Where the United States and global trade are heading
The U.S. is the world’s largest open economy and pillar of the global trading system. Yet its economic challenges today – government debt, wealth inequality, and labor force participation – cannot be reliably addressed through more open trade. One should therefore expect more U.S. steps to change the terms of trade and pressure leading exporters over the next two years.
China refreshens old promises to open up its domestic market
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s April pledge to allow more foreign competition in the country’s manufacturing and financial services sectors, and to respect Western companies’ intellectual property rights, momentarily eased the tension between Washington and Beijing. However, even if China implements these concessions, they will not suffice to eliminate the huge, deepening deficit in U.S. trade with the Asian country.
Trump’s trade war is poised for a Pyrrhic victory
The flip side of the Trump administration’s drive to reduce the U.S. foreign trade deficit is that it will leave the rest of the world with fewer dollars to finance its budget deficit. President Trump could cut spending drastically or persuade the Federal Reserve to buy more bonds, but neither seems likely. More probably, he will do nothing as domestic rates rise and the dollar strengthens – widening the trade deficit again.
Big data and the right to privacy
Big internet companies are on solid ground when they defend their right to collect and process data on consumers to improve their services. The problem begins when individual privacy is not sufficiently guarded or technology giants such as Amazon acquire so much sway both in the market and in the political sphere that they may become able to distort competition.
The effects of U.S. trade policy in the Pacific
The Trump administration has made a big splash with its trade policy. The effects are already being seen in the Pacific region, after Washington’s decision to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, renegotiate the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement and slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Whether President Trump’s aggressive approach remains intact or if it is softened by free traders in the administration, the U.S. is likely to be marginalized while China will benefit.
In Mexico, disappointment with Pena Nieto fuels a desire for change
Mexicans seem set to vote for change in their country’s July presidential election, with Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador far ahead in the polls. The ruling party’s candidate is a distant third, and that reflects widespread disappointment in the current administration of President Enrique Pena Nieto. The government has notched up several successes in its reforms, but positive change is coming slowly, while a rise in violence and corruption have angered ordinary citizens.
GIS Dossier: The North Korean opening
President Donald Trump’s surprising decision to hold summit talks with Kim Jong-un has triggered a round of high-stakes diplomacy, including repeat meetings between North and South Korean officials and a lightning visit by Mr. Kim to Beijing. There is nothing accidental about Pyongyang’s charm offensive. It is the moment the North Korean leader has been preparing for years.
VIDEO: Donald Trump’s legislative revolution | GIS: Global Trends Video Reports
The media’s obsession with election conspiracies, dossier who-done-its, and geopolitical expletives supposedly muttered in private is overshadowing recognition of the dramatic shift in regulatory policy during U.S. President Donald Trump’s first year.
Trump-Kim meeting marginalizes China
For years, China has had a contradictory policy on North Korea. On one hand, it condoned Pyongyang's nuclear program, while on the other it tried to broker talks to shut it down. Now, with U.S. President Donald Trump accepting an invitation from Kim Jong-un to meet and discuss denuclearization, China has been sidelined. It will still hold plenty of economic sway over its neighbor, but its grip on Pyongyang is clearly weakening.
The ‘neutralization option’ in North Korea
The possibility of the United States launching a preemptive attack against North Korea’s nuclear missile program appears to have receded with Pyongyang’s recent peace overtures, but the two are connected. The conventional wisdom holds that such a strike, dubbed a “bloody nose,” is unthinkable. But that ignores the long history of U.S.-South Korean planning for war against North Korea, the extensive intelligence collected on the North’s conventional and nuclear forces, and the overwhelming U.S. military advantage.