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Italy Sinks Into Political Limbo as Defeat Sweeps Renzi Away

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 14:33:32 +0000

Italy is Europe’s fourth largest economy and the country is falling “into political limbo after Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced his resignation, with rival parties jockeying to fill the power vacuum following his crushing defeat in a constitutional referendum,” reports Bloomberg. The constitutional reforms were intended to reduce the size of parliament, putting limits on the Senate, and reduce overlapping processes between the central and regional governments. Global markets registered momentary alarm and then stabilized around the notion that the vote reflected more opposition to Renzi than the European Union and that the country will likely endure political gridlock rather than a rush to exit the European Union – though some analysts worry about the populist Five Star Party gaining more power. Bloomberg notes that Italian banks are vulnerable to government instability as some struggle to meet new capital holding requirements. In Austria, environmentalist Alexander Van der Bellen defeated Norbert Hofer, a populist, in a presidential runoff. – YaleGlobal Constitutional referendum on reforms for Italy fails by almost 60 percent, and country is in political limbo with resignation of Prime Minister Renzi But Austria election shows support for the EU John Follain and Chiara Albanese John Follain and Chiara Albanese Other Bloomberg United States (US) YaleGlobal Online 5 December 2016 Read the article. Source url:  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-12-05/italy-sinks-into-political-limbo-as-renzi-swept-away-by-defeat Rights:  ©2016 Bloomberg L.P. All Rights Reserved No [...]



Syrian Rebels in Secret Talks With Moscow to End Aleppo Fighting

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 13:24:07 +0000

The Financial Times reports that Turkey has arranged secret talks between Syrian rebels and Russia to stop the fighting in Aleppo. The rebel-held portion of Aleppo is surrounded, and occupants are desperate for food, water and other supplies. The US, which has “provided limited training and weaponry for the rebels but had been hesitant to give forceful backing,” was not included in the talks, the report notes. “Regional actors now seem more willing to bypass Washington to seek out pacts with Russia, which is keen to develop the image of a rising power that can help broker such deals.” Officials from Libya, Egypt and other countries in the Middle East have been meeting with Russia as well. One observer suggests that Russia holding talks just before Aleppo falls is a deliberate move to marginalize the United States. – YaleGlobal Turkey-facilitated negotiations without US show how Washington could become sidelined in Syria and the Middle East Such talks, if underway, sideline the United States Erika Solomon and Geoff Dyer Erika Solomon and Geoff Dyer Other Financial Times United States (US) YaleGlobal Online 2 December 2016 Read the article. Additional reporting was provided by Max Seddon in Moscow and Nazih Osseiran in Beirut. Source url:  https://www.ft.com/content/bc167c3a-b71d-11e6-961e-a1acd97f622d Rights:  The Financial Times Limited 2016. All rights reserved. No [...]



Obama's Dirty Secret: US Fossil Fuel Projects Littered Around the World

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 13:15:34 +0000

The United States claims to lead on climate change yet fossil fuels make up the bulk of the country’s energy consumption. The country also supports fossil-fuel use around the globe: “Through the US Export-Import Bank, Barack Obama’s administration has spent nearly $34bn supporting 70 fossil fuel projects around the world, work by Columbia Journalism School’s Energy and Environment Reporting Project and the Guardian has revealed,” reports the Guardian. The article describes coal ash, contaminated water supplies, illnesses, water shortages, deforestation and fracking associated with US-funded projects in India, South Africa and Australia. One attorney suggests that “A federal agency of the United States of America should hold their financed projects to better and more neutral standards. Development is good, but not at the cost of the environment and the people who give away their everything to make way for such projects.” – YaleGlobal The US Export-Import Bank, during the Obama administration, spent nearly $34 billion supporting 70 fossil fuel projects around the world The US Export-Import Bank spent more than $30 billion on fossil-fuel projects since 2008 Sonali Prasad, Jason Burke, Michael Slezak and Oliver Milman Sonali Prasad, Jason Burke, Michael Slezak and Oliver Milman Other The Guardian United Kingdom (GB) YaleGlobal Online 2 December 2016 Read the article. The Energy and Environmental Reporting Project is supported by the Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Fund, Energy Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Rockefeller Family Fund, Lorana Sullivan Foundation and the Tellus Mater Foundation. The funders have no involvement in or influence over the articles produced by project fellows in collaboration with The Guardian. Source url:  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/dec/01/obama-fossil-fuels-us-export-import-bank-energy-projects Rights:  © 2016 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. No [...]



UN: Aleppo Risks Becoming Giant Graveyard

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 15:49:08 +0000

Rebel forces and civilians in Aleppo are surrounded and under siege from Syrian government troops, Russian airstrikes and Iranian-backed militias. Aleppo, once Syria’s largest city, is now at risk to become a “giant graveyard,” UN envoy Stephen O’Brien advised the UN Security Council during an emergency meeting. The civil war began with protests, associated with the Arab Spring, followed by a harsh crackdown by the autocratic government. Russia had promised to assist the West in combatting extremists like the Islamic State, but instead has targeted the rebels describing them as “terrorists.” The UN Refugee Agency is providing winter assistance to 4.6 million in the region. More than 6.5 million Syrians have been displaced since the fighting began in March 2011. I Am Syria estimates that the death toll from the civil war is at 450,000 including 50,000 children. The UN Security Council has held emergency meetings on the war, but vetos from Russia stymie response. – YaleGlobal UN Security Council cannot help as rebel-held sections of Aleppo are pounded by Russian airstrikes, Iranian-backed militias, and Syrian government troops UN Security Council holds emergency meeting, but threat of Russian veto prevents action Other BBC News United Kingdom (GB) YaleGlobal Online 1 December 2016 Read the article. Read about Syria from the UN Refugee Agency. Read about I Am Syria, a non-profit group that reports on the war. Source url:  http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-38155936 http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/war-western-failures-hopes-syria-fall-aleppo http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/us-russia-stop-aleppo-assault-or-syria-talks-end http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/battle-aleppo-how-syria-became-new-global-war No [...]



