Geopolitical Risk Tracker >> Americas Fridays




U.S. policy of 'strategic patience' with North Korea over: Tillerson -Reuters

The global economy enjoys a synchronised upswing The past decade has been marked by a series of false economic dawns. This time really does feel different -The Economist

Trump, Trade, and the Middle Powers Donald Trump’s presidency is posing fundamental challenges to the rule-based international trading system that has buttressed global growth for decades. But while America’s protectionist maneuverings threaten a global trading regime based on legal norms, they may also, paradoxically, help to reform it. -Project Syndicate


Six surprises in Trump's budget From increasing airline fees to greater funding for the Census, here’s what we didn’t expect. -Politico

1. Extra money for the Census Bureau

2. Increases airline fees

3. Creates a new fund for public health emergencies

4. Increased funding for removing lead-based paint

5. Increases bankruptcy filing fees

6. Increasing funding for opioid addiction

Capitol Hill Republicans not on board with Trump budget -The Washington Post

Cotton goes after Ryan agenda in battle of GOP heavyweights First on taxes and now on health care, the Arkansas senator has mercilessly attacked the well-laid plans of the House speaker. -Politico

Trump, Germany's Merkel to hold first face-to-face meeting at White House -Reuters

How Merkel can disarm Trump — and hold the line on Western values -The Washington Post

Trump's Words May Haunt Him as Travel Ban Appeal Promised A federal judge in Hawaii on Wednesday halted Trump’s new travel ban hours before it was scheduled to take effect, dealing him a major setback on one of his top policy initiatives. A Maryland judge followed hours later. -Bloomberg

An Immigration-Reform Plan for the Age of Trump If Republicans try to enact legislation that only increases enforcement of the immigration laws, he believes Democrats will block it. -Bloomberg View

America Needs an "Engage and Contain" Strategy Given China’s systematic destabilizing external behavior, the time is past for hedging. Rather, for the foreseeable future, U.S. policy should be “engage and contain.” -The National Interest

Blackwill is an astute voice on the China question

READ>> War by Other Means - Geoeconomics and Statecraft


Latin America’s Barriers to Growth Latin America is expected to emerge from recession this year. But the region should not be overly optimistic. While economic growth is rebounding, it remains below 2%, on average. And in a global environment plagued by uncertainty, the balance of risks is not tilted in Latin America’s favor. -Project Syndicate  

Brazil workers protest pension reform, disrupt transport Brazilian civil servants, rural workers and labor unions staged nationwide demonstrations on Wednesday against President Michel Temer's pension reform plan, with hundreds of protesters occupying the finance ministry in the capital Brasilia. -Reuters




The Return of Industrial Strategy Industrial policy is making a comeback in many advanced economies. Dismissed out of hand in the go-go 1980s as a contributor to the previous decade’s stagnation, it is increasingly viewed as a means to stem working-class voters’ defection to right-wing populist parties. -Project Syndicate

Speaking of industrial policy outcomes …

Ross calls ZTE fine a warning shot for trade violators Trump administration officials on Tuesday seized on a record-breaking $1.19 billion fine levied against Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE for violating sanctions and export controls on Iran and North Korea as evidence of their tough new approach. -Politico

China's Ant confident of closing MoneyGram deal: exec The proposed $880 million deal is a first major step by Ant Financial, the payment affiliate of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding, to expand its business overseas, as the firm, valued at $60 billion, sets itself up for a public offering. -Reuters

Russian Agents Were Behind Yahoo Hack, U.S. Says The Justice Department charged two Russian intelligence officers on Wednesday with directing a sweeping criminal conspiracy that stole data on 500 million Yahoo accounts in 2014 -NYT

Boeing, U.S. government sign $3.4 billion deal for AH-64E Apache helicopters Boeing Co said on Thursday it had signed a $3.4 billion contract with the U.S. government through which the U.S. Army and an international customer will buy the latest Apache attack helicopter -- the Apache 'E' variant -Reuters

Two airlines already calling it quits in Cuba -USA Today


Needed Soon From Fed: Normal Monetary Policy Monetary policy is slowly getting back to normal. With the economy growing at a steady moderate pace and inflation close to its 2 percent target, the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate by another quarter-point, to a range of 0.75 percent to 1 percent. -Bloomberg

Oil Traders Have Lots of Reasons to Be Bullish Lost in all the recent handwringing over the sudden drop in oil prices recently is one simple fact: neither the dynamics of global supply and demand, nor the economic cycle have been significantly altered. -Bloomberg

Exclusive: Venezuela's cash-strapped PDVSA offers Rosneft oil stake – sources -Reuters