The blow to Xiaomi and the stimuli from Biden weigh down Asian stock markets

The Shares of Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi plummeted this Friday, after the administration of US President Donald Trump placed the company on a blacklist of alleged Chinese military companies. Along with the announcement of Stimulus from President-Elect Joe Biden of $ 1.9 Trillion, Asian stocks have closed lower.

In Hong Kong, Xiaomi shares listed in the city have plummeted almost 11%, although they have closed with falls of little more than 10%. Hang Seng Tech’s overall index also fell 1.64%, while the benchmark Hang Seng index held steady.

Elsewhere, stocks in Asia-Pacific were mostly lower in trading on Friday, as investors reacted regionally to the release of Biden’s rescue package to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The mainland China stocks ended setbacks: The Shanghai component fell 0.53% while the Shenzhen component did it 1.474%.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was down 0.69% while the Topix index fell 0.86%. South Korea’s Kospi cut 1.67%. Meanwhile, stocks in Australia finished slightly higher, with the S & P / ASX 200 rising 0.18%.


Europe prepares for Biden | Voice of America

Within days of Joe Biden’s inauguration as the 46th president of the United States, America’s European allies are preparing for the new administration. For European leaders, Biden’s return to the White House, which he left four years ago as Barack Obama’s vice president, along with familiar faces in key foreign and security positions, is reassuring.

And it is even more so in the wake of last week’s violence against Congress by agitators supporting the president of the United States, Donald Trump, focused on deep-state conspiracy theories, who sought to reverse the result of the victory of Biden in the presidential election. It is an assault that has left the Europeans as disoriented and shocked as the Americans.

Europa: Biden-Harris Celebration

Reactions to the Biden-Harris binomial from Europe. From London reports the correspondent of the Voice of America, Sabina Castelfranco.

At a security conference two years ago in Munich, European leaders were tugging at Biden’s sleeves on the sidelines of the meeting, urging him to run for office. After enduring a loud and harsh “America First” speech from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Biden, now seen as the most pro-Atlantic president since George HW Bush, joked in his speech: “This too will pass. We will be back.”

Biden and his team of top advisers, his nominee for U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken, and his choices for top positions in the CIA and the National Security Council, including Jake Sullivan and Amanda Sloat, are well-known figures across the Atlantic, having served in the Obama administration. Sloat, a former senior State Department official, will head the NSC’s European office. “Amanda is a great professional who knows Europe well,” says David O’Sullivan, a retired Irish diplomat and former EU envoy in Washington.

Lawmakers on both sides of the Atlantic are now determined to repair deteriorating relations and stabilize democracies shaken by unprecedented domestic political turmoil and challenged by authoritarian powers. There will be a swift agreement on a variety of issues with Brussels and Washington eager for close collaboration, according to analysts. Biden has already pledged to rejoin the Paris climate accord and says he will reverse Trump’s decision to withdraw from the World Health Organization.

FILE – Former US Vice President (now President-elect) speaks at the Annual Security Conference in Munich, Germany, on Feb. 16, 2019.

Washington and Brussels are likely to move quickly to shape an initiative on how the moribund World Trade Organization can be reformed and how rules-based multilateral global governance can be strengthened, analysts say. They are also waiting for an offer to resolve trade disputes. Last month, the European Commission called on the United States and the EU to “work closely together to resolve the irritants of bilateral trade.” There is some hope in Brussels that Biden will lift the Trump-era tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the EU.

That could pave the way for resolving a long-standing dispute over subsidies to jet makers Boeing and Airbus. The EC also presented a wish list for cooperation, including on the pandemic, climate change, technology, security and defense. The list was designed to show how well Europe is in tune with some of Biden’s priorities. However, it was also an early launch of the EU positions where there are differences, preparing for negotiations.

Furthermore, individual European countries have been courting the new administration. Biden has said he wants to convene a world summit of democracies to forge common goals that serve the cause of freedom and unite democracies to counter authoritarian alternatives. Victoria Nuland, a veteran diplomat slated for a senior post at the State Department, recently said: “It’s time to stand up and defend her. [la democracia]”.

He added: “We have problems not only dealing with autocracies… we have repeat offender countries around the world that may have elections, but they are not behaving like democracies in terms of protecting the free press and free judiciary and defending the state of law. And we have problems within our own societies. ”

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Saturday: “We are ready to work with the United States on a joint Marshall Plan for democracy,” referring to the American campaign launched in 1948 to rebuild 18 devastated Western European nations. for the war. Maas said that “there were no better, closer and more natural partners in the 21st century than the United States and Europe.”

