Tag Archives: US presidents

Wossname Bush dynasty looking out for US interests

Hi readers. Thanks for coming by for a read.

Two members of the Extended Family of US Presidents are scared the US will get into trouble if big oil companies and producers can’t export crude instead of refining it inside the US.

There’s no telling what sorts of awful things might happen if those big companies aren’t allowed to send natural resources to places where the profits are higher and where the labor and other costs of refining can be done in backward places where workers get paid a dollar a day.

Isn’t that nice?

George W. Bush Institute – U.S. Export Restraints on Crude Oil Violate International Agreements
Posted by Alan M. Dunnon September 11, 2013

http://www.bushcenter.org/blog/2013/09/11/us-export-restraints-crude-oil-violate-international-agreements

The U.S. current policy of restricting crude oil exports is fundamentally at odds with binding U.S. commitments under a number of international agreements. The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, or GATT, is the foundation agreement for the World Trade Organization, WTO. Among the principle GATT commitments adopted by all WTO member countries is a prohibition on the imposition of quantitative restraints on exports. There are exceptions to this prohibitionbut they are narrowly construed and apply only to certain, and very limited, circumstances.
Crude oil and natural gas, like almost all other products, are subject to GATT disciplines on trade. These same disciplines apply to crude oil and natural gas under U.S. free trade agreements, FTAs, such as the NAFTA, as well as numerous bilateral investment treaties, BITs, most of which also incorporate the GATT prohibitions on restricting exports.
The Prohibition on Export Restrictions Is Enforceable
GATT obligations prohibiting export restrictions are enforceable in binding proceedings under the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding, DSU. These are the very same procedures recently used by the U.S. to successfully challenge China’s restrictions on exports of raw materials and coerce Chinese compliance through the DSU mechanism. Currently, the U.S. again is using these procedures to pursue a second challenge to China’s export restraints on rare earths, tungsten, and molybdenum.
Importantly, some of the Chinese export restraints that were found to violate the GATT are comparable to the U.S. export restrictions on crude oil and natural gas, including:
• Quantitative restrictions;
• Additional requirements and procedures vis-à-vis the quantitative restrictions; and
• Delayed licensing requirements on exports.
Other U.S. international agreements incorporate the GATT obligations and prohibitions either by reference or direct recitation, and most of those agreements also provide a right of action by which parties may challenge violations to the agreements, typically in international arbitration and sometimes in the courts. For example, bilateral investment treaties and trade and investment facilitation agreements, TIFAs, often incorporate the GATT obligations and provide rights of action under arbitration.
U.S. Statutes Regarding Oil Export Licensing Should Be Interpreted By the Agency and the Courts to Avoid Conflict With GATT Rules
The current U.S. export control regime on exports of crude oil are rooted in a complicated web of U.S. statutes and implementing regulations that give the U.S. president and/or various executive branch agencies sufficient discretion to grant exports of crude oil or gas if the export would be consistent with the U.S. “national interest” or “public interest.” Basic rules ofstatutory interpretation dictate that the executive branch and the courts must resolve any ambiguity in interpreting these statutes in a manner that is consistent with the GATT and other U.S. international agreements. For example, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that:
[A]n interpretation and application of [a] statute which would conflict with the GATT Codes would clearly violate the intent of Congress.
Conclusion

The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, Article XI, prohibits U.S. export restrictions on crude oil and natural gas to other GATT/WTO member countries, except under very limited exigent circumstances. The limited exceptions to the basic prohibition on export restrictions are narrowly construedand reliance on these exceptions to the GATT prohibition would require the U.S. to impose onerous restrictions on domestic U.S. production and consumption of crude oil and/or natural gas. In addition, even delaying exports under protracted export licensing schemes have been found to be violations of the GATT.
These well-established rules of international trade are incorporated in numerous binding international agreements to which United States is a party. The WTO and other agreements have enforcement mechanisms that enable the parties to these agreements to compel U.S. compliance.
For all of these reasons, the current U.S. policies and procedures restricting exports of U.S. crude oil and natural gas are highly vulnerable to legal challenges in WTO as well as other international forums and the U.S. courts.

