Event Recaps

Almost twenty-five years ago, the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the United States, Mexico, and Canada went into force and became a critical part of the North American economy. On Friday, November 30, 2018 these three countries will sign a new, modernized trade deal known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement or USMCA. As did its predecessor, this agreement will impact millions of jobs, trade-dependent communities, and investment in key sectors.

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On Tuesday, November 27, in Istanbul, the Atlantic Council IN TURKEY hosted Atlantic Council Global Energy Center Nonresident Senior Fellow Ellen R. Wald for a talk entitled “Iran Sanctions, OPEC and Trump: Where Are Oil Markets Moving?” to a roundtable that featured a discussion about the likely impact of the new U.S. sanctions on Iran and the future of economic engagement with Iran.

Dr. Wald summarized the two sets of sanctions. One set went into effect in August 2018 and the second went into effect in November 2018. Of particular note are sanctions on investment in Iranian oil and gas fields, shipping, insurance, tankers, sales of over $1 million worth of gasoline to Iran and any equipment which would help Iran make or export gasoline.

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On November 16th, the Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience launched its Resilience Bookshelf, which highlights prescient, compelling, and thought-provoking stories in which resilience is a central theme. Individual resilience lies at the heart of all the Bookshelf’s content, providing lessons for how to translate the concept of resilience into action against the range of major, system-wide challenges that societies face.

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The Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative hosted a public panel on November 14, 2018, to discuss the human element of cybersecurity. The panel, underwritten by Raytheon, was comprised of Mr. Sean Berg, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Global Governments and Critical Infrastructure at Forcepoint; Ms. Amy Chang, Senior Threat Intelligence Analyst for Cybersecurity Operations at JPMorgan Chase; Dr. Andrea Little Limbago, Chief Social Scientist at Virtru; and Mr. Eric Welling, Deputy Assistant Director, Cyber Division at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Atlantic Council Board Director Gen. James E. Cartwright USMC (Ret.) delivered opening remarks, and nonresident senior fellow at the Cyber Statecraft Initiative, Mr. Pete Cooper, moderated the discussion.

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On November 7, the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center hosted a roundtable discussion featuring H.E. Dr. ElDirdiri Mohamed Ahmed, minister of foreign affairs of the Republic of Sudan, on the state of US-Sudan relations, as well as recent efforts by his government to mediate peace in South Sudan and the Central African Republic.

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On October 28, Brazilians elected their next president: Jair Bolsonaro. He will step into office at a pivotal economic moment for Brazil, following a campaign of heightened polarization. Can the newly elected leader, alongside new voices in Congress, implement the reforms necessary to usher Brazil into a new economic era? To discuss the future of Brazil’s commercial and investment outlook, and what’s next for US-Brazil relations, the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center and Global Business and Economics Program hosted a public event on November 1, two days after election outcomes were announced.

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On October 31, the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center hosted a roundtable discussion on the new United States International Development Finance Corporation (USDFC), in preparation for the launch of Senior Fellow Aubrey Hruby’s new issue brief on the subject.

Africa Center Director of Programs and Studies and Deputy Director Bronwyn Bruton introduced Hruby’s paper and welcomed participants.

In her introductory remarks, Hruby stressed that The Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development (BUILD) Act is a once in a generation opportunity to reassert US competitiveness in emerging markets. In Africa, the new USDFC will be critical to countering China’s growing economic clout and could help solve a growing employment crisis, while also supporting US businesses investing on the continent. Hruby shared the recommendations from her publication, focusing on the new USDFC’s ability to operate in the informal sector, invest in industries that complement US competitiveness, and foster innovation in development finance.

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A day after the second round of elections in Brazil, the Atlantic Council's Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center hosted a Members and Press Call to discuss what Bolsonaro's presidency might mean for Brazil and for the future of US-Brazil bilateral relations. Below is the complete transcript and audio of the call.

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On October 24, the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center partnered with The Sentry at the Enough Project to host a discussion on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)’s conflict gold trade, occasioned by the release of the group’s new report: The Golden Laundromat.

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On October 17, 2018, the Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative hosted a public panel discussion on the security of US critical infrastructure as a part of its Cyber Risk Wednesday event series, underwritten by Raytheon. The vital nature of critical infrastructure to the nation’s security, prosperity, and well-being render it a key target to malicious actors in cyberspace. As the sophistication of attack technology grows, the US and its strategic partners must ensure a resilient critical infrastructure system or will be outpaced by threat actors.

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