Europe hopes to reach an agreement with Biden on tax to digital companies

This is an old European intention: to impose a tax on the big American digital firms that operate in France. The Trump administration opposed such a tax and in June withdrew from negotiations due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Europeans hope to reach an agreement with a Biden administration.

Britain is also increasing its outreach to Washington with four high-level cabinet ministers scheduled to visit the US capital in the coming weeks. With his sights set on the possibility of Biden defeating Trump, Prime Minister Boris Johnson began advocating in June for the establishment of a D-10 group of leading democracies.

Last week, Johnson appointed a cabinet minister to take charge of the COP26 climate change summit, which Britain will host in November in Glasgow. The appointment came after Biden’s advisers warned London that it needed to speed up preparations for the summit or risk the new administration not taking it seriously.

The Johnson administration was quick to describe how well aligned it is with many of Biden’s key priorities, including strengthening NATO, especially in cybersecurity. It is also boosting its own defense spending. And it backed off last month from breaching parts of a year-old Brexit withdrawal agreement. That could have resulted in the establishment of border posts on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, a violation of the US-brokered Good Friday Peace Agreement.

Both moves were “responses to Biden’s victory,” says Lisa Nandy, a foreign affairs spokeswoman for the British Labor Party. She told the VOA: “It has been made very clear, not just by Biden, but by the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, and other high-ranking Democrats, that Britain needs to start repairing relations. with the EU. Britain has a lot of work to do to show that we are still relevant after Brexit. ”

FILE – US Vice President Joe Biden (now president-elect), in a Feb. 6, 2015 photo in Brussels, ahead of a meeting of the European Security Council.

While there is much to bring the two continents together, a simple return to how things were before Donald Trump’s presidency is unlikely, analysts and lawmakers agree. Major adjustments will have to be made due to domestic political developments in both the United States and Europe, and due to geopolitical changes.

Since Biden was last in the White House, China has become even more assertive and the Kremlin has amended the Russian constitution, paving the way for Vladimir Putin to remain in power in Moscow for the foreseeable future. Both China and Russia have been accused of waging a hybrid war against the West in an attempt to undo Western democracies by meddling in democratic elections, launching invisible cyberattacks against the United States and Europe, and conducting online disinformation campaigns.

As Americans and Europeans trade their to-do lists, they say there are many crossovers, but they also admit differences.

“Many commentators focus on how America has changed under Donald Trump. But Europe has also changed, ”says Hans Kundnani of Chatham House in Great Britain. He cites the growing debate in Europe about the development of the bloc of “strategic autonomy” with the aim of increasing the self-reliance and independence of the EU at a time of increasing geopolitical competition between the United States and China.

Biden’s advisers say they don’t fear a more autonomous Europe, saying that a marriage is strengthened when both partners are strong, as long as they don’t start going their separate ways.

But the EU’s ambitions to become a bigger global player are likely to expose some friction, especially when it comes to handling China. Kundnani says Europe is likely to get angry at Washington’s efforts to align the EU with the United States on China. He predicts there will be resistance to efforts for Europe to decouple from China and take the geopolitical and security implications of European companies trading with Beijing more seriously. “I’m thinking here particularly of Germany,” says Kundnani.

Biden wants a “united front” when it comes to China to increase influence over Beijing. But to the disappointment of Biden’s advisers, the EU last month struck an investment deal with Beijing, which on paper appears to open China to more European investment covered with fewer barriers.

Days before the deal was sealed, Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, urged Europeans to delay the deal, calling in a tweet “for early consultation with our European partners on our common concerns about the economic practices of China”.

Critics on both sides of the Atlantic say the deal will give China preferential access to European markets as Beijing continues to clamp down on Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement and maintain detention centers in Xinjiang province, where China’s communist government has interned. to more than a million Uyghurs, a Muslim ethnic group, according to rights groups.

Even before Trump was elected, there was a bipartisan consensus in Washington that Europe must take more responsibility for its own security, but several countries have been lingering. Biden will continue to push, his aides say, for an equitable distribution of the burden, but he will not engage in the episodic questioning of the very value of the transatlantic defense pact that President Trump made in tough meetings with European leaders. Europe’s slowness in rebalancing NATO may continue to be a source of transatlantic tension, experts say.

NATO aside, Biden has very ambitious foreign policy goals, which can stretch the EU’s ability to move fast and secure agreement among its 27 members.

