«China continued to dominate the global supply of rare earths. According to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the mine and separation production quotas for 2019 were 132,000 tons and 127,000 tons, respectively».
* * * * * * *
«Can the US reduce its dependency on chinese rare earths?»
«the United States has relentlessly pursued the utopia of energy independence»
«Washington will never achieve true energy independence by relying solely on fossil fuels»
«most Americans believe that the government should “…focus on developing alternative sources of energy over expansion of fossil fuel sources” »
«the United States is now facing another conundrum: It’s almost completely dependent on China for the minerals it uses to build clean energy systems.»
«China is a rare earth monopoly, supplying 80% of the rare earths elements (REE) used by the United States in the manufacture of solar panels, windmills, electric car batteries, cellphones, computers, national defense systems, medical equipment, and even in oil and gas technologies»
«Indeed, all it took was a simple visit to an obscure factory by Chinese President Xi at the height of the trade war last year to raise the specter of Beijing cutting off supplies of critical materials to the U.S. and potentially crippling large swathes of industries»
«Rare earth minerals, also known as the “vitamins of chemistry”, are a group of elements used in the manufacture of a wide range of equipment in small doses to produce powerful salutary effects»
«These minerals are extensively used in smartphones, batteries, turbines, lasers, electromagnetic guns, missiles, advanced weapon sensors, stealth technology, and jamming technology»
«Oil refiners also use rare earth catalysts to process crude oil into gasoline and jet fuel»
«China produced more than 90 percent of the world’s supply of these critical elements over the past decade, though its share fell to 71.4 percent last year»
«In 2018, the U.S. Geological Survey identified 35 minerals critical to the country’s economy and national security. America is heavily dependent on imports of these minerals, producing less than a tenth of the world’s supplies and importing half what it consumes»
«Meanwhile, dozens of companies and startups from Alaska to Texas are advancing mining development, with a site in Colorado about to become the first non-China facility for refining rare earth ores»
«a mountain in Wyoming called Bear Lodge holds about 18 million tons of REE, enough to supply the country for years.»
«But ultimately, it might all boil down to political will–or lack thereof»
«The permitting process in the U.S. is ridiculously long, and can take up to three decades compared to just two years in countries like Australia and Canada»
«Navigating a regulatory minefield of labyrinthine local, state, and federal rules stifle U.S. mining companies compared to their Chinese competitors»
* * * * * * *
La Cia è il più grande estrattore, raffinatore ed esportatore di terre rare. Ma nessuno la obbliga ad esportare quei minerali. Potrebbe anche non voler vendere. Un campanello di allarme era suonato nel giugno 2019.
Since the days of President Jimmy Carter and the 1970s oil crisis, the United States has relentlessly pursued the utopia of energy independence. But persistent oil crises, severe oil price shocks, and the global shift to clean energy have made it glaringly obvious that Washington will never achieve true energy independence by relying solely on fossil fuels. Indeed, most Americans believe that the government should “…focus on developing alternative sources of energy over expansion of fossil fuel sources” in a bid to alleviate climate change.
But as the shift to clean and renewable energy gains serious momentum, the United States is now facing another conundrum: It’s almost completely dependent on China for the minerals it uses to build clean energy systems.
China is a rare earth monopoly, supplying 80% of the rare earths elements (REE) used by the United States in the manufacture of solar panels, windmills, electric car batteries, cellphones, computers, national defense systems, medical equipment, and even in oil and gas technologies.
That leaves the country in a particularly precarious position, especially with the never-ending trade tensions between the two nations. Indeed, all it took was a simple visit to an obscure factory by Chinese President Xi at the height of the trade war last year to raise the specter of Beijing cutting off supplies of critical materials to the U.S. and potentially crippling large swathes of industries.
Further, the U.S. is about to start keenly feeling China’s stranglehold on the industry now that Biden is about to ascend into the Oval Office and possibly implement his ambitious Green Deal.
Depending on China.
Rare earth minerals, also known as the “vitamins of chemistry”, are a group of elements used in the manufacture of a wide range of equipment in small doses to produce powerful salutary effects. These minerals are extensively used in smartphones, batteries, turbines, lasers, electromagnetic guns, missiles, advanced weapon sensors, stealth technology, and jamming technology. For instance, lanthanum is used in lighting equipment and camera lenses; neodymium in hybrid vehicles; praseodymium in aircraft engines; europium in nuclear reactors and gadolinium in MRIs and X-rays. Oil refiners also use rare earth catalysts to process crude oil into gasoline and jet fuel.
China produced more than 90 percent of the world’s supply of these critical elements over the past decade, though its share fell to 71.4 percent last year.
In 2018, the U.S. Geological Survey identified 35 minerals critical to the country’s economy and national security. America is heavily dependent on imports of these minerals, producing less than a tenth of the world’s supplies and importing half what it consumes. It clearly highlights the U.S.’ soft underbelly.
And China’s dominance might only increase going forward.
The global REE industry is expected to nearly double from $8.1 billion in 2018 to $14.4 billion in 2025, as demand for EVs, cell phones, and microchips skyrockets. Biden anticipates this wild growth and has pledged to install 500,000 new EV charging stations by 2030 from the current U.S. tally of 26,000.
Beating China at its own game.
But China’s control of REE might not necessarily be ‘‘an ace in Beijing’s hand’’ as the Global Times once claimed. On the contrary, the U.S. is actually in a strong position to dent China’s control of the industry and move towards rare earth independence.
Biden clearly recognizes this challenge and opportunity and has pledged to support the increased exploration of lithium, copper, nickel, and rare earths, among other minerals, to ensure domestic sourcing of minerals critical to solar panels, wind turbines, and electric vehicles.
Indeed, the government of the United States has been ramping up efforts to expand domestic mineral research and development.
For example, the bipartisan Reclaiming American Rare Earths (RARE) Act that was introduced in the House in September offers a comprehensive framework of tax incentives to encourage more investment into the U.S.-based REE mining and production. Meanwhile, dozens of companies and startups from Alaska to Texas are advancing mining development, with a site in Colorado about to become the first non-China facility for refining rare earth ores.
The U.S. is not exactly lacking in REE resources, either.
For instance, a mountain in Wyoming called Bear Lodge holds about 18 million tons of REE, enough to supply the country for years.
And if push comes to shove and Beijing suddenly bans REE exports to the United States, America might counter by building a new supply chain outside of China just like Japan did when a similar fate befell the country a decade ago.
Or we can simply start recycling more.
Currently, only around 1% of REE are recycled from end-products at the end of their life-cycles.
Yet, the potential for recycling rare earths is huge.
A 2013 paper says that simply boosting the collection rate of batteries, bulbs, and magnets could improve the recycling rate of REE from one percent up to 20-40%. That would amount to up to 5% of global REE mine production, or nearly half of the U.S. annual mine supply. But we could do even better. As Simon Jowitt, assistant professor at UNLV’s Department of Geoscience, has told ArsTechnica, much more than 40% of REE could be recycled depending on adoption rates of technologies like EVs.
To be fair, recycling that amount of rare earths would not be a walk in the park
The diverse types of electronics being recycled would not necessarily contain enough rare earths and in the right proportions to make recycling those elements profitable. In many cases, the manufacturers usually are not responsible for running recycling operations, meaning they might not even be privy to which components contain what materials.
Here, the United States’ REE industry needs to borrow a leaf from Europe.
The EU’s Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment WEEE requires manufacturers of electronic devices to not only finance or perform the recycling of those devices but also requires sellers to offer free e-waste collection.
But ultimately, it might all boil down to political will–or lack thereof.
The permitting process in the U.S. is ridiculously long, and can take up to three decades compared to just two years in countries like Australia and Canada. Navigating a regulatory minefield of labyrinthine local, state, and federal rules stifle U.S. mining companies compared to their Chinese competitors.
But given recent bipartisan moves in the industry, legislators can hopefully look beyond party lines and affiliations and fashion a workaround.
«We build. We improvise. We charge ahead, to redefine possibilities. We are the enablers. We are Mahindra.
Having a presence across 100+ countries and operating in key industries, we are a federation of companies driven by one purpose – to Rise.»
* * * * * * *
«Indian automaker Mahindra cuts over half of North America workforce»
«Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd has cut more than half of the workforce at its North American unit …. due to the COVID-19 pandemic and an ongoing legal tussle.»
