Globalization/U.S. Decline Right on Schedule Courtesy Obama Backdown…Summer 2010 Projected Completion of Integration of NAFTA with EU to Counter BRIC/ASEAN Bloc

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

A couple of days ago I posted some thoughts on “Globalization in Pictures: Courtesy AT & T”.

Then I stumbled across an update of a something far more “under the radar” that I had found back in March of 2009. See below for the link to that post, specifically the section titled “Canada-EU Free Trade?”

The gist of that tidbit from March follows:

Friday I received the daily newsletter from Radio Canada International and once again there were squibs included that I couldn’t find at either the RCI site or when I searched around the CBC’s news area.

Read these with an eye to several posts that will be starting tomorrow, with American Lassies’s post entitled “THE PROPOSED NORTH AMERICAN COMMUNITY/NORTH AMERICAN UNION: 2010 Is Just Around the Corner.”

OTTAWA: CANADA, EU AGREE ON FREE-TRADE AGENDA

Canada and the European Union have agreed on a framework for negotiation of a free-trade accord after six months of discussions. Canadian Trade Minister Stockwell Day says the two parties will discuss goods and services, investment rules, intellectual property and free circulation of workers. The minister says Canada’s provinces will take part in the negotiations. Bilateral trade last year was worth $90 billion, an increase of seven per cent over 2007.

***

Well, guess what? Things have been moving along…and  include MORE than Canada and the EU.

From Fortune at money.cnn.com:

Plotting the biggest trade deal of the 21st century

Tax-free Champagne, anyone?

European and North American politicians are plotting the biggest trade deal of the 21st century: a $35 trillion, duty-free region encompassing the E.U., the U.S., Canada, and Mexico

by Erik Heinrich, contributor
Last Updated: October 29, 2009: 2:17 PM ET

TORONTO (Fortune) — Not even Franz Kafka could have dreamed this one up.

This past spring, prime ministers Stephen Harper of Canada and Mirek Topolanek of the Czech Republic met with European Union mandarins from Brussels. The setting was Prague’s medieval castle — made famous by Kafka in what is perhaps the darkest novel in his moody oeuvre — where they hatched a plan for the biggest free-trade deal of the 21st century.

How could a development of this magnitude result from a fairly routine conference between Canada and the EU? (At the time, the Czech Republic was responsible for the trading bloc’s presidency, which rotates between member states every six months.) The short answer is that after decades of spinning their wheels, Canada and the EU finally agreed to begin negotiating a free-trade agreement (FTA).

Immediately after declaring these talks as “hatching” the plans for “the biggest free-trade deal of the 21st century,” the reporter immediately shifts gears:

That’s far from a Bond-villain plot for world domination. But fast forward to last week in Ottawa, Canada, where the first round of Canada-EU negotiations reached a successful conclusion, with both sides optimistic that a deal can be signed as early as the summer of 2010.

Wow, I’m so relieved! No “plot for world domination” here!

But it all boils down to trying to save the neck of the U.S. apparently (my bolding):

When that happens, a push will begin for the ultimate goal behind the Prague agreement: a NAFTA-EU trade zone to counterbalance the growing economic power of Fortress Asia, and the ascendancy of the so-call BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) group of countries.

“The U.S. will lose its leadership position in trade unless it comes up with a new strategy,” says Steven Schrage, a specialist in international business at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington. “It makes sense to integrate NAFTA with the EU.”

Annual two-way trade between Canada and EU is about $100 billion, less than 20% of the total between Canada and the U.S. under NAFTA. But a trans-Atlantic NAFTA-EU trade zone would encompass nearly 1 billion people and account for $35.2 trillion in annual GDP, more than half the world’s total.

The article continues by noting that  China, India, and the 10 ASEAN nations (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) are “not standing still.” Our buddies at Goldman Sachs opine that “by 2050 the world’s three biggest economies will be China, the U.S. and India in that order, compared to the U.S., Japan and Germany today. That represents a clear shift away from the G7.”

A NAFTA-EU trade deal may get stiff opposition here in the U.S.  Why?

