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September 10, 2019

United States
Space Exploration and U.S. Competitiveness

U.S. space exploration inspired a generation of students and innovators, but NASA’s role has diminished, and the number of global space competitors is growing.

Space Launch

July 10, 2019

Trade
Mercosur: South America’s Fractious Trade Bloc

Political shifts and economic challenges in Latin America could either boost the region’s largest trade bloc or lead to its obsolescence.

A truck driver waits to unload his cargo of cereal grain at a rail terminal in Alto Araguaia, Brazil.

June 25, 2019

China
The China–North Korea Relationship

China is North Korea’s biggest trade partner and has leverage over Kim Jong-un’s regime, yet its policies focus more on border stability than nuclear threat.

Xi Jinping and Kim Jong-un wear black suits, stand out the sunroof of a car, and wave to people in Pyongyang, North Korea.

May 16, 2019

Trade
The Truth About Tariffs

Tariffs have been applied over the years to protect homegrown industries and target competitors who are seen as using unfair trade practices. They impose costs on both importers and exporters and had been in decline until the recent U.S.-China trade war.

A steelworker tests a sample of steel at an Indiana mill in March 2018.

May 1, 2019

Energy and Climate Policy
Envisioning a Green New Deal: A Global Comparison

The Green New Deal has motivated those who want the United States to undertake unprecedented climate action, but it has also drawn backlash. How is the rest of the world grappling with decarbonizatio…

Monika Skolimowska/picture alliance via Getty Images

April 29, 2019

Sub-Saharan Africa
Africa’s ‘Leaders for Life’

Sub-Saharan Africa is home to many of the world’s longest-ruling heads of state, but civil society and regional blocs may be slowing the trend of extending presidential terms in some areas.

A taxi passes an electoral poster for Cameroonian President Paul Biya in a market in Yaounde.

April 9, 2019

International Organizations
The World Bank Group’s Role in Global Development

Since its founding in 1944, the World Bank has evolved from a lender focused on European reconstruction to the preeminent international institution for economic development and poverty reduction.

KM Asad/NurPhoto via Getty Images

December 2, 2008

United States
Robert M. Gates, Defense Secretary

Robert M. Gates, a Cold War veteran selected to remain as defense secretary, has won bipartisan praise for his pragmatism and handling of the Pentagon amid two wars.  

March 8, 2019

United States
The U.S. Trade Deficit: How Much Does It Matter?

President Trump has made reducing the U.S. trade deficit a priority, blaming trade deals like NAFTA, but economists disagree over how policymakers should respond.

Chinese steel factory

February 16, 2005

Iraq
IRAQ: Editorial Briefing with Robert C. Orr

This publication is now archived. Robert C. OrrRobert C. Orr the director of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Washington program, was a member of a five-person team sent, at the U.S. government’s re…