, notes the belief of local authorities such as Birmingham in the concept of municipal enterprise. Perhaps Mr Timothy can use his power and position to revive an important element of the economy that was able to give proper weight to the value of long-term ventures.

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From our Russian News Desk.

  • Trump & Russia
  • Russia-Syria-Turkey-Iran
  • Trump and Russia

Igor Ivanov-President of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian

  • Photo:
    REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Donald Trump is the 45th president of the United States. How could this happen? Politicians, experts, journalists will long be debating this question. But no matter how analysts assess this event, they all agree that American society and the US political system are experiencing serious, even fundamental shifts. The presidential election held in November, 2016 became the starting point of a new era in the American political and public life development.

Such a major shift was bound to happen sooner or later. Stagnation cannot go on forever; Russia learned this lesson first hand. The old socio-political system that has existed virtually unchanged in the United States for decades is no longer compatible with the new reality that has developed both in the United States and in the world as a whole. The electoral campaign turned into a fierce battle between those who wanted to preserve the status quo no matter what, and those who made destroying the status quo their goal. The American people opted for change in domestic and foreign policies, sometimes without realizing the exact nature of those changes.

What will be achieved during Trump’s presidency? Hardly anyone is ready to give a certain answer to this question. Judging by the President-elect’s statements, it appears that in the coming years, we will witness out-of-the-box decisions, some of which may be a success, while others may be quite the opposite. This applies both to domestic politics and economic development in the United States, as well as to the country’s foreign policy.

Speaking of the long-term foreign policy implications of the Trump “revolution,” it is likely that Washington will be forced to take a fresh look at the role the United States plays in global affairs, the parameters of the country’s leadership, and the idea of American exceptionalism as such. The process of “perestroika” induced by the new global balance of power is unlikely to be quick and easy, and will probably stretch far beyond Trump’s presidency. But, as Mikhail Gorbachev’s favourite phrase goes, “the process has started,” and it will not only affect the United States, but also the global situation as a whole. (for more see att.)

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The Eurozone Faces Tough Questions

Jan. 24, 2017 Some have started to openly inquire about how states could exit the monetary union.

In our 2017 forecast, we said that the evolution of the Italian banking crisis will force a confrontation between Italy, Germany and the European Union. The groundwork for this confrontation was laid last year, and the face-off has further evolved already this year. In December 2016, two Italian members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from the populist Europe of Nations and Freedom group asked the European Central Bank (ECB) in a letter to explain the “widening balance divergences between individual countries [in the eurozone] since the 2008 crisis.” They also asked the ECB “how the balances would, technically, be settled, especially those in net debtor countries, should a Member State participating in the system decide to quit the single currency.”

This is the first time that MEPs have inquired about what leaving the eurozone would look like. ECB President Mario Draghi responded in a letter to the two politicians on Jan. 19. He first explained the reasons for imbalances and how the eurozone payment system works and concluded by saying, “if a country were to leave the Eurosystem, its national central bank’s claims on or liabilities to the ECB would need to be settled in full.” For the Italians, this issue has more to do with national politics than the European Union. Italy will hold general elections in 2017 or 2018. Its internal debate regarding EU membership will be central to its dialogue with the EU. The power dynamics between the two entities will continue to unfold throughout the year.

Power is a key concept in geopolitics. The extent to which a country has, or lacks, power dictates which deals (including treaties) can be made, broken or left in place. To reverse a deal, power is needed. Understanding how you acquire power is key to assessing whether change is possible. Deals, in the form of treaties, are often signed after wars are fought. These deals are difficult, if not impossible, to reverse because the road to reaching such a deal entails extremely high costs, including loss of life and a country’s physical destruction. Other deals seem easier to dismantle, as they appear to be mostly political.

The European Union is essentially a deal between nation-states to form a union with the hope that peace and prosperity would result. Political cooperation, first inspired by fear of renewed war and later by hope for growth, led to the bloc’s formation. The fear of renewed war led to the formation of the European Coal and Steel Community through the Paris Treaty in 1951. Hope for growth led to the Maastricht Treaty, signed in 1992 by the members of the European Community. This treaty led to the EU’s founding and the creation of the eurozone. Both treaties aimed to create a level of peace and prosperity that member states did not have the power to produce on their own. They feared renewed conflict, as they remembered World War II’s impact on the Continent. They also understood they could not afford massive destruction and rebuilding efforts for a third time.

