President Donald Trump shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, June 29, 2019 (AP photo by Susan Walsh).

The relationship between the United States and China has waxed and waned over the years, but it has felt more like a roller coaster ride under President Donald Trump. China-bashing was a centerpiece of his election campaign, yet once in office, Trump hailed his first meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, at Trump’s Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, saying they had “great chemistry.” More than two years later, after Trump had launched his damaging trade war with China and with no deal to resolve it in sight, Trump called Xi an enemy and “ordered” American firms to leave China. By January of […]

Guyana’s president, David Granger, addresses the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Sept. 20, 2016 (AP photo by Richard Drew).

Despite growing signs of a dramatic and global economic downturn stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, the small South American country of Guyana appears poised for a period of spectacular economic growth. In its recent semiannual report on Latin America and the Caribbean, the World Bank forecasts a 4.6 percent contraction for the region’s economy in 2020, followed by an expansion of 2.6 percent in 2021. However, the World Bank sees Guyana’s economy skyrocketing by 51.7 percent in 2020, before leveling off to 8.7 percent in 2021. The reason for this very rosy outlook? In December, ExxonMobil began pumping oil from […]

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs.

MONTREAL—On Feb. 10, Karla Tait was arrested in northern British Columbia while participating in a ceremony along the path of a multi-billion-dollar pipeline project to honor missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police accused Tait and other members of the Wet’suwet’en Nation of violating an injunction preventing them from blocking construction on the Coastal GasLink pipeline. The project passes through an area where members of the Unist’ot’en clan, a sub-group of the Wet’suwet’en peoples, have set up a traditional healing center and camp to reclaim their ancestral lands and protest the pipeline’s construction. The road […]

A city worker sprays disinfectant at a public gas station in Caracas, Venezuela, April 11, 2020 (AP photo by Matias Delacroix).

Years from now, when historians and economists begin tallying the devastation wrought by COVID-19, it is likely only a few will focus much on world energy markets. Yet if there is one thing that has snapped into sharper view with the onset of this global pandemic, it is the extremely brittle state of OPEC and the autocratic governments that rely almost exclusively on the cartelization of oil markets to prop up their regimes. In September, OPEC will mark its 60-year anniversary as the world’s most preeminent price-fixing consortium. But it seems far from certain that the governments of the 13 […]

An oil rig lights up the horizon after a late sunset on the outskirts of Midland, Texas, April 2, 2020 (Photo by Eli Hartman for Odessa American via AP Images).

During normal times, if the world’s petroleum producers announced an agreement to slash output, oil prices would immediately spike. During normal times, lower crude prices would boost economic growth. During normal times, low oil prices might be reason to celebrate. But if there is one fact we can agree on, it is that these are not normal times. The global economic crisis triggered by efforts to stop the coronavirus pandemic has not only upended some of the patterns we had grown accustomed to—it has also revealed that many long-standing preconceptions have become outdated. That is evident in the dramatic shifts […]

A grocery store worker restocks shelves, Dallas, Texas, April 13, 2020 (AP photo by LM Otero).

One of the many challenges facing governments and businesses during a disaster is ensuring the steady supply of food and other essential items. People’s natural impulses to stock up in preparation for shortages often kick in at the same time that complex supply chains are coming under immense strain. Add to this the direct impacts of COVID-19 on workers in the food industry and the export restrictions on agricultural products that some governments have put into place to ensure that their own populations stay well-fed, and you’ve potentially got the makings of a looming food security crisis. Robyn Metcalfe, a […]

A nurse attends to a woman at a COVID-19 screening center at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, April 1, 2020 (AP photo by Gemunu Amarasinghe).

Editor’s Note: WPR has made this article, as well as a selection of others from our COVID-19 coverage that we consider to be in the public interest, freely available. You can find all of our coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here. If you would like to help support our work, please consider taking advantage of our subscription offer here. The Chinese government first reported “cases of pneumonia of unknown etiology” to the World Health Organization on Dec. 31, 2019. A week later, the new virus responsible for the disease outbreak was identified. Less than 100 days later, we no longer […]