Trade Wars of United States Biswajit Dhar

In the past few months, President Donald Trump has authorised a series of protectionist measures, the likes of which have not been seen in the postwar decades. The first salvo was fired in early March 2018, with the imposition of tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium from all countries except its immediate neighbors, Canada and Mexico. The President of the United States (US) then turned his attention to China, announcing that relatively high tariffs would be imposed to counter, what he perceived was “unfair” trade practiced by the second largest economy. Both acts of protectionism were promptly responded to…

Has Donald Trump Already Changed US Trade? C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh

There is no doubt that President Trump is upending global trade. He has unleashed a trade war with China as well as with some of the US’ s purported allies, using grounds of “threats to national security” to impose tariffs on many US imports. The likely retaliation will obviously affect some US exports in turn. The trajectory of world trade suddenly looks quite uncertain – and this will also depress investment across the trading world. So the Trump effect on world trade is clearly just beginning. But the naked self-interest of Trump’s moves, the “America first” orientation declared by the…

The True Face of the Global Recovery C. P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh

The global economy, the soothsayers would have it, is riding the back of a recovery. Growth is seen as having consolidated in the US, picked up remarkably in Europe, and returned, after a minor blip, in China and India. Encouraged by these signs, the IMF in January estimated global growth in 2017 at 3.7 per cent, which was marginally above previous projections, and forecast growth at 3.8 per cent in 2018 and 2019. A key driver here is the effect that the Trump administration’s tax cuts and promise of increases in infrastructure spending are expected to have on demand and…

The imperial intentions of Trump’s trade war babble Andrew M. Fischer

Trump’s trade tirades are being vigorously disputed by liberal economists the world over, although the riposte is usually in defence of free trade and existing trade deals. However, many of these same economists have promulgated the underlying idea that US trade deficits are the result of some sort of disadvantage or decline. For instance, as I discussed in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, many prominent economists such as Paul Krugman argued then (and many still do now) that China’s undervalued currency gave it an unfair advantage, causing deficits and even financial bubbles in the US. Many economists on the left…

The Saudi palace coup, the oil market, China and the US Ali Kadri

Trouble has been brewing in Saudi Arabia, the jewel of the US empire, under the very eyes of the imperialists. Since circa 1980, the socially stabilising economic redistribution mechanisms, the objective pillars holding society together, were neoliberally eroded. As for the subjective grounds, or the political US-backing that the Saudi monarchy enjoys, it so happens that until about 2011, the timing of the Arab Spring, the Saudi-comprador class’ surreal social and political practice received low-key criticism. Oil_Market (Download the full text in PDF format)    

Trumping the NAFTA renegotiation: An alternative policy framework for Mexican-US cooperation and economic convergence Robert A. Blecker, Juan Carlos Moreno-Brid and Isabel Salat

NAFTA has utterly failed from a development standpoint and Mexico and US both need a new policy regime to reverse that rising inequality, secular stagnation, and regional divergences. If done with a cooperative spirit, the renegotiation of NAFTA can be a win-win for both, but a hasty US withdrawal from it would not work in favour of the average US and Mexican citizens. NAFTA_Renegotiation (Download the full text in PDF format) (This article was originally published in the World Economics Association)

Infrastructure Financing as Power Politics C.P. Chandrasekhar

Infrastructure lending may sound an innocuous political terrain of interest only to financiers. But it is proving to be the location for the play out of big power politics, involving especially the US and China. As of now, it appears to be one more battle the US will regret having fought. When the deadline for applications to be a founding member of the China-mooted Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) passed on April 1, 2015, 47 countries had expressed an interest, about 30 of whom had already been accepted. The AIIB is a multilateral development bank to be headquartered in Beijing…

The Gathering Clouds of Recession Prabhat Patnaik

The world capitalist economy has been mired in stagnation and high unemployment ever since the 2008 financial crisis. Many were predicting that a turnaround was about to occur, partly because of the fact that the U.S. economy last month showed larger job creation than of late, and also because it had grown at 3.5 percent last quarter which is higher than for some time now. But, far from recovering, the world capitalist economy now appears to be sliding into a new downturn. A recession is defined to be a situation where an economy fails to grow for two successive quarters,…

Debtors’ Crisis or Creditors’ Crisis? Who Pays for the European Sovereign and Subprime Mortgage Losses? Jan Kregel

In the context of the eurozone’s sovereign debt crisis and the US subprime mortgage crisis, this article looks at the question of how the losses ought to be distributed between borrowers and lenders in cases of debt resolution. The author points out that it is unlikely that debtors can fully bear the losses in a debt resolution. It is argued that the behavior and policy of creditors is just as important a factor to consider in assessing the situation. debtors_crisis (Download the full text in PDF format)