Stories to watch in 2020 (other than the US election)

Ben White, Chief Economic Correspondent for Politico, answers your most burning questions on US Politics!

What major bills passed the House in 2019 but stalled in the Senate?

Well, Nancy Pelosi has a long list, but she's cited a background check bill, a paycheck fairness bill, a climate action bill, an immigration bill as some of the major ones that got through the House but died in the Senate.


What is trade between the US, Mexico and Canada going to look like after USMCA.

Well, it'll look a lot like it did under NAFTA. But in fact, there's some estimates that it might slow trade down just a little bit because there are new restrictions on labor, particularly on the Mexican side. So, some estimates say it might slow trade by just a tiny bit. But it'll be very similar to what it was under NAFTA.

What is the biggest story in 2020 other than the election?

I'd say it's the economy, where the economy goes. Do the trade deals and the Phase 1 agreement with China really boost economic growth? Is there more capital expenditure? Does manufacturing get back on track? That'll play out in the election, but it's a big story. The Fed is on the sidelines. So, what does the economy do in 2020? I'll be watching that.

As Europe inches past the peak of COVID-19 deaths and the US slowly approaches it, many poorer countries are now staring into an abyss. As bad as the coronavirus crisis is likely to be in the world's wealthiest nations, the public health and economic blow to less affluent ones, often referred to as "developing countries," could be drastically worse. Here's why:

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25: A divorce lawyer in Shanghai told Bloomberg News that his business has surged 25% since the city began easing its lockdown in mid-March, as being cooped up on lockdown evidently exposed irreconcilable differences in people's marriages.

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Japan mulls state of emergency: Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe is poised to declare a "state of emergency" because of the coronavirus pandemic, giving local governments the authority to order people to stay in their homes and shutter businesses and schools. Japan has so far managed the crisis without the kinds of sweeping lockdowns seen elsewhere, but a surge of new cases in recent days – particularly in Tokyo – has put pressure on the government to do more. Japan has one of the world's oldest populations – a third of its people are older than 65, the demographic most vulnerable to COVID-19. The emergency decision comes at a tough time. Japan's economy has been hurting for several months now, as China's massive lockdowns in January and February cratered demand for Japanese exports. In order to deal with the fallout that comes with putting his economy on life-support, PM Abe said the government would push through a $1 trillion stimulus package.

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As reports swirl from sources in the U.S. Intelligence Community that China vastly underreported the number of COVID-19 cases and related deaths, China's top diplomat in the U.S., Ambassador Cui Tiankai, joined Ian Bremmer for an exclusive conversation in which he responds to the claim.

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