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This post was edited by markwu at 2019-7-3 09:50|
As has been said elsewhere, hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
Then if the worst happens, one would already have Plans B to Z ready to spring into action.
Remembering what had happened after Buenos Aires, one should not be too sanguine about what will happen next after Tokyo.
The ball is now in Trump's court (or golf course). If he is sincere, he must not throw it into the pond. He must pick it up, walk his talk, and reverse all the bad things he has done.
His foreign trade and technology policies have not done anything conclusively positive for US enterprises and its people. In fact, the present uptick in the US stock and tech markets as at yesterday is clearly attributable to his holding off his attacks on China in the G20 summit. The markets have spoken on US policies towards China - stand down, reset to pre-tariff/sanction, work with China as strategic partner instead.
He will find it easier to do so in the forthcoming next stages if he sends packing those sycophants who surround him and are influencing his judgement with bad inputs that have fractured international relations and made his US a stock which would be laughing uproariously (as in laughingstock) if not for his trademark bullying approach. Surely an advanced country like the US which likes to talk about rights can't really be practising international masochism instead, can it?
If he doesn't do all this, he will have more to worry than his trade deficit. Trust in the US has hit the bottom. If people won't want to trust the US administration anymore, who will want to dialog and negotiate with it to make deals? He has created an un-beautiful trust deficit.
Already that has already happened in India where the US has hit that growing nation with tariffs, withdrew its GSP status and rumbled about oil sanctions - all during the very week it was holding its general election as if to inflict a threatening insult on Modi who had purchased Russia's S400 missile systems. The returned PM of India stood strong and responded to the injustice to show it can still be independent of another so-called 'democracy'.
And that is why the G20 photo of Russia-India-China together is encouraging. Hopefully Modi realizes enough that colonialist leopard spots can't be erased just with pats on the back. Modi shouldn't be tempted to play both sides a'la Japan. After all, if one does that too often, one may kick the ball back into one's own goalpost instead.
India should realize that when combined, the three nations together has the biggest pool of software technical smarts on this planet who could be galvanized to write the best codes such as for EDA tools (electronic design automation, or what was previously called CAD, computer-assisted design). Then the locus of 5G and higher ecosystems that can create AI-run EDA's will be in Asia which has the biggest population, the biggest markets and the biggest talent. Asia will then finally unshackle itself from the chains of past colonialisms by winning the talent war.
There is another trade war looming over the horizons. US' Boeing against Europe's Airbus. The charge is subsidies. The threat is punitive tariffs on European products. So it will be airplanes after autos. The bonus prize for the US will be a more poodlish UK after its no-deal Brexit so that the UK will be joining the US club of Canada, Mexico and Bolsanero from Brazil as 21st century serfs and court clowns of the US.
Meanwhile in Asia, Trump is showing the world his brinkmanship on Kim can be turned around into showmanship. But he still has to remove the sanctions on DPRK first to show the US knows the meaning of mutual respect and sovereign honor before sitting down to sincere talks. That however would be as likely as Bolton shaving off his walrusian moustache; maybe he is trying to hide his warmongering mole.
Come to think of it, the reason why the US doesn't remove sanctions (and tariffs) temporarily implies sanctions (and tariffs) are not useful because if they are reimposed later, what has been agreed during the temporary removal can in response be cancelled by the other side as well. Ad nauseum, leaving behind only a blame game. Which is no help for settlement.
His US may now be pivoting away from Asia in order to focus on Iran next. That goes to show that what ex-US President Carter had said about his US resonates. It may be easy-peasy peanuts for US presidents to start a war but doing so will only end up creating trade deficits besides destroying civilizations and killing civilians.
It goes to show short-term thinking kills long-term wisdom.