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FOREIGN POLICY POLICIES, ANALYSIS, AND RESOURCES

The Foreign Policy Domain tracks and reports on policies that deal with US treaty obligations, relations with other countries, engagement with international organizations, and trade policies. The domain tracks policies emanating from the White House, the Department of State, United States Agency for International Development, Office of the US Trade Representative, and Office of the US Representative to the United Nations.

Latest Foreign Policy Posts

 

Trump and Putin: A Kremlin Arranged Marriage

Brief #89—Foreign Policy
By Brandon Mooney
Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand for the past month, you have no doubt heard about the controversy surrounding whether Trump had been briefed on intelligence claiming that Russia offered bounties to the Taliban in Afghanistan for the targeting and killing of U.S. servicemen.

read more

Why Have Some Countries Been Better Able to Contain Covid-19 Than Others

Brief #85—Foreign Policy
By Hassan Elsebai
The Coronavirus death toll now exceeds one hundred thousand in the United States and is far ahead of every other country with respect to both deaths and confirmed cases. Followed by the UK with almost 40,000 deaths(June 1st). Italy and Brazil take third and fourth place, respectively. To understand how we got to this point it is imperative to examine the early actions taken by these countries’ leadership.

read more

China, Trump and The Epoch Times

Brief #81—Foreign Policy
By Erin Mayer and Brandon Mooney
On Wednesday, during a White House news conference, President Trump was questioned in regard to allegations that Coronavirus-19 originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, before escaping. The United States government has recently accused China of bearing the brunt of the responsibility for the coronavirus pandemic.

read more
Trump and Putin: A Kremlin Arranged Marriage

Trump and Putin: A Kremlin Arranged Marriage

By Brandon Mooney 

August 4, 2020

Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand for the past month, you have no doubt heard about the controversy surrounding whether Trump had been briefed on intelligence claiming that Russia offered bounties to the Taliban in Afghanistan for the targeting and killing of U.S. servicemen.

Policy Summary:

Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand for the past month, you have no doubt heard about the controversy surrounding whether Trump had been briefed on intelligence claiming that Russia offered bounties to the Taliban in Afghanistan for the targeting and killing of U.S. servicemen. With more right-wing news sources and the Trump administration offering a variety of arguments such as that the intelligence was not verified, that the intelligence was never brought to Trump’s attention, or that Russian and Taliban denials of the affair should be taken as truth; one can quickly surmise that the American public will probably never know the truth. Plausible deniability is on Trump’s side, and however much liberal audiences may cry out, it is unlikely that the official narrative will change. It has become, as all things are in the era of Trump, a “he said, she said” debate with each side claiming wrongdoing by the other. However, this event raises the opportunity to take a look back over Trump’s foreign policy with Russia. 

As many media sources have pointed out, the Trump administration’s seeming foreign policy goals and treatment of Russia has been nothing if not confusing. Marked by anti-Kremlin policies from the administration and GOP allies mixed with a litany of pro-Putin sentiments from Trump, it is an odd tangle of conflicting elements. Looking first at moves by the Trump administration, one finds a fairly homogenous approach of resisting Russian influence. Back in 2017, the Trump administration closed two Russian diplomatic trade annexes and shut down Russia’s consulate in San Francisco over accusations of espionage. However, it was reported that Trump had either been disinterested in said closings or had never been brought in on the decision, with then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis spearheading the move. In the same year, the administration approved the selling of lethal arms to Ukraine to resist Russian-backed forces in Crimea, a move that the Obama administration had refused to do. Moving forward, in 2018, the Trump administration pushed for a $1.4 billion increase in the European Deterrence Initiative budget, an almost 41% increase over the Obama-era.   

However, these foreign policy decisions are juxtaposed by Trump’s personal rhetoric. He has suggested re-instating Russia into the G-7, from which it was removed in 2014 following the annexation of Crimea. He has also floated withdrawing U.S. troops from Germany, which many see as allowing Russian influence in the region to swell and a weakening of NATO power. He was criticized for revealing top-secret Israeli intelligence on ISIS bomb-making to Kremlin officials in a closed-door meeting as well. Trump has posted various pro-Putin remarks over Twitter, and even sent out a congratulations on Putin’s election victory. Trump has also largely denied Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and seems to give Russia the benefit of the doubt on most issues. A series of bipartisan sanctions imposed on Russia in 2017 by Congress was met by heavy criticism by Trump’s White House and on Twitter. 

Analysis:

Whenever he comes under criticism about his personal treatment of Russia, Trump argues that he has been the toughest president on Russia in recent history and points to the moves by his administration that I mentioned above. However, one has to wonder how many of those moves came from him and how many came from those around him. Is he truly anti-Kremlin and just admires an oil-rich autocrat masquerading as a democratically elected president? Although I do believe that Trump wishes to push American national interest, I seriously doubt that his version of national interest involves an aggressive anti-Russian component. This is not to say that diplomacy should be abandoned or that the U.S. should be antagonistic, but that refusing to admit to Putin’s authoritarian tendencies and the Kremlin’s desire to manipulate the American electorate in order to erode our power abroad is ultimately far worse than turning a blind eye. 

As much as Trump may say it doesn’t, his rhetoric matters. Posting on Twitter is his main avenue for communicating with the wider world and acting congenial and supportive of the Russian regime should not be dismissed as casual talk without meaning. You can bet that the Kremlin is watching, learning, anticipating, and acting upon the things that Trump posts. They obviously see him as an ally in a world order that views Russia with suspicion. The fact that his administration has been tough on them has not appeared to overly sour Putin’s chummy relationship with Trump nor dissuade Russian trolls and interference. 

In closing, although the Trump administration as a whole has made admirable moves towards resisting Russian influence and pushing for the expansion of American national interest, Trump’s own feelings and narrative of Russia is highly divergent and does not fill me with confidence. Hypothetically, if Trump was told that Russian operatives were paying the Taliban to kill U.S. servicemen, from a reading of his tweets, I am not confident that Trump would take this as intelligence to act upon. And in a world where our president has openly expressed admiration for a world leader that utilizes the organs of state for personal enrichment, that should worry all of us. 