«The sources did not give a figure for the number of jobs lost at the business, which had over 500 employees in early 2020»
«“hundreds of workers” had been laid off since mid-2020 as part of a restructuring, and that the cuts were as high as two-thirds of Mahindra Automotive North America’s (MANA) total staffing»
«Positions include engineers and manufacturing jobs at its plant in Detroit that produces the off-road vehicle Roxor, as well as sales executives»
«The cuts come as Mahindra reviews its businesses in a drive to conserve capital and retain only those that make money or have the potential to be profitable»
«Mahindra and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) are in a protracted legal battle over an intellectual property infringement case which has prevented the Indian automaker from selling its Roxor vehicle in the United States»
«However, last month, the company won a favourable ruling in its lawsuit against FCA, paving the way for it to begin selling the Roxor again»
«As part of its review which began last year, Mahindra has pulled the plug on its U.S. electric scooter business GenZe; it is in talks to sell its stake in South Korean automaker Ssangyong Motor; and it has called off a joint venture with Ford Motor Co»
«The automaker plans to focus on manufacturing large sport-utility vehicles and electric models for its core India market»
«Mahindra’s shares have surged over 60% since it announced the review in June last year, valuing the company at over $12.6 billion.»
* * * * * * *
Ma non sono solo questi gli unici problemi della Roxor, un potente fuori strada che costa solo 16,000 Usd.
«the Roxor isn’t actually street-legal. Despite its Jeep-like bodywork, it’s a side-by-side like the Polaris RZR or the Can-Am Maverick, so it doesn’t have to meet expensive safety requirements»
CHENNAI/NEW DELHI/DETROIT (Reuters) – Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd has cut more than half of the workforce at its North American unit, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and an ongoing legal tussle.
The sources did not give a figure for the number of jobs lost at the business, which had over 500 employees in early 2020, according to its website.
However, one of the sources said “hundreds of workers” had been laid off since mid-2020 as part of a restructuring, and that the cuts were as high as two-thirds of Mahindra Automotive North America’s (MANA) total staffing.
Positions include engineers and manufacturing jobs at its plant in Detroit that produces the off-road vehicle Roxor, as well as sales executives.
The cuts come as Mahindra reviews its businesses in a drive to conserve capital and retain only those that make money or have the potential to be profitable.
MANA said in a statement it had furloughed some staff and laid off others due to the pandemic and an International Trade Commission lawsuit which led to an August “cease and desist” order for the Roxor business. It did not provide figures.
Mahindra and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) are in a protracted legal battle over an intellectual property infringement case which has prevented the Indian automaker from selling its Roxor vehicle in the United States.
“This forced us to halt production and furlough our manufacturing team and some additional people across several functions, including the Roxor sales team,” the company said.
However, last month, the company won a favourable ruling in its lawsuit against FCA, paving the way for it to begin selling the Roxor again.
It now expects to recall a large group of employees, it said in the statement.
As part of its review which began last year, Mahindra has pulled the plug on its U.S. electric scooter business GenZe; it is in talks to sell its stake in South Korean automaker Ssangyong Motor; and it has called off a joint venture with Ford Motor Co.
Mahindra’s shares have surged over 60% since it announced the review in June last year, valuing the company at over $12.6 billion.
The automaker plans to focus on manufacturing large sport-utility vehicles and electric models for its core India market, where it has lost ground to competitors such as Tata Motors and Kia Motors.
«A technonationalist view of the world and the reality of global supply chains are simply incompatible, …. That’s the root of the tension»
Da anni è in corso una guerra fredda, mascherata da conflitto economico, tra Stati Uniti e Cina.
Da decenni i media liberal hanno dipinto la Cina come un cumulo di straccioni affamati, schiavizzati da un governo centrale opprimente, capaci solo di scopiazzare qualcosa dall’occidente, ed anche male.
La realtà dei fatti sta demolendo questa visione. Considerando il pil ppa, la Cina ha sorpassato gli Stati Uniti ed a breve li doppierà anche per pil ai valori correnti. Le sue esportazioni sono floride ed il suo livello tecnologico ha oramai ben poco da invidiare a quello delle altre nazioni.
La realtà dei fatti evidenza in modo sempre più chiaro che la guerra fredda sino-americana è semplicemente la contrapposizione di due differenti Weltanschauung, tra di esse incompatibili e quella che sarà egemone nel campo economico alla fine lo sarà anche politicamente e militarmente.
Il gradiente tra tassi negativi in occidente e tassi positivi in Cina, se non corretto, determinerà un flusso di capitali dall’occidente ai mercati cinesi
L’analisi che proponiamo è molto lunga, ma val bene la pena di leggerla con cura.
L’abstract a seguiti non è esaustivo.
* * * * * * *
«A technonationalist view of the world and the reality of global supply chains are simply incompatible, …. That’s the root of the tension»
«Biden should beware burgeoning technonationalism»
«China had “smashed the barriers between civilian and military technological domains»
«By law and presidential fiat, companies in China—whether private, state-owned, or foreign—must share their technologies with the Chinese military»
«technonationalism. That is, they view private-sector technological developments through the lens of national security»
«It could presage a more dramatic economic disruption that would be a crushing blow for American businesses, and not just those already doing business in China.»
«Under pressure from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. (TSMC), the world’s largest computer chip manufacturer, announced in May that it would stop fulfilling orders from Huawei»
«Under Trump, the administration’s view seemed to be that any company doing business with Huawei—or even doing business with a company that does business with Huawei—is a fair target in an escalating economic and technological conflict.»
«everything from German-made cars to Canadian aluminum to be a threat to American security»
«We have evidence that Huawei has the capability secretly to access sensitive and personal information in systems it maintains and sells around the world»
«evidence that America’s intelligence agencies had hacked into Huawei’s own systems»
«It is, in short, a vast expansion of federal authority into the market for communications technology in the name of national security»
«In January, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the United Kingdom would allow telecom providers to use the cheaper Huawei gear in their networks as part of an overall strategy for 5G phone service»
«What the U.S. government is asking of our trading partners, our allies, the American public, and developing countries who rely on Huawei as a source of low-cost telecom equipment,” Ikenson says, “is to believe that the risks associated with Huawei are serious enough to offset the benefits that come from fast, cheap mobile internet service»
«But how can the U.S. make that same pitch to Eastern Europe—or Africa, where Chinese investment in 5G could be an economic boost that lifts millions of people out of poverty?»
«The technonationalism that has defined the Trump administration’s approach to Huawei, he says, is rooted in an outdated understanding of the relationship between technology and security»
«The CRS reports that 91 percent of the semiconductors used in Chinese-based tech manufacturing are produced abroad, while China’s own suppliers account for just 10 percent of domestic needs»
«So while America and the rest of the world rely on China for much of its tech manufacturing, China is dependent on the rest of the world for crucial components»
«”I view China as a competitor. A serious competitor,” Biden told CNN during a town hall event in September. “That’s why I think we have to strengthen our relationships and our alliances in Asia.”»
«The issues that remain between the U.S. and China’s commercial relationship don’t change with [the] change of administration»
* * * * * * *
La guerra fredda sino-americana è in corso, e sembrerebbe che l’Amministrazione Biden intenda proseguirla, sia pure usando differenti strumenti rispetto a passato.
Ma, a giudizio di molti, la Cina ha vinto.
I liberal dominano a momento l’occidente, ma crescendo la Cina e decrescendo l’occidente, alla fine i liberal saranno i primi in un’enclave economica, e quindi politica, irrilevante.
Trump escalated America’s war against Huawei and China. Biden should beware burgeoning technonationalism.
In a speech delivered almost exactly one year before the 2020 election, Vice President Mike Pence outlined the stakes of a potential tech cold war between the United States and China.
China had “smashed the barriers between civilian and military technological domains,” Pence said at the Woodrow Wilson International Center, just around the corner from the White House. “By law and presidential fiat, companies in China—whether private, state-owned, or foreign—must share their technologies with the Chinese military,” Pence said. Those technologies, in turn, were being weaponized by the Communist regime in Beijing to hone its authoritarian conduct at home—and, Pence added ominously, were being increasingly exported “to countries in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East.”
Pence went on to say that America did not seek a technological “decoupling” from China. But other parts of that speech—and some of the actions taken by the Trump administration in the months since—conjure images of a silicon curtain descending across the world.
The Trump administration’s conflict with China was dominated by a trade war focused on industrial and agricultural goods, and by an unexpected pandemic that appears to have originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan. But the most lasting and significant aspectof how President Donald Trump has reshaped the U.S.-China relationship may prove to be the White House’s efforts to cut off China’s telecom industry from its global supply chains. At the center of that effort lies a single company, Huawei, which has become the boogeyman for Americans fearful of Chinese technological superiority—fears that are unlikely to subside when the Trump era passes.
China hawks and Trumpian nationalists see Huawei as a symbol of the rising threat posed by the Middle Kingdom or as evidence of America’s waning technological superiority. Having already banned Huawei equipment from being used in America’s next-generation cellphone networks, the Trump administration spent 2020 bullying allied nations to take similar steps. In September and again in November, the conflict escalated when the White House issued orders that effectively banned foreign companies from doing business with Huawei if they also want to do business with American firms.
