Journal of Political Risk, Vol. 8, No. 5, May 2020
A rear view of a businessman as he tries to sort out the mess of geopolitical events. Source: Pexels.
William R. Hawkins Former U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee
In the public mind, the outsourcing of jobs to China, which built the conveyer belt that carried Covid-19 from Wuhan to the world, was the fault of soulless transnational corporations. Greedy business tycoons were willing to deal with anyone in the pursuit of profit, regardless of larger consequences (of which the current pandemic is not the most dire). What cannot be overlooked, however, is that these private actors were given moral cover by intellectuals who assured them that they were fulfilling a higher purpose by spreading liberal values and promoting peace in a new era of globalization. Continue reading →
Journal of Political Risk, Vol. 7, No. 3, March 2019
The aircraft carriers USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), top, and USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) transit the Arabian Sea. Source: U.S. Navy via Flickr.
William R. Hawkins International Economics and National Security Consultant
President Donald Trump’s trade reform campaign is not meant only to redress the massive deficit with the People’s Republic of China ($419 billion in goods last year, a net figure of how much American money is supporting jobs and production in China rather than at home). His policies have been rooted in national security concerns with a focus on the dangerous transfer of capital and technology that has empowered Beijing’s military buildup and aggressive behavior along the Pacific Rim and beyond. There is concern that the momentum of his efforts is slowing. He delayed elevating tariffs on Chinese goods from 10% to 25% on March 1st to give negotiations more time to reach a deal. But the PRC regime will never curb its pursuit of the wealth and capabilities it needs to replace the U.S. as the world’s preeminent power. It is a long-term economic contest between rivals for the highest of stakes imaginable.
Journal of Political Risk, Vol. 7, No. 9, September 2018
A PLAN Shenyang J-15 carrier-based fighter aircraft is preparing to land on Chinese aircraft carrier PLANS Liaoning (CV-16). Source: Wikimedia Commons.
William R. Hawkins
International Economics and National Security Consultant
The Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has announced it will file a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) against the U.S. imposition of 25% tariffs on $16 billion worth of Chinese goods in August. This was the second tranche of tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump as the result of the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) “findings of its exhaustive Section 301 investigation that found China’s acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation are unreasonable and discriminatory and burden U.S. commerce.” This second tranche brought the total of Chinese imports subject to higher duties to $50 billion, as announced in June. Beijing’s response was given by the state-owned People’s Daily: “By launching the complaint under the WTO dispute settlement mechanism, China is to safeguard free trade and multilateral mechanisms as well as its legitimate rights and interests.”