Stories by Alyssa Ayres

Expert Voices

U.S. economic strategy for Indo-Pacific doesn't stack up to China's

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during the Indo-Pacific Business Forum at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC) July 30, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Secretary of State Pompeo speaks during the Indo-Pacific Business Forum at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on July 30, 2018, in Washington, DC. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

In a speech on Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo rolled out the Trump administration’s long-awaited Indo-Pacific economic strategy, outlining the Trump administration’s alternative to China’s Belt and Road initiative.

The big picture: The Trump administration has made the region a centerpiece of its approach to Asia, speaking frequently about the importance of a “free and open Indo-Pacific.” Pompeo highlighted the importance of deeper U.S. engagement with this large and fast-growing economic area, but the proposed strategy falls short of the scale needed to provide credible alternatives to China’s efforts, which include increasingly prominent cases of “debt-trap” diplomacy.

Expert Voices

India imposes retaliatory tariffs, escalating U.S. trade tensions

President Trump speaks with Indian Prime Minister Modi during a bilateral meeting on the sideline of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Manila on November 13, 2017.
President Trump speaks with Indian Prime Minister Modi during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations meeting in Manila on November 13, 2017. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

India has announced tariff hikes totaling $235 million on 29 U.S. goods — including agricultural products, steel and aluminum — in direct retaliation to U.S. tariffs.

The big picture: Despite decades of economic frictions, the strategic partnership between the world’s two largest democracies has continued to strengthen. Recently, however, President Trump’s trade policies have inflamed frictions with India, to the potential detriment of security cooperation across the Indo-Pacific region.

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