Showing posts with label USA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label USA. Show all posts

17 August 2018

China-U.S. Trade Spat Is Just a Start to the Economic Cold War

Conor Sen

China is not just another front in President Donald Trump's war on trade. Unlike Mexico, Canada, Europe and other targets of the president, China will be a source of economic conflict for years to come, long after the tariff level on soybeans has been settled. Like the rivalry with the Soviet Union, economic competition with China may form a cold war that shapes American politics and economic policy for a generation or more. Until now, through flukes of timing, Americans have largely been distracted from China's economic development. China joined the World Trade Organization in December 2001, three months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. For the next several years, America's focus was terrorism and war in the Middle East, not China's ascension and its impact on the U.S. economy. Next came a financial crisis and the great recession, which became the national focus for the next several years. The post-recession political environment in the U.S. has largely been one of government dysfunction and partisan polarization.

13 August 2018

U.S. to Restore Sanctions on Iran, Deepening Divide With Europe

By Gardner Harris and Jack Ewing

WASHINGTON — The United States said Monday it was reimposing economic sanctions against Iran that were lifted under a 2015 nuclear accord, ratcheting up pressure on Tehran but also worsening relations with European allies. The sanctions are a consequence of President Trump’s decision in May to withdraw from an international deal that sought to limit Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for easing pressure on the country’s shaky economy. The Trump administration is betting that backing out of it will force Iran to shut down its nuclear enrichment efforts, curb its weapons program and end its support of brutal governments or uprisings in the Middle East.

11 August 2018

A New Cold War? Why the U.S. and China Would Both Lose

With escalating threats of higher American tariffs on more Chinese imports, followed inevitably by Chinese tit-for-tat retaliation on American exports, talk of a trade war is everywhere. But the Trump administration’s strategy is about far more than trying to level the playing field in trade, with potentially much worse consequences for both countries, and for the global economy and global stability. The U.S. claims that Chinese trade is unfair — because of government subsidies, restricted American access to the Chinese market, and manipulation of the Chinese currency, among other things — and hence merits tough tariffs. But that is only the beginning.

The Real History of the Liberal Order Neither Myth Nor Accident

By Michael J. Mazarr

For 70 years, U.S. commentators have, by and large, supported the idea of a U.S.-led, rules-based international order. Yet recently, more and more scholars and experts, including the political scientist Graham Allison writing in the latest issue of Foreign Affairs, have started dismissing it as a “myth.” Their argument has more than academic significance: given the accelerating assault on the institutions and practices of the postwar order by politicians around the world, the idea that the system is more mythical than real implies that the United States can get along perfectly well without it.

You Live in Robert Lighthizer’s World Now


Last month, U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, sat through two hours of grilling by Congress, fending off grievances about the Trump trade war’s effects on Alaskan salmon, Maine lobsters, and Delaware chickens. “Nobody is declaring war on Canada,” Lighthizer protested, even as he conceded that the use of Section 232 of the 1962 Trade Expansion Act to levy tariffs on steel and aluminum was premised indirectly on assessing that country as a national security threat. When pushed on whether he had this assessment vetted by the National Security Council, he demurred that doing so was the Commerce Department’s responsibility, not his own.

9 August 2018

Protecting America's Technology Industry From China

By Scott Kennedy

A month into U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade war with China, the conflict has generated only a flurry of rhetoric and threats, but further escalation looms. Both sides are close to implementing tariffs on another $16 billion worth of goods, and the United States looks prepared to impose tariffs on a further $200 billion worth as early as the end of August. So far, investors seem to see these tensions as temporary and believe that they won’t damage the overall U.S. economy. The stock market has barely budged, and futures prices for steel and agricultural goods caught up in the conflict show that traders expect prices to return to more normal levels within the next six to nine months.

7 August 2018



And with its back against the wall, will Asia’s biggest, most influential economy use a sharp currency devaluation as a form of retaliation? In Southeast Asia, home to some of the world’s most China-dependent economies, astute market watchers say they are as clueless as the man on the street when it comes to these two questions. But one thing is certain, they say: in the financial markets, bearish “animal spirits” have taken hold – many fear the worst if the US president follows through with plans announced this week to raise tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese products from 10 per cent to 25 per cent in September. China late on Friday reacted with tariffs on some US$60 billion of goods.

