13 November 2016   Leave a comment

Just six weeks after it was narrowly defeated in a referendum, a peace accord has been reached between the Colombian government and FARC rebels.  The accord was revised to accommodate some of the objections leveled at the accord.  A key part of the revision was that the rebels would be required to turn over all their assets to the government for reparations to the victims of rebel violence and that rebels who admit their guilt will still avoid jail time but will instead be required to remove land mines and work to undo the damage unleashed by the civil war. Former President Alvaro Uribe, who led the opposition to the first referendum, indicated that he still was not pleased with the revisions but wanted time to study them more carefully.  Perhaps there will be a way forward.

My personal interpretation of Donald Trump’s election victory is that he framed the political and economic issues in a dichotomous framework:  globalization versus nationalism.  In many (but not all–the racial element in the election does not fit into this framework) respects both his campaign, as well as Bernie Sanders’s campaign, was a referendum against free trade.  But there is considerable evidence that globalization had already begun to retreat before the election.  If one looks specifically at trade flows, the decline in global trade was quite pronounced long before 2016.

Global trade peaked in 2008

Alexander Neill of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) has written a piece for the BBC on how relations in the Pacific region are likely to change in the near future.  The region is already undergoing dramatic transformations and the election of Mr. Trump will likely accelerate those changes.  In many respects, Neill suggests that acceptance of China as the dominant regional power is a foregone conclusion.  The real question is how the other powers in the region, including the US, adapt to that reality.

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Posted November 13, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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