Divisions Within Afghanistan’s Government Reach New Crisis Point

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 15:30:38 +0000

Impeachment of seven Afghan cabinet ministers demonstrates the fragility of Afghanistan’s new democratic institutions. President Ashraf Ghani confronts public criticism, and lawmakers accuse each other of abusing power and accomplishing little. Afghanistan’s ethnic divisions complicate the debate over governance. This instability follows more than a decade of US involvement in the country, and 10,000 American troops are still stationed there. Tensions are emerging amid fears that the United States may no longer prioritize stability in the Middle East. Uncertainty permeates Kabul over fear that the next US president may withdraw military and economic support, which could prompt extremists to try and take control. The Afghan government and other leaders struggle to develop a unified vision – and can’t be sure whether such tensions are part of a maturing democracy or signal greater trouble. – YaleGlobal Political tensions rock Kabul as Afghanistan struggles to build its democratic institutions amid a fear about loss of US interest and aid The government confronts instability and US leadership transition Pamela Constable Pamela Constable Other The Washington Post United States (US) YaleGlobal Online 1 December 2016 Read the article. Pamela Constable is The Post’s bureau chief in Afghanistan and Pakistan. She previously served as a South Asia bureau chief and most recently covered immigration in the Washington area for several years. Source url:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/divisions-within-afghanistans-government-reach-a-new-crisis-point/2016/11/15/4b18bc70-aa87-11e6-8f19-21a1c65d2043_story.html Rights:  washingtonpost.com © 1996-2016 The Washington Post http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/defying-taliban-afghans-head-polls No [...]



Seizing Opportunity in a Post-TPP World

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 19:47:54 +0000

Trade is the glue for globalization and without it other connections can subside. But US voters rejected a US leadership role in global trade deals and elected billionaire Donald Trump who has already signaled intent to have the United States to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership with 11 other nations. Analysts suggest that China could step into the US role, but “The baton of global leadership rarely passes in such a seamless fashion,” cautions Yale professor Stephen S. Roach. The United States has global responsibilities not easily dismissed, and China confronts multiple risks including high debt and other economic imbalances. Roach proposes that Trump could pursue another huge opportunity by concluding the US-China Bilateral Investment Treaty, under negotiation since 2008. China is the third biggest US export market. Roach concludes, “For a growth-starved US economy, there could be no better way of tapping into what promises to be the world’s greatest market expansion in the years ahead.” – YaleGlobal Trump dismisses TPP, but could pursue another big opportunity – the US-China Bilateral Investment Treaty Trump dismisses TPP, but could pursue another big opportunity – the US-China Bilateral Investment Treaty NEW HAVEN: The demise of the Trans-Pacific Partnership is the final nail in the coffin of global trade liberalization.... now that US President-elect Donald Trump has signaled his intent to have the United States withdraw from TPP – signed, but not ratified, after eight years of tortuous negotiations among 12 nations – there can be little doubt of the seismic cracks in the postwar global order. The kneejerk reaction is to presume that China will quickly fill the void. http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/sites/default/files/images/2016/12/roach1201-140px.jpg http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/sites/default/files/images/2016/12/roach1201-75px.jpg Stephen S. Roach Stephen S. Roach YaleGlobal United States (US) YaleGlobal Online 1 December 2016 America and Asia: Will US President-elect Donald Trump, top, sway the United States towards Asia? China President Xi Jinping's ambitious leadership in Asia could provide incentive NEW HAVEN: The demise of the Trans-Pacific Partnership is the final nail in the coffin of global trade liberalization. The handwriting was on the wall with failure of the Doha Round, which floundered immediately after its initiation in 2001. But now that US President-elect Donald Trump has signaled his intent to have the United States withdraw from TPP – signed, but not ratified, after eight years of tortuous negotiations among 12 nations – there can be little doubt of the seismic cracks in the postwar global order. The kneejerk reaction is to presume that China will quickly fill the void. After all, it is the driver of an alternative 16-nation trade agreement – the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP.  While the RCEP framework stops well short of TPP’s tariff reductions and high standards, it still has the potential to play a catalytic role in fostering greater pan-regional economic integration in the world's fa[...]



The Problem with Abandoning the Paris Agreement

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 22:38:55 +0000

If the United States unilaterally withdraws from the Paris climate agreement, the nation can expect immediate diplomatic consequences. Foreign policy experts warn that such a move could create an opening for China to take leadership on climate-related issues and perhaps even profit from development of alternative energies. Observers cannot anticipate the Trump administration’s foreign policy, but the US president-elect has described climate change as a “hoax.” More than 300 companies wrote a letter urging Trump not to abandon the agreement. The possibility depicts a key dilemma of the globalized world: Globalization works best if all countries agree on solutions that require sacrifices. In a year dominated by populist, nationalist victories, dissension over globalization has been strong. – YaleGlobal Future US foreign policy is a big unknown, and experts expect global backlash if the US withdraws from the Paris climate agreement Withdrawal could invite international backlash Robinson Meyer Robinson Meyer Other The Atlantic United States (US) YaleGlobal Online 30 November 2016 Read the article. Robinson Meyer is an associate editor at The Atlantic, where he covers technology. Source url:  https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/11/the-problem-with-abandoning-the-paris-agreement/508085/ Rights:  Copyright © 2016 by The Atlantic Monthly Group http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/global-consensus-climate-change-good-start http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/profit-driven-pollution-emission-controls-infrastructure-investment http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/ghost-kyoto-still-lurks http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/our-common-home-climate-change-brings-moral-change No [...]



President Erdogan: I Will Open Gates for Migrants to Enter Europe if EU Blocks Membership Talks

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 18:00:49 +0000

Members of the European Parliament voted for a temporary pause in negotiations on Turkey’s efforts to join the European Union due to worries about President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's heavy-handed response to July’s coup. Specific concerns include treatment of political dissidents and potential restoration of the death penalty, which is banned by the EU. “The talks were part of a wide-ranging deal agreed with Mr Erdogan's government which meant Turkey would shelter the thousands of refugees fleeing violence in Iraq and Syria in exchange for aid, membership talks and visa-free travel for its citizens,” reports Caroline Mortimer for the Independent. Although the vote is non-binding and most EU foreign ministers continue to support the negotiations, Erdogan responded with anger. Turkey did reduce the number of refugees fleeing to Europe by about a half million from the previous year and complains that EU promises of aid have not been fulfilled. One Turkish representative suggested that linking Turkey’s accession with control of refugees was wrong from the start. Ultimately, the role of government is to provide services and security. The refugees are being excluded from that equation. – YaleGlobal Threats are escalating between the European Union and Turkey as both question deal on alleviating Syrian refugee crisis Refugees have become a pawn for governments Caroline Mortimer Caroline Mortimer Other The Independent YaleGlobal Online 30 November 2016 Read the article. Caroline Mortimer is a reporter working for the Independent Online. Source url:  : http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/president-erdogan-turkey-eu-membership-migrants-refugees-europe-warning-a7438316.html Rights:  All intellectual property rights belong to the Independent. No [...]



