Economics

Op-Ed

Sorry, Trump, but America’s Economy Is Already Pretty Great

Author: Sebastian Mallaby
The Washington Post

President Trump asserts that the U.S. economy is a disaster and that he alone can fix it. The truth is that the U.S. economy is doing better than most Americans realize, and activist attempts to fix what ain’t broke are one of the gravest threats to it. What’s at stake is not simply that the president is vague or wrong about the facts. It’s that bad facts make for bad policy.

See more in United States; Economics

Article

Trump May Threaten a Trade War Over NAFTA, but His Options Are Limited

Author: Edward Alden
World Politics Review

When then-President Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement in a White House ceremony in December 1993, he called it “a defining moment” for the United States and praised Mexico and Canada as “our partners in the future that we are trying to make together.” All three countries had made what then seemed like an irreversible decision to marry their economic futures. Yet today, less than a quarter-century later, those bonds are badly fraying.

See more in Americas; Trade

Article

Of Debt and Detriment

Authors: Benn Steil and Emma Smith
Weekly Standard

Benn Steil and Emma Smith show how China mirrors the U.S. “exorbitant privilege” from minting the world’s primary reserve currency. While the United States is deeply indebted to the rest of the world, it still earns far more abroad than it pays out. China, in contrast, has become the world’s largest creditor while paying foreigners far more than it receives. Steil and Smith argue that China is making itself vulnerable to financial crisis by massively subsidizing its geostrategic objectives.

See more in China; United States; Economics

Op-Ed

Trump’s Manufacturing Tactics Could Backfire

Author: Edward Alden
Journal Sentinel

Donald Trump came to Washington determined to shake up America’s economic relations with the world, to pursue what he has unapologetically called an “America first” strategy “to benefit American workers and American families." At the heart of that strategy is restoring manufacturing to its former glory, writes Edward Alden. 

See more in United States; Manufacturing

News Release

Washington Must Rebuild Trust With Silicon Valley to Meet Cyber Threats, Argues Segal in New Report

Cyber threats are escalating in sophistication and magnitude, but mistrust between Washington and Silicon Valley continues to stymie progress on cybersecurity. In a new Council Special Report, Adam Segal examines the security risks exacerbated by the divide between government and the technology community and offers policy recommendations to help restore trust.

See more in United States; Russia and Central Asia; Cybersecurity; Business and Foreign Policy

Article

Why Argentina’s Macri Could Have a Rockier Year in 2017

Author: Shannon K. O'Neil
Fortune.com

Argentine President Mauricio Macri and his team can take a bow for their first year in office. Despite Macri’s outsider status and his party’s limited influence in the Congress, he in short order took on the country’s biggest economic distortions—unifying the exchange rate, resolving the fight with international creditors, cutting energy subsidies, reestablishing credible statistics, and eliminating a whole host of tariffs, quotas, and export licenses.

See more in Argentina; Presidents and Chiefs of State; Economics

Article

Trump Says Europe Is in Trouble. He Has a Point.

Author: Sebastian Mallaby
The Washington Post

Germany’s foreign minister reports “astonishment and agitation.” The French president protests indignantly about unsolicited “outside advice .” Even Secretary of State John F. Kerry sees behavior that is “inappropriate.” President-elect Donald Trump’s weekend interview, in which he casually predicted the breakup of the European Union, has certainly attracted attention.

See more in Europe; Politics and Strategy; Economics

Article

Three Hard Questions for Rex Tillerson About Russia Sanctions

Author: Stephen Sestanovich
Wall Street Journal

When Rex Tillerson, Exxon Mobil Corp.’s longtime chief executive and now Donald Trump’s choice to be secretary of state, appears before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday, he will get a lot of questions about his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. If senators want a better conversation with Mr. Tillerson, they should get him to acknowledge—or dispute—the basic facts of Russian-American relations. Stephen Sestanovich presents three questions aimed at getting Tillerson to admit how much sanctions have accomplished. 

See more in Russian Federation; Sanctions; Politics and Strategy

Other Report

Global Economics Monthly January 2017

Author: Robert Kahn

Steven A. Tananbaum Senior Fellow for International Economics Robert Kahn writes that markets showed impressive resilience in the face of a range of geopolitical shocks in 2016, but recent market moves suggest this year could be different. A greater range of possible, if unlikely, political challenges, as well as U.S. monetary policy normalization, could bring a crisis back to the fore. 

See more in Global; Economics