3 August 2018

U.S.-Led Infrastructure Aid to Counter China in Indo-Pacific

By Jason Scott

The U.S., Japan and Australia agreed to invest in infrastructure projects in the Indo-Pacific in a move that will be seen as a counter to China’s rising influence in a region that stretches from the east coast of Africa, through Australia to Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean. “This trilateral partnership is in recognition that more support is needed to enhance peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region,” Australia Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Tuesday in an emailed statement. The pact will mobilize investment in energy, transportation, tourism and technology infrastructure, according to the statement, which didn’t give any funding details.

America’s Counterterrorism Gamble

U.S. national security is shifting from a focus on countering terrorist groups to competing with state adversaries. While it is reasonable to focus more attention on adversaries like Russia, Iran, North Korea, and China, terrorist groups like the Islamic State, al-Qaeda, and Hezbollah still present a threat to the United States. Indeed, state and non-state adversaries frequently overlap, since countries like Iran use terrorist groups like Hezbollah to pursue their interests. It would be unnecessarily risky for the United States to move too quickly away from countering terrorists while the threat is still high, allowing groups and networks to resurge. 

U.S. economic strategy for Indo-Pacific doesn't stack up to China's

In a speech on Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo rolled out the Trump administration’s long-awaited Indo-Pacific economic strategy, outlining the Trump administration’s alternative to China’s Belt and Road initiative.
The big picture: The Trump administration has made the region a centerpiece of its approach to Asia, speaking frequently about the importance of a “free and open Indo-Pacific.” Pompeo highlighted the importance of deeper U.S. engagement with this large and fast-growing economic area, but the proposed strategy falls short of the scale needed to provide credible alternatives to China’s efforts, which include increasingly prominent cases of “debt-trap” diplomacy.

2 August 2018

Pompeo's Indo-Pacific Speech: Geoeconomics on a Shoestring

By Ankit Panda

Monday was supposed to be a big day for the United States’ Indo-Pacific economic strategy. Ahead of a trip to Southeast Asia, where he will visit Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took a break from North Korea diplomacy to show the Indo-Pacific region that the United States was thinking strategically about the geoeconomic future of the region. In a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Indo-Pacific Business Forum, Pompeo outlined what is effectively the United States’ alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative: the beginning of an attempt by the United States to add economic ballast to its calls to maintain a “free and open Indo-Pacific.”

Why the US Needs to Smarten Up to Keep Its Edge on China

By Ankit Panda

Speaking earlier this month at the Aspen Security Forum, Christopher Wray, the director of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, was frank on his thoughts about China as an intelligence threat to the United States. “[China] represents the broadest, most challenging, most significant threat we face as a country,” Wray said, clarifying that he was speaking from a counter-intelligence perspective. The director justified that assessment by noting that Chinese espionage efforts in the United States manifested themselves in a “whole of state effort”.

The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

Tyler Cowen

So what would the decline of America look like? I don’t ask the question because I think it’s happening (yet?), but because even the most inveterate optimist should be interested in the dangers, if only to ward them off. Here’s the cleanest tale of hypothetical decline I could come up with, keeping away from the more partisan or hysterical scenarios, or those involving a catastrophic deus ex machina. Imagine that the United States gets through the presidency of Donald Trump without a crippling constitutional crisis. Still, the shrill public debate — which will continue well past Trump’s time in office — will continue to prove unequal to the task of addressing the nation’s most pressing problems.

31 July 2018

Trump’s Populism Is as Lethal as Liberalism

Atul Bhardwaj ( is a former naval officer and adjunct fellow at the Institute of Chinese Studies, Delhi.

