Prime example of the effects of Trump’s Tariffs.

So many executive orders, so much twitter. What to do? Well, discuss it here for one...

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Prime example of the effects of Trump’s Tariffs.

#1 Post by TrueTexan » Sun May 12, 2019 7:45 pm

Tariffs are hurting real America businesses and the workers, not helping as Trump would believe.
The owner of one of the United States largest bicycle manufacturing operations opened up to the Washington Post that he’d love to add more employees to his workforce to meet demand, but Donald Trump’s trade war with China is crippling his business.

Speaking with the Post’s Sophia Nguyen, Arnold Kamler, chairman, and CEO of Kent International, Inc., based in Parsippany, New Jersey agreed to an op-ed piece entitled: “I employ hundreds of American workers. I’d hire more if not for Trump’s tariffs.”

According to Kamler, his costs for parts that come out of China have skyrocketed making it hard to keep the price of his bikes down and bringing on more help.

Stating, “Kent International, Inc. is one of the largest suppliers of imported and American-made bicycles in the country,” Kamler further explained, “Over the generations, we’ve weathered all kinds of turns in the industry. But we’ve never dealt with anything like this: heavy tariffs on key commodities, announced with barely any notice. “

According to the businessman, ” our factory is responsible for more than half of the roughly 500,000 bicycles produced in the United States each year. Before President Trump’s trade war, we had plans to grow even further.”

“My company specializes in providing affordable bicycles, retailing for between $80 and $200 at outlets including Walmart, Amazon, and Academy Sports and Outdoors,” he added. “The new tariff raised our overall costs by 7.5 percent, which we were forced to pass on to our customers and, ultimately, to American consumers. Because it typically takes several months for large retailers to accept a price increase, we couldn’t offset our extra costs for much of our busiest shipping season, in late fall. When the holidays arrived, consumers were put off by the higher prices. Sales dropped, ending up 5 to 10 percent lower than our projections.”

According to Kamler, Trump’s latest plan to add more tariffs — causing trade talks to fall apart — is further hurting his business and keeping him from more than doubling his workforce.

“The volatility caused by the trade war has thrown a wrench in my company’s domestic ambitions,” admitted, “Ever since our factory opened, I had planned to bring more phases of the manufacturing process home. We’d start by importing steel tubes and welding the bike frames ourselves; from there, we’d buy American steel and make the tubes. Our factory employs 125 people, but that could grow to 300, I thought.”

“We don’t plan to lay anyone off, but until the situation stabilizes and we have some clarity about our future, we’ll just continue buying bike frames from China,” he lamented before taking a shot at Trump once again.

“Despite the president’s promises that he would help American companies grow, his sanctions are hurting us badly,” he stated. “These measures punish American businesses that have done nothing wrong. We play by the rules. Why does this administration keep changing them?”
https://www.rawstory.com/2019/05/us-man ... unt-op-ed/
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Re: Prime example of the effects of Trump’s Tariffs.

#2 Post by YankeeTarheel » Sun May 12, 2019 8:41 pm

I didn't realize that Kent was a NJ company. Parsippany is only 15-20 minutes away. They make inexpensive bikes for places like WalMart. They may be cheap, but what you lose from the pricier bikes are lots of little things: Heavier frames, cantilever brakes, less expensive pieces that don't have the fit and finish, yet they work for most people's casual riding.
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Re: Prime example of the effects of Trump’s Tariffs.

#3 Post by Bullitt68 » Mon May 13, 2019 10:36 am

There's people in USA that would disagree.
https://www.44bikes.com/tubing-true-tem ... a-matters/
Now to come full circle on this whole idea of “Made in the USA”. I’ve been working on a modest collection for a few months. Needless to say, I’m pretty stoked with the results. Just about everything is sourced here in these great 50 states. Luck would have it regarding a few items: They’re made right here in NH. Now I know that everything can’t be made here. I know our economy is a global economy. I know some say stuff like this doesn’t matter, that it’s a waste of time or you’ll hear the same dog and pony show stating that US Manufacturing is gone and it’s never coming back. That irritates me. Hearing that smoke screen to try and brainwash consumers into not taking U.S. based manufacturing to heart angers me. I’m going to come out of my shell and tell you something: They’re all dead wrong.
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Re: Prime example of the effects of Trump’s Tariffs.

