A free and open Indo-Pacific: Regional and global implications
One of the techniques devised for managing China’s ascent and its destabilizing impact is the concept of a “free and open Indo-Pacific.” This idea, embraced by the governments of Japan, India and the United States, includes military, economic, political, legal and diplomatic dimensions. Some argue it is a smoke screen to mask U.S. disengagement, while others maintain it is a Japanese-inspired effort to enlist American help.
2018 Global Outlook: World trade
After a surprisingly good 2017, world trade should do even better this year. But that doesn’t mean that Europe and the United States can afford to be passive. China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which will turn most of Asia into a privileged trade zone, demands a choice – either join the initiative or promote free trade outside it. For now, the West is doing neither.
2018 Global Outlook: The Euro-Atlantic relationship
The transatlantic relationship can be described as a family matter – with the United States as the mostly benevolent patriarch and Europe as the dependent relatives. Relations had been cooling for at least a decade, but this process is being expedited by the presidency of Donald Trump. Both sides seem to agree that Europe needs to grow up and take charge of its own destiny. If so, we could be headed for a stormy late adolescence.
Palm oil, Russian fighters and the European Parliament
Indonesia, the world’s largest exporter of palm oil, has been clearing significant areas of its tropical forests to make room for palm plantations. The EU is alarmed and wants to discourage the policy by reducing palm oil imports. This counterproductive approach to preventing tropical deforestation already has backfired.
Brexit and the sunset of European influence in Asia-Pacific
Though the Asia-Pacific region seems too far away to be affected by Brexit, the UK’s departure from the EU will have a profound impact on the region. While it will reduce the bloc’s significance in the region’s affairs, the UK’s status may suffer as well. Asia-Pacific states will likely look to countries such as Germany to act as a new counterweight to China and the United States.
Scenarios for unification in the Balkans
Calls to redraw the map in the Balkans are again being made. This time, Serbia is proposing an integrated economic area, while Albania and Kosovo are raising the possibility of unification. Neither scenario is likely to occur, because each could lead to renewed conflict. But as states wait for progress toward EU membership, loose confederations based on Serbia and Albania could form, dividing the region into two clear geopolitical spheres.
Behind China’s enthusiasm for free trade
Lately China has been a big promoter of free trade. Has Beijing finally come around to the benefits of international capitalism? There are reasons to be skeptical. Among them are centuries-old strains in Chinese philosophy about a strong state, and how to achieve hegemony.
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.
The U.S. and China’s ‘free trade’ agendas
The United States and China are not true champions of free trade. Beijing pushes exports but effectively curbs imports through a maze of administrative obstacles. Washington traditionally concentrates on job protection and creation; its trade policies reflect these priorities.
The twilight of a European dream
As Washington threatens to slap economic sanctions on the countries that it believes weaken their currencies, reaping unfair advantages in trade with the United States, eurozone exporters, especially Germany, may find themselves in trouble. The root cause of the dilemma, though, is the fact that from its inception the common currency has been misused by politicians.