Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 17 Share on Twitter 2 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 5/15/19

Trump - Extortionist-in-Chief

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     (# of views)   5 comments
Author 3672
Message Wayne Madsen
Become a Fan
  (16 fans)

The world is growing increasingly tired of Trump bullying others to the point that the international order has frayed at the seams
The world is growing increasingly tired of Trump bullying others to the point that the international order has frayed at the seams
(Image by Sputnik International)
  Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -

Donald Trump fancies himself as a deal-maker. His foreign and economic policies, however, are more akin to those of a Mafia extortionist. At a minute after midnight on May 10, Trump hiked tariffs from 10 to 25 percent on $200 billion of Chinese imports. He also threatened a 25 percent tariff on the rest of the $325 billion of imports from China. Trump, who is as challenged in simple mathematics as he is with the English language, falsely tweeted that Chinese tariffs would be paid directly into the US Treasury. This statement was both comically and tragically wrong. Any increase in US tariffs on foreign goods are charged to the importer, which passes the higher costs on to the American consumer. Trump, in order to stoke his trade war with China, decided to hold the US consumers as hostages to higher costs for goods.

Retaliatory Chinese tariffs on US goods hurt American farmers already economically pummeled by Trump's previous tariffs on the European Union, Canada, Mexico, and China. Trump's promise of financial relief for American soybean, beef, pork, corn, and poultry producers was merely more thoughtless rhetoric from an empty-suit president who does not care one iota about the economic security of American workers, farmers, or importers. The same week Trump slapped consumer-punishing sanctions on China, he announced a 17.5 percent tariff on Mexican tomatoes. That equates to a 40 to 85 percent increase in price for tomatoes at the supermarket. Trump's "tomato tax" resulted from his cancellation of the US-Mexican Tomato Suspension Agreement, which had existed for 22 years and provided tariff relief for tomato imports from Mexico. The Fresh Produce Association of the Americas has stated that the price of tomatoes, which will be in short supply, will skyrocket for American consumers.

Trump's tariff on agricultural imports is meant to target American urban areas, where Trump is unpopular. Unlike the rural areas, cities and metroplexes do not enjoy inexpensive local farm-to-store conduits for fresh produce.

- Advertisement -

Trump is holding the southern US border hostage with repeated threats to close every point of entry, an act that will cost the United States $2 billion a day in lost commerce. Trump has also threatened to send US troops to and even across the US-Mexican border. With the backing of his neo-conservative team of national security adviser John Bolton, special adviser Stephen Miller, and Venezuela affairs special envoy Elliott Abrams, Trump's relations with Mexico's progressive president, Andre's Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), have chilled over border, trade, Cuba, and Venezuela. AMLO irritated Trump's neocon cabal when he invited two neocon targets for overthrow, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, to his December 1, 2018 inauguration in Mexico City. Further irritating Trump's neocons was the presence of two other targets for the Trump administration: President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua and Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces former commander Rodrigo Londoño, also known as "Timochenko." Protests organized with the obvious help of the Central Intelligence Agency station in Mexico City, forced Ortega and Londoño to cancel their attendance at the inauguration.

Trump has also put his extortionist-in-chief hat on regarding sanctions on targeted countries, which include Iran, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, Russia, China, Syria, and North Korea. The world is growing increasingly tired of Trump bullying others to the point that the international order has frayed at the seams. Trump's secondary sanctions against nations doing business with Iran target Turkey, Greece, Italy, India, Pakistan, South Korea, China, Japan, Thailand, and other countries.

Trump is also threatening companies that continue to do business with Iran and Cuba. In the case of Cuba, the Trump administration dusted off the Title III and IV provisions of the old Helms-Burton Act, crafted by two of the most right-wing members of Congress, Senator Jesse Helms and Representative Dan Burton. Invocation of Title III and IV permits Cubans, mostly living in south Florida, to sue foreign companies for using assets in Cuba nationalized by Fidel Castro's government after the Cuban Revolution. Canadian and Spanish companies, in particular, were placed in the crosshairs of the Bolton clique in the White House.

