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  • Author: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Emerging challenges to international order require cooperation between the United States and China, two countries that share a common interest in preventing the world from becoming more dangerous and disorderly. U.S.-China relations are becoming more strained and antagonistic, however, and the prospects for cooperation appear to be receding. To explore whether there are still grounds for cooperation on issues of common concern between the two countries, in March 2018 the Center for Preventive Action (CPA) at the Council on Foreign Relations convened a group of fifteen experts from the United States and China for the workshop “Managing Global Disorder: Prospects for U.S.-China Cooperation.” CPA partnered with Peking University’s School of International Studies in Beijing for the workshop and also met with experts at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations in Beijing and the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies in Shanghai. During the workshop, President Donald J. Trump announced plans to impose about $60 billion in new tariffs on Chinese imports. While trade was a major topic of discussion, it was by no means the only area discussed. Workshop participants assessed conflicting views of the sources of global disorder and examined areas of global governance such as international trade, development, the environment, and the future of various multilateral institutions. They also discussed the most pressing security challenges in East and Southwest Asia. Participants highlighted the need for a greater understanding between the United States and China on the evolving international order. No major transnational problems will be solved without some cooperation between the two powers. It is therefore imperative that the two countries avoid a further deterioration of the relationship and instead identify areas of potential cooperation.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Tariffs, Social Order
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, North America
  • Author: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Despite recent turbulence in the transatlantic relationship, the United States and the European Union share a common interest in managing emerging sources of global disorder. To explore prospects for and challenges to transatlantic cooperation, the Center for Preventive Action at the Council on Foreign Relations convened an international group of twenty-three experts at the Tufts University Center in Talloires, France, on July 12–13, 2018, for the workshop “Managing Global Disorder: Prospects for Transatlantic Cooperation.” The workshop is the third in a series of meetings supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. It is premised on the belief that the United States, China, the European Union, and Russia not only share a common interest in preventing the world from becoming more dangerous and disorderly, but also that the nature and scope of this task necessitates cooperation among them. Workshop participants discussed their perceptions of the growing sources of disorder in the world, examined areas of strategic cooperation, and explored where the United States and the European Union might work together to address a variety of regional concerns emanating from Africa, China, the Middle East, and Russia. While highlighting how the two can work together to address increasing political instability and violent conflict, participants also cited the importance of the transatlantic relationship in preventing or mitigating the demise of the liberal international order.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Cooperation, European Union, Transatlantic Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, North America, Atlantic Ocean
  • Author: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: While relations between the United States and Russia have deteriorated in recent years, making it exceedingly difficult for both countries to collaborate in managing a variety of common concerns, emerging challenges to global order make such cooperation increasingly imperative. To explore where U.S.-Russia cooperation is desirable and, in some places, even necessary, the Center for Preventive Action at the Council on Foreign Relations convened an international group of twenty-three experts at the Tufts University European Center in Talloires, France, on June 9 and 10, 2017, for the workshop “Managing Global Disorder: Prospects for U.S.-Russian Cooperation.”
  • Topic: NATO, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, North America
  • Author: Anupam Chander
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Digital commerce and trade are increasingly important to the global economy. Seven of the ten most valuable firms today are technology companies (Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Alibaba, and Tencent). Data, according to some analysts, is the new oil. A major study concluded that the internet has powered some one-fifth of recent economic growth within the leading economies. Jobs are increasingly dependent on digitization; digital skills are needed for all but two job categories [PDF] in the United States: dishwashing and food cooking. Just as national economies are becoming more digitized, barriers to digital trade are being erected. These barriers limit opportunities for consumers to access global providers and for small- and medium-sized enterprises to reach new customers. It is not only technology firms that suffer; all enterprises with international operations need cross-border data flows to process, analyze, and transfer data about employees, customers, and operations. Global supply chains depend on the flow of goods, data, and services across borders. Moreover, commitment to the free flow of information across borders is essential to freedom of expression. Digital trade is about more than access to markets; it is about access to information. The renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is an excellent opportunity to set the gold standard for digital free trade. Despite public pronouncements about the harm free trade causes to the steel and automobile industries, the Donald J. Trump administration, to its credit, recognizes the importance of removing digital trade barriers in its stated objectives for the NAFTA renegotiation [PDF]. In its negotiations with Canada and Mexico, the Trump administration should seek rules limiting data localization, promote a balanced approach to intellectual property protections, support cross-border privacy rules, and remove barriers that hinder the trade of services.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Digital Economy, NAFTA
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Christopher Smart
