DailySA: Biden admin to set red lines on China aid to Russia – Forward Observer

DailySA: Biden admin to set red lines on China aid to Russia

Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Thursday, 24 March 2022. You can receive this daily briefing by signing up at https://forwardobserver.com/daily-sa

TODAY’S BRIEFING:

  • Biden admin to set red lines on China aid to Russia
  • Biden to rally NATO, Poland for action on Russia
  • Poll marks new low in trust of federal government
  • Oil output increase, pre-invasion prices possible
  • Hazards Warning

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  • In Focus: Weekly Economic Outlook

SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

BIDEN ADMIN TO SET RED LINES ON CHINA AID TO RUSSIA: The Biden administration announced plans to set red lines on countries that help Russia avoid western sanctions. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated Wednesday that the U.S. is preparing a unified response with other G7 countries to ensure no significant economy can undermine or weaken sanctions against Russia. He went on to say that the U.S. had conveyed that message to China and expected European Union countries to follow soon. The plan reportedly would block Chinese efforts to help Russia access critical goods such as commercial electronics, computers, and aircraft parts. Sullivan went on to add that the U.S. would not tolerate “systematic efforts” to reorient the settlement of financial payments away from the dollar. (Analyst Comment: The western sanctions regime against Russia is attempting to wall off Russia and other non-compliant countries from the world financial system and global markets. If successful, this effort could result in catastrophic consequences for Russia and countries like China, India, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and others who have not agreed to the sanctions regime. On the other hand, it will be extremely difficult to achieve such an economic blockade against what amounts to half or more of the world’s sovereign nation states. – M.M.)

BIDEN TO RALLY NATO, POLAND FOR ACTION ON RUSSIA: President Biden meets with NATO leaders today to determine the next steps in responding to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Biden will also travel to Poland to discuss potential peacekeeping operations in Ukraine with President Duda. NATO announced it would deploy four additional battle groups along its border in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia. The “extraordinary” meetings come on the heels of Secretary of State Blinken accusing Russia of war crimes. (AC: As the war develops in Ukraine, the West risks underestimating Russia’s willingness to escalate conflict. Putin spokesman Peskov said a first-use nuclear strike could stem from “existential threats to Moscow.” If NATO attempts to send peacekeeping forces into Ukraine, Russia may publicly consider that an existential threat but not use nuclear weapons. Instead, nuclear forces could be moved to Belarus, and its military formally supplements Russian efforts. War crime accusations may increase calls for some kind of international peacekeeping mission. – D.M.)

POLL MARKS NEW LOW IN TRUST OF FEDERAL GOVERNMENT: According to a new poll, four of ten people trust the federal government to do the right thing. The poll was focused on targeting public opinion on the people who work within federal agencies versus elected officials in Washington. A higher trust rate was seen with Democrats at 60% than Republicans at 26%. Reasons for distrust were attributed to wastefulness, bureaucracy, not serving public needs, and negative personal experiences. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was rated the least favorable out of all federal agencies. (AC: Positive public perception of federal employees is two times higher than Congress. While approval fluctuates along partisan lines, declining trust in government is currently impacting recruitment and retention, with 7% of the workforce under 30 and about one in three federal employees eligible for retirement in the next five years. – D.F.)

OIL OUTPUT INCREASE, PRE-INVASION PRICES POSSIBLE: U.S. oil and gas company output saw its highest activity in at least six years. The Federal Reserve of Dallas surveyed major industries, finding that 15% of large firms plan to increase growth by 30% this year. Respondents predicted U.S. crude could return to pre-invasion levels by end of year. These long-term predictions contrast short-term forecasts with some top oil traders warning prices could pass $200 a barrel. (AC: The global oil industry has been increasing oil capacity and output since the Russian invasion. Oil and gas prices have seen a significant rise, and if predictions hold true, domestic prices may see increases in the near term but subside this fall. – D.F.

HAZARDS WARNING

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