“It will take a lot of tissue and a lot of coordination to deal with the many things that lie ahead of us, from healthcare to the economy and China and technology, all these kinds of things,” Nuland warned at a research group event last month. . He said the United States will hug Europe tightly, adding: “Maybe too tightly, so we’ll have to see how that goes.”


The relay in the US, the first milestone of a challenging year for agricultural trade

The change in the US Administration marks the start of a challenging year for agri-food exporters, with challenges like panorama post Brexit, he agreement with Mercosur and the need for Expand markets to support recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

The new US Administration opens the expectations of the Spanish sector about a solution to the conflict of tariffs and the hope that the new president, Joe Biden, will pursue a less belligerent trade policy than his predecessor Donald Trump.

Apart, Spanish producers and the rest of the European Union (EU) face the abandonment of the community market by the Kingdom Kingdom and the increase in internal environmental requirements, which are also demanded for imports.

For its part, Latin American countries aspire to expand their worldwide sales as an economic solution after covid-19.

EXPECTATION FOR THE USA. The Spanish agri-food exporters await Biden’s arrival with open arms, in two weeks, after suffering the tariffs in retaliation for EU aid to the European aeronautical consortium Airbus. Trump’s trade policy has been characterized by promote the “trade war”, assuming the most “protectionist” positions, the director of international relations of Cooperativas Agroalimentarias declares to Efe, Gabriel Braided.

However, he cautions that the US Administration has always been “tough” in the commercial arenaBut in the new era “a space is opening in which at least negotiations can be channeled” and controversies resolved in a balanced way.

The tariffs due to the Airbus conflict affected food from Germany, France, Spain and the United Kingdom; Braided highlights the damage to the table olive segment. For its part, the EU responded with rates on US products for subsidies granted to Boeing.

This week, The US has suspended levies it was going to impose on France in retaliation for the digital tax of this country and showed its willingness to negotiate within the World Trade Organization (WTO).

FUTURE AFTER BREXIT. Since January 1, the United Kingdom has been out of the Community market, although its exit does not involve tariffs. The United Kingdom absorbs 10% of Spanish agri-food exports, about € 4,000 million.

According to cooperatives, There is “fear” among producers because the United Kingdom will legislate independently of the EU and “it will be necessary to verify” whether it promotes regulatory changes or advantages to other competing nations. In that sense, he adds, the United Kingdom becomes a objective “very sweet” for Morocco, Algeria, Egypt or Tunisia.

ENVIRONMENT, INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGE. Braided highlights that In 2021 the main challenge in international trade will be to include “the environmental aspect”. European farmers insist on the so-called “fairness in the rules of the game” between all operators in the market. The problem is a increased competition in the EU market itself, the main destination for Spanish products.

The manager of the international trade program of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Daniel Rodríguez, points out that in order to consolidate markets, the countries of the Americas must “strengthen health and sustainability.”

PRIORITIES FOR LATIN AMERICA. Latin America markets 14% of the world’s agricultural exports and it has leading powers, a position that was reinforced during the first months of the pandemic, according to IICA.

Rodríguez points out that agricultural trade is one of the “main engines” for the region’s recovery The challenges will be “targeting third destinations”, since 86% of these sales go to non-Latin American countries (22% to the US, 19% to East Asia and 18% to the EU).

Another objective, as he remarks, is to expand internal trade and “diversify” products; 51% of the value of its exports is concentrated in ten goods.

AGREEMENT WITH MERCOSUR. In 2021, the processing of the agreement reached in 2019 between the EU and Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay), whose legal texts must still be examined and ratified before it becomes a reality. The pact establishes a free trade zone that affects 780 million people and liberalizes a large part of trade.

Although it offers advantages to EU producers, many sectors fear its entry into force. For Spanish cooperatives it has shortcomings, such as “leaving out table olives” and insufficient liberalization periods for olive oil.


International: Donald Trump, isolated | Opinion

Democratic legislators in the United States Congress plan to begin the process for a second impeachment trial of the outgoing president, Donald Trump, whom they want to accuse of “inciting an insurrection” for his responsibility in the assault on the Capitol. The seriousness of the events that took place last Wednesday and the restoration of the prestige of the United States as a great democratic power demand that the possible responsibilities of the still tenant of the White House be investigated and clarified. There is an obvious risk that this second ‘impeachment’ will further polarize the country, but the world’s first liberal democracy cannot for this reason stop acting against its enemies.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, said on Friday that she would start the impeachment process today if Trump did not resign, something that seems highly unlikely. However, President-elect Joe Biden is concerned that this trial will consume the Senate during his first weeks in power, when he wants it to focus on passing its bills to contain the pandemic, refloat the economy and reform the immigration system . So there is division within the Democratic Party. Either way, the new Biden Administration can be expected to swiftly scrub all responsibilities to launch a reconciliation process that curbs the polarization of society that Trump has been irresponsibly fueling.

