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…

Unregulated cyberspace a cause for concern

The FBI director revealed new details Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015, about the stunning cyberattack against Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., part of the Obama administration's effort to challenge persistent skepticism about whether North Korea's government was responsible for the brazen hacking. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Zach Montague, Delma Institute

China and the US are entering a new and troubling phase of cybersecurity. The recent crash of North Korea’s internet network reveals just how inexperienced world leaders are in dealing with cyber conflict. It shows how one reckless act in the cyber realm can quickly devolve into a bigger international crisis. The confusion and ambiguity surrounding this sequence of events has left the US and China entangled in a high profile cybersecurity standoff. Read more…

Why US analysis of China’s nine-dash line is flawed

A China Coast Guard vessel attempts to block a Philippine government vessel as it tries to enter the Second Thomas Shoal/ Ayungin Shoal. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Sourabh Gupta, Samuels International

The US State Department’s analysis of China’s nine-dash line, which it released in advance of China’s Position Paper on the South China Sea arbitration case with the Philippines, is in part conceptually and legally flawed. Read more…

What should US policy be in the South China Sea?

A printing worker holds a new officially approved map of China that includes the islands and maritime area that Beijing claims in the South China Sea, at a factory in south China's Hunan province on 27 June 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Michael McDevitt, CNA

The South China Sea is not the central strategic element in the overall US–China relationship. It was clearly not a centrepiece of the November 2014 Obama–Xi summit in Beijing. Climate change, North Korea, Iran, Taiwan, trade, intellectual property theft and cyber security are all more important bilateral issues. Read more…