Wanted: Equal Opportunity Globalization

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 14:41:53 +0000

Populist stances are resonating with dissatisfied voters in the wealthiest places including Europe and the United States. The West has posted low growth rates for its middle class over the past 25 years while the average income growth of a median household in Asia during the same period was about four times as high – Asia still has some catching up to do as income levels and gross domestic product per capita for much of the continent are still a fraction of those in the United States or Europe. The problem for wealthy democracies is that most benefits of technological advancement, globalization and economic policy went to the wealthiest and highly skilled, often described as the top 1 percent. “A basic contradiction of the age of globalization is that economic outcomes for increasing numbers of people are determined at the global level, while political action takes place within nation-states,” notes economist Branko Milanovic. Nations can be more adept with policies tackling trade and globalization, but that requires political consensus and more balanced distribution of opportunities. – YaleGlobal Populists blame Asia’s high growth rates for economic woes rather than policies that reinforce inequality at home Populists blame Asia’s high growth rates for economic woes rather than policies that reinforce inequality at home NEW YORK: The rise and electoral success of populist politicians in the West have reopened questions on the effects of globalization – in simplest terms, whether uneven distributional effects of globalization are to blame for widespread dissatisfaction in wealthy countries or does the fault lie with domestic policies or other factors. The responses will shape globalization of this century and could offer remedies for popular discontent. http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/sites/default/files/images/2016/11/milanovic1129-140px.jpg http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/sites/default/files/images/2016/11/milanovic1129-75px.jpg Branko Milanovic Branko Milanovic YaleGlobal YaleGlobal Online 29 November 2016 Downside of productivity growth: Developed countries increase productivity by replacing workers with machines, top; Asians gain with Western investments like iPhone assembly in China NEW YORK: The rise and electoral success of populist politicians in the West have reopened questions on the effects of globalization – in simplest terms, whether uneven distributional effects of globalization are to blame for widespread dissatisfaction in wealthy countries or does the fault lie with domestic policies or other factors. The responses will shape globalization of this century and could offer remedies for popular discontent. First, the facts. There is no doubt that the growth rates of the bottom halves of income distributions for rich countries have been low over the past 25 years. This stands in contrast to the high growth rates of Asian middle classes – people poorer than the Western middle class but with whom Western workers may be competing for jobs – and the so-called top 1-percenters. Consider real per-capita growth for the midd[...]



Forget Fake News on Facebook – The Real Filter Bubble Is You

Mon, 28 Nov 2016 17:38:17 +0000

Banning false news on popular social media sites amounts to censorship. Will Self, writing for New Statesman, questions any manipulation of news on such sites – curating news for positive or negative stories, writing algorithms that match stories to readers or selecting specific articles for trending news. “Back in the days when everyone read the print edition of the New York Times this sort of manipulation was, it is argued, quite impossible; after all, the US media historically made a fetish of fact-checking, an editorial process that is pretty much unknown in our own press,” Self writes from the United Kingdom. He then goes on to describe the tendency toward “confirmation bias,” people creating their own filter bubbles by selecting reading materials, trusting and sharing opinions that reinforce values and beliefs. People fundamentally disagree about any set of facts – religious, historical, financial, scientific – that guide society. Bans and curations can’t overcome the uncomfortable observation that the world’s education systems are producing people who prefer entertainment over critical thinking and society’s values are self-centered, biased and mean. Self concludes by noting that the internet remains a lead resource for truth-telling and fact-checking. – YaleGlobal If people want to receive all their news from a single feed that reinforces their beliefs, there is little that can be done Banning fake news is censorship, and the internet remains a resource for fact-checking Will Self Will Self Other New Statesman United Kingdom (GB) YaleGlobal Online 29 November 2016 Read the article. Source url:  http://www.newstatesman.com/science-tech/social-media/2016/11/forget-fake-news-facebook-real-filter-bubble-you Rights:  © New Statesman 1913 - 2016 No [...]



Promises Trump Can’t Keep

Mon, 28 Nov 2016 17:32:26 +0000

US President-elect Donald Trump made big promises on trade and jobs that will be tough to keep without wrecking key industries along with the global economy. Essentially, he suggested that he could restore US manufacturing jobs by blocking new trade deals like the Tans-Pacific Partnership and walking back on old deals like the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement. The plan has problems. Such trade deals, economists suggest, created more jobs than they destroyed. Companies organized around supply chains; US wages are high, and disruptions in supply chains would increase costs of consumer goods. Many US firms have more foreign than domestic sales. During the campaign Trump targeted a relocation plan of Carrier, the world’s largest manufacturer of air conditioners, now owned by defense contractor United Technologies, but failed to mention that 40 percent of the company’s revenues are from foreign sales. Job losses are increasingly linked with automation and increased productivity; stories abound of one employee improving skills and doing the work of two or three. As a businessman, Trump was proud of taking advantage of all legal and financial opportunities, but wants to deny US corporations the same. Chanda concludes, “even the US president cannot alter the trajectory of business and technology.” – YaleGlobal US President-elect will struggle to come good on rhetoric against offshoring and free trade agreements and can't do much about automation and productivity To fulfill job promises, Trump must curtail automation and productivity Nayan Chanda Nayan Chanda Other Businessworld INDIA(IN) YaleGlobal Online 28 November 2016 Bombastic billionaire Donald Trump did not infuse his presidential campaign with the sunny style of Ronald Reagan, who promised voters “morning in America”. But large segments of the American electorate clearly believed that Trump could bring back the achche din [slogan of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the 2014 Indian general election], with traditionally Democratic voters in the depressed Rust Belt gravitating to his message of industrial job creation. He promised to achieve this by shredding free trade agreements and punishing US companies that moved their factories abroad. The first tests of his credibility on this pledge are coming soon. During the poll campaign Trump repeatedly criticised the likes of Carrier, the air conditioner manufacturer, which is shuttering its Indiana factory and shifting production to Mexico. While its workers cheered his combative stance, there is no indication that United Technologies, Carrier’s parent company, intends to revisit its decision to relocate the company. On the contrary, they could justifiably tell the President-elect that the decision to shift operations to low-cost Mexico was no different from then businessman Trump employing immigrant workers on his construction projects. Both are commercially driven decisions to reduce production costs and increase profit margins. As a businessman who built a reputation for adeptly cutting corners and finding legal loopholes to grow his earnings, Trump will struggle to persuade companies to bring back jobs from co[...]