The Democratic Party, which controls both houses, is now responsible for taking the initiative. However, the Republican must distance himself from Trump. The embarrassing spectacle in Washington last week erodes the prestige of the most powerful democracy on the planet. The two great parties have to collaborate to reconstitute it.


Outgoing president’s Arab allies wink at Biden

The Donald Trump’s great allies in the Arab world prepare for the relief in the White House. Saudi Arabia this week lifted the blockade of Qatar, a gesture of rapprochement towards the Doha authorities after almost four years of isolation by land, sea and air after accusing them of supporting terrorism. Trump says goodbye by speeding up arms sales contracts to Saudis, United Arab Emirates (UAE), which will receive the F35 fighters, a model that only Israel uses in the region, and also to Morocco, interested in state-of-the-art drones. Emiratis and Moroccans win these contracts thanks to the normalization of relations with the Jewish state promoted by the outgoing president.

The country that Joe Biden. He Future president threatened to turn his great ally into a “pariah” if human rights violations did not stop. Sources consulted by the AFP agency assured that Riyadh is accelerating the pace of trials against opponents to prevent these processes from causing confrontations.

A late 2020 activist Loujain Al Hathloul, famous for her fight in favor of women’s rights, was sentenced to five years and eight months in prison by a court specialized in antiterrorist cases. They found him guilty of “serving an agenda outside the kingdom using the internet in order to harm the public system.”

Biden, In addition, he did not rule out stopping the sale of arms due to the repeated complaints of war crimes by humanitarian organizations. The United States is, together with France and the United Kingdom, the main supplier of arms to the Saudi Army, which since 2015 has intervened directly in the Yemeni conflict to try to end the Houthi rebels, whom it accuses of being under the command of Iran. . Hundreds of thousands of people have died and millions are displaced by this war that has devastated the poorest country in the Arab world.

“A gift”

The lifting of the blockade on Qatar “is a gift for Biden,” an adviser to the Saudi Government told the Financial Times, who confessed, under anonymity, that “Prince Mohamed Bin Salmán feels in the spotlight” and he wants this agreement with Doha to be interpreted as “a sign of his desire to move forward” with the new Administration.

The first Qatari vehicles crossed the border with Saudi Arabia on Friday, 24 hours later the passage with the UAE was also opened and this week air traffic will resume. The crossing of these cars symbolizes the end of a long dispute between neighbors and Riyadh’s change of strategy, which abandons the pressure against a country that is also an ally of Washington.

JTogether with Riyadh, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE, they already announced in June 2017 the severing of relations with Doha and presented thirteen demandsThese included the closure of the Al-Jasira channel, severing ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, or the withdrawal of Turkish troops from the country. Almost four years later, the only concession he appears to have made has been the waiver of the legal claims he had filed against Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies.

During Trump’s term, Bin Salmán has been a red line, especially after the murder and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khassogi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018. Despite the UN report that pointed to “credible evidence” about the prince’s responsibility in the murder of the columnist of the newspaper ‘The Washington Post’, the outgoing president always protected him and the official US position is that it is an unsolved case.

Democrats harshly criticized this carte blanche to the young heir to the throne, but Trump put million-dollar arms sales contracts first. Questioned on the subject, he replied: “I am not going to give up hundreds of billions in contracts so that Russia and China come and take them away.”

Another of the possible victims is the Egyptian president, Abdelfatah el-Sisi. This summer, following the arrest of several human rights activists, Biden tweeted him, writing “no more blank checks for Trump’s’ favorite dictator.” The Middle East, like the rest of the world, is paying attention to the change in the White House, but they do not expect miracles that will solve the endless conflicts in the region.


Biden celebrates that Trump will not attend his inauguration

The president-elect of the USA, Joe Biden, celebrated this Friday, January 8, 2021 that the outgoing president, Donald Trump, is not going to attend his inauguration on January 20, but did not go so far as to openly ask for his immediate dismissal, assuring that this decision “depends on Congress.”

During a press conference in Wilmington (Delaware), Biden welcomed the announcement of Trump, who on January 8 confirmed in a tweet that he will not go to the inauguration of the president-elect in less than two weeks.

“This is one of the few things that he and I have ever agreed on. It is a good thing, that it does not come,” said the president-elect.