#4 Post by BKinzey » Mon May 13, 2019 11:12 am

Bullitt68 wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 10:36 am
There's people in USA that would disagree.
https://www.44bikes.com/tubing-true-tem ... a-matters/
Now to come full circle on this whole idea of “Made in the USA”. I’ve been working on a modest collection for a few months. Needless to say, I’m pretty stoked with the results. Just about everything is sourced here in these great 50 states. Luck would have it regarding a few items: They’re made right here in NH. Now I know that everything can’t be made here. I know our economy is a global economy. I know some say stuff like this doesn’t matter, that it’s a waste of time or you’ll hear the same dog and pony show stating that US Manufacturing is gone and it’s never coming back. That irritates me. Hearing that smoke screen to try and brainwash consumers into not taking U.S. based manufacturing to heart angers me. I’m going to come out of my shell and tell you something: They’re all dead wrong.
From what I can tell Bike 44 builds custom bikes to order. They start at $2,000. That's a little different than building a sub $200 bike.

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Re: Prime example of the effects of Trump’s Tariffs.

#5 Post by JaxTeller » Mon May 13, 2019 1:54 pm

Hey! They certainly are "Owning the libs!".

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Re: Prime example of the effects of Trump’s Tariffs.

#6 Post by Bullitt68 » Mon May 13, 2019 2:19 pm

Just bought two 25' Craftsman tape measures for 15 bucks, made in USA.
Manufacturers are listening.
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Re: Prime example of the effects of Trump’s Tariffs.

#7 Post by Mason » Mon May 13, 2019 2:29 pm

BKinzey wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 11:12 am
Bullitt68 wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 10:36 am
There's people in USA that would disagree.
https://www.44bikes.com/tubing-true-tem ... a-matters/
Now to come full circle on this whole idea of “Made in the USA”. I’ve been working on a modest collection for a few months. Needless to say, I’m pretty stoked with the results. Just about everything is sourced here in these great 50 states. Luck would have it regarding a few items: They’re made right here in NH. Now I know that everything can’t be made here. I know our economy is a global economy. I know some say stuff like this doesn’t matter, that it’s a waste of time or you’ll hear the same dog and pony show stating that US Manufacturing is gone and it’s never coming back. That irritates me. Hearing that smoke screen to try and brainwash consumers into not taking U.S. based manufacturing to heart angers me. I’m going to come out of my shell and tell you something: They’re all dead wrong.
From what I can tell Bike 44 builds custom bikes to order. They start at $2,000. That's a little different than building a sub $200 bike.
Exactly this. I spend a LOT of money on bicycles and I can't afford a 44.
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Re: Prime example of the effects of Trump’s Tariffs.

#8 Post by TrueTexan » Mon May 13, 2019 3:35 pm

Then we have the view of Sen. Tom Cotton that farmers are only barely hurting due to the tariffs.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) asserted on Monday that Americans who suffer economic consequences due to President Donald Trump’s trade war with China are not making the type of sacrifices that soldiers killed in action have made.

During an interview on CBS This Morning, host Norah O’Donnell warned that the trade war “could end up hurting many farmers” in Cotton’s home state.

“There will be some sacrifice on the part of Americans, I grant you that,” Cotton admitted. “But also that sacrifice is pretty minimal compared to the sacrifices that our soldiers make overseas that are fallen heroes or laid to rest.”

Cotton predicted that China would ultimately be hurt more by Trump’s tariffs.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow is also on record saying that Americans will be hurt by the trade war.
https://www.rawstory.com/2019/05/tom-co ... ng-killed/
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Re: Prime example of the effects of Trump’s Tariffs.

#9 Post by Bullitt68 » Mon May 13, 2019 5:41 pm

One has to realize products made in China are artificially lower price wise because of slave and child labor. Plus much like the tools made over there have plastic gears where when made in the states they were metal. After awhile their slaves get more money for their labors and it's just not a efficient a process economically to produce stuff there and ship it across the world. Happened to Japan. But then my wife says I just pull shit outa my ass. Hehe
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Re: Prime example of the effects of Trump’s Tariffs.