The Stakes of Italy’s Referendum

Mon, 28 Nov 2016 15:43:08 +0000

Italy votes December 4 on a referendum on constitutional reforms –including reducing the size of the upper house of parliament and reinforcing separation of powers. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has promised to step down if voters reject the referendum. “A defeat for Renzi will be read as a victory for Italy’s two major populist parties: the Lega Nord and the larger Five Star Movement, led by the comedian Beppe Grillo,” explains Mario Margiocco for Project Syndicate. He notes that leaders of the two parties lack political experience and blame Europe for Italy’s mistakes in amassing so much debt, more than 132 percent of gross domestic product, whole offering big promises that would only add more strain to budgets. “The two parties are not allied, but both are nurtured by anti-establishment sentiment and favor “national solutions” to Italy’s problems – beginning with a return to the Italian lira.” By rejecting reforms, voters would dismiss central government efficiency and join a wave of euroskepticism. – YaleGlobal Italians head to polls on December 4 to vote on reforms for parliament – as well as the future for Prime Minister Renzi and the European Union The election could determine the fate of the European Union Mario Margiocco Mario Margiocco Other Project Syndicate United States (US) YaleGlobal Online 28 November 2016 Read the article. Mario Margiocco’s most recent book is  Il disastro americano. Riuscirà Obama a cambiare Wall Street e Washington?  (The American Disaster: Will Obama Change Wall Street and Washington?) Source url:  https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/italy-referendum-constitutional-reforms-by-mario-margiocco-2016-11 Rights:  © 1995 – 2016 Project Syndicate No [...]



League of Nationalists

Wed, 23 Nov 2016 14:10:21 +0000

Despite living in a world that shares numerous global challenges, voters increasingly place their trust in a new nationalism. Some are unnerved by lost jobs and blame an increasing number of foreign-born living in their midst. Others long for self-reliance. “All societies draw on nationalism of one sort or another to define relations between the state, the citizen and the outside world,” notes the Economist, reviewing nationalistic trends and observing that “countries are shifting from the universal, civic nationalism towards the blood-and-soil, ethnic sort.” Proponents of nationalsim support one another's extreme platforms that warn of an invasion of outsiders and offer quick fixes. Many fearful of change support strong personalities who talk tough and display protectionist and authoritarian tendencies. Citizens expect such leaders to control the outsiders even though history suggests the controlling ways eventually expand to new targets: “nationalism is a cheap and easy way to generate enthusiasm for the state, and to deflect blame for what is wrong.” Such leaders are competitive and bound to turn on one another. Many view cooperation and compromise as weakness and reject the desire to be a good global citizen as unpatriotic. Still, the youth of many countries embrace globalization, offering a distant promise of a more realistic global outlook. – YaleGlobal Around the world, nationalists are gaining ground by talking tough about outsiders and promising quick fixes – while the young still embrace globalization Leaders talk tough about outsiders, but the controls could spread throughout society Other The Economist United Kingdom (GB) YaleGlobal Online 25 November 2016 Read the article. Source url:  http://www.economist.com/news/international/21710276-all-around-world-nationalists-are-gaining-ground-why-league-nationalists Rights:  Copyright © The Economist Newspaper Limited 2015. All rights reserved. http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/global-security-and-democratic-governance-falter http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/global-obama-versus-nationalist-europe No [...]



Russia Wants to Remake Globalization in Its Own Image

Wed, 23 Nov 2016 14:31:43 +0000

Globalization and global institutions are in crisis, confronting varying levels of mistrust around the world. The Valdai Discussion Club, a group of Russian and foreign international affairs experts, assessed the global order. “Russians described Western-led neoliberal globalization as universally destructive economically, culturally, and politically and responsible for sparking a worldwide revolt,” explains Richard Weitz, senior fellow and director of the Center for Political-Military Analysis at Hudson Institute. The Valdai group did not anticipate that billionaire Donald Trump might win the US presidential election. During the campaign, Trump railed against globalization and cross-border trade while extending hope for improving relations with Russia. Economic partnerships and security cooperation are tough to envision from competitive leaders who do not hesitate to embrace authoritarian tactics. Besides, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, determined to rebalance a Western-dominated world order, offers a rescue plan on his terms. That pits him against Trump with his campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.” – YaleGlobal Globalization is under assault, claims Russia, from a Western-dominated world order with benefits limited to a few Globalization is under assault, claims Russia, from a Western-dominated world order with benefits limited to a few MOSCOW: Russians see globalization and international institutions in crisis. They offer to rescue this failing project, but on their own terms, with a readjustment of world order more to their liking. http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/sites/default/files/images/2016/11/weitz1124-140px.jpg http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/sites/default/files/images/2016/11/weitz1124-75px.jpg Richard Weitz Richard Weitz YaleGlobal United States (US) YaleGlobal Online 24 November 2016 Eastern-led globalization: Russian President Vladimir Putin, top, and Fu Ying, chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee of China’s National People’s Congress explain the kind of global integration they prefer at Valdai meeting in Moscow MOSCOW: Russians see globalization and international institutions in crisis. They offer to rescue this failing project, but on their terms, with a readjustment of world order more to their liking. At the October meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club – a group of Russian and foreign international affairs specialists – the attendees assessed the processes of globalization under the rubric “global revolt and the global order.” Russians described Western-led neoliberal globalization as universally destructive economically, culturally, and politically and responsible for sparking a worldwide revolt. Globalization is under assault “from two fronts,” suggested Fyodor Lukyanov, author of the upcoming Valdai conference report. One set of countries had no say in constructing the Western-dominated world o[...]



Is A Trump Presidency Really a Big Win for Putin?

Wed, 23 Nov 2016 13:37:01 +0000

Among Donald Trump’s consistent positions during the US presidential campaign was a respect for Russian President Vladimir Putin and a desire to restore US ties with a Cold War adversary. Reid Standish writes in Foreign Policy that Putin celebrated Trump’s win because it represents a chance for him to “restore Russia’s global status and reopen ties with the West.” Trump has not laid out clear plans to support Putin’s endeavors – a push for global prominence, support of Assad in Syria or encroachment into Ukraine – but Standish argues that Putin will capitalize on the political turmoil and instability. Trump has been wildly unpredictable and, if Putin pushes too hard, may turn against Russia. Regardless, Putin must appreciate a new face in Washington after Obama’s criticism of Russia’s actions in Syria and Russia. – YaleGlobal Putin may expect big gains from a Trump presidency, but the United States could still cause trouble for Moscow Unpredictability could pose problems for Russia Reid Standish Reid Standish Other Foreign Policy United States (US) YaleGlobal Online 24 November 2016 Read the article. Source url:  http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/11/09/is-a-trump-presidency-really-a-big-win-for-putin-ukraine-syria-clinton/ Rights:  Copyright 2016 Foreign Policy No [...]



