The Evening CSIS June 15 2015
June 15, 2015
Welcome to The Evening CSIS—my daily guide to key insights CSIS brings to the events of the day plus HIGHLY RECOMMENDED content from around the world. To subscribe, please click here and if you want to view this in your browser, click here.
Sitting Here in Limbo
President Obama’s trade agenda hung in limbo today as House Republican leaders explored options for reviving legislation that the president has said is necessary to complete a 12-nation deal across the Pacific, reports the Washington Post’s Paul Kane and David Nakamura.
Meanwhile, Singapore’s Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam said today at CSIS that it is vital that the US be able to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement if it wants to be taken seriously in Asia, as Singapore’s Today newspaper reports.
Highly recommended: The New York Times’ Sunday analysis by Peter Baker, “The Trans-Pacific Partnership and a President’s Legacy.”
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Scott Miller authored a new commentary today for CSIS’s all things Asia blog, CogitAsia, “Trade Legislation: What Happens Next?”
A coalition of Kurdish militias and Arab rebels stormed into a strategic Syrian town on the Turkish border today, seizing most of it from ISIS who had long used the area to smuggle supplies and fighters into their self-declared caliphate, reports the New York Times’ Ben Hubbard and Maher Samaan from Istanbul.
Dive Deeper: CSIS’s Aram Nerguizian authored a major new report, released today, which examines key military dynamics and drivers of instability in Syria to better contextualize the military situation in the Levant. The report, The Military Balance in a Shattered Levant: Conventional Forces, Asymmetric Warfare & the Struggle for Syria, is a comprehensive analysis of the changing military balance in Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, and Jordan and reflects extensive research in the region and work with security experts in the US and Europe.
In that Number
The number of cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) reported to date in South Korea.
Asked: With the House defeating the TAA trade bill last Friday, what are the likely next steps in the trade debate?
Answered: Scott Miller, CSIS Scholl Chair in International Business: Trade legislation had been developed in four pieces: trade promotion authority (TPA), trade adjustment assistance (TAA), a bill to renew trade preferences, and a bill concerned with customs and enforcement. All four components passed the Senate last month, with TPA and TAA combined in a single bill. On Friday, the House passed the preferences bill in a different form than the one that passed the Senate 99-1. What changed was the mechanism for funding TAA (the “pay-for”). Because of the change, this bill goes back to the Senate, likely to be held at the desk until the House finishes work on TAA one way or the other. The customs bill also passed the House on Friday, but because it contains a number of substantive differences from the Senate-passed bill, it will go to a House-Senate Conference Committee, which will resolve the differences and return it to both chambers.
TPA and TAA were combined into a single bill by the Senate (H.R. 1314). The House took up H.R. 1314 under a rule that required separate votes on the two components; and, as we saw on Friday, the TAA component failed 126-302 while TPA passed 219-211. After the votes, the Speaker introduced a motion to reconsider, which is where the House left the matter.
When the House reconvenes tomorrow, the Speaker’s motion will be considered. If the motion passes, the House will essentially try a “do-over” on TAA. If the do-over passes, Humpty-Dumpty is back together again: H.R. 1314 goes to the president, the Senate concurs with the change to the preferences bill, and we’re done (except for the customs bill conference, which was expected). While this route is procedurally simple, it is a major political challenge—about 100 members would have to change their votes on TAA.
One to Watch
Shawn Donnan (@sdonnan) is the Financial Times’ world trade editor and was previously world news editor. His incisive reporting on trade, globalization, the IMF, and the World Bank make him one to watch.
An MH-60S Seahawk helicopter lifts pallets of supplies from the flight deck of the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Walter S. Diehl during a vertical replenishment with the amphibious assault ship USS Essex in the South China Sea, June 14, 2015.
Source: U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Huey D. Younger Jr.
The New Yorker’s John Cassidy writes about “The Godfather of Clickbait,” Vinnie Musetto (who passed away last week), a former editor at the New York Post who wrote the famous headline “HEADLESS BODY IN TOPLESS BAR.”
As Singapore celebrates 50 years of independence this year, CSIS hosted Foreign Minister K Shanmugam for a look at Singapore’s bilateral relations with the US, as well as regional opportunities and challenges.
CSIS will host Admiral Paul F. Zukunft (USCG) to discuss the US Coast Guard’s new cyber strategy. Click here to RSVP or watch live at 2:30 p.m.
This Town Tomorrow
US-ASEAN Business Council and the Stimson Center will host an event on “Infrastructure in ASEAN: Opportunities and Challenges for U.S. Businesses,” starting at 2:00 p.m.
CSIS on Demand
When will the next defense budget be signed into law? Or will there be a government shutdown? “Place Your Bets on 2016 Defense Budget,” and compare your answers to the experts.
Don’t miss our cyber expert Jim Lewis discussing China’s latest cyber espionage, and what the US can do about it, on the latest CSIS podcast.
I Like It Like That
“How to be a more strategic leader,” (in 6 minutes) by Professor Jesper Sørensen of the Stanford Graduate School of Business. I really like this. Especially when the professor says, “Leaders build a community.”
It's Monday. And in New Orleans that means lots of red beans and rice and lots of smiles. Most Monday’s I can’t get red beans and rice out of my head. Nor can I get this remarkable clip out of my head. It’s the Rolling Stones joining Muddy Waters on stage at Chicago’s famous Checkerboard Lounge in 1981 for this rollicking version of “Baby Please Don’t Go (down to New Orleans).” Sit back, relax, and enjoy how this all materializes. And, if you don’t hang in there until Muddy says “What about Keith?” you will be missing a HUGE smile.
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