ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 05/06/2019

Euractiv – Alexandra Brzozowski / Ukraine’s new president vows pro-Western trajectory in Brussels

  • During his first trip to Brussels, new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said that his country’s strategy of pursuing Euro-Atlantic integration remains unchanged. “The strategic course of Ukraine to achieve fully-fledged membership in the EU and NATO … is the priority of our foreign policy,” said Zelenskiy.
  • The programme of Zelenskiy’s symbolic two-day visit included talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, where he called for more pressure to be exerted on Russia, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday.
  • “We are ready to negotiate with Russia. We are ready to implement the Minsk agreements. However, we first must be able to protect ourselves,” said Zelenskiy.
  • Euractiv / Trump’s son-in law and Middle East adviser Kushner meets EU leaders

Brookings – Geoffrey Gertz / 6 things to know about Trump’s Mexico tariffs

  • On June 10th, the US is set to begin implementing a 5 percent tariff on imports from Mexico, which will gradually increase. The tariffs will remain in place “unless and until Mexico substantially stops the illegal inflow of aliens coming through its territory.”
  • Even if Trump doesn’t ultimately follow through with the tariffs, the uncertainty itself is damaging. If implemented, these tariffs will signal a significant escalation in US protectionism, and become a burden especially to US importers, given the regional value chains that exist around the US-Mexico border.
  • It is extremely difficult to imagine Mexico following through with the US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement (USMCA) while this policy is in effect. The policy is also going to be hated in the US Congress, and there’s very little chance it will approve of USMCA under these terms.
  • The more the Trump administration stretches the limits of what might plausibly be valid national security concerns into mere protectionism, the more difficult it will find it to defend legitimate national security interventions in trade policy.

The Guardian – Joseph Stiglitz / The climate crisis is our third world war. It needs a bold response.

  • Critics of the New Green Deal ask whether the US can afford it, and complain that the policy’s proponents confound the fight to preserve the planet with a more controversial agenda for societal transformation. On both accounts the critics are wrong.
  • First, the US can afford it and must afford it. The US mobilized to fight World War II, and the climate emergency should be no different. Our lives and civilization as we know it are at stake, just as they were in the second world war. We cannot afford not to act.
  • Moreover, the war on the climate emergency, if correctly waged, would actually be good for the economy – just as the second world war set the stage for America’s golden economic era.
  • The US has large amounts of under-used and inefficiently allocated resources. More inclusive labor policies, together with better education and health policies and more investment in infrastructure and technology, could lead to an increase in the productive capacity of the economy.

Foreign Policy – Stephen M. Walt / You can’t defeat nationalism, so stop trying

  • Nationalism is the most powerful force in the world. Everywhere one looks, one sees nationalism at work. Nations want their own states to ensure their survival and autonomy, while states promote nationalism to strengthen themselves and preserve their independence.
  • Nationalist narratives encourage double standards: they rationalize whatever one’s own side does while depicting similar behavior by others in the worst possible light. Americans condemn President Vladimir Putin’s Russia for its actions in Ukraine, but forget they’ve done similar things in the past.
  • Moreover, nationalism can get in the way of potential political compromises. Nationalized populations resist giving up anything that is seen as part of the country’s sacred territory. And each group will be prone to interpret prudent defensive behavior by other groups as evidence of malign intent.
  • In any case, nationalism isn’t going away. The challenge, therefore, is to acknowledge its value and limit its vices. A healthy respect for nationalism’s power would discourage powerful states from thinking they can remake the world according to their own particular designs.

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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