How Can We Tackle Abuse in the Global Garment Industry?

Wed, 23 Nov 2016 11:05:55 +0000

In the face of rampant labor exploitation in the clothing industry, many unions in countries like Vietnam, Indonesia, and Bangladesh are trying to increase the minimum wage and improve working conditions. In the mutual pursuit of financial gain by countries and corporations, the “mobility of capital (and immobility of labour) creates a global race to the bottom,” notes Alice Evans for the Conversation. Such union efforts are falling short for women. When fired for becoming pregnant, they frequently receive little union support. Developed countries like the United Kingdom that purchase much of their clothing from Southeast Asia could support women-friendly efforts like funding training programs that are conditional on gender quotas. Brexit may prove to be a bureaucratic hassle in necessitating a renegotiation of scores of trade deals, though Evans sees a slim hope for a silver lining. The United Kingdom has opportunity to revamp trade policies with Southeast Asia in ways that improve working conditions, particularly for women. – YaleGlobal Unions are beginning to unravel the underbelly of the enormous clothing business, but consumers worldwide could do more to encourage improved working conditions Unions strive to increase minimum wage and improve working conditions Alice Evans Alice Evans Other The Conversation YaleGlobal Online 24 November 2016 Read the article. Alice Evans is a lecturer in human geography at the University of Cambridge. Source url:  http://theconversation.com/how-can-we-tackle-abuse-in-the-global-garment-industry-68019 No [...]



China's Shrinking Workforce Affects Economic Transition, Expert Says

Tue, 22 Nov 2016 21:22:26 +0000

The size of China’s labor force, including people between the ages of 16 and 59, has declined for three years since 2012. The total is 906 million workers, down from just over 910 million. The government anticipates the workforce shrinking to 700 million by 2050. The decline is especially sharp for semi-skilled blue-collar workers as more youth pursue college studies and prefer work in the service sector. A Chinese expert on labor economics reports that almost half of new entrants in China’s job market hold a college degree. Another challenge is low fertility rates. China only recently loosened restrictions on its strict one-child policy, but families have learned that limiting the number of children increases personal wealth. In a report for Caixin, Coco Feng interviews the head of the China Institute for Employment Research at Renmin University, who notes that such labor shortages could delay China’s transition from manufacturing economy to a service- and consumption-driven one. – YaleGlobal Dwindling pool of blue-collar workers is hurting manufacturing, but more college graduates lack skills to support move to service economy Size of China’s workforce declines for three straight years, and could delay shift to service economy Coco Feng Coco Feng Other Caixin CHINA(CN) YaleGlobal Online 23 November 2016 Read the article. Source url:  http://english.caixin.com/2016-11-21/101009772.html Rights:  All copyrights for material posted and published on Caixin.com are the property of Caixin Media Company Ltd. or its licensors. No [...]



Globalization’s Last Gasp

Tue, 22 Nov 2016 20:31:38 +0000

World trade was slowing and protectionist tendencies were apparent years before the British vote to leave the European Union and Donald Trump’s winning the US presidential election. “It means that the benefits of openness and specialization are being squandered,” suggests Barry Eichengreen, a professor of economics, for Project Syndicate. “So far, slower trade growth has been the result of slower GDP growth, not the other way around.” The slowdown reflects reduced investment spending, growth in China and cross-border financial capital flows along with diminishing returns on efficiency of global supply chains. Foreign direct investment continues to be strong. One good sign is that regulations, including the Dodd-Frank Act, have deterred the riskiest kinds of international finance, concludes Eichengreen, without disruptions to more productive types of foreign investment. Reducing financial regulations could add risk, uncertainty and threats for global markets. – YaleGlobal Financial regulations, including the Dodd-Frank Act, deterred riskiest kinds of international finance – pullback on regulations could threaten global markets Trade has slowed, but financial regulations have deterred riskiest forms of international finance Barry Eichengreen Barry Eichengreen Other Project Syndicate United States (US) YaleGlobal Online 23 November 2016 Read the article. Barry Eichengreen is Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley; Pitt Professor of American History and Institutions at the University of Cambridge; and a former senior policy adviser at the International Monetary Fund. His latest book is Hall of Mirrors:The Great Depression, the Great Recession, and the Uses – and Misuses – of History. Source url:  https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/growth-before-globalization-by-barry-eichengreen-2016-11 Rights:  © 1995 – 2016 Project Syndicate No [...]



The Losers of Deglobalization

Tue, 22 Nov 2016 16:11:08 +0000

Brexit and Donald Trump’s presidency both rode to success on a wave of nationalistic fervor, based on the view that globalization on balance harms the UK and the US. Yet the histories of those countries demonstrate that economic protectionism can lead to political instability and worse, total war. In the 1930s, devaluation of British and American currencies, in the aim of making their own goods more competitive, led to currency wars and tensions that eventually contributed to World War II, notes Pierpaolo Barbieri for Foreign Affairs. Indeed, currency devaluation and protective tariffs not only harm developing nations, as they are “deprived of trade as a way to improve their lot,” but also decreases efficiency for the world at large. In fact, deglobalization “can leave everyone worse off and ultimately damage the states that made them.” Trade and alliances provide a strong base for international security, and without such security, economic devastation and conflicts are more likely. – YaleGlobal Isolationism and protectionism contributed to World War II in the mid-20th century, yet US and UK leaders pursue similar policies for the 21st century US and UK leaders fail to heed history’s lessons on the benefits of globalization Pierpaolo Barbieri Pierpaolo Barbieri Other Foreign Affairs United States (US) YaleGlobal Online 22 November 2016 Read the article. Source url:  https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2016-11-13/losers-deglobalization Rights:  Copyright © 2016 by the Council on Foreign Relations, Inc No [...]



