European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, May 24, 2022 (AP photo by Markus Schreiber).

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told a gathering at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos this week that Russia is deliberately stoking a global food crisis as a form of “blackmail.” Her remarks underscore Brussels’ fears over an impending global food crisis. Recognizing the high stakes involved in global food security, European Union policymakers are now racing against time to prepare for what they anticipate will be a food security crisis unprecedented in the modern era. Russia’s weaponization of global commodities is not limited to the energy sector, von der Leyen told her audience in Davos. “In Russian-occupied Ukraine, the […]

U.S. President Joe Biden meets with business leaders in the White House to discuss the Bipartisan Innovation Act and its provisions for increasing U.S. semiconductor manufacturing, Washington, March 9, 2022 (SIPA photo by Yuri Gripas).

Semiconductors, the tiny chips that power everything from Apple iPhones to F-35 fighter jets, are a true product of globalization. Their technological sophistication is matched only by the logistical complexity of their supply chains, which stretch across the planet. It should be no surprise, then, that these chips are feeling the impact of accelerating deglobalization. Over the past several years, manufacturers of everything from shoes to home appliances have moved to reshore production, encouraged by protectionist governments erecting trade barriers to protect domestic economies from geopolitical forces. Gradually, the “just-in-time” supply chains of the globalized world, which outsourced aspects of […]

A protester holds a sign as she takes part in a demonstration to call on the European Union to stop buying Russian oil and gas, outside EU headquarters in Brussels, April 29, 2022 (AP photo by Virginia Mayo).

Energy analysts in Brussels have been burning the candle at both ends this week to determine the full extent of the disruption and economic fallout from the European Union’s impending ban on oil imports from Russia. But though Germany has dropped its opposition, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is still intent on vetoing the oil embargo. Any delay may spell trouble for the EU’s plan to cut off Russian oil, as opposition to the embargo among EU leaders may be growing rather than shrinking. The embargo proposal unveiled yesterday by the European Commission was already designed to be a phased-in […]

Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell speaks during a news conference at the Federal Reserve, May 4, 2022 in Washington (AP photo by Alex Brandon).

It’s a widely acknowledged truth that when the United States’ economy sneezes, many countries catch a cold. And so it is with this week’s interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve in Washington, whose efforts to contain inflation in the U.S. are sure to create new problems for already battered economies and families in less affluent countries. The move will unintentionally pile onto the multiple, interconnected crises and growing challenges already facing developing countries. As I noted a few weeks ago, Russia’s war on Ukraine is sending economic, and therefore political, shockwaves across the planet, from Peru to Sri Lanka. Now comes the […]

A Ukrainian soldier smokes a cigarette outside Kharkiv, Ukraine, Feb. 26, 2022  (AP photo by Andrew Marienko).

A recent investigative report by Reuters detailed the close ties between Philip Morris International and Igor Kesaev, the founder and until recently board chairman of Russia’s largest cigarette distributor, TC Megapolis. Relationships between Big Tobacco companies and wholesale distributors tend to raise eyebrows in the industry-watching community, given their long history of involvement in smuggling. But what sparked Reuters’ interest in Kesaev is that he also happens to own a company that produces arms for the Russian military, for which he was sanctioned by the European Union on April 8 and the United Kingdom on April 13. That, too, is […]

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang speaks at a virtual “1+6” Round Table Dialogue with the heads of the World Bank, IMF, WTO, International Labor Organization, OECD and Financial Stability Board, in Beijing, Dec. 6, 2021 (AP photo by Andy Wong).

As China leveraged its state capitalist model to become a global superpower, it increasingly challenged the market-oriented basis of the liberal economic order founded by the United States and its allies 75 years ago. When this competition between the Chinese and Western economic systems gained steam in the 2010s, the main battlefield of international relations also began to shift from the classical realm of security to the normally “civilian” fields of trade, investment, technology and finance—in other words, from geopolitics to geoeconomics. With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, military force is front and center once again, even before the United States […]

A man walks past a bank’s electronic board showing the share index at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, April 12, 2022 (AP photo by Vincent Yu).

A number of prominent economists and business leaders are sounding the alarm over China’s “zero COVID” coronavirus strategy, painting a gloomy outlook for China’s economy. The government-imposed extended lockdowns and isolation periods to stamp out every outbreak of the virus in cities around the country are creating economic uncertainties and casting doubt on Beijing’s ability to reach its target of 5.5 percent economic growth in 2022. Beijing’s continued ambiguity regarding its position on the conflict in Ukraine, in which it professes to be neutral, is also worsening its already tense relationship with the U.S., while straining ties with the European Union. […]