Mon. May 20th, 2024

A loan, with a country’s natural resources as collateral

By 37ci3 May3,2024

WASHINGTON – Republican senators trying to save the Ukraine aid package have pitched former President Donald Trump an idea they want: instead of a grant, the U.S. would give the country some sort of backed loan. Ukraine’s rare earth minerals are valuable trillions of dollars.

GOP lawmakers knew they needed Trump’s support if they were to make sure the former president wouldn’t use his influence in Congress to sink an aid package needed to fend off the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

This particular plan did not make it into President Joe’s final legislation Biden signed the law last month. Ukraine received a loan, not a grant – Trump coped threshold requirement — although the country’s minerals are not mentioned as a potential means of payment.

Still, Trump likes the concept, according to GOP lawmakers who have spoken with him.If he wins the election, some envision a new model in which U.S. foreign aid is structured as loans with countries that host natural resources rather than as grants. or other valuable assets as collateral.

“If Trump wins, you’re going to see more of this, not less,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., one of the senators who spoke to Trump about the aid package. “This will be a new way of delivering aid. I’ve learned from these long, drawn-out conflicts that people get tired. So, it’s time to be creative.”

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said in an interview that he had not studied the idea, but “I think it makes a lot of sense to look at the money we give Ukraine as a debt, not a gift. There is a great need for rare earth minerals. So finding a way to use these minerals to benefit America and Ukraine seems like a common sense move.

Some foreign policy analysts disagree. Smaller countries receiving such loans may not want to see valuable natural resources gobbled up by richer nations with leverage to dictate financial terms.

One analyst believes that such an arrangement is a manifestation of colonialism and is unlikely to endear the United States to nations that have to part with the only natural resources in exchange for valuable aid. For example, China has created a certain amount of bad will internationally by lending severe conditions smaller, poorer countries struggled to pay.

“This would once again confirm the idea that rich countries are only interested in their own interests [smaller nations’] physical assets and wealth and not really interested in development,” said William Reinsch, senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, which specializes in international trade and economic policy. “It’s going to make our relationship with those countries even more difficult — not to say they won’t do it, but they’re going to be unhappy about it.”

Trump sees foreign policy as somewhat of a cost-benefit proposition. As president, his priority was to eliminate US trade deficits with other countries. He has complained loudly about NATO allies failing to meet their pledge to spend 2% of gross domestic product on defense and went so far as to say in February that he would let Russia do whatever the hell they want“To the peoples of Europe who do not pay their financial burdens.

The spoils of America’s costly war in Iraq were to be the country’s oil reserves. He told NBC News in 2016.

“We entered and spent 3 trillion dollars. “We lose thousands and thousands of lives, and then look, we get nothing,” he said.

“Now there was no winner there, believe me. There was no victory. But I always said to take the oil.”

“Trump has been this way from day one,” Graham said, explaining Trump’s position. “He didn’t literally mean ‘take their fat.’ He said that we should have had oil as collateral, because they could have gone back.

Graham added that Ukraine has “a lot of critical minerals, potentially trillions.” “Get them up. If they become a strong economy, switch back. If not, we understand. But his [Trump’s] The thing is, you have to have some leverage, and loans give you leverage, and he thinks the American taxpayer will be more supportive of those kinds of approaches.”

Neither the White House nor the State Department has commented on the prospect of asking other nations to pledge valuable natural resources in exchange for American aid.

When asked about Trump’s views, campaign spokesman Stephen Cheung said the former president “believes that the people of Europe should bear the brunt of the cost of the conflict.” [in Ukraine]because the US paid significantly more, which is not fair to our taxpayers.

Lawmakers from both parties realized that Trump’s opposition to the Ukraine aid package could sink the bill and cripple Ukraine in its two-year war with Russia. They saw an opportunity to win it back in February, right after Trump wrote it over Truth social site On February 10, the loan is the only acceptable way to allocate foreign aid.

Shortly after Trump’s post, GOP lawmakers held a conference call with Trump that included Graham, Sen. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., and others, in which they floated the possibility of linking Ukraine’s mineral resources to the aid package.

Mullin said Trump was “immediately” on board.

“None of us [the lawmakers] could get this deal done,” Mullin said in his office on Capitol Hill. “It depended on Trump being comfortable with that because he gives political cover to Republicans in a political year. But this is also the right policy.”

“Right now we’re getting it [mineral resources] From China. That’s all we need to make the chips and batteries—a lot of it. Therefore, it would be great to do business not with the enemy, but with our real friend or ally.”

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By 37ci3

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