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Global Value Chains Mean That Trade Barriers’ Costs Become Compounded

Global Value Chains Mean That Trade Barriers’ Costs Become Compounded

  G20 Trade Ministers met July 19 in Sydney, Australia, and reported the proceedings in a Chairman’s Summary. The only major media coverage of the event highlighted a joint report, of the OECD, World Bank, and WTO, on “Global Value Chains (GVCs).” For those acquainted with trade policy, the ministers’ call for trade-supporting measures is familiar. […]

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China, Japan’s Collective Self Defense, and U.S. Interests in Asia

China, Japan’s Collective Self Defense, and U.S. Interests in Asia

On July 1, the U.S. simultaneously engaged in a naval exercise of co-operation with Chinese units, and one implicitly aimed at resisting China. On the same day, Hong Kong protesters marked the anniversary of China’s re-assumption of sovereignty there with their annual demonstration for democracy. Japan reinterpreted its constitutional restrictions on the use of defense forces, […]

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The Slippery Slope Hazard Of U.S. Economic Sanctions

The Slippery Slope Hazard Of U.S. Economic Sanctions

Russia is exploring settlement of trade payments in renminbi (China’s external currency).  U.S. sanctions on Cuba may require sanctions on Venezuela to remain viable.  And sanctions on Iran and Sudan led to criminal prosecution of BNP Paribas, and a spat with France. Policymakers may understand that military power is finite, but they seem to think American economic, trade […]

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Finance and BNP: How Do They Fit Our Geopolitics?

Finance and BNP: How Do They Fit Our Geopolitics?

French bank BNP Paribas will likely pay up to $10 billion in penalties in a settlement with U.S. prosecutors for alleged transactions, dating back to 2002, with Iran and Sudan, countries sanctioned as terrorism sponsors.  Also, prosecutors want BNP to plead guilty to criminal charges. U.S. sanctions on terrorists and their enablers are appropriate, as […]

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Engaging China: Joint Study of A Common Cultural Issue?

Engaging China: Joint Study of A Common Cultural Issue?

Recent events highlight the potential for conflict between China and the U.S., and the larger picture of U.S.-China relations remains fundamentally perplexing.  Is our relationship one of economic partners complicated by politics, or of adversaries that happen to share economic ties?  As our “frenemy,” is China more a geopolitical foe or economic partner, a co-manager […]

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Is Economic and Trade Policy a Strategic Tool?

Is Economic and Trade Policy a Strategic Tool?

    Vladimir Putin’s encroachments on Ukraine have drawn Western investment and trade sanctions in response.   U.S. sanctions are levied against certain Russian individuals, and serve reasonable diplomatic notice of our opposition.  However, we should not look to trade and other economic sanctions as a long term answer to Putin’s aggression. First, it is clear […]

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Ukraine Crisis Raises the Question of Defense Capabilities

Ukraine Crisis Raises the Question of Defense Capabilities

  The U.S. cannot address today’s Russian military threat against Ukraine without addressing what military resources we have to back our diplomacy and to deter hostile moves backed by force.  Currently, no U.S. discourse guides policy makers toward an answer. The public expects a strong defense when we are afraid or when we are outraged […]

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Walling off the internet: how should the U.S. respond?

Walling off the internet: how should the U.S. respond?

Angela Merkel wants to wall off European data from the NSA.  If ever there was evidence of dysfunction in the free world, this is it.  The technical foolhardiness of the idea, which the Financial Times noted in its report, makes the initiative more likely to launch a war of words than truly divide the internet.  […]

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Formalizing a U.S.-EU Financial Regulatory Protocol?

Formalizing a U.S.-EU Financial Regulatory Protocol?

The EU has proposed that it join with the United States to formally coordinate their financial regulatory activities, as part of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Principles (TTIP).  U.S. officials reportedly oppose the proposal because such an agreement might dilute Dodd-Frank and other new American regulations.  It is more important that they it for reasons of deep principle, and economics. First world executives and […]

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Fed Taper Injects U.S. Economics into Turkish Politics

Fed Taper Injects U.S. Economics into Turkish Politics

    The Turkish Central Bank raised interest rates drastically on January 28, re-setting the one-week bank lending rate at 10 percent, up from 4.5 percent, and hiking its rate on overnight lending to banks from 7.75 percent to 12 percent.   The move has ramifications for America’s influence in the world.  In Turkish politics, […]

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U.S. Trade Policy Should Give First Priority to WTO Agreements

U.S. Trade Policy Should Give First Priority to WTO Agreements

  Trade ministers for World Trade Organization (WTO) member nations reached agreement in Bali December 7, setting standards for customs, and addressing food and agricultural issues, among other matters.  The  measures in themselves are limited, but the Bali deal revives the WTO as a channel to approach trade policy. U.S. policy should reassess other approaches […]

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The Indian Diplomat and Her Domestic: Beyond the Diplomatic Snafu

The Indian Diplomat and Her Domestic:  Beyond the Diplomatic Snafu

The snafu over Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade’s employment of household servant Sangeeta Richard has subsided.  But the incident raises a strategic issue, which goes beyond the question of whether the U.S.  treats India, in the words of the Economist, like a domestic servant.  There is a tension between developed American freedom and the views of freedom that […]

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About the Author

George Paik
George Paik

George F. Paik is a former political affairs officer in the U.S. Foreign Service, as well as a twenty year veteran of U.S. capital markets. He is a current board member and former chair of the World Affairs Forum (a sister to FPA in the World Affairs Councils of America network) in Stamford, CT. His work as a diplomat straddled the fall of the USSR, and included political analysis, human rights, trade affairs, and environmental policy, in postings were in Brazil and Trinidad, and in the Department of State. Financial experience includes stints with Mellon Bank, Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co. and People’s United Bank. He currently holds the position of Managing Director at Lord Capital, LLC, a firm focused on international trade finance.

Paik graduated from Harvard University with a BA in Social Studies; he also holds an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He counts ten years playing Rugby, with club mates from countries around the globe, as part of his international experience.

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