Uniting democracies has been the key international political trend of the last hundred years. Understanding this trend and enabling it to continue is the key to world political development.
Streit Council Advisory Board Member Stanley R. Sloan on "Rebuilding Washington's Transatlantic Alliance"
In an article for the National Interest, Stanley R. Sloan argues that the next president of the United States will need to rebuild the transatlantic relationship to address threats to Western security and fundamental values. In Ukraine, NATO and the EU need to support the reform of the country's political and economic system while holding off on the provision of lethal arms. To ensure a lasting defeat of ISIS, Western allies should engage Middle Eastern states and the broader international community to stabilize and govern retaken territory. While the next president must remember that the Russian agenda often runs contrary to that of the U.S., cooperation on managing strategic arms, promoting a peaceful end to the Syria conflict, counterterrorism and other issues is in America's interest. Click here for the full article.
New Book by Streit Council Advisory Board Member Kenneth Weisbrode
In Old Diplomacy Revisited: A Study in the Modern History of Diplomatic Transformers, historian Kenneth Weisbrode asserts that Old Diplomacyis not really that old—many of its concepts and methods date to the mid-nineteenth century—while the practices of New Diplomacy emerged only a couple of generations later. Moreover, "Diplomacy 2.0" and other variants of the post-Cold War era do not depart significantly from their twentieth-century predecessor: their forms, particularly in technology, have changed, but their substance has not. In this succinct overview, Weisbrode reminds us that to understand diplomatic transformations and their relevance to international affairs is to see diplomacy as an entrepreneurial art—and that, like most arts, it is adapted and re-adapted with reference to earlier forms. Diplomatic practice is always changing, and always continuous. To read more about this book, click here.
Kenneth Weisbrode, Ph.D., joins the Streit Council's Advisory Board. He is an Assistant Professor of History at Bilkent University, Turkey and has written and edited several books, including Old Diplomacy Revisited: A Study in the Modern History of Diplomatic Transformers; Churchill and the King: The Wartime Alliance of Winston Churchill and George VI; and The Atlantic Century: Four Generations of Extraordinary Diplomats who Forged America's Vital Alliance with Europe. He is also the co-founder of the Toynbee Prize Foundation's Network for the New Diplomatic History, and holds a Ph.D. in History from Harvard University.
New Book by Streit Council Board Member Richard Rosecrance
In The Resurgence of the West: How a Transatlantic Union Can Prevent War and Restore the United States and Europe, Richard Rosecrance calls for the United States to join forces with the European Union and create a transatlantic economic union. A U.S.-Europe community would unblock arteries of trade and investment, rejuvenate the West, and enable Western countries to deal with East Asian challenges from a position of unity and economic strength. Through this great merger the author offers a positive vision of the future in which members of a tightly knit Western alliance regain economic health and attract Eastern nations to join a new and worldwide international order. To read more about this book, click here.
At the Washington D.C. Summit on Cross Continental Cooperation,held by the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy from November 4-7, Streit Council President Richard Conn Henry reviewed the history of the Streit Council, starting with Clarence K. Streit's self-publication of Union Now just prior to World War II, and continuing with the passing of the Atlantic Union Resolution in 1964. Henry also expounded his idea on a possible Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that, if adopted, would lead to a federal union with the European Union. His proposal can be found here.
Brendan Simms, Ph.D., joins the Streit Council's Advisory Board. He is a Professor of the History of European International Relations at the University of Cambridge, and is the founder and Chairman of the Board of the think tank Project on Democratic Union, which supports a full political union of the Eurozone. He also founded and is the President of the Henry Jackson Society, a think tank dedicated to fostering a strong British and European commitment to liberty; constitutional democracy; human rights; governmental and institutional reform; a robust foreign, security, and defense policy; and the transatlantic alliance. His publications include Three Victories and a Defeat: The Rise and Fall of the First British Empire 1714-1783 (2008) and Unfinest Hour: Britain and the Destruction of Bosnia (2001).
Transatlantic Relations and Global Governance News
Russia says it is creating three new divisions to counter NATO moves
4 May 2016 – Wall Street Journal
Russian will create three new divisions to counter NATO’s planned expansion on its eastern flank, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stated today. Last week, the alliance said it will send four battalions to Poland and the Baltic countries. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the troop buildup would not have happened if Russia had not used force against Ukraine in 2014.
Defense chief blasts Russia’s aggressive “saber rattling”
3 May 2016 – USA Today
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter warned Russia against violating international norms with its recent actions, which have its neighbors on edge about Russia’s ambitions. Carter added that Russia’s “saber rattling” also places doubt on “their respect for norms against the use of nuclear weapons.” He concludes by stating that while the U.S. continues to seek cooperative relations with Russia, it will ultimately defend the rules-based international order.
France gets G7 to discuss global regulation of medicine prices
3 May 2016 – Reuters
French President Francois Hollande stated that France will launch an initiative to control the prices of new medicines at the next G7 meeting. Health ministers and pharmaceutical companies may be involved on this issue, currently on the summit agenda. Though G7 delegates discussed this subject before, few believe a breakthrough will come soon.