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The recent collapse in the U.S.-Russia relationship has roots that stretch back to fundamental misunderstandings at the end of the Cold War. Western democracies have watched with dismay as tightening political controls in Russia have throttled domestic pluralism, while Moscow’s roughshod foreign policy and military tactics have driven its neighbors into submission or open hostility. Russia has bemoaned what it sees as Western arrogance and a stubborn refusal to recognize its security concerns and great-power status. Today, Russia’s annexation of Crimea, support of Syrian repression, and, above all, meddling in the U.S. presidential election have shattered any desire in Washington—at least outside the Oval Office—to search for common ground. Indeed, amid congressional logjams on nearly every issue, overwhelming bipartisan majorities passed a stiffer sanctions regime. The narrative in Moscow, meanwhile, paints a consistent picture of Washington actively rallying Europeans to expand footholds around Russia’s borders with an ultimate goal of regime change in the Kremlin itself. In spite of President Donald J. Trump’s apparent eagerness to improve relations, deepening resistance across the political spectrum makes any progress fanciful at this stage.Whether either side understands how to get relations back on track remains uncertain. What is clear is that neither side wants to. Deep-seated U.S. mistrust and an unyielding Russian government seem likely to confine the bilateral relationship to a series of sour exchanges and blustery confrontations for now. Yet one persistent weakness will ultimately limit Russia’s foreign agenda: an economy that is likely to fall increasingly behind those of its major neighbors and partners. For now, Russia has largely learned to tolerate Western economic sanctions, and its companies have found ways to live with restricted access to finance. Without reform and economic integration with the West, however, Russian influence will drift toward the margins of global diplomacy. Russia’s economy will atrophy from a combination of hyperconcentrated decision-making, continuing dependence on hydrocarbons, and persistent financial isolation. Core goals of Russia’s foreign policy will steadily recede from view, including important elements of the economic agenda with its immediate neighbors, the European Union and China. Though a snapback of oil prices would undoubtedly delay any day of reckoning, even large new inflows of petro-profits will not fundamentally close the widening gap with major partners.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, International Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, North America
  • Author: Jennifer M. Harris
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Chinese outbound investment is on the rise, and much of it is finding its way into the United States. Be- tween 2010 and 2015, China’s foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to the United States grew by an average of 32 percent annually.1 Within the past two years alone, Chinese foreign investment inflows to the United States increased four-fold, and available data suggests 2017 will see the second highest annual investment on record, after 2016.2 This is not a two-way street: the United States and other foreign investors do not enjoy similar open market access in China. China maintains a dizzying assortment of formal and informal barriers to for- eign investment—from outright restrictions and quotas to mandatory joint ventures, forced localization measures, and domestic licensing regimes. Despite years of negotiations, these barriers are, if anything, growing more cumbersome in many sectors. U.S. firms paint a darkening picture of the business climate they face in China. U.S. FDI in China has slowed considerably in recent years: after growing roughly 180 percent from 2002 to 2007 (albeit from a low baseline), U.S. FDI flows into China have declined since 2012.3 The one-way surge of Chinese investment into the United States comes against a backdrop of strategic mistrust between Washington and Beijing. Ongoing accusations of state-sponsored cyber predation of U.S. firms, Beijing’s increasing aggressiveness over territorial disputes, its systematic efforts to under- mine the U.S. alliance system in Asia, and mounting tensions over North Korea all contribute to a dark- ening mood in the U.S.-China relationship. And, like so much involving China, this investment is simply different. Rarely, if ever, has the United States seen an increase in investment of this magnitude—espe- cially from a non-ally and especially from one where the lines between state ownership and private own- ership are so inherently blurred. For all the concern surrounding Japanese investment in the United States in the 1980s—coming as it did amid fierce economic competition—those debates ultimately re- mained under the umbrella of the U.S.-Japan military alliance. All of this raises questions about whether the United States needs to tighten its stance on Chinese in- bound investment; proposals to that effect have bipartisan support in the Congress. The Donald J. Trump administration has signaled its desire for a tougher approach in its economic dealings with China, which U.S. businesses seem to welcome. One foundation for such an approach is the principle of reciprocity. Roughly two dozen sectors in China—construction, mining, banking, insurance, and so on—remain effectively off-limits to American investment, because the Chinese government protects its domestic companies through regulations and financial subsidies. Even in sectors that technically allow foreign investment, discriminatory industrial policies tilt the playing field in favor of Chinese firms. Until this changes, Washington would be justi- fied—even obligated—to limit Chinese investment in the U.S. market. However, U.S. policymakers do not have a consensus on what a policy of reciprocity would entail, and different policy interpretations could spell quite different economic and foreign policy consequences for the United States. The United States should aim for a version of reciprocity that allows it the flexibility to maximize pressure on the broad range of Chinese industrial policy concerns while leaving a clear route to negotiations. The United States should also encourage European and other Western countries, many of which are seeing similar increases in Chinese investment, to adopt this new approach.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, North America
  • Author: Mike Mullen, Sam Nunn, Adam Mount