But in the European Union’s formation, Europe didn’t experience anything comparable to the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War, where the Union Army fought and won against the Confederate Army. The European Union’s founding was more a result of political negotiations than a military battle. The EU was not an ideal solution for the Europeans – but it was seen by European countries and their political leadership at the time as an opportunity for growth.

Today, neither prosperity nor peace is guaranteed through European Union membership. The days of European politicians promising prosperity through integration ended with the 2008 financial crisis. The refugee crisis and terrorist attacks in Europe have threatened to disrupt peace. The EU couldn’t effectively address either crisis and citizens started questioning whether membership was worth the cost. With public discontent growing, populism and nationalism are on the rise. Anti-establishment, populist parties have won seats not only in national parliaments but also in the European Parliament. A significant number of the politicians from these parties represent countries that have experienced severe effects from the economic crisis – such as Italy, Greece and Spain – or countries that have seen a dramatic rise in Euroskepticism in the last few years – such as the United Kingdom.

Draghi’s response to the Italian MEPs’ question marked one of the first instances in which a European authority acknowledged parameters for leaving the bloc. In fact, the European treaty does not have a provision detailing how a member would exit the eurozone, and this is not a mere oversight. There are no norms or procedures that outline how a withdrawal would proceed. The monetary union was considered irrevocable and irreversible. When the Maastricht Treaty was signed, member states thought it was inconceivable that any countries would want to withdraw from the eurozone. Including such a clause in the treaty would have meant acknowledging that membership may have negative effects on states in the future. Taking such a possibility into account would have implied that prosperity was not a given and undermined the promise and purpose of the treaty. Countries would have been forced to question their transfer of powers to the bloc.

But at the same time, member states didn’t want to give up their authority over fiscal policy – and thus only gave the ECB control over monetary policy. That was their deal: They wanted to hold full political power at home and transfer power over one area, which they thought would limit the costs of financial transactions between member states. They dismissed the fact that these transactions were unbalanced, as the level of trade between countries was unequal and members’ socio-economic environments were very different. But while members maintained hope that the EU would bring growth and prosperity, their deal worked out well.

This is no longer the case, which is glaringly apparent in the letters exchanged between the Italian MEPs and Draghi. Problems appeared as the 2008 crisis hit, and economic differences became visible. While Draghi has rarely mentioned the possibility of a country leaving the eurozone, it was discussed in official spheres during the summer of 2015, when Greece faced its own financial crisis. Italy is far from being in a comparable position at the moment. But Europe has grown accustomed to nationalism and populism since the Greek crisis, and radical positions by politicians are no longer the exception but the norm.

The European Union’s economic crisis is political. The deal that was signed in the early ’90s in Maastricht, and updated in Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon, seems to be no longer relevant. There are no ideas on how to improve or reverse it. But political deals can be changed, and the will to make this happen is growing stronger as countries see that it may be in their national interests to reclaim their monetary power, for better or worse.

https://geopoliticalfutures.com/the-eurozone-faces-tough-questions/

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Policy= res publica

Freudenberg-Pilster* What Trump Should Mean for Europe

“Europe’s interests are not difficult to define. They fall into three categories: security, trade, and stability.”

Posted by: Judy Dempsey

Monday, January 23, 2017

European leaders should harbor no illusions or hopes about Donald Trump, whose short and pugnacious inauguration speech on January 20 just after he was sworn in as U.S. president set the tone of his administration. Leaving aside the intense nationalist tenor of his speech, his message to America’s allies was that his administration was going to put interests, not values, first.

Most leaders of EU member states and of EU institutions speak about putting values before interests. For them, values define Europe. And no matter which U.S. president was in the White House, the mantra—until Trump’s inauguration—was that the transatlantic relationship was built on values. Interests hardly got a look-in.

Trump has changed all that. The EU now has to take a hard look at its interests, because the reality is that interests more than values have been the basis of the Euro-Atlantic community. NATO’s top officials repeatedly argue that the alliance is based on values. But NATO didn’t admit Turkey or Spain because of their values. And today, the political decay of Turkey’s democracy challenges NATO’s views about shared values. Put simply, NATO is based on hard-nosed interests and realpolitik. Admitting authoritarian countries during the Cold War was about expanding security and consolidating Western Europe.