The United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) Examined

The United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) Examined

July 8, 2020

 Summary:

Touted by supporters as the new NAFTA 2.0, one of the major tenets underlying the Trump Administration’s foreign policy platform was recently put into practice.  On July 1, the USMCA (United States – Mexico – Canada Agreement) officially replaced NAFTA as the economic blueprint to regional trade.  For the past 3 years, the Trump Administration has been revising and modifying specifications of the free trade policy that has governed the rules of North American cross-border commerce.

The administration has repeatedly attacked previously negotiated free trade agreements, characterizing them as one-sided trade deals that weakened America’s competitiveness in the global market.  NAFTA was no exception to presidential criticism. In the past, the president has threatened to punish American manufacturers who sought to utilize supply chains south of the border, by subjecting them to tariffs on domestic re-entry, even when U.S. businesses have been able to lower costs, raise profits, and increase market capitalization.

Briefly, some of the elements of USMCA incorporated as part of the revision were higher degrees of protection for the automotive industry through more stringent rules of origin.  Auto manufacturers must ensure that 75% of the components used in the production of passenger vehicles come from North America, up from 62.5% under the original NAFTA terms.  If producers fail to comply, automobiles in production will be subject to duties and tariffs each time automotive content is exchanged from country to country.  The lifecycle of the automotive manufacturing process requires extensive cross-border mechanical flow of parts and commercial testing, exposing producers in the region to inflated costs.  Besides meeting a quota on automotive contents, the USMCA requires that 70% of the steel and aluminum used in production must originate from either Mexico, Canada, or the U.S.  Moreover, labor initiatives ensure that nearly 45% of content must be produced by regional workers, earning a minimum of $16 per hour.  Although other general labor, environmental, and intellectual property provisions were administered through USMCA, the basis of the Trump trade policy has been built on a foundation dominated by the tenets of mercantilism, targeting a host of actors ranging from domestic industries to global trading partners.

Analysis:

President Trump has repeatedly used false narratives and misguided nationalism as the “smoke and mirrors” to justify his protectionist agenda. Nothing has been politicized more and understood less than the benefits of foreign trade.  The Trump administration has cultivated the notion that trade policy has been negotiated from a position of weakness, to which Americans have long shouldered the cost, citing the overall trade deficit as proof of his claims.

The problem with this assertion is that it’s rooted in a fundamental misunderstanding of the way the global economy operates.  While it is certainly true that the U.S. runs a persistent trade deficit with most of its trading partners, the balance of trade is an inconsequential metric in determining success in the global market.  The gains to trade are not governed by the ability to run a positive balance of trade, but rather by the capacity to increase overall standards of living.  In fact, the trade deficit is only a portion of the total effect of international commerce and is reciprocated and financed by a capital surplus.  Dollars spent abroad on imports always come to return as capital investment, maintaining the constant flow of jobs and economic growth.  However, because the Trump administration has politicized the trade deficit as a means of imposing protectionist policies, the president has used this as justification to shield some of the biggest companies on the planet from foreign competition, all at the expense of taxpayers.  Truth is, the trade deficit is no more a symptom of economic failure than the trade surplus is of economic success.

On the contrary, the way to make American businesses more competitive is not through protecting them from foreign competition, but rather encouraging them to use the most efficient factors of production, whether its supply chains in Mexico or factories abroad.  More than half of the products imported from countries like Mexico and Canada are raw materials used by manufacturers in the downstream value-added sectors of the economy.  Allowing producers to operate in an open market ensures they will be able to lower cost, boost economic growth, and create economies of scale.  When small businesses can be the benefactors of an open market, rather than one restrained by tariffs, quotas, and subsidization, they are able to maximize profit and re-invest back in the U.S. economy, thus creating long-term sustainable employment.

A successful trade relationship should seek to promote mutual interests, where the benefits of one nation don’t undermine that of another.  The global landscape has transitioned since the times of the Cold War.  No longer does the international community reward power and conflict but rather peace and cooperation.  Countries who have integrated economic interests have a greater propensity to cooperate in achieving prosperity.

With that said, approximately a year ago, the Trump Administration publicly declared political victory after the U.S. forced Mexico to capitulate to initiatives set forth by the president in an attempt to get the Mexican government to reduce the effects of illegal immigration.  This so-called agreement was bound by the threat of billions of dollars of tariffs the U.S. promised to impose on Latin American imports in the absence of Mexico’s cooperation. The problem with this arrangement is that if Mexico fails to meet its objectives, the president will ultimately unleash the punitive effects of this mutual destructive scheme that would not only harm regional economic growth but would also exacerbate the effects of illegal immigration.

Rather than seeking a policy that would induce such austere effects for both Latin America and the U.S., the president should seek to promote incentives necessary to make both nations better off.  Policies that foster multilateral success would discourage citizens from leaving home in search of economic prosperity.  Granting U.S. market access would enable trading partners to boost earnings.  When America’s trading partners prosper and earn more, they can, in turn, buy more from American producers, which would ensure the U.S. remains competitive in the global market. The success of American exporters will always be contingent on whether foreigners have the financial necessities to acquire U.S. products.  Therefore, when the president seeks to punish our trading partners, he ultimately punishes Americans as well.

Ultimately, as long as the Trump Administration continues to deviate from the traditions that have promoted international security and global prosperity, neither the U.S, Mexico, nor Canada will be the benefactors of the potential windfall that the productive forces of unrestricted free trade can potentially unleash for North America.

Resistance Resources:

  • Center for Strategic & International Studies – [https://www.csis.org/topics/economics/trade-and-international-business] – is a non-partisan U.S. think tank that provides analysis of the climate, global trends, and risks in the global commercial environment.  They consult on policy issues ranging from   international trade, governance, competitiveness, and international economic development.
  • Cato Institute – [https://www.cato.org/research/trade-policy] – is a public policy research organization dedicated to the principles of freedom, free-markets, and peace.  Through publishing policy proposals, blogs, web features, op‐​eds and TV appearances, Cato has worked vigorously to present citizens with incisive and understandable analysis.
  • Mercatus Center – [https://www.mercatus.org/tags/trade-and-immigration] – is a university-based research center bridging the gap between academic ideas and real-world problems. Their mission is to generate knowledge and understanding of the institutions that affect the freedom to prosper and live peaceful lives.
Capitalism Butts Up Against US Core Values in the Global Economy

Capitalism Butts Up Against US Core Values in the Global Economy

Policy Summary:

             Earlier this month, the surging video communications company Zoom joined the growing ranks of enterprises that have made concessions to or followed Chinese directives on content, censorship, and other aspects of company policy. On the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, several activist groups that had organized meetings over Zoom had their accounts suspended and later reinstated following public backlash in the West, with Zoom attempting to strike some semblance of compromise by promising to develop applications for the control of accounts based upon geographical location. As many companies have already discovered, the tantalizing consumer base in China comes packaged with strings, and these strings are often at odds with Western conceptions of free speech in the capitalist market.

