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Dr Dan Steinbock



Articles by Dr Dan Steinbock

World’s Largest Free-Trade Pact Inspiration for Global Recovery

November 23, 2020

After four long years of diminished prospects, stagnation, and divisive geopolitics, four summits could show the way toward a better future. Recently, Moscow hosted the 12th BRICS Summit. Malaysia is hosting the APEC Summit. And Riyadh will welcome the world leaders into the highly-anticipated G20 conference. Importantly, these high-level events followed the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world’s largest free-trade pact, which could help build multiple new paths toward a shared future.The global economy is expected to shrink by 5 percent in 2020. World trade is likely to plummet by 20 percent. After misguided trade wars and the pandemic, global cooperation across all differences is vital to defeat the pandemic and facilitate economic recovery.World’s

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RPEC: Why the World’s Largest Free-Trade Pact Matters

November 18, 2020

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is an extraordinary achievement amid aggressive geopolitics, self-defeating trade wars, and accelerating global pandemic. It is also a leap toward a better future.Last June, the ministers of RCEP countries underscored their determination to sign the free-trade agreement amid unprecedented headwinds in global trade, investment and supply chains. Following almost a decade of talks, 15 countries are poised to sign the world’s largest free-trade pact during the ASEAN Summit. The RCEP is expected to increase trade integration between the 10 ASEAN countries, East Asian leaders (China, Japan, South Korea), and Oceania (Australia, New Zealand). Surprisingly, India withdrew from the RCEP talks late last year, following Prime Minister Modi’s

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Trump Fired, Biden Hired, What Next?

November 12, 2020

“Trump has launched ill-advised trade wars, against the United States’ friends and foes alike, that are hurting the American middle class,” President-elect Joe Biden wrote when he set the tone of his 2020 campaign. The next US president will have to “take immediate steps to renew US democracy and alliances, protect the US economic future, and once more have America lead the world.”Internationally, the hope is that Biden would restore US multilateralism, moderate trade conflicts, alleviate economic damage and push real struggle against the pandemic. Most immediately, Biden will seize a series of executive orders to reverse Trump’s policies and bring an end to “the era of demonization.”The premise is that the new White House can avoid violence and legal roadblocks during the transition. The

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China’s New 15-Year Vision: ‘Dual Circulation’ to Sustainable Growth

November 3, 2020

While the coronavirus fallout is still escalating in Western economies, China’s rebound has begun. Global recovery requires multilateral cooperation that China’s new development pattern seeks to foster. Last week, the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) completed its fifth plenary session in Beijing. Unlike all other major countries, China’s economy is rebounding and fueling global prospects.Two centenary goals about to be realizedIn terms of the past, China is set to achieve two of its centenary goals: building a moderately prosperous society and eradicating extreme poverty.In terms of the future, the fifth plenum introduced China’s 14th Five-Year Plan for 2021 to 2015. And while the mid-term “2035 Vision” seeks to realize the primary modernization goals, it also

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Beware of Trump’s October (November?) Surprise

October 13, 2020

In the 2020 election, Americans’ national priorities, discontent with the Trump administration, and its economic and pandemic failures would seem to work for the Democrats. But beware of the October (or even November) surprise.Recently, President Trump tested positive for COVID-19, which initiated contact tracing in the infected White House – after nine months of failed pandemic leadership, violations of basic public-health procedures, premature exits from the lockdowns, and earlier-than-anticipated secondary waves. The consequences have been severe. The number of Americans that have perished in the pandemic (close to 220,000) is already nearly four times higher than the total of US deaths in the Vietnam War. How have these huge and dramatic developments affected US voters?Nat’l

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Whatever Happened to EU’s Integrity with the Philippines?

