Economy

China’s ‘Fisherman Navy’ Surrounds Philippines’ Pag-asa Island

‘China is intimidating the nations of Southeast Asia into submission to its will. … Everything is headed in the direction of war.’ Nikoli Guillar theTrumpet Chinese fishing vessels swarmed Philippine-controlled Pag-asa Island in the Spratly Islands on April 4, in an “illegal” move that provoked Manila, Inquirer.net reported. On the day of the incident, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte told China to “lay off” its vessels surrounding Pag-asa Island. “This is not a warning, this is a word of advice to ... Read More »

‘A Convenient Life and a Good Life May Not Be the Same Thing’

Margrethe Vestager, Europe’s top antitrust regulator, hasn’t been able to take down Big Tech—but she has a theory of how to tame it. Franklin Foer The Atlantic The election of Donald Trump, and the Cambridge Analytica scandal that followed, set in motion what some have called the tech-lash—a bout of intense skepticism directed toward Silicon Valley. But long before it became fashionable to jeer Mark Zuckerberg, there was the Danish regulator, Margrethe Vestager. As the European commissioner of competition, a ... Read More »

Trump’s Republican Base Is Wary of India

Core Trump supporters view trade deals as benefiting other countries at the expense of the United States. Pratik Chougule The National Interest The U.S. decision to remove India from the Generalized System of Preferences program last month, citing its lack of “equitable and reasonable” market access, was the toughest action of the Trump presidency against the country. It may also be a sign that a decade of growing U.S.-India partnership is entering a new normal with lingering economic and trade disputes taking ... Read More »

France, Spain and Belgium ‘ready for no-deal Brexit next week’

Chance of May getting 30 June extension appear slim after notes of EU meeting emerge Daniel Boffey, Jon Henley and Jennifer Rankin The Guardian France has won the support of Spain and Belgium after signalling its readiness for a no-deal Brexit on 12 April if there are no significant new British proposals, according to a note of an EU27 meeting seen by the Guardian. The diplomatic cable reveals that the French ambassador secured the support of Spanish and Belgian colleagues in arguing that there ... Read More »

The oil and gas of Lebanon tempts the appetite of its neighbours

With three fronts potentially encroaching on its oil and gas-rich waters, Lebanon has few options for international arbitration. TRTworld Lebanon has 95.9 trillion cubic feet of gas and 865 million barrels of oil in just 45 percent of its economic waters; enough to ignite the closed Mediterranean region. To the south, its neighbour Israel claims ownership of 860km of the exclusive economic zone of Lebanon, to the north Syria is drowning in war, then there is Cyprus, which is lost ... Read More »

Today’s Nationalism is Bad for Business

Multilateralism and global cooperation are under increasing threat, posing a serious risk to future prosperity. Business and finance leaders should care deeply about this state of affairs, so why aren’t they doing much more to help counter it? Lise Kingo , Scott Mather Project Syndicate NEW YORK – The system of international cooperation that emerged from the ashes of World War II is at risk. Multilateralism and the institutions that support it – including the World Trade Organization, the United ... Read More »

How to cure America’s debt addiction (and invest in the future)

Under current policies the federal debt will rise from 78% to almost 180% of U.S. GDP in three decades. William G. Gale and David Wessel Brookings In his new book, “Fiscal Therapy: Curing America’s Debt Addiction and Investing in the Future,” Brookings Senior Fellow William Gale explores policies to raise revenue, control spending, and increase public investments, and solve our debt problem. In this episode, Senior Fellow David Wessel interviews Gale about his new book and policy ideas. Also, Christen Linke Young, a ... Read More »

Are China and Russia going to dominate the Mediterranean Sea?

