ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 16/01/2018

ECFR — Jonathan Hackenbroich & Jeremy Shapiro / Opportunities amid disorder: Europe and the world in 2018

  • The liberal world order staged something of a comeback in 2017. Yet despite suffering several election defeats in the year, anti-system parties gained momentum in a variety of countries.
  • The global economic picture seems set to improve dramatically in the next year. Nonetheless, a good year of growth will not dampen great-power competition or increase security or stability in the Middle East.
  • Two key issues will signal the direction of US policy under the Trump administration: the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes. The United States will need to work closely with allies to contain the North Korean threat.
  • Europeans can work with Beijing to protect international institutions when necessary and possible. But they should have no illusions: they will also have to adopt a more realistic and political approach to China.
  • Europe has a chance in 2018 to reverse the trend of it falling behind in digital technologies – the area in which economic growth, security, and the preservation of democracy will take shape.

South China Morning Post — Wendy Wu / Xi Jinping calls on Donald Trump to revive economic dialogue programme

  • In a phone call, Chinese President Xi Jinping asked his US counterpart Donald Trump to resume a suspended dialogue programme aimed at improving economic ties between the two nations.
  • The Comprehensive Economic Dialogue was one of four mechanisms set up to improve bilateral ties and resolve disputes, but it was shelved by Washington.
  • On Friday, China reported its largest ever trade surplus with the United States in 2017 – contrary to Trump’s goal to narrow the US trade deficit with China.
  • Xi told Trump that both countries should take “constructive measures” to open their markets to each other and “broaden cooperation”.

Financial Times — Ed Crooks / Gas and oil producers among hardest hit by US tax reforms

  • The overhaul of the US tax system approved before Christmas cut the main rate for corporations sharply, but will still mean higher bills for some businesses because it sets limits on deductions for interest payments. The new law will thus put pressure on heavily indebted companies.
  • Companies in industries including oil and gas, coal mining, casinos and trucking are among those likely to be most affected, according to Greensill Capital.
  • Oil prices have risen since 2016, boosting earnings, so the impact of the new rules might be smaller in practice than some calculations suggest.

Politico – Carmen Paun / Romanian PM resigns

  • After losing the support of his Social Democrat party (PSD), Mihai Tudose is to become the second PM in a year to be forced out in Romania.
  • Tudose took over in June 2017, after his predecessor Sorin Grindeanu was ousted by the PSD and its junior coalition partner ALDE.
  • The deputy prime minister, Paul Stănescu, will become interim prime minister today.
  • PSD and ALDE will now have to nominate a new prime minister, with the choice needing the approval of Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.

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

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