Asked if you would like me to be the outgoing vice president, Mike Pence, Biden opined that it would be fine to keep as close to the tradition in U.S, and the show of unity and respect for the institutions that having the outgoing Administration present at the event implies. “(Pence) is welcome. It would be an honor to have him there.”

Trump will be the first American president who does not go to one investment of his successor in 152 years, since the Democrat Andrew Johnson it did not go to Ulysses S. Grant in 1869.

The Democratic leaders Congress have warned that if Pence does not act immediately to remove a Trump according to the process established in the amendment 25 of the Constitution, something that seems highly unlikely, will initiate a second impeachment process, with a possible vote on it next week.

Asked about the issue, Biden avoided speaking out for or against, stating that he is focused on preparing the actions he will take as soon as he comes to power, which will include presenting a bill on pandemic and the economy and another on immigration reform.

“What Congress decides (about Trump) is something for them to decide, I’m focused on my work,” Biden settled.

The president-elect recalled that it has been clear to him for a long time that Trump “is not suitable” for the Presidency, and said that the important thing is that in 12 days he will leave power because the more than 80 million people who voted for Biden have so decided. the elections of November.

“It is not that I do not think that he should have left power yesterday (…) but the fastest way in which that will happen is our inauguration,” unless he Congress act before, he added.

The elected president asked “research immediately “the assault al Congress committed by “national terrorists” and make those responsible for the death of a policeman of the Capitol be held accountable.

He stressed that those assailants acted “actively encouraged by the president of the United States.”

“This reminded me more of the situations that I have seen in the more than 100 countries that I have been, and in dictatorships,” Biden said, lamenting “the damage he done (Trump) to the reputation” of the United States.

“And the acolytes who follow him, (Senator Ted) Cruz and others, have as much responsibility as he” for the attack on the Capitol, he added.


Israel: Be aware that the sleeping transatlantic giant is waking up

Relations between the United States and Europe, which reached a new low during the Trump presidency, are expected to recover under the Biden administration, and this development could be problematic for Israel. Jerusalem would do well to look west and examine the renewed ties, and consider the latent risks and opportunities.

After years of weakening the transatlantic alliance, exacerbated by President Trump’s four years in office, strategic cooperation between the European Union and the United States is likely to resume. This cooperation is necessary to face the coronavirus crisis and its consequences, as well as the geopolitical and technological changes that have occurred in the last two decades. A renewed dialogue between the two sides of the Atlantic will have implications for several other players in the international arena, primarily Russia and China, as well as for players at the regional level, including Turkey and Iran. Israel is also advised to consider the implications of the apparent change. Israel would do well to take emerging changes into account and formulate its positions accordingly, especially considering that the US administration and the European Union will present coordinated positions on issues of importance to it.

The collapse of the Soviet bloc three decades ago began a process of distancing the United States from Europe and a weakening of the association between them. This trend accelerated during the Trump presidency. Behind this change was the lack of a strategic threat to European countries and the United States, along with the option available to implement policies in various international frameworks and organizations as a substitute for bilateral dialogue. In addition, the US willingness to use military force to advance objectives and interests contrasted with the European aversion to this resource, and the United States took a geostrategic and economic turn towards Asia in the face of the rise of China. Beneath a thin layer of “business as usual”, major disagreements emerged between countries on both sides of the Atlantic. Although Europe continued to perceive the international legal system, institutions and diplomacy as cornerstones of the international order; The United States preferred a separatist course of action, which sees international mechanisms and tools as an obstacle to policy implementation, and traditional partners more enemies than partners in the making and implementation of policies focused on prioritizing American interests. The discontent of European leaders with the conduct of the United States and President Trump was accompanied by contempt for the president and his tendency to keep their distance, even before the concept of “America first” was incorporated into international discourse.

However, the election of Joe Biden to the presidency increases the likelihood that the strategic dialogue between Europe and the United States, which is fundamental to any successful confrontation with the challenges and dangers posed by values ​​and interests, as defined, will resume. the EU and the new US administration. This was reflected on the official platform of the US Democratic Party and by the president-elect during and after the election campaign. The European Union also issued a proposal for a transatlantic agenda and global cooperation that takes into account the changing geopolitical and technological power relations in the international arena. The framework formulated by the EU Commission was announced in EU-US: a new transatlantic agenda for global change, and joined the recommendations of a working group on NATO 2030: United for a new era.