Alan Dunn served as Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce during the Administration of George H. W. Bush and as one of the lead U.S. negotiators in the multilateral GATT Uruguay Round negotiations, which established the World Trade Organization (WTO). He also served as a lead negotiator in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations with Mexico and Canada. He is a partner at Stewart and Stewart and has been practicing international trade law for 30 years. This guest post is in conjunction with the Bush Institute’s September 12 conference, Energy Regulation: Lessons about Growth from the States, the Nation and Abroad.

If a person can’t tell where the interests of a family hide when they’re inoffice, it’s nice to be able to see it by hindsight.

Old Jules

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Abraham Lincolncare – A realistic way to remember US Presidents

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

I keep hearing about something called WossnameCare, which I don’t know what is and honestly don’t want to know.  Anything that names itself after a US president tends to arouse suspicion for me.  Strikes me as an attempt by someone who sees himself as the most powerful person in the world to inject his name into history books, along with a particular slant.  The fact an enormous lot of US citizens are opposed to is suggests it would be worthy of a lot of careful study before anyone formed an opinion.

But it also brings to mind something I believe is a flaw in the way we remember US presidents of the past, figuring out whether they did anything good, and remembering them for that.  The entire world and the citizenry of the US would probably be better served if we all remembered US presidents for the absolutely awful, terrible, long-range disasterous things they did and decisions they made.  An object lesson to anyone holding that office as a warning he’ll be remembered by history for his follies.

A few examples, in case I’m not expressing myself clearly.

Franklin Rooseveltcare might be a good place to begin.  Roosevelt gave us the Manhattan Project and the nuclear bomb.  Franklin Roosevelt can be said to be responsible for the Cold War Mutual Assured Destruction, that whole nest of horrors, as well as all that damned radiation contamination the Japanese are dumping into the sky and the Pacific Ocean.

Harry Trumancare.  The endless serious of undeclared presidential wars he began.

Lyndon Johnsoncare.  The Vietnam War legacy and more importantly, the welfare state.

Richard Nixoncare.  A Chinese toaster in every kitchen and a dead US toaster-making industry.

Ronald Reagancare.  Generations of an endless War on Drugs, a prison industry and the US becoming the country with more prisoners held in prisons than any other country in the world.

Bill Clintoncare.  The careful planting and nurturing of the US police state.

Father and Son Bushcare.  Endless wars and military adventures in the Middle East.

US presidents are in office because they are attracted to the thought of being the most powerful person in the world.  US presidents want their names in history books.  Naturally most of them are functionally illiterate and haven’t spent a lot of time reading history books.  They just have to ride along on gut feel and what they think previous presidents are praised for doing, remembered for doing.

And if US presidents are remembered for the ways they’ve managed to convert the United States to the country it has become, is still becoming, they might well take a deeper look at what they are about.  Give a few thoughts to consequences.

Old Jules

In God We Trust

first man in space

I’m not sure what I think about this proposal to take Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Andrew Jackson and so on off the currency and put Bill Gates, Donald Trump and the Koch brothers on there instead.  Certainly there’s merit to the idea.

Old Ben Franklin would probably find the knowledge people are rolling up his picture snorting coke and meth through him unsettling.  Building him a karmic load he didn’t pay for.

There are certainly more currently recognizable people guilty of all Andrew Jackson did, one-upped him in a hundred different ways.  But Jackson might be said to have set the pace and nailed down the precedents, earned his place on those bills.  Even though the people handing them over to supermarket clerks to pay for dog food mostly don’t who he was, nor what he did.

A series of bills reflecting their actual value in the world marketplace after the national debt is subtracted might be a good idea. $1 bills with a minus $1 Million across the bottom.  A picture of the last couple of presidents on each side.

All in all I think I’d prefer the government to issue a piece of currency molded in the shape of a straw for people to snort their coke and meth through.  If it’s got to have a picture on it, use the first chimpanzee to get launched into space. Or Ronald Reagan for starting the War on Drugs.  Building the need for a lot more of those bills to be printed.

Or any of the legion of celebrities who’ve overdosed on the stuff and become immortal.