Germany to push for progress towards European army
2 May 2016 – Financial Times
Germany is expected to push for a European army by advocating a joint headquarters and shared military assets, according to a draft plan obtained by the Financial Times. The plan also outlines other steps to deepen cooperation under common structures. “The more we Europeans are ready to take on a greater share of the common burden and the more our American partner is prepared to go along the road of common decision-making, the further the transatlantic security partnership will develop greater intensity and richer results,” the paper states.
Brexit “could boost Eurozone GDP”
2 May 2016 – Financial Times
Chief economist of the Edmond de Rothschild private bank Mathilde Lemoine wrote in report that the Eurozone will benefit from Brexit, saying that with the sterling sharply depreciating if Britain leaves the bloc, financial activity in the Eurozone will be relocated and Britain will experience inflation, leading to a growth of 1% in Britain’s GDP and 1.3% in Eurozone GDP.
EU trade chief declares love for Britain, vows tough line on China
2 May 2016 – Reuters
On Monday, Europe's Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom urged Britain to stay in the EU, and stated that talks to reestablish free trade agreements with Britain if it leaves will be delayed until after negotiations with other countries. Malmstrom said that the EU will handle China’s Market Economy Status carefully and prevent possible “dumping” from China’s exports.
White House says it's not concerned about leaks of EU-U.S. trade papers
2 May 2016 – Reuters
The White House responded on Monday to Greenpeace’s release of secret TTIP documents, saying that interpretations of the papers are “misleading” and “wrong.” The White House said it was not concerned about the outcomes of the leaks.
U.S., EU officials say they will not settle for limited trade deal
28 April 2016 – Reuters
U.S. and EU trade officials said on Thursday that they will not settle for a limited transatlantic trade deal that ignores divisions over agricultural products, services, public procurement and dispute resolution. Both sides say they are working toward concluding the deal by January 2017.
EU would divorce UK before any new relationship
28 April 2016 – Reuters
According to two high-level EU sources, Britain would face an abrupt divorce from the EU if it votes to leave the Union in June. There is little support for any extension of the two years provided for negotiating a withdrawal under the Lisbon Treaty. Any new trade partnership would take years to conclude.
Japan’s FM to visit China in bid to restore ties
28 April 2016 – Channel News Asia
Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumido Kishida will make his first visit to China on Friday to discuss the future of Sino-Japanese relations. One major topic of discussion will be maritime disputes, as Japan has been increasing its security support to Vietnam against China in the South China Sea.
China’s AIIB development bank is “constructive addition” to world’s lenders – U.S. Treasury official
28 April 2016 – South China Morning Post
A top international official of the U.S. Treasury expressed optimism that the New Development Bank in China could be a “constructive addition” to the world’s multilateral banks, so long as it follows best practices and the correct safeguards. At the same time, the U.S. is not considering an investment in the Asian Infrastructure Bank as a decision on that is “quite a ways down the road.”
Ukraine may become bridge between Poland and China – FM Waszczykowski
27 April 2016 – Ukrinform
Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski addressed students from the Chinese Academy of Humanities during his recent visit to China with optimism about Ukraine’s role connecting Poland and the Baltic states to China. While he believed the Ukrainian connection would boost economic relations between Europe and Asia, he also warned of possible negative impacts due to the current situation between Ukraine and Russia.
EU, India await schedule for resuming free trade talks
27 April 2016 – The Times of India
The EU and India have not resumed free trade talks after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Brussels. New Delhi believes that the TTIP negotiations are affecting the EU’s time frame to talk with India.
“We want guarantees about trade deal,” France warns U.S.
26 April 2016 – The Local fr
On Tuesday, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls warned that France will not accept a transatlantic trade deal that lowers health and environmental standards. Political sensitive areas of the trade deal include product standards, genetically modified crops, the environment, and consumer protection.
Eurozone: more time needed for Greek reforms; Tsipras to seek EU summit
26 April 2016 – Reuters
EU and IMF lenders decided that Greek reforms need further inspection in order to continue debt relief talks, and decided not to meet on Thursday. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is likely to talk with European leaders on Wednesday on the bailout agreement. Greece disagrees with the contingent measures that the lenders are hoping to put in place to push.
U.S. sees new flashpoint in South China Sea dispute
26 April 2016 – Wall Street Journal
The U.S. military recently observed Chinese ships conducting survey work around the Scarborough Shoal, raising concerns that it could become a new flashpoint in the South China Sea. The shoal is 120 nautical miles off the coast of the Philippines, a U.S. ally. In response, the U.S. recently flew air patrols over the area.
Obama calls for EU unity, more collective defense spending
26 April 2016 – Radio Free Liberty/Radio Europe
In Germany, U.S President Barack Obama called for more EU unity a day after arguing against a British exit from the EU. He also urged European NATO members to contribute more to their defense and to maintain the sanctions regime against Russia until it implements the Minsk Agreement.
