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Trump May ‘Kick Wall Street to the Curb,’ But Needs Belt and Road

Sept. 30, 2017 (EIRNS)—Under intense pressure to solve problems of missing economic infrastructure in Puerto Rico—which has come to stand for other disaster-struck locations as well—President Trump has dropped plans to rely on Wall Street, as is now widely known. "Trump’s Pivot on Infrastructure May Kick Wall Street To the Curb," headlined a Sept. 29 analysis on Fox Business News. Economic Advisor Gary Cohn had made D.J. Gribben, fresh from chief of government relations at MacQuarie Corp.—notorious for privatized and failing infrastructure schemes—the President’s Special Assistant for Infrastructure Policy. This Wall Street/City of London scheming is what Fox Business means Trump may now be "kicking to the curb."

"Trump is completely committed to a large-scale infrastructure building program; he’s not a free trader or austerity doctrinaire like many members of the House," one person with two years’ ties to the Trump Campaign and the White House told EIR.

"He has swung very strongly away from the PPP model. The President is mindful of a good number of PPPs which have not worked. VP Pence could not get success in Indiana with this approach. So he is really not thinking of this now. He wants to think through the public funding approach and develop a plan. Puerto Rico may be part of this, although it has to be planned immediately."

For lack of a financing idea, he said, infrastructure bank legislation had faded in the President’s priorities behind first healthcare "reform" and then tax reform.

Now the President finds himself heatedly and publicly debating infrastructure funding. In a speech to the National Association of Manufacturers Friday he said,

"We’ve never seen a situation like this. Ultimately, the government of Puerto Rico will have to work with us to determine how this massive rebuilding effort—it will end up being one of the biggest ever—will be funded and organized, and what we will do with the tremendous amount of existing debt already on the island."

Showing the wild abandon of the campaign against him, NBC News headlined its report of this statement, "Trump Administration Won’t Promise To Fix PR’s Infrastructure."

In fact, only the President is discussing the fatal debt burden of Puerto Rico, equal per capita to that of Greece, which has subjected the territory to economic and human destruction like Greece in recent years—before Hurricane Maria. All those involved in making that burden worse, particularly President Obama and his backers, were silent about Puerto Rico’s suffering until, after Maria, they found an opportunity to try to blame Trump for it.

The "financing idea" Trump has to find is that of a Hamiltonian national credit institution. And he will have to link the United States to the Belt and Road Initiative of China. Its leaders would have particular reason to cooperate in building a new infrastructure in Puerto Rico: It lies directly on the Maritime Silk Road, on the "Mona Route" straight from Gibraltar to the Panama Canal.