Both Beijing and Washington are now pursuing what Evan Feigenbaum, vice president for Asian studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, calls “technonationalism.” That is, they view private-sector technological developments through the lens of national security. A cellphone isn’t just a cellphone; it’s a potential weakness that could be exploited by an enemy. The supply chains for semiconductors and other bits of equipment are sprawling and multinational, but governments on both sides of the Pacific are eyeing each other warily and threatening to choke off innovation for fear of losing the so-called “race to 5G.”
“Technonationalism everywhere threatens to disrupt flows of technology and talent that have enabled decades of innovation,” says Feigenbaum. “If every commercial technology is now viewed as central to national security, it will re-entrench past patterns of technonationalism that many believed to be relics in an era of supposedly ‘borderless’ innovation.”
Put more starkly, the rapid pace of global technological innovation that we have come to take for granted—which has made people all over the world healthier, longer-lived, more productive, and happier—could be brought to a halt by a combination of paranoia and cronyism.It could presage a more dramatic economic disruption that would be a crushing blow for American businesses, and not just those already doing bus-iness in China.
Trump may be on his way out of the Oval Office, but American anxiety about Huawei—and, more broadly, about the nation’s status as the world’s technological superpower—both predate and almost certainly will outlast him. President-elect Joe Biden has criticized Trump’s handling of the trade war with China, but he has also made clear that he plans to adjust Trump’s strategies rather than reverse them. Technonationalism could be here to stay.
When Subsidies for Chinese Equipment Backfire
The idea that Huawei tech is a sort of sleeper cell within America’s communications infrastructure is one that many in Washington take seriously. “Wherever Huawei poses a national security threat—which we believe is everywhere—that equipment comes out of our system,” says Brendan Carr, one of the five commissioners charged with setting policy for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Under orders from Congress, the FCC is currently engaged in what Carr refers to as a “rip-and-replace” process that seeks to excise the Chinese-made equipment from cell towers all over the country. It’s the last and most difficult step in a process that kicked off last year when Trump signed an executive order that largely blacklisted Huawei gear from the U.S. (with some exceptions). In November 2019, the FCC followed up by passing a rule prohibiting American cellphone carriers from purchasing Huawei gear if they receive federal subsidies. In February, Congress escalated things with a new law requiring that all cellphone carriers rip out Huawei tech and replace it—and ordering the FCC to come up with $1 billion to help facilitate the process.
More interesting, however, is the story of how much of that Huawei gear got there in the first place. As it turns out, the federal government spent years subsidizing its purchase as part of an effort to expand cellphone service into the more remote parts of the country, even as other parts of the government warned about the possible risks. Huawei’s biggest selling point is that its equipment is cheap—thanks in part to heavy subsidies from the Chinese government. So purchasing it allowed carriers to make their federal subsidies stretch further.
Until the FCC banned the practice last November, cellphone carriers were free to buy Huawei equipment with the federal dollars they receive through the Universal Service Fund—an $8 billion-a-year program intended to bring cellphone service to poor and rural areas. Union Wireless, a small carrier that operates in Wyoming and Montana, for example, has spent more than $34 million on Huawei gear installed in 418 cell towers across a network that covers more than 90,000 square miles, according to FCC filings.
More than half the member companies of the Rural Wireless Association, a trade group that represents Union and other small carriers, have used Huawei tech in some capacity. That means equipment that was purchased, in many cases, using federal subsidies will now be removed at significant cost to both taxpayers and American businesses. Union Wireless told the FCC last year that it would cost $110 million to rebuild its network and replace the Huawei gear. In September, the FCC estimated that it would cost about $1.8 billion to complete the rip-and-replace effort.
Ordering American companies to stop using Huawei equipment—or even to remove what’s already in use—is one thing. But in summer 2020, the Trump administration turned its attention to disrupting Huawei’s supply chain as well.
Under pressure from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. (TSMC), the world’s largest computer chip manufacturer, announced in May that it would stop fulfilling orders from Huawei. Shortly afterward, TSMC struck a deal to build a heavily subsidized new manufacturing center in Arizona. Previously, TSMC had been a major supplier to both Apple and Huawei, but the company has been effectively forced to pick sides by a combination of carrots and sticks from the U.S. federal government.
In August, the Commerce Department announced further plans to prohibit American companies from doing business with foreign manufacturers that supply semiconductors to Huawei. One of the primary targets of the new rules seems to be the Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), China’s largest semiconductor manufacturer, which currently uses American-made tools in its manufacturing process.
But banning American companies from selling chip-making equipment to SMIC is a self-inflicted wound. These new export restrictions will “ultimately undermine U.S. national security interests by harming the semiconductor industry in the U.S. and creating substantial uncertainty and disruption in the semiconductor supply chain,” Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International, an industry group with more than 2,400 members around the world (including SMCI), warned shortly after the new rules were announced. The Trump administration’s policies, the group said, would “fuel a perception that the supply of U.S. technology is unreliable” and would “further incentivize efforts to supplant these U.S. technologies.”
Indeed, China has responded to the latest American attempts to target Huawei’s supply chain by announcing that it would invest more heavily in developing its own chip-making technology so it would be less dependent on American tools that may be withheld in the future.
Companies that aren’t directly involved in the U.S.-China technology trade war are becoming collateral damage. ASML, a Dutch company that is one of the world’s only manufacturers of the powerful ultraviolet lithography equipment used to make advanced semiconductors, canceled a planned sale of heavy machinery to SMIC after the U.S. government intervened, Reuters reported in January 2020. Pete Hoekstra, a former Republican congressman who now serves as U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands, told a Dutch newspaper that ASML’s technology “doesn’t belong in certain places.”
Under Trump, the administration’s view seemed to be that any company doing business with Huawei—or even doing business with a company that does business with Huawei—is a fair target in an escalating economic and technological conflict. That should raise questions about the appropriateness of using American power against private companies in countries all around the world.
“As we have restricted its access to U.S. technology, Huawei and its affiliates have worked through third parties to harness U.S. technology in a manner that undermines U.S. national security and foreign policy interests,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in August when the department announced the new rules targeting Huawei’s supply chain. “This multi-pronged action demonstrates our continuing commitment to impede Huawei’s ability to do so.”
Clearly, the Trump administration was willing to take major steps to confront what it perceived as a serious threat posed by Huawei’s telecom equipment. But Trump’s White House spent four years rejecting establishment views on trade, citing mostly vacuous “national security” arguments.
Ross has overseen a Commerce Department that’s declared everything from German-made cars to Canadian aluminum to be a threat to American security. If banning Huawei is simply an extension of those policies, it could safely be ignored, laughed off, and expected to be quickly overturned by the next administration.
We’ve Always Been In a Cold War With China
Unfortunately, the U.S. government’s conflict with Huawei predates the Trump administration and is likely to continue into the Biden era. Evaluating the seriousness of the potential threat posed by Huawei requires that we examine that yearslong, bipartisan consensus that the Chinese tech firm might be up to no good. But it also requires turning a skeptical eye to some of the assumptions underlying the case against Huawei—and an understanding of the possible costs if the United States continues on its current course of intermittent escalation of a tech cold war.
First, the case against Huawei.
“We have evidence that Huawei has the capability secretly to access sensitive and personal information in systems it maintains and sells around the world,” U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien told The Wall Street Journal in an explosive report published in February. Intelligence officials told the Journal they believe Huawei has had those capabilities for more than a decade—and indeed, there is evidence that Huawei technicians have worked with governments in Uganda and Zambia to spy on political opponents.
Complaints from U.S. intelligence officials about foreign governments spying on cellphones should come with a disclaimer: America does this too. Amid the trove of information about the National Security Agency (NSA) that whistleblower Edward Snowden brought to light in 2013 was evidence that America’s intelligence agencies had hacked into Huawei’s own systems. Snowden also revealed that the NSA had intercepted shipments of telecom equipment bound for foreign countries and inserted their own secret “back doors.” As far back as the 1940s, when the CIA and West German intelligence founded a Swiss-based communications equipment firm named Crypto AG to sneak bugs into tech used by foreign countries, the U.S. has always tried to be on the cutting edge of technological espionage.
Furthermore, whatever vulnerabilities might exist within Huawei gear have to be understood in the context of how poorly secured most mobile networks are to begin with. Even when there’s no Huawei equipment in the mix, cellphones remain vulnerable to foreign governments and individual rogue actors who want to steal information.
Still, these fears of so-called back doors into Huawei equipment manifest in many different ways. China hawks point to a 2012 House Intelligence Committee report that warned that Huawei (along with fellow Chinese tech giant ZTE) “could undermine core U.S. national security interests” if its equipment was incorporated into America’s telecom networks. Secret back doors built into Huawei gear could, in theory, allow China to launch cyberattacks against American infrastructure—targeting everything from financial systems to public utilities, all of which will be increasingly online as the world transitions to 5G, the next generation of wireless technology.
