U.S. Trump claims credit for Shell plant announced under Obama JILL COLVIN and JOSH BOAK•Trump claims credit for Shell complex announced under Obama MONACA, Pa. (AP) — President Donald Trump sought to take credit Tuesday for a major manufacturing complex in western Pennsylvania in his latest effort to reinvigorate the Rust Belt support that sent him to the White House. He was cheered on by fluorescent-vest-clad workers who were paid to attend by Shell, their employer, which is building the facility.Despite Trump’s claims, Shell announced its plans to build the complex in 2012, midway through President Barack Obama’s term in the White House.The event was billed as an official White House event, but Trump turned much of it into a campaign-style rally, boasting of achievements he claims as president and assailing his would-be Democratic rivals for the 2020 election.”I don’t think they give a damn about Western Pennsylvania, do you?” he prodded the crowd.Trump was visiting Shell’s soon-to-be completed Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex, which will turn the area’s vast natural gas deposits into plastics. The facility is being built in an area hungry for investment and employment, though critics claim it will become the largest air polluter in western Pennsylvania.Trump contends that America’s coal, oil and manufacturing are reviving and he deserves the credit. He’s been focusing on his administration’s efforts to increase the nation’s dependence on fossil fuels in defiance of increasingly urgent warnings about climate change. And he’s embracing plastic at a time when the world is sounding alarms over its impact.”We don’t need it from the Middle East anymore,” Trump said of oil and natural gas, proclaiming the employees „the backbone of this country.”As for the new complex, he declared, „This would have never happened without me and us.”Trump’s appeals to blue-collar workers helped him win Beaver County, where the plant is located, by more than 18 percentage points in 2016, only to have voters there turn to Democrats in 2018’s midterm elections. In one of a series of defeats that led to Republicans’ loss of the House, voters sent Democrat Conor Lamb to Congress after the prosperity promised by Trump’s tax cuts failed to materialize.Today, the much of the area is still struggling to recover from the shutting of steel plants in the 1980s that sent unemployment to nearly 30%. Former mill towns like Aliquippa have seen their population shrink, though Pittsburgh has lured major tech companies like Google and Uber, fueling an economic renaissance in a city that reliably votes Democratic.Trump claimed that his steel and aluminum foreign-trade tariffs have saved the industries and that they are now „thriving,” exaggerating the recovery of the steel industry, particularly when it comes to jobs, which have largely followed pace with broader economic growth.Trump took credit for the addition of 600,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs. Labor Department figures show that roughly 500,000 factory jobs have been added since his presidency started.Manufacturing has also started to struggle anew this year as the administration has intensified its trade war with China and factory production has declined. Pennsylvania has lost 5,600 manufacturing jobs so far this year, according to the Labor Department.The region’s natural gas deposits had been seen, for a time, as its new road to prosperity, with drilling in the Marcellus Shale reservoir transforming Pennsylvania into the nation’s No. 2 natural gas state. But drops in the price of oil and gas caused the initial jobs boom from fracking to fizzle, leading companies like Shell to turn instead to plastics and so-called cracker plants — named after the process in which molecules are broken down at high heat, turning fracked ethane gas into one of the precursors for plastic.The company was given massive tax breaks to build the petrochemicals complex, along with a $10 million site development grant, with local politicians eager to accommodate a multibillion-dollar construction project.But „fracking for plastic” has drawn alarm from environmentalists and other activists, who warn of potential health and safety risks to nearby residents and bemoan the production of ever more plastic. There has been growing concern over the sheer quantity of plastic on the planet, which has overwhelmed landfills, inundated bodies of water and permeated the deepest reaches of the ocean. Microplastics have been found in the bodies of birds, fish, whales and people, with the health impacts largely unknown.”Of all the things we could invest in, of all the things we should be prioritizing, of all the companies we should be giving our taxpayer money to, this seems like the worst of all worlds,” said David Masur, executive director of PennEnvironment, a statewide environmental advocacy organization.Trump defended the investment in plastics, claiming pollution in the ocean is „not our plastic.””It’s plastics that’s floating over in the ocean and the various oceans from other places,” he told reporters before boarding Air Force One.A spokesman for Shell, Ray Fisher, said the company has „dedicated a great deal of time and resources” to ensure emissions from the plant meet or exceed local, state and federal requirements. „As designed, the project will actually help improve the local air shed as it relates to ozone and fine particulates,” he said.The project currently has 5,000 construction workers. Once operational, however, the number of permanent employees at the site will shrink to 600.The area still faces economic headwinds. The nearby Beaver Valley Power Station, a nuclear plant that has employed 850 people, has announced plans to close in 2021. And the Bruce Mansfield Power Plant, once the state’s largest coal-powered plant, announced Friday that it would close this fall, 19 months earlier than expected, at a cost of at least 200 jobs._Boak reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Mark Scolforo in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Zeke Miller in Washington contributed to this report.