Over a quarter century since the collapse of the Berlin Wall, NATO’s motivations have not changed. Had the alliance been based on values, then NATO would several years ago have admitted Georgia and not Montenegro, which signed an accession protocol in 2016. In short, the transatlantic alliance has served the interests of both the United States and Europe, even though Trump chooses to dismiss that reality.

The EU could take a leaf out of NATO’s book and Trump’s speech. Since the new U.S. president is determined to defend America’s interests—at any cost, it seems, and to the detriment of previous trade agreements—EU leaders should take a hard look at defending their interests.

Preaching and defending values are important and noble. But if values are not coupled with a definition of Europe’s interests, then the EU will be in no fit state to deal with the Trump administration—just as it has been singularly unprepared to devise a strategy for Russia beyond sanctions or a long-term approach toward Ukraine or the Middle East.

Europe’s interests are not difficult to define. They fall into three categories: security, trade, and stability.

First, it is in Europe’s interest to have clearly defined defense and security policies. Leaders in the European Parliament such as Guy Verhofstadt and Germany’s Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen argue repeatedly for more European defense. But the detail and the political will are absent.

It is also in Europe’s interest and safety to have integrated defense and security policies. It’s all very well having Atlanticists over in Washington pledging unending support for NATO, but the reality is that Europeans can no longer take America’s security guarantee for granted—even though that security guarantee was in America’s interest, too. That is why Europeans need a hard-nosed approach to defense and security.

Second, the European Commission, the EU’s executive, needs to protect its prerogative in negotiating trade accords. This is more urgent than ever. As Trump talks a language of protectionism, this is no time for Europe to dawdle in forging trade accords in a bid to protect its economy from the United States, the world’s biggest economy, which is threatening to shut its doors to manufacturers that want to sell to America but will not invest there.

The third interest is stability. This is not about turning a blind eye to authoritarian regimes, as most European governments did in North Africa and the Middle East before the Arab Spring erupted in 2010. It is about promoting stability through trade, economic and political incentives, and special support for building democratic institutions. Rather than impose its values, which doesn’t work, Europe should underpin democratic movements by helping them with training, exchanges, grants, support for independent media, and education. These elements are all in Europe’s interest because they are to do with promoting and slowly spreading stability.

It is very easy to argue that instead of articulating these interests, the EU should focus on its many internal weaknesses. Apart from Britain’s decision to leave the union and the rise of populist, isolationist leaders, corruption and weak governance are back with a vengeance in Romania as the new government plans to commute sentences for nonviolent crimes—meaning releasing politicians jailed for corruption. Neighboring Hungary has plans to rein in nongovernmental organizations that are critical of Viktor Orbán’s government. And Poland’s conservative Law and Justice government is polarizing the country at a time when it should be pushing for a stronger and more integrated Europe.

But those weaknesses are precisely why it is in Europe’s interest to push hard and fast for security, trade, and stability. All three, logically, mean a more integrated Europe, whether all countries together or at different speeds. Complaining about the Trump administration may make some European leaders feel good. But that is no substitute for strategy.

http://carnegieeurope.eu/strategiceurope/?fa=67759&mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTmpjM05UazNOR0kxWkRsayIsInQiOiJWOXN4UkdoamIzNWNtMW8rMTE0Q21lN0JGRjZ4TG1cL0paN015VFdCT1NJY2NLOTU5aElvcE45cVNZSklHOEhcLzBVSzdlRGwxdFlrSllodk5BdU9lTlpYUFpPZmx6bWNFdnM4MVhxRUp6dXdNcVd6UTNETU5YYjg5NHBRWFhDYkwyIn0%3D

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Barandat* Foreign Policy:On the job, reassuring NATO. New Defense Secretary James Mattis made his first calls as secretary on Monday — and notably, all three calls were to NATO allies. Mattis dialed his counterparts in Canada and the U.K. as well as NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, where he talked Canada’s contribution to the anti-ISIS coalition in Iraq with Canadian Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan, followed by a call to British Defense Minister Michael Fallon, emphasizing the "key role NATO plays in transatlantic security," the Pentagon’s official readout notes. That NATO praise — combined with the SecDef’s call to Stoltenberg on his first day — mark a notably warmer attitude towards the Atlantic alliance than President Trump himself has struck.

With Russia, or not? The White House opened the door for more military cooperation with Russia in the fight against the Islamic State on Monday, just hours after the Pentagon dismissed reports that such coordination was already happening.

