Trump Keeps Tariffs on European Wines in Place

Trade Representative says 25 percent duties will remain in place for most French, Spanish and German wines; importers and merchants say the tariffs are killing American jobs

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer had no good news for wine consumers last night. The 25 percent tariffs his office (USTR) imposed on most French, German, Spanish and UK wines nearly ten months ago will remain in place for the foreseeable future, forcing wine lovers to pay more and inflicting economic distress on importers, retailers and restaurateurs just as the hospitality industry grapples with the economic downturn triggered by COVID-19. Continue reading “Trump Keeps Tariffs on European Wines in Place”

Big Tech needs to step up. But instead we get “Mwa-Mwa-Mwa”

By Michael Stevenson, aka Monsieur Pas de Merde

The chief executive officers of Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook sat before congress yesterday. Four white guys with unimaginable wealth. I wanted congress to inform them of the new “Big Tech Patriot Emergency Relief Bill” – informing them that, TFN, all their profits after 1 Billion will now be taxed at 99.5 percent. That revenue stream would EASILY replace the expiring Covid Relief package that we all pay for. But instead of my “Big Tech Patriot Emergency Relief Bill” – these creeps just blathered on like the teacher in Peanuts cartoons. Cue the trombone: “Mwa-Mwa-Mwa”

Can Trump ‘deploy the military’ to quell protests over George Floyd’s death?

US President Donald Trump suggested on Monday that he might use federal troops to end the protests that have erupted nationwide following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed in Minneapolis police custody. But to do so, Trump would need to formally invoke rarely used statutes known as the Insurrection Act. 

“Mayors and governors must establish an overwhelming law enforcement presence until the violence has been quelled,” Trump said during brief remarks at the White House on Monday.

Continue reading “Can Trump ‘deploy the military’ to quell protests over George Floyd’s death?”

“Must hear” Interview: We are only at the beginning of this crisis

Dr. Michael T. Osterholm, photo courtesy University of Minnesota

In the midst of a pandemic, governors around the country have been reopening local economies and causing concern for many health experts, including members of the White House coronavirus task force who testified before a Senate committee this week. 

Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota has long warned about the risk of pandemics. He calls the effort to reopen a “hodgepodge,” though he believes remaining locked down while we wait for a vaccine is not an option. First and foremost, he laments a lack of national leadership, frank talk about the tradeoffs ahead, and a clear direction in the fight against COVID-19.

French wine, cheese targeted in latest Trump trade fight

French wine tariff

Industry groups are sounding the alarm on President Trump’s proposal to hit $2.4 billion in French goods with tariffs, warning that the latest trade salvo will affect a broad array of goods and its effects fall on U.S. consumers and small businesses.

The administration has proposed tariffs on a wide number of French products, including cheese, sparkling wine and Champagne, beauty products, handbags and home goods, in retaliation for a French tax on online services that targets American tech giants such as Google and Amazon.

Trade watchers warned the scope of the tariffs would be broad and lead to stark price hikes for consumers.

In 2018, the average tariff rate on French imports was 2.9 percent, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). Under Trump’s tariffs, new taxes could be up to 100 percent for many goods. Continue reading “French wine, cheese targeted in latest Trump trade fight”