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On GeopoliticsNov 15, 2018 | 22:22 GMT
This image shows vehicles traveling through Brooklyn. The White House will decide soon whether to claim the power to impose tariffs on auto imports it deems unfair.
For Trump's Auto Tariff Threats, Credibility Is the Name of the Game
You cannot have national security without economic security. That has been a rallying cry for President Donald Trump since he moved into the White House in 2017. Trade has been a particular area of administration focus, and with that has come scrutiny of the buying and selling of automobiles and parts. For the past three months, Stratfor has examined what would happen to the global auto market if the United States moved forward with the administration's proposed tariffs on imports of vehicles and parts. It appears as if the White House is close to a decision on whether it can claim legal justification to impose those levies.
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AssessmentsOct 23, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
Employees assemble parts and make final inspections of Honda Activa scooters in Narasapura, on the outskirts of Bangalore, India.
Can India's Auto Industry Become the Bedrock the Country Needs?
U.S. President Donald Trump's threat of drastically raising tariffs on cars imported to the United States has unnerved the global automotive industry. Yet India appears unfazed. Washington and New Delhi have certainly sharpened their arrows as they jostle over disagreements on trade. Trump, who has called India the "tariff king," wants to chip away at the $23 billion bilateral trade deficit by gaining greater access to various sectors of the Indian market, including dairy and medical devices. And New Delhi has threatened to impose $241 million in retaliatory tariffs against Washington for refusing to grant waivers on its steel and aluminum shipments destined for the American market. But India's largely domestically focused automotive sector will fly beneath the radar of Trump's auto protectionism and continue to focus on serving a vast internal market of nearly 1.3 billion consumers.
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AssessmentsOct 8, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
A worker assembles a vehicle in a Hyundai plant in China's Hebei province. South Korean automakers have increased their manufacturing capacity in China to  A significant proportion of South Korea's auto manufacturing capacity in China to 2.1 million vehicles annually.
U.S. Auto Tariffs Would Deliver a Particularly Painful Sting to South Korea
Despite bending to U.S. pressure and agreeing both to revise the countries' free trade agreement and to accept export quotas on steel and aluminum, South Korea could still face tariffs on its vehicle exports to the United States. The government in Seoul is seeking ways to avoid the damage that tariffs could inflict on its auto manufacturing sector. But as U.S. President Donald Trump concentrates on strengthening U.S. manufacturing and rebalancing its trade relationships, the $22.6 billion trade deficit in goods between the two countries looms large. Although that deficit represents only a third of that between Japan and the United States and a small fraction of its $375 billion deficit with China, the South Korean trade imbalance has come under particular fire because of the role of automotive exports, which account for about 94 percent of that deficit.
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AssessmentsSep 18, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
Workers assemble cars at the Nissan plant in Resende, Brazil, during February 2015. Most major automakers have factories in Brazil and Argentina.
For Mercosur, High Auto Tariffs Are All Part of the Game
U.S. auto tariffs will have little direct effect on the South American trade bloc Mercosur. The economic alliance, also known as the Common Market of the South, is insulated from the prospective fees because most of its vehicle production stays in the bloc. But the alliance, known for its own high tariffs on vehicles and auto parts, was already taking steps to open its automotive industry before the United States started threatening tariffs. Over the past two years it has been working on free trade agreements with Mexico, Japan, South Korea and the European Union, whose automakers may look to the bloc to make up for lost U.S. sales if the tariffs enter effect.
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AssessmentsSep 3, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
Workers in Toyota City in Japan's Aichi prefecture assemble a Prius. Japan's auto manufacturing sector is heavily export-driven, and the United States is a prime destination for its cars.
Japan's Auto Sector Is Poised to Weather a U.S. Tariff Storm
For more than four decades, automobile manufacturing has been a key pillar of Japan's industrial sector. And today, auto exports remain a mainstay of the Japanese export economy, with exports to the United States accounting for a significant share. As with all other exporters who ship autos into the U.S. market, Japan's carmakers are facing down the threat of a tariff of up to 25 percent on their products. But unlike some other auto-exporting countries, Japan, which has car manufacturing operations spread across the continental United States, is positioned to absorb some of the damage that auto tariffs could bring. Citing concerns about national security, the White House has considered the auto tariffs as it aims to reduce the overall trade deficit and shore up the U.S. domestic auto sector. The U.S. trade imbalance with Japan, a target of Donald Trump's ire long before he became president, totaled $72 billion in
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AssessmentsAug 13, 2018 | 08:00 GMT
Cars sit on an assembly line.
Why Hitting the Gas on Car Tariffs Could Stall Everyone
Today, much of the Western world is holding its collective breath, wondering what comes next as U.S. President Donald Trump threatens to pummel the global auto industry with tariffs on imports. In 2017, the United States imported $350 billion worth of vehicles and parts, most of which came from Canada, Mexico, the European Union, Japan and South Korea – all U.S. allies. But just as he did with steel and aluminum, Trump is threatening to levy tariffs totaling as much as 25 percent on the vehicles and parts of his country's closest allies as part of a Section 232 national security investigation. In doing so, Trump is threatening to upend seven decades of consistent integration in the global automotive industry – something that could have grave ramifications for all.
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AssessmentsJul 5, 2018 | 09:00 GMT
As it makes changes to its economy, China is intent on ensuring greater control over the entire supply chain for lithium-ion batteries for years to come.
