Free Trade and the Economic Independence of Sovereign States

  • Mr Speaker, my Government has asked me to raise on the floor of the Council, the announcement of the Governments of the United Kingdom and the Duxburian Union to impose tariffs upon Framptonian exports to their countries.

    They have undertaken this decision on the basis that Framptonia has cut its domestic interest rates and this constitutes an economic action deserving of punitive action. The combined population of the UK and the DU is some 20 times that of Framptonia. The combined economies are some 50 times greater.

    The domestic interest rates of Framptonia are the internal affairs of Framptonia. We are not in a currency union that requires a co-ordinated monetary policy between nations. Neither are we in a political union that requires one country to obtain the consent of another before implementing domestic policy.

    I urge the other nations of the Union to join me in condemning the bullying and overbearing actions of these two nations and encourage them to reconsider their position.

    Miss Stephanie Hughes - EU Councillor

  • Admin

    Nobody here would question the right of Framptonia or any other member state to set its own interest rates. However, I can certainly see how the Duxburian and British governments would take the actions and words of Mr. Thomas as a clumsy attempt at currency manipulation. An immediate drop in the base rate from 7.5% to 3% is an extreme change that Mr. Thomas explicitly states is intended to devalue the Framptonian Florin in a sudden shock, thus making Framptonian exports considerably cheaper, while making it considerably more difficult for the rest of us to export to Framptonia. Considering how sudden and extreme these actions are, to say nothing of Mr. Thomas' belligerent and autarkic tone, it is easy to understand why the Duxburian and British governments would interpret these actions as currency manipulation with the aim of an artificially weak Florin and, therefore, the dumping of artificially cheap Framptonian exports on the market. If Framptonia wishes for these reprisals, aimed, of course, at insulating the Duxburian Union and Britain from this perceived manipulation, then it would do well to go directly to those countries, explain its actions, and try to reassure those countries that Framptonia is not manipulating the Florin. I struggle to see what role the Council should play in this.

    Peter Montfort

  • Trade Secretary Lei feng Said her peice "While it is a sudden shock, does every state not deserve thr right to acti within their own economic sovereignty? Framptonia is simply acting within in its own rights to conduct monetary, trade and fiscal policy under their own currency regime. The Federal Republic of Xeng fails to see this as a problem or worthy of any sanctions or embargoes. Framptonia is merely insuring that its economic interests do not get croweded out by markets that as Miss Stephanie huhes says are 5 times larger than itself, when facing competition like that a nations has to do what it has to to survive and stay competitive in order to reduce stagnation and even worse decline due to a lack of demand of their exports. I persdonally do not know why such sanctions were taken, but doing this can be seen by many as economic bullying....and nothing more, and sactioning a nation merely because of the decisions made by its central bank and monetary authorities is unconsionable." said Madame Lei Feng of the Trade ministry of the Federal Republic of Xeng.

  • Admin

    Firoux squinted across the Council floor and examined the representative from the Xeng Trade Ministry. Firoux scratched his head in confusion and wondered who this woman was. See, this is how we get kidnapped. I need to have a word with the Defence Commissioner about this. Can just anybody walk in here?

    "Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't believe the Duxburian Union or the Unted kingdom placed sanctions on Framptonia. They simply increased tariffs, just like how Framptonia reduced the internal interest rate for its own currency. All the countries involved are simply conducting their own monetary and fiscal policies. Framptonia is attempting to protect its economy by taking measures to devalue its currency, and the governments of the Duxburian Union and the United Kingdom are protecting their respective economies by increasing tariffs. As Councillor Montfort has pointed out, this digression of economic action-and-reaction is to be expected. Framptonia is very openly making an underhanded attempt at manipulating its currency, so I'm finding it hard to believe that the Duxburian Union and the Unted Kingdom are bullies for mitigating a manipulated attempt to undermine their exports. With that being said, the UK and the Duxburian were being just as drastic as Framptonia in the matter. It's all quite petty anyway.

