President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in the Oval Office of the White House, Washington, July 25, 2018 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

While recognizing that it could be undone at any time by a single presidential tweet, there appears to be a truce on at least one front in Donald Trump’s trade war. During a visit to the White House last week, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker pledged along with Trump to refrain from further escalation of the trans-Atlantic trade dispute and try to work things out. Their joint statement was vague, and the U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs on the European Union, and the EU’s retaliatory tariffs, remain in place for now. Trump imposed those duties on supposed national security grounds, […]

U.S. President Donald Trump at the end of the NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium, July 12, 2018 (Photo by Bernd von Jutrczenka for DPA via AP Images).

During the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, Donald Trump said that if elected, he might withdraw the United States from NATO largely because, in his words, the other member states “aren’t paying their bills.” At the time, this didn’t receive as much attention as Trump’s other statements on the campaign trail. Candidate Trump said so many peculiar, often offensive things that this one got lost in the shuffle, and few people at the time thought that he stood a chance of winning the election anyway. Even his supporters assumed that if he did, he would temper his more extreme positions once […]

Asylum-seekers during a protest outside a prison in the Negev desert, southern Israel, Feb. 22, 2018 (AP photo by Tsafrir Abayov).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and managing editor, Frederick Deknatel, discuss the challenges of covering international affairs in the Trump era. For the Report, Yardena Schwartz talks with WPR’s senior editor, Robbie Corey-Boulet, about how a divisive debate in Israel has left African migrants who arrived there seeking refuge in a state of limbo, neither welcomed nor expelled. If you like what you hear on Trend Lines and what you’ve read on WPR, you can sign up for our free newsletter to get our uncompromising analysis delivered straight to your inbox. The newsletter offers a […]

Malian presidential candidate Soumaila Cisse gestures during a campaign rally in Yanfolila, Mali, July 16, 2018 (AP photo by Baba Ahmed).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Senior Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. It was a turbulent home stretch for Mali’s presidential campaign, which formally ended Friday. Though voting was still two days away, the credibility of the results had already been called into question. That’s because some members of the opposition spent the past week taking issue with the voters’ roll, reportedly raising objections after the election commission published an online version that differed from the version that had been vetted by international monitors. Officials from the election commission attributed the […]

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, left, and European Council President Donald Tusk, right, after their joint press conference in Tokyo, Japan, July 17, 2018 (AP photo by Koji Sashara).

Earlier this month, Japan and the European Union concluded a mega-free trade deal that, when ratified, is expected to provide significant benefits to both sides. But as important as the economics of the deal is its symbolism, demonstrating a commitment to an international trade regime that has been passing through a zone of turbulence over the past year, largely due to arcane protectionist measures from the Trump administration. The U.S. has imposed large tariffs and threatened more on a wide range of products and countries, including allies such as Japan, Canada, Mexico and the European Union. Washington’s turn to protectionism […]

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at a press conference during a meeting of G-20 finance ministers and central bankers, Buenos Aires, Argentina, July 22, 2018 (AP photo by Gustavo Garello).

Officials from the European Union are headed to Washington this week for trade talks with the Trump administration, but nobody is optimistic. If the talks don’t go well, President Donald Trump has already said he is prepared to follow through on his threat of imposing further tariffs, as high as 25 percent, on cars and car parts imported from the EU. “If we don’t negotiate something fair, then we have tremendous retribution, which we don’t want to use, but we have tremendous powers,” Trump told reporters at the White House last week. “Including cars—cars is the big one.” However the […]

Ethiopians wave during the visit of Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, July 15, 2018 (AP photo by Mulugeta Ayene).

The visit of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to Washington later this month presents President Donald Trump with a chance to make his first meaningful diplomatic contribution in Africa, a continent that appears to rank dead last in his global priorities. Trump can seize the opportunity by extending a White House invitation to his counterpart, who is in the United States for meetings with diaspora groups. By doing so, he would lend the weight of his office to a recent peace deal ending the war between Ethiopia and its neighbor Eritrea. The conflict lasted from 1998-2000 and cost tens of […]

A woman holds a sign depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump during a protest outside the White House, Washington, July 17, 2018 (AP photo by Andrew Harnik).

Everyone other than President Donald Trump’s most ardent loyalists considered his performance at—and after—this week’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin a disaster. Standing beside one of America’s most skilled adversaries, Trump blasted his own domestic political opponents, while again adopting the language of dictators by calling the nonpartisan media “an enemy of the people.” He once again accepted Putin’s denial of Russian meddling in America’s 2016 election despite the U.S. intelligence community’s conviction that it happened. Instead of highlighting the deep policy differences between the United States and Russia, Trump adopted the Russian positions on what caused the deterioration […]

Arnaldo Otegi, a former member of ETA who is now a leader in a Basque pro-independence coalition, addresses a crowd, Logrono, Spain, March 1, 2016 (AP photo by Alvaro Barrientos).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and senior editor, Robbie Corey-Boulet, discuss the Helsinki summit between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin and its fallout. For the Report, Raphael Tsavkko Garcia talks with Robbie about the dream of an independent Basque state in northern Spain after the formal disbanding of the violent Basque separatist group ETA earlier this year. If you like what you hear on Trend Lines and what you’ve read on WPR, you can sign up for our free newsletter to get our uncompromising analysis delivered straight to your inbox. The newsletter offers a free […]

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, left, and Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev at the NATO summit, Brussels, July 12, 2018 (Photo by Alexey Vitvitsky for Sputnik via AP Images).