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: A new Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Independent Task Force report, A Sharper Choice on North Korea: Engaging China for a Stable Northeast Asia, finds that the United States’ policy of “strategic patience” with North Korea will neither halt that country’s recurring and dangerous cycle of provocation nor ensure the stability of Northeast Asia in the future. To the contrary, the Task Force warns, “If allowed to continue, current trends will predictably, progressively, and gravely threaten U.S. national security interests and those of its allies.” Asserting that “China’s policy toward the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] will critically affect the fate of the region,” the Task Force urges U.S. officials to encourage China to work with the United States, Japan and South Korea to establish a nonnuclear and unified Korean Peninsula. “Encouraging a transformation of China’s policy toward North Korea should be the next administration’s top priority in its relations with China,” says the report. “If China, the United States, and U.S. allies can work together to pressure North Korea to abandon its nuclear program and mitigate its threatening military posture,” the Task Force contends, “a stable, prosperous Northeast Asia led by China and U.S. allies can emerge.” To the extent that China declines to cooperate and North Korea continues to refuse to negotiate, however, the report finds that United States will have no choice but to work with Japan and Korea to “consider more assertive military and political actions, including those that directly threaten the existence of the [North Korean] regime and its nuclear and missile capabilities.” The Task Force proposes that the United States take steps to sharpen the consequences for North Korea, by imposing escalating costs on continued defiance and offering incentives for cooperation.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, Peace, Strategic Interests
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North Korea, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Charles R. Kayne, Joseph S. Nye Jr., Alyssa Ayres
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: “A rising India offers one of the most substantial opportunities to advance American national interests over the next two decades,” asserts a new Independent Task Force report sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Working With a Rising India: A Joint Venture for the New Century. Over the past ten years, India, the world's largest democracy, has lifted more than 130 million people out of poverty. The country has rebounded from a recent economic growth slump, surpassing China this year to become the world's fastest-growing major economy. “If India can maintain its current growth rate, let alone attain sustained double digits, it has the potential over the next two to three decades to follow China on the path to becoming another $10 trillion economy,” notes the Task Force. With Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's prioritization of economic growth and foreign policy revitalization, the country now has a window of opportunity to either make the necessary reforms or risk being left behind. “[India] will have to decide whether it wants to become a major part of global trade flows and deeply integrated into global supply chains. Doing so would boost India's efforts to grow its manufacturing sector and its economy; choosing not to will make that ambition harder to achieve.” Because India does not seek an alliance with the United States and closely guards its policy independence, U.S.-India relations will not resemble those Washington has with its conventional allies. For that reason, the Task Force recommends that “U.S. policymakers [should] explicitly emphasize a ‘joint-venture’ model for U.S.-India relations, focused on a slate of shared pursuits on which interests converge—and with clear mechanisms for coordinating and managing the known and expected disagreements.” The bipartisan Task Force is chaired by Charles R. Kaye, co-chief executive officer of the private equity firm Warburg Pincus and former chairman of the U.S.-India Business Council, and Joseph S. Nye Jr., distinguished service professor and former dean of the Harvard Kennedy School. Directed by CFR Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia Alyssa Ayres, the Task Force is composed of sixteen prominent experts from government, academic, nonprofit, and other sectors.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations, Democracy, Economic Growth
  • Political Geography: India, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Mitchell E. Daniels Jr., Thomas E. Donilon, Thomas J. Bollyky
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in low- and middle-income countries are increasing faster, in younger people, and with worse outcomes than in wealthier countries. In 2013 alone, NCDs killed eight million people before their sixtieth birthdays in developing countries. A new CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force report and accompanying interactive look at the factors behind this epidemic and the ways the United States can best fight it. NCDs will affect U.S. interests because of their human, economic, and strategic consequences. "More patients will get sick, suffer longer, require more medical care, and die young. Given the scale of these trends, the results will reverberate," the Task Force warns. It is projected that the NCD epidemic will inflict $21.3 trillion in losses in developing countries over the next two decades—a cost nearly equal to the entire economic output of those countries in 2013. "These economic consequences will undercut potential U.S. trade partners and allies and may reduce domestic support for governments of U.S. strategic interest." The Task Force says the United States and like-minded partners can help developing countries meet the NCD challenge at relatively modest cost and "slow the rise of this epidemic, lessen its worst effects, and help provide national governments with the time and technical assistance needed to tackle this emerging crisis sustainably on their own." The U.S. government should take two immediate steps, the Task Force says: examine its global health priorities and spending and ensure their continued effectiveness; and convene governments and other potential partners from around the world to develop a plan for collective action on NCDs in low- and middle-income countries. The Task Force encourages the United States to focus on the NCDs and risk factors most prevalent among the working-age poor in developing countries. Low-cost interventions are available and should be integrated into existing U.S. global health efforts. Based on these criteria, the Task Force maintains that: In the short term U.S. leadership would have a significant effect on cardiovascular disease, tobacco control, liver cancer, and cervical cancer. "Low-cost, prevention-based solutions exist for each challenge and the United States is in the position to help local governments implement them." More on: Noncommunicable Diseases Global Public Health Threats and Pandemics In the medium term U.S. leadership would make a tremendous difference to address diabetes and treatable and curable cancers, such as leukemia and breast cancer. "The Task Force has identified several NCD challenges for which effective interventions are widely used in the United States and other high-income countries, but not yet sufficiently low cost or usable in low-infrastructure settings . . .With U.S. leadership, more population and implementation research, and collaboration with private sector and philanthropic partners, progress on adapting these interventions for cost-effective, low-infrastructure use is foreseeable in the near term." U.S. collaboration with developing countries and the private sector may help ameliorate poor diets and nutrition, physical inactivity, and obesity. It could also help integrate mental health into primary care and provide low-cost chronic care programs and technologies.
  • Topic: Health, International Cooperation, Governance, Health Crisis
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America