- Advertisement -

Trump also initiated sanctions against countries participating in the European Union's INSTEX SAS (Instrument for Supporting Trade Exchanges), a Special Purpose Vehicle to allow for trade between European companies and Iran, which came into being after Trump pulled the United States out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement with Iran. Trump's attempt to extort the EU and other nations to apply a total sanction regime on Iran, in violation of the JCPOA, resulted in the EU resurrecting the Blocking Regulation of 1996, which permits EU companies and entities to recover damages arising from US sanctions by suing "the persons causing them." The Blocking Regulation also nullifies within the EU any foreign court rulings or judgments involving US sanctions. For Trump cronies like Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, two "persons" causing US sanctions, the idea that they could be sued with the possibility that their foreign assets could be seized as part of a judgment against them sent a message to the Trump White House that two can play hardball.

In every case where Trump and his team are applying sanctions against other nations, it is because various negotiations have broken down. The seizure by the United States of the North Korean bulk coal carrier "Wise Honest," operated by the Korea Songi Shipping Company of North Korea, for violating sanctions by selling coal abroad, all but sank US-North Korean negotiations over nuclear weapons production. The Wise Honest was sailed from Indonesia to American Samoa, a US territory, which, like Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Marianas, is a financial assistance victim of Trump's utter dismissal and disdain of American colonies populated largely by non-whites that have suffered from the catastrophic effects of climate change-related super hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones.

The most hapless victims of Trump's extortionist policies have been the Palestinian people. Trump handed off responsibility for Middle East policy to three staunch supporters of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's far right and territorial expansionist government. Trump "special adviser" and son-in-law Jared Kushner, Special Envoy for the Middle East and former Trump Organization lawyer Jason Greenblatt, and former Trump bankruptcy lawyer and ambassador to Israel David Friedman have presided over Trump moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's "eternal capital," recognizing Israel's sovereignty over Syria's Golan Heights, and trashing the "two-state" solution in favor of a Palestinian-Jordanian "confederation" with large swaths of the West Bank being annexed by Israel.

A noteworthy vexing phenomenon of the Trump era is the support for Trump's foreign policy from certain quarters of the "progressive left." Erstwhile progressive individuals and groups are more concerned about the policies that Hillary Clinton would have enacted if she was president than what Trump is now doing to the Palestinians; Native Americans; and battered and mostly Mesoamerican Indian refugees from right-wing regimes in Central America. In their zeal to dwell upon an alternative course of history, these so-called progressives have sold the Palestinians, Native Americans, Puerto Ricans, and others down the river.

The Palestinians are not the only people to have suffered from Trump's extortion. America's Native tribal nations are under attack from Trump's Interior Department, which is bent on violating treaties between tribes and the federal government. Trump's policies on oil and gas pipelines, the southern border, and health care have placed the rights of Native Americans in extreme jeopardy.

 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 6   Well Said 5   Valuable 5  
Rate It | View Ratings

Wayne Madsen Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

For more, visit Wayne Madsen Report, which its publisher, Wayne Madsen, keeps refreshed with more news than any one reporter has a right to.

Wayne Madsen is an investigative journalist, nationally distributed (more...)
 
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The CIA's Islamist Terrorist Network

Details of U.S. False Flag Attacks in Iraq Revealed and More

The super-classified network that served as command and control for the 9/11 false flag attack on America

Israel Slandering American ex-Marine. Semper Fi, Ken! Your Turn to Speak

Libby a Long-Time Mossad Agent

The Gulf oil disaster truth

Comments Image Post Article Comment and Rate This Article

These discussions are not moderated. We rely on users to police themselves, and flag inappropriate comments and behavior. In accordance with our Guidelines and Policies, we reserve the right to remove any post at any time for any reason, and will restrict access of registered users who repeatedly violate our terms.

  • OpEdNews welcomes lively, CIVIL discourse. Personal attacks and/or hate speech are not tolerated and may result in banning.
  • Comments should relate to the content above. Irrelevant, off-topic comments are a distraction, and will be removed.
  • By submitting this comment, you agree to all OpEdNews rules, guidelines and policies.
          

