ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 02/07/2018

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The Guardian – Tom Phillips & David Agren / Mexico election: historic landslide victory for leftist Amlo

  • The leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador – also known as “Amlo” – was elected president of Mexico with at least 53% of the vote, according to a quick count by Mexico’s electoral commission. Voters thus rejected the only two parties to hold the presidency since the end of one-party rule in 2000.
  • Exit polls also suggested the party Amlo founded in 2014 – the Movement for National Regeneration or Morena – had won at least five of nine gubernatorial races, with the winners including Mexico City’s first elected female mayor, Claudia Sheinbaum.
  • Eric Olson, Latin America specialist from Washington’s Woodrow Wilson Centre: “Amlo is not an internationalist … we can expect him to play less of an active role in the region on Venezuela, on Nicaragua and other trouble spots.”
  • Analysts also expect Amlo to pursue a less aggressive and less militarised approach to Mexico’s 11-old “war on drugs”, which has claimed an estimated 200,000 lives.

Axios – Jonathan Swan / Exclusive: A leaked Trump bill to blow up the WTO

  • A leaked draft of a Trump administration bill — ordered by the president himself — would declare America’s abandonment of fundamental World Trade Organization rules.
  • The bill, titled the “United States Fair and Reciprocal Tariff Act,” would give Trump unilateral power to ignore the two most basic principles of the WTO and negotiate one-on-one with any country:
    • The “Most Favored Nation” principle that countries can’t set different tariff rates for different countries outside of free trade agreements;
    • “Bound tariff rates” — the tariff ceilings that each WTO country has already agreed to in previous negotiations.
    • Most officials involved in the bill’s drafting — with the notable exception of hardline trade adviser Peter Navarro — think the bill is unrealistic or unworkable.
    • White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters: “The only way this would be news is if this were actual legislation that the administration was preparing to rollout, but it’s not … Principals have not even met to review any text of legislation on reciprocal trade.”

Al-Monitor – AFP/ Iran vows to foil US bid to block oil exports

  • Iran vowed Sunday to defeat US efforts to block its oil exports and warned rival producer Saudi Arabia it would never take Tehran’s “place” on the international oil market.
  • “The (Iranian) government has a plan… and God willing we are certain that we will be able to sell as much oil as we want,” said Iran’s First Vice President Eshagh Jahangiri.
  • Jahangiri’s remarks came a day after Trump said that Saudi Arabia’s King Salman had agreed to his request to ramp up oil production.
  • “In this battle, any country that tries to take Iran’s place on the oil market will be guilty of treason against Iran… and surely one day it will pay the price of this treason,” said Jahangiri.

Politico – Mark Scott / The geopolitics of telecoms: The West vs. China in the 5G race

  • More than 600 government officials and telecoms executives agreed in June to a first round of global standards for so-called 5G telecommunications infrastructure – the next generation of mobile networks, which will come online by the end of the year.
  • The agreement turns much of the hype surrounding 5G into reality by creating a worldwide consensus about how the technology should work, from Germany to Ghana.
  • Yet one thorny issue still sticks out: China, and its efforts to dictate the next generation of global telecoms rules. Chinese companies, notably Huawei, have intensified their lobbying efforts in obscure telecoms standards groups that meet regularly to hammer out the technical details for both hardware and software.
  • But China is not yet dominating 5G. According to LexInnova, a research group that tracks the industry, Chinese companies own around 10 percent of global intellectual property for 5G as of 2017. By contrast, American company Qualcomm accounts for more than 15 percent of current 5G patents and Finland’s Nokia garnered a further 11 percent of the global total.

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces. 


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