Monthly Archives: March 2017

How Trump and China’s Xi could stumble into war

By Graham Allison It may not be apparent when President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping meet beneath the towering palms and crystal chandeliers at Mar-a-Lago this coming week, but the nations they lead are on a collision course for war. An irresistibly rising China is challenging the United States’ accustomed dominance. Consider that the U.S. share of […] …read more

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Treasury sanctions North Korean firm, individuals with alleged ties to nuclear weapons program

By Damian Paletta

A man watches a TV news program in Seoul last month showing photos published in North Korea’s Rodong Sinmun newspaper of North Korea’s “Pukguksong-2” missile launch. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File)

The Trump administration issued sanctions Friday against a North Korean business and 11 North Korean nationals who it said were tied to Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program and the financial networks that support it.

The sanctions, brought by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, prohibit U.S. companies from dealing with the entities and also freezes any assets the entities have that are held by a U.S. bank.

President Trump has said the United States should strike a tougher posture with North Korea, following years of failed efforts by the U.S. government to get Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear program.

[North Korea might be preparing for another nuclear test, satellite images suggest]

“Today’s sanctions are aimed at disrupting the networks and methods that the Government of North Korea employs to fund its unlawful nuclear, ballistic missile, and proliferation programs,” Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said in a statement Friday.

As North Korea continues testing nuclear weapons, U.S. officials believe the isolated, totalitarian nation is working to develop technology that would allow it to put a nuclear weapon on a long-range missile that could reach the United States. New commercial satellite images show that North Korea could be preparing for another nuclear weapons test at an underground site.

North Korea is already heavily sanctioned by the U.S. government, and it’s unclear how the new sanctions would prompt Pyongyang to change its behavior. Trump has said that neighboring China must do more to deter North Korea. That issue will likely come up when Trump meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping next week.

Treasury said in a statement that the …read more

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Setting gender boundaries at work can be good for women

By Brittany Shoot This week, I was surprised to see commentators pouncing on a single sentence in a recent Washington Post profile of Karen Pence, Vice President Pence’s wife: “In 2002, Mike Pence told the Hill that he never eats alone with a woman other than his wife and that he won’t attend events featuring alcohol without her by his side, either.” Pence’s […] …read more

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‘We are in a trade war,’ Trump’s commerce secretary says after stern German warning

By Max Ehrenfreund

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel attend a weekly cabinet meeting at the chancellery in Berlin on March 29. (Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images)

Germany’s foreign minister on Friday morning said the Trump administration is taking a “dangerous step” after the Commerce Department announced a tariff on imports of foreign steel, indicating the tax could become a new source of conflict with the powerful U.S. ally and trading partner.

The strongly worded statement from German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel further intensified trade tensions between the United States and international officials since President Trump took office. Although Trump’s actions on trade so far have been modest and have in many respects preserved the status quo, the president and his advisers have hinted at more disruptive measures in the future, and Gabriel claimed that the administration was abandoning established international principles of free trade.

“The U.S. Government is apparently prepared to provide American companies with unfair competitive advantages over European and other producers, even if such action violates international trade law,” Gabriel’s statement read. “I very much fail to comprehend the decision.”

Gabriel is objecting to the Trump administration’s conclusions following an investigation into the pricing of certain types of steel plate from Germany, as well as from Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. The Commerce Department’s findings, announced Thursday, allow the administration to begin collecting tariffs ahead of a final determination expected in May.

“You have to think about it this way: We are in a trade war,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Friday. “We have been for decades.”

The order on Germany relates to a pair of executive actions on trade that Trump says he planned to sign Friday, including a review of U.S. trade policy.

Those actions will instruct the administration to identify areas in which …read more

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