October 8, 2020

Recently, EU Parliament adopted a resolution denouncing the state of human rights and press freedom in the Philippines. However, the resolution seems to rely on flawed data, political agendas, and prejudicial bias.In Brussels, the resolution got 626 votes in favor, only seven against, and 52 abstentions. Nine of ten members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted for it. Despite its stated concern for ordinary Filipinos, the resolution seems to reflect dubious cooperation between a small group of European parliamentarians and Philippine Liberal Party (LP) leaders who suffered a dramatic loss in 2016 – and who now seem to be positioning for the impending 2022 election.But why would Brussels allow itself to be used in a way that risks European credibility? PH drug explosion escalated under

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From Trump’s TikTok Mess to US Tech Cold War against China

September 4, 2020

As the Trump administration is expanding trade wars, which could derail global recovery, the White House is targeting Chinese innovators thus fostering US national champions under the pretext of ‘national security.’In the early 2010s, an aspiring Chinese internet entrepreneur Zhang Yiming launched ByteDance, while developing a video sharing platform. After success in China, he began to internationalize TikTok.To avoid conflict in national jurisdictions, Zhang had TikTok and its Chinese version Douying run on separate servers. TikTok’s data collection is similar to that of major US social media and certainly less intrusive than Facebook’s. By August, Douying had over 500 million active users, while TikTok surpassed 1 billion users worldwide in barely four years. To manage the global

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From Trump’s TikTok Mess to US Tech Cold War Against China

August 22, 2020

As the Trump administration is expanding trade wars, which could derail global recovery, the White House is targeting Chinese innovators thus fostering US national champions under the pretext of ‘national security.’ In the early 2010s, an aspiring Chinese internet entrepreneur Zhang Yiming launched ByteDance, while developing a video sharing platform. After success in China, he began to internationalize TikTok.To avoid conflict in national jurisdictions, Zhang had TikTok and its Chinese version Douying run on separate servers. TikTok’s data collection is similar to that of major US social media and certainly less intrusive than Facebook’s. By August, Douying had over 500 million active users, while TikTok surpassed 1 billion users worldwide in barely four years. To manage the global

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Prepare for the Global Impact of US COVID-19 Resurgence

August 20, 2020

Recently, the US has suffered a series of COVID-19 surges. The escalation won’t stay in America. It is likely to cause collateral damage worldwide. In early June, U.S. states began to exit from the lockdown measures, even though the epidemic curve had not been adequately flattened. On July 4, the White House sought for a “return to normal” with a celebration at Mount Rushmore, where President Trump, who has recently associated himself with far-right “white power” extremists, gave a bizarre speech warning about a “new far-left fascism.”And once again, the Trump crowds were not required to wear face masks or practice social distancing, although the US has recently tallied its highest single-day totals of coronavirus infections. Currently confirmed virus cases in the US total 3 million, with

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Trump White House Accelerating Toward a Dollar Crisis

August 4, 2020

As US economy is heading toward its disastrous 2 quarter results, the Trump administration is considering the expansion of the trade war to finance, which could destabilize the US dollar and derail the post-pandemic global economy.After its failure in the COVID-19 containment and the expected -53 percent plunge of real GDP growth in the 2 quarter, President Trump’s re-election campaign is in serious trouble. To deflect the blame, his administration has launched a series of provocative measures against China thereby fueling elevated bilateral tensions. Worse, the White House is reportedly considering moving from a bilateral trade war to an effort to exclude China from the dollar-denominated international payment network. In Beijing, that would be seen as the weaponization of the US

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Protracted G7 contraction – or multiyear global depression

July 28, 2020

Global growth prospects are deteriorating. Instead of a V-shaped recovery in the 2 quarter, advanced economies will face historical carnage and a prolonged contraction. But there’s still worse ahead.The Trump administration’s catastrophic COVID-19 failures, along with premature exits to reopen the economy and leave the WHO will virtually ensure still new virus waves and longer contraction. In turn, US tariff wars are undermining the promise of the Asian Century.2 quarter carnage: projections and realitiesIn early February, as new coronavirus cases began to decelerate in China but accelerate outside China, I predicted that China would rebound in the 2 quarter but major advanced economies could rebound in the 3 quarter only if they’d manage to contain the pandemic. At the time, this view was

