Global Business & Economics Program

  • Sultoon in the Hill: Countering the New Chemical Weapons Norm?


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  • Rome and Brussels Go Head to Head in Budget Battle

    A budget proposal put forward by Italy’s populist government would create a prohibitively high deficit and has sharpened the conflict between Rome and the European Union.

    Despite warnings from Brussels, the ruling Italian coalition of La Lega and the 5 Star Movement submitted its 2019 budget proposal to the European Union (EU) on October 15. A combination of tax cuts, increased social spending, and a roll back of pension reforms will cause the deficit to jump from 0.8 percent to 2.4 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), according to the government’s calculations. The proposal, which creates a deficit that is more than triple the level desired by the EU, has left investors jittery about the trajectory of the Italian economy.

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  • Global Economic Leaders Should Prepare for 'Unknown Unknowns' of Climate Change

    As the world’s economic and financial leaders gathered in Bali, Indonesia, last week, they were expected to scrutinize each other’s economic outcomes and policies against the backdrop of the International Monetary Fund’s reports on the world’s economic outlook (World Economic Outlook), the global financial situation (Global Financial Stability Report), and fiscal developments (Fiscal Monitor). These reports, which were prepared by teams of economists ahead of the annual meetings of the IMF and the World Bank, are intended to inform world leaders and the public at large about current economic developments, prospects, and risks. 

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  • O'Toole Quoted in MarketWatch on Treasury Extends Deadline for Deripaska


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  • The Future of Work: Advancing Workforce Resilience

    On October 10, 2018 Atlantic Council’s Global Business and Economics Center’s EuroGrowth Initiative hosted a roundtable featuring Dr. Stefano Scarpetta, Director for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs at the OECD.

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  • World Economic Outlook: Trade Tensions and Tariffs a Major Threat to Global Economic Growth

    This week, the Boards of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Group (WBG) will convene for their annual meetings in Indonesia to discuss issues of global concern, including global economic growth. In the context of the meetings, the IMF publishes the World Economic Outlook (WEO) which analyzes global growth prospects in the short- and medium-term and the risks which impede these prospects. While this October’s report still predicts a steady expansion for 2018-19 at a 3.7 percent growth rate, this forecast is 0.2 percent lower than in April. One of the major reasons for this downward correction are recent trade policies which are expected to continue to be a downward risk leading to further disruption, uncertainty, and weaker growth.

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  • SWIFT Action Risks Unintended Consequences

    US legislators weighing options to punish rogue actors using the plumbing of the international financial system – the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) – must carefully weigh the benefits of any such decision against the broad potential consequences. Unilateral, isolated policy making that implicates SWIFT risks hampering the flow of global financial transactions and trade, harming US businesses as well as further antagonizing European allies.

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  • JCPOA in Peril - EU SPV to the Rescue?

    The European Union’s (EU) foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, recently announced that the EU will set-up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) “to facilitate legitimate financial transactions with Iran and allow European companies to continue to trade with Iran.” In response, our visiting senior fellow, Samantha Sultoon, argued that this SPV will not provide a reliable path around US sanctions, and may undermine the effectiveness of US and EU sanctions in the long-run. This edition of the EconoGraphic explains how the SPV would work in practice and outlines why this mechanism is unlikely to offer Iran enough economic upside to keep the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) alive. 

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  • Pence Takes Aim at China

    US Vice President Mike Pence took direct aim at Beijing in an October 4 speech in which he accused China of “pursuing a comprehensive and coordinated campaign to undermine support for the president, our agenda, and our nation’s most cherished ideals.”

    Pence’s speech followed similar remarks by US President Donald J. Trump at the United Nations Security Council on September 26. Trump there accused Beijing of “meddling… because I am the first president ever to challenge China on trade and we are winning on trade.” China and the United States have been locked in a tit-for-tat exchange of tariffs after Trump placed restrictions on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods in June. On September 17, the United States placed...

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  • China: Iran’s Lifeline to Overcome Oil Sanctions

    The Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May has thrown a previously established, delicate geopolitical balance into disarray. The remaining signatories of the JCPOA—Britain, China, France, Germany, and Russia—are exploring options to circumvent the resumption of US sanctions on Tehran primarily by establishing a channel to allow financial transactions to cover exports from Iran.

    But for all parties of the JCPOA, the key Iranian commodity of interest is crude oil, particularly for Beijing. In 2017, one-third of Iran’s oil exports were sold to China—more than any other country. This relationship between the two countries softens the blow of US sanctions on Iran by giving Tehran a lifeline when facing economic hardship, to an extent.

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