The past and current year have been full of such clashes between the demands of the CCP party line and the expectations of Western consumers for their beloved corporate powers to champion the all-American values of democracy and free speech. The General Manager of the Houston Rockets made a now notorious tweet expressing support for the pro-democracy Hong Kong protests, which was met by a statement of condemnation from China and an apologist statement by the NBA that would later be walked-back following public outcry. In a similar episode, Activision Blizzard banned an e-sports player from official events for a year in response to said player voicing support for Hong Kong autonomy during a live-streamed interview, along with firing the two casters conducting the interview. Once again, Blizzard walked back the severity of the punishment following Western public backlash, reducing the bans on both the casters and the player to six months.

Looking at the NBA, Blizzard, and Zoom as case studies in this emerging phenomenon, one notices immediate parallels. All of these companies have significant and growing consumer bases in China. 10% of total NBA profits are currently generated in China, with this being projected to only increase to 30% in the years to come. In 2019, Blizzard made almost $100 million in revenue in China. Zoom has regularly listed China as one of its top markets and around 30% of its workforce is based in the country. All three of these companies, and all companies within the international market for that matter, have a lot to lose if they resist the demands of the CCP.

Analysis:

If I may be blunt and let a bit of my more radical, liberal-arts background peek through, what Western audiences are confronting with such consternation is the purpose, and by extension the inevitable limits, of the capitalist market that they so strongly cling to. The purpose of an enterprise within capitalism is the generation of profit. It is not to respect free speech, freedom of assembly, or what have you. If these concepts and their support increases one’s revenue, praise be! A corporation, a company, a capitalist entity within the market is meant to make money. Everything else is secondary. Therefore, if (in a wholly hypothetical situation of course) an authoritative regime demands certain concessions in order to allow a company access to a demanding consumer population, it is by all the best logic of capitalism that a company does so.

However, this linear thinking of capitalism does not account for the issue of world systems. The U.S. is and continues to be the greatest consumer market in the world. China, despite its formidable capacity, will not surpass it for at least a few decades by most accounts. Companies within the world market must therefore contend with the competing giants of the dominant American-led, Western market demands and the growing CCP-controlled market demands. In the West, enterprises are expected to uphold and respect the tenets of democracy, free speech, etc. In China, the CCP expects enterprises to censor certain topics, encourage public stability, and maintain a relatively positive image of the party. These two systems do not play nice with each other for obvious reasons. I feel almost sorry for Zoom and the others. How is one to make money off both?

American and Western audiences expect their businesses to preach and support democratic values. Capitalism and the American identity have become so intertwined by our nation’s very founding by the Virginia Company, the fight against communism, and much more that we forget that capitalism does not care about our identity. Sure, the people within a company might, but capitalism cares about growth and profit. Politics, ethics, and what have you only becomes of interest when it impinges upon them. And at the moment, it does not appear that CCP demands have in any way stifled their economy. State-led capitalism has in fact seemed to have ushered in an extremely long-winded period of unrivaled growth and expansion within China.

I see three options for companies in the current world market. One, they can continue on their current course of stumbling between the CCP and the West, giving out and redacting apologies and condemnations depending on which system pushes harder. Two, they can choose to operate solely within the Western or Chinese market system. This eliminates any possible tension because due to the following of only one ruleset but brings with it the cost of losing out on a formidable consumer base. Or three, they can go the road of Zoom. This would most probably look like the provision of tools for CCP censorship use and control, the isolation of U.S. consumer information from Chinese sources, and the donning of a public image of walking an incredibly fine line.

I also see two options for Western, and particularly America, consumers. One, we can accept that companies will pursue profit and that this is simply the natural outcome of our market system. This would involve the surrendering of the notion that businesses based or founded in the U.S. should pursue our values in all areas of operation. Or two, we can demand that companies operating or founded in the U.S. enforce and support the propagation of American ideals. This would most probably involve boycotting companies that fail to do so, public action, policy from the government, and substantial growing pains as the companies in question choose sides. However, I would argue that both options must include some degree of disassociation of capitalism from the American identity. We must realize that although capitalism may have been integral in the formation of the U.S., it is not ours to claim sole ownership of. It has only been stained with our values within our system. Its core has not changed to fit free speech or other notions within it. One may only look to corporate lawsuits against negative journalism and whistleblowers as proof. The sooner we recognize this crucial fact, the sooner we will come to understand the plight of companies caught between Washington and Beijing.

US Withdrawal from World Health Organization Stuns Experts and Even Some Republicans

US Withdrawal from World Health Organization Stuns Experts and Even Some Republicans

In May, President Trump announced that he is withdrawing the U.S. from the World Health Organization (WHO). Announcement of the withdrawal comes after Trump time and again reviled the WHO’s handling of the novel Coronavirus response. Many experts have stated that the unprecedented move jeopardizes the efficiency of global health responses and can even obstruct the process of developing a vaccine for COVID-19.

Trump claims that the WHO had failed to act appropriately during the nascent days of the pandemic. Namely, for not sounding the alarm in time about the spread of the Coronavirus out of Wuhan.

In April, the Trump Administration froze U.S. funding to the WHO. Trump then sent a letter to the WHO director demanding “substantive changes” to the organization’s procedures within the next thirty days or else the U.S. will permanently cut funding to the agency. Just eleven days later, Trump made the decision final.

This decision has seen bipartisan backlash. “I disagree with the president’s decision,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, in a statement after the announcement. “Withdrawing U.S. membership could, among other things, interfere with clinical trials that are essential to the development of vaccines, which citizens of the United States as well as others in the world need. And withdrawing could make it harder to work with other countries to stop viruses before they get to the United States.”

The legality of Trump’s withdrawal is still not clear. However, if the decision does follow through, congress can challenge it.