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Inconvenient Truths About US Debt Explosion

July 16, 2020

The resurgence of COVID-19 in the United States is paving the way to a debt record, even relative to government debt at the end of World War II. The collateral damage in global recovery will be significant.The delays and containment failures of the COVID-19 in major advanced economies, particularly the United States, are morphing into a faster-than-expected series of economic challenges, including debt crises. Only two quarters ago, US federal debt hovered around $23 trillion; a stunning 106% as percentage of the GDP. Today – after barely two quarters – that debt is close to $27 trillion (Figure 1). Moreover, as US GDP has drastically contracted, the debt-to-GDP ratio is now closer to 133%; higher than that of Italy in 2018, or Greece prior to its debt crisis in 2010. But unlike Italy or

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Prepare for the Global Impact of US COVID-19 Resurgence

July 16, 2020

Recently, the US has suffered a series of COVID-19 surges. The escalation won’t stay in America. It is likely to cause collateral damage worldwide.In early June, US states began to exit from the lockdown measures, even though the epidemic curve had not been adequately flattened. On July 4, the White House sought for a “return to normal” with a celebration at Mount Rushmore. Once again, the Trump crowds were not required to wear face masks or practice social distancing, although the US has recently tallied its highest single-day totals of coronavirus infections. Confirmed virus cases in the US could exceed 4 million after mid-July, with over 140,000 deaths, while new cases average over 50,000 daily. As a result of crisis mishandling, U.S. GDP growth suffered a -5% contraction in the 1

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Prepare for the global impact of US COVID-19 resurgence

July 8, 2020

Recently, the US has suffered a series of COVID-19 surges. The escalation won’t stay in America. It is likely to cause collateral damage worldwide. In early June, U.S. states began to exit from the lockdown measures, even though the epidemic curve had not been adequately flattened. On July 4, the White House sought for a “return to normal” with a celebration at Mount Rushmore, where President Trump, who has recently associated himself with far-right “white power” extremists, gave a bizarre speech warning about a “new far-left fascism.”And once again, the Trump crowds were not required to wear face masks or practice social distancing, although the US has recently tallied its highest single-day totals of coronavirus infections. Currently confirmed virus cases in the US total 3 million, with

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Worse Than Expected Coronavirus Contraction in ASEAN-4

June 16, 2020

In the coming months, success or failure to contain the global pandemic and overcome the coronavirus contraction has potential to make or break the promise of Southeast Asia in the early 21st century.By the end of the 2 quarter, the total number of confirmed cases may total close to 10 million, while deaths could surpass 225,000. What was an epidemic in China at the turn of January and February grew into a pandemic in the 1 quarter, due to the belated and inadequate mobilizations in the US and Europe. In early year, the epicenter of the virus was in China and the rest of Asia. By March-April, it had moved to Europe and the United States. As I projected three months ago, global devastation would escalate by summer as the epicenter is shifting to emerging and particularly developing

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The Tragedy of Missed Opportunities

June 8, 2020

The Tragedy of Missed Opportunities THE TRAGEDY OF MISSED OPPORTUNITIES COVID-19 Human Costs and Economic Damage Contents|1 The Tragedy of Missed Opportunities This report is authored by Dan Steinbock, Ph.D. is the founder of Difference Group Ltd (www.differencegroup.net). He has served at the India, China and America Institute (USA), Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (China) and the EU Center (Singapore). Prologue I have analyzed the COVID-19 prospects ever since the ‘mystery pneumonia with an unknown etiology’ was discovered in Wuhan, Hubei, at the end of December 2019. The first major international pandemic since the Spanish flu is likely to cause millions of infections and hundreds of thousands of deaths, and a global contraction that will prove far more consequential than

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