How China Is Muscling In on Lithium-Ion Batteries
From the salt flats of the Atacama Desert in Chile to the savannas of the Congo, the makers and users of the world's batteries are scrambling to secure the vital raw materials needed to produce the lithium-ion cells that will power electric vehicles around the globe. But no battery-makers are more aggressive than those from China, which is working to lock down the entire supply chain for its companies. Meanwhile, the United States will rely on economies of scale to compete in storage-cell manufacturing, turning toward North American raw material producers to ensure supplies whenever possible. Even then, the country will face stiff competition from Chinese investors -- to say nothing of European automobile companies, who will be compelled to increase their reliance on China. Buoyed by support from the highest levels of government, Chinese companies are likely to find few challengers over the next decade and a half as
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On SecurityJun 12, 2018 | 08:00 GMT
A picture taken on April 29, 2018, shows Syrian army forces running for cover from sniper fire from Islamic State positions in Yarmuk, a Palestinian refugee camp on the edge of Damascus.
How Do You Measure Success Against Jihadists?
How do you actually measure success against jihadist groups? As operations the world over have shown, simply destroying a high number of Toyota Hiluxes driven by militants isn't necessarily the defining mark of success in the "war on terrorism," and a tally of terrorist attacks doesn’t necessarily signal failure. As it turns out, there's more to assessing a jihadist group's strength than straight numbers.
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AssessmentsNov 3, 2017 | 09:00 GMT
A fully autonomous Ford Fusion wends its way through a test course in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Driving Consumers Toward Automated Vehicles
The phrase "self-driving car" is a bit of a misnomer. Despite what the name suggests, automated vehicles do have a driver -- just not the kind we're used to. Developing a computer that is robust enough to operate an automated vehicle, small enough to fit in the car and efficient enough not to drain its power source is a difficult and costly endeavor. But California-based computing company NVIDIA seems to have solved the riddle with its latest-generation processing platform, Pegasus. Roughly the size of a license plate and 13 times more powerful than previous iterations, the newly unveiled system will meet the requirements to run a fully automated vehicle and will be available starting in mid-2018. Pegasus is just one of the rapid-fire developments in computing power, data processing and artificial intelligence that will bring the automated vehicle industry closer to its goal of releasing the technology onto select markets
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AssessmentsSep 25, 2017 | 09:00 GMT
The skyline of Shanghai, November 2016.
Trade Profile: China Stands Its Ground
China's economic rise has been nothing short of astounding. In the span of a few decades, the country brought itself out of isolation and into the center of the global economy. Though the country followed a similar trajectory to that of Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong -- the so-called Asian Tigers -- as it developed its economy, the challenges and considerations it dealt with along the way set its story apart. And its transformation isn't over yet.
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On SecuritySep 14, 2017 | 11:13 GMT
Police in Kiev investigate a car blast that killed Timur Mahauri, a Chechen with Georgian citizenship.
The Dirty Work of Russian Assassins
Russia's intelligence agencies have a long history of involvement in assassinations, refered to by its intelligence officers as "wetwork" or "wet affairs." Indeed, they have pursued the enemies of the Russian government around the globe: Alexander Litvinenko was murdered in London in November 2006; and Mikhail Lesin died under mysterious circumstances in Washington, D.C., in November 2015. They are not the only examples. It should come as no surprise then that people considered to be enemies of the Kremlin are being murdered in Russia itself, including opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, and in adjacent countries. A recent bombing in Kiev appears to have added another name to that list.
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AssessmentsJul 14, 2017 | 12:52 GMT
A lone house sits on the scarred landscape, inside the exclusion zone, close to the devastated Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in Japan. More than six years after the disaster, Japan is apparently on its way to restoring nuclear energy as one of the major sources of electric power.
Six Years After Fukushima, Japan Tries to Quell Its Energy Angst
More than six years after the disaster at Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, Japan is apparently on its way to restoring nuclear energy as one of its major sources of electric power. Five nuclear reactors in the country have been restarted and a June court ruling cleared the way for two more to open as well. But 43 of Japan's 54 original reactors still remain shut. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, for his part, has promoted a policy of restarts, but he's politically weaker now than at any time since his 2012 return to power. Thus, it's worthwhile to assess how far the Japanese nuclear revival could go, and how it and other factors, such as the rise of renewable energy, may affect Japan’s longtime desire for energy independence.
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AssessmentsJun 6, 2017 | 01:36 GMT
The Japanese flag flies in front of Mt. Fuji. In this installment of Stratfor's Trade Profiles series, we examine the Japanese economy.
Trade Profile: Japan Adapts to Its Aging Population
Global trade is changing. The kinds of multilateral agreements that characterized the postwar years have stalled out over the past two decades, prompting countries and economic blocs to try to negotiate smaller deals with fewer partners. Nations and blocs have more leeway under this new model to negotiate the trade agreements that best suit their interests and to avoid those that don't. Now, more than ever, the future of international trade depends on a country or bloc's defensive interests, offensive interests and underlying factors of production. Our fortnightly Trade Profiles aim to break down these factors to facilitate an understanding of where global trade stands today and where it's headed. In the second installment, we focus on Japan.
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AssessmentsMay 25, 2017 | 09:15 GMT
Hydrogen: Tapping the Tiniest Element's Outsize Power
Let's start at the beginning. In this case, that means hydrogen. Danish physicist Niels Bohr first proposed its structure in 1913, an achievement for which he would later receive the Nobel Prize. And as the century wore on, the smallest element proved its outsize power. Hydrogen redefined warfare, and the menace it posed loomed over the world throughout the Cold War. Today, it remains a vital input. Though the hydrogen economy that some leaders and scientists heralded a decade or two ago may not come to fruition anytime soon, hydrogen still has the power to change the world.
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