A revised U. The auto tariffs face strong opposition in Congress, including from many prominent Republicans. The White House has refused to release the auto import study to Congress. Trump's proclamation said "domestic conditions of competition must be improved by reducing imports" and said a strong U.
The reports cited statistics that U. At the same time, the Commerce Department report stated that imports nearly doubled - from 4. The report called the European Union and Japan "protected foreign markets" that "impose significant barriers to automotive imports from the United States, severely disadvantaging American-owned producers. The United States also has barriers to imports, most notably a 25 percent tariff on pickup trucks from outside North America. Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC delivered to your inbox. Get this delivered to your inbox, and more info about our products and services.
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Blackstone: Even a 'smaller' US-China deal could be good for Buffett's investing advice consistent over past 35 years since The latter was a pariah within the global economy, whereas the former is one of its manufacturing hubs. In , Soviet per capita income was one-fifth that of the United States. Although the Soviets closed the gap by the s, the collapse in oil prices and stagnation of their economy wiped out any gains. Combined with its growing demand for oil, China — unlike the Soviet Union — has both the means and the opportunity to incentivize Gulf oil producers to redirect their exports to China and away from other consumers — including U.
A similar scenario occurred in , when Britain bought any cotton the United States was planning to export to Germany and Austria-Hungary after Whitehall added cotton to the list of items covered by its blockade of the Central Powers. This act mollified U. In the past, China was happy to leave the burden of promoting security in the Gulf to the United States. That no longer appears to be the case.
Over 80 percent of Chinese oil imports travel through the Indian Ocean and are susceptible to U.
To counter this threat, China is hard at work across the Gulf building partnerships as part of its Belt and Road Initiative. To date, China has secured several long-term supply contracts for oil and liquefied natural gas, measures to facilitate greater Chinese trade and investment, and joint ventures between Chinese firms and local companies in both the Gulf and China.
Besides creating new markets for Chinese manufactured goods and supplies of energy less vulnerable to a U. Would China use this economic leverage in the Gulf to hurt U. In the case of U. As the nations of the Gulf become more dependent on their trade with the Far East, so too will their sensitivity to Chinese pressure grow. This is particularly true of Saudi Arabia, which is partnering with Chinese firms to build downstream oil refining and marketing and petrochemical assets in China.
For previous generations of U. Since , the United States has applied a variant of the Monroe Doctrine to the Gulf and the wider Middle East, opposing any effort by an external or internal power e. Nasserist Egypt, Baathist Iraq, or a revolutionary Iran to dominate the region. The means Washington used to achieve that end varied. The United States depended on Britain to garrison the Gulf until , when Whitehall determined that the costs were exorbitant and the risks of withdrawal manageable. Two emerged over the subsequent decades, and they have dominated U. Unwilling to replace Britain directly, the United States opted instead to cultivate local partners.
These events helped give way to the second U. The Reagan administration expanded the doctrine to include regional threats — namely, its former partner Iran. Ensuring access to oil and the security of oil-producing allies were the explicit rationale for evicting Iraq from Kuwait in But the invasion of Iraq left the Carter Doctrine in ill repute. Among the many consequences of the disastrous invasion, critics noted that the U. With U. Washington sought to defuse the threat of war with Iran through the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action , while reassuring Arab partners such as Saudi Arabia by boosting military sales.
Whatever their differences, the last two administrations have so far achieved the same result — pushing the Gulf Arabs and Israel closer together, while failing to repair their rift with Iran.
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How should this history inform future U. Whenever the U. None of this should have come as a surprise. The United States should accordingly limit future arms sales in the region to defensive weaponry. If the United States cannot outsource regional security to local partners, then the only remaining option is preserving the U.
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The current U. According to official figures, the total number of active-duty personnel deployed across the Middle East and North Africa excluding those in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and presumably special forces is less than 10, , although the figure including reservists, National Guard units, civilians, and contractors is several times greater. Even then, as a fraction of total U. What is not trivial, however, is the sophisticated logistical infrastructure in the region, particularly Naval Support Activity Bahrain which hosts U.
Besides supporting partner nations and security cooperation initiatives, these assets are capable of supporting a significant infusion of U. The precise force levels necessary for the Gulf should be a matter for debate. One can, for example, make a compelling case that U. Fifth Fleet has less need for the standing deployment of a carrier strike group than it does for smaller vessels better suited to keeping open the Strait of Hormuz or enforcing sanctions against Iran and its proxies.
That said, preserving existing U. Preserving a modest U. Moral hazard is something no policymaker should ignore, but policymakers must in proper Clausewitzian fashion evaluate the risks entailed in relation to the alternatives.
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Reducing moral hazard by limiting the U. Russia has longstanding strategic interests throughout the Middle East.
Today, Russia plays an indispensable role in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries — which still controls 80 percent of global oil reserves — despite the fact that it is not even a member, by mediating disputes between the Gulf Arabs and Iran.
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