US Walks Away From TPP, Leaving China Free to Dominate Asia

Sun, 20 Nov 2016 12:14:49 +0000

The Obama administration has suspended efforts to win approval from the US Congress for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, reports suggest, and it’s up to the Trump administration to kill or shape the 12-nation deal. With TPP on life support, China promotes two other trade agreements for the region, either of which could exclude the United States and reduce its competitiveness in the Asia Pacific region. “In threatening to sabotage the Trans-Pacific Partnership by opposing US ratification of the 12-nation pact, Trump is, in effect, stepping aside to allow China to control trade and investment in the Asia Pacific region,” explains journalist and author Anthony Rowley. Japan, the world’s third largest economy and a close US ally, is not so ready to give up on TPP and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with the US president-elect. Rowley cautions that the US president-elect's promises to upend foreign policy commitments already influence decisions being made throughout East Asia and other countries will step into the void. – YaleGlobal At the APEC meeting, China hustles to replace the TPP free-trade agreement with its own versions At the APEC meeting, China hustles to replace the TPP free-trade agreement with its own versions TOKYO: US President-elect Donald Trump has been disparaged as a fan of Russian President Vladimir Putin. But when it comes to "giving away the farm," he appears more intent, perhaps by inattention, on conferring favors upon China by handing Chinese president Xi Jinping leadership of Asian trade diplomacy. In threatening to sabotage the Trans-Pacific Partnership by opposing US ratification of the 12-nation pact, Trump is, in effect, stepping aside to allow China to control trade and investment in the Asia Pacific region. http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/sites/default/files/TPPChinaRowleyNov22_2016_140.jpg http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/sites/default/files/TPPChinaRowleyNov22_2016_thumbn.jpg Anthony Rowley Anthony Rowley YaleGlobal United States (US) YaleGlobal Online 22 November 2016 Interrupted journey: Obama with Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe, architects who helped shape the TPP – the demise of which will likely be cheered by Chinese President Xi Jinping TOKYO: US President-elect Donald Trump has been disparaged as a fan of Russian President Vladimir Putin. But when it comes to "giving away the farm," he appears more intent, perhaps by inattention, on conferring favors upon China by handing Chinese President Xi Jinping leadership of Asian trade diplomacy.   In threatening to sabotage the Trans-Pacific Partnership by opposing US ratification of the 12-nation pact, Trump is, in effect, stepping aside to allow China to control trade and investment in the Asia Pa[...]



Donald Trump and the Coming Test of International Order

Mon, 21 Nov 2016 20:55:02 +0000

Foreign policy experts suggest that Trump may pose a test to the post-WWII international order, led by the United States and shaped by alliances, an open economy and support for liberal institutions. For seven decades, Republican and Democratic administrations argued in favor such an order and assumed that the consequences of collapse would be enormous. Uri Friedman interviews several experts for the Atlantic: Thomas Wright of the Brookings Institution argues that if Trump pulls out of alliances and the global economy, conflict will arise. Peter van Ham, an expert of transatlantic relations at the Clingendael Institute in the Netherlands, suggests that the order will be destroyed no matter what. A Trump presidency, he says, will force European nations to confront that decline and focus on securing their borders and investing in defense, at the expense of social programs. Until Trump begins to govern, no one can know for sure how the international order might change. – YaleGlobal Trump presidency presents a threat to international order rooted in US alliances, open economy, and liberal institutions International order rests on alliances, an open global economy, and liberal institutions Uri Friedman Uri Friedman Other The Atlantic United States (US) YaleGlobal Online 21 November 2016 Read the article. Uri Friedman is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers global affairs. He was previously the deputy managing editor at Foreign Policy. Source url:  https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/11/trump-world-order/507083/ Rights:  Copyright © 2016 by The Atlantic Monthly Group http://google.yale.edu/search?output=xml_no_dtd&client=yaleglobal_frontend_test&site=Yale_Global&proxystylesheet=yaleglobal_frontend_test&filter=0&q=global+order&x=0&y=0 http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/about/paradox2.jsp http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/end-american-world-order No [...]



China and Russia Take the Helm of Interpol

Mon, 21 Nov 2016 13:13:21 +0000

The International Criminal Police Organization elected a Chinese official for its president and a Russian for vice president. Alexander Prokopchuk, one of four Interpol vice presidents, is the first Russian to hold the position. Meng Hongwei will lead the organization until 2020, and human rights watchers express concern that China could manipulate the office for its own interests. Beijing will also host Interpol’s general assembly in 2017. “Before Meng became vice minister since 2004, he was deputy director of the armed police forces Beijing would send to quell unrest in Tibet, Xinjiang, and other unstable outskirts of China,” reports Robbie Gramer for Foreign Policy. “China has used Interpol’s 'red notices,’ a de facto international police warrant, to try to detain former officials and political asylum seekers that fled the country. China issued 100 of such notices last year.” Interpol as an institution is powerful, representing more countries than any other political institution besides the United Nations, but Gramer explains the president is “primarily a symbolic figurehead.” Ultimately, other top officials at the organization and the realities of bureaucracy may stymie any attempts to manipulate Interpol. Interpol’s motto is “connecting police for a safer world.” – YaleGlobal Two officials from China and Russia, countries with controversial human rights records, are among leaders of the International Criminal Police Organization The organization's motto is “connecting police for a safer world” Robbie Gramer Robbie Gramer Other Foreign Policy United States (US) YaleGlobal Online 21 November 2016 Read the article. Robbie Gramer is a staff writer at Foreign Policy. Source url:  http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/11/10/china-and-russia-take-the-helm-of-interpol/ Rights:  Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) is FP’s exclusive agent for granting reprint and reuse permissions. No [...]



South Korea’s Park Faces Existential Question of Survival

Fri, 18 Nov 2016 14:44:36 +0000

Protesters in Seoul are calling for the resignation of South Korean President Park Geun-hye. Koreans are disturbed by “what they perceive as a long-term pattern of embarrassing if not disgraceful conduct,” writes Donald Kirk for Asia Sentinel. “At the heart of the scandal is Park’s relationship, going back four decades, with the woman who won her deepest confidence in shamanistic rituals reflecting ancient Korean spiritual and cultural traditions.” Concern focuses security leaks to the religious counselors who conducted séances and inappropriate policy involvement as well as embezzlement accusations related to charitable foundations. The president’s five-year term ends in December 2017 but the opposition expects her to resign. The article concludes by noting that the country could experience “a tectonic shift from conservative to liberal leadership with broad implications for policy toward North Korea.” – YaleGlobal President Park Geun-hye’s ability to govern South Korea is under threat with scandal; her term ends in December 2017 but protesters call for resignation Park’s term ends with 2017, and early resignation could shift policies on North Korea Donald Kirk Donald Kirk Other Asia Sentinel HONGKONG(HK) YaleGlobal Online 18 November 2016 The spectacle of protesters against President Park Geun-hye in central Seoul merely carrying candles in paper cups may appear a peaceful protest, but they have a far greater chance of success than enraged crowds in other countries. The crowds are calling for nothing less than Park’s resignation. She is targeted in one of the worst scandals in modern Korean history. Is South Korea about to succumb to the demands of the parliament of the streets? How long can Park’s presidency survive while thousands fill the avenue around city hall plaza clamoring for her ouster? Not just the main opposition Minjoo or Democratic Party and smaller leftist groupings but also conservatives are saying her days in the Blue House, the presidential complex where she lives and works, are numbered. For Koreans, the campaign against Park has totally undermined her ability to govern. Once resolute in her stand on North Korea, she has lost power over domestic and foreign policy in the face of a populist assault not seen in Seoul since the mass protests against Chun Doo-hwan in June 1987. Chun, the general who had taken over from Park’s father, the dictator Park Chung-hee, had to agree to a “democracy constitution” and elections for president every five years. At meetings of Park Geun-hye’s aides and ministers, convened to consider the impact of the election of Donald Trump as US president, her views about whether he would do away with the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement or cut down the number of US troops in South Korea are almost irrelevant. Accustomed as they [...]