“This decision is really so short-sighted and ill-advised, and all it does is put American lives at risk,” said Dr. Howard Koh, former assistant secretary for health in the Obama administration and now a professor at Harvard’s T. H. Chan School of Public Health.

Since the WHO’s founding in 1948, the U.S. has always played an outsized role in the agency’s operations. American experts hold many high ranking positions including in emergency committees which are in place to deliberate pandemic responses. It also remains unclear what would happen to their positions in the agency after a U.S. withdrawal.

Analysis

A global centralized response to pandemics—especially one like the COVID-19 pandemic—is the most effective way to combat their spread.

Many have interpreted the move to withdraw from the WHO as an attempt to divert attention from the Trump Administration’s botched Coronavirus response.

The U.S. leads the world in most COVID-19 deaths and many experts claim that the numbers wouldn’t be as high as they are today had the President taken the virus more seriously during its early days.

Earlier this year, Trump downplayed the severity of the virus and even praised Chinese president Xi Jinping for his handling of its spread—although the very reason Trump is blaming the WHO is for not being tough on China.

Perhaps rescinding membership of the WHO is just another part of efforts to tarnish globalization, which is part of the agenda of the right-wing’s anti-globalization, nationalist stance.

Whatever the case may be, precluding U.S. support to the WHO in the middle of a global pandemic will likely disrupt the vaccine development process, stifle an organized attempt at stopping the spread of the virus, and inflict other ramifications related to world health.

Learn more:

The World Health Organization is the world’s number one organization in helping stop the spread of diseases in less developed countries as well as all over the world. It has been at the forefront in attempting to mobilize the world against COVID-19.

Global Health Council is a coalition of organizations serving as a hub for business engagement on the world’s most pressing global health issues.

Why Have Some Countries Been Better Able to  Contain Covid-19 Than Others

Why Have Some Countries Been Better Able to Contain Covid-19 Than Others

By Hassan Elsebai

June 8, 2020

Summary

The Coronavirus death toll now exceeds one hundred thousand in the United States and is far ahead of every other country with respect to both deaths and confirmed cases. Followed by the UK with almost 40,000 deaths(June 1st). Italy and Brazil take third and fourth place, respectively. To understand how we got to this point it is imperative to examine the early actions taken by these countries’ leadership.

the U.S., the U.K., and Brazil—all three of which are currently run by a conservative government or administration— have been criticized for failing to act in both a responsible and timely manner.

President Trump insists the U.S, is “leading the way” in combatting the pandemic, and a role model for other countries to emulate. But the U.S. had fumbled an opportunity to act fast after grave reports of the COVID-19 death toll emerged out of Wuhan and Italy before the virus spread to the rest of the world. Trump in late February called the Coronavirus a Democrat “hoax.”

The federal government was slow to react and introduce central policy in the early stages of the pandemic. Individual states were given the responsibility of shutting down. Testing and contact tracing—the most robust methods of containing the spread of the virus— were absent from the federal policy. Trump promoted the use of a certain medication even when many medical experts said there was no proof of its effectiveness.

The early U.K. response was ambivalent. The leadership on Downing Street was still wrapping their heads around Brexit and clearly had no organized plan for the pandemic. Boris Johnson’s early statements assured there would be no ‘Wuhan style’ lockdowns. Talks arose of an unconventional ‘herd immunity’ approach by the U.K. in a unique attempt to flatten the curve. Top U.K. officials and cabinet members continued to underplay the severity of the Coronavirus.

On March 18, Johnson announced the closure of all schools. All restaurants and bars were ordered to close on March 20th, long after other nations imposed their own shutdowns. A former cabinet minister called it a “screeching u-turn.” Prime Minister Johnson finally took advice from the scientific community but only after putting his country in a dangerously precarious position and before he himself would contract the Coronavirus.

The Greek newspaper Ethnos described Johnson as “more dangerous than coronavirus”, saying one of the crisis’s greatest tragedies was that “incompetent leaders” such as Johnson and Donald Trump were “at the helm at a time of such emergency”.

Brazil has seen a steep increase in cases and is expected to be —if not already— the world’s most infected country. Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro like Trump and Johnson, is characterized by the adjectives: populist and conservative. Another thing they all have in common is their skepticism of science and early action. Bolsonaro has been reluctant to implement shutdowns or any social distancing guidelines while the countries healthcare system struggles to fight the virus and administer testing.

Sweeping poverty and extreme inequality further debilitate Brazil’s healthcare system and catalyze the spread of the virus, in a country rampant with favelas where social distancing is virtually impossible.

Andy Slavitt, Obama’s former health official, drew comparisons between the U.S. and Brazil’s handling of the pandemic “Brazil is [a lesson] in what the U.S. would look like if Trump had been allowed to continue to ignore the outbreak as he was through mid-March”

Analysis:

The Trump administration, and the far-right, have long put business profits over common sense and public health. Skepticism of the scientific community manifests itself in Trump’s policies through deregulation. The New York Times writes “The president’s COVID-19 response has extended the administration’s longstanding practice of undermining scientific expertise for political purposes.” Environmental concerns are thrown out the window and the EPA is continuously gutted.

Many countries have exemplified proper remedies to combat the spread of the virus. Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore, Germany, and New Zealand had brought in controls on travelers from infected regions and strict contact tracing to help understand who could have been exposed, inform them, and require self-isolation. Face masks became widespread in east Asia, long before it was recommended elsewhere.

Germany’s Angela Merkel has been praised for her effective leadership since the start of the pandemic. Germany has been hailed for its model response for introducing early testing and consistent planning. The German Health Ministry has said that it was testing 80,000 people per week in early March, and about 400,000 tests per week in April. Early testing coupled with Germany’s robust public health infrastructure made the country better equipped to handle a crisis.

New Zealand has reportedly ‘eliminated’ COVID-19 from the country and has begun returning to ‘normal.’ The nation accomplished this by installing an early and aggressive lockdown followed by effectively managing its borders, contact tracing, testing, and surveillance.

Now, compare these leaders and stories with the populist strongmen using the crisis to spread messages of authoritarianism, blame others, and demonize journalists.

Many experts have stated that the U.S.’s severe death toll was avoidable. Had the United States followed a timely, scientific, and central approach, the COVID-19 death toll would not be as high as it is today.