Carr, the FCC commissioner, recalls a recent trip to Montana where he realized there was Huawei gear in the cell towers located directly above some of America’s buried nuclear silos. He wonders whether China could gain an intelligence advantage from even something as simple as tracking the location of people in and around those nuclear bases as they come and go, phones pinging away. In a crisis, could a key hack or system outage delay an American military response?
Others worry about cyber-espionage on a grand scale.
“For years this has been a mechanism where you just kind of hoover up information and hope that you’re able to use it one day,” says Klon Kitchen, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation who views Huawei as an extension of the Chinese government—part of “Beijing’s explicit ‘civil-military fusion’ strategy, where government and industry work together.”
In either case, much of the anti-Huawei sentiment is rooted in the company’s history—and its founder’s ties to the Chinese military.
Huawei entered the global telecom marketplace in 1998 by pitching itself to poor, rural markets across Asia that hadn’t gained wireless connectivity from American or European carriers. By 2005, the company was also building telecom infrastructure for France and Russia. Founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei, a veteran of the Chinese military, was named one of Time magazine’s most influential people the same year. In the time since, Huawei effectively cornered the Chinese market for smartphones and tablets, which exploded in popularity as the country underwent a period of economic growth and a massive expansion of its middle class.
The first skirmish in the U.S.-Huawei conflict took place in 2007 when, according to Wired, FBI agents interviewed Ren during a visit to New York City. The issue was Huawei’s work in Iran, which the FBI felt may violate international sanctions imposed by the United States. This charge would reemerge later.
Over the next decade, tensions mounted. A $2.2 billion deal that would have seen Huawei purchase 3Com, an American company that manufactured anti-hacking software used by the U.S. military, was blocked by the Bush administration in 2008. “The concern in Washington was that the Chinese company would be able to alter the electronic equipment and computer software sold to the military in a way that could make it less than 100 percent effective,” The New York Times reported at the time.
The first effort at excluding Huawei from the United States was taken by the Obama administration, which in 2014 banned the company from bidding on government contracts. That administration also filed nine separate cases at the World Trade Organization (WTO) accusing China of unfairly subsidizing several key industries and engaging in other practices outlawed by the WTO. Trump had little regard for those official channels meant to settle disputes, but a Biden administration is likely to swing back toward a more measured approach—though circumstances have certainly changed since 2014.
As the Obama administration passed into the Trump administration, the Justice Department was building a case against Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer and Ren Zhengfei’s daughter, after it learned that Huawei was secretly providing telecom equipment to Iran in circumvention of sanctions.
In December 2018, Meng was detained by customs agents in Canada at the behest of the U.S. government. After lengthy delays involving a variety of complex legal issues, her extradition hearing finally began in January 2020; no decision has been made yet, and the 48-year-old executive remains in Canadian custody. In February, Meng was separately charged in absentia by U.S. prosecutors who accused her of participating in a “decades-long” scheme to steal American companies’ intellectual property. Meng “believes that she’s a pawn in a global game of chess,” a Huawei spokesperson told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in December 2020.
Through it all, Huawei continued to grow. By the end of the decade, the company boasted telecom equipment operating in 170 countries around the world, serving about 40 percent of the world’s cellphone-using population. In 2019, Huawei sold 238 million smartphones globally, surpassing Apple as the world’s second-largest phone vendor and trailing only Samsung, which sold 296 million phones last year. That Huawei accomplished those feats while facing intense political and economic pressure from the United States, where its phones are almost nonexistent, is even more impressive.
A high-level view of the decade-plus that the United States has been locked in combat against Huawei—running through multiple presidential administrations that otherwise had very diverse approaches to China—does leave the impression of a technological cold war. America has pursued a strategy of containment, has fought proxy wars, and even targeted its adversary’s leaders—using tactics like Meng’s arrest, thankfully, instead of Cold War–style assassinations. When those strategies failed to stop Huawei’s expansion, the conflict escalated into a more dangerous phase, with no clear end in sight.
“Imagine letting the KGB run the American phone network in, say, 1980, and you can see what is at stake here,” wrote George Mason University economist Tyler Cowen in a column for Bloomberg. In Cowen’s view, the real point of the U.S.-China trade war—though perhaps not the point Trump had in mind when he launched it—was to establish America’s willingness to push back in meaningful ways against China’s growing might. And that might is arguably best embodied by Huawei.
If the stakes are truly that high, then there could be a strong argument for aggressive government action against Huawei—one that is convincing even to people, like Cowen, who are generally somewhat skeptical of federal power.
But it isn’t clear that the stakes are that high, in large part because the federal government hasn’t been as transparent as it could be about the specifics of the Huawei threat. There is plenty of circumstantial evidence—Ren’s ties to Beijing, leaked details of classified reports, and the rest—but no smoking gun.
Dan Ikenson, director of trade policy studies for the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, has been closely following the Huawei issue since the Obama years. He stresses that it would be imprudent to dismiss the potential security issues surrounding Huawei and the broader implications for freedom as China increasingly challenges American technological supremacy. But it would be helpful, he says, if the federal government were more transparent about the exact nature of these threats.
Indeed, there are a lot of unknowns. Can China use Huawei equipment as a launching pad for cyberattacks against America and its allies? If so, there’s been no evidence of it. And while there are obvious reasons to be skeptical about the corporate independence of any company based in China and run by a former Chinese military officer, even a single instance of China pressuring Huawei to sabotage a foreign adversary would likely cost China much more than it would gain. Overnight, Huawei would be blacklisted globally.
Accurately assessing the prudence of the countermeasures the Trump administration has taken against Huawei is, for now, impossible, says Ikenson. “We don’t have the tools to measure the costs and benefits,” he says.
The Price of a Hard Line Against China
The case against Huawei lacks crucial details. Its American critics have been able to paint a scary picture, but it’s a picture that remains murky at best. That’s one reason to be skeptical about the portrayal of Huawei as a grave national security threat. Another is that the aggressive stance against the company favored by America’s China hawks comes with clear costs the hawks would rather ignore.
Despite what Pence promised in 2019, the blacklisting of Huawei and the expansion of American power to apply pressure to companies doing business with the Chinese tech firm should raise real alarms about a potentially catastrophic decoupling of the U.S. and Chinese economies. That’s an outcome that would make the world poorer while increasing the chances of armed conflict. It is a future reality that policy makers should be keen to avoid.
The major actions taken this year to target Huawei’s supply chains have their root in a May 2019 executive order signed by Trump that gave Secretary Ross the authority to “determine that particular countries or persons are foreign adversaries for the purposes of this order.” It also authorized Ross to unilaterally decide which “particular technologies or particular participants in the market” would be subject to the new restrictions.
The order was issued to ban Huawei hardware from being deployed in the United States, but its broad language creates a legal regime that could be used—as it now has been, in the case of Dutch-based ASML—to reach beyond America’s own borders. It is, in short, a vast expansion of federal authority into the market for communications technology in the name of national security.
Similarly, the Trump administration’s diplomatic row with Great Britain earlier this year demonstrates the extent to which Washington’s war against Huawei has expanded beyond America’s borders—as well as some of the limitations to that approach.
In January, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the United Kingdom would allow telecom providers to use the cheaper Huawei gear in their networks as part of an overall strategy for 5G phone service. That did not sit well with America, which was by then in the process of eliminating Huawei from its own networks.
At the time, Johnson said the country would not let Huawei equipment be used in sensitive parts of the network and that Britain would keep military and intelligence channels secure. But the very nature of 5G networks makes such assurances difficult to implement. In addition to promising faster speeds and better connectivity, the major feature of 5G networks is their decentralization—a blurring of old-school distinctions between the “edge” of the network (devices and the equipment they communicate within in cell towers, for example) and the “core” of the network (servers and other data-processing gear). While that’s a boon for many aspects of the new networks, it creates new opportunities for security weaknesses to be exploited.
The issue boiled over during a January phone call between the two leaders—one unnamed official told the Financial Times that Trump was “apoplectic”—and Johnson’s government reversed its position on Huawei soon after. (Officially, Britain says the reversal had nothing to do with America’s opposition.)
“What the U.S. government is asking of our trading partners, our allies, the American public, and developing countries who rely on Huawei as a source of low-cost telecom equipment,” Ikenson says, “is to believe that the risks associated with Huawei are serious enough to offset the benefits that come from fast, cheap mobile internet service.”
That equation might play differently in different places, too. It’s one thing to say that residents of relatively wealthy places like the U.K. or Germany should have to pony up for more expensive equipment in response to America’s national security concerns. But how can the U.S. make that same pitch to Eastern Europe—or Africa, where Chinese investment in 5G could be an economic boost that lifts millions of people out of poverty?
