Bottom Line Up Front As the recent World War I centenary tribute in Paris foreshadowed, the world order may be shifting, with the contours of a ‘Post-American Order’ slowly taking shape. The defining characteristic of a post-American world would be multipolarity, with revisionist powers like Russia and China growing ...

Despite indications that China’s economy is likely to experience a moderate slowdown, the world’s second largest economy – and largest market by headcount – continues to expand the depth of its interactions with the world. From the One Belt, One Road project to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the Asian ...

On May 7, Vladimir Putin was inaugurated for his fourth six-year term as President of Russia. He gained more than 76 percent of the vote and—despite concerns over the legitimacy of the vote—does enjoy high levels of support from the Russian population. But is Putin’s grip on power as ironclad ...

Bottom Line: China’s “One Belt, One Road” economic strategy, aimed at developing regional trades routes connecting East Asia, South Asia, Central Asia and Europe, has expanded into Pakistan where Chinese companies have launched numerous projects to build up Pakistan’s infrastructure and energy sector as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor ...

When giving public or semi-public talks, I have long been asked “What single threat worries you the most? What keeps you up at night?” When I served as a senior CIA official from 2006 to 2013, and after a long career as an intelligence analyst, I felt I needed a ...

The vast size of the proposed China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has players on all sides struggling to calculate the pros and cons for their own interests. From the benefit of creating new trade routes to the obstacle of the war in Afghanistan, regional leaders and their citizens are assessing ...

President Donald Trump is currently on his first trip to China and East Asia. The visit comes at a time when America's allies in the region are increasingly anxious about their security—which should rightfully be a major focus of the trip. But it is critical that our economic future with ...

President Donald Trump is currently on his first trip to China and East Asia. The visit comes at a time when America's allies in the region are increasingly anxious about their security—which should rightfully be a major focus of the trip. But it is critical that our economic future with ...

Last November, Egypt’s Central Bank announced it was taking steps to allow the pound to trade freely on the currency market. The move to float was widely regarded as a necessary, but incredibly difficult one. The Central Bank had held the pound at around eight to the dollar; today it ...

Last November, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi implemented a demonetization of the country's two most popular bank notes, sparking chaos across the country as people tried to deposit their cash before it became worthless. However, one year later, the Indian economy is growing at a healthy seven percent annually, and ...

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is well known for his massive Twitter following – roughly 32 million – and obsession with taking selfies at every occasion. But it was his promise to bring the economic success and clean governance of his home state of Gujarat to the rest of India ...

The recently agreed framework for a Europe-Japan free trade agreement could not provide a clearer indication as to the changing of the guard in terms of free trade leadership. At a time when the United States is following an America-First trade policy, it is Germany and Japan that are now ...

In keeping with his America First agenda, President Donald Trump is pushing ahead with the promised new direction in U.S. trade and international economic policy. On July 17, the Trump Administration released a 17-page guideline outlining its ambitious goals for renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), top officials ...

French President Emmanuel Macron clinched a major win in the country’s recent parliamentary elections, and as Germany looks toward federal elections in September, Chancellor Angela Merkel has a good shot at being reelected for a fourth term. With Britain leaving the European Union and the U.S. somewhat disengaging from the ...

With Britain leaving the European Union, a surge in support for populist and anti-EU parties across the continent, and an uncertain United States that seems to be pulling away from Europe, France and Germany – under centrist French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel – look increasingly like ...

Will French President Emmanuel Macron be able to work with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to restore a fracturing European Union to a position of strength? The Cipher Brief’s Kaitlin Lavinder talked with Steven Kramer, a former policy advisor to the U.S. State Department from 1996 to 2002; Kramer said the ...

The most important determinant of a country’s national security is the health of its economy and its society. That is a strong statement, but it is true. I saw it when I studied economic history in college, years ago. I saw it as a young economic analyst at the Central ...

Saudi-China bilateral relations took a notable upswing this March after Saudi King Salman and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed landmark economic deals worth approximately $65 billion. The Cipher Brief’s Bennett Seftel spoke with Gary Grappo, former U.S. Ambassador to Oman, about Saudi Arabia’s and China’s economic strategies as well as ...

