Issue 81 | Feb. 17, 2017
Is the U.S. now stopping allies from investing here?
 
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United Sates' recent intervention to block the takeover of Wolfspeed, a North Carolina-based maker of high-performance semiconductors, by Germany's biggest chipmaker, Infineon Technologies, has people questioning whether allies will now be viewed as a threat to national security under President Donald Trump's administration. Although this isn't the first case that a president has blocked similar deals on national security grounds, previous incidents under the Obama administration involved Chinese buyers. Karsten Iltgen, an analyst with Bankhouse Lampe in Düsseldorf, believes the intervention is not the end of the world for the German company, but is interested to see if European authorities would feel the need to retaliate against the decision to send a message to the U.S.  Read more.
 
IMF head: Trump policies a boon for U.S., but potential burden abroad 
 
International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde sees reasons to be optimistic about the U.S. economy under President Trump, due to his promises of tax reform and additional investments in infrastructure. However, Lagarde believes Trump's policies would also increase the value of the dollar, which may lead to inflation and prove difficult for developing economies that hold debt in U.S. dollars. Trump has vowed to take actions to lighten America's regulatory burden, but his "America first" plans stand in stark contrast to Lagarde's support for globalization. Read more.
 
Singapore unveils post-TPP plan
 
The Singapore government's release of the Commission for the Future Economy report was well timed, considering President Trump has just nixed the Trans Pacific Partnership. The main focus of the report was the anti-globalization trend occurring across the globe, and recommendations of ways to protect the country's economy through innovation and technological improvements. The Australian government chose Singapore as one of its five technology ''landing pads,'' which seems like a good fit considering Singapore's continued economic success and long-term planning. Read more.
 
Threat of Mexican ban on U.S. corn sharpens focus on trade
 
In retaliation to President Trump's proposals to tax Mexican exports to the United States, a Mexican senator says he will bring legislation to ban U.S. corn imports in favor of corn from countries such as Brazil and Argentina. Although Mexico would not be allowed to block U.S. corn exports unilaterally under the North American Free Trade Agreement, Trump has indicated he wants to renegotiate the treaty, which brings uncertainty to the market. This potential ban could hurt South Dakota corn farmers who are already suffering from an industry with low commodity prices. Read more.
 
While Trump and Abe eye bilateral pact, Australia keeps TPP alive
 
President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe released a joint statement pledging to purse strong bilateral economic ties that would include setting high trade and investment standards, reducing market barriers, and enhancing opportunities for economic and job growth in the Asian Pacific. Vice President Mike Pence is slated for "an early visit" to Japan to continue conversations on cooperation in fields like cyberspace, energy and infrastructure. Importantly, the joint statement also allowed for Japan to continue to pursue the TPP despite Trump's decision to withdraw from the pact. Read more
 
Afreximbank commits $90 billion to boost African trade
 
African Export-Import Bank, also referred to as Afreximbank, has unveiled its five-year strategic plan, Impact 2021, which focuses on industrialization and export development, trade finance leadership, and financial soundness and performance. The bank aims to support at least $90 billion in trade over the five-year period to encourage intra-African trade through the development of continental supply chains and export manufacturing capacity. Read more.
 
California, the Pacific Rim and Trade in the New Administration
March 15, 2017
 
Join the Global Initiatives Council to hear from Kevin Klowden, executive director of Milken Institute's California Center. He will discuss California's comparative advantage on trade with the Pacific Rim, and the impacts of leaving the TPP. RSVP Here.

Compiled by Global Initiatives intern Krishna Babla.

For more information, contact Jasmin Sakai-Gonzalez, 213.580.7569.