Workers peel shrimps at factory of Thai Union, a major seafood supplier, in Samut Sakhon, Thailand, Aug. 23, 2016 (AP photo by Sakchai Lalit).

In late October, the Trump administration announced the suspension of more than $1 billion in trade preferences for Thailand’s fishing industry due to rampant violations of human rights, particularly among migrant laborers who work in the sector. Thailand is one of the world’s largest seafood exporters, but its fishing industry has long been dogged by reports of slave labor, trafficking and other human rights abuses. While Thailand has made some progress in addressing these issues, it still has not implemented necessary reforms, says Steve Trent, founder and executive director of the Environmental Justice Foundation, a British watchdog organization. In an […]

President Donald Trump meets with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in the Oval Office of the White House, in Washington, Oct. 11, 2019 (AP photo by Andrew Harnik).

If all had gone as planned this past weekend, President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping might have signed the “phase one” trade agreement that Trump billed as “the greatest and biggest deal ever made for our Great Patriot Farmers in the history of our Country.” The two leaders had been scheduled to meet and discuss the deal in Santiago, Chile, during the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. But with street protests over economic policy and inequality rocking Chile, President Sebastian Pinera canceled the summit late last month, citing the “difficult circumstances” in the country and the priority of […]

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting of the Economic Club of New York, in New York, Nov. 12, 2019 (AP photo by Seth Wenig).

Editor’s Note: Guest columnist Neil Bhatiya is filling in for Candace Rondeaux this week. President Donald Trump this week laid out his most direct case yet for staying the course in the run-up to the 2020 U.S. presidential election. In a speech to the Economic Club of New York on Tuesday, he boasted that his “America First” policies had delivered stronger-than-expected economic growth and new jobs for millions of Americans, despite the disruption caused not only by his trade war with China, but also by the tariffs he has imposed on close U.S. allies in Europe. While most coverage of […]

Japanese Ambassador to the U.S. Shinsuke Sugiyama and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer applaud with President Donald Trump after signing a trade agreement at the White House, Washington, Oct. 7, 2019 (AP photo by Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump can point to a handful of trade deals he has concluded since coming to office. What he cannot claim, though, is that he has made things better. New agreements with Canada, Mexico and Japan do not come close to offsetting the market access that was lost when Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP. Americans also continue to pay higher tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in imports from China, the European Union and a range other countries, while U.S. exporters are facing retaliatory tariffs in major markets. A “phase one” agreement with China is […]

A child on the sales floor of a tobacco market in Harare, Zimbabwe, May 15, 2017 (AP photo by Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi).

If climate change is the most important matter of common concern around the world, what comes second? Perhaps nothing close. But by my lights, the usual looming questions—about the fate of American power and influence, Brexit, the related viability of the European Union, and the many uncertainties surrounding the rise of China—seem almost parochial in comparison to one that gets immeasurably less international attention: the future of employment in Africa, where unprecedented demographic transitions are underway. Based on current projections, the continent’s population of nearly 1.2 billion people will rise to 2.5 billion by the middle of this century—more than […]

Chinese President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron review an honor guard during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People, Beijing, Nov. 6, 2019 (AP photo by Mark Schiefelbein).

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, WPR Newsletter and Engagement Editor Benjamin Wilhelm curates the week’s top news and expert analysis on China. European leaders reportedly fear that the anticipated “phase one” trade deal between the United States and China could harm the interests of the European Union. “We don’t want Europe to be a collateral victim of a U.S.-China trade deal,” a French government official told Politico, as President Emmanuel Macron traveled to China this week for a two-day visit that included a stop in Shanghai for the China International Import Expo and a state visit to Beijing, where he signed […]

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as he leaves the White House in Washington for a trip to New York City, Nov. 2, 2019 (AP photo by Manuel Balce Ceneta).

For just the third time in modern American history, the U.S. House of Representatives is investigating whether a president should be removed from office. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has so far kept the impeachment inquiry narrowly focused on President Donald Trump’s pressure campaign to get Ukraine to dig up dirt on his political opponents. But even as the House approved a resolution last week setting out the next steps in that inquiry, there have been reports of other instances in which Trump appears to be manipulating U.S. policy—in this case involving trade—to serve his narrow political interests, rather […]