Global Business & Economics Program

  • Beware the Lure of Sanctions for Russia’s Latest Aggression

    It’s Monday, which means that Russia is again antagonizing its neighbors to the west. But instead of little green men, Wagner “private” security forces, or Russian regulars acting under another flag, this time the FSB—Russia’s internal security service—openly fired upon and captured three Ukrainian naval vessels attempting to traverse the Kerch Strait that separates the two countries. This is a significant escalation by Moscow of tensions that have simmered for months as Russia has harassed legitimate and important Ukrainian trade ships that traverse the disputed strait to Ukrainian ports on the Sea of Azov. The chief dispute, of course, centers on Russia’s illegal invasion and annexation of Crimea in 2014 and...
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  • Trade Wars? Let’s Talk Turkey

    Over the past few months, US President Donald J. Trump’s administration has engaged in trade disputes with several of the United States’ trading partners, most notably China, but also traditional allies like the European Union (EU), Canada, and Mexico. EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström, who was in Washington last week for discussions with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, was unable to make much headway in transatlantic trade talks. All eyes are now on the G20 summit in Buenos Aires on November 30 and December 1 at which Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to try and de-escalate trade tensions between their two countries.

    These trade disputes do have a silver lining: your Thanksgiving turkey will be cheaper this year. But before we celebrate this price drop let’s take a closer look at what it tells us about what is going on in the world of trade.

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  • Global Magnitsky Sanctions: Raising the Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Bar

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    The murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi thrust an otherwise little-known sanctions program into the spotlight—the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act (or GloMag in sanctions parlance). On November 15, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control used the GloMag authority to designate seventeen Saudi citizens for their role in the Khashoggi killing. In “Global Magnitsky Sanctions: Raising the Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Bar” author Samantha Sultoon, a visiting senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Global Business &...

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  • Wayne in The National Interest: Afghanistan Is Making Economic Progress but Needs Peace


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  • Will China’s Economic Slowdown Lead to a Major Crisis?

    China has incurred the largest debt buildup in recorded economic history—and the prognosis is not good. The International Monetary Fund surveyed five-year credit booms near the size of China’s and found that essentially all such cases ended in major growth slowdowns and half also collapsed into financial crises.

    A 50 percent chance of a financial crisis for the world’s second-largest economy would represent one of the greatest threats to the global economy.

    Can China avoid a crisis? Both bears and bulls make equally compelling arguments about China’s current challenges, suggesting the probability of a major crisis is in line with the historic precedent of 50/50.

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  • Treasury Right to Sanction Saudis in Response to Khashoggi Killing

    The November 15 announcement by the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the designation of seventeen Saudis for their role in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi should be commended. While the Trump administration has been delayed in responding to the murder, with the president slowly forming a “very strong opinion,” the sanctions demonstrate that the administration has not stood idly by.

    Given the need for continued cooperation with the Saudi government on counterterrorism, oil production, and a host of other sensitive issues, the Global Magnitsky (or GloMag in sanctions parlance) sanctions authority was a strategic tool to use as...

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  • May's Brexit Deal: With Cabinet Nod Secured, Next Stop Parliament

    British Prime Minister Theresa May said on November 14 that her Cabinet had agreed to a draft Brexit agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU). Following a five-hour meeting with her Cabinet ministers in London, May said that the decision was “a decisive step which enables us to move on and finalize the deal in the days ahead.” The deal, which must next be approved by the British Parliament, faces significant opposition both from within May’s Conservative Party and from other parties.

    "Theresa May has finally reached the first base camp on Britain’s way to exiting the EU," said Fran Burwell, a distinguished fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Future Europe Initiative.

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  • Brummer in Fintech Policy: Whatever Challenges the US Faces in Regulating Cryptocurrencies, the EU Faces Far More


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  • At 25, European Union Suffers from Anemic Growth

    The European Union has reached its mid-twenties.

    On its twenty-fifth birthday on November 1, however, there were no fireworks, inspiring speeches, or fancy receptions in Brussels though. Mired in internal quarrels, from Brexit to rising Euroscepticism, European leaders may feel there is not much to celebrate.

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  • A Road Map of the Re-Imposed Sanctions for Iran

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    On November 5, 2018, the United States completed the re-imposition of nuclear related secondary sanctions on Iran. US President Donald Trump had announced in May that the United States would withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”) with Iran. To re-impose the sanctions, the US Departments of State and Treasury have revoked licenses that authorized certain activity with Iran as well as the waivers that were issued to lift the threat of secondary sanctions against non-US persons engaged in certain transactions involving particular Iranian individuals or entities....

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