However with protectionist sentiment in the U.S. gaining momentum, helped in part by President Obama’s controversial Buy-American position, getting the world’s biggest economy to expand its free-trade frontier could be an uphill battle. At least for the near term.

But wait a minute…

Marc Ambinder in The Atlantic provided a transcript of Obama’s musings in his piece of February 3, 2009 titled  Obama Wants “Buy American” Out Of Stimulus Bill and you can find more stories on the “back down” below!

So, the Fortune report seems to have “forgotten” what went on in February.  Which begs the question–how “uphill” will be this “battle” to integrate NAFTA with the EU in the “near term”?

In my last post I listeda series of posts related to globalization and here’s the link to the post by American Lassie titled  THE PROPOSED NORTH AMERICAN COMMUNITY/NORTH AMERICAN UNION: 2010 Is Just Around the Corner (March 9, 2009) that was mentioned above.

So, do you think all this NAFTA-EU “conflict” will be settled sometime next year?

Well, silly me!  The Fortune article actually informs us that “both sides optimistic that a deal can be signed as early as the summer of 2010.”

DUH!

Everything right on schedule!!!

***

Related Post on Canada-EU Free Trade from March 2009:

The Past Week: March 1-7, 2009 (More on Sinclair Lewis; Canada-EU Free Trade?; China Eyeing the Big Three Automakers’ “Juicy Bits”?; Palin’s “Troopergate” Foe Winds Up In Obama Administration)

Related Posts from February 2009 on Obama’s backdown on “Buy America”:

President Obama to water down ‘Buy American’ plan after EU trade war threat (The Times, UK)

Obama backs down over ‘Buy America’ after EU warns him not to start a global trade war (Daily Mail, UK)

Don’t worry about ‘Buy American’: Obama (Rediff India Abroad)

The Past Week: March 1-7, 2009 (More on Sinclair Lewis; Canada-EU Free Trade?; China Eyeing the Big Three Automakers’ “Juicy Bits”?; Palin’s “Troopergate” Foe Winds Up In Obama Administration)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

This week’s post on Sinclair Lewis (see below) drew a lot of attention, so I thought I’d point readers in the direction of a site devoted to Lewis that is really a great place to start if you want to find out more about “It Can’t Happen Here” and all of Lewis’ work.  Here’s the link:

http://www.squidoo.com/it-cant-happen-here-sinclair-lewis

***

Friday I received the daily newsletter from Radio Canada International and once again there were squibs included that I couldn’t find at either the RCI site or when I searched around the CBC’s news area.

Read these with an eye to several posts that will be starting tomorrow, with American Lassies’s post entitled “THE PROPOSED NORTH AMERICAN COMMUNITY/NORTH AMERICAN UNION: 2010 Is Just Around the Corner.”

OTTAWA: CANADA, EU AGREE ON FREE-TRADE AGENDA

Canada and the European Union have agreed on a framework for negotiation of a free-trade accord after six months of discussions. Canadian Trade Minister Stockwell Day says the two parties will discuss goods and services, investment rules, intellectual property and free circulation of workers. The minister says Canada’s provinces will take part in the negotiations. Bilateral trade last year was worth $90 billion, an increase of seven per cent over 2007.

***

Chicago Correspondent Leslie emailed me during the week about a report she heard on the local Chicago PBS station:

Late last night (3/4)I was watching “France 24 News” (http://www.france24.com/en/) on one of the public teevee stations here. They were covering the auto show in France and interviewed a spokesperson for the Chinese car line called “Brilliance” . This company is partners with BMW. The reporter inquired about the possibility this auto would enter the US market in the near future. The answer was: this auto line doesn’t meet the emission standards of the US. It is a big polluter. BUT,

They are looking at the auto industry in the US, and are realizing the financial distress of the auto manufacturers may make them – particularly GM – interested in having this Chinese company buy them out.

Of course, I wanted to jump up and email you all right away, but I’ve been having some sleep problems and decided to try to stay in bed.  Glad I did. Because This Morning I heard:

GM is now talking about filing for Chapter 11.