In his first press conference as press secretary, Sean Spicer told reporters that “if there’s a way that we can combat ISIS with any country, whether it’s Russia or anyone else, and we have a shared national interest in that, sure, we’ll take it.” The remarks came just after Pentagon officials quickly brushed aside reports from Moscow that Russian planes coordinated airstrikes near the ISIS stronghold of al-Bab in Syria with the U.S.-led coalition. "The Department of Defense is not coordinating air strikes with the Russian military in Syria," Eric Pahon, a Pentagon spokesman, said.

al-Bab. It’s unclear what exactly happened in the crowded skies over Syria, but the Russian ministry of defense said it received coordinates "from the U.S. side via hotline," on Sunday, after which two aircraft from the U.S.-led coalition joined Russian jets in hitting targets on the ground. It’s not like the Russians and Americans don’t talk to one another about their operations in Syria, however: both sides maintain a "hotline" where the they communicate on a daily basis to ensure their aircraft avoid one another over Syria.

In al-Bab, Turkish-backed rebels are pushing on the city from the north, and forces supporting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are just south of the city, Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said Monday. And U.S. aircraft have hit ISIS positions at least nine times over the past several days southeast of the city. Those strikes aren’t in support of the pro-government forces though, officials are quick to point out.

It’s the law. The Los Angeles Times’ W.J. Hennigan makes the point that for all of the talk from the Trump administration about working more closely with Moscow in Syria, “a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act first passed by Congress late in 2014 and renewed since then strictly limits the Pentagon’s ability to work with Russia. The law was passed in response to Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its continued involvement in the Ukrainian civil war.”

Warning shot aimed at Beijing. Sean Spicer also told reporters Monday that Washington is prepared to take action to prevent China from building more islands in the South China Sea and claiming the territory as its own. "It’s a question of if those islands are in fact in international waters,” he said, “and not part of China proper, then yeah, we’re going to make sure that we defend international territories from being taken over by one country."

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying shot back on Tuesday that China’s sovereignty over the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea was "irrefutable," adding, “we urge the United States to respect the facts, speak and act cautiously to avoid harming the peace and stability of the South China Sea," Hua said. "China’s resolve to protect its sovereignty and maritime rights in the South China Sea will not change.”

Pompeo in. With his approval by the Senate, Trump nominee to head the CIA, Mike Pompeo, will take over an agency that the president compared to “Nazi Germany.” Many Democratic Senators are concerned about Pompeo’s comments about possibly bringing back torture, and his previous comments about expanding domestic surveillance.

“In testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee,” FP’s Elias Groll writes, “Pompeo had pledged that as CIA director he would not allow the use of torture in interrogations. But in subsequent written questions he appeared to backtrack on that commitment and others, alarming Senate civil rights advocates. Trump himself, on the campaign trail, proposed bringing back torture.” Additionally, “in a questionnaire released last week, Pompeo said he would consult with CIA experts on whether national-security imperatives required restrictions on the use of torture to be loosened.”

Russia’s sanction workarounds. In the wake of sanctions slapped on Moscow after its 2014 annexation of Crimea, the Kremlin faced some hard choices. “The economic sanctions placed the country’s military modernization program in jeopardy,” FP’s Paul McLeary reports, “cutting Russia off from high-end European-made military sensors, software, ship engines, and other gear that were critical to dragging the once-moribund Russian war machine from its rusting post-Soviet morass.”

But “Moscow has managed to come up with some creative — and likely permanent — workarounds that might make the Kremlin’s military more adaptable in the long run, and has made Moscow some money in the process.”

Russia wants to be U.N. anti-terror Czar. Moscow “is seeking a leading role in shaping the United Nations’ global counterterrorism strategy, lobbying Secretary-General António Guterres to appoint a Russian national to serve in a newly envisioned post as counterterrorism czar, according to several senior U.N. diplomats,” FP’s Colum Lynch reports from New York.

“The move comes as U.S. President Donald Trump has stressed his desire to work in partnership with Russia to combat the Islamic State and other terrorist groups. But the development has raised concern among human rights advocates and other observers, who fear the former rival powers, now joined more closely together under a Trump administration, may move the U.N. further from its role as a defender of human rights and civil liberties.”

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Middle East / Asia

China’s Limits in the Indo-Pacific

Taking stock of competition between India, China and the U.S. in the Indian Ocean.

