Benn Steil’s latest op-ed in The Weekly Standard examines Paul Krugman’s continuing calls for fiscal stimulus, as well as his defense of government wage intervention and mercantilism. These have all been grounded in the assertion that the United States is in a “liquidity trap,” in which monetary policy is ineffective. Steil explains why the theory of liquidity traps is logically inapplicable when the central bank’s policy rate is positive, as it has been in the United States since December, and concludes that it operates as a fig leaf behind which to advocate policies with less scientific rationales.
On April 5, 2009, President Obama gave a speech in Prague, calling nuclear terrorism "the most immediate and extreme threat to global security," and hosted the first Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) in Washington, DC in April 2010. Additional summits took place in Seoul in 2012, in the Hague in 2014, and the final session in Washington in 2016. The summit aims to secure nuclear material and encourage collaboration between countries to eliminate nuclear weapons. Additional documents are available on the State Department website. Countries report on their progress in securing their nuclear materials.
In testimony before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, Elizabeth Economy discussed the economic components of the “rebalance to Asia” and its prospects going forward. She recommended that the U.S. Congress ratify TPP, continue to support the Ex-Im Bank, and increase support for NGO operations across the Asia-Pacific in fields such as legal education and anti-corruption that help promote good economic governance. She also called for greater coordination between commercial diplomacy and strategic economic plans and greater support for the proposed U.S. New Silk Road initiative.
Benn Steil’s op-ed in the March 30 edition of the Wall Street Journal, co-authored with Emma Smith, looks at presidential campaign charges that China is engaged in “currency manipulation” to boost net exports. They show that the aims of China’s pegged exchange rate regime have varied over the past two decades, and have not always been mercantilist. In recent months, with capital flowing out of China at a prodigious rate, its interventions have been to keep its currency up—not down. Launching a trade war with China over currency management, as Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders intend, would therefore be nonsensical—as well as damaging to U.S. interests.
For over six decades, the United States and Pakistan have suffered through a tormented and often tumultuous relationship, one defined at its apex by wartime alliance and at its nadir by stiff U.S. sanctions. In many ways, the period since 9/11 has mirrored that longer history, with expectations inflated and dashed, overblown rhetoric, and in the end, more frustration than satisfaction.
President Barack Obama traveled to Cuba March 20-22, 2016, the first time a sitting U.S. president has traveled to Cuba since 1928. The trip is part of the normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba that began in December 2014. President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro held a joint press conference and discussed the opening of a U.S. embassy in Cuba, trade relations, and human rights.
The entire world was surprised when, at the end of September 2015, Vladimir Putin suddenly started moving Russian aircraft, tanks and troops into Syria. At the time, President Obama predicted the Russian intervention would fail.
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