As NATO celebrated its 70th anniversary in Washington, one compelling security issue received insufficient attention: Chinese acquisitions of critical European infrastructure, especially ports. Trudy Rubin The Inquirer Chinese state-controlled firms now hold stakes in more than a dozen European ports on the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, from Belgium to Spain to ownership of the legendary Greek port of Piraeus. Already, one-tenth of Europe’s container terminal capacity is under Chinese control. A week ago, defying allies, Italy became the first major ... Read More »

The EU’s China Conundrum

The European Union is increasingly caught between the United States and China. Until it finds a common strategic purpose, the bloc will struggle to advance its interests and is increasingly likely to fall victim to great-power plays. Philippe Legrain Project Syndicate LONDON – Europeans can’t agree on how to handle a rising China. While European Union leaders were gathering in Brussels recently to discuss a more assertive common approach, Chinese President Xi Jinping was visiting Rome. Xi was there to ... Read More »

Erdoğan’s Four Challenges

Turkey’s president suffered a frustrating setback in local government elections as democratic resilience prevailed. Marc Pierini Carnegie Europe Watch out for the impact on the economy, the rule of law, defense, and Syria. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s campaigning was vintage AKP electioneering: playing a nationalist fiddle; hiding economic realities with creative accounting and cosmetic measures; equating low interest rates (again) with low inflation; accusing foreigners of weakening the currency; threatening the opposition; continuing the crackdown on free speech and ... Read More »

Fiscal therapy: 12 framing facts and what they mean

The American economy is in great shape in many ways. Riding the cusp of an expansion that started in 2009, the stock market is up, consumer confidence is booming, and unemployment has fallen to historically low levels. William G. Gale Brookings But dig beneath the surface and trouble looms. America faces two distinct but related challenges that policymakers must address in the coming years if they hope to provide a brighter future for the nation and its people. The first ... Read More »

When Socialism Was Tried in America—and Was a Smashing Success

For much of the 20th century, Milwaukee was run by socialists—and Time magazine called it “one of the best-run cities in the U.S.” John Nichols The Nation “If I owned all the real estate in the world, I wouldn’t feel so powerful as I do on the streets of this socialist city,” declared former New York City councilman Baruch Vladeck when he arrived in Milwaukee in 1932 for the Socialist Party’s national convention in that city. Norman Thomas, the famed ... Read More »

Trump Threatens to Blow Up the U.S. Economy

The same dynamics that preceded Trump’s decision to cut off aid to Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala are now playing out with his threats to shut down the Mexican border. It all starts on Twitter. Nancy LeTourneau Washington Monthly According to CNN, some members of his administration are warning him that such a move would result in catastrophic consequences, while others are cheering him on. Stephen Miller—more than likely in the latter group—suggests that the president is not bluffing. In ... Read More »

Brexit, the Republic of Cyprus and the Sovereign Base Areas

An Open Letter addressed to the President of the Republic of Cyprus and the President of the European Commission Klearchos A. Kyriakides Assistant Professor, Cyprus Campus, University of Central Lancashire (UCLan Cyprus) 2 April 2019 Brexit, the Republic of Cyprus and the Sovereign Base Areas Published by Agora Dialogue on 2 April 2019 Read More »

Billions in the Ground: The Race to Harvest North Korea’s Rare Earth Reserves

Recent studies suggest that North Korea could have the world’s largest rare earth elements. Patricia Schouker The National Interest When looking at contemporary geopolitics, often energy and related resource questions are  key in the struggle for influence amongst world powers, as energy can drive or amplify underlying tensions. Today, the attractiveness of traditional oil exploration loses ground with the emergence of new energies and technologies, often produced by “Rare Earths” and the elements they contain. The DPRK could have a ... Read More »

Brexit’s Endgame

The next ten days will bring to a head the Brexit drama. It has strained the UK’s constitution, threatened its social cohesion, terrified its businesses, appalled its friends, and delighted its enemies. Peter Kellner Carnegie Europe Each morning, the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary email a word of the day to their subscribers. It is often a little-known word with topical relevance. On Saturday, March 30—the day when the UK was scheduled to wake up for the first time ... Read More »