#10 Post by Wino » Mon May 13, 2019 7:04 pm

Bullitt68 wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 5:41 pm
One has to realize products made in China are artificially lower price wise because of slave and child labor. Plus much like the tools made over there have plastic gears where when made in the states they were metal. After awhile their slaves get more money for their labors and it's just not a efficient a process economically to produce stuff there and ship it across the world. Happened to Japan. But then my wife says I just pull shit outa my ass. Hehe
The same BS was said about Japan in the 60's - destroying American industries, then their economics caught up to ours - no more slave labor. The same will happen with China and they will eventually replace the USA as THE economical giant. If we stay on the Turnip map to prosperity, we will become a third world nation in reality. When, not if, China goes full capitalist, they will surpass USA. Highly recommend learning any version of the Chinese language cause the future will require it. I'm old, so I don't worry about it, but you young folk are truly fucked. :mrgreen:
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Re: Prime example of the effects of Trump’s Tariffs.

#11 Post by Bullitt68 » Mon May 13, 2019 10:34 pm

The only reason China has and will rise to the top of the food chain is because our corporations have willingly fucked our country giving them intellectual secrets in return for selling out our people to cheap child labor.
Et al Seve Jobs.
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Re: Prime example of the effects of Trump’s Tariffs.

#12 Post by TrueTexan » Tue May 14, 2019 10:29 am

Now China has retaliated on Trump's tariffs.
China will raise tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. goods in retaliation for the U.S. decision to hike duties on Chinese goods, the Chinese Finance Ministry said Monday.

Beijing will increase tariffs on more than 5,000 products to as high as 25%. Duties on some other goods will increase to 20%. Those rates will rise from either 10% or 5% previously.

The move follows President Donald Trump’s decision to raise duties on $200 billion in Chinese products to 25% from 10%. The world’s two largest economies have struggled to sign a trade deal and end a widening conflict that threatens to damage the global economy.

The duties in large part target U.S. farmers, who largely supported Trump in 2016 but suffered from previous shots in the Trump administration’s trade war with China. The thousands of products include peanuts, sugar, wheat, chicken and turkey.

On Monday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC that the sides are still involved in negotiations. He said the administration is working on dates to travel to Beijing to continue talks.

Neither the White House nor the Treasury Department immediately responded to CNBC’s requests to comment on the tariff increase.

In increasing duties on Chinese goods on Friday, the White House said Beijing backed out of major parts of a developing trade agreement. While Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer met with Chinese negotiators last week in talks Mnuchin called “constructive,” the sides could not strike a deal.

Trump, who wants to address grievances such as intellectual property theft, forced technology transfers and trade deficits, pushed China to make a deal ahead of its retaliation on Monday morning. In a string of tweets, the president argued the tariffs are “very bad for China.” He said “China should not retaliate” as it “will only get worse!”

“You had a great deal, almost completed, & you backed out!” he wrote of China and its President Xi Jinping.

The U.S. may not be done retaliating. Trump has threatened to put 25% tariffs on $325 billion in Chinese goods that remain untaxed. The president has signaled he is content leaving the duties in place, arguing they will damage China more than the U.S.

The president has repeatedly claimed China bears the brunt of the costs from the tariffs. But the burden falls largely on U.S. businesses and consumers.

Pressed Sunday during a Fox News interview about Americans paying the tariffs, Trump’s top economic advisor Larry Kudlow responded, “Fair enough. In fact, both sides will pay.”

Despite this, Trump claimed in a tweet Monday that “there is no reason for the U.S. Consumer to pay the Tariffs.” He also said the tariffs “can be completely avoided if you by (sic) from a non-Tariffed Country, or you buy the product inside the USA (the best idea).”

The U.S. hopes to revive discussions as it tries to reach a deal. On Sunday, Kudlow said there is a “strong possibility” Trump will meet with Xi during the G-20 summit in Japan next month.
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/13/china-i ... une-1.html

Par for the course Trump puts all the blame on China because he is such a great deal maker.
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Re: Prime example of the effects of Trump’s Tariffs.

#13 Post by TrueTexan » Tue May 14, 2019 11:11 am

Even the Republican business people are being hit.
A businessman who’s a registered Republican told CNN on Tuesday that President Donald Trump’s trade war is doing immense damage to his business.

Kishore Vasnani, who along with his wife Vanessa Jeswani is the cofounder of travel accessories manufacturer Nomad Lane, explained to CNN that the president’s tariffs on Chinese imports have had a severe impact on his ability to make money.

“We’re teetering on the edge of panic,” said Vasnani, who described Trump’s trade war as a “gut punch” to his business.

Vanessa Jeswani similarly told CNN that she is surprised to see Trump and Republicans in support of trade wars with China given their reputation as a party of “free markets.”

“He’s supposed to be pro-business but this was not the pro-business move,” she said. “Especially for small businesses like us.”