“You can’t expect allies to willingly become casualties in a unilateral trade war,” says Adam Weinstein, a research fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, a think tank that advocates for a humbler American foreign policy. The technonationalism that has defined the Trump administration’s approach to Huawei, he says, is rooted in an outdated understanding of the relationship between technology and security.
Even though the development of new technology has always been seen through the lens of national security, most of those developments in the 20th century occurred within government and military structures. Telecom technology is the purview of private sector companies, which have constructed vast supply chains to manufacture equipment with little regard for national borders. Undoing all of that isn’t as simple as leaning on an allied nation’s leaders.
“It’s almost a schizophrenic policy,” Weinstein says, referring to Trump’s attempt to stuff globe-spanning telecom supply chains onto a technonationalist policy that says anything supplied to or imported from a potential adversary should be treated as a threat. “I don’t know how you get there without massive disruptions.”
Those disruptions would come with significant costs, even if they can be limited to the telecom sphere. The Congressional Research Service (CRS), a think tank housed inside Congress, estimates that the development of 5G infrastructure and 5G-enabled products will generate $12.3 trillion in global economic activity by 2035. National governments intent on chopping up the supply chains for which that economic growth depends will, for starters, deprive the market of economies of scale and necessarily reduce expected growth.
The losses of potential future gains could be quite significant, but the calculus gets worse. The American and Chinese technology sectors are closely linked. Despite what Pence argues, there’s no way to effectively disentangle tech from the rest of the U.S.-China trade relationship.
If non-cooperation on technology becomes the strategic norm, Ikenson wonders if the world’s two largest economies will be able to continue trading other goods at all. A full-fledged economic decoupling would be a major shock for the global economy, disrupting or rerouting more than $500 billion in annual trade flows between the two countries.
The Trump administration has focused on semiconductor manufacturing. But it is an industry that illustrates how deeply intertwined the U.S. and China already are. The CRS reports that 91 percent of the semiconductors used in Chinese-based tech manufacturing are produced abroad, while China’s own suppliers account for just 10 percent of domestic needs.
So while America and the rest of the world rely on China for much of its tech manufacturing, China is dependent on the rest of the world for crucial components. Indeed, the Chinese government views this shortfall as its own national security concern, and has invested heavily in ramping up semiconductor production at home.
As if there aren’t enough worrying geopolitical concerns at play, the nexus for the semiconductor cold war is Taiwan, the island territory that China still regards as its own, though it is effectively independent. More than 70 percent of the semiconductors that power the world’s supply of smartphones are either made in Taiwan or rely on components produced there. Trade, technology, and international diplomacy can’t be put in separate silos.
The deal struck between the Trump administration and TSMC will result in more chips being manufactured in America. But the $12 billion plant scheduled to be built in Arizona won’t open until 2024 and will produce only a fraction of what TSMC produces in Taiwan.
China’s own attempts to ramp up semiconductor production will take years to be realized. If the current technonationalist trajectory on both sides of the Pacific continues, expect the U.S. and China to continue playing this game of chicken, with much of the rest of the world caught in the crosshairs.
A Serious Competitor?
“I view China as a competitor. A serious competitor,” Biden told CNN during a town hall event in September. “That’s why I think we have to strengthen our relationships and our alliances in Asia.”
That was one noteworthy example of how Biden’s tone has shifted over the last year. In 2019, he was criticized after apparently dismissing the Chinese threat at a campaign event in Iowa. “China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man,” he’d said, awkwardly trying to frame Trump’s anti-China politics as overblown. By the time the general election rolled around, Biden was critiquing Trump’s execution of China policy but no longer making the case that Trump was entirely wrong.
The Trump administration chose to be brash and aggressive in confronting China. That paid domestic political dividends, but at the expense of driving a wedge deeper between the world’s two largest economies.
A Biden administration is also likely to recognize the political benefits of demagoguing against China, even as it tries to apply a softer touch and more measured approach to Beijing. Notably, Biden has refused to commit to walking back Trump’s tariffs on Chinese-made goods and has said that he supports the Obama-era prohibition on giving government contracts to tech companies with ties to the Chinese government. He’s been noncommittal on other key issues, such as the question of whether he’d continue Trump’s blacklisting of firms that do business with Huawei.
“The issues that remain between the U.S. and China’s commercial relationship don’t change with [the] change of administration,” Greg Gilligan, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, a Beijing-based trade association for companies that operate in both countries, told CNBC in an interview six days after the 2020 election. “There’s pressure on both sides to remain fairly hawkish, simply because domestic politics don’t allow for yielding the hawkish ground to someone else.”
In the end, Trump’s approach, which might be described as “go it alone but bully everyone else into coming too,” leaves much to be desired. It focused America’s attention on China, a true authoritarian regime. But it also jeopardized valuable relationships and threatened to tear down international institutions that could have been used to his benefit.
If U.S. policy is going to be that American telecom networks and networks operating in allied nations must not contain Huawei gear, then that comes with huge costs for the global economy, for American semiconductor manufacturing, and for America’s diplomatic power.
Mitigating the risks posed by foreign technologies requires both transparency and diplomacy. Transparency so American policy makers and America’s allies around the globe can be confident that a trade war against Huawei is driven by legitimate national security concerns rather than nationalist cronyism on behalf of American companies. And diplomacy so that the real threats of an increasingly powerful Communist regime in Beijing can be countered effectively. Unfortunately, at a time when strong allies would be particularly helpful, America has traded away its ability to win friends and influence people for an “America First” approach that’s ill-equipped to address high-tech 21st century problems.
Trump amplified that debate in new ways, but it will be left to Biden to settle it—or at least to turn the volume down a bit.When you take two steps back from the supposed national security threats posed by Huawei, much of the anxiety appears to be driven not by the actual capabilities of Chinese technology but rather by worries about America’s place in the world. The debate over Huawei is really a debate about American technological superiority—or rather, about how America should respond to a changing world in which its technological superiority is no longer guaranteed.
“A technonationalist view of the world and the reality of global supply chains are simply incompatible,” says Weinstein. “That’s the root of the tension.”
The European Union cannot afford to compromise on the rule-of-law provisions it applies to the funds it allocates to member states. How the EU responds to the challenge to those provisions now posed by Hungary and Poland will determine whether it survives as an open society true to the values upon which it was founded.
NEW YORK – Hungary and Poland have vetoed the European Union’s proposed €1.15 trillion ($1.4 trillion) seven-year budget and the €750 billion European recovery fund. Although the two countries are the budget’s biggest beneficiaries, their governments are adamantly opposed to the rule-of-law conditionality that the EU has adopted at the behest of the European Parliament. They know that they are violating the rule of law in egregious ways, and do not want to pay the consequences.
It is not so much an abstract concept like the rule of law that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and, to a lesser extent, Poland’s de facto ruler, Jarosław Kaczyński, oppose. For them, the rule of law represents a practical limit on personal and political corruption. The veto is a desperate gamble by two serial violators.
It was also an unprecedented step, coming at a moment when Europe is suffering from a dangerous surge of COVID-19 cases, and it threw the other EU countries’ representatives into confusion. But when the shock wore off, closer analysis revealed that there is a way around the veto.
The rule-of-law regulations have been adopted. In case there is no agreement on a new budget, the old budget, which expires at the end of 2020, is extended on a yearly basis. Hungary and Poland would not receive any payments under this budget, because their governments are violating the rule of law.
Likewise, the recovery fund, called Next Generation EU, could be implemented by using an enhanced cooperation procedure, as Guy Verhofstadt has proposed. If the EU went down this road, the Orbán-Kaczyński veto could be circumvented. The question is whether the EU, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel perhaps leading the way, can muster the political will.
I am a committed supporter of the EU as a model of an open society built on the rule of law. Being of Hungarian Jewish origin, I am particularly concerned with the situation in Hungary, where I have been active as a philanthropist for more than 30 years.
Orbán has constructed in Hungary an elaborate kleptocratic system to rob the country blind. The amount by which he has enriched his family and friends is difficult to estimate but many of them have become exceedingly wealthy. Orbán is now using the new wave of COVID-19 to amend the Hungarian Constitution and the electoral law (once again) and to entrench himself as prime minister for life by constitutional means. That is a tragedy for the Hungarian people.
Let me give a few examples of how Orbán has robbed the Hungarian people. He has transferred vast sums of public money to a number of private foundations that he indirectly controls. By a clever constitutional trick, Orbán is now permanently removing these assets from the public domain; it would take a two-thirds majority of Parliament to return them to the Hungarian people. The amounts involved add up to nearly $2.8 billion. In a series of fraudulent transactions, companies close to Orbán purchased over 16,000 ventilators on behalf of Hungary for almost $1 billion, far exceeding the number of intensive care beds and medical personnel that could operate them. An analysis of international trade data shows that Hungary paid the most in the EU for ventilators from China, at one point paying over 50 times more than Germany.