As a major importer of oil from both Saudi Arabia and Iran, and with expanding economic interests in the Middle East, China has a stake in maintaining stability in the volatile region. The Cipher Brief’s Bennett Seftel sat down with Simon Henderson, Director of the Gulf and Energy Policy Program ...

China, for some time, has performed a delicate balancing act in the Middle East. As a major importer of oil from two archrivals, Saudi Arabia and Iran, Beijing has managed to pursue its economic ambitions despite divisive regional politics. However, after Qatar was ostracized by its Gulf neighbors earlier this ...

The Fund For Peace’s 2017 Fragile States Index paints an alarming, but justified, picture of Turkey: it is declining dramatically in most areas measured by the index. Turkey saw drops in security, fractionalized elites, group grievances, human rights, and refugees and internally displaced persons. Only the last, refugees and IDPs, ...

Trade growth has been running flat against GDP growth since 2012. According to the World Trade Organization (WTO), global trade volumes grew just 1.3 percent in 2016. This year, the WTO forecasts that this number will recover to 2.4 percent in 2017 -- roughly equivalent to GDP growth. For many economists, ...

The McKinsey Global Institute estimated last year that digital trade has a greater impact on economic growth, measured by a nation’s Gross Domestic Product, than traditional trade in goods and services. The McKinsey study said that digital trade volume has grown 4500 percent since 2005 and is projected to increase ...

In recent years, global trade growth has slowed significantly, even creeping below global GDP growth at a level that hasn’t been seen in decades. Some economists believe globalization has reached a natural upper limit.  Others argue that the data does not reflect true stagnation or that new forces driving trade ...

Venezuela is teetering on the edge of implosion, with intertwined economic and political crises spinning out of control. The country is entering its second month of mass protests where tens of thousands of Venezuelans have taken to the streets daily to call for President Nicolás Maduro to go. The demonstrations ...

At a time when the U.S. is propping up its coal industry, China is expanding its support for clean energy. After years of targeted policy and investment, it has emerged as a global leader in the clean energy industry. Chinese firms continue to expand their share of the global market ...

U.S. President Donald Trump marked his 100th day in office with an executive order calling for a review of U.S. trade deals, as well as its membership in the World Trade Organization. The order follows statements earlier in the week threatening to terminate or renegotiate NAFTA and the U.S. free ...

Forgive free-trade advocates for being a bit disoriented this year. The vertigo hit hard in January, when trade’s most notable defender at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, was not from the West but from the East. “Say no to protectionism,” Chinese President Xi Jinping urged in his ...

The presidency of Donald Trump has had a rocky start, punctuated by embarrassing personnel shakeups, sloppy messaging, and major policy changes. However, the administration has remained relatively consistent on one central economic theme, first introduced in the campaign and vigorously pursued after President Trump’s inauguration, that of “America First.” From ...

The United States has been the standard-bearer for free trade, multilateralism, and globalization since the end of World War II. However, as the Trump administration seems to back away from that historic role, new powers like China are rushing – at least rhetorically – to take advantage of the strategic ...

Since taking office in January, President Donald Trump has backed up the protectionist – and even isolationist – rhetoric of his campaign with concrete action. In a flurry of activity, the president has confirmed his intent not to pursue ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade treaty, signed two executive ...

Recent heavy migration from Africa to Europe has renewed the European Union’s focus on maintaining stability and contributing to the economic development of its southern neighbor in an effort to stem the migrant flows. Asmita Parshotam, a researcher under the Economic Diplomacy Programme at the South African Institute of International ...

On March 13, desperate Somali fishermen hijacked the tanker Aris-13 off the coast of Puntland, in the northeast part of the country. This was the first such incident in almost five years – raising concerns over a return to piracy in the Horn of Africa. Since then, two similar incidents ...

Egyptian President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi is at the White House on Monday with the high hopes of receiving strong support from U.S. President Donald Trump. One of the major issues that the Egyptian President will surely stress to attain this favor is the sustainment of the Egypt-Israel peace treaty. While ...

