Highlights from 10 April 2021

Highlights from 10 April 2021

Apr 10, 2021

Geopolitics X Supply Chains X Business

The Atlantic Council has a “Transatlantic blueprint for strategic competition” — this time its about the countries in the Atlantic Council — basically a think tank with former policy makers from both sides of the north Atlantic. This comes as China wants to engage with the EU, and talks about the EU being more geopolitically independent. But then, the EU is engaging with the Quad, and so China finds ways to engage with non-EU European countries.

I might have mentioned this before, but this Quad initiative on supply chains could be important. In ‘response’, China pushes to diversify its overseas sources of iron ore — this time in Guinea, Africa.

Another wrinkle in this supply chain — chips. Japan and the US to cooperate — the context of Suga visiting Biden soon. And Intel is building chips in the US. We are going to see more movements in this — like how TSMC wants to build facilities in the US.

Although this anti-anti-forced-labour movement probably had official encouragement one wonders though how that might affect the business climate for foreign businesses in China. Item #1 from this edition of the Protocol newsletter. Also, how companies end up abetting harsh Chinese governance.

Rush Doshi from Brookings writes about communications technology and geopolitics.

China amps up efforts in innovation with the 14th FYP. Also, it’s digital currency is now operational, it seems.

A global agreement on AI systems?

Global Developments/Other things to read

A global minimum tax on corporations, led by the US, could be important in the way how tax rates could become less of a factor in competition. This could be an important mechanism to reduce the creativity accounting structures that company use to exploit tax loopholes in the advanced countries. Also separately, the US and Europe move forward on digital tax. Something is aligning here, I guess part of tightening the US-Europe (broadly) relations.

The Economist has a Special Report on Jobs — and it’s on the optimistic side.

After passing the American Rescue Plan, Biden wants to go big on infrastructure as the main way to tackle the climate challenge — item #1 in this Axios newsletter. There’s been a lot of traction on this infrastructure plan — but still the same — difficulties from Republicans about how to fund it.

Bruegel, an EU-affiliated thinktank, dropped a paper about advocating hydrogen in heavy industries and elsewhere. Hydrogen (and carbon capture, storage and use) is crucial for the energy transition.

An essay from Foreign Affairs about how Vladimir Putin is increasingly vulnerable to coups from other elites or political challenge from ordinary people.

Small countries need not be pushovers when it comes to dealing with large countries. Heydarian compares Indonesia and the Philippines, and how their countries have dealt with China with very different results.

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