Bolton's book & impeachment; EU carbon tax; presidential race

Ben White, Chief Economic Correspondent for Politico, answers your most burning questions on US Politics!

Is there anything in the John Bolton book manuscript that could be big for the impeachment trial?

Well, absolutely. The revelation that Bolton says that Trump made it clear that holding up Ukraine was in return for a Biden investigation is big. It means that Republicans might want to hear from Bolton, which might mean more witnesses. So, yes, it's a big deal.


Are the US and EU on track for a trade war over the EU carbon tax?

Definitely possible. It's going to slow down any agreement between the US and EU on AG and other purchases, and it could lead Trump to renew his threat of auto tariffs on the EU.

Is there any candidate breaking out among the Democratic field in Iowa?

No, there's not. There were a ton of confusing polls over the weekend. Some show Biden with a lead, some show Bernie with a big lead. I think it really depends on turnout, which could be huge there. A huge turnout would be good for Bernie. But I think we could get a wash in the early states and then it really will come down to Super Tuesday and beyond.

Are the US and China headed for a new Cold War over technology? Judging by what we heard a few days ago at the Munich Security Conference, a major trans-Atlantic gathering for world leaders and wonks, you'd certainly think so. US, European, and Chinese officials at the event all weighed in with strong words on the US campaign against Chinese 5G giant Huawei and much more. Here are the main insights we gleaned from the proceedings:

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A few weeks ago we first took a look at how a bat (possible origin of the coronavirus) could have a butterfly effect on the world economy.

China accounts for about a fifth of global economic output, a third of global oil imports, and the largest share of global exports. That means that any time the Chinese economy shudders or stumbles, the shockwaves circle the globe. And China is most certainly shuddering.

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Bloomberg takes the stage – Tomorrow's Democratic debate will be the first to feature media tycoon Mike Bloomberg, who in recent weeks has thrown hundreds of millions of dollars behind an ad campaign designed to position himself as a viable, moderate candidate who can beat Trump. As his support in national polls has climbed to nearly 20 percent, Bloomberg – who largely sat out the earlier rounds of Democratic campaigning – has come under attack for sexist comments in the past as well as his support, as NYC mayor, for "stop and frisk" policing tactics that disproportionately targeted people of color. Bloomberg will immediately be at war not only with the moderates whom he wants to displace – Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, and Joe Biden – but especially with the front running left-progressive Bernie Sanders. It will likely be quite ugly and we're certainly tuning in.

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150: As the Chinese government continues to expand travel restrictions, hoping that reducing human contact will stop the virus from spreading further, at least 150 million people are now facing government restrictions dictating how often they can leave their homes. That's more than 10 percent of the country's total population who are currently on lockdown. Some 760 million are under partial, locally enforced restrictions.

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