Early Warning for 27 March 2018

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Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Tuesday, 27 March 2018. (All times Eastern.)

Early Warning: As the National Security Council readies to overhaul U.S. arms exports in order to better and more quickly arm U.S. allies, two Senators wrote a letter to President Trump to urge him to sell either F-35s or F-16Vs to Taiwan. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Jim Inhofe (R-OK) want to make sure that Taiwan keeps a competitive advantage as the Chinese begin to field next-generation military technology. Bottom line: Get ready for more U.S. arms sales, not just to Taiwan but to lots of other U.S. allies. This sounds a lot like an expectation of conflict, although not imminent.

 

White House
Among mostly minor things, President Trump meets with Treasury Secretary Mnuchin today. Yesterday, Mnuchin was meeting with Chinese trade representatives discussing how to avoid a trade war, which is looking more like a soft landing for those tariffs. China’s economic czar in Beijing traveled to D.C. to meet with Mnuchin, and it looks like China isn’t interested in a trade war because they’re interested in making some concessions.

 

State Department
Nothing significant to report.

 

Defense Department
Nothing significant to report.

 

Congress
The House and Senate deliberate in pro forma sessions this week and there are no scheduled hearings. Congress will reconvene on the week of 09 April 2018.

 

Federal Reserve/Economy
Nothing significant to report.

 

Notable Quotable
“I would expect Russia to respond in kind, yes. And that suits Russian President Vladimir Putin; he needs a degree of animosity between Russia and the West, again to support this narrative of Russia the besieged fortress, enemy-at-the-gates from the West. What he wants to do is conflate that supposed threat with our ideals of liberty, freedom and democracy so that his own people who might support those ideals would be branded a fifth column in support of the enemy.”  Dan Hoffman, former CIA officer with experience in Russia


 



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