Given the massive tariffs that will hit their products, the couple now says they have less than two weeks to find another manufacturer outside of China to make their products.

“It’s going to have a downstream effect, not just on us, but on a wide swathe of industries,” said Vasnani.
https://www.rawstory.com/2019/05/were-o ... r-profits/

There are those that would say he should just find someone in the US to make the product and that would solve his problems. That brings up questions. Is there anybody in the US that can make to product for him and is not a competitor? Can they make it at a low enough cost that he can then sell a product to make a profit. If those can't be answered yes, then he has to look overseas for manufacturing.
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Re: Prime example of the effects of Trump’s Tariffs.

#14 Post by Bullitt68 » Tue May 14, 2019 5:29 pm

Wino wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 7:04 pm
Bullitt68 wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 5:41 pm
One has to realize products made in China are artificially lower price wise because of slave and child labor. Plus much like the tools made over there have plastic gears where when made in the states they were metal. After awhile their slaves get more money for their labors and it's just not a efficient a process economically to produce stuff there and ship it across the world. Happened to Japan. But then my wife says I just pull shit outa my ass. Hehe
The same BS was said about Japan in the 60's - destroying American industries, then their economics caught up to ours - no more slave labor. The same will happen with China and they will eventually replace the USA as THE economical giant. If we stay on the Turnip map to prosperity, we will become a third world nation in reality. When, not if, China goes full capitalist, they will surpass USA. Highly recommend learning any version of the Chinese language cause the future will require it. I'm old, so I don't worry about it, but you young folk are truly fucked. :mrgreen:
Who are you callin a youngin? I am over 60. You need your eyes checked. LOL
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Re: Prime example of the effects of Trump’s Tariffs.

#15 Post by Bisbee » Tue May 14, 2019 7:09 pm

Veeery interesting.

China, for its part, is playing the Long Game in investing its money into infrastructure of 3rd world countries. It will continue to play Landlord to nearly every developing country in the world long before their position as cheap labor producer is exhausted a la Japan.

But this move by Prez Big Mouth, who play no game whatsoever with American economics, has thrown a wrench in the Chinese Government’s plan of world domination through finance. So there.

Look up “China Belt & Road Initiative” along with “China Money Trap” to learn more.
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Re: Prime example of the effects of Trump’s Tariffs.

#16 Post by Bullitt68 » Thu May 16, 2019 1:50 pm

Bisbee, i get the China syndrome.
Guess who owes China a trillion U.S. dollars, with interest.
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Re: Prime example of the effects of Trump’s Tariffs.

#17 Post by Bisbee » Thu May 16, 2019 2:19 pm

The difference (so far) is that the US has not borrowed money from China in the form of secured loans. China is buying US Bonds for the most part which is guaranteed by the US Government’s good word but not really secured by tangible assets. If the US Government defaults, China is literally left holding useless pieces of paper. But the US won’t default so the bonds are like a cash cow to the holder (though with minimal interest).

Those other “development initiatives” China is offering poor countries are actually loans secured by the tangible assets such as the ports, railways, and airports that the loans were provided to develop. Hauntingly, the contractors and construction companies hired for these huge projects are most often Chinese companies (poor Chinese builders traveling all the way to Africa and Latin America if you can imagine). And then the terms of the loans, though generous on the surface, actually are designed so that the countries cannot realistically pay back the loan on time. Acting kinda like an infrastructure pawnbroker, China actually wants the assets.

So we have Chinese money being loaned to poor countries used to pay Chinese companies to build infrastructure projects that will eventually be owned by China when the poor countries default. On the face of it this scheme appears a global Public Works program for China from beginning to end. This is Empire Building in the 21st Century; through financial instruments rather than arms.

But understand that China is merely following in the footsteps of the WTO/World Bank. They didn’t come up with this scheme by themselves. Understand also that the Pacific WWII began in similar ways, with Japan embarking on empire building in the East after learning from the Brit’s (and other Western countries) during the Meiji Reformation. Japan did not originally wish to become an Imperialist. It was fear after seeing how GB added China (historically Japan’s most powerful neighbor) into its collection of colonies (and countries in the West eying all of Asia with similarly hungry aspirations) that Japan knew itself to be targeted if it didn’t act.
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Re: Prime example of the effects of Trump’s Tariffs.

#18 Post by CDFingers » Wed May 22, 2019 9:22 am

Little boy orange thought he had a winning strategy because he knew about the oranges...

