Donald Trump in a G-Zero World

Today, we live in a “G-zero world,” one in which no single power or durable alliance of powers can consistently get what it wants. The US is still the world’s only superpower. It alone can flex political, economic, and military muscle in every region of the world. But other governments have more than enough power to resist US pressure to do things they don’t want to do. This is Ian Bremmer’s way of describing a leaderless world.


Baloney, says Donald Trump. The G20 and G7 may be useless, but the US is still large and in charge. This is a G1 world, Trump’s actions suggest. The US can and should use its power to get what it wants, needs, and deserves.

Trump wants:

  • China to knock $200 billion off its trade surplus with the US and upend its economic development model by halting subsidies and other forms of support for companies in the strategically vital tech sector.
  • North Korea to hand over its nuclear weapons without anything important in return.
  • Canada and Mexico to make big concessions on NAFTA.
  • Iran to meet every US demand in exchange for sanctions relief.

And he believes American power can accomplish all these things simultaneously.

To achieve all this, Trump sees little need for allies. He believes:

  • Japan owes us. They cheat our economy by manipulating their currency. They maintain barriers against US industries in key sectors. We keep steel tariffs on them for a reason.
  • NATO partners are free-riding on US military might. Who cares what they think about the Iran deal?
  • Japan, the Europeans, and all US allies need the US far more than the US needs them.

If Trump is dead right, major Chinese economic concessions will create a much more level playing field for American workers and manufacturers, and the US-China trade deficit will narrow sharply. North Korea will surrender its nukes. A new NAFTA will create jobs in the American heartland. The Iranian regime will go bankrupt and collapse without the US firing a shot. Japan will sign a bilateral trade deal with the US, and all NATO members will pay their fair share for defense.

If Trump is dead wrong, an extended trade fight with China will badly damage both economies, with collateral damage around the world. North Korea will stall negotiations until the US has a new president, South Koreans will blame the US for failing to make peace, NAFTA will not be replaced and all three economies will suffer, and the US and Israel will have to choose between war and a nuclear Iran as anti-American sentiment peaks across Europe and even in Japan.

Place your bets.

In 2012, the United States created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to protect these young people from being deported. Yet just five years later, the program was rescinded, putting close to 700,000 DACA recipients at risk of being banished from the only home they've ever known. More than five dozen of these DACA recipients at risk are Microsoft employees. These young people contribute to the company and serve its customers. They help create products, secure services, and manage finances. And like so many young people across our nation, they dream of making an honest living and a real difference in the communities in which they reside. Yet they now live in uncertainty.

Microsoft has told its Dreamers that it will stand up for them along with all the nation's DACA recipients. It will represent them in court and litigate on their behalf. That's why Microsoft joined Princeton University and Princeton student Maria De La Cruz Perales Sanchez to file one of the three cases challenging the DACA rescission that was heard on Nov. 12 by the United States Supreme Court.

Read more on Microsoft On The Issues.

What do people think is driving the stock market's recent record high gains?


Well, there's really no precise answer, but analysts point to several factors. So, number one is strong third quarter earnings. Companies have reported stronger than expected results so far this season. The second is the jobs market. You saw the October jobs numbers exceed economists' expectations. And the third is the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates three times this year. That lowers borrowing costs for consumers and businesses and encourages them to spend more.

More Show less

In the predawn hours of Tuesday morning, Israel launched a precision attack in the Gaza Strip, targeting and killing a Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) commander. In response, the terror group fired more than 220 rockets at southern Israel. Exchanges of fire have brought cities on both sides of the Gaza border to a standstill and at least 19 Palestinians are dead and dozens of Israelis wounded. With this latest escalation, Israel now faces national security crises on multiple fronts. Here's what's going on:

More Show less