Among the European countries that watched with great concern when President Donald Trump failed to confront Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday, and when he lambasted NATO and the European Union earlier in his trip to the continent, was Macedonia. The Balkan nation of 2 million people has been trying for years to gain entrance into NATO, to the great irritation of Russia. One could excuse the Macedonians for feeling a sense of confusion about what the future holds. The country has had much to celebrate in recent weeks, but also a great deal to worry about. During […]

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands at the beginning of a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018 (AP photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais).

President Donald Trump’s summit in Helsinki with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, will almost certainly be a watershed moment in his presidency. Trump’s refusal to publicly hold Putin and Russia accountable for the unraveling of bilateral ties since 2014—most prominently, his equivocating response to a question about Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election—has generated widespread public outrage, even among Trump’s most vocal supporters in the media and political classes. What remains to be seen is how that backlash affects his domestic base of political support. Will the Helsinki summit prove to be Trump’s “emperor has no clothes” moment, when […]

Police officers patrol poor neighborhoods in Acapulco, Mexico, June 21, 2018 (AP photo by Marco Ugarte).

As the dust settles on Mexico’s July 1 presidential election results, numerous pressing questions have emerged about how President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, known as AMLO, will redefine security policy and the future of United States-Mexico security cooperation. These questions were central to the first high-level meeting between Lopez Obrador and a U.S. delegation led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner last week. Lopez Obrador takes office against the backdrop of Mexico’s deeply troubled security landscape. While he identified the fight against corruption as crucial to his victory, growing dissatisfaction over public security […]

President Donald Trump speaks before signing a memorandum imposing tariffs and investment restrictions on China, Washington, March 22, 2018 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

For decades American presidents pursued multilateral trade agreements and supported international institutions that bolstered liberal trade policies around the world because they believed it was in the United States’ interest to do so. Yes, multilateral trade rules and institutions are relatively more beneficial for smaller, less powerful countries that cannot take on the United States or European Union on their own. And, yes, the rules under the World Trade Organization, or WTO, constrain the United States’ freedom of action, as did the predecessor arrangement, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, or GATT. Yet U.S. presidents going back to Harry […]

President Donald Trump is flanked by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, and John Bolton, the national security adviser, during a press conference at NATO headquarters, Brussels, Belgium, July 12, 2018 (AP photo by Olivier Matthys).

It is as difficult as ever to understand the foreign and national security policy of U.S. President Donald Trump. While there are consistent themes and patterns, Trump’s approach to the world seems bereft of an overarching logic. In a very real sense, it is the first American strategy for decades not shaped by a discernible vision for world order. Strategic vision first became important when the United States entered the fray of great power politics a century ago. Since Americans did not have a long tradition of involvement in global security affairs or natural enemies to guide them, strategic vision—a […]

Members of the public listen as the High Court in Kenya begins hearing arguments in a case challenging parts of the penal code that target LGBT people, Nairobi, Kenya, Feb. 22, 2018 (AP photo by Ben Curtis).

In this week’s Trend Lines podcast, WPR’s editor-in-chief, Judah Grunstein, and managing editor, Frederick Deknatel, discuss the NATO summit and the implications of U.S. President Donald Trump’s disruptive approach to the alliance. For the Report, Nanjala Nyabola talks with WPR’s senior editor, Robbie Corey-Boulet, about Kenyan filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu’s struggle to get her internationally acclaimed film, “Rafiki”—a love story between two women—screened in her native country, and the social and legal implications for Kenya’s film industry and creative community. If you like what you hear on Trend Lines and what you’ve read on WPR, you can sign up for our […]

U.S. President Donald Trump and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during their bilateral breakfast ahead of the NATO summit, Brussels, July 11, 2018 (AP photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais).

As Hastings Ismay, NATO’s first secretary-general, famously put it, the alliance’s purpose in Europe was to keep the Russians out, the Americans in and the Germans down. By all indications, U.S. President Donald Trump, who arrived in Brussels yesterday for his second NATO summit, is dead set on reversing all three elements of Ismay’s formula. Having already proposed that Russia be invited back into the Group of Seven forum of advanced economies, it would surprise no one at this point if Trump suggests that Russia play a greater role in European security when he meets President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki […]

French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, June 25, 2018 (AP photo by Michel Euler).

More than four years after Thailand’s military seized power in a coup—the 19th coup or coup attempt since the end of absolute monarchy there in 1932—the country still seems far from a return to civilian rule. Since his putsch, junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha has repeatedly promised that elections will be held, only to put them off again and again. Most recently, the junta allowed political parties to register earlier this year and suggested that new elections would be held by February 2019 at the latest. However, in recent weeks the military has again waffled on that date, and is now […]

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