One of these companies also secured an order from Slovenia, whose prime minster, Janez Janša, is a close political ally of Orbán. The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) needs to investigate whether the EU was defrauded. The recent contract for the Russian vaccine that will make Hungary the first European country to use it deserves to be investigated.
At the same time, Orbán is seeking to avoid accountability for these actions, and taking steps to prevent a repeat of the local elections in 2019, when his Fidesz party lost control of the municipal government of Budapest and other major cities. He is going out of his way to deprive Budapest of financial resources, vetoing the city’s application to borrow money from the European Investment Bank to buy new mass transportation equipment amenable to social distancing. Budapest is now looking at a $290 million shortfall in its budget for 2021. Similar conditions prevail in other cities with local governments that are not controlled by Fidesz.
Hungary’s opposition parties are bravely trying to challenge Orbán by forming a common list of candidates for the 2022 general election. But their chances of success are limited because Orbán can change the rules at short notice, as he has already done several times before. Conveniently, Orbán is planning to introduce the latest changes to the electoral law while the pandemic is raging, Budapest is under curfew, and soldiers are patrolling the streets.
Moreover, Orbán exercises almost total control over the countryside, where the majority of the population lives. He controls the information they receive, and voting in many villages is not secret. There is practically no way the opposition can prevail.
Only the EU can help. EU funds, for example, should be directed to local authorities, where there is still a functioning democracy in Hungary, unlike at the national level.
The EU can’t afford to compromise on the rule-of-law provisions. How it responds to the challenge posed by Orbán and Kaczyński will determine whether it survives as an open society true to the values upon which it was founded.
«STATE OF TEXAS, Plaintiff, versus COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, STATE OF GEORGIA, STATE OF MICHIGAN, AND STATE OF WISCONSIN, Defendants.
MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE BILL OF COMPLAINT
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1251(a) and this Court’s Rule 17, the State of Texas respectfully seeks leave to file the accompanying Bill of Complaint against the States of Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (collectively, the “Defendant States”) challenging their administration of the 2020 presidential election.
As set forth in the accompanying brief and complaint, the 2020 election suffered from significant and unconstitutional irregularities in the Defendant States:
– Non-legislative actors’ purported amendments to States’ duly enacted election laws, in violation of the Electors Clause’s vesting State legislatures with plenary authority regarding the appointment of presidential electors.
– Intrastate differences in the treatment of voters, with more favorable allotted to voters – whether lawful or unlawful – in areas administered by local government under Democrat control and with populations with higher ratios of Democrat voters than other areas of Defendant States.
– The appearance of voting irregularities in the Defendant States that would be consistent with the unconstitutional relaxation of ballot-integrity protections in those States’ election laws. ….»
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Come da nostra consolidata abitudine, riportiamo il fatto a documenti ufficiali disponibili.
Ci si astiene, come al solito, da commentare la notizia.
– Texas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton on Tuesday filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Supreme Court to invalidate presidential election results in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Wisconsin and Michigan.
– The lawsuit asserts that “unlawful election results” in those four states, which President-elect Joe Biden won, should be declared unconstitutional.
– The filing argues that those states used the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to unlawfully change their election rules.
– Experts in election law were quick to dismiss the likelihood of the nine Supreme Court justices taking the case.
Texas’ Republican attorney general, Ken Paxton, on Tuesday announced a lawsuit in the U.S. Supreme Court to invalidate presidential election results in four key swing states that helped secure Democrat Joe Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump.
The unusual lawsuit, which was filed directly to the Supreme Court, asserts that “unlawful election results” in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Wisconsin and Michigan — all of which Biden won — should be declared unconstitutional.
Legal experts quickly dismissed the case as political theater without precedent in American history.
The filing argues that those states used the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to unlawfully change their election rules “through executive fiat or friendly lawsuits, thereby weakening ballot integrity.”
“Any electoral college votes cast by such presidential electors appointed” in those states “cannot be counted,” Texas asks the high court to rule.
The Lone Star State’s attempt to discount other states’ electoral votes follows a slew of long-shot legal challenges with similar goals that have been brought in lower courts by Trump’s campaign and other attorneys. Those lawsuits have repeatedly failed to invalidate ballots cast for Biden.
The claims in Texas’ lawsuit “are false and irresponsible,” Georgia’s deputy secretary of state, Jordan Fuchs, said in a fiery statement shortly after Paxton announced the legal action.
“Texas alleges that there are 80,000 forged signatures on absentee ballots in Georgia, but they don’t bring forward a single person who this happened to. That’s because it didn’t happen,” Fuchs’ statement said.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel called the suit a “publicity stunt” and “beneath the dignity” of Paxton’s office. Josh Kaul, the attorney general of Wisconsin, said in a statement the case was “genuinely embarrassing.”
Experts in election law were also quick to dismiss the likelihood of the nine Supreme Court justices taking the case. Paul Smith, a professor at Georgetown University Law Center who has argued voting rights cases at the Supreme Court, said the case was “wacko.”
“There is a whole system in Pennsylvania and the other states for contesting the election — that’s all been done,” said Smith, who also serves as vice president of litigation and strategy at the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center. “I don’t think the Supreme Court will have interest in this.”
The professor added that Texas could run into trouble in proving that it has grounds to sue, known in legal terms as “standing.”
“It’s totally unprecedented, the idea that one state would, at the Supreme Court, claim that other states’ votes were cast in the wrong way — that’s never happened,” he said. “What is the injury to the state of Texas because Pennsylvania’s votes were cast for Mr. Biden instead of Mr. Trump? There is no connection there.”
Rick Hasen, an election law expert at the University of California, Irvine, wrote on his popular legal blog that the suit was “utter garbage” and also disputed the idea that Texas had standing, noting that “it has no say over how other states choose electors.”
Paxton wrote in the brief that Texas has standing because of its interest in which party controls the Senate, which it says “represents the States.”
“While Americans likely care more about who is elected President, the States have a distinct interest in who is elected Vice President and thus who can cast the tiebreaking vote in the Senate,” he wrote.
“This injury is particularly acute in 2020, where a Senate majority often will hang on the Vice President’s tie-breaking vote because of the nearly equal—and, depending on the outcome of Georgia run-off elections in January, possibly equal — balance between political parties,” Paxton added.
The lawsuit against the four states comes on a pivotal deadline in the election certification process, known as the “safe harbor” threshold, after which Congress is compelled to accept states’ certified results.
Six days later, electors in the Electoral College will cast their votes, finalizing Biden’s win. The suit is also asking the Supreme Court to extend that Dec. 14 deadline “to allow these investigations to be completed.”
In most cases, the Supreme Court only hears cases from lower courts that have been appealed. In cases between two or more states, however, the court has original jurisdiction. It generally requires four justices to agree to hear a case.
The suit comes as Paxton faces an FBI criminal investigation related to alleged efforts to help a wealthy campaign donor. The investigation was confirmed by The Associated Press after seven senior lawyers in Paxton’s office claimed to authorities in September that Paxton was guilty of abusing his office.
All seven have since been fired, put on leave or resigned, spurring a whistleblower lawsuit from several of them. Paxton has denied wrongdoing.
The case is not the first over the election to reach the justices, though the court has yet to deliver a substantial ruling for either side. In another suit the court could soon weigh in on, Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania, a Trump ally, is challenging virtually all of the state’s mail-in ballots, urging the court to nullify millions of votes.
Biden is projected to win 306 Electoral College votes — 36 more than needed to beat Trump, who is set to receive 232 such votes.
But Trump is refusing to concede to Biden. The president, more than a month after Election Day, continues to falsely insist he won the race while spreading a wide array of unproven conspiracy theories that purport to show electoral or voter fraud.
The president is also pressuring swing-state officials to take action toward overturning the results of their elections. Trump has heaped criticism on Georgia’s Republican governor, Brian Kemp, while angrily demanding that he call a special session of the Peach State’s legislature in order to appoint pro-Trump electors.
At a Covid vaccine summit at the White House on Tuesday afternoon, Trump once again falsely claimed he won the race, adding, “let’s see whether or not somebody has the courage, whether it’s a legislator or legislatures, or whether it’s a justice of the Supreme Court or a number of justices of the Supreme Court … to do what everybody in this country knows is right.”
Even before the election, Trump predicted that the Supreme Court would likely decide the results of the race, and pressed the GOP-controlled Senate to confirm Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the bench in time for it to do so.
In recent weeks, however, as his legal challenges have floundered, Trump has acknowledged that he is unlikely to overturn the results of the 2020 election in court.
“Well, the problem is, it’s hard to get into the Supreme Court,” Trump told Fox News last month in his first full interview since his Nov. 3 defeat.
