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Posts Tagged ‘USA’

The Sources of Chinese Conduct

Posted by hkarner - 24. August 2019

Date: 22-08-2019
Source: Foreign Affairs by Odd Arne Westad

Are Washington and Beijing Fighting a New Cold War?

In February 1946, as the Cold War was coming into being, George Kennan, the chargé d’affaires at the U.S. embassy in Moscow, sent the State Department a 5,000-word cable in which he tried to explain Soviet behavior and outline a response to it. A year later, the text of his famous “Long Telegram” was expanded into a Foreign Affairs article, “The Sources of Soviet Conduct.” Writing under the byline “X,” Kennan argued that the Soviets’ Marxist-Leninist ideology was for real and that this worldview, plus a deep sense of insecurity, was what drove Soviet expansionism. But this didn’t mean that outright confrontation was inevitable, he pointed out, since “the Kremlin has no compunction about retreating in the face of superior force.” What the United States had to do to ensure its own long-term security, then, was contain the Soviet threat. If it did, then Soviet power would ultimately crumble. Containment, in other words, was both necessary and sufficient.

Kennan’s message became the canonical text for those who tried to understand the conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union. Always controversial and often revised (not least by the author himself), the containment strategy that Kennan laid out would define U.S. policy until the end of the Cold War. And as Kennan predicted, when the end did come, it came not just because of the strength and steadfastness of the United States and its allies but even more because of weaknesses and contradictions in the Soviet system itself. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Manufacturers Want to Quit China for Vietnam. They’re Finding It Impossible.

Posted by hkarner - 23. August 2019

Date: 21-08-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Global companies are rushing to seek alternative bases, only to find even promising countries like Vietnam don’t match up

Vo Quoc Thanh and Nguyen The Do, engineers from Omnidex Manufacturing Vietnam, monitor production at a partner factory in Binh Duong Province, Vietnam.

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam—With the U.S. and China tangled in a nasty trade fight, this should be Vietnam’s time to shine. Instead, it is becoming increasingly clear that it will be years, if ever, before this Southeast Asian nation and other aspiring manufacturing destinations are ready to replace China as the world’s factory floor.

The specialized supply chains that made China a production powerhouse for smartphones and aluminum ladders and vacuum cleaners and dining tables are nowhere near as developed in Vietnam. Factories with U.S.-focused safety certifications and capital-intensive machinery aren’t as easy to find.

And Vietnam, with less than one-tenth China’s population, is already running into labor shortages as global manufacturers rush to set up shop here to avoid U.S. tariffs.

“China has a 15-year head start—whatever you want, someone’s doing it,” said Wing Xu, the operations director for Omnidex Group, which helps make large pumps for Pennsylvania-based industrial equipment manufacturer McLanahan Corp.

Omnidex has shifted some production to Vietnam, but out of more than 80 parts of a pump used in mining operations, factories here have been able to begin work on only 20 so far because molds must be created from scratch.

“You can’t just shift your business to Vietnam and expect to find what you’re looking for,” she said. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Trump Says Jews Who Vote for Democrats Show Ignorance, Disloyalty

Posted by hkarner - 22. August 2019

Date: 21-08-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Jewish voters have long leaned heavily Democratic, with 71% voting for Hillary Clinton in 2016

WASHINGTON—President Trump on Tuesday questioned how Jewish Americans could vote for Democratic candidates, as he stepped up criticism of a pair of Democratic congresswomen who have been critical of Israel.

“I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty,” the president said in the Oval Office during a stream of comments about Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.), the first two Muslim women members of Congress who were last week barred from entering Israel. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Taming the Currency Hype

Posted by hkarner - 22. August 2019

By Gustavo Adler, Luis Cubeddu, and Gita Gopinath

Escalating trade tensions are taking a toll on the global economy and are partly responsible for the recent downward revisions to our growth forecasts for 2019-20.

Facing sluggish growth and below-target inflation, many advanced and emerging market economies have appropriately eased monetary policy, yet this has prompted concerns over so-called beggar-thy-neighbor policies and fears of a currency war. In this blog post, we discuss the implications of recent policy actions and proposals and offer alternative ways to address concerns over trade imbalances that are much more supportive of global growth.

Higher bilateral tariffs are unlikely to reduce aggregate trade imbalances.

Exchange rates can’t do it all

Monetary easing can help stimulate domestic demand, which in turn benefits other countries by increasing demand for their goods. The concern, however, is that monetary easing also weakens a country’s exchange rate, making exports more competitive and reducing demand for other countries’ imports as they become more expensive—a phenomenon known as expenditure switching. With conventional monetary space limited for some advanced economies, this currency channel of monetary easing has received considerable attention. But one should not put too much stock in the view that easing monetary policy can weaken a country’s currency enough to bring a lasting improvement in its trade balance through expenditure switching. Monetary policy alone is unlikely to induce the large and persistent devaluations that are needed to bring that result. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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White House is Occupied by a VERY SICK President

Posted by hkarner - 22. August 2019

Date: 21-08-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Subject: White House Cancels Trump’s Visit to Denmark After Greenland Flap

President cites Danish leader’s unwillingness to discuss purchase of Greenland as reason

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said purchasing Greenland was ‘an absurd discussion,’ though she said a closer relationship with the U.S. was welcome.