Comment Here:   



You can enter 2000 characters. To remove limit, please click here.
Please login or register. Afterwards, your comment will be published.
 
Username
Password

Forgot your password? Click here and we will send an email to the address you used when you registered.
First Name
Last Name

I am at least 16 years of age
(make sure username & password are filled in. Note that username must be an email address.)

4 people are discussing this page, with 5 comments  Post Comment


Nicholas Ginex

Become a Fan
Author 89178
Follow Me on Twitter

(Member since Jul 29, 2013), 2 fans, 10 articles, 389 comments
Facebook Page Twitter Page Linked In Page Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

The author wrote that the policies that Hillary Clinton would have enacted if she was president than what Trump is now doing to the Palestinians; Native Americans; and battered and mostly Mesoamerican Indian refugees from right-wing regimes in Central America. In their zeal to dwell upon an alternative course of history, these so-called progressives have sold the Palestinians, Native Americans, Puerto Ricans, and others down the river.

The author left out the thousands upon thousands of immigrants that Democrats have let into the country by having open borders and no walls. President Trump is trying to maintain the safety of Americans and avoid disruption of their communities as immigrants flood their schools, hospitals, and end up being cared for instead of adding to the growth of our economy.

The author neglects to write that the U.S. under President Trump has helped many countries affected by flooding and life-threatening storms. No other country on this earth has been more charitable and humane than America. Stop bashing the President and get Democrats and Progressives to straighten out the corruption in the progressive-leftist-Democratic party.

Submitted on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at 6:48:07 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
 
Indent

Leslie Johnson

Become a Fan
Author 500983
Follow Me on Twitter
(Member since Dec 9, 2014), 17 fans, 14 articles, 1 quicklinks, 1265 comments, 1 diaries
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


Reply to Nicholas Ginex:   New Content

Charitable and humane? Supporting coups, starting illegal, aggressive wars, separating children from their parents who were fleeing their countries because of US involvement in their governments, not freeing prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, supporting Israel's illegal settlements, sanctioning countries that have done nothing to us, withdrawing from treaties, imposing more tariffs on imports....geez...I was in Puerto Rico last year...no, we didn't help fix it very well..there are still blue tarps on houses, some homes in tragic disrepair, foundations devoid of any structures what-so-ever...

Submitted on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at 8:05:03 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (1+)
Help
 

shad williams

Become a Fan
Author 63282

(Member since Apr 13, 2011), 22 fans, 53 articles, 1 quicklinks, 2454 comments, 2 diaries
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content
"The Blocking Regulation also nullifies within the EU any foreign court rulings or judgments involving US sanctions. For Trump cronies like Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, two "persons" causing US sanctions, the idea that they could be sued with the possibility that their foreign assets could be seized as part of a judgment against them sent a message to the Trump White House that two can play hardball."


Does one imagine that Trump would respond that such EU "Blocking actions" were a declaration of war against the US?

Submitted on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at 6:49:55 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (2+)
Help
 

Lance Ciepiela

Become a Fan
Author 14196
Follow Me on Twitter
(Member since Apr 4, 2008), 52 fans, 58 articles, 84 quicklinks, 4150 comments, 213 diaries
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

If investors become fully convinced that a protracted trade war is in our future that could be enough to set off a new financial crisis and throw the global economy into a tailspin. It definitely looked like we were headed for a major economic downturn anyway and so this trade crisis could certainly be more than enough to push us over the edge - #EconomicDoom

Submitted on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at 6:53:30 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (1+)
Help
 

Nicholas Ginex

Become a Fan
Author 89178
Follow Me on Twitter

(Member since Jul 29, 2013), 2 fans, 10 articles, 389 comments
Facebook Page Twitter Page Linked In Page Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

Hello Leslie, you need to look at the bright side of life. The U.S. has done more than any other country in welcoming immigrants, taking care of the poor, and assisting countries that have endured life threatening hardships. Give credit to America because no other country has done as much to give people from all over the world a chance to get an education and live a better quality of life.

Submitted on Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 2:41:50 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
 

 
Want to post your own comment on this Article? Post Comment