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 […]

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PARIS—If, as the old saw has it, the United States and the United Kingdom are two countries separated by a common language, the United States and France are surely two countries separated by common ideals. But good intentions on both sides of the Atlantic often get lost in translation, with the latest example being the high-profile dispute between late-night comedy show host Trevor Noah and France’s ambassador to the U.S., Gerard Araud, over the identity of the World Cup champion French national soccer team. (Noah is South African, but his show is produced in the U.S. for an American audience.) […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin arrive for a one-on-one-meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018 (AP photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais).

The Finnish government took a significant gamble when it agreed to host today’s Helsinki summit between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. The Russian president’s meeting with his American counterpart threw U.S. and European analysts into a panic. Even relatively optimistic commentators predicted that the event would be a waste of time. Pessimists feared Putin would use it to extract major concessions from Trump on Syria or Ukraine. Finland has risked being associated with a debacle over which, despite being a good host, it has no substantive control. Why has it done so? Many observers have assumed that the Finns simply […]

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 […]

U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 8, 2017 (AP photo by Saul Loeb).

America’s trade war with China is back on. But where it is headed, no one knows. Just after midnight on July 6, the United States began collecting 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion in imports from China. Beijing immediately retaliated with similar duties on U.S. exports. President Donald Trump has already ordered tariffs on another $16 billion in Chinese exports for later this summer, after the comment period on the American list closes, and China will retaliate again. Assuming that happens as planned, the Trump administration will have levied tariffs on over $100 billion in imports into the United States. […]

Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump arrive for the photo session during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, Danang, Vietnam, Nov. 11, 2017 (AP photo by Hau Dinh).

Much of the commentary surrounding the upcoming summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, has focused on geopolitics. Will Trump change America’s position on not recognizing Russia’s annexation of Crimea? Can Putin offer concessions on the Russian position in Syria or Ukraine? Most importantly, will the United States and Russia resume talks on ensuring a level of strategic stability, especially when it comes to nuclear weapons? There is, of course, not a good deal of optimism for any substantial breakthroughs in Trump and Putin’s meeting next week in Helsinki. Sanctioning and punishing Russia is by […]

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