    Either way, even if you think one side is being more sly or mean than the other, the Council certainly isn't the place for this sort of discussion. I do hope that this ordeal is worked out however."

  • Lady Feng calmy responded. "Increasing tarrifs to undermine ones economy simply because of an internal policy decision made which another country doesn't like might not look like economic bullying, to you.. But think of it this way, a nations currecney exchange rate is determined by the demand and transactional activity it is involved with in the market place, well at least ones with floating and mixed managed currency regimes. Placing increasing tarriffs just because of a decision you don';t like in order to get a nation to conform to a perceived norm is nothing short of ridiculas. If one is worried about their exports then the companies within the private secotr have to think of more efficiant ways to compete its as simple as that."

  • Admin

    "You do realise that is why nations have tariffs to begin with. Tariffs are raised with the explicit intent to protect exports and imports. Considering that exports make up a considerable amount of a country's GDP, it's quite important to keep exports alive and healthy. What you're suggesting, that nations should should engage in an economic free-for-all and drop tariffs in order to allow private sectors to use 'efficient ways' to dominate, is actually more damaging to smaller countries like Framptonia. I would have no problem if all countries in the EU dropped tariffs altogether - it just means that countries with massive amounts of capital and subsidized industries like Inquista can completely swallow smaller economies.

    Anyway, lets not digress."

  • Admin

    "Unfettered free trade is fine and usually mutually beneficial, provided - and this also goes for trade in general - that there is a level playing field. Currency manipulation tilts the board in favour of one player. Indeed, it is what nations generally do as an alternative to addressing the inefficiencies in their own economies, thus insulating and protecting those inefficiencies from the reality of a level playing field. In this instance, the Duxburians and Britons believe that Framptonia has tilted the board in its favour, and have responded accordingly by tilting the board back the other way. It is entirely unreasonable to expect the Duxburian Union and Britain to stop doing that until they have been reassured - either through words or actions - that Framptonia is not, in fact, tilting the board in its favour."

  • "I am not proposing total free trade, no person would propose that. But this measure of sudden tarriff rasing is unsessasary and arbitrary. If you want t bring trade balance back to an Equalibrium, you hve to have ISDS measures in place stipulated in some form of agreement or FTA or conduct some monetary policy like open market bond exchanges in the open market to make it so to keep up with interest rates. To do this so suddennly is at best unessasarily reactionary epecially at the levels tht the DU with its tarriffs at the following levels on nessecities30%, standard goods to 50%, and luxury goods to 70% how are figures like that at any reasonable tarrif raising level? There is no evidence that this rate shift is an open minupulation to undermine both the economies of Britain and the D.U. Any reasonable and sensible person would raise this concern with the leaders involved and see if they can;t either formulate an ISDS mechanism in place or amend one in an FTA or some kind of investment contract before putting these measures in play.. The fact that they dicide to just raise the tarriffs further without cosidering the consiqunces of a trade pertner of theirs is not acceptable." Replied Trade Secretary Lei Feng

  • " I do woner what do these tarrifs mean to he Framptonian ecomony and everybody else's. Tarrifs do bolser in some ways the imposer's economy, but for the victum-I believe that the UK and Dubuxian Union are being somewhat passive aggressive with you. Although Imo believe in conolled trade, this is rater peculiar. Kalmar does believe that these two nations should justify themselves.

  • "The People of Poretos stand alongside the people of Framptonia, for too long have the bigger states been bullying the small - their constant unions which exclude us, their defence pacts against us and their discreet works that disrupt our nations, for example the still unexplained sinking of HMV Invictus carrying innocent Humanitarian Volunteers. Poretos will attempt to make up any trade they can with you and will immediately begin work. However I also see the UKs Visa system that specifically punishes smaller states, hence why nobody in Poretos goes to the UK - this is just another example of attempting to reign supreme and us smaller nations have had enough!." - responded a flustered Councillor Tournay

  • Admin

    Acwellan Devoy rose to speak, but someone behind him gestured that she wished to speak. Acwellan found himself face to face with Elizabeth Hale, the rugged, firebrand Speaker of the Sovereign Assembly. As a laid-back compromiser, he was genuinely horrified at what vitriol might fly out of her mouth. However, he wasn't about to shoo away the 3rd most powerful Duxburian, and so granted her his time.