At the core of the transatlantic partnership is a common set of values, based on respect for human rights and freedoms, gender equality, minority rights, the rule of law, democracy and multilateralism. , which in economic terms is based on a free and regulated market and fair international trade. The European side proposes to include a common approach to a number of global and regional issues on this agenda. The EU has prioritized the fight against the coronavirus outbreak and the ensuing economic crisis, as well as the green agenda; technological problems; Commerce; standards for democratic order and the strengthening and expansion of democracy.

These principles are strategically and ideologically challenged by various countries and movements, especially China and Russia. Both have shown in recent years a growing assertiveness in the international arena, threatening stability in various regions of the world. In the opinion of NATO member states, the organization has the resilience and the economic and technological strength to face the challenges, but for this it must strengthen coordination among them and agree on a platform and agenda for joint action.

Israel must carefully consider its own positions on issues where there is an agreement in principle between the United States and Europe. Among them:

Values: The adherence of Europe and the United States to the values ​​of democracy, human freedom, the rule of law, and international legal and institutional systems as the basis for joint transatlantic action can pose a challenge for several countries, including Israel. Indeed, Israel is increasingly seen among various liberal wing groups in the United States and Europe as a frequent violator of this value system. For several years, this view of Israel among various EU member states, compounded by the Israeli government’s policies on West Bank settlements, has eliminated political dialogue at the highest level. The renewal of the transatlantic dialogue and the likelihood of cooperation between the United States and the EU may enhance Israel’s negative image in Washington with respect to its democratic strength and commitment to individual rights and the rule of law.

The Iranian nuclear program: The EU praised President-elect Biden’s intention to return to the framework of the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) and emphasized that the deal was adopted by Security Council Resolution 2231 with the consent of the United States. Germany, France and the United Kingdom have welcomed Biden’s intention to return to the JCPOA and rescind the sanctions imposed by President Trump, in exchange for Iran’s return to full compliance with the terms of the agreement. Biden and the European partners of the JCPOA have stated that a return to the agreement will be a starting point for further discussions on some related topics, as well as others not addressed in its framework, such as Iran’s missile program and its regional activity. The US commitment to the JCPOA, in contrast to Israel’s position, caused significant damage to US-Israel relations and the heightened dispute between Israel and the EU. Therefore, and in view of Biden’s intention to return to the agreement, Israel must formulate an informed position that takes into account the lessons of the campaign against the United States’ accession to the agreement (in 2015, under President Obama); the implications of the 2018 US withdrawal from the JCPOA, which led to a series of Iranian violations of the terms of the agreement; and the US policy of “maximum pressure” on Iran, which Biden appears to oppose. The continuation of current Israeli policy will create a confrontation with the incoming administration and the European Union, or it will simply be ignored.

The political process between Israel and the PalestiniansWhile the Democratic Party and the European Union agree on the imperative of a two-state solution, their positions on the central issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are not entirely identical. Contrary to the EU position, the Democratic platform does not mention the 1967 borders. It recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel (without a separate reference to the eastern part of the city), while stipulating that the status of Jerusalem is a topic of negotiation in discussions about a permanent status agreement. For its part, the EU treats Jerusalem as one entity and the eastern side as part of the territory occupied by Israel in 1967. The EU opposes Israeli settlements in the West Bank; the platform of the Democratic Party opposes its expansion.

Along with differences with the United States, which will matter if and only when Israeli-Palestinian negotiations are resumed, the EU recommends joint action with the administration to establish the conditions for meaningful progress in the political process, especially by working together to revive the Middle East Quartet. In a dialogue with the US administration in the context of the political process, the Israeli government will need to present a comprehensive outline for progress that will address sensitive issues such as additional construction in existing settlements, as well as proposals to improve the economic situation. in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Broad Israeli opposition to individual actions, such as the resumption of US funding for UNRWA or discussions within the Quartet, if not accompanied by a list of constructive proposals, could generate tensions with the administration.

The Eastern Mediterranean region: On both sides of the Atlantic, recognition has grown that Turkey is becoming a strategic nuisance. A European-American dialogue on the Turkey issue is a framework that will be convenient for Israel, which prefers that its own bilateral disagreements with Turkey do not attract international attention. However, Israel has no interest in creating the impression that it is pushing for deterrence and sanction measures against Turkey.

In conclusion, Joe Biden’s entry into the White House is an opportunity to turn a new page in the transatlantic relationship. It is too early to assess the scope of an anticipated shift in US policy, but it is hoped that, alongside disagreements, the US will make an effort to coordinate positions with the EU on a number of issues that will shape the geostrategic reality of the United States. the next few decades, some of which are of great relevance to Israel. Israel would do well to take emerging changes into account and formulate its policies accordingly, particularly since the US administration and the European Union are likely to present coordinated positions on issues of critical importance.

