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Donald Trump in a G-Zero World

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.

Meet Alessandra Cominetti, a recipient of MIT Technology Review Magazine's Innovators Under 35 award. As a lab technician at Eni's Research Centre for Renewable Energy in Novara, Alessandra has devoted her career to finding new solutions and materials to optimize solar energy. Much like the serendipitous encounter that resulted in her employment, her eagerness and willingness to try new things allowed her to stumble upon a material for the creation of portable solar panels.

Watch her remarkable story on the latest episode of Faces of Eni.

"If [the election] is very close and it ends up in the courts, that kind of protracted situation I think will lead many Americans to believe that it was an unfair election." Rick Hasen, election law expert and author of Election Meltdown, lays out some of the worst-case scenarios for Election Day, ranging from unprecedented voter suppression to dirty tricks by foreign actors. The conversation was part of the latest episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer. The episode begins airing nationally in the US on public television this Friday, October 30. Check local listings.

Joe Biden has vowed to radically change the US' approach to foreign policy and international diplomacy should he win next week's election.

But a lot has happened in four years under Donald Trump that could impede Biden's ability to simply return to the status quo ante. How different would US foreign policy really be under a Biden presidency? What will the two-term former vice president likely be able to change, and what's bound to remain the same, at least for now?

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On Wednesday, November 4 at 11a EST, we're gathering a panel to discuss "What Just Happened" with the US election. GZERO Media's Ian Bremmer, Tony Maciulis and Alex Kliment will be joined by The Washington Post's Karen Attiah and Eurasia Group's Jon Lieber. Watch live at: gzeromedia.com/gzerolive.

Decision 2020: What Just Happened? Wednesday, November 4, 11a EST/8a PST

Panelists:

Bookmark this link to watch live: gzeromedia.com/gzerolive

Add to your calendar:

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Jon Lieber, Managing Director for the United States at the Eurasia Group, shares his perspective on a special US election edition of US Politics In 60 Seconds:

So, we're about five days out from the election right now.

And the story of this week has been the remarkably steady polling lead for Joe Biden that he's had for months now. The other big story is the turnout, massive amounts of turnout. 100% of the 2016 vote already cast in Texas. 60% nationwide votes already cast. We are headed for record shattering turnout, could be around 155 million Americans voting.

On election night, what are we watching for?

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