1 June 2018   Leave a comment

President Trump announced that he will be meeting with North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, on 12 June in Singapore.  He met with Kim’s advisor, General Kim Yong-chol, at the White House and General Kim hand-delivered a letter from Leader Kim.  President Trump said the letter was “interesting” but admitted he had not yet read the letter.  President Trump indicated that the summit might lead to a series of negotiations, suggesting that the US goal of immediate denuclearization is no longer the US objective.  I am not sure whether to believe that the meeting will still take place, but I continue to be certain that the two sides will not be able to agree on the meaning of the word “denuclearization”.  If the meeting does take place, two things should be kept in mind.  First, a lot depends on how Mr. Trump engages South Korea, Japan, China, and Russia in the negotiations.  None of those parties will take being excluded very kindly, and they may decide that sabotaging the meeting is better than being left out.  Second, we need to keep a close eye on the specific details of the meeting–small signs will tell us a lot.

 

Autoweek is reporting that US President Trump wants to place a tariff on imported German luxury automobiles essentially to price them out of the US market.  The move would affect Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche, and Audi.  According to the report:”Reuters cites Germany’s auto industry association figure of 657,000 vehicles having been exported to the U.S. in 2017, versus 804,000 vehicles produced by German automakers in the U.S.”  It is not clear why Mr. Trump has singled out German automakers, but the move against one of the US’s most important allies would be nothing short of bizarre.

Posted June 1, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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