Resistance Resources:

  • Environmental Integrity: A government watchdog that reports and combats any environmental deregulation on the part of government officials.
  • Health Policy Watch: Reports on global health policy. Transparent reporting highlights important government responses to infectious disease outbreaks and other health concerns.
Pompeo’s Weird Iran Scheme

Pompeo’s Weird Iran Scheme

With the coronavirus pandemic rightly taking center-stage over the past few months, the limelight has been shifted from traditionally discussed topics of foreign policy.

Policy Summary
With the coronavirus pandemic rightly taking center-stage over the past few months, the limelight has been shifted from traditionally discussed topics of foreign policy. However, this does not mean that the Department of State has shuttered its doors and ceased working. In fact, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo came forward in late April with a rather convoluted plan to re-impose UN sanctions on Iran by way of a thorny legal argument that worked around President Trump’s declaration of withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and the unilateral application of sanctions by the U.S. The strategy was conjured up by the Trump administration following the realization that the UN conventional arms embargo on Iran was going to expire in October, with Russia desiring to return to business-as-usual arms sales with the Iranian regime. The Trump administration has argued that if the arms embargo is not extended past its expiration date in the fall, that Iran will begin re-supplying weaponry to various national security threats and terrorist groups.

Let’s begin by first looking at what the Iran nuclear deal is meant to do and what state it is currently in. First, the accord is formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or the JCPOA. The Obama-era agreement was struck between Iran, the U.S., EU, China, France, Russia, UK, and Germany; with the U.S. being the arguable lynchpin. The JCPOA forced Iran to send 97% of its generated nuclear fuel to Russia (as of 2016), along with limiting its production of nuclear material for the duration of 15 years and opening Iran’s nuclear facilities to inspection by the UN. In terms of the JCPOA’s current state, to all of the available evidence, Iran followed the agreement for a year following Trump’s declaration of the U.S.’s withdrawal from the accord but has been gradually violating set restrictions over the past year despite rebukes and threats by abiding European signatories. The Iranian regime has declared that it will go back to abiding by JCPOA limitations if Trump agrees to lift U.S. sanctions and re-enters the deal on the previous terms. Despite these sanctions, Iran has refused to negotiate with the Trump administration, which wishes to negotiate a far more stringent nuclear agreement.

We can now turn to Pompeo’s new strategy to drag Iran kicking and screaming to the negotiation table. The tactic relies upon the UN upholding Pompeo’s claim that despite Trump unilaterally imposing sanctions and declaring U.S. withdrawal from the deal, that the U.S. is still a so-called “participant state” to the deal due to it being an original signatory. If this premise is accepted, the U.S. would hypothetically be able to pressure the restoration of pre-2015 UN sanctions on oil sales and banking activities if the arms embargo is not prolonged. The Trump administration would then be able to lord its ability to re-impose far more stringent sanctions over Russia, ensuring that the U.S.-backed arms embargo would be extended.

It was reported by the New York Times that Pompeo is anticipating that upon the U.S. demanding that the Security Council prolong the arms embargo, Russia will immediately veto it. The U.S. would then assert that it is still a participant in the deal, as it is an original signatory and argue that Trump’s declaration of withdrawal did not revoke the U.S.’s rights as such. The Times did not provide the text of this legal argument, but I am curious as to how Pompeo can make such an assertion. Setting this aside however, if the claim is accepted by the UN, the U.S. would then point to Iran’s violation of the treaty’s limitations and demand a return to pre-2015 UN sanctions, as put forth in the JCPOA.

Analysis:

This is, at best and in my untrained legal opinion, a tenuous gray area to say the least. Although the U.S. is certainly an original signatory to the JCPOA under Obama, Trump has most definitely withdrawn from the deal and has been imposing US sanctions for the past two years. I may not be a lawyer nor am I well-versed in contracts, but it was my understanding that upon a party choosing to leave an agreement, it can no longer make demands as though it is a participant in said agreement. How does Trump leaving the JCPOA mean the U.S. has retained its powers as a signatory? I am not arguing that the arms embargo should not be extended or that its extension is not in the best interest of U.S. national security, but that the Trump administration is flagrantly attempting to have its cake and eat it too. A small criticism perhaps in the enormous fabric of the fight over the Iran deal, but certainly a bizarre one of note.

In addition, Pompeo’s plan was announced after the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps launched a military satellite, which he asserted to be proof of Iran’s space program not being peaceful in nature. What this has to do with the UN arms embargoes and the nuclear deal I have no idea. Perhaps it was meant as evidence of Iranian aggression that would support the use of Pompeo’s legalese tactic? Who knows? Either way it’s an odd spark for an equally odd case.

Capitalism Butts Up Against US Core Values in the Global Economy

Netanyahu ‘Confident’ Trump will give green-light for Annexation

Speaking to an Evangelical pro-Israel group, Netanyahu assured the audience that Israel’s annexation of the West Bank will likely be supported by the Trump administration. Secretary of state Mike Pompeo has stated that the decision to annex is up to Israel and the US will relay its thoughts privately.

The Palestinians have expressed extreme disapproval over any measures to further diminish the geography of a long-promised Palestinian state. However, with annexation, any hopes for a two-state solution are effectively thrown out the window rendering it geographically unfeasible. The extension of Israeli sovereignty will slice through the West Bank engulfing and fragmenting Palestinian territory, reminiscent of the South African Bantustans.

The emergence of a turbulent political climate in Israel after a series of three inconclusive elections led to a deal to form a unity government between the right-wing Likud, and the center Blue and White parties. One of the stipulations in that deal is for either party to possess veto power over any legislation proposed by the other with one exception: Netanyahu’s plans for annexation will remain unchallenged as long as it receives support from Washington.

The US holds the authority to stop this plan in its tracks. However, the Palestinians are not holding their breaths for an American intervention, a notion that was underscored by Trump’s unveiling of a so-called ‘Middle Past peace plan’ earlier this year.  Netanyahu stated “Three months ago, the Trump peace plan recognized Israel’s rights in all of Judea and Samaria,” referring to the West Bank by its biblical name. “A couple of months from now, I’m confident that that pledge will be honored,” he added. The Trump administration yet again proved to the Palestinians—and to the rest of the world—that the US is no longer an honest broker for peace.