Trump to tour Pennsylvania manufacturing plant project, pitch economic policies•Trump to tour Pennsylvania manufacturing plant project, pitch economic policies The president heads to battleground Pennsylvania to tour construction of a new facility that will turn natural gas into plastics; Molly Line reports from Monaca, Pennsylvania.The president heads to battleground Pennsylvania to tour construction of a new facility that will turn natural gas into plastics; Molly Line reports from Monaca, Pennsylvania.
- Throughout its trade war with China, the Trump administration has consistently struck the same message: They’re paying for the entirety of the tariffs, and not the United States.
- But on Wednesday, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross went on CNBC to explain the administration’s decision to delay a portion of the planned tariffs until December 15.
- He cited a desire to protect shoppers from adverse effects during the holiday season, given the goods affected had included laptops, cellphones, toys and video game consoles among others.
- It’s a tacit, yet remarkable admission that the ongoing trade war with China is threatening the pockets of American consumers.
- President Donald Trump has also started to acknowledge the cost of the trade war on Americans.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Throughout its trade war with China, the Trump administration has consistently struck the same message: They’re paying the entirety of the tariffs, and not the United States.
But early on Wednesday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross went on CNBC to explain the administration’s decision to delay a portion of the planned tariffs until December 15, which would have affected the rest of Chinese imports into the United States.
He cited a desire to protect shoppers from any adverse effects during the holiday season, given the goods affected had included laptops, cellphones, toys and video game consoles among others.
„Nobody wants to take any chance at disrupting the Christmas season,” Ross said.
It’s a tacit, yet remarkable admission that the ongoing trade war with China is threatening the pockets of American consumers. Just over a year ago, Ross staunchly defended Trump’s massive tariffs as being „no big deal” on CNBC — and held up cans of soup, beer, and soda to illustrate his point.
President Donald Trump has also started to publicly recognize the cost of the trade war on Americans. Asked by reporters about the delay on implementing tariffs on Monday, Trump said, „We’re doing this for the Christmas season.”
And he added: „Just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on US consumers.”
The admission reflects the mounting frustration the administration is facing from business owners and corporate leaders fed up with Trump’s volatile approach to trade. Mary Lovely, a trade scholar at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, told INSIDER’s Gina Heeb the administration’s reversal was „a bow to domestic political interests.”
While the trade war has dampened demand for Chinese exports, experts say its also contributed to lower business investment and an erosion of confidence in the American economy.
The White House did not offer a comment on Wednesday morning on the administration’s rhetorical shift.
During his campaign in 2016, Trump repeatedly lashed out at China, saying „they’re ripping us off” and he characterized its trade policies as „the greatest theft in the history of the world.” Then he embarked on a trade war against the world’s second biggest economic power, slapping tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods so far.
China imposed tariffs on $110 billion of American goods in response, taking aim at the agricultural sector in states that supported Trump.
Washington and Beijing have engaged in protracted negotiations where neither side has budged. Another round of negotiations is set to take place in September, though Trump said it may not happen.