U.S. sends F-22 fighters to reassure NATO allies facing Russia
26 April 2016 – Reuters
Two advanced U.S. F-22 fighters flew to the Black Sea on Monday for the first time since the Obama Administration’s European Reassurance Initiative began. The move comes after Russian warplanes flew simulated attack passes near a U.S. guided missile destroyer in the Baltic Sea earlier this month.
China accelerates SDR bond platform
25 April 2016 – International Financing Review
China continues to push for a speedy promotion of the renminbi to the IMF’s special drawing right in preparation for Beijing’s goal of turning its currency into an officially recognized reserve currency. The SDR capital market would allow Chinese investors to dampen capital outflows by subscribing to domestic bond issues with a major foreign currency component. The U.S. Treasury and other international representatives have been accepting of the renminbi’s inclusion, stating that Beijing’s opening capital markets contribute to China’s international economic integration.
In Germany, Obama urges Europe to stay united for good of the world
25 April 2016 – Reuters
On a recent trip to Germany, U.S. President Barack Obama emphasized the importance of a strong, united Europe in addressing current security challenges to the international order. These comments come in light of an earlier trip to London urging Prime Minister David Cameron to avoid a “Brexit” from the EU, where he warned of the political and economic consequences of such a departure. Obama also called for increased contributions from NATO in its defense against the Islamic State.
EU referendum: Britain should leave European Convention on Human Rights but not EU, says Theresa May
25 April 2016 – The Telegraph
British Home Secretary Theresa May argued during referendum speech that Britain should leave the European Convention on Human Rights, but stay in the EU. May reasoned that Britain would be safer to stay in the EU, and despite the problems Britain faces today, she says that Brexit cannot solve all of them.
Obama and Merkel unite over trade deal
24 April 2016 – Financial Times
President Obama visited Germany on Sunday to discuss progress on the TTIP negotiations with German Chancellor Merkel. The two sides agree that the talks should speed up and lead to an agreement as soon as possible. They also discussed Brexit issues. The TTIP negotiations may face even more objections if Germany and France see leadership changes after the coming elections in 2017.
Objections hit Canada-EU trade deal
24 April 2016 – Financial Times
Romania and the Wallonia region of Belgium object to the Canada-EU free trade agreement. This could feed pro-Brexit campaigns, since they often use the Canada-EU trade deal as an example of how Britain could maintain trade ties after leaving the EU. Canadian Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland visited Europe this month to discuss the trade deal with European diplomats.
UK GDP figures expected to be weaker amid EU vote fears
24 April 2016 – The Guardian
Economists show that due to EU referendum pressure, the UK’s GDP is likely to have slowed down to 0.4% during the last quarter of 2015. HSBC economists predict that growth may be even slower in the first quarter of this year, and the Bank of England warned that further uncertainty from the outcome of the referendum may leave businesses more reluctant to invest.
Obama warns Britain on EU “Brexit” vote: “No man is an island”
22 April 2016 – NBC News
On Friday, President Obama defended his view that Britain should remain in the EU, arguing that it would have damaging economic consequences for the country. He further stated that the U.S. will continue to negotiate trade agreements with Europe as a whole even in the event of a Brexit. Under those circumstances, the UK would be "in the back of the queue," he said.
Chinese ex-official says “New Silk Road” faces difficulties
22 April 2016 – Reuters
A former Chinese government tax official recently stated that China may suffer big financial losses due to its increased overseas investment in its “New Silk Road” program. At the same time, the ex-official notes that the policy is necessary due to the risk of overcapacity that shrinking external demand would present. He also said that cutting excess capacity remained the most difficult challenge for China’s agenda due to the lack of a social safety net to combat rising unemployment and shrinking state-owned assets.
U.S. businesses warn of Brexit’s impact on UK investment
21 April 2016 – Financial Times
According to a recent survey, 7 out of 10 U.S. businesses said a Brexit will have a “negative or strongly negative impact” on future investments. U.S. businesses employ 1.2 million people in Britain. 88 percent of respondents said access to the EU’s single market makes Britain a more attractive destination for investment.
NATO: Aegian migrant flow “significantly down” as worries shift to other routes
21 April 2016 – The Washington Post
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday that the number of migrants crossing the Aegian Sea into Europe is “significantly down” because of international cooperation. He urged authorities not to abandon efforts to curb migration as smugglers can alter their routes and tactics.
Survey shows plunging public support for TTIP in U.S. and Germany
21 April 2016 – Reuters
A recent survey conducted by YouGov found that only 17% of Germans support the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement, down from 55% two years ago. In the U.S., only 18% support the deal compared to 53% in 2014.
Japan, Panama agree to begin negotiations over exchange of tax information
21 April 2016 – The Japan Times
In an effort to enhance financial transparency, Japan and Panama agreed to start negotiating an exchange of tax information on Wednesday. Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela expressed hope that Japan will be the first country to sign an agreement with Panama under the OECD framework of reporting standards. Varela also emphasized that Panama would sign tax agreement bilaterally rather than multilaterally.
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