Israel’s occupied territories in the West Bank remain illegal under numerous international laws and have been subjected to UN resolutions urging the state’s withdrawal.

The plan to annex received overwhelming condemnation from the international community. Joseph Borrell, foreign policy chief for the European Union said that a potential annexation “would constitute a serious violation of international law.” The Middle East peace envoy for the United Nations Nikolay Mladenov dubbed the move as crippling the prospects of a future two-state solution and will “close the door to a renewal of negotiations and threaten efforts to advance regional peace.” Nonetheless, Trump’s salient relationship with Netanyahu guarantees a green light for even categorical violations of international law.

Analysis:

To be candid, the Trump presidency is a political windfall for the nationalist Israeli Prime Minister. Netanyahu sees the Trump administration as a window of opportunity to push controversial policies with an American stick, an opportunity that is not fully guaranteed come November. In the midst of Israeli elections, Netanyahu is hoping that voters keep an Israeli expansion in their minds while heading to the polls. To compound his motivations further, Netanyahu is facing criminal charges of corruption, fraud, and breach of trust and is betting on the fact that staying in office and maintaining a fruitful relationship with the US President will mitigate his legal fate.

Donald Trump has election concerns of his own. With an already unshakeable Evangelical voter base, a dogmatic approval of Israeli wishes will further buttress his popularity among the Conservative, pro-Israel voters.

It is in the interest of all Americans to make sure the President does not sanction the illegal activity of any country. The US’s historic position as an honest broker for peace, and for a two-state solution has been completely gutted under the administration of Donald Trump. The US should use its influential position to pressure the Israeli government to comply with international laws rather than to allow itself to be implicated as supporters of an illegal occupation.

Resistance Resources

  • Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) Is an American activist organization focused on peace through the self-determination and security of both the Palestinians and the Israelis. JVP gathers Jewish-American support in an attempt to spread awareness of the illegal occupation with the goal of having Israel abide by international law.
  • Americans For Peace Now  Has since 1978 been apposed to Israeli expansion and has been keeping track and publishing construction and settlements in the West Bank. been working tirelessly to persuade American leaders and the public to adopt policies that work towards a two-state solution and consistent with American interests.
  • Foundation for Middle East Peace is a center for peace based in Washington D.C. that has been keeping track of Israeli settlements in the west bank and also publishes legislation relating to Israel in the US congress. FMEP urges for complete human rights for the Palestinians.

 

Learn More:

China, Trump and The Epoch Times

China, Trump and The Epoch Times

Policy Summary

On Wednesday, during a White House news conference, President Trump was questioned in regard to allegations that Coronavirus-19 originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, before escaping. The United States government has recently accused China of bearing the brunt of the responsibility for the coronavirus pandemic. When asked if he had discussed the matter with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trump responded, “I don’t want to discuss what I talked to him about the laboratory, I just don’t want to discuss, it’s inappropriate right now.” Following Wednesday’s news conference, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, told Fox News Channel, “we know this virus originated in Wuhan, China.” The Secretary of State went on to say that the Institute of Virology was within mere miles from the market, where the virus first appeared. Pompeo demanded that Beijing “open up” and “come clean” on the pandemic’s origins.

President Donald Trump has been quoted as calling the virus, “China-virus”.  March 16th, was when President Trump and his administration first used the term while also introducing allegations that Beijing knowingly put the United States in danger by not disclosing information about the virus as early as possible. Soon after, Trump defended the racial term by saying, “it comes from China,” and said the label is “not racist.” The term offended many, with Chinese-Americans feeling specifically targeted. Following a sharp spike in hate crimes against Asian Americans across the nation, President Trump changed his tone on March 23rd when he tweeted, ““It is very important that we totally protect our Asian American community in the United States, and all around the world. They are amazing people, and the spreading of the Virus is NOT their fault in any way, shape, or form” However, the hate crimes against the minority group have continued.

Soon, The Epoch Times was sharing news articles titled, “Democrats Would Rather Blame Trump Than China for the Pandemic” and “China Using Facebook Ads to Attack America, Spread Virus Disinformation.” The Epoch Times is run by members of the Falun Gong—also known as Falun Data. The Falun Gong are a group guided by a spiritual meditation system and form of qigong. The practice is performed through a series of slow-moving exercises for the mind and body. Due to the vast popularity of Falun Gong in China during the 1990s, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) became concerned that soon the group would outnumber the members of the CCP.  Soon, Jiang Zemin, the former leader of CCP, initiated violent persecution of the members of the Fulan Gong. The motive for The Epoch Time’s support of President Trump’s anti-Chinese attacks may lie in the background of the founders.

Policy Analysis
When we talk about The Epoch Times, we need to keep in mind its cultural, political, and religious history. It is, first and foremost, a nonprofit news media outlet founded by persecuted members of the Falun Gong in response to what it defines as “communist repression and censorship” by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Although the Epoch Times may officially disagree, it is essentially the public relations arm of the Falun Gong movement. It is the fastest-growing independent news media source in the U.S. and claims to be nonpartisan and free from the sway of any government, corporation, or political party. However, it altogether fails to suggest that it may be under the influence of a religious group.

When you watch a YouTube commercial for The Epoch Times, you are hit with a litany of conservative buzzwords such as “Deep State,” “traditional values,” and “fake news.” This would, off the top, seem to suggest that the nonpartisan part of their pitch may be fudging the lines. All of these buzzwords and the narrative that goes along with them is now a tried-and-true strategy by the right-wing, pro-Trump movement. Scrolling through The Epoch Times’ website, one see’s plenty of positive coverage of President Trump, an espousal of traditional and conservative values, and a lambasting of the CCP. Interestingly, the coronavirus is referred to in posted titles as the “CCP virus” rather than Trump’s preferred “China virus.” This, I believe, speaks to where The Epoch Times’ true loyalties lie and why the outlet has suddenly swung pro-Trump in the wake of the 2016 elections.

Trump has been, and promised to be while on the campaign trail, tough on China. He has waged a grueling trade war, repeatedly criticized the CCP, raged against communism, and is now blaming China for covering-up the coronavirus and causing the pandemic that threatens his re-election chances. Putting aside whether or not China is in fact responsible and any of these actions, one perceives an obvious pattern of Trump being more keen than past presidents to challenge China’s position on the world stage. He is, arguably, far more aggressive about his anti-CCP stance. This is a godsend for the Falun Gong. They have a man in the White House that attacks the CCP head-on. Trump’s anti-CCP agenda perfectly fits with the Falun Gong’s desires to see the regime toppled and an end to regime persecution.

