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No, Don’t Abolish the WTO. Reform it.

Have you ever read a major op-Ed and thought to yourself, "no! no! no! That's just not right!" Us too. That's why we're launching a new series called The Red Pen, where Ian Bremmer and the crew at Eurasia Group will pick apart the argument in a major opinion piece. Right, left, Republican, Democrat, American, Global — we aren't particular. We just want to keep writers honest. This week, we take the red pen to Senator Josh Hawley's Times op-ed calling for the end of the WTO. No, Josh, killing the WTO isn't a good idea — but reforming it is. Watch the video here, and stay in the red with us!


All-powerful WTO operating against US interests? Hardly. The WTO remains a forum of nation states, with most decisions made by consensus. It's an arbiter, not a manager.

Don't blame the WTO for all the US economy's ills—globalization, tech advancements, and innovation have done as much to disrupt American industries as free trade.

The WTO and GATT did fuel free trade. Average tariff levels fell by 50% from 1947 to 1996 and 20% from 1996 to 2018, while the US created millions of new jobs.


Frustration with China is valid, and change is necessary. But reform, not abandonment, is the solution. Withdrawing from the world is costly, and we will invariably get pulled back in.

The US certainly defends itself … it has brought more cases before the WTO than any other country and won the vast majority of them.

—With research by Henry Rome, Robert Kahn and Caitlin Dean

The role of the public library has evolved over time. As we move online at an even faster rate, knowledge, entertainment and opportunities for education and employment are found on the internet. Those living in well-connected, affluent places may have come to take internet access for granted. But there is a digital divide in the U.S. that has left people at a disadvantage – particularly since the arrival of COVID-19.

Finding ways to overcome that divide in a sustainable, community-led way could help bring the benefits of the internet to those who need it most. One solution is to use technologies such as TV white space to facilitate wireless broadband – as Microsoft's Airband Initiative is doing. To read more about Microsoft's work with public libraries, visit Microsoft On The Issues.

Who does Vladimir Putin want to win the US election? Given the Kremlin's well-documented efforts to sway the 2016 vote in Donald Trump's favor, it's certainly a fair question. And while there's no solid evidence that Russian interference had any decisive effect on the outcome four years ago, the Trump administration itself says the Kremlin — and others — are now trying to mess with the election again.

So let's put you in Vladimir Putin's size 9 shoes as you weigh up Donald Trump vs Joe Biden while refreshing your own personal PyatTridsatVosem (FiveThirtyEight) up there in the Kremlin.

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"The 'American exceptionalism' that I grew up with, the 'American exceptionalism' of the Cold War…I do think has outlived its usefulness." Those words coming from Anne-Marie Slaughter, a former top State Department official under President Obama, indicate how much the world has changed in the past few decades. Her conversation with Ian Bremmer is part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

Watch the episode: How a "President Biden" could reshape US foreign policy

Less than a week out from Election Day, 66 million Americans have already cast their ballots, and many of those are people who are voting "early" for the first time because of the pandemic. In fact, the early vote total alone this year is already equal to nearly half of all ballots cast in the 2016 general election, suggesting that 2020 turnout could reach historic levels. Most important, however, is how things are playing out in key battleground states where the outcome of the US election will be determined. In Texas, for instance, a huge surge in early voting by Democrats this year has raised the possibility that a state which has been won by Republican candidates since 1976 could now be up for grabs. Here we take a look at early voting in battleground states in 2020 as compared to 2016.

In a national referendum on Sunday, Chileans overwhelmingly voted in favor of a new constitution. But, why are people in this oasis of political stability and steady economic growth in South America willing to undo the bedrock of the system that has allowed Chile to prosper for so long?

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