GIS Dossier: Mexico
Mexico’s relationship with the United States was driving change in the country long before it became the focus of President Donald Trump. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) dramatically altered its economy, allowing it to become a key provider of manufacturing and agricultural goods to the U.S. But Mexico is also a gateway for drug trafficking to its northern neighbor, fueling corruption, organized crime and widespread violence. The latest GIS Dossier surveys the analyses and predictions from our experts on this critical Latin American country.
Will El-Sisi bring Egypt back?
At the heart of the Middle East is a surprising absence. Egypt, the most populous nation in the Arab world, with the largest army and a proud 6,000-year history, is no longer a leader. It exerts virtually no influence in the region, a situation that is unlikely to change unless President Abdel-Fattah Eli-Sisi turns his country around.
Opinion: ‘Values’-driven policies, Europe’s road to isolation
Much of the instability and risk in the global environment can be traced to Western nations’ tendency to judge their rivals, but also allies and partners, through the prism of so-called Western values. The United States is powerful, self-sustained and geographically isolated enough to get away with it for a while, but European nations face grave danger if they continue to try to substitute pragmatic give-and-take policies with arrogance and moralistic lectures.
The Federal Reserve’s exit from quantitative easing
The question is not whether but when the U.S. Federal Reserve will start to shrink its bloated balance sheet. Just as quantitative easing was a departure from conventional monetary policy, its withdrawal will be a massive economic experiment. Unintended consequences are to be expected.
U.S. nuclear review could test force posture
One of President Donald Trump’s first decisions as commander in chief was to order a review of the country’s nuclear strategy. The result could be a significant departure from the previous U.S. emphasis on nonproliferation and weapons reduction. Instead, there could be more funds for upgrading strategic forces and a readiness to let arms control agreements like New START expire.
GIS Dossier: Global trade and protectionism
According to the economic law of comparative advantage, the whole world has benefited from the enormous expansion of international trade since 1980. But over the past decade, few countries have acted like they believe it. GIS experts look at the roots and likely future course of protectionism’s global resurgence.
China’s stealth expansion in Latin America
Donald Trump's short tenure in the White House has already enhanced China's low-profile but pervasive influence in Latin America. While Chinese trade penetration has slowed, investment and infrastructure lending are expanding at a brisk pace. Perhaps most helpful to Beijing has been Mr. Trump's general indifference to the region, though some generals in his national security apparatus are beginning to fret.
North Korea crisis needs low-profile mediation
Though unlikely, a conflict between the United States and North Korea would be disastrous. Some sort of talks to defuse the current crisis are therefore necessary. However, high-profile talks never work, as all sides feel compelled to make a show of strength and take tough stances. Unofficial, low-profile negotiations would work better – and the Vatican could gain the trust of both sides to facilitate such talks.
Central America under Trump’s shadow
The Trump administration’s policies will have a huge impact on Central America – even if they are not intended to. A trade dispute with Mexico could end up benefitting the region. But tighter border security measures or cutting of funding for improving democratic institutions will prove disastrous.
Are we heading toward trade wars?
Sluggish international trade in recent years has given reasons to worry about globalization. The value of trade involving the G20 group of countries leveled off in 2010 and has been in decline since mid-2014. Many blame Donald Trump and the new vogue for protectionism, but that is an oversimplification.