What's the state of NATO as the alliance turns 70?

What's the state of NATO as the alliance turns 70?

Well, it's starting to show its age. Doesn't have the same urgency of purpose that it did when we were fighting the Soviets against the Warsaw Pact. So, a lot of countries don't know why they're in it. Some don't want to spend the 2 percent that has been promised, the nominal goal of GDP that all these countries need to spend on GDP. The Turks hardly acting like an ally these days. And President Macron says is brain dead. Still, I don't see Trump really trying to destroy it and no one else is going to leave. These institutions are very sticky. I would say it is an organization not going anywhere but looking for a little more relevance.


Will the US-China trade dispute continue until after the 2020 election?

Well, it's a little more likely that it will, in the sense that you might not get this phase-one deal because the Chinese have offered very little and they know that Trump really doesn't want to escalate tariffs before his election hits because it hurts the US economy, it hurts the red states. I still think we'll get that deal. But I also think it won't bring the two sides closer together on all the issues that we see greater conflict on, like on Hong Kong, like on technology. And by the way, watch what happens with the CFO of Huawei when that case finally comes up and gets resolved in Canada come January. Much bigger deal for the Chinese than the tariffs are.

Will the US follow through on its threat to tax French goods?

Talking about 100 percent tax on luxury goods coming out of France, like champagne, in response to the French saying they're going to hit Amazon and other companies that are delivering goods because of all the traffic it's causing. Look, I feel that in New York, there's no question it's happening. And it's interesting to see Trump essentially defending Jeff Bezos. Something he doesn't do every day. But he certainly doesn't want to get into a big fight with a seriously large economy. It's very different than putting steel tariffs and aluminum against Brazil and Argentina who have to back down to the Americans. On this one, the Trump administration is not going to want to hit the French hard. French aren't going to want to hit the Americans hard. It's going to be an awful lot of posturing. And watch out for a Macron-Trump. I mean, these are two guys that are essentially leading their hemispheres and have a fair amount of ego around it. That's not going to get easier anytime soon.

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