    "Graz yo, Ellen," she said, gleefully using her favorite nickname for him. It was crystal clear who was the top in this relationship. She looked around the chamber, found Councillor Hughes, and locked focus with eyes of ice, wreathed in flame.

    "I THINK THE REAL PROBLEM HERE..., " she opened up with the booming, hall-humbling voice of a Duxburian Speaker, " that the Framptonian government needs to grow a pair." She paused to let that settle in until one could hear a pin drop in the Council.

    "When Framptonia changes its trade policy, these are the words invoked: FREEDOM, SOVEREIGNTY, RIGHTS, INTERNAL AFFAIRS, ECONOMIC INTERESTS. But, when the Iunio Dairghazburiano or Iunito Rexairo change their policies to match, the discourse turns to SANCTIONS, EMBARGOES, PUNITIVE ACTIONS, BULLIES, OVERBEARING ACTIONS! Oh please, give me a fykken break. The belshyte in this discourse could power a Framptonian car or two. All these countries have done is exercise their own rights to manage their own trade policies, the same rights you have. This witch hunt makes you a huge hypofykkre.

    Your "internal decisions" affect the outside world, this isn't the preschool sandbox. When you make decisions as an official of a nationstate, you must own whatever consequences they may have. There is no freedom from consequence and glass walls won't hold back stones. Instead of working this out like adults, you'd rather flood the region with statements and run to the European Council. Crybabies don't last a term in my legislature, but I have no control over how your officials are coddled and sheltered from the results of their decisions."

    Elizabeth Hale then turned to Trade Secretary Lei Feng.

    "At least Councillor Hughes has something between her ears. You are a complete waste of oxygen, like the weak babies that Blackstone Duxburians of old used to hurl off the Capital Promontory in shame. Honey, no sanctions or embargoes have taken place, these were merely tariffs. No one is imposing anything. Keep your nose up Framptonia's ass if you want to see what real "overbearing actions" look like. I know it might be tough, but try and think rationally about all this."

    She turned to Councillor Firoux next, but without malice.

    "Councillor Firoux's opinion is on fleek. The level of tariffs imposed are a bit of an over-reaction, and I'm sure common ground could be found. That said, 7.5% interest to 3% in one go is extreme, as Councillor Montfort has pointed out. It can take years for a sane Central Bank to change rates by that much, in either direction. 4.5% at once is so economically reckless that it just screams currency manipulation. You'd have to be baatshyte insane to have that much faith in an economy that pays its workers peanuts and lacks major foreign deals.

    Finally, I wish to point out cultural differences that may have helped to fan this economic belshyte. Re-examine Comptroller General Thomas' speech. Notice the repeated use of "foreign" in deeply negative tones, to the point of being a slur. The most offensive word in the Kendrelaatzenian language complex, which I shall not utter in these hallowed halls, is for exactly that usage. That's a word worth killing a person over, and that's what he's calling all of us. He then goes on to insult strong currency regimes as masochistic and machismo. These aren't terms I understand, but translators tell me that they involve male dominance and lust for inflicting pain over others, typically women. I have no idea how this relates to currency, but I do know that he's again slurring two civilizations that rank among the most egalitarian that have ever existed. I can't blame Kligenberg for his actions, the Comptroller General is an idiot."

    With that, Elizabeth Hale relinquished the floor.

  • Elizabeth Hale then turned to Trade Secretary Lei Feng.

    "At least Councillor Hughes has something between her ears. You are a complete waste of oxygen, like the weak babies that Blackstone Duxburians of old used to hurl off the Capital Promontory in shame. Honey, no sanctions or embargoes have taken place, these were merely tariffs. No one is imposing anything. Keep your nose up Framptonia's ass if you want to see what real "overbearing actions" look like. I know it might be tough, but try and think rationally about all this."