It is no wonder that its mouthpiece, The Epoch Times, has re-defined itself as a rabidly pro-Trump, new-age conservative outlet. It can attract both Trump supporters and American conservatives with its already-present anti-CCP articles, stoke national anger, and direct this wrath towards ending regime. In addition, the Falun Gong movement shares the same beliefs as many main-stream American conservatives. It is all for a return to traditional values, is anti-abortion, and anti-LGBTQ. It’s a match made in heaven: an anti-CCP religious movement that has many of the same beliefs as the conservative tide, a president who is anti-CCP, an independent news outlet, and a listening right-wing audience.

All of this is not to say that the Falun Gong’s resentment of and desire to see the CCP toppled is not valid. The Falun Gong have been persecuted and had human rights atrocities committed against them. They have every reason to work towards the end of the CCP. However, as liberal-minded Americans, we must understand where right-wing supporters are receiving their news and why it is occurring. Ignoring this would be a great disservice to understanding our fellow Americans and the pro-Trump agenda that is being peddled.

Engagement Resources:

  • FAIR, the national media watch group, has been offering well-documented criticism of media bias and censorship since 1986.
  • ONA Ethics has created a “Build Your Own Ethics Code” project that recognizes that no single ethics code can reflect the needs of everyone in our widely varied profession. We believe the best hope for convincing all journalists to adopt and live by an ethics code is to give them ownership and flexibility in creating one.
  • The Ethical Journalism Network has already helped to strengthen ethical journalism in some of the most troubled and difficult corners of the world. They advise policymakers and human rights groups both in Europe and at a global level on hate speech, media literacy and media ethics.
  • Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) is a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of Asian Americans and all of those in need. Founded in 1974 to advocate for equal rights, AAFE has transformed in the past four decades to become one of New York’s preeminent housing, social service and community development organizations.
  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus is the nation’s first legal and civil rights organization serving the low-income Asian Pacific American communities.

This brief was compiled by Erin Mayer. This brief was compiled by Erin Mayer. If you have comments or want to add the name of your organization to this brief, please contact ErinMayer@USResistnews.org

China and Cuba Play a Global Leadership Role in the Fight Against the Coronavirus While the US Ops Out

China and Cuba Play a Global Leadership Role in the Fight Against the Coronavirus While the US Ops Out

As the coronavirus has spread across the world and effectively brought nation-states to their knees, we have seen an interesting soft power push by traditionally opposing powers of the West, and the U.S. in particular, to provide much-needed aid to thankful recipient governments. 

Policy Summary

As the coronavirus has spread across the world and effectively brought nation-states to their knees, we have seen an interesting soft power push by traditionally opposing powers of the West, and the U.S. in particular, to provide much-needed aid to thankful recipient governments. This is a model that the U.S. and the Trump administration should mirror, as it has both short- and long-term benefits in terms of forwarding American geopolitical ambitions and fighting the coronavirus scourge.

The foremost example is China. Although it will go down in the history books as the origin of the pandemic and blatantly mishandled the crisis initially, China has made great strides towards re-defining its international image as its domestic crisis has diminished. It has pledged testing kits to the Philippines, already donated testing kits to Cambodia, sent medical supplies and coronavirus experts to France and Italy, and has promised support to Spain and many others. It has also flown medical specialists to Iraq and Iran, along with medical equipment and supplies. Italy has been particularly accepting and grateful of China’s help, citing the fact that the European Union has done little to help them. Serbia has recently asked for assistance from China as well rather than their customary European allies, calling Xi Jinping a “brother” and a “friend” in the face of nonexistent European solidarity.

Then there’s Cuba, which arguably has the most well-established and best health care system in Latin America and the Caribbean. Despite the potential of attracting American ire, Jamaica and the local government of the north of Italy have both asked Cuba for nurses, equipment, and medical experts. Cuba has happily agreed and publicly stated that it has “solidarity with Italy.” Britain has also received assistance from Cuba, with the island nation being the only one in the Caribbean willing to allow an infected British cruise ship to dock on its shores.

Analysis:

In times of extreme need and crisis, usual, politically minded questions about motivations and underlying ambitions are ignored in pursuit of alleviation and resolution. Since the end of World War II and the Marshall Plan, the West has been the standard provider of humanitarian aid and the celebrant of mutual cooperation. However, the coronavirus has laid bare these claims of benevolence and the Trump administration’s historically go-it-alone strategy has no doubt severely weakened the international community’s faith in the established world order.

In such a vacuum, China has seen the opportunity to pacify international anger at its role in the spread of the pandemic, grow its soft power base, and further bolster its economy and domestic support. China has painted itself as a benevolent, accountable leader on the world stage, and this crisis is an excellent window to make headway. Although people may be furious at China for the pandemic, those that are drowning will never turn away a life raft, even if said raft come with its own geopolitical price tag. For example, the Iraqi and Chinese governments have recently announced that they are not simply confining their relationship to fighting the outbreak in Iraq, but to work within the oil industry and modernizing the country’s electric infrastructure. China has been actively preaching the advantages of political cooperation, and has chastised U.S. sanctions against Venezuela and Iran, protesting that they are violations of the spirit of humanity in such times of crisis. It has now been accepted and even praised by the governments of Europe that had previously been shut to its influence; a boon for its national propaganda machine that seeks to appease an agitated, post-virus populace. Its manufacturing centers for masks and other medical supplies are experiencing global demand. And while the U.S. sits idle and looks to its own self-interest, China bolsters its position.

Cuba has also lost no time in furthering its place as the provider of aid. With arguably the best health care system in the Caribbean and Latin America, Cuba is in a prime state to make use of the tenants of soft power. It has stated that the needed principles of common unity, transnational collaboration, and health as a human right are key to the, “humanist practices of the Revolution and of our people.” If anything, this crisis is a blessing for Cuba in the international relations sphere. With a strong domestic health care system, it can likely weather the pandemic, and by exporting medical professionals it garners popular support that had been previously unattainable under U.S. hegemony and international favor that will only help in the future.