“I’ve got the best Supreme Court advocates, lawyers, that want to argue the case, if it gets there. They said, ‘It’s very hard to get a case up there,’” Trump added. “Can you imagine, Donald Trump, president of the United States, files a case, and I probably can’t get a case.”
Riceviamo dal sig. Massimo Aramu, che ringraziamo, questo punto della situazione, che riportiamo integralmente.
Ricordiamo però che la Suprema Corte potrebbe anche archiviare con il non luogo.
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Questa data rappresenta il termine ultimo per quanto riguarda gli aspetti prettamente giuridici, ossia intendo:
-riconteggi dei voti
-cause pendenti in tribunale
-ricorso alla Corte Suprema
Ricordo che esiste una sentenza della Corte Suprema, la numero :
98 US 61 del 1878
Che certifica legalmente il precedente, che in caso, di anche un solo broglio accertato in un solo Stato, crolla l’intera impalcatura della regolarità delle elezione estromettendo automaticamente il candidato Dem.
Ricordo ancora che la SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) è composta da 9 giudici di cui 3 Repubblicani nominati da Trump direttamente, altri 3 presenti precedentemente di estrazione classica Repubblicana (di stampo cristiano) e 3 di orientamento democratico.
Il Giudice della Corte Suprema, Clarence Thomas (Repubblicano ovviamente uno dei 9) ha in passato dovuto combattere, prima della sua nomina, contro le accuse di natura sessuale, poi rilevatesi false e strumentali, da parte di un membro del partito democratico dell’epoca un certo Joe Biden…
Ricordo agli utenti che la Corte Suprema visionerà tutte le prove fornite dall’accusa, provenienti da tutti gli Stati, questo comporterà che una singola azione dubbia di possibile frode, potenzialmente giustificabile in un singolo Stato da parte della Corte locale, potrebbe potenzialmente essere interpretata diversamente dalla Corte Suprema nel caso tale azione fosse stata ripetuta in maniera metodica e quindi dolosa nei vari Stati palesando la malafede del comportamento dietro.
Ricordo infine che, a detta del giurico Team Trump, le prove più importanti non sono state rilasciate al pubblico.
Perché la strategia giuridica non è vincere nei tribunali ordinari, quanto giungere al giudizio della Corte Suprema per mostrare con pienezza di documentazione la strategia dolosa e golpista perpetrata dal partito Democratico ai danni del Presidente.
Questo comporterebbe uno scenario temibile, il possibile passaggio alla Corte Marziale Militare.
Ossia pieni poteri al Presidente Trump per condannare senza tribunali i traditori.
È importante ricordare che questa opzione Marziale, è attuabile indipendentemente dal giudizio della Corte Suprema.
Essa fu utilizzata da un illustre precedente per sedare le rivolte golpista in America da un certo “Presidente Lincoln”, che oltre a far fucilare i traditori, fece addirittura arrestare alcuni membri della Corte Suprema che non avevano agito in maniera chiara.
È bene specificare che questo drammatico scenario avverrebbe in pieno diritto costituzionale da parte di Trump.
(In questi giorni infatti è stata richiesta l’attivazione di questa opzione a gran voce da parte dell’avvocato di Trump, Lin Wood.)
Ricordo che il ricorso alla Corte Marziale non è un passaggio legale dovuto, ma è solo uno strumento in più in mano a Trump in casi estremi (e questo potenzialmente lo è).
Entro questa data (escludendo gli aspetti marziali) ogni Stato dovrà pronunciare il verdetto dei grandi elettori certificando ufficialmente il Presidente.
Tuttavia esiste la possibilità (concreta) che non si riesca a definire con chiarezza un risultato definitivo facendo si che il periodo normalmente preposto alla transazione (dicembre/gennaio) venga fermato, bloccando l’insediamento alla Camera dei deputati e dei senatori che è prevista per il 3 gennaio.
In quel caso, il 6 gennaio si deciderà il Presidente attraverso il voto della Camera dei Rappresentanti, ogni Stato sarà di pertinenza di un solo rappresentante. Anche in quel caso Trump avrebbe una maggioranza garantita di 26 a 23 permettendo l’insediamento ufficiale al 20 gennaio.
Covid spaventa mercati, si riflette nelle trimestrali.
Sono bastati pochi minuti di negoziazione per far affondare l’indice di Piazza Affari. Il Ftse Mib cede il 2,7% spaventato, come tutti i listini in Europa da un nuovo lockdown per chiudere le porte al Covid. A Milano soffre Saipem dopo la trimestrale, sospesa in asta di volatilità quando ha perso oltre il 6%, ma anche Fca e Tim cedono oltre il 3%.
Di nuovo un tuffo in terreno negativo per gli indici delle Borse in Europa. La seduta si apre in calo per Londra (-1,54%), Parigi (-2,02%), Francoforte (-1,78%) e Madrid (-1,99%) e peggiora con il passare del tempo. Il mercato fa i conti con i nuovi blocchi alle attività, inclusa la Germania, per difendersi dal Covid. Venduti i ciclici mentre, come si era già visto a marzo, i beni di prima necessità vanno meglio. Auto, banche, energia guidano il declino per settore; cura della persona, bene cibo e bevande.
Apertura in rialzo per lo spread fra Btp e Bund tedesco. Il differenziale segna 136 punti contro i 132 della chiusura di ieri. Il rendimento del decennale italiano è pari allo 0,72%.
Borse in Asia in calo, sottopressione i settori finanza e IT. Tokyo lascia lo 0,29% , Hong Kong lo 0,4% mentre Shanghai inverte rotta sul finale e chiude in rialzo dello 0,8% con acquisti che gli operatori segnalano provenire dall’estero. I timori sulla diffusione del virus in Europa e Stati Uniti sono diffusi e sul fronte politico l’attenzione è puntata sulle elezioni presidenziali statunitensi della prossima settimana con un conseguente attendismo degli investitori.
Orbene, adesso la Corti di Appello nelle quali i giudici di estrazione repubblicana siano in maggioranza hanno iniziato ad emettere sentenze sfavorevoli agli stati a conduzione liberal democratica.
Sono corti nominate a vita, che si prodigheranno per far tornare la legalità ed il rispetto delle leggi, dopo il settantennio di gestione liberal.
Ci si ricorda l’offensiva giudiziaria scatenata contro Mr Trump?
E siamo solo agli inizi.
«Republican Judges are quietly upending public health laws»
«The Republican Party’s campaign to take over the federal and state courts is quietly upending a long and deeply embedded tradition of upholding vital public health regulations»
«Modest and careful judicial intervention was the norm in courts across the country»
«The basic outlines of this approach remained in place for more than two centuries»
«Today, however, the tradition of salus populi is in collapse. In state and federal courts alike, Republican-appointed and Republican-elected judges are upsetting the long-established consensus»
«This month, a bare majority of four Republican-appointed justices on the Michigan Supreme Court struck down the state’s 75-year-old emergency powers law as an “unlawful delegation of legislative power to the executive.”»
«Last month, a federal district judge in Pennsylvania appointed by President Trump struck down the state’s business closure rules and its limits on gatherings»
«And back in the spring, four justices connected to the Republican Party on the Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned their state’s common-sense emergency Covid-19 rules over the dissents of three colleagues»
«In May, four conservative justices (Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh) dissented from an order in South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom allowing California’s Covid-19-related restrictions to remain in place for gatherings at places of worship»
«Then, in Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley v. Sisolak, decided at the end of July, those same justices dissented from a similar order leaving Nevada’s restrictions intact»
« Next month, the court is scheduled to hear arguments on a startling and widely criticized decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Texas last year that offers yet another opportunity to strike down the Affordable Care Act»
«Now a new generation of judges, propelled by partisan energies, look to deprive states of the power»
«The results are already devastating»
* * * * * * *
Se poi, come sembrerebbe poter essere possibile, entro fine mese la Corte Suprema fosse impreziosita dalla presenza del Giudice Barrett, portano così il rapporto repubblicani su democratici a sei a tre, le cose potrebbero mutare in modo ancor più vistoso.
La controffensiva giuridica repubblicana sarebbe in grado di demolire anche una presidenza democratica.
A catastrophic sequence of decisions has blocked states from responding to the pandemic.
Alongside growing controversy over judicial nominations, court reform and Covid-19 policies, American law is in the midst of a little-noticed paradigm shift in courts’ treatment of public health measures.
The Republican Party’s campaign to take over the federal and state courts is quietly upending a long and deeply embedded tradition of upholding vital public health regulations. The result has been a radically novel and potentially catastrophic sequence of decisions blocking state responses to the coronavirus pandemic.