(Maybe you all have heard all this before, but I had not and wanted to just tell you before I start ruminating.)

I did a bit of poking around and it was easy to find articles from November-December 2008 on the subject. And, apparently, it’s not just GM that’s involved in buyout speculation.  The following post that I found at The Truth About Cars blog seemed to sum it up nicely:

China Buyout Watch: SAIC Sets Sights On Saturn

By Bertel Schmitt
December 12, 2008

After last night’s Congress cruelty, there might be government help after all. From the Chinese government.  In China, the interest of Chinese automakers has grown far beyond the rumor stage. Today, government-controlled China Daily (THE English speaking news outlet for the official party-line) runs a long article on the Chinese aspirations to snap up juicy bits of Detroit. Actually, as China Daily sees it, it’s Detroit that’s making the advances to China. The headline says it all: “Big 3 look for Chinese medicine.”

SNIP

Folks, take my word for it: If China Daily writes something like this, then the matter is way beyond the idle chatter stage. There will be denials, or milquetoast “no comments,” but if it’s in China Daily, something is definitely in the bush.

***

Remember “Troopergate” that marred Sarah Palin’s reputation during the Presidential campaign? Well, guess what? From the Anchorage Daily News:

Legislator takes job with Obama administration

Longtime Juneau Democrat Kim Elton resigned from the state Senate on Monday to take a job as director of Alaska affairs for the U.S. Department of the Interior.

“This job is the funnel through which the Alaska issues are going to be addressed,” Elton said in an interview after an emotional farewell speech in the Senate.

SNIP

Elton was chairman of the Legislative Council, a bipartisan panel that voted unanimously last summer to investigate Palin’s removal of Walt Monegan as public safety commissioner, as well as the allegations she pressured public safety officials to fire a trooper who was her ex-brother-in law.

SNIP

Palin and Elton have also been at odds, and Palin greeted the announcement of Elton’s new job with the terse declaration that “Senator Elton pledged his allegiance to President Obama last summer.” Palin also said in her written statement that she hopes Elton will use the job to Alaska’s benefit.

An earlier story in the Juneau Empire offers more details:

Elton was head of the Obama campaign in Juneau, but has one other attribute which may help him get the Interior position. He’s a close friend of Pete Rouse, a former Alaskan who served as chief of staff for Obama’s Illinois Senate office. Rouse also serves as chief of staff for Obama’s transition team. “Every time we go back to D.C., we stay with Pete,” Elton said. The most recent visit was three weeks ago, to attend the inauguration of President Obama.

How about them apples?  Now, where did those 30 or so Obama lawyers go who were reported to have  turned over every part of Alaska to find dirt on Palin?

THE PAST WEEK

*By Kenosha Marge

Saturday Sanity: The Antidote to the Madness (March 7, 2009) (The Many Faces of Pansies and Other Garden Delights; Tico Goes Belly Up!) Pics!

Secy. of Defense Robert Gates Downplays Possible U.S. Role as Fears of Mexico Collapse Mount; Don’t Be Fooled, There’s A Bush-Era Agenda Still Going On Here…

*STANDING TALL: DECLARATION OF AN INDEPENDENT

URGENT PRESS RELEASE March 4, 2009 from W.A.M. RE: Expiration of the “E-Verify Program” Which Screens Employment of Illegal Aliens

“It Can’t Happen Here” by Sinclair Lewis: Well, It Sure Seems Like It IS Happening Here…

IL State Treasurer/Obama Ally Giannoulias Planning to Challenge Roland Burris–Report from Our Chicago Correspondent; Medicare Musings

An Interesting Theory on Superpower Collapse: U.S. Going the Way of the Soviet Union?

The Past Week: February 22-28, 2009 (Laura Bush Lives On; Budget Director Peter Orszag/Robert E. Rubin, Iceland Bankrupters; China Taking Advantage of U.S. Weakness As It Looks to Buy Foreign Oil Companies?; U.S. Deaths Spike in Afghanistan; Baracus Caesar Obamacus Meets Barackistanis)