The White House's Enduring Gamble Over Trade Policy.
As the White House finalizes a deal to preserve the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Trump administration will increase trade risks elsewhere. China will have to weather an even bigger squall of tariffs this quarter as trade negotiations stall out. European efforts to neutralize the U.S. auto tariff threat will drag beyond the quarter, but ultimately fail.
A Stressful Period for Emerging Markets.
Higher oil prices and further monetary tightening in the United States will continue to place strain on emerging markets: For Argentina, complying with the International Monetary Fund's requirements will come at heavy political cost; India and South Africa's populist drives ahead of elections will come at the expense of financial prudence; the Brazilian economy hangs in the balance of a highly fragmented political race; Turkey, by far the most fragile of the lot, will see its economic crisis deepen as a result of political resistance to reform, magnified by worsening relations with the United States.
Russian Weakness Will Be Exposed in Syria.
The limits of the Kremlin's influence in Syria will be exposed as Moscow tries to advance a proposal to end the civil war, thereby containing Iran and mitigating Russia's own risk in the conflict zone. While Moscow seeks to draw Washington into broader negotiations, increased U.S. sanctions on Russia this quarter will sour the negotiating climate, though some progress on arms control is possible.
Global Trends. In today's world, nations are becoming increasingly interconnected by air, land, sea and cyberspace. As globalization has knitted countries and continents closer together, the borders of the map and the barriers of geography have been rendered, in some ways, obsolete. Now events in one region can more easily have consequences in another, at times even rippling across the globe. We explore those with the greatest impact on international decision-making during the forecast period below.