For centuries, American constitutional law granted state governments broad public health powers. “Salus populi suprema lex,” the old saying went: The health of the people is the supreme law. Such authority went back to the beginning of the Republic. In the famous 1824 case of Gibbons v. Ogden, Chief Justice John Marshall defended the “acknowledged power of a State to provide for the health of its citizens.” States, he explained, were empowered to enact “inspection laws, quarantine laws” and “health laws of every description.”
Lemuel Shaw of Massachusetts, who was arguably the most respected state judge of the 19th century, supported vast public health powers and described states’ authority to control epidemics as central to the sovereign power of government. The Alabama Supreme Court agreed, citing the old dictum of salus populi, and courts in states like Georgia and Louisiana followed. In New York, the state’s highest court upheld disruptive health regulations like a ban on burials in urban church cemeteries. After the Civil War, New York’s courts upheld the Legislature’s decision to vest local boards with “absolute control over persons and property, so far as the public health was concerned.”
In 1900, when a suspected outbreak of bubonic plague led San Francisco authorities to quarantine the city’s Chinatown neighborhood, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit struck down quarantine and inoculation provisions that irrationally targeted Chinese residents, but ratified the city’s power to quarantine in general.
Five years later, the U.S. Supreme Court in Jacobson v. Massachusetts upheld mandatory vaccination programs. States, the court ruled, were empowered to establish general regulations “as will protect the public health.” As in the two Chinatown cases, however, the court aimed to preserved its authority to intervene in narrow circumstances. Justice John Marshall Harlan’s opinion observed that certain “arbitrary and oppressive” vaccinations might be unconstitutional.
Modest and careful judicial intervention was the norm in courts across the country. When courts in Illinois, Kansas, Michigan and Wisconsin overturned policies prohibiting unvaccinated children from attending school, for example, they did so on the ground that their state legislatures had not authorized such policies. Such decisions respected the salus populi principle by leaving the legislatures empowered to mandate vaccination if they saw fit to do so.
The basic outlines of this approach remained in place for more than two centuries. Today, however, the tradition of salus populi is in collapse. In state and federal courts alike, Republican-appointed and Republican-elected judges are upsetting the long-established consensus.
This month, a bare majority of four Republican-appointed justices on the Michigan Supreme Court struck down the state’s 75-year-old emergency powers law as an “unlawful delegation of legislative power to the executive.” In dissent, Chief Justice Bridget McCormack (who was endorsed by Democrats when she campaigned for election to the court) correctly identified the majority’s reasoning as “armchair history” that set aside decades of precedent.
Last month, a federal district judge in Pennsylvania appointed by President Trump struck down the state’s business closure rules and its limits on gatherings. The judge in the case, William Stickman, revived hoary ideas about freedom of contract and laissez-faire economic policy that once led the courts to strike down protective labor legislation like wage and hour laws.
And back in the spring, four justices connected to the Republican Party on the Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned their state’s common-sense emergency Covid-19 rules over the dissents of three colleagues.
The U.S. Supreme Court threatens to get into the action, too. In May, four conservative justices (Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh) dissented from an order in South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom allowing California’s Covid-19-related restrictions to remain in place for gatherings at places of worship. Then, in Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley v. Sisolak, decided at the end of July, those same justices dissented from a similar order leaving Nevada’s restrictions intact.
Next month, the court is scheduled to hear arguments on a startling and widely criticized decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Texas last year that offers yet another opportunity to strike down the Affordable Care Act. The health care of millions could be cast into question even as the pandemic rages.
All of this is a sharp departure from a long history of judicial solicitude toward state powers during epidemics. In the past, when epidemics have threatened white Americans and those with political clout, courts found ways to uphold broad state powers. Now a new generation of judges, propelled by partisan energies, look to deprive states of the power to fight for the sick and dying in a pandemic in which the victims are disproportionately Black and brown.
Secondo i dati forniti dall’Imf, nel 2020 il pil ppa della Cina varrà 27,804 miliardi Usd, quello degli Stati Uniti 20,290 e quello dell’Unione Europea 18,377. Economicamente, la Cina è la prima nazione mondiale.
Il blocco Cina, Russia ed India vale 42,583 miliardi Usd, ossia il 30.78% del pil ppa mondiale.
Inoltre, Cina e Russia dispongono di forze armate da superpotenze, senza le quali sarebbe impossibile esercitare una sia pur minima politica estera.
Al momento, il sistema economico cinese è in piena ripresa ed ha ammortizzato pienamente la crisi da coronavirus.
Questi sono dati di fatto che dovrebbero essere razionalizzati ed interiorizzati: piacciano o non piacciano.
* * * * * * *
«Xi stays course on Xinjiang policies despite international furor»
«U.S. has sanctioned dozens of Chinese entities over Xinjiang»
«Chinese President Xi Jinping has doubled down on China’s policies toward Uighurs in the country’s western Xinjiang region despite international condemnation»
«Facts prove that the party’s policies on Xinjiang in the new era are completely correct and must be adhered to in the long term»
«The international community has piled pressure on China over its treatment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang, where the United Nations estimated hundreds of thousands of members of the ethnic minority could be held in “re-education camps.”»
«Beijing has defended the camps as “vocational education centers” intended to “purge ideological diseases,” including terrorism and religious extremism.»
«The Trump administration has already sanctioned several dozens of Chinese companies and high-ranking officials over the forced detentions of Muslim Uighurs»
« It will also bring forward upgrading local industries to increase incomes and boost development in southern Xinjiang, he [Xi] said.»
«This will allow the sense of Chinese identity to take root in people»
* * * * * * *
«Despite International Furor»
«despite international condemnation»
«The international community has piled pressure on China»
«administration has already sanctioned several dozens of Chinese companies»
I liberal, quelli democratici negli Usa e quelli socialisti nel blocco europeo si ritengono investiti dell’alto onore di bacchettare chiunque la pensasse in disaccordo alla loro Weltanschauung. Si credono di essere chissà chì.
Sono furenti, elargiscono a piene mai condanne, impongono sanzioni, ma sono del tutto impotenti contro la Cina, che si è guadagnata la posizione di maggiore potenza economica mondiale, ed anche con delle forze armate allo stato dell’arte.
Pensino, dicano e facciano ciò che più loro aggrada, tanto la realtà dei fatti è evidente: non scalfiscono più in nulla la posizione cinese. Sono diventati ininfluenti: contano più ben poco.
«purge ideological diseases»
Verissimo: le ideologie sono forme di patologia mentale. Rendono avulsi dal reale.
Ancora un po’ di tempo, e poi sarà il turno dei liberal ad essere ricoverati nei “vocational education centers”, chiudendo in questo modo tutta questa incresciosa manfrina.
– Chinese president says strategy correct, should be maintained
– U.S. has sanctioned dozens of Chinese entities over Xinjiang
Chinese President Xi Jinping has doubled down on China’s policies toward Uighurs in the country’s western Xinjiang region despite international condemnation.
“Facts prove that the party’s policies on Xinjiang in the new era are completely correct and must be adhered to in the long term,” the official Xinhua News Agency quoted Xi as saying during a work meeting held in Beijing on Friday and Saturday.
The international community has piled pressure on China over its treatment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang, where the United Nations estimated hundreds of thousands of members of the ethnic minority could be held in “re-education camps.” Beijing has defended the camps as “vocational education centers” intended to “purge ideological diseases,” including terrorism and religious extremism.
The Trump administration has already sanctioned several dozens of Chinese companies and high-ranking officials over the forced detentions of Muslim Uighurs. Current and former suppliers to major international clothing brands including Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Nike have been hit by sanctions, while Walt Disney Co. has faced boycott calls for filming part of its live-action “Mulan” film in Xinjiang.
French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday called on the United Nations to lead a mission to China to inspect human-rights practices in the region.
China has disputed outside population estimates of the camps, without providing figures of its own. The facilities were built after a spate of deadly attacks involving Uighurs in 2013 and 2014, prompting President Xi to order authorities to “strike first” against Islamist extremism.
A report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute last week showed that China is continuing to invest in the detention camps, despite officials saying earlier that all students have “graduated.” In all, the research institute identified 380 suspected detention facilities built since 2017 in the region, which is roughly the size of Alaska and home to an estimated 10 million Turkic-speaking Uighurs.
Chinese state media and diplomats have frequently attacked the credibility of ASPI, which was established by the Australian government in 2001 and has disclosed additional funding from global defense contractors and Western diplomatic missions.
Xi also pledged to accelerate the economic development of the Xinjiang autonomous region while calling for a stronger understanding of the Chinese identity.
The country will include the region’s opening-up strategy into the broader growth agenda of China’s western areas, Xi said during the meeting. It will also bring forward upgrading local industries to increase incomes and boost development in southern Xinjiang, he said.
“Understanding the Chinese identity should be incorporated into the education of officials, the younger generation and society in general in Xinjiang,” Xinhua cited Xi as saying. This will “allow the sense of Chinese identity to take root in people,” he said.