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Bob Zoellick: Recent Thinking

Bob Zoellick has written a wide range of articles analyzing the Trump presidency and the impact on world trade and foreign policy.

See below a collection of articles written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Handelsblatt.

Q&A: Robert Zoellick Says Increasing Scrutiny of China Reflects Nation’s Accomplishments

 Caixin l Interview with Robert Zoellick l 19 September 2018

 New criticism of China is a reflection of the nation's achievements. 

Congress, Don’t Let Trump Usurp Your Power Over Trade 

Wall Street Journal l Author - Robert Zoellick l 3rd September 2018

On NAFTA: The president's deal-making has been long on self-congratulation and short on substance. Congress needs to step up.

10 Tips for Negotiating With Kim Jong Un

Wall Street Journal l Author - Robert Zoellick l March 27, 2018

The news that President Trump plans to sit down with Kim Jong Un offers a perfect example of his style: Mr. Trump surprised his world-wide audience, put himself at the center of attention, and took a big risk, probably impulsively. Now the drama has shifted to whether Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim will actually meet. And if so, when and where?

The central banks have to walk a fine line

Handelsblatt l Author - Robert Zoellick l 22nd January 2018

The former head of the World Bank sees the U-turn in monetary policy and American trade policy as the greatest potential threats to global growth and stability – and reveals what he thinks of his fellow Republican Donald Trump.

Robert Zoellick learned German in high school, but he never expected to use this knowledge. "The idea that you could simply fly to Europe was unimaginable at the time - you could only do that if you were rich or in the military," says the 64-year-old in an interview with Handelsblatt. As a result, his German is not advanced, even though he later helped to make German unity a reality under US President George Bush. Zoellick was also US Trade Representative and President of the World Bank. Even today he regularly comes to Germany, most recently for a conference in Berlin. He combined this with a visit to Frankfurt because he advises the PR agency Brunswick, which also has an office on the Main. "I am always happy to come back to Germany," says Zoellick, "in order to get a sense of the Zeitgeist here and to find out what the German economy thinks.”

Download the full article in German.

The peril of Trump's populist foreign policy

The Wall Street Journal l Author - Robert Zoellick l 28th November 2017

One of America’s senior statesmen predicted earlier this year that Donald Trump’s hunger for success would push the president toward a more traditional foreign policy. I countered that it depends on how Mr. Trump defines success. We now have an answer: Mr. Trump’s foreign policy reflects his instinct for political realignment at home, based on celebrity populism.

Trump's looming trade crack-up

The Wall Street Journal l Author - Robert Zoellick l 5th September 2017

Donald Trump’s trade policy is speeding toward a shipwreck. Under the Constitution, Congress has principal authority over trade, although it has delegated considerable powers to the executive. Congress needs to reassert control to block Mr. Trump’s crack-up.

The conflict at the heart of Donald Trump's policy

Financial Times l Author - Robert Zoellick l August 22 2017

This week the generals persuaded Donald Trump to keep up the fight in Afghanistan. A frustrated US president agreed reluctantly. Time will tell whether his personality and politics can sustain a long-term commitment.

If Trump really knows the art of the deal, he’ll embrace free trade

The Washington Post l Author - Robert Zoellick l 5th January 2017

Trade protectionism could be the biggest risk to President-elect Donald Trump’s growth-and-greatness agenda. Trump the dealmaker needs to decide whether to play case-by-case defense or to use America’s leverage to open markets.

By trashing Mexico, Trump hurts the U.S.

The Wall Street Journal l Author - Robert Zoellick l 23rd April 2017

President Trump interrupted his prepared remarks in Wisconsin last Tuesday to excoriate, yet again, the North American Free Trade Agreement. “We’re going to make some very big changes,” the president pledged, “or we are going to get rid of Nafta once and for all.”

A missed opportunity for even greater U.S. influence

The New York Times l Author - Robert Zoellick l 22nd December 2016

During the Cold War, Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan stressed that America's economic vitality was the foundation of U.S. power. Trade agreements complemented military might by boosting partnerships for reform, growth and openness. 

With Trump, the US foreign policy framework is at risk

Financial Times l Author - Robert Zoellick l December 14, 2016

Now that president-elect Donald Trump has selected his national security team, what course will he set? In a recent interview Henry Kissinger, the US secretary of state in the 1970s, cautions that “America has conceived of foreign policy as a series of discrete challenges to be addressed as they arise on their merits rather than as part of an overall design”.

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