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US-China: Commerce Secretary Raimondo visit a success

US-China: Commerce Secretary Raimondo visit a success
US-China: Commerce Secretary Raimondo visit a success | World In: 60 | GZERO Media

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo just visited China. Was it a success?

Yeah, the bar is low, the expectations are low. But the meeting was successful. In particular, we have the announcement of two more lanes of engagement within the US Department of State and Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. One on commercial disputes, one on export controls. And, you know, given that these are sides that were barely talking to each other a year ago, that is an incremental positive. Also on the back of the Chinese economy continuing to underperform and the Chinese response being very incremental, they're not looking for any economic blow up with the US. And Raimondo, like Janet Yellen, who's been there recently, like John Kerry's been there recently, are the warmer, more pro-integration faces of the Biden administration. Haven't heard so much from Kurt Campbell recently. So all of that is nominally positive.

How will the Ukraine counteroffensive unfold?

Well, so far it is also marginal improvement for Ukraine. A little bit more land being taken in the southeast. One of three Russian lines of defense being broken in one place. You know, the Russians are holding pretty well defensively. The more significant counteroffensive is Ukrainian drone capabilities striking more targets inside Russia, in Moscow, in Pskov, in lots of places. And, you know, that's not about Ukraine getting their territory back. That's about Ukraine showing that their military can exact damage to the Russians. You know, on the one hand, that's a positive for Ukraine's capabilities. It's, of course, concerning in terms of the level of escalation that we might end up seeing between Ukraine and Russia and potentially between Russia and NATO. But so far, still relatively limited real news about how the counteroffensive is going.

Finally, what's next for the US economy?

Well, I'm not an economist, so I'm not going to answer that directly. What I will say is the fact that a lot of Americans continue to suffer from high levels of inflation means that even though the performance of the US economy, compared to the rest of the advanced industrial economies is actually quite strong coming out of the pandemic. That's true in terms of low unemployment levels. It's true in terms of comparatively low inflation. It's true in terms of comparative GDP growth. But overall, a lot of working class and middle class Americans still do not feel that the economy is doing well for them. Some of that is political perception, tribalism. Some of that is really suffering and a lot of inequality in the United States that hasn't been structurally addressed and probably won't be. There's more downside here for Biden in the next 12 months than there is upside from getting a Goldilocks economy going. And so on balance, I'd say this is an area of concern. But again, right now, hard to say that this is much more than incremental improvements.


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