The recently concluded Helsinki summit between Russia and the United States on 16 July 2018 is reminiscent of the Cold War the in strategy of theUS to create a wedge between China and Russia. The great power politics unleashed by Donald Trump from European soil is also aimed at facilitating populism to replace liberalism as the dominant political ideology in Europe. The United States (US) is under a deluge of delusion. Some see Donald Trump riding a white stallion destroying Russian nukes and ushering in an era of peace and prosperity, while others see the Statue of Liberty genuflecting in front of “dictator” Vladimir Putin. Both are hallucinating because Trump is neither a peacenik, nor is he selling American interests. He is simply a grandmaster making his moves on the great power chessboard to reap domestic and international gains for the global populist movement and American capital.

America’s Adversaries Are Weaponizing Information, NSA Director Warns

Bill Gertz

Foreign adversaries have stepped up the use of information warfare to control populations since 2011 and the operations are one of the new threats in the digital age, according to the director of the National Security Agency. Army Gen. Paul Nakasone, who heads both NSA and Cyber Command, said in remarks last week that both the military and the nation as a whole are taking steps to counter foreign information warfare and to use information operations against adversaries. The Arab Spring uprisings that began in April 2011 were fueled by social media and the internet and led to the unseating of several governments throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

30 July 2018

Henry Kissinger Pushed Trump to Work With Russia to Box In China

Henry Kissinger suggested to President Donald Trump that the United States should work with Russia to contain a rising China. The former secretary of state—who famously engineered the tactic of establishing diplomatic relations with China in order to isolate the Soviet Union—pitched almost the inverse of that idea to Trump during a series of private meetings during the presidential transition, five people familiar with the matter told The Daily Beast. The potential strategy would use closer relations with Russia, along with other countries in the region, to box in China’s growing power and influence.

29 July 2018


by Charles T. Cleveland, Ryan C. Crocker, Daniel Egel, Andrew Liepman and David Maxwell – RAND Corporation

American combat experiences since 2001 have revealed stunning military capabilities and repeated tactical successes. Yet the United States has failed to achieve acceptable and durable political arrangements that serve and protect its interests, suggesting that there are fundamental flaws in its approach to modern warfare. This approach has emphasized conventional models and tools, making little accommodation for a changing adversary and its evolution toward nonconventional means, and the United States has proven unprepared for what the National Security Strategy has recognized as "fundamentally political contests" combining political, economic, cyber, and military means.

28 July 2018

Trade Wars Are Not Good for the US Military Advantage

By Robert Farley

Is the United States undermining the foundations of its military advantage by initiating trade wars with most of the known world? The connections between trade and innovation are complicated, but generally speaking freer trade tends to generate more technological innovation than autarky, although much depends on the specific legal and structural conditions under which trade is conducted. During the Cold War, the United States derived immense military advantage from the global trade system that it constructed. This trade system tied the world’s most powerful economies to the United States with private and public binds, and also ensured that American producers would find consumers. While the system had drawbacks (exposure to international shocks, limitations on national economic policy) it provided a sounder basis for long-run economic growth than the autarkic policies undertaken by the Soviet Union and its Eastern European subject states.

Facebook Twitter Whatsapp Summing up the Trump Summits


Traditionally, one-on-one meetings between government leaders are scheduled only after months, or even years, of careful preparation by lower-ranking officials have narrowed or eliminated disagreements. By turning this sequence around, Donald Trump is fueling, rather than mitigating, global uncertainty. US President Donald Trump’s summits with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki are history, as is the G7 summit in Quebec and the NATO summit in Brussels. But already there is talk of another Trump-Putin summit in Washington, DC, sometime later this year. Some 30 years after the end of the Cold War, a four-decade era often punctuated by high-stakes, high-level encounters between American presidents and their Soviet counterparts, summits are back in fashion.

How Washington Can Prevent Midterm Election Interference

By Joshua A. Geltzer and Dipayan Ghosh
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When the U.S. Department of Justice earlier this month announced indictments of 12 Russian intelligence officials for hacking the Democratic Party’s and Hillary Clinton’s e-mails in 2016, President Donald Trump’s first reaction was to blame the administration of Barack Obama for not taking action against the interference. “Why didn’t they do something about it, especially when it was reported that President Obama was informed by the FBI in September, before the Election?” he tweeted.