Refining the Western counter terrorism strategy

Iraqi security forces prepare to attack Islamic State extremist positions in Tikrit, 130 kilometres north of Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday 26 March 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Amin Saikal, ANU

The US-led international coalition may well be able to roll back the so-called Islamic State (IS) in Iraq, but this will not be the end of the story. As long as the conditions and causes that have given rise to IS persists in the Middle East, the emergence of a similar group is always possible in the future. Read more…

Banking on America’s Asian choices

US President Barack Obama boards Air Force One after a trip to Asia in late 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

The US–China relationship is undoubtedly the single most important bilateral relationship in the world today. More hinges on the successful management of that relationship, not only for Asian but also for global peace and prosperity, than on any other single relationship in the world. Read more…

The US must adapt to Asia’s new order

Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama in 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Evan A. Feigenbaum, Paulson Institute

The United States has dominated global economics and finance in the post-war era. But the rise of new regional institutions and agreements in Asia will pose a growing and lasting competitive challenge to US leadership in the Pacific. Read more…

India–US relations face hurdles

US President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi interact during the India-US business summit in New Delhi, India, 26 January 2015. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Biswajit Dhar, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Economic relations between India and the United States seem to be going well. This was recently reinforced in New Delhi with Prime Minister Modi and President Obama endorsing the India–US Delhi Declaration of Friendship. Read more…

The India–US Bilateral Investment Treaty will not be an easy ride

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Author: Kavaljit Singh, Madhyam

It’s official: India and the US will resume negotiations on a high-standard bilateral investment treaty (BIT). In a recent joint statement Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama affirmed their ‘shared commitment to facilitating increased bilateral investment flows and fostering an open and predictable climate for investment’. Read more…

The high price of ‘free trade’ with the United States

Shipping containers at P&O’s container yard at Sydney’s Port Botany, 2004. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

It is well known that the many bilateral FTAs signed to date in Asia have not brought significant commercial or domestic reform or benefits. For one thing, bilateral ‘free trade agreements’ (which are preferential in character) are less likely to deliver substantial trade opening benefits unless the partners to them are a very large part of global trade, like the United States, Europe and China are for example. Read more…

The costs of Australia’s ‘free trade’ agreement with America

Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard and former President of the United States George Bush, in Washington, 2009. Australia and the United States have reduced their trade by US$53 billion with rest of the world and are worse off than they would have been without the Australia–United States free trade agreement. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Shiro Armstrong, ANU

The critics were right. Ten years after the Australia–United States free trade agreement (AUSFTA) came into force, new analysis of the data shows that the agreement diverted trade away from the lowest cost sources. Australia and the United States have reduced their trade by US$53 billion with rest of the world and are worse off than they would have been without the agreement. Read more…