25 March 2018   Leave a comment

As talk of a trade war with China escalates, one should think about what products will be affected by rises in tariffs.  The Chinese import some very important products for various sectors of the US economy.  For example, it bought 26% of the airplanes that the Boeing Corporation sells abroad.  It is highly likely that the European based AirBus company would be delighted to replace those airplanes.  Similarly, China imports a huge amount of US soybeans.  Again, Brazil would easily be able to supply that amount of soybeans to the Chinese.  Losses of those exports would definitely increase the US balance of trade deficit with China unless somehow US consumers find alternatives suppliers of Chinese products.  But China is a key supplier of products largely produced in other countries–its main manufacturing function is to assemble the final shape of many electronic products.  The complicated supply chain makes it very difficult to single out “China-only” exports.


The Netherlands is no stranger to far-right politics, having endured the presence of Geert Wilders, the leader of the nativist Party for Freedom (PVV).  Wilders, however, has been eclipsed by a new far-right leader, Thierry Baudet of the Forum for Democracy (FvD),  whose party just won two seats in the elections for Amsterdam’s local elections.  Baudet is an admirer of Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump and only emerged in Dutch politics in 2017. The FvD does yet appear to be a threat to the current government of Conservative Prime Minister Mark Rutte and does not share the virulent anti-Muslim sentiment of the Party for Freedom.   Instead, it appears to be ensconced in a more traditional European conservatism that embraces 19th century values.   It is, nonetheless, a real departure from the more progressive perspectives that largely characterize Dutch society.

Thierry Baudet


Egyptians will head to the polls on Monday but there is little question that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who seized power five years ago, will be elected.  There is only one declared candidate running against Sisi, Moussa Mustafa Moussa, but Moussa has barely campaigned.   Voting is compulsory in Egypt, but we should look to the turn-out to determine the degree of dissatisfaction with the situation in Egypt. Sisi has pretty much extinguished normal democratic rights in the country which is also deeply in debt.  Since the Arab Spring of 2011 which led to the overthrow of former strongman, Hosni Mubarak, Egyptian politics have been turbulent and highly authoritarian.

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

Posted March 25, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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