3 April 2018   Leave a comment

The US has just published a list of about 1300 products imported from China on which it may impose a tariff of 25%.  The list is subject to a period of about two months of public comment before the tariffs can be imposed and one can be certain that there will be a concerted campaign by many lobbyists and consumers to both impose and block those tariffs.  The value of the products comes to about $50 billion out of the approximate $500 billion trade deficit with China.  The US and China will also have sustained negotiations about the list which may brings about substantial changes.  The products on the list were chosen by algorithms that identified intellectual properties that the US wishes to protect.


There is confusion about the status of the US troops in Syria.  President Trump has indicated that he wants the troops to be removed, arguing that ISIS has been defeated because it no longer controls territory in Syria.  But at virtually the same time, his advisers gave a different story.  According to the Washington Post:

“Just minutes earlier, the Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, Brett McGurk, stressed that the job was not finished.

“‘We are in Syria to fight ISIS. That is our mission,’ McGurk said, standing alongside U.S. Army Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of the U.S. Central Command, at the U.S. Institute of Peace. ‘Our mission is not over. And we are going to complete that mission.'”

There are about 2,000 US soldiers in Syria.  But President Trump has also frozen $200 million that was promised to help rebuild Syria.  It is impossible to tell what US policy is right now, but Russia, Turkey, and Iran are actively talking about the future of Syria.


The world is beginning to understand the dynamics of climate in Antarctica better than it has in the past.  For a long time, it did not seem as if the southern continent was affected by warming global temperatures, but that conclusion seems to be mistaken.  Most recent research indicates that some glaciers, particularly in Western Antarctica, are melting 5 times faster than predicted.   The melting is occurring on the underside of the ice as warm ocean water seeps between the land and the ice.  It is hard to determine how much “land ice” is melting since the technology to find the lines between land ice and sea ice has not been around long enough.  Land ice melting will contribute to a rise in the ocean levels, whereas sea ice does not.

Receding Glaciers in Antarctica

Posted April 3, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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