Many economists say the tariffs amount to a significant tax increase on Americans, despite Trump and other administration’s officials claims to the contrary. The nonpartisan Tax Foundation found that a family of four is paying $850 more every year for the rising cost of goods.
„Who puts tariffs on unless you want higher prices?” investment manager Richard Bernstein told the Washington Post.
The Trump administration has been forced to bail out farmers who have faced punishing costs as a result of its protectionist trade policies. Other sectors of the economy are starting to feel the pain — with early signs that some businesses are starting to pull back on hiring more workers.
Though many American business leaders have been critical of the tariffs, Democrats have also blasted Trump’s combative trade policies with a focus on its negative effect on Americans. And its lining up to be a political issue that could put Trump even further on the defensive heading into next year’s presidential race.
„Yet more proof that Trump doesn’t care about the farmers, workers, and consumers that are being crushed by his irresponsible tariff war with China. It’s easy to act tough when someone else is feeling the pain,” former Vice President Joe Biden tweeted earlier this month.
Yet despite Trump’s own admission about the trade war burdening American consumers, he is likely to revert back to incorrectly claiming China alone is bearing its costs.
..Spread is way too much as other countries say THANK YOU to clueless Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve. Germany, and many others, are playing the game! CRAZY INVERTED YIELD CURVE! We should easily be reaping big Rewards & Gains, but the Fed is holding us back. We will Win!
It didn’t take long for him to claim America has the upper hand in the trade dispute, though, as Trump tweeted on Wednesday afternoon the US was „winning, big time, against China.”Gina Heeb contributed reporting. NOW WATCH: Why the US border facilities are ‘concentration camps,’ according to historians
President Trump on Monday appeared to confirm reports that an advanced nuclear cruise missile had exploded during testing in Russia, saying on Monday night that the U.S. was “learning much” from the incident.
Trump Says Fed Should Cut Rates as Global Growth Concerns Jar Markets
British-Iranian academic arrested by Tehran amid rising tensions Josie Ensor•Kameel Ahmady, a renowned anthropologist, was arrested by police in Tehran on Sunday on unspecified allegations. – Family handoutIran has arrested a dual British-Iranian national, threatening to further sour relations between the two countries just as they appeared to be making headway over the fate of a seized Iranian tanker.Kameel Ahmady, a renowned anthropologist, was arrested by police on Sunday on unspecified allegations.Mr Ahmady, an Iranian Kurd who was born in the western city of Mahabad, was granted British citizenship in 1994 but had been living in Iran for the last 14 years. His wife, Shafagh Rahmani, said on Tuesday night he had not been officially charged, but prosecutors at Evin prison said that he faces a series of charges related to “his activities”.“At this moment I only ask [the judiciary officials] to allow me to meet my husband and talk to him on the phone,” she told Iranwire website. „His activities have been transparent and open. The results of his work has been published in books and these books were published with the permission of the Ministry of Culture.I really have no idea why he has been arrested.”Wife Shafagh Rahmani said on Tuesday night he had not been officially charged, but prosecutors at Evin prison said that he faces a series of charges related to “his activities” Credit: FamilyAccording to his Linkedin profile, Mr Ahmady, who had studied at the London School of Economics, is „a scholar working in the field of social anthropology conducting research on topics related to local cultures, women and children, and the rights of minorities in the Middle East, with some work experience in Africa and the Far East.” In 2015, he released a study suggesting tens of thousands of Iranian women have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM). Before Mr Ahmady’s disclosure, Iran was not recognised as a country affected by the controversial practice.