Fuente: INSS The Institute for National Security Studies


Trump-Duque-Biden – Column of Juan Fernando Cristo – Columnists – Opinion

A year and a half remains for the government of Iván Duque with the new North American administration and the evolution of bilateral relations, increasingly important for Colombia, will be interesting.

The clumsiness and imprudence of the government and the Democratic Center in the last electoral campaign in the USA and the evident discomfort of important leaders of the Democratic Party over the undue interference of officials and congressmen of the Colombian right in favor of Trump will take a backseat. The professionalism and pragmatism of the State Department will prevail in Biden-Duque relations, even if the wounds on Capitol Hill remain open.

However, there will be substantive changes. In the last two and a half years, the ideological and political alignment of Trump and the Duque-Uribe government was total. Together they embarked on the adventure of the “humanitarian concert” in Cúcuta to overthrow Maduro, they decided to concentrate their efforts to combat drugs on the fumigation of illicit crops with glyphosate and began to distance themselves with the peace agreement. The systematic attacks on the JEP, the entrapments and the latest statements by Trump in the campaign in Florida against the “Santos-Obama-Farc” agreement are a clear demonstration of that full understanding.

As a result of this privileged relationship, Colombia regressed decades in its foreign policy and adopted key decisions in multilateral settings subject to North American interests. We are also renewing bilateral relations.

This situation was possible not only because of the government’s decision to align itself with Trump, but also, we must be fair, because ideologically both governments shared the same vision of the world and the continent. Now that coincidence disappears and we will see if Duque will have the flexibility to accommodate the new North American policy on issues so sensitive to both nations, such as the fight against drug trafficking, Venezuela or the implementation of the peace agreement itself.

There is no doubt that the position of the United States on these three important fronts will be different as of January 20. In the face of drug trafficking, common concern about the growth of illicit crops will remain, but Trump’s enormous enthusiasm for spraying will diminish and a new approach will be proposed, prioritizing voluntary eradication and social substitution of crops, as well as the transformation of crops. territories.

Certainly, the recent report of the Bipartisan Commission to the US Congress will be the roadmap of the new North American policy to combat this scourge. In the case of Venezuela, the possibility of military adventures as a solution to the crisis will be ruled out and a peaceful and democratic solution will be insisted upon, maintaining international pressure on the Maduro regime. There will be greater multilateral dialogue, and the United States will seek joint formulas with the European Union, which the Trump-Duque axis rejected. And, without a doubt, the implementation of the peace accord will receive a new impetus with the Democratic administration.

Officials announced in foreign policy accompanied former President Obama, they know Colombia well and supported the peace agreement with the FARC. Much clearer and more forceful support is expected for the agreement and the institutions derived from it, such as the JEP.

The question is, then, whether Duque will be able to bypass his excessive ideologization and the radicals in his party and adapt to the new vision of the United States, or will he persist in his worn-out right wing militarist formula. The first answers will be found in the changes or not that you make in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the embassy in Washington or the Ministry of Defense.

If you understand the new political reality of the United States, with a Democratic government and majorities of that party in the House of Representatives, relations will surely continue close. If you decide to persist in your failed policies on these three fronts, we will witness a cooling in bilateral relations in the final stretch of your government. It will dawn and we will see.



The (very) sunken economy that Trump leaves Biden: unemployment, unemployment and Covid

The economic landscape that inherits Joe Biden it’s bleak. By the time the handover of powers is formalized in the White House, ten million Americans will not yet have recovered their jobs they lost for the pandemic. Many of them are also at risk of losing their homes and there are already millions who they queue at food banks to eat. And everything can get more complicated. Small businesses, critical to the economic fabric of the country, do not work and hold out as best they can to avoid bankruptcy.

That is the harsh reality that he drew Jerome Powell after the last meeting of the year of the Federal Reserve. His representation goes in the opposite direction to the march of Wall Street and contrasts completely with the recovery in “V” que auguró Donald Trump. The president even said that he was going to soar like a rocket. But the pandemic only got worse and the political blockade in Congress to carry out a second stimulus package was presented as an additional obstacle at a critical moment.

The reopening of the economy in summer was accompanied by a rapid rebound in GDP in the third quarter. Family spending on goods even rose to pre-pandemic levels, fueled by the first stimulus package and the extension of unemployment benefits. Low interest rates, meanwhile, allowed a full recovery in the real estate sector. But economic activity remains low, the service sector depressed and half of the jobs lost between March and April still have to be recovered.