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran’s powerful, ideological military force, is one of the country’s most influential institutions, with major stakes in key sectors of the economy and supervision of Tehran’s vast network of militias and terrorist proxies in conflicts throughout the Middle East. In its eagerness to secure the ...

For years, China's GDP has soared under its hybrid model of a free-market and command economy. But as growth slows and debt levels rise, are cracks forming in this model that Beijing cannot control? Timothy Heath's article, published on December 14th, explores the implications of these economic and political dynamics. ...

President-elect Donald Trump will tell Canada and Mexico – our NAFTA partners – that we intend to “immediately renegotiate the terms of that agreement,” and if not, “we will submit notice that the U.S. intends to withdraw from the deal.” The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) can be strengthened ...

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has stitched the economies of Mexico, Canada, and the United States together since 1994. However, over those twenty-plus years, criticism and controversy have continuously dogged the free trade pact. To U.S. opponents of the deal, NAFTA represents the kind of rampant globalization that ...

President-elect Donald Trump consistently lambasted the North American Free Trade Association (NAFTA) as a "the worst deal, possibly in history," one which unfairly disadvantages American workers. He has promised to renegotiate the agreement, or possibly even get rid of it altogether. However, critics contend that the effect of degrading trade ...

The election of Donald Trump and the demise of the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement has unleashed a flood of anxiety-ridden commentary about how China will now seize leadership in Asia and how Trump may launch devastating trade wars that might lead to real wars. This is ...

During his campaign, President-elect Donald Trump repeatedly slammed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as a "bad deal" that would harm U.S. workers and export jobs to Asia. He has promised to renegotiate the agreement, or more likely, back out altogether. For TPP partners and American allies in the region, this is ...

Italians called to confirm or reject Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s constitutional reform on December 4 may be under the impression that they are participating in a plebiscite on the popularity of their young, bold, over-confident leader. To be sure, an unnecessarily heated, confused and ultimately misleading electoral campaign has spread ...

For roughly 30 years, China’s “economic miracle” has catapulted the once-impoverished country from relative backwater to global economic juggernaut. Driven by export-led growth and massive state investments in manufacturing and infrastructure, China had enjoyed a period of scorching GDP growth at an average of 10 percent a year. However, that ...

Since the liberalizing economic reforms implemented by Deng Xiaoping in 1978, the Chinese economy has grown at an average annual rate of nearly 10 percent. However, as the returns of rapid industrialization and urbanization begin to diminish, this growth has begun to slow. At the same time, massive state-driven investment ...

President-elect Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping have more in common than they currently realize. Both want to make their countries “great again,” and both need to demonstrate that they can create jobs for the large segments of their population that have felt left behind by globalization. President Xi’s challenge ...

When the Arab Spring reached Egypt in January 2011, sparking unprecedented mass protests in Tahrir Square and across the country, calls for democratic reform and liberation from authoritarian rule seemed to dominate the revolutionary movement. However, it was not just political demands that brought millions to the street to protest ...

November has arrived, and with it, the long-anticipated devaluation of the Egyptian pound. Precipitated by weeks of growing panic in the currency market, the measure was an integral reform needed to secure the disbursal of a 12 billion USD loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), finally inked last Friday. ...

Two weeks ago, Egypt appeared to be on the brink. The Egyptian pound, which sold at 5.9 LE/$ at the time of Egypt’s January 2011 “Arab Spring” uprising, had fallen to 8.9 LE/$ on November 2, while traders were buying dollars for 18.2 LE/$ on the black market.  Meanwhile, as revenue ...

How steady are the hands on the steering wheel of Saudi Arabia?  That question prompts an immediate follow-on: Whose hands are we talking about?  There seem to be too many. Notionally, the kingdom is being directed by King Salman, but he is 80 years old and suffering from the physical and ...

The relationship between military spending and GDP growth in peacetime seems an easy equation. When a country’s economy is healthy and growing, it can splurge on fancy new equipment and a larger standing army. When growth has slumped and government revenues decline, that country should tighten its belt and focus ...