American Institutions Are Holding Up—But Are Americans? Democratic publics can make mistakes, but if they fail to correct those mistakes, they are in deep trouble -Politico

America, the Forever Has-Been Predictions of America’s inevitable decline are like repertory theater, put on stage once every decade since the 1950s. For all his arrogance and nastiness, Donald Trump may flummox the doomsayers again -The American Interest

2018 MIDTERMS Politico predicts ... -Politico

HILL WATCH Miscellaneous Tariff Bill Act of 2018 This bill amends the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS) to: (1) repeal expired reductions in rates of duty for specified chemicals and other items; and (2) provide for duty suspensions and reductions through December 31, 2020, for specified chemicals and other items. The bill amends the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 to extend through April 22, 2026, (currently, January 14, 2026) the authority of the Department of the Treasury to collect certain customs user fees.

S.3406 - A bill to express United States support for Taiwan's diplomatic alliances around the world.

U.S., Canada square off on NAFTA as leaders dig in Senior U.S. and Canadian officials resumed NAFTA talks on Wednesday with the aim of wrapping up by the end of the month, even as their leaders this week reasserted that any compromise would be hard-earned. -Politico

Brazil Presidential Candidate Jair Bolsonaro Is Stabbed -NYT



U.S. Businesses Make Last-Ditch Push to Avoid Planned Tariffs On Thursday, Cisco, Hewlett-Packard and other technology companies sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer urging the administration to avoid imposing more tariffs. By increasing duties on telecommunications networking gear, the administration would raise the cost of accessing the Internet and slow the roll-out of next-generation wireless technologies, the companies said. -Bloomberg

Everybody Wants to Take a Bite Out of Big Tech Political scrutiny is coming from so many fronts that it seems impossible for the internet superpowers to mold the outcomes to suit their interests. -Bloomberg

Jack Dorsey survived his grueling day in D.C. A capsule review of tech’s visit to Washington: The Senate seemed serious, the House did not, and Republicans aren’t done complaining about bias. In theory, this was a chance for Congress to talk to/grill top execs from Facebook and Twitter about how to fix or help their platforms. In reality, it was a show, as all Congressional hearings are. If lawmakers are really going to regulate Big Tech, the important stuff isn’t going to happen in public. -Recode

Apple to provide online tool for police to request data: letter -Reuters

U.S. indicts North Korean national for Sony hack, massive cyberattacks U.S. prosecutors unsealed charges today against a North Korean national who they say helped orchestrate the 2014 Sony Pictures hack at the behest of Pyongyang officials. -Politico 

U.S. and India, Wary of China, Agree to Strengthen Military Ties The United States and India signed an agreement Thursday to pave the way for New Delhi to buy advanced American weaponry and to share sensitive military technology, strengthening their military partnership as both powers warily eye the rise of China. -NYT

Chamber of Commerce calls for Congress to block state privacy laws -The Hill


How the U.S. Has Weaponized the Dollar The currency’s “exorbitant privilege” gives the nation extraordinary leverage. -Bloomberg

Brazil May See Negative Impact from U.S.-China Trade War The low volume of manufactured goods exported by Brazil will not allow the country to take advantage of the Chinese goods surcharge by the U.S. government. -The Rio Times

This Time Is Different? For Argentina and IMF, It Had Better Be That’s why the stakes are so high –- for both sides –- as Argentina resumes the role of IMF borrower after almost two decades. And already there are signs that the current $50 billion bailout is getting blown off course. -Bloomberg

Chile central bank chief expects interest rate rise in next few months Chile’s central bank expects to raise interest rates soon, though an economic shock from China or a lasting decline in copper prices could mean rates staying on hold for longer, governor Mario Marcel said on Friday. -Reuters