A US-China trade war is a lose-lose proposition, The West must bring Russia to the negotiating table, The UAE and Saudi Arabia’s enthusiasm for Pompeo will be brief, The EU should stop appeasing Erdogan, Time to take back control of our personal data

A roundup of global commentary for the April 9, 2018 weekly magazine.

Shawn Gust/Yakima Herald-Republic via AP/File
Jaìme Ceja operates a forklift while loading boxes of Red Delicious apples on to a trailer during his shift in an orchard in Tieton, Wash., Nov. 14, 2017. Cherry and apple growers in Washington state are worried their exports to China will be hurt by an escalating trade war.

South China Morning Post / Hong Kong

A US-China trade war is a lose-lose proposition

“If [President] Trump were to slap a 25 per cent duty ... on US$50 billion worth of Chinese imports, we estimate the direct and first-order impact could be worth 0.1-0.2 percentage point of Chinese GDP,” writes Aidan Yao. “While this impact could be amplified by a broader list of products, a higher tariff rate, and second-round effects, the order of magnitude is not large enough to derail the Chinese economy. In reality, this impact could be even smaller as the shock will be spread across the global supply chain.... [A] trade war is not a zero-sum game, but a lose-lose proposition for both the US and China.”

The Hindu / Chennai, India

The West must bring rogue Russia to the negotiating table

“Russia made headlines for all the wrong reasons [recently] ... when a clutch of countries led by the U.S. expelled more than 100 of its diplomats and intelligence officers over suspicion that the Kremlin was behind a nerve agent attack on a Russian spy and defector to the U.K...,” states an editorial. “[Weeks earlier] the U.S. had slapped Russia with sanctions against multiple individuals and entities for interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.... [I]t would be naive to assume that Moscow will miss any opportunity to tighten its strategic grip on global geopolitics.... Contrarily, it is imperative that the West ... find some means to bring [President Vladimir] Putin to the negotiating table.”

Al Jazeera / Doha, Qatar

The UAE and Saudi Arabia’s enthusiasm for Pompeo will be brief

“Rexit – the firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Mike Pompeo’s nomination as his replacement – has unnerved many in Qatar, but was applauded by pundits in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)...,” writes Sultan Barakat. “[E]xperts in the region speculated that without Tillerson’s balancing act, the Trump administration would start favouring Saudi Arabia and the UAE against Qatar in the ongoing crisis. The optimism of Saudi Arabia and the UAE is misplaced, however. Following Tillerson’s sacking, the Department of State may initially take some actions in favour of their camp, but this phase will not last long enough for them to exploit the situation, given the expressly anti-Muslim, ‘clash of civilisations’ rhetoric evinced by Pompeo....”

EUObserver / Brussels

The EU should stop appeasing Turkey’s Erdogan

“The Turkish government silenced the media, confiscated resisting newspapers, took the full control of the judiciary, jailed members of parliament and sped up its ‘democracy-killing’ in the wake of the botched coup attempt of July 15, 2016 which [President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan famously called ‘a gift from
God...,’ ” writes Selcuk Gultasli. “Yet for the sake of the migration deal and other ‘interests’, the EU keeps appeasing president Erdogan.... The pretension that Turkey is still a EU candidate country helps Erdogan to consolidate the democratic facade of an increasingly authoritarian regime.”

The Globe and Mail / Toronto

Time to take back control of our personal data

“How is it that our personal information is so vulnerable to cyberattacks?” writes Ann Cavoukian. “One attack can expose millions of personal data records, but we are also vulnerable to the privacy policies of the organizations that house our data.... These are the Facebooks, Googles, Apples, Equifaxes and so forth.... But what if there was another way, one that did not require the centralized storage of personal data in repositories?... Instead ... we must use AI technology to evolve to a one-to-one oversight mechanism, with individuals able to control their own set of personal data. Imagine having your own SmartData agent, an open-source (think Linux) software residing in the cloud that you can instruct, using your smartphone, to transact services on your behalf....” 

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