Trump imposes new tariffs on steel and iron imports
American President Donald Trump’s decision to impose new tariffs on steel and iron imports next week will trigger potential trade wars as several countries across the world protest the decision.
‘Canada and Brazil are likely to bear the brunt of any tariffs on steel imposed by President Donald Trump, according to a 2017 report from the US Department of Commerce. ‘But even if the measures finally unveiled are more limited, great damage is being done, says Thomas Franck who writes for CNBC. The US built the architecture of the global economy in its image. The WTO was largely a US creation. Now Donald Trump, in a fit of impulsiveness, may tear it all down.’ Edward Alden writes for the Council on Foreign Relations. Atta Rasool Malik, Islamabad based freelance writer and analyst opines that Mr Trump is improving the economy of USA but damaging the reputation of USA as a world leader. Saving few Billions of dollars but creating rift and competitions for US allies is like, penny wise pound foolish, strategy.
American weaponry to reach Ukraine within weeks
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says the first delivery of lethal defence weaponry will reach the European country in weeks.
‘In December, Washington prompted protests from Russia when it decided to provide lethal defensive weaponry, which some US officials said would include Javelin antitank missiles, to support Ukraine in its nearly four-year conflict with Russia-backed separatists,’ according to Radio Free Europe. The Trump administration has touted the sale as evidence it is “tougher” on Russia than President Barack Obama, although its Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations sought to downplay the significance.’ says Conor Finnegan who writes for ABC News.
Extending Xi’s rule
China’s Communist Party has announced that it intends to abolish presidential term limits, which will pave way for the incumbent President Xi Jinping to remain in power indefinitely.
Atta Rasool Malik opines that ‘few sycophants and bootlickers in the communist party are letting down the Xi Jinping, one of the visionary and popular president of China by tarnishing his image as a dictator. Xi is lawfully the President of China till 2023, he does not need to be president beyond this date. It is a conspiracy to bring cracks in the political stability of the country by introducing ill-conceived changes in the constitution of the communist party.
Furthermore, Jane Perlez and Javier C. Hernández who write for The New York Times opines that the proposal would abolish an institutional check introduced after Mao Zedong’s death in 1976 and risks a return to internecine power struggles that hobbled China during past leadership successions.
Proposed New Afghan Peace Talks
The Afghan Taliban have given a cold response to the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s offer to recognize the insurgents as a legitimate party in the negotiations as part of the so-called Kabul Process.
James Mackenzie who writes for Reuters says the Afghan Taliban have themselves twice offered to talk to the United States in recent weeks, but have ruled out talks with the Kabul government. Atta Rasool Malik opines that the USA will ultimately have to directly deal with Afghan Taliban rather than Afghan puppet government, the earlier the better. Dawood Azami writes for BBC claims that ‘In calling again for talks he [Ashraf Ghani] is trying to put pressure on the militants – but it’s an acknowledgement that, despite President Trump’s more aggressive US military policy, no one side can win the conflict militarily.’
Eastern Ghouta offensive
Syria’s White Helmets, a well-reputed volunteer organisation, has said that more than 670 civilians have been killed as a result of continuous air strikes by the Syrian government, with the support of Russia, on Eastern Ghouta since February 18.
‘Eastern Ghouta is the last rebel-held enclave bordering the Syrian capital, Damascus. Since 2013, forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have imposed a suffocating and deadly siege on the area. Yet several insurgent factions have retained control,’ writes The Guardian. ‘Daily “humanitarian pauses” have failed to stop the bloodshed in the enclave, where hospitals, schools and shops have been pounded by air and artillery strikes.’ Atta Rasool Malik says that Syrian war is an Israeli instigated series of war and conflicts in the region. Israel will ensure that no state in the Middle East has the potential to withstand her hegemony in the region. It is tragic that few countries in the Muslim world have become part of the problem than a solution. Malik further predicts that Israel is also likely to wage war against Hizb Ullah anytime soon.