Tag Archives: Japan

The stupidity of Liz Truss: who elected these Tories, and are they brave enough to admit it?

Liz Truss: as a trade negotiator she is a blithering imbecile with no redeeming features whatsoever. And that is being charitable!

Back in December 2019, enough people in the UK thought the Conservatives should be trusted to run the country that they gained a Parliamentary majority of 80 seats.

Since then, it seems everything Boris Johnson’s government has done has proved those Conservative voters wrong.

The latest revelation about International Trade Secretary Liz Truss only hammers this point further home – and it relates to Brexit, the subject on which Johnson won his election.

More people voted Conservative because they wanted the UK to leave the European Union and forge its own future by striking advantageous trade deals with other countries. Right?

Truss cut the first such deal with Japan in September, trumpeting “strong tariff reductions on key agricultural products like pork, beef and salmon [that] will benefit farmers and food exporters”.

However, a study by the UK Trade Policy Observatory (UKTPO) at the University of Sussex has found that just 10 of 9,444 products will enjoy lower taxes.

They include birds’ eggs, raw hides, fur skins, handbags and ultra-strong spirits of at least 90 per cent alcohol – none of which are exported to Japan by the UK, meaning the study found the gain to UK exporters is zero.

Other changes trumpeted by Truss include “cutting-edge digital and data provisions” that are nothing of the sort.

And she claimed a boost to trade with Japan that would be worth £15.7bn over the next 15 years – but that is in comparison with no deal, not with the EU deal that the UK is giving up, due to Brexit.

And 83 per cent of the gains go to Japanese exporters, with the UK’s getting just 17 per cent.

In fairness, the negotiators have managed to avoid the large increases in tariffs that would have been suffered if the UK had gone back to World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.

But that is not what Johnson and all the other rabid Brexiters promised us when we voted on leaving the EU, back in 2016.

They promised us vast improvements in the prices we would get for our goods – and that’s what Truss tried to claim she had got for us.

They all lied. They failed. They are stupid – possibly the stupidest gang of dimwits ever to infest Whitehall.

And they think we’re stupid enough to let them carry on inflicting their stupidities on us into the future.

Let’s hope they get that wrong, too.

Source: Brexit: Liz Truss secures tariff wins with her Japan trade deal – for products UK doesn’t export | The Independent

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Cheese queen Truss trumpets free trade deal with Japan, selling Stilton to people who are lactose-intolerant

Liz Truss: the queen of cheese, who once warned that Brexit would seriously harm the UK, is now proving it with a duff free-trade deal with Japan. It’s no different from the deal we had as part of the EU, but with added Stilton.

Liz Trust can’t get away from cheese, can she?

The International Trade minister has just announced a brand-new post-Brexit free trade deal with Japan. Hooray!

But didn’t we already have a free trade deal with Japan?

Yes. Yes we did.

But this one has added Stilton cheese!

Let’s review Liz Truss and her association with cheese:

Well, at least now she’s talking about exporting it…

… to a country where most people can’t eat it – and a country where nobody eats Stilton at all:

So Japan has given us the same free trade deal we had as part of the EU, with added Stilton cheese. Not much of a victory, is it?

These people certainly don’t think so:

Oh and wait for it… here comes the punchline…

This is only an agreement in principle; the Japanese haven’t signed the deal yet. In other words, the Stilton may yet come off the (cheese) board.

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Johnson’s trade hopes dented as ‘no deal’ with Brussels will mean no deal with Japan

This is awkward.

It’s a common belief that Boris Johnson is after no trade deal with the EU, because the hedge fund bosses who financed his bid to become Tory leader have bet on an economic downturn post-Brexit – and the boost to their personal finances will be his reward to them for their support.

But now it seems Japan has said it won’t sign the “quick fire” trade deal Johnson wants with that country, unless it knows the UK has signed a deal with the EU first.

That’s really mixed the saki with the sushi!

Boris Johnson’s hopes of securing a “quick fire” trade deal with Japan before the end of the year have been dented as experts warned it will be dependent on the UK clinching a trade agreement with Brussels first.

The UK wants to offer an “EU plus plus” deal to Tokyo, which will go further than Japan’s existing deal with Brussels, in an attempt to reach an agreement quickly.

Anand Menon, director of The UK in a Changing Europe, an academic think-tank, described the move as “sensible” due to the amount of Japanese investment and trade that comes into the UK.

But he warned the chances of the Government agreeing a deal with Tokyo will be entirely reliant on the type of arrangement London agrees with the EU.

“It is possible [to agree a deal within the year] but Japan will need to know what kind of relationship we will have with the EU, as much of the business they do with us is linked to the EU. The difficulty of accessing the EU from the UK will be a key consideration,” Prof Menon said.

“All of these trade deals are interlinked,” he added.

Source: Brexit deal latest: Boris Johnson warned chances of securing Japanese trade deal hangs on Brussels agreement | inews

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May’s Brexit disaster goes unreported as Britain is blocked from $1.7 TRILLION in WTO projects | Pride’s Purge

This is very important from Pride’s Purge – but take a look at some of the countries that have blocked the UK from access to this $1.7 trillion market.

