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Posts Tagged ‘Trump’

“Never Trump” Republicans could have their revenge

Posted by hkarner - 13. August 2018

Date: 11-08-2018
Source: The Economist: Lexington

 The president will not lose a primary, but he could be fatally damaged

THE phrase “forlorn hope” entered English from Dutch and German in the 17th century. It referred to a suicide mission or, more often, the ambitious and condemned men chosen to execute it. The most celebrated British forlorn hope was a band of aristocrats and ne’er-do-wells sent to scale the walls of the Spanish city of Badajoz in 1812. They carried sacks of hay to cushion their leap into its defensive ditch. Many were blown up by French mines the moment they landed.

Never Trumpers, as President Donald Trump’s Republican critics are known, are the forlorn hope of American politics. Led by conservative pundits such as Max Boot, David Brooks, Bill Kristol, David Frum and George Will, they are few in number, gallantly in favour of things like free trade and fiscal discipline that Republicans used to care about, and probably doomed. Mr Trump’s hold over Republicans seems unbreakable. Almost 90% approve of his performance. “There is no Republican Party, there’s a Trump party,” says John Boehner, a former Republican congressional leader. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Strategic Thinking That Made America Great

Posted by hkarner - 12. August 2018

Date: 11-08-2018
Source: Foreign Affairs By Melvyn P. Leffler

Melvyn Paul Leffler (born May 31, 1945 in Brooklyn, New York)[1] is an American historian and educator, currently Edward Stettinius Professor of History at the University of Virginia.

“Europe First” and Why It Still Matters

In the last few weeks, U.S. President Donald Trump has criticized key allies, called the European Union a foe, and labeled Russia a friendly, respectable competitor. By coddling Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump seeks to appease Russia’s leader, who is not only working systematically to expand Russia’s influence around the globe but also trying to support a growing number of authoritarian leaders who spurn liberal democratic values and free market practices. Trump’s strategy for advancing U.S. greatness is an “America first” agenda: minimizing obligations to allies, treating everyone as a competitor, freeing the United States from the restrictions imposed by multilateral institutions, seeking trade advantages through bilateral negotiations, building up military power, befriending dictators if they support him, and acting unilaterally in a zero-sum framework of international politics.

„Europe First“ never meant Europe alone.

Before Trump, the bedrock of U.S. grand strategy for successive administrations, from Franklin D. Roosevelt to George H. W. Bush, was “Europe First.” “Europe First” meant seeking democratic allies in key areas of the globe, especially across the Atlantic; embracing multilateral institutions; and thwarting efforts of adversaries to gain control of the preponderant natural resources, industrial infrastructure, and skilled labor of Europe and Asia. It never meant Europe alone. The strategy was the means through which policymakers sought to safeguard democratic capitalism and serve the most vital interests and values of the United States—abroad, but especially at home. Of all the pillars of U.S. foreign policy that Trump has jeopardized since taking office, his abandonment of the “Europe First” strategy stands to be the greatest loss. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Trump’s Victorious Retreats

Posted by hkarner - 10. August 2018

Anatole Kaletsky is Chief Economist and Co-Chairman of Gavekal Dragonomics. A former columnist at the Times of London, the International New York Times and the Financial Times, he is the author of Capitalism 4.0, The Birth of a New Economy, which anticipated many of the post-crisis transformations of the global economy. His 1985 book, Costs of Default, became an influential primer for Latin American and Asian governments negotiating debt defaults and restructurings with banks and the IMF.

Why does US President Donald Trump keep making empty threats against other countries? While his detractors think he is simply a braggart, a fool, and an ignoramus, there could be a less unflattering, though equally depressing, explanation.

LONDON – Will Donald Trump back down in his trade war with China, or will he win it? The answer is probably both. Trump’s characteristic sequence of blood-curdling threats – “fire and fury,” “squeeze Iran’s exports to zero,” “tariffs on everything Chinese,” “consequences the likes of which few have ever suffered” – followed by a handshake, a hug, and a sudden outbreak of mutual understanding, is now a clearly established pattern.

