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The War Against All

The War Against All

Donald Trump is the first US president since the 1930s to reject the assumption that global leadership serves the US national interest. With today’s imposition of steel tariffs on the EU, Canada, and Mexico, he’s also taking a whole new approach to conflict.


Three quick thoughts:

  1. When headed into a fight, US presidents are traditionally quick to highlight the number and reliability of US allies, in part to reassure American voters that friendly governments agree on the need to fight and will share the costs and risks that fight entails. Trump, by contrast, wants Americans (and the world) to know that “friends are for snowflakes.”
  2. As Republican Senator Ben Sasse noted on Thursday, Trump is using the same tool — steel and aluminum tariffs — against US allies that he’s using against China, a strategic competitor.
  3. He’s ready to go toe-to-toe on trade with Europe, China, Canada, Mexico, and others simultaneously.

Is he right? Will this bold approach to putting America first benefit American workers and the US economy? We’re about to find out.

Khant Thaw Htoo is a young engineer who works in Eni's Sakura Tower office in the heart of Yangon. As an HSE engineer, he monitors the safety and environmental impact of onshore and offshore operations. He also looks out for his parents' well-being, in keeping with Myanmar's traditions.

Learn more about Khant in the final episode of the Faces of Eni series, which focuses on Eni's employees around the world.

On his first day as president, Joe Biden signed a remarkable series of executive orders. Boom! The US rejoins the Paris Climate Accord. Bang! The United States rejoins the World Health Organization. Pow! No more ban on immigration from many Muslim-majority countries. Biden's press secretary reminded reporters later in the day that all these orders merely begin complex processes that take time, but the impact is still dramatic.

If you lead a country allied with the US, or you're simply hoping for some specific commitment or clear and credible statement of purpose from the US government, you might feel a little dizzy today. The sight of an American president (Barack Obama) signing his name, of the next president (Donald Trump) erasing that name from the same legislation/bill, and then the following president (Biden) signing it back into law again will raise deep concerns over the long-term reliability of the world's still-most-powerful nation.

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"There needs to be a dramatic and deep reduction in the amount of debt on the poorest countries. That's clear." As the world's poorest nations struggle to recover from a devastating pandemic, World Bank President David Malpass argues that freeing them of much of their debt will be key. His conversation with Ian Bremmer is part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

Listen: Renowned tech journalist Kara Swisher has no qualms about saying that social media companies bear responsibility for the January 6th pro-Trump riots at the Capitol and will likely be complicit in the civil unrest that may continue well into Biden's presidency. It's no surprise, she argues, that the online rage that platforms like Facebook and Twitter intentionally foment translated into real-life violence. But if Silicon Valley's current role in our national discourse is untenable, how can the US government rein it in? That, it turns out, is a bit more complicated. Swisher joins Ian Bremmer on our podcast.

The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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