2019 second-quarter forecast

Global Trends

China and the United States will ratchet up their competition in the second quarter, as Washington takes concrete steps to counter Beijing's emergence as an economic, military and political peer. Given the global stature of both countries, this quest will reverberate around the world in two ways. First, Washington's economic war against Beijing will grow to encompass more than just tariff threats. Second, the United States' global security posture will change as it reduces its presence in Afghanistan and Syria to direct its energies elsewhere. 

Mar 10, 2019 | 21:58 GMT
(ALEXANDER GERST/ESA/Getty Images)
section Highlights
  • The United States remains the fulcrum of the global system in the second quarter as it continues its aggressive trade policies, shifts its global security priorities and diverts its attention to China. 
  • Washington and Beijing will reach a deal to lift some of their reciprocal tariffs, but their economic competition will persist as the U.S. strategy evolves beyond tariffs. 
  • The United States is working hard to build a global campaign against China because of the economic, military and cybersecurity challenges the country poses. However, Washington will not achieve as much success this quarter as countries in the Asia-Pacific and Eastern Europe weigh the consequences of backing the U.S. push. 
  • The United States must decide whether it wishes to proceed with auto tariffs. While Japan will likely succeed in avoiding the harshest measures, Brussels is in for tough negotiations with Washington over automobiles this quarter.
  • Although circumstances on the ground might delay the White House's plan to reduce the U.S. military presence in Syria and Afghanistan, the United States will prioritize its departure from the counterterrorism fight to free up resources to deal with Russia and China.

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