    Lady Feng nerey smirked and laughed. "Oh thts is hilarious... Who is this jabbering ape infront of me? If the DU sent you here to talk recify this situation I pity them, clealy one ho doesn't even know how economics works. Using threats rather than rational discussion.....Pathetic.... You See ISDS means invester-state disoute settlement, you know some clauses and measures put in place within every FTA if a dispute like this should arise... Do you see how this works? ? She asked sarcastically as if a mother was talking down to her child. "But seriously the rate at which your so-called tarrifs are going one would think they are sanctions to the Tuetonic states. They lowered interst rates, not started a war. But I doubt that a loud overbaring ape such as yourself would know the difference. So why don't you go play in your little corner until an actual diplomat arrives ok."

  • Admin

    "Who are you to determine the trade policies of a nation that does not belong to you? None of your fancy metrics mean shit outside your own borders, or have you already forgotten your own stance on the right of nations to manage their trade?" Hale smirked back.

  • "I'm not.... But you see peice of freindly advice it isn't wise to act so bourishly like a petulant little brat and outwardly threaten another nation which hasn't wronged you. I am just saying how economics, actual economics really works. And to raise tariffs that high.....Really? Especially towards other trading partners and to conduct yourself in a manner that is worthy of a night club bouncer rather than a government offiicial, especially one that comes from a nation that is otherwise neutral isn't going to win you many freinds dear. " She chuckled and smled lightly

  • Admin

    "But, you are...none of that has any bearing on another country. If the Officer of the Treasury wants a 70% tariff, then he gets a 70% tariff. End of story, that's real economics. I am not privy to how those percentages were arrived at. And, a flower like yourself wouldn't last a week in the Sovereign Assembly, it would rapidly fall out of order. You have a lot to learn about governments of countries that are not your own."

  • "Mr Speaker, I would like to raise concern that the nation of Xeng is being represented by a person who is not their councillor. I am sure that the Commissioner for Defence would also be interested in how this person has entered this chamber."

  • "As do you my dear.....Clearly... THat says it all doesn't it. So, how naive do you think the rest of the world is, you thought that your nation could just come up with an arbitary figure pulled out of thin air, without providing any metrics, or justfication.... THat is insane...A;,pst as insane as sending a plebicite like yourself to try and justify that. Because all I hear is threats from a brute with no dicipline... No papers, or government reports or any official statements as to why this happened. No ISDS measures to settle disputes such as this Just a figure? That is insane.. Almost as insane as treating a nation thought of as a trade partner or ally with such derision... makes me wonder why any nation should be allies with yours at all." She chuckled again.

  • "I would like to point out to the stranger from Xeng that there are no formal trade agreements between the UK, the Duxburian Union and Framptonia. Even the government of Davishire is aware of this.

    I also request that you change your tone towards other members"

  • "Indeed. As much as I've enjoyed the shytesho between Speaker Hale, who we welcome to the chamber by the way, and Lady Feng, I'm also curious as to why the latter is representing her nation in the Council. No doubt Xeng's Councillor has invited her personally, but could I ask the Councillor just to confirm this. Councillor Johnson is naturally quite jittery thanks to what happened to his predecessor."

    Speaker John Walters

  • "Oh yes... Our Councillor is out of comission at the meoment. I was apponted in her stead sorry to not mention that in the beginning I apologise...I can provide documentation from her office if need be. But as long as we are beinging up conduct, the the DU members might need a review of theirs. I just brought up a point and asked why another solution wasn't brought up with the states involved before this. the DU's members are the ones who came here conducting themselves and threatening other officials with such vulgarity... If they canot receive the type of verbal spat that they give that is their problem... But I will let others speak."

    (OOC: Aso I forgotten who my councillor was or the fact that I even had one of those, sorry. I can go back and edit this if I need to.

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