The most dramatic example was Trump’s abandonment of any genuine effort to remove nuclear weapons from North Korea. More recently, there was Trump’s suspension of tariff threats against the European Union after his love-in with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, the offer of a US-Iran summit “with no preconditions,” and then signals that escalation of tariff threats against China is actually a device to reopen negotiations. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Step 1: Smash the World Order. Step 2?

Posted by hkarner - 9. August 2018

Date: 08-08-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal By William A. Galston

Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a carpenter to build one.’
President Donald Trump with German Chancellor Angela Merkel .

The late House Speaker Sam Rayburn, a connoisseur of the art of the possible, often said “Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a carpenter to build one.”

In foreign affairs thus far, President Trump’s deconstructive prowess has been much in evidence. Mr. Trump has withdrawn the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Iran nuclear agreement while challenging the basis of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. He sidelined negotiations for a trade deal with the European Union, withdrew from the Paris climate accord, threatened to pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and began a trade war with China. His decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem ended, perhaps permanently, America’s longstanding role as broker between Israel and the Palestinians. Two astonishing summits—with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and Russia’s Vladimir Putin —upended decades of American diplomacy.

For 70 years, America’s role in the world was clear: We would use treaties and multilateral institutions to defend our friends, deter our foes and promote peace, prosperity and democracy around the world. We believed that the strength of our allies strengthened us as well. We made many mistakes and a handful of grave errors, but at least we knew what we stood for, and so did everyone else. No longer. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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White House of Lies

Posted by hkarner - 8. August 2018

Joseph S. Nye, Jr., a former US assistant secretary of defense and chairman of the US National Intelligence Council, is University Professor at Harvard University. He is the author of Is the American Century Over?

US President Donald Trump’s supporters justify his mendacity on the grounds that “all politicians lie,” and a little introspection leads us to admit that all humans do. But the amount and type of lying make a difference.

CAMBRIDGE – By June 1 of this year, US President Donald Trump had made 3,259 false or misleading claims, according to The Washington Post Fact Checker’s database, which tracks and categorizes every suspect statement uttered by the president. That’s an average of more than 6.5 false claims a day, up from a daily average of 4.9 untrue claims in his first 100 days, and reaching eight per day in May. Trump is clearly going for a record.

Trump’s supporters justify his mendacity on the grounds that “all politicians lie.” Indeed they do, and a little introspection leads us to admit that all humans lie. But the amount and type of lying make a difference. Too many lies debases the currency of trust. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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A Team Comfortable With Letting Trump Be Trump

Posted by hkarner - 8. August 2018

Date: 07-08-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Four top White House advisers come from different backgrounds, but have one thing in common: They are contemporaries of the president

It’s fair to say that the most important people around President Trump these days are his White House chief of staff John Kelly, his national security adviser John Bolton, his economic council chief Larry Kudlow and his outside legal counsel, Rudy Giuliani.

Those four top advisers come from quite different backgrounds, but here’s one thing they have in common: They are contemporaries of the 72-year-old president. The ages of Messrs. Kelly, Bolton, Kudlow and Giuliani are 68, 69, 70 and 74, respectively.

The point here isn’t so much the ages of these men atop the Trump world, but rather how they collectively represent a significant change in how the White House is staffed and run. The model isn’t merely different from the one Mr. Trump started with; it’s radically different from the previous norm.

These aren’t young people on the rise, as is often the case with White House advisers, but rather veterans near the end of their career arcs. More important, they are content not to try to maneuver Mr. Trump so much as to follow his impulses—even if those impulses are at odds with their own positions.
Mr. Bolton is defending policies on Russia and North Korea that seem in conflict with his long-held positions; Mr. Kudlow is doing the same on tariffs and trade. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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No to Academic Normalization of Trump

Posted by hkarner - 8. August 2018

Dani Rodrik is Professor of International Political Economy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is the author of The Globalization Paradox: Democracy and the Future of the World Economy, Economics Rules: The Rights and Wrongs of the Dismal Science, and, most recently, Straight Talk on Trade: Ideas for a Sane World Economy.

