U.S. TECH GIANTS LOBBYING IN EUROPE

Source: Transparency International EU

Annual Budget and number of meetings with the European Commissioon since 2014

1. Microsoft: € 4.5 million, 84 high level meetings with the EC

2. Google: € 4.25 million, 153 high level meetings with the EC

3. Amazon: € 1.75 million, 33 high level meetings with the EC

4. Facebook: € 1.00 million, 68 high level meetings with the EC

5. Apple: € 1.00 million, 26 high level meetings with the EC

 

LOBBYING AND DIPLOMACY IN/ OF THE EU

Lobbying and diplomacy are activities aimed at representing certain interests in front of the decision-makers and the public of a political system ; at informing policy-makers and the public about certain policies, specific viewpoints, etc. ; at communicating these issues via formal and informal channels ; at influencing the formulation and implementation of policies ; and at building relationships.

STANDARD EU VAT RATES BY COUNTRY

 

  1. Luxembourg: 17%
  2. Malta; 18%
  3. Cyprus, Germany, Romania: 19%
  4. Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia, France, Slovakia, United Kingdom: 20%
  5. Belgium, Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Spain: 21%
  6. Italy, Slovenia: 22%
  7. Ireland, Poland, Portugal: 23%
  8. Finland, Greece: 24%
  9. Croatia, Denmark, Sweden: 25%
  10. Hungary: 27%

TIT-FOR-TAT PROPOSED EU TARIFFS LIST ON U.S. GOODS

The European Union is preparing punitive tariffs on iconic U.S. brands. Targeting 2.8 billion euros of American goods, the EU aims to apply a 25 percent tit-for-tat levy on a range of consumer, agricultural and steel products imported from the U.S. The list of targeted U.S. goods includes motorcycles (Harley-Davidson) jeans (Levi Strauss) and bourbon whiskey.

The European retaliatory list targets imports from the U.S. of

TAKEAWAYS FROM THE ITALIAN ELECTIONS

Source: VoteWatch Europe

U.S. TO SET TARIFFS ON STEEL AND ALUMINIUM IMPORTS

The Trump administration is to put tariffs on steel and aluminum products of 25% and 10% respectively.

Steel Sources (Percent of total Volume)

  1. Canada: 16%
  2. Brazil: 13%
  3. South Korea: 10%
  4. Mexico: 9%
  5. Russia: 9%
  6. Turkey: 7%
  7. Japan: 5%
  8. Taiwan: 4%
  9. Germany: 3%
  10. India: 2%

Aluminum Products Sources (Percent of total Volume)

ABOUT THE ITALIAN ELECTIONS

The 2018 Italian general election is due to be held on 4 March 2018.Voters will elect the 630 members of the Chamber of Deputies and the 315 elective members of the Senate of the Republic for the 18th legislature of the Republic of Italy, since 1948. The election will take place concurrently with the Lombard regional election and the Lazio regional election.

What are the main parties?

More than 20 parties are in the ring, but Italian voters are largely split into three political camps, according to recent polls.

TIME TO MOVE FORWARD IN WORKING CONSTRUCTIVELY WITH RUSSIA

Despite it being more than a quarter century since the collapse of the erstwhile Soviet Union, the U.S. and its allies have rarely shown appetite in building a good relationship with the Russian Federation. They have, to the contrary, only fostered a greater sense of insecurity in the minds of Moscow through the expansion of their military power, to the point that there is direct weaponry targeting Russia.

TAKEAWAYS FROM TRUMP'S SPEECH IN DAVOS

  1. No mention of geopolitics, or major international issues like climate change. China was not noted at all. Nor was India, nor Iran nor even Europe.
  2. …we are  working to reform the international trading system so that it promotes broadly-shared prosperity and rewards those who play by the rules. We cannot have free and open trade if some countries exploit the system at the expense of others. We support free trade, but it needs to be FAIR and RECIPROCAL. Because in the end, unfair trade undermines us all.

TRADE PROTECTIONISM IS NOT THE SOLUTION

Anti-dumping, anti-subsidy and "import injury" actions are permitted under existing international trade rules, but the U.S. administration's declared intention to more robustly enforce existing trade laws has encouraged US businesses to file more such petitions, which have increased substantially this year.

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