India held an annual geopolitics conference Jan. 17-19 from which two global news stories emerged, based on statements made at the conference. The Press Trust of India reported the first on Jan. 18, stating that a Sri Lankan government official said that Sri Lanka and India are close to finalizing talks on India’s development of Trincomalee port. The second story was a Jan. 19 report by NDTV regarding comments by the commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, who said that the United States and India are sharing intelligence on the movement of Chinese warships and submarines in the Indo-Pacific, and that “clearly” China could operate a carrier battle group in the Indian Ocean today, if it wanted to.

International conferences are great media fodder. Many important people gather in one place to give presentations and make statements. Most of the time one cannot predict when events will happen. Conferences such as these offer sound bites presented in articles that make it appear that an issue has suddenly become more important. It is not a coincidence that a spate of recent articles focused on tensions between India and China in the Indian Ocean. This Reality Check will address those tensions, but to determine if any of this open-source chatter is important, we must first identify the sources. (for more see att.)

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*Massenbach’s Recommendation*

Senate Democrats unveil a Trump-size infrastructure plan

President Donald Trump, center, hosts a reception for House and Senate leaders in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington on monday. Some of the participants are, from left, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) (Susan Walsh/AP)

January 24 at 12:42 PM

A group of senior Senate Democrats on Tuesday unveiled their own $1 trillion plan to revamp the nation’s airports, bridges, roads and seaports, urging President Trump to back their proposal, which they say would create 15 million jobs over 10 years.

The Democrats said their infrastructure plan would rely on direct federal spending and would span a range of projects including not only roads and bridges, but also the nation’s broadband network, hospitals run by the Department of Veterans Affairs and schools. ….

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/democrats-set-to-unveil-a-trump-style-infrastructure-plan/2017/01/23/332be2dc-e1b3-11e6-a547-5fb9411d332c_story.html?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTmpsa05EbGxaR1prTURVeCIsInQiOiJqMGg3dnB0dHRsT2M2UFwvUUtpYzMyYXIwNVlSMVZ1UmROZGdzODBmaEFNNkliVWRcL0pxWUx2aHNFQU5RRHE4KzF1SCt0R3pXdnZEZlRqQ1BXZ0IyK3l1cWprN0tRNDdUdUQwa21LUGNnYXJrTTA2Q0oxa1VQXC9VdXptQ0pmY2lHbSJ9&utm_term=.5d101fdf1030

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Six maps that show the anatomy of America’s vast infrastructure

By Tim Meko

Dec. 1, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump’s plan to invest about $550 billion in new infrastructure projects across the country was a central theme in his campaign. “We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none. And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it,” Trump said. Details are still murky, but it appears that the plan will rely on tax credits to spur private investment.

The maps you are about to see show the massive scope of America’s infrastructure using data from OpenStreetMap and various government sources. They provide a glimpse into where that half-trillion dollars may be invested.(for more see att.)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/maps-of-american-infrastrucure/?tid=a_inl

Deutsche Bank Research: What future for European trade policy?

The Trump campaign questioned the usefulness of current trade agreements. Actions following words could easily trigger a slew of legal challenges ‒ both domestic and at the WTO ‒ and cause serious economic damage.

Coping with mixed feelings: What future for European trade policy?

It is hard to overstate the importance of trade policy for Europe. The EU28 is the largest trading bloc, the top trading partner for about 80 countries worldwide and ranks 1st for in- and outbound investment. The EU’s free trade agreements (FTAs) vary substantially, depending on partners and policy priorities. “New generation trade agreements” go beyond traditional tariff reductions, including issues like services trade, intellectual property or investment. EU agreements to foster trade (and investment), however, have sparked mixed feelings more recently given the backlash against globalisation as well as EU-internal controversies over the power to strike such deals. Yet, the EU’s ability to conclude trade deals is also contingent on political support. Rising scepticism about globalisation means, that (potential) distributional effects of FTAs and their (potential) interaction with national legislation, is going to feature more prominently throughout negotiations and in the public debate. (for more see att.)

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see our letter on: http://www.massenbach-world.de/41259.html

*Herausgegeben von Udo von Massenbach, Bärbel Freudenberg-Pilster, Joerg Barandat*

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UdovonMassenbachMailJoergBarandat

01-23-17 Trump and Russia_Russia-Syria-Turkey-Iran.docx

Six maps that show the anatomy of America’s vast infrastructure – Washington.pdf

01-24-17 European trade policy_PROD0000433756.pdf

GPF_ chinas-limits-in-the-indo-pacific.pdf

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