United States

Gamal Gasim portrait
Bernadine Carey Tucker / Grand Valley State University

The tension between the United States and Iran has geopolitical experts considering the probability of an escalating conflict between the two nations.

Gamal Gasim is associate professor of global studies and political science at Grand Valley State University. He explains that while neither is interested in war, Iran’s mission is Middle East dominance at a time when President Donald Trump is withdrawing U.S. troops from the region.

Container ship photo

The Trump administration has placed a 25% tax on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports. The plan is to institute another 10% on $300 billion on September 1st. More recently, the threat to levy another 10% tariff on Chinese goods not yet affected. As the trade war escalates how is it impacting farmers and manufacturers in West Michigan and across the country?

“We’ve said consistently the short-run effects of a trade war are always negative. There’s no such thing as a short-run gain in a trade war.”

U.S.-China flags

The Ambassador of China to the United States visited Grand Rapids Friday as a guest of the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan. Retired Ambassador Nicholas Burns was at his side for a discussion about the trade war and future U.S.-China relations and the global economy. 

His Excellency Cui Tiankai, Ambassador of China to the United States says China abides by World Trade Organization rules.

Canada and U.S. flags
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U.S. officials are reminding travelers that it remains illegal to bring marijuana into the United States at border crossings despite the legalization of the drug in Canada.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection representative Christopher Perry says the implementation of the new Canadian law on Wednesday thus far has had little effect on the flow of traffic along the border.

Ms. Kirsten Hillman, Canada's Deputy Ambassador to the United States
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In Washington D.C., trade ministers are meeting this week continuing to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. In Grand Rapids, Canada’s Deputy Ambassador to the United States visited with the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan providing an update on talks and explaining the economic impacts on the state and local economy.

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The 7th round of North American Free Trade Agreement talks have come to an end. One renegotiation sticking point involves automotive production and what is called the “country of origin” provision. Can U.S. demands be met? WGVU recently spoke with an automotive analyst and the Consul General of Canada to find out.

Under the rules of origin, Douglas George, Consul General of Canada explains NAFTA trade bloc partner products must contain 62.5 percent of regional content in order to qualify for no tariff.

“Which is the highest in any trade agreement in the world.”

Republican and Democrat logos

In a December of poll, 37% of registered Michigan voters give President Donald Trump a positive job approval rating while 61% rate his performance as just fair or poor.

The numbers are revealed in Lansing-based EPIC-MRA’s most recent survey. The polling of 600 registered Michigan voters conducted in mid-December provides polar opposite views when it comes to the direction the country and the state are heading.

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The Republic of Palau is an island nation on the frontline of geopolitical tensions in the western Pacific Ocean. Its President is a Grand Valley State University graduate. While visiting with the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan, he spoke with WGVU about his country’s role in dealing with the North Korean nuclear threat.

“When you’re small the effects of a hydrogen bomb doesn’t sit too well with any island resident.”

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Donald Trump's campaign says a government plan to give up managing key operations of the internet poses a threat of outside censorship of online information. But such an outcome is highly unlikely.