WEEK OF 2021.11.23

News, Views & Items of Interest Relevant to the Carolina Region
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Happy Thanksgiving! We thought you might appreciate some interesting items to chew on in between your fabulous celebration with friends and family over this extended holiday weekend. Please enjoy the summaries below or scroll down directly!

►Concerns with the supply chain crunch are front and center with nearly every news story focused on the sources and the impacts of our supply chain debacle. The report below engagingly describes our "Freight Expectations."

►Recently USTR Ambassador Katherine Tai met with Japan's Trade Minister seeking to resolve trade issues created by tariffs imposed by the previous administration and/or to hold these partners accountable to trade agreements. Read more about her recent visit to Tokyo below.

►Few people realize how indispensable Japan's role is as a counterweight to China's expansion in Southeast Asia. The article below describes its interesting fit succinctly.

►At a time when U.S.-China trade tensions continually mount, there is one question unanswered by the recent Biden-Xi meeting: Whether they can constructively manage the slow-motion collision that is now unfolding between their very different worldviews. Read this expert's opinion below.

►China's ban on bitcoin mining some months ago may be the unnoticed geopolitical event of the decade! Bitcoin has weathered the ban, further increasing its mining decentralization, and growing in adoption and value. Did China lose the biggest opportunity by letting its miners go? See the analysis below.

►Few of us can imagine what the world will be like in 2100, but these animations of the projected Top 10 countries with highest GDP (2018-2100) and the historical Top 20 country GDP (1800-2040) are food for thought!

►Given the long Thanksgiving holiday, we thought you might have the time to preview the future. NVIDIA has provided some video clips of the future of all things digital. We recommend you view the longest one--at 1 hour 47 minutes--and fast-forward as you must. See the video link below.
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We'd love to know what you think of this and the other stories in the newsletter--feel free to click on the link below and send us your remarks!

The Supply Chain Crunch or "Freight Expectations"

Freight Expectations
This 60 Minutes report follows the U.S.’s struggling supply chain, from choked ports on the West Coast to packed rail yards in Chicago. Along the way, they found finger-pointing, huge profits, and massive losses.

U.S.-Japan to Rebuild Trade Ties!

USTR Katherine Tai meets with Japan's Trade Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi
The United States and Japan announced a new trade partnership to boost cooperation on labor, environment and digital trade issues, with an emphasis on "third country concerns," a reference to China's state-driven economic policies.
U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, who recently visited Tokyo to meet with new Japanese government ministers, said initial meetings of the U.S.-Japan Partnership on Trade would take place early in 2022, with periodic meetings on a regular basis.
"Our close collaboration will support the Biden-Harris Administration's economic framework for the Indo-Pacific and help create sustainable, resilient, inclusive, and competitive trade policies that lift up our people and economies," according to Tai.

Japan’s Indispensable Role in Southeast Asia

Japan and Southeast Asia
There is an oft-overlooked factor in the burgeoning competition for influence in Southeast Asia: This isn't just a two-power game. And in a region leery of both China's rise and getting hung out to dry by the U.S., Japan is seen as perhaps the best-equipped country to preserve the status quo. A slew of recent moves by Tokyo, including last week's announcement of a new "2+2" security dialogue with Manila, illustrates just how much Japan has been quietly but assiduously stepping into the role.

Japan is a natural fit as a counterweight to China’s expansion in Southeast Asia for several reasons. The most important is that Japan’s strategic focus on the region can’t and won’t wane. (Not so for the U.S.) It can’t get bogged down by matters elsewhere in the globe, and it can’t simply conclude that the costs and risks of competing for influence against China aren’t worth it – in other words, that things would turn out just fine if it decided to cede supremacy over the South and East China seas to Beijing. Japan has a robust, energy intensive domestic economy and manufacturing base but scant natural resources of its own. Therefore, it is almost wholly dependent on imported commodities, and the bulk of these pass through contested regional waters. It’s all-too-familiar with the risk of allowing one or more foreign powers to be in position to cut off these maritime flows. It can’t let it happen again.

