NEW YORK (GZERO MEDIA) – A United States-China trade deal is “fairly solid” for now at least, says American foreign policy expert Ian Bremmer in the latest episode of World In (More Than) 60 Seconds, a video series by his company GZERO Media in which he shares his view on the week’s top current issues.
His remarks come amid continuing debate on the state of trade ties between US and China ever since White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said that the deal was over.
Mr Navarro reportedly made the remarks in an interview with Fox News on June 22, during which he linked the breakdown in part to Washington’s anger over Beijing’s not sounding the alarm earlier about the coronavirus outbreak. He later said the remarks were taken out of context.
Mr Bremmer says the deal is still “intact-ish”, citing US President Donald Trump’s tweet on June 23 stating that the deal is fully intact, as well as Mr Trump’s economic adviser Larry Kudlow’s defence of the trade deal on the same day as Mr Navarro’s comment.
“The reality is that he (Mr Trump) watches the markets and he doesn’t want a market hit from new tariffs and a consumer hit from new tariffs five months before the election. So for now at least, I think this deal is fairly solid.”
However, the deal will not get US-China relations very far as while it may prevent escalatory tariffs, it will not stop a “big fight” on other issues such as on Hong Kong or the South China Sea, said Mr Bremmer.
In Asia, the foreign policy expert highlighted Singapore, Taiwan and New Zealand as areas which have done well in launching expertise-driven responses to the pandemic.
When asked which country’s response to the coronavirus has been the least political, Mr Bremmer responded, “a lot of small wealthy countries, because it’s easier when you have a small government and you kind of know that you can rally a comparatively homogeneous population together behind a crisis in one direction.”
Storm clouds are on Pakistan’s horizon, however, as its military looks to withdraw support for President Imran Khan because of the “bad job” he is doing.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a soft coup, but it is a transition away from executive authority, away from parliamentary authority, towards military authority in Pakistan, something that’s always a concern, especially because Pakistan-India relations are problematic,” says Mr Bremmer.
This GZERO media video is being shown here as part of a media partnership agreement with The Straits Times.
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