How Donald Trump Can Fight Globalization

Fri, 18 Nov 2016 14:08:41 +0000

Globalization infiltrates every part of business and life, and most citizens may not even notice some of the trends in which they participate. US President Barack Obama noted while in Germany while adding that governments could do more to explain the complexities and ease hardships. “Make America Great Again” and “America First” of the Trump campaign were easy slogans that appealed to voters, especially the working class and others worried about jobs. Research suggests that “actual trends in globalization are much different than the political rhetoric from the 2016 election would suggest,” explains Chris Matthews for Fortune. Growth in cross-border trade has already slowed, and trade agreements can create more jobs than they eliminate. “And there is clear evidence that these other measures of globalization, including immigration to America, the flow of information into the country from globalist forces outside the U.S., and the flow of capital in the form of foreigners buying U.S. assets continues to grow healthily.” Analysts anticipate the Trump campaign to focus on immigration policies, but limits could impose costs in unexpected ways. – YaleGlobal Globalization involves many complex trends; cross-border trade already slowed in recent years and, combined with technology, contributes to slow job growth Cross-border trade has already slowed, and that could be part of the problem Chris Matthews Chris Matthews Other Fortune United States (US) YaleGlobal Online 18 November 2016 Read the article. Source url:  http://fortune.com/2016/11/17/trump-globalization/ Rights:  © 2016 Time Inc. All rights reserved http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/four-fallacies-about-trade-and-globalization No [...]



Trump Gives Carbon Price Foes New Line of Attack

Thu, 17 Nov 2016 19:30:26 +0000

US President-elect Donald Trump described climate change as a “hoax” for US businesses and promised to repeal environmental regulations and to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. China has since offered the reminder that the United States supported UN deliberations on a warming planet during the Reagan administration well before China knew such negotiations were underway. Canada and other nations, hoping to stay competitive with energy pricing, consider walking back carbon-pricing plans and other steps to slow warming. “Trump's ‘election portends many things,’ says a senior Liberal, ‘but it doesn't change the law of science,’" warns Aaron Wherry for CBC News in Canada. “If one wagers that the world is still headed toward a low-carbon future, it would make sense to continue moving in that direction as a country.” Some countries will continue to develop alternative energies, hoping that early innovations could reduce emissons and boost competitiveness for the years ahead. Otherwise, future generations will be forced to shoulder the transition. China may rally as global leader on climate issues, or, as proposed by one candidate for French president, countries may seek to punish the United States with carbon tariffs. – YaleGlobal The Trump presidency may reject science on climate change, but obstinacy could reinvigorate support for carbon pricing and alternative energy China and other countries view alternative energies as a means for economic growth Aaron Wherry Aaron Wherry Other CBC News CANADA(CA) YaleGlobal Online 17 November 2016 Read the article. Read about the Climate Action Tracker and how it categorizes countries on climate change. China, the European Union, Mexico, India and the United States are described as having a “medium” response while Canada’s is categorized as “inadequate.”  The Climate Action Tracker is described as “an independent scientific analysis produced by three research organisations tracking climate action and global efforts towards the globally agreed aim of holding warming below 2°C, since 2009.”  Source url:  http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/wherry-trump-climate-change-1.3850223 Rights:  ©2016 CBC/Radio-Canada. All rights reserved Visitez Radio-Canada.ca No [...]



China and the US Undercut International Law for Their Narrow Interests

Thu, 17 Nov 2016 18:13:05 +0000

Major powers tend to reject international law when rulings run counter to their interests insisting that the distant courts carry no jurisdiction. China rejected a Permanent Court of Arbitration’s ruling in July and clings to expansive claims in the South China Sea, including Scarborough Shoal near the Philippines. China’s response mirrored US rejection of a 1986 International Court of Justice ruling against US support for rebels in Nicaragua. “With these stands, both China and the United States weakened a crucial element of international law – consent and recognition by all parties,” writes journalist Humphrey Hawksley for YaleGlobal Online. Disregard for the rule of law weakens the legal system for all. Hawksley offers two recommendations for renewing respect for international law: instuitional overhaul so that the all parties recognize the courts, rejecting decisions only as last resort, and governments accepting the concept, taking a long-term view on balance of power even when rulings go against short-term strategic interests. Reforms may be too late as China organizes its own parallel systems for legal reviews and global governance, Hawksley notes, but international law, if respected, remains a mechanism for ensuring peace. – YaleGlobal International law requires the consent of all parties, but China and the US reject when decisions cross short-term strategic interests International law requires the consent of all parties, but China and the US reject when decisions cross short-term strategic interests LONDON: Flutter over the surprise visit to China by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte may soon fade. But his abrupt and public dismissal of the United States in favor of China has weakened the argument that international rule of law could underpin a changing world order. http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/sites/default/files/images/2016/11/hawksley1117-140px.jpg http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/sites/default/files/images/2016/11/hawksley1117-75px.jpg Humphrey Hawksley Humphrey Hawksley YaleGlobal YaleGlobal Online 17 November 2016 Rule of law? Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte did not press China's Xi Jinping on the international court ruling on Scarborough Shoal; China's stance mirrors US rejection of a 1986 international court ruling that favored Nicaragua LONDON: Flutter over the surprise visit to China by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte may soon fade. But his abrupt and public dismissal of the United States in favor of China has weakened the argument that international rule of law could underpin a changing world order. The issue in question was the long-running dispute between China and the Philippines o[...]