I'm sure we'll all be surprised that he was wrong. This is a paraphrase of what China is doing.
“You owe us two trillion dollars, we have money in the bank where you have a huge debt. Your tariffs will be paid by US citizens in the stores and by US companies like Apple, whose products rely on Chinese components. And we will buy our soy beans from Brazil now, putting your farmers out of work. And you will have to bail them out like a good socialist”.

Because China have been around for five thousand years. And the fleeting appearance of some fat wannabe gangster waving his finger in their face and calling them names is but the blink of an eye, the wingbeat of a gnat.
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Re: Prime example of the effects of Trump’s Tariffs.

#19 Post by dougb » Wed May 22, 2019 9:58 am

One effect is helping McConnell get reelected by having a Russian pledge money to build an aluminum plant in Kentucky. A couple of thousand new jobs should help. When I was a kid, even the tiny of Russian influence could destroy a political career. The red menace, fellow travelers, pinkos and all that sort of stuff. It also helps get a totally unqualified person appointed to a life time judgeship

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/16/us/p ... tucky.html

https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/wat ... 0082245958

Best damn government money can buy......
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Re: Prime example of the effects of Trump’s Tariffs.

#20 Post by dougb » Wed May 22, 2019 9:59 am

dougb wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 9:58 am
One effect is helping McConnell get reelected by having a Russian pledge money to build an aluminum plant in Kentucky. A couple of thousand new jobs should help. When I was a kid, even the tiny of Russian influence could destroy a political career. The red menace, fellow travelers, pinkos and all that sort of stuff. It also helps get a totally unqualified person appointed to a life time judgeship

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/16/us/p ... tucky.html

https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/wat ... 0082245958

Best damn government money can buy......
And we worry about gun control and abortion while our fearless leaders sell us out. Maybe terms limited to one.
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Re: Prime example of the effects of Trump’s Tariffs.

#21 Post by TrueTexan » Wed May 22, 2019 10:30 am

More about the Mitch and the Russians.
MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on Tuesday recounted a bizarre scandal involving Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

“Here’s a story. Or here’s at least a series of events that may or may not be connected, but I’m trying to wrap my head around them,” she explained.

She started her story over a year ago when the federal government put sanctions on Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who she pointed out “used to do a bunch of work with Paul Manafort.”

The sanctions also impacted his company Rusal, which is the second largest aluminum company in the world.

Maddow explained how Deripaska ran a “robust and very expensive campaign by lobbyists” that resulted in the Trump administration relaxing the sanctions.

“And then something remarkable kind of happened,” she noted. “A big, bipartisan majority in the House of Representatives said, ‘Actually, no, the U.S. government should not lift those sanctions. Are you kidding? Oleg Deripaska was sanctioned for a reason, for a good reason. Why is the Trump Treasury Department lifting those sanctions?'”

The host noted seventy percent of House Republicans voted to retain the sanctions.

“Then it goes over to the Senate. Senate turns out to be a different story,” she reported.

“There were a whole bunch of Republican senators who wanted to join the House in making sure those sanctions stayed on Deripaska’s company, but the Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell made sure that measure met a swift death on his side of the capitol. And so the Trump Administration was allowed to, in fact, lift those sanctions on Oleg Deripaska’s aluminum company earlier this year.”

“Cha-ching!” she continued. “And since then there have been a couple of noted developments involving Mitch McConnell.”

“First, Oleg Deripaska’s company announced last month that they have made a surprise decision to spend $200 million opening a new plant in Mitch McConnell’s home state of Kentucky,” she continued. “It will come with a bow on it. It’s a project they’ll say will bring billions of dollars and thousands of Jobs to Mitch McConnell’s state.”

She also noticed a bizarre angle involving Rosal lobbyist David Vitter, who was a Republican senator before being disgraced in a sex scandal.
https://www.rawstory.com/2019/05/maddow ... -russians/

Rosal lobbyist David Vitter, Who’s wife was just appointed as a Federal Judge by the Senate after being pushed through by Mitch McConnell.

But, There is No Collusion.
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.-Huxley
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highdesert
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Re: Prime example of the effects of Trump’s Tariffs.

#22 Post by highdesert » Wed May 22, 2019 10:31 am

Bisbee wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 2:19 pm
The difference (so far) is that the US has not borrowed money from China in the form of secured loans. China is buying US Bonds for the most part which is guaranteed by the US Government’s good word but not really secured by tangible assets. If the US Government defaults, China is literally left holding useless pieces of paper. But the US won’t default so the bonds are like a cash cow to the holder (though with minimal interest).