Those who have served the current US president are necessarily tainted by the experience. While they should not be barred from speaking at universities, they should be accorded none of the trappings of institutional esteem such as fellowships, named lectures, and keynote speeches.

CAMBRIDGE – The University of Virginia recently faced a storm of protest after its Miller Center of Public Affairs appointed President Donald Trump’s former Director of Legislative Affairs, Marc Short, to a one-year position as Senior Fellow. Two faculty members severed ties with the center, and a petition to reverse the decision has gathered nearly 4,000 signatures. A similar protest erupted at my home institution last year, when Corey Lewandowski, a one-time campaign manager for Trump, was appointed a fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Europe’s Trade Coup

Posted by hkarner - 8. August 2018

Daniel Gros is Director of the Brussels-based Center for European Policy Studies. He has worked for the International Monetary Fund, and served as an economic adviser to the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the French prime minister and finance minister. He is the editor of Economie Internationale and International Finance.

At the core of the recent US-EU trade agreement is the understanding that the two sides will “work together“ toward zero tariffs and non-tariff barriers. But the potential for a free-trade deal isn’t the point; the end to the escalation of tit-for-tat tariffs is what matters – and not just to the US and Europe.

BRUSSELS – All has gone quiet on the transatlantic trade front, with last month’s agreement between US President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker having dispelled fears of an all-out tariff war. The deal was surprising, but perhaps it shouldn’t have been.

At the core of the agreement concluded by Juncker and Trump was the understanding that the European Union and the United States will “work together toward zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods,” with no new trade barriers in the meantime. But the potential for a free-trade agreement isn’t the point; what matters is the end to the escalation of tit-for-tat measures, set in motion by Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on US imports of European steel. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Are Trump’s Policies Hurting Long-Term US Growth?

Posted by hkarner - 7. August 2018

Kenneth Rogoff, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Harvard University and recipient of the 2011 Deutsche Bank Prize in Financial Economics, was the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund from 2001 to 2003. The co-author of This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, his new book, The Curse of Cash, was released in August 2016.

When it comes to economic performance, US presidents have considerably more influence over long-term trends than over short-term fluctuations. And it is by this standard that Donald Trump’s administration should be judged.

CAMBRIDGE – President Donald Trump regularly thumps his chest and claims credit for each new uptick of the fast-growing US economy. But when it comes to economic performance, US presidents have considerably more influence over long-term trends than over short-term fluctuations.

To be sure, Trump’s tax cuts and spending hikes have provided some extra short-term stimulus. So too, apparently, have foreign buyers of US products such as soybeans, who are rushing to stock up before the tariff war fully heats up. Still, it is not easy to speed up a $20 trillion economy, even by running a budget deficit of nearly $1 trillion, as Trump’s administration is doing. In fact, short-term fluctuations in business inventories have arguably held down growth as much as other factors have temporarily propped it up. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Countries team up to save the liberal order from Donald Trump

Posted by hkarner - 4. August 2018

Date: 02-08-2018
Source: The Economist

As America retreats from global leadership, coalitions of the like-minded try to limit the damage

FOR the past four years senior officials from a group of leading democracies, calling themselves the “D10”, have quietly been meeting once or twice a year to discuss how to co-ordinate strategies to advance the liberal world order. Foreign ministry policy-planners and a few think-tank types would discuss responses to Russia, China, North Korea, Iran—but largely below the radar, so as not to be seen as a cabal of the “old West”. The idea has been to enhance co-operation among “a small number of strategically like-minded and highly capable states”, as Ash Jain, a former member of the State Department’s policy-planning staff, put it in a working paper in 2013.

But, at their next meeting, in Seoul in September, the D10 (America, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Japan, Australia and South Korea, plus the European Union) will have a new agenda item: America’s global role. Whereas the main threat to the rules-based order used to come from outside the leading democracies, some now fear it comes from within. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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