A container ship participating in globalized trade is unloaded in California.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump upended what was once a relatively staid global economic and trade system. For all of the upheaval he created, though, Trump left office with only one clear-cut accomplishment: an updated NAFTA deal. And even as Trump sowed chaos in America’s trade relationships, most of the world reinforced its commitment to trade liberalization.

1

China’s challenges at home and abroad have grown more pronounced in recent years—so much so that a longstanding debate over China’s intentions increasingly coexists with one over its trajectory: Is it on a path to global preeminence, or is it near the zenith of its power and perhaps even on the verge of systemic decline?

1

Last week, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador canceled a Pacific Alliance summit scheduled to be held in Mexico this month, after Peru’s Congress prevented President Pedro Castillo from traveling abroad. The incident highlights a challenge for the group, which is floundering for a purpose and facing internal tensions.

1

President Joe Biden took office with an ambitious foreign policy agenda summed up by his favorite campaign tagline: “America is back.” Above all, that will mean repairing the damage done to America’s global standing by his predecessor, former President Donald Trump.

1

Senegalese President Macky Sall, who also serves as the African Union’s rotating chairperson, announced on Twitter that the AU has applied to join the G-20. Many other African leaders pushed for more representation at the forum, but it’s unclear that an AU seat at G-20 table would offer the benefits they seek.

1

As encouraging as the three-hour meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping was, it is but one stopping point in what promises to be a long and difficult road ahead for bilateral relations between the U.S. and China, especially against the backdrop of competition that characterizes the relationship.

Joe Biden promoting the Inflation Reduction Act

Financial incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles included in the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act are leading to renewed trade frictions with the EU. While those tensions are significant in and of themselves, they mask deeper problems with how the IRA and climate legislation more generally fit into the global trade regime.

1

As the remaining results of this week’s midterm congressional elections in the U.S. continue to trickle in, the EU’s leadership is assessing the outcome’s implications for the trans-Atlantic relationship, now that the opposition Republican Party appears on track to win back control of at least one, if not both, chambers of Congress.

G20 summit 2022 sign

Geopolitical tensions will dominate next week’s G-20 summit, as major world leaders convene amid Russia’s war in Ukraine, a heightened U.S.-China strategic rivalry and growing estrangement between the Global North and South. To save the forum from irrelevance, the West must deliver on priorities that matter to the Global South.

The US Dollar, as a reserve currency

The struggling global economy has led some to wonder if the U.S. dollar may lose its status as the world’s “reserve currency,” meaning its position as the currency most widely held by foreign governments. But for several reasons, we are more likely to see so-called dollar hegemony continue for some time into the future.

1

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken spoke by telephone Sunday, ahead of a possible meeting between President Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden. The two sides appear to be trying to lower the temperature on their relationship, which has recently been characterized by escalating tensions.