Those other “development initiatives” China is offering poor countries are actually loans secured by the tangible assets such as the ports, railways, and airports that the loans were provided to develop. Hauntingly, the contractors and construction companies hired for these huge projects are most often Chinese companies (poor Chinese builders traveling all the way to Africa and Latin America if you can imagine). And then the terms of the loans, though generous on the surface, actually are designed so that the countries cannot realistically pay back the loan on time. Acting kinda like an infrastructure pawnbroker, China actually wants the assets.

So we have Chinese money being loaned to poor countries used to pay Chinese companies to build infrastructure projects that will eventually be owned by China when the poor countries default. On the face of it this scheme appears a global Public Works program for China from beginning to end. This is Empire Building in the 21st Century; through financial instruments rather than arms.

But understand that China is merely following in the footsteps of the WTO/World Bank. They didn’t come up with this scheme by themselves. Understand also that the Pacific WWII began in similar ways, with Japan embarking on empire building in the East after learning from the Brit’s (and other Western countries) during the Meiji Reformation. Japan did not originally wish to become an Imperialist. It was fear after seeing how GB added China (historically Japan’s most powerful neighbor) into its collection of colonies (and countries in the West eying all of Asia with similarly hungry aspirations) that Japan knew itself to be targeted if it didn’t act.
Very true, China doesn't need to send the Red Army to conquer countries it's all done financially.
Palpable fears heightened across Africa, last week, following a report of impending takeover of Zambia’s national power company by China after the Southern African country defaulted loan repayment. While many saw the report as ominous event that could spread to other African nations whose leaders had approached China for aids and loans, some saw the report as a hoax.

For those who still need further evidence on China’s debt trap camouflaged as “harmless loans”, the manner in which Sri Lanka, a poor country in the South Asia, was robbed of its prized national asset by China would probably make Doubting Thomases have a change of thought about the Chinese unscrupulous economic ambition in Africa. Last year September, Sri Lanka formally handed control of a strategic port on its southern coast of Hambantota to China as part of a 99-year lease agreement.

The agreement was struck under a $1.1 billion deal which the Sri Lankan political opposition and trade unions called a “sell-out” move, Chinese firms now hold a 70 per cent stake in Hambantota Port. The $1.3 billion port was built with loans from a Chinese state-owned bank and opened in 2010. But, the Sri Lankan government struggled to repay the debt, with the project incurring heavy losses. Along with loans taken out for other infrastructure development projects, Sri Lanka’s debt to China was put at $8 billion. “With the Hambantota port agreement, we have started to pay back the loans,” Sri Lankan Prime Minster, Ranil Wickremesinghe, said during a handing-over ceremony in parliament. He added: “Hambantota will be converted to a major port in the Indian Ocean”.

Chinese firms, under the state-controlled China Merchants Port Holdings company, now hold a majority stake in the port as part of a joint venture with the state-run Sri Lanka Port Authority. The lease agreement, which was signed in July, last year, also included wide-ranging tax concessions for the port and a 32-year tax break for the Chinese firms. For its part, China has paid Sri Lanka an initial sum of $300 million, with further payments to come; though exact time to pay the balance remains unclear.

International reaction to the port handover focused on China’s increasing geopolitical ambitions, while locals have voiced fears of a loss of Sri Lankan sovereignty. When the agreement was signed, local MP Namal Rajapaksa, tweeted: “Government is playing geopolitics with national assets? #stopselling SL” Also on Twitter, Brahma Chellaney, an Indian author and political analyst, described the deal as “debt-trap diplomacy”, saying Chinese loans are often given in exchange for strategically important physical assets which can be “collateralized”.

For China, acquisition of Hambantota is part of its longer-term ‘One Belt, One Road’ (OBOR) project. Other OBOR projects include a $10.7 billion plan to develop the Omani town of Duqm into an industrial city, which will transform the dusty port into a major transit hub. Closer to Hambantota will be Pakistan’s Gwadar port, which Beijing is developing as a key part of the $55bn China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Along with Sri Lanka, China has added the Maldives in the Indian Ocean to its growing sphere of influence, completing a free-trade agreement at the end of November.

Hosting Maldivian president Abdulla Yameen in Beijing, China’s leader Xi Jinping said: “China deems the Maldives as an important partner to building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road”.
https://www.africanliberty.org/2018/09/ ... -off-debt/
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