Biden-Xi: One Big Question Unanswered

Biden-Xi Virtual Summit
The U.S. and China still face “hard-edged, irreconcilable differences” that are deeply entrenched, according to Stephen Olson, senior research fellow at Hinrich Foundation, and it remains to be seen whether the bilateral fallout will ease after the virtual meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“The open question for the broader relationship is whether the U.S. and China can constructively manage the slow-motion collision that is now unfolding between their very different worldviews,” says Olson. “Neither country is going to disappear. Neither country will accede to the other’s view. The prudent path forward would be to find plausible ways for each side’s divergent narratives to coexist."

Olson explains that China views the U.S. as a declining power at a time when Beijing appears more confident on the global stage. The U.S. sees the circumstances around China’s rise as antithetical to its own interests, and it must be prepared to “more forcefully confront and challenge” China. “Hard-edged, irreconcilable differences are embedded in each side’s view of the other. These cannot be wished away.”

    China’s Bitcoin Ban – Unnoticed Geopolitical Event

    China Bitcoin Ban
    It has been some months since China decided to ban bitcoin mining and push bitcoin companies out of their jurisdiction. Prior to the ban, the country was hosting at one point 75% of bitcoin's hash rate, which was a reason of critique as a state coordinated 51% attack was a possibility.

    At the end of spring, when China's decision was made, there were fears of what would happen with the vast amount of hash rate lost in just a matter of hours. Incredibly, Bitcoin performed as usual, displaying its resiliency. Over the last month, several different areas have seen growth in bitcoin mining, further increasing its decentralization.

    As bitcoin continues to grow in adoption and value, its potential to become the world reserve currency becomes clearer and clearer. With this in mind, it is reasonable to say China lost the biggest opportunity by letting its miners go.

    "China may have handed a strategic global resource of the future to the rest of the globe," according to Rob Price.

    Top 10 Countries – Highest Projected GDP to 2100

    Country GDP Projection 2018-2100
    This dynamic graph shows the Top 10 countries with highest GDP from 2018 to 2100. The projected GDP ranking includes countries such as United States, China, India, Japan, France, etc. It also shows how Asia will dominate the economy while Europe starts to fall slowly.

    Top 20 Country GDP (PPP) History & Projection (1800-2040)

    World GDP PPP by Country 1800-2040
    Also see this dynamic graph, based on 2011 international dollars, showing the Top 20 countries with the highest GDP (PPP) since the 1800s. China and India were ahead of the U.S. before the 20th century. WawamuStats is an American YouTuber known mostly for data visualization videos of different countries and about Coronavirus.

    Takes on the Future!

    NVIDIA Keynote Speaker
    With the long Thanksgiving holiday upon us, we thought you might have the time to preview the future. GTC (GPU Technology Conference) keynote speaker and NVIDIA’s CEO Jensen Huang talks about the future of all things digital as he presents the latest breakthroughs in AI, data science, high-performance computing, graphics, edge computing, networking, and autonomous machines. We recommend you view the longest one--at 1 hour 47 minutes--and fast-forward as you must. Happy Thanksgiving!!
    View other GTC 2021 videos of the highlights!
    NVIDIA Videos
    Tell Us What You Think2
    - ALL 2021 Sponsor Logos trimmed

    Carolina World Trade Association

    Founded in 1964, CWTA is a chapter of the North Carolina World Trade Association (NCWTA), which promotes the growth of trade between North Carolina and the world by providing education and networking opportunities for our global ecosystem.

    As a business-driven non-profit organization, CWTA’s mission is to promote, foster, and encourage international commerce success and expand economic growth in the Carolinas region. We do this by:
    • Advocating the interests of businesses engaged in international trade on local, regional, state, and federal levels;
    • Educating businesses and their employees to the resources, issues, policies, and practices within international trade;
    • Promoting regional assets and opportunities for expanding inbound and outbound international commerce; and
    • Celebrating the successes of international trade in the region.
    Please visit our website!
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