The ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 26/05/2017

File:Juncker Trump Tusk Brussels 2017.jpg

Financial Times—A. Beesley, A. Barker, & D. Sevastopulo / Donald Trump fails to endorse Nato’s mutual defence pledge

  • Trump’s remarks at the opening of NATO’s new headquarters stopped well short of the public endorsement of Article 5 his European allies had expected. The omission was even more remarkable given that Trump unveiled a memorial to 9/11 and to Article 5, which was invoked for the first and only time after the 2001 attacks.
  • Thomas Wright, expert on US-Europe relations at the Brookings Institution: “[it] is a devastating blow to America’s NATO allies”.
  • Sean Spicer, White House press secretary, played down the omission, arguing that “the entire ceremony was called an Article 5 dedication”. Jens Stoltenberg, NATO secretary-general, also said that Trump was committed to the security guarantee.
  • Trump urged other NATO member states to contribute more to the organization financially. “I have been very very direct […] saying that NATO members must finally contribute their fair share and meet their financial obligations”.
  • Yesterday, Trump also had a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, which was “extremely direct and very frank”, in Macron’s words.
  • Trump had met earlier with Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, and Jean-Claude Juncker, chief of the European Commission. After the meeting, Tusk said that “I’m not 100 per cent sure [...] that we have a common opinion about Russia, although when it comes to the conflict in Ukraine it seems we were on the same line”.

POLITICO—Z. Sheftalovich / Trump calls Germans ‘bad, very bad,’ vows to curb car imports: report

  • German newspapers reported that Trump said during a meeting with EU leaders yesterday that “the Germans are bad, very bad”.
  • “See the millions of cars they are selling in the U.S. Terrible. We will stop this”, said Trump according to Der Spiegel.
  • European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker responded by supporting Germany.
  • EU officials believe their U.S. counterparts still do not understand the fact the EU negotiates trade agreements as a bloc, not on a country-by-country basis.

Project Syndicate—S. S. Roach / Rethinking the next China

  • China now appears to be changing from an adapter to a driver of globalization. President Xi’s “China Dream” is taking shape as a concrete plan of action, centered on China’s Belt and Road plan.
  • China’s economic transition is far from complete. Chinese leaders have conceded that a consumer-led growth strategy is tougher to pull off than originally thought. A porous social safety net continues to foster high levels of fear-driven precautionary saving, which is inhibiting the growth of discretionary consumption.
  • Furthermore, China’s global push has many of the features of the old producer model. Consumer-led growth has been deprioritized.
  • In short: the “Next China” is shaping up to be more outwardly focused, more assertive, and more power-centric than could be expected in 2010.

Foreign Affairs—A. M. Tabatabai / Iran after the election

  • After the Iranian elections, the battle is not over: hardliners are now seeking to oppose Rouhani more forcefully by creating a shadow government.
  • Raisi and his principalist allies, who believe in self-reliance and returning to the core values of the revolution, see the result as a source of legitimacy and political capital to push back against Rouhani’s ambitious agenda.
  • Saeed Jalili—Ahmadinejad’s chief nuclear negotiator and a presidential candidate in 2013—announced he’d be creating a shadow government. Jalili is a fringe figure in Iranian politics, but the move is consequential, as it builds on calls by principalists to make use of the large bloc of votes cast for Raisi.
  • Khamenei tends to favor stability. If the shadow government can function to limit Rouhani’s ability to move forward with his ambitious agenda without rocking the boat too much, Khamenei will likely be on board.

 The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo.

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