President-elect Trump should intervene in APR Energy dispute


We wrote over the summer about a dispute between a Florida-based company and an Australian bank that could have doomed the eventual passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal. Turns out, we were wrong. The election of Donald J. Trump is what killed TPP,with no hope of resuscitation. But given the election, and this ongoing dispute, the Australian government should be very nervous about its relationship with the new administration.

APR Energy, the Jacksonville, Florida company being taken to the cleaners over an obscure Australian law, is a US company getting what is unequivocally a “bad deal” doing business in a foreign country – and one that’s supposed to be an ally! – APR must be hoping for and expecting a Trump administration to come to the rescue given the sort of foreign trade rhetoric employed throughout the campaign.

To recap what had happened previously, APR Energy, in Jacksonville, leased tens of millions of dollars in power-generation equipment to an Australian utility that subsequently went bankrupt. Because of Australia’s ironically named “Personal Properties and Securities Act” (PPSA), APR’s equipment was summarily seized by the receiver, ANZ Bank, and is currently being essentially leased back to APR after it posted a $60 million guarantee with the bank. ANZ has won most of the court cases, having the law, however unfair and arbitrary, on its side.

Now, is it me or weren’t we promised “so much winning we’ll be sick of winning”?

APR Energy is losing and losing and losing to the powers that be in Australia. Its business is stifled by the financial burdens being placed on them by ANZ Bank. American jobs are not being created as a result of this ludicrous PPSA law.

This sounds like a job for President-elect Trump.

I didn’t vote for Donald Trump, but I understand why people did. It’s the same reason Florida elected Rick Scott twice.

Jobs. Jobs. Jobs.

Mr. President-elect, here is a clear case of a US company getting screwed by a powerful, global, elite financial institution. Do your thing.

The Australians should be eager to settle this relatively minor dispute with the new U.S. President. If for no other reason than avoiding beginning the administration on the wrong foot. This is a president who takes things personally. For APR Energy and other US small businesses being screwed by big foreign countries and banks, they want a guy who takes things personally. For the government of Australia, they should be paying close attention and scrambling to solve this issue.

Hell hath no fury like Trump scorned. Does Australia really want to find that out this early on?

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.


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