German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, listens to Chinese President Xi Jinping during press statements at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, July 5, 2017 (AP photo by Markus Schreiber).

In the immediate aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a once-hesitant Germany was shocked into reorienting its national security posture. In response to Moscow’s aggression, Chancellor Olaf Scholz proceeded to announce the creation of a 100-billion-euro supplemental fund for the German military, halt the approval of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline and support international sanctions and energy embargoes against Russia. This same sensibility, in which crisis and opportunity converge, has also reinvigorated the long-standing debate in Germany over the country’s dependence on trade with China. Various factions within the Ampelkoalition, or the “traffic light coalition” government made up of […]

Demonstrators protest outside Hillsborough Castle ahead of a visit by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in Hillsborough, Northern Ireland, May 16, 2022 (AP photo by Peter Morrison).

The European Commission yesterday launched legal action against the U.K. after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government tabled a bill that would undo major agreements the U.K. committed to as part of the Brexit divorce deal it signed with the European Union. The latest escalation in the dispute between London and Brussels could lead to a full cancelation of the EU-U.K. free trade deal, opening the door to the dreaded “no-deal Brexit” that the trade agreement was intended to avoid. The EU’s legal challenge comes in response to unilateral moves by the U.K to rewrite parts of the Northern Ireland protocol […]

Just before the White House launched the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, or IPEF, in Tokyo last month, Taro Kono, the former Japanese foreign and defense minister, offered a blunt recommendation: Deriding the IPEF as the “Indo-Pacific Economic whatever,” Kono urged the U.S. to “forget” it and rejoin the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, or CPTPP. During his press conference with U.S. President Joe Biden, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida welcomed the IPEF but echoed Kono’s advice, stressing the strategic significance of a U.S. return to the CPTPP, which is essentially the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact that then-President Barack Obama effectively […]

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro attend a joint news conference in Moscow, Russia, Feb. 16, 2022.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and his Mexican counterpart, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, don’t agree on much when it comes to foreign policy, even if they sometimes exhibit similar populist styles. Bolsonaro is a right-wing firebrand who rails against “socialism” and was a close regional ally of former U.S. President Donald Trump. As for AMLO, as Lopez Obrador is known, despite his fiscal and social conservatism domestically, he tends to lean left internationally. He is friends with Cuban President Miguel Diaz Canel and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, and he provided asylum to former Bolivian President Evo Morales in 2019 when Morales fled […]

A demonstrator shouts slogans during a protest asking for immigration reform, ahead of the Summit of the Americas, June 7, 2022, in Los Angeles (AP photo by Marcio Jose Sanchez).

Wedged between highways and railroads, on a barren stretch of moldy concrete and sickly palm trees in Sao Paulo, sits the headquarters of the Latin American Parliament, or Parlatino, designed by famed Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. Created in 1964, the Parlatino was modeled on the European Parliament as a legislative body that would drive the integration of Latin American and the Caribbean around their unique regional and hemispheric interests. Today, though, the Parlatino is irrelevant, detached from national and even regional policy debates—just one of a succession of Latin American efforts to create a body to coordinate the hemisphere’s interests […]

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen talks with the press after a meeting of EU leaders at the Europa building in Brussels, May 30, 2022 (AP photo by Olivier Matthys).

European Union leaders agreed this week to a partial ban on Russian oil imports, overcoming a veto by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. But the agreement commits only to banning seaborne imports to the EU by the end of 2022, leaving Russian oil imported by pipeline untouched. Seaborne imports account for two-thirds of the oil the EU purchases from Russia, leaving one-third outside the ban’s scope. However, Germany and Poland announced at this week’s leaders’ summit in Brussels that they will not use the exemption, pledging to phase out both seaborne and pipeline imports by the end of this year. […]