“I returned to Iran in 2005 to study FGM in my home country and instantly I was shocked to discover that it even happened to the closest members of my own family and relatives,” he told the Guardian at the time.Iran has pursued a campaign of detaining Iranian and dual nationals academics in recent years, the latest of which was in July when French-Iranian scholar Fariba Adelkhah was detained on unspecified charges.Iran has since 2016 been holding another British-Iranian national, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, on charges of espionage. The 40-year-old charity worker’s husband, Richard Ratcliffe, has suggested she may be being used as leverage.The Telegraph also revealed earlier this month that Iranian-Finnish King’s College London student Ana-Diamond, 24, was held in Evin prison for eight months that same year on charges of spying for the British government.As tensions with Tehran escalate, the Islamic Republic is accused of using dual nationals as pawns in its standoff with the West.Richard Ratcliffe, the husband of imprisoned Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, protesting outside the Iranian Embassy in London Credit: RexIran and the UK have been locked in a diplomatic row over the fate of two tankers.Gibraltar seized the Grace 1 supertanker on July 4 with the help of British Royal Marines on suspicion it was shipping oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions. Tehran retaliated two weeks later by impounding British-flagged tanker Stena Impero while it was travelling through the Persian Gulf.A court in Gibraltar is to decide the fate of the Grace 1 on Thursday, when an order for its detention lapses.The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that Tehran has lifted several stumbling blocks by reflagging the vessel and setting a new destination after Gibraltar sought assurance that the ship would not sail to Syria.Iran has however tried to deny the oil carried by the supertanker was Iranian, declaring it as Iraqi, which is a common Iranian practice to evade sanctions.It is not clear what the Gibraltar authorities will decide, but Iran seemed confident on Tuesday that the vessel would be released.Talks between Iranian officials and the Foreign Office conducted in London last month failed to resolve the crisis.Formally, the FCO is trying to separate the issues of the tanker from the broader tensions with Iran over the nuclear deal. Since the US pulled out of the 2015 accord last year, the UK and has been struggling to keep it alive while at the same time coming under pressure from Washington to take a harder line.A spokesperson for the FCO told the Telegraph it was aware of reports of Mr Ahmady’s arrest.
World Russia told residents living near the site of last week’s failed missile test to evacuate but then mysteriously canceled the order
- Russia told the residents of Nyonoksa, a town near the military test site where a failed weapons test last week resulted in a deadly explosion, to evacuate Tuesday, but then the order was mysteriously canceled.
- The weapon tested last week is believed to have been the 9M730 Burevestnik nuclear-powered cruise missile, a kind of doomsday missile that NATO refers to as SSC-X-9 Skyfall.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin has bragged about the missile’s capabilities, despite the fact that it doesn’t actually work.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Russia ordered the evacuation of residents living near the military testing range where a suspected test of a nuclear-powered cruise missile ended in a deadly explosion last week but then mysteriously canceled the order, the Associated Press reports, citing Russian media.
Five Russian nuclear scientists were buried Monday after they were killed in an explosion last week that also temporarily resulted in a spike in radiation levels nearby. Western intelligence officials and experts believe that they were working on the 9M730 Burevestnik nuclear-powered cruise missile, a kind of doomsday missile that NATO refers to as SSC-X-9 Skyfall.
Tweeting Monday afternoon, President Donald Trump referred to what he called the „failed missile explosion in Russia” as the „‘Skyfall’ explosion,” confirming that the US believes that this was the state-of-the-art missile that Russian President Vladimir Putin has boasted about — despite the fact that it doesn’t work.
Russia has declined to say whether or not the failed test last week involved the Burevestnik.
Putin bragged in March 2018 that the then-unnamed missile was „invincible,” proudly asserting that the weapon has „an unlimited range, unpredictable trajectory and ability to bypass interception.” So far, the weapon has posed a greater threat to the Russian people than any potential adversary.
Alexei Likhachev, the head of Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation, Russia’s state nuclear agency, said Monday that the best way to honor the memory of the those who died is „further work on the new weapons.” It is currently unclear if the evacuation ordered Tuesday was related to plans for additional testing.
Commenting on last week’s explosion, the Kremlin said Tuesday that „accidents, unfortunately, happen.”
The Russian military regularly suffers serious accidents. Just last week, there was the failed missile tests, and then an ammunition depot at another base exploded twice.
Jeffrey Edmonds, a former CIA analyst and member of the National Security Council, recently told INSIDER that the problem appears to be that Russia often combines a willingness to take risks with an outdated military infrastructure that simply can’t support that culture, creating an environment where accidents are more likely.