The Trump administration should be looking at these examples and making similar steps to reach out and forge humanitarian connections with countries across the globe. Not only would this signal that the U.S. is more than a self-serving global hegemon and greatly reduce worldwide human suffering, but it would assist in maintaining America’s long-term power base. A world order arranged around a central power is only upheld by its members as long as said power is seen as being compassionate and pursuant of mutual benefit, and in this continuing pandemic, the U.S. is not displaying that it has the best interest of others at heart. In addition, it is necessary to end this brief by saying that this argument has placed all humanist and moral values aside, and that as human beings, we should work to reduce the suffering of others as much as possible. We are all human, after all. We should act like it.

Russia and the 2020 Elections

Russia and the 2020 Elections

Policy Summary

US intelligence officials have determined that Russia is interfering in the 2020 election. Additionally, they have deduced that Russia views Trump as a leader they can work with. Last week’s Intelligence  briefing of Congress about Russia’s interference  was spearheaded by election security official Shelby Pierson. The briefing, first reported by The New York Times, discussed details of Russia’s plan, which included “hacking, weaponizing social media and attacks on election infrastructure”, one of the sources said. The officials confirmed that Russia is partial to Trump. However, Russia’s activity showed they had a larger agenda, “designed to raise questions about the integrity of the elections process.”

Witnesses claim that when Trump heard about the briefing, he began to comment on the possibility of Democrats using it against him. The President became angry in a “meeting with outgoing acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire for allowing the information about Russia’s meddling efforts to be included in the briefing,”, according to a White House source.

President Barack Obama’s former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, commented that it is “quite predictable” of Russia to attempt to meddle in the United State’s upcoming election o during an interview with Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room”. Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election  was targeted at assisting Trump’s candidacy while damaging the candidacy of his opponent, Hillary Clinton. The possibility of further interference impacting the 2020 election will challenge US ability to stand up against international obstruction with our elections. This is an issue whose importance Trump has repeatedly minimized.

Policy Analysis

President Trump’s response to and retaliation against the claims of Russian election interference has been nothing if not predictable. On February 13th, he quickly removed the then-acting Director of National Intelligence, Joseph Maguire, upon hearing that Shelby Pierson, a high-ranking U.S. intelligence official, had alerted the House Intelligence Committee of Russian, pro-Trump interference in the 2020 election. According to testimony given to the committee, the Kremlin is supportive of Trump’s re-election, and is planning on and has begun efforts to interfere in the election process.

Trump’s response, as per usual, has been a “circle the wagons” approach. Calling Maguire into a meeting in the Oval Office on February 14th, Trump apparently upbraided him for his subordinate’s report and challenged his allegiance to the president. The next week, Trump made public that he would be replacing Maguire, who then resigned. U.S. Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, was announced as the new acting interim Director of National Intelligence, with the ambassador apparently keeping his position in Germany as well. Acting director is a position that Grenell can hold until March without Congressional approval. Grenell has been noted by many as an ardent Trump supporter and has little experience in national intelligence. He has worked as a Republican political advisor, spokesperson to the U.N. under the Bush administration, and media consultant. Facing criticism over the move and accusations of Trump cleaning house, the administration has pointed out that Maguire was set to be replaced in the near future due to federal law around term limits and claimed that the timing of his dismissal with the breaking of news about Russian interference is only chance. Trump has also taken to Twitter with accusations that the account of Russian interference in support of his re-election is propaganda spread by Democrats to oust him from power. Russia has denied the report, saying that it is based in paranoia and utterly false.

This is not the first time Russia has been accused of interference in a U.S. election in favor of Trump. Most can recall the 2016 elections and how Russia conducted social media promotions, spread false news, and hacked into and disseminated Democratic emails. Although evidence that Russia did in fact interfere surfaced and was brought to light by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, insufficient evidence of criminal conspiracy was found between the Kremlin or the Trump campaign. It was a story that made headlines, raised many an eyebrow, and called into question the legitimacy of Trump’s victory for some on the left, however. It would appear that Trump is once again rightly concerned about allegations and the implication that a rival power is interested in his successful re-election.

Trump’s reaction to the report by U.S. intelligence is hardly unexpected at this point. Looking back to Maguire’s predecessor, Dan Coats, one can almost discern a pattern. Coats was dismissed from his position three days after the now-infamous phone call between Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Trump attempted to replace Coats with John Ratcliffe, a Republican congressman with negligible national intelligence experience but who had been a fierce defender of the president. Ratcliffe would be rejected due to exaggerating his previous experience in intelligence (although as we go to press Trump has announced that he is going to re-nominate Ratcliffe to  serve as permanent DNI)

Anyone else noticing the parallel? A report that reflects poorly upon the president emerges from the intelligence community, the Director is dismissed (or resigns), and Trump attempts (unsuccessfully and successfully) to replace the intelligence professional with a loyalist. This should be extremely worrying to those on both the left and right. Trump does not appear to care about experience in his Cabinet or the facts. What matters is their personal loyalty to him and his brand. Does Trump have the power and right to choose those in his Cabinet? Yes, but this does not mean that the truth should be obscured or ignored. A Cabinet is not meant to be a board of lackeys that rubber-stamp whatever the president says and quash unwanted information. A foreign power interfering in a U.S. election is a national security issue and should be brought to public attention. It should not be brushed under the carpet because it damages a president’s possible re-election, no matter who the president is.

Engagement Resources:

  • FairVote is a nonpartisan champion of electoral reforms that give voters greater choice, a stronger voice, and a representative democracy that works for all Americans.
  • The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) advances good governance and democratic rights by providing technical assistance to election officials, empowering the underrepresented to participate in the political process, and applying field-based research to improve the electoral cycle.
  • Rock the Vote is a nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to building the political power of young people.
  • International Republic Institute strengthens citizen voices and helps make their leaders more accountable and responsive. We help women and youth to be heard. We keep citizens and their government connected, and develop awareness of voter priorities.
  • HeadCount is a non-partisan organization that uses the power of music to register voters and promote participation in democracy. We reach young people and music fans where they already are – at concerts and online – to inform and empower.

This brief was compiled by Erin Mayer. This brief was compiled by Erin Mayer. If you have comments or want to add the name of your organization to this brief, please contact ErinMayer@USResistnews.org

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