President Donald Trump and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, in Washington, Aug. 2, 2019 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

The truce in the U.S.-China trade war didn’t last long. Just a month after agreeing to restart negotiations on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, President Donald Trump announced another escalation last week. Unless something happens, or Trump changes his mind—which is always a possibility—U.S. Customs and Border Protection will begin collecting an additional 10 percent tariff on the remaining $300 billion in imports from China on Sept. 1. And this time, consumers would feel the pain because the tariffs will hit clothing, shoes, electronics and other everyday items that had previously been spared. To top it […]

Peruvian Foreign Minister Nestor Popolizio, center, speaks at a conference of more than 50 nations that largely support Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, in Lima, Peru, Aug. 6, 2019 (AP photo by Martin Mejia).

In a significant escalation, President Donald Trump announced a total economic embargo on Venezuela yesterday, issuing an executive order that would block all transactions with the government and its officials and freeze their property and assets in the United States. The move came on the eve of a meeting in Peru held by the Lima Group, a multilateral body of Latin American countries that supports opposition leader Juan Guaido as the legitimate president of Venezuela, rather than Nicolas Maduro. Fifty-nine countries, including the United States, are attending. The Venezuelan government and its few remaining partners, such as Russia, are not. […]

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, June 28, 2019 (AP photo by Susan Walsh).

Editor’s Note: Guest columnist Neil Bhatiya is filling in for Stewart Patrick this week.After a long delay, the Trump administration finally took the first steps in a legally mandated effort to punish Russia for its use of chemical weapons in the 2018 poisoning of Sergei Skripal, the former Russian spy living in the United Kingdom. On Aug. 1, the administration issued an executive order outlining the nature of sanctions it could impose on Russia, focused on restrictions on lending to Russian government or government-affiliated entities. Because Moscow continues to deny its role in the attack and has taken no steps […]

President Donald Trump reviews the troops during a full honors welcoming ceremony for Secretary of Defense Mark Esper at the Pentagon, in Washington, July 25, 2019 (AP photo by Alex Brandon).

Depending on which headlines you scanned over your morning coffee last week, World War III seemed to be on the verge of breaking out, either in the skies over the Sea of Japan or on the water in the Strait of Hormuz. Luckily, neither the South Korean air force’s muscular interception of a joint Russian-Chinese air patrol—including the firing of flares and warning shots—nor Iran’s seizure of a British oil tanker triggered the next conflagration. Still, all the sensational spin about end-time tripwires is a clear indicator of how a doomsday mindset is clouding our thinking about today’s multipolar world. […]

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