Topic Category: Politics

The world has seen North Korea’s Kim Jong Un exactly twice since April 11. His absences have sparked intense global speculation, with highlights including multiple reports of his death or incapacitation. Korea analysts—myself included—have debated endlessly which blood relative might take over. This endless “where is Kim” talk, however, distracts from the far bigger problem at hand: What can be done about a nuclear North Korea?

Topic: Politics



After some fits and starts, Joe Biden has emerged from a crowded field as the front‐runner for the Democratic nomination. There’s still some politicking left to go, but let’s talk about what a Biden trade policy might look like if he is elected president. In this article, I’ll consider three things: (1) What Biden has said about trade during the Democratic primary campaign; (2) what the Obama administration did on trade when Biden was vice‐president; and (3) what issues Biden would face and what he might do as president (this section is very speculative!).

Topic: Politics



The recent U.S. Treasury’s semi-annual report on the exchange rate policies of China and other major trading partners is an exercise in intellectual gymnastics. The report reiterates that China was indeed a currency manipulator, as Treasury declared in August 2019, but then stated it has magically ceased to be one just prior to the two nations signing the “Phase One” trade deal in Washington.

Topic: Politics
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Americans are about to enter the third full year of President Donald Trump’s aggressive tariff regime, which aims to promote US manufacturing, protect key industries, and prompt other nations to reduce their trade barriers. So, it’s a good time to stop and ask whether tariffs are producing the results desired by the president and other supporters of his trade policies.

Topic: Politics
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One of the few hopeful, “glass-half-full” thoughts I had after Donald Trump won the election in 2016 was that the new president would prove to be the best salesman of free trade since Adam Smith. No, I wasn’t so deluded to think he’d articulate the case for free trade and commit himself to removing all protectionist barriers.

Topic: Politics
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U.S. and Chinese negotiators may soon reach terms to ease the tariffs that have been uprooting supply chains and straining relations. That would be welcome news to beleaguered farmers, manufacturers, and consumers. But unless that deal compels Beijing to end its predatory technology practices and discriminatory commercial policies, détente will give way to intensified sanctions, collapse of the rules-based trading system, and the onset of an economic cold war. Depressingly, that outcome may be unavoidable, regardless.

Topic: Politics
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2018 likely will be remembered for achieving solid economic growth, a highly volatile stock market, and an emerging trade war with China. In 2019 we can expect slower growth, continued volatility, and China to resist significant market-based reforms. These and other factors, combined with an environment of political uncertainty, could create greater risks.

Topic: Politics
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President Donald Trump frequently proclaims his desire to “drain the swamp.” In U.S.-China trade relations, however, he is steadily leading the United States into a quagmire from which it may be difficult to escape. Skepticism and hostility towards China among U.S. politicians and commentators existed long before Trump, but the intensification of the rhetoric, and aggressive actions taken in recent months, will be difficult to undo or pull back from, at least for this administration.

Topic: Politics
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For several months, President Trump has been vandalizing the global economy and subverting the rules of international trade with his wrecking ball of tariff indiscretions. Finally, someone in Congress is doing something to stop this menace. Senator Bob Corker, a Republican from Tennessee, introduced legislation on Wednesday that takes back some of the authority President Trump has been abusing under the guise of protecting national security.

Topic: Politics
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On the campaign trail and into the first year of his presidency, Donald Trump has been a walking, talking billboard for protectionist nationalism. He promised 45 percent tariffs on imports from China, 35 percent levies on imports from Mexico, a requirement that U.S. oil and gas pipelines use only American steel, and the closure of “loopholes” in our Buy American laws to ensure that only U.S. goods and American workers are eligible for federal procurement projects.

Topic: Politics
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