Powell cautions that the perspective is “extraordinarily uncertain” despite the hopes that are placed on the vaccine against the virus. Winter is anticipated, in fact, very bad for the US economy, the first data for December already clearly reflect the deterioration. During the last week, almost 900,000 applications for unemployment assistance, a level not seen since the confinement restrictions began to relax. And the fear is that a wave of bankruptcies will trigger unemployment. The employment data for November is full of buts. Last month 245,000 new employees were registered, a rate that would have been very solid under normal conditions. Unemployment, meanwhile, fell to 6.7% but a good part of the fall occurred because 400,000 people left the labor market.

In other words, if hiring continues to slow down, the US economy could see a contraction in job creation in the coming months and that will inevitably slow down the entire recovery process. The Fed does not contemplate that the labor market will return to full employment status until 2024 and the restrictions that are imposed to contain the contagions threaten to take away more businesses. In this sense, the surveys show that the number of people who feel more concerned about the economic situation is growing than six months ago. What’s more, half of the Americans who still keep their jobs fear that their job or that of an acquaintance is at risk. That pessimism create an additional drag.

The first quarter of 2021 is anticipated, therefore, devastating. The escalation in infections is being greater than expected both by the number of cases and by geographical extension. And it not only affects the United States, but also Europe and other economies. This suppression of economic activity will take shape in the coming weeks. In fact, it is taken for granted on Wall Street that there will be a relapse into recession in the first months of the Biden presidency while the Fed expects to maintain the current strategy until 2023.

A group of tourists walk past the Macy's Christmas window in an unusually empty city.

What remains to be seen is whether it will worse than the initial hit. The biggest point of uncertainty is on the side of consumption, on which two-thirds of growth depend in the US The data shows that households concentrate spending on basic products and services. When things go wrong, people are more cautious and leave home practically to go to the supermarket. That is why Powell insists that the economy should continue to be supported for as long as necessary, until “substantial progress” in the recovery is observed.

The one chosen by Joe Biden to restore economic prosperity is Janet Yellen, nominated for the Treasury portfolio. The former Fed chair He promises that he will launch an investment agenda that will allow the economy to work for everyone and thus restore the American dream. The Democratic president’s plan includes rebuilding infrastructure, moving toward racial equality in employment, and fighting the crisis caused by climate change. But the achievement of all these goals will depend on Congress.

And before all that, both Powell and Yellen are very clear that the first step out of the crisis is to defeat the virus. “Full recovery will not be possible until people are confident that it is safe to resume normal activity,” says the Fed chief. The National Association for Business Economists projects that it could happen as early as the second quarter of 2021, with mass distribution of the vaccine. The Fed anticipates a 4.2% growth for the year. But there is still a long way to go to get out of the tunnel.


Biden presents a diverse team to advance his ambitious US climate agenda

Michael Regan, US President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for head of the Environmental Protection Agency, speaks after Biden announced his appointment in Wilmington, Delaware, USA. December 19, 2020. REUTERS / Kevin Lamarque

WILMINGTON, U.S., Dec 19 (Reuters) – U.S. President-elect Joe Biden introduced his climate and energy team on Saturday, a group that will seek to push forward an ambitious climate agenda that reverses many of the US government’s policies. Donald Trump.

Michael Regan would become the first black man to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) if confirmed by the Senate, and Representative Deb Haaland, as secretary of the interior, would be the first Native American member of the cabinet.

“Today’s appointees are ready on day one, which is essential because we literally have no time to waste,” Biden said at a media briefing in his home state of Delaware.

Biden, a Democrat who will be inaugurated on January 20, has vowed to make fighting climate change a priority.

However, with a slim majority in the House of Representatives and control of the Senate still undecided, your agenda may have little success in Congress and instead rely on the rules of your regulatory agencies to promote radical change.

Biden, who was Vice President to President Barack Obama, turned to Obama’s EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy for a new role as National Climate Advisor.

Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm will serve as Biden’s energy secretary if confirmed.

Environmental groups have highly praised the team for its expertise and diversity. But the powerful fossil fuel industry, which Biden has frequently criticized, has argued that it must balance climate efforts with job preservation.

Biden wants the United States to achieve a net greenhouse gas emission of zero by 2050, which would require the world’s second-largest emitter to transform its economy, including transportation, power generation and agriculture.

Trevor Hunnicutt’s Wilmington Report; Additional reporting by Jarrett Renshaw and Steve Holland; Edited in Spanish by Javier López de Lérida