The Pentagon Said It Killed Islamist Militants in Somalia; Turns Out They Were Allies

Thu, 17 Nov 2016 13:13:59 +0000

As the United States partners with Somalia in its fight against Islamist group al Shabaab, the Pentagon is investigating an American drone strike that accidentally targeted a US ally. The United States has had a difficult time finding Somalian partners, but has formed a loose alliance with warring factions from the states of Puntland and Galmadug, both along the Arabian Sea. American forces ordered a drone strike against what they perceived to be al Shabaab fighters targeting Puntland forces, but instead struck and killed 10 Galmadug fighters. As extremist groups like al Shabaab spread across the Middle East and Africa, the United States must determine its role in stopping the spread of terrorism. This mistake exemplifies the critique that US military interventions intrude on local politics and can cause more harm than good. A 25-year civil war in Somalia and a weak state army provide little hope for quick resolutions or an end to fighting. – YaleGlobal US drone strike in Somalia hits wrong group, complicating long fight against Islamist extremist group al Shabaab Internal conflicts complicate the war against extremism Kevin Sieff Kevin Sieff Other The Washington Post United States (US) YaleGlobal Online 17 November 2016 Read the article. Kevin Sieff has been the Post’s Africa bureau chief since 2014. He served previously as the bureau chief in Kabul and had covered the US -Mexico border. Source url:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/after-initial-denial-pentagon-discovers-it-killed-10-allies-in-drone-strike-in-somalia/2016/11/10/8231421e-a770-11e6-ba46-53db57f0e351_story.html Rights:  © 1996-2016 The Washington Post http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/globalizing-insurgency-somalia No [...]



Goodbye Globalization

Wed, 16 Nov 2016 17:10:45 +0000

The US president-elect plans to increase jobs by ending trade that does not benefit the United States. That assumes the US is self-sufficient and that other countries might go along. Instead, the other countries, especially China as the world’s largest market and soon to be largest economy, will retaliate while possibly continuing trade with one another. Meanwhile, US prices will soar and quality suffer. “The era of globalization was born in the aftermath of World War II, when the United States made the decision that open trade and security guarantees with Japan and NATO would be the only way to avoid another war and counterbalance Soviet expansion,” explains Matt Phillips for Vice News. China’s entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001 had consequences for the developing world along with rising inequality and automation. A first and easy step is killing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but China will step into the void. Introducing barriers to established trade will take time and draw immediate response from other countries and US firms for which overseas sales generate the bulk of revenues. That includes ExxonMobil, General Electric, Apple and Boeing. – YaleGlobal Killing the Trans-Pacific Partnership is easy; introducing barriers to established trade is tricky as bulk of revenues for US multinationals are from overseas Bulk of revenues for US multinationals like Apple, Intel, Exxon, Boeing comes from overseas Matt Phillips Matt Phillips Other Vice News United States (US) YaleGlobal Online 16 November 2016 Read the article. Source url:  https://news.vice.com/story/heres-what-the-end-of-globalization-looks-like Rights:  ©2015 VICE Media LLC http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/four-fallacies-about-trade-and-globalization http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/crazy-campaign-ends-and-hard-work-governing-begins No [...]



Spain’s Parties Split Over Royal Visit to Saudi Arabia

Wed, 16 Nov 2016 13:32:45 +0000

Economic and security interests clash, and so do foreign policy and domestic priorities. Some Spanish political leaders are criticizing a potential multibillion dollar contract for Spain to build warships for Saudi Arabia. King Felipe’s visit in support of the deal was delayed once due to political gridlock, and members of the left-leaning party Podemos vehemently oppose rescheduling the visit or the deal. Thousands of jobs depend upon the state-owned shipbuilding company at the center of the contract. In a broader context, El País posits that Spain may want to preserve “long-standing trade ties to Saudi Arabia,” but critics suggest that the visit and contract put Spain in the position of taking sides in multiple conflicts in the Middle East. Beyond arms and warships, Madrid has a $7 billion contract to link two holy cities of the kingdom, Medina and Mecca, by high-speed rail. Catalonia’s two main parties oppose the visit due to Saudi Arabia’s undemocratic government, possibly because of the region’s own interest in using elections to achieve self-determination and independence. – YaleGlobal With concerns about jobs, democracy and human rights, political groups disagree over longstanding Madrid-Riyadh relationship Political groups weigh economic benefits versus human-rights violations Juan José Mateo Ruiz Gàlvez and Francesco Manetto Juan José Mateo Ruiz Gàlvez and Francesco Manetto Other El País SPAIN(ES) YaleGlobal Online 16 November 2016 Read the article. The English translation is by Nick Lyne. Source url:  http://elpais.com/elpais/2016/11/09/inenglish/1478689436_633968.html Rights:  © EDICIONES EL PAÍS S.L. No [...]



China and the US: Two Visions, One Collaboration?

Tue, 15 Nov 2016 18:41:23 +0000

Donald Trump promised during the US presidential campaign to be tough on trade with China, suggesting he would label the country a currency manipulator and impose tariffs unless trade agreements were renegotiated. Trade is likewise threatened with China’s expansive claims and military buildup in the South China Sea. But the world’s two largest economies have reason to cooperate in Asia, argues Marc Grossman, vice chairman of The Cohen Group and a 2013 Kissinger senior fellow at Yale. Both nations agree on the need for more infrastructure connections between East Asia, South and Central Asia, the Middle East and Europe. “Two concepts are in play: China’s One Belt One Road, or OBOR initiative, a multibillion dollar program to build ports, railways, roads, power plants in and around 60 countries and the more modest, but still important, the American New Silk Road initiative, or NSR,” Grossman explains. Collaboration in nations like Afghanistan and Pakistan could deter extremism, help Chinese and US businesses, and smooth relations across the board. – YaleGlobal China-US collaboration on infrastructure projects in Asia could reduce extremism, improve relations and help companies China-US collaboration on infrastructure projects in Asia could reduce extremism, improve relations and help companies WASHINGTON: With Donald Trump’s election, China and the United States could be on a collision course. The US president-elect promised during the campaign to label China a currency manipulator, instruct the US trade representative to bring trade cases against China in the World Trade Organization, and threaten 45 percent tariffs if China does not renegotiate trade agreements with the US. Meanwhile, China pursues a military buildup in the South China Sea designed to diminish US influence in Asia. http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/sites/default/files/images/2016/11/grossman1115-140px.jpg http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/sites/default/files/images/2016/11/grossman1115-75px.jpg Marc Grossman Marc Grossman YaleGlobal YaleGlobal Online 15 November 2016 Opportunities: The Chinese built Gwadar Port in Pakistan, and China’s One Belt One Road project, top, could be linked with the US-backed wind-power project in the same country WASHINGTON: With Donald Trump’s election, China and the United States could be on a collision course. The US president-elect promised during the campaign to label China a currency manipulator, instruct the US trade representative to bring trade cases against China in the World Trade Organization, [...]