WASHINGTON—The White House on Tuesday canceled the president’s planned visit to Denmark after the prime minister said she wouldn’t entertain President Trump ’s proposal to purchase Greenland from the Scandinavian nation.

“Denmark is a very special country with incredible people, but based on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen ’s comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting scheduled in two weeks for another time,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Data-Center Market Is Booming Amid Shift to Cloud

Posted by hkarner - 22. August 2019

Date: 21-08-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Sector is seeing more deals as data-center landlords and cloud providers seek more facilities

An Equinix data center near Paris. The company is one of the world’s biggest data-center landlords.

Data centers are hot properties, even as many businesses are shedding them to shift their information-technology operations online, to the cloud.

The warehouse-sized facilities that house racks of servers and other hardware can be costly and inefficient to manage. But some are being snapped up by data-center landlords, known as co-location service providers, which lease space in the facilities to cloud services offered by Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft Corp. and other tech companies. The rapid growth of cloud computing is heating up competition for new and used facilities and driving consolidation among data-center operators. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Trump Is Losing the Trade War With China

Posted by hkarner - 21. August 2019

Date: 20-08-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal By Jason Furman

The markets doubt tariffs will bring about any major concessions. The U.S. needs a multilateral approach.

President Trump’s China strategy is failing. His tougher approach has yielded no meaningful Chinese concessions but is increasingly damaging the U.S. economy. Today China is more integrated with the rest of the world while the U.S. is more isolated. To combat China’s unfair, statist economic practices effectively, the U.S. must change its approach, enlisting allies and international institutions to advance a more focused set of demands.

Tariffs on China have caused clear harm to the U.S. economy in the short run. In the second quarter of this year they contributed to the decline in business fixed investment, and they’re likely subtracting about half a percentage point from growth in gross domestic product this year. This isn’t necessarily an indictment of Mr. Trump’s policy. When workers go on strike, they do so knowing they will lose wages in the short run, but they expect to recoup those losses through larger long-run wage increases. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Our Caesar Can the country come back from Trump?

Posted by hkarner - 19. August 2019

Date: 18-08-2019
Source: New York Magazine By Andrew Sullivan

The Republic already looks like Rome in ruins.

Four years after Donald Trump emerged as the most nakedly authoritarian candidate in American history, it’s tempting to view the threat he once seemed to pose as overblown. Upon his election, some panicked that he would be a proto-dictator, trampling every democratic institution in the fascist manner imported from Mussolini’s Italy and Hitler’s Germany. Others saw merely a malign, illiberal incompetent who would probably amount to nothing too threatening — or believed that America’s democratic institutions and strong Constitution would surely survive Trump’s strongman posturing, however menacing it appeared in the abstract. Many contended that his manifest criminality meant he would be dispatched in short order, with impeachment simply a matter of time.

It was all, unavoidably, unknown and unknowable — and so we cast around for historical analogies to guide us. Was this the 1930s, along the lines of Sinclair Lewis’s It Can’t Happen Here? Or the 19th century in Latin America, with Trump an old-school caudillo? Was he another demagogue like George Wallace or Huey Long — but in the White House?

Well, we now have a solid record of what Trump has said and done. And it fits few modern templates exactly. He is no Pinochet nor Hitler, no Nixon nor Clinton. His emergence as a cultish strongman in a constitutional democracy who believes he has Article 2 sanction to do “whatever I want” — as he boasted, just casually, last month — seems to have few precedents. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Trump’s Assault on the Global Trading System

Posted by hkarner - 17. August 2019

Date: 16-08-2019
Source: Foreign Affairs By Chad P. Bown And Douglas A. Irwin

And Why Decoupling From China Will Change Everything 

Donald Trump has been true to his word. After excoriating free trade while campaigning for the U.S. presidency, he has made economic nationalism a centerpiece of his agenda in office. His administration has pulled out of some trade deals, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and renegotiated others, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement. Many of Trump’s actions, such as the tariffs he has imposed on steel and aluminum, amount to overt protectionism and have hurt the U.S. economy. Others have had less obvious, but no less damaging, effects. By flouting international trade rules, the administration has diminished the country’s standing in the world and led other governments to consider using the same tools to limit trade arbitrarily. It has taken deliberate steps to weaken the World Trade Organization (WTO)—some of which will permanently damage the multilateral trading system. And in its boldest move, it is trying to use trade policy to decouple the U.S. and Chinese economies. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Warning Signs Point to a Global Slowdown

Posted by hkarner - 16. August 2019

Date: 15-08-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Weakness in Germany, China, puts pressure on record U.S. expansion as recession risks rise; U.S. stocks tumble

Warning signs pointing to a deepening global economic slowdown—and the risk of recession—are flashing more brightly.

Many of the biggest troubles are showing up overseas. But stock and bond markets are signaling that the threat of a downturn is spreading to the U.S., the world’s largest economy, now in its longest expansion on record.

Economic output in Germany, the world’s fourth-largest economy, contracted in the second quarter, according to a report Wednesday, while a report on factory output in China, the second-largest economy, came in lower than expected.

“It’s almost like we’re starting to see a textbook version of a pre-recessionary period,” Nicholas Akins, chief executive of Ohio-based American Electric Power Co. , said in an interview Wednesday. The company provides electricity to industrial, commercial and residential customers in 11 states. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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