Alan Cafruny

A paper by Alan Cafruny, the Henry Platt Bristol Chair of International Affairs and Professor of Government, was published by the Valdai Discussion Club on Sept. 17. “Global Trade War? Contradictions of US Trade Policy in the Trump Era” focuses on the effects, and possible outcomes, of tariffs levied by President Donald Trump in recent months.

Cafruny said that while the U.S. has reached an agreement with the European Union, “the US–China conflict is far more intractable.”

Regarding China, Cafruny said, “While cease fires and truces are possible and perhaps even likely, a settlement that would be acceptable to both sides appears to be out of reach.”

Cafruny also participated in an expert discussion of the paper. He was joined by Dmitry Suslov, deputy director of the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies at the Higher School of Economics; Alexis Rodzianko, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia; and Ivan Timofeev, program director for the Valdai Discussion Club.

A summary of the discussion on the Valdai website said that the experts agreed that “structural and fundamental factors … stand behind the policy of sanctions,” not “the personality of President Trump,” and that “for the U.S., trade wars and sanctions serve as a means of preserving its world hegemony.” The article noted that sanctions against Russia are part of this broader picture.

According to its website, the Valdai Discussion Club was established in 2004. “One of its main objectives is to promote dialogue among the global intellectual elite in order to find solutions to overcome the crises of the international system.”

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