For example – the USA. Isn’t Theresa May cosying up to the States, in the hope that Donald Trump will provide succour to the UK in its years of need post-Brexit?

Here we see that country kicking the UK in the metaphorical teeth.

And the UK’s slavishly-Tory mass media have said nothing about it.

You are being betrayed by your government and by those who are supposed to hold it to account.

Theresa May’s kowtowing to the hard Brexiters in her party may have just cost the UK $1.7 Trillion of access to international projects after Brexit.

The U.S., New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Ukraine, Israel and Moldova have all blocked Britain’s post-Brexit entry into the World Trade Organization’s Government Procurement Agreement, a market worth $1.7 Trillion.

And while the first six big players on that list may eventually (after perhaps years of hard negotiations) give in with separate trade deals, with the last one – the small country of Moldova – it’s unlikely.

Because it’s personal.

Visit Pride’s Purge for the full story: May’s Brexit disaster unreported by UK press: Britain BLOCKED from $1.7 Trillion in WTO projects | Pride’s Purge

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Foreign office officials: Meet the new boss – same as the old boss

Just when officials at the Foreign Office thought they could live without embarrassment for a while, it turns out Jeremy Hunt is just as stupid as his immediate forerunner.

On a trip to China, intended to strengthen trade ties ahead of Brexit, Hunt tried to win the approval of his hosts by mentioning that his wife is Japanese – evoking memories of a centuries-old rivalry and a bloody occupation in the 1930s and 40s.

He backslid fast but the damage had been done.

Good luck getting a decent trade deal now, Jeremy! I only wish I had some knowledge of Chinese so I could describe you in the appropriate language.

Jeremy Hunt, Britain’s new foreign secretary, has made an awkward debut in China when he sought to curry favour with his hosts by mentioning his Chinese wife, but accidentally referred to her as “Japanese”.

China and Japan have been traditional rivals for centuries. Although relations have improved somewhat recently, they remain touchy due to issues such as Japan’s bloody occupation of parts of China in the 1930s and 40s.

Source: Jeremy Hunt makes ‘terrible’ gaffe about his wife in China | UK news | The Guardian

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Place your bets on Osborne’s next excuse for economic failure

This is not a good time to run a retail business - the effect of the Coalition's benefit cuts will trickle up and bite our rich retailers and industrialists hard.

This is not a good time to run a retail business – the effect of the Coalition’s benefit cuts will trickle up and bite our rich retailers and industrialists hard.

According to the BBC website, business activity was hit hard by last month’s exceptionally cold weather, with the number of people visiting shops down by more than five per cent.

For one person, this will have been an extremely pleasant piece of news, because for once he won’t have to explain himself.

That person is, of course, Gideon George Osborne.

For one month, he hasn’t been in the unenviable position of having to root around in the political undergrowth for a reason the economy has tanked – that isn’t related to his own hopelessly inadequate economic policies.

For one month only!

He will not have an excuse when the figures come in for April, worse than for March, as sane economic forecasters should expect.

Instinct says he will tell us the funeral of Margaret Thatcher will have something to do with it. He used the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as a shield – what goes for ‘matches’ must surely apply also to ‘dispatches’.

The real reason will be the effect of the huge benefit cuts, that will take £19 billion out of the economy over the next year, if commentators are to be believed.

That’s just in money terms. Add in a conservative estimate of the fiscal multiplier (the effect on the economy) and we’re staring into the black pit of a £30.4 billion loss. That would be £500 for every person in the UK, if we were all affected.

But the richest among us won’t be. It is on the poorest and least able to defend themselves that this hammer blow has fallen. The government has been giving money back to the richest, as we all know.

In fact, this show of support for his cosseted buddies might protect them from the storm that’s coming, and may therefore prove to be a shrewd move – but we must all remember that Osborne is not an intelligent man and good fortune coming to anyone as a result of his policies is pure chance.

Because the rich will be affected by the benefit cuts. Poor people have no choice but to spend the money they receive. They have to buy things they need and pay the bills, so it goes on food, heat, light, water, the rent, repairs and other necessaries. With less money available to them, they will not be spending as much in the shops, and will be more careful about how much gas, electricity and water they use, as well.

Who owns and runs the shops? Who owns the shares in the utility companies (now that the bulk of shares have been bought up from the middle-class speculators who bought them in the 1980s)?

The rich.

After a few months of this, we’ll see what happens to their profit margins. My guess is that a £100,000 tax rebate won’t help very much.

The propaganda machine keeps spewing out nonsense, of course. Only last weekend we heard Francis Maude telling Jonathan Dimbleby and the Any Questions audience in Exeter: “The Coalition government, which is two parties which have come together from a different place, in the national interest, to do something quite big and difficult, which is to address the biggest budget deficit any country in the west had.”

It wasn’t the largest budget deficit of any western country – either by size or percentage of GDP. That was a flat-out lie and I wish Jimbles would pull him up on it.

The deficit in the United States is greater than ours in percentage terms; in money terms, it dwarfs the UK.

Across the whole world, Japan has the biggest deficit.

Strangely, you don’t hear the Japanese making a big fuss about it.