The global economy was on pins and needles for the second half of 2018 after the President imposed hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of tariffs on Chinese imports, which prompted the People's Republic to take reciprocal measures in a rapidly escalating series of tit-for-tats that dramatically culminated in a so-called "ceasefire" being agreed to during the recent G20 summit between their two leaders.
While he was busy tariffing Chinese imports into his country, Trump also had his hands full trying to stop the migrant caravan from crossing into it as well. He ordered the military to strengthen America's border fortifications, but his promised wall has yet to be built, and his uncompromising stance over this issue was responsible for the recent government shutdown. Partisan politics are heating up and Trump is bracing himself for the consequences of a Democrat-controlled House next year, which will likely hinder the implementation of his agenda even more than it already was.
The Russiagate conspiracy theory fizzled out near the end of the year but could always come back with a vengeance if the Democrats desperately weaponize it as part of their ongoing 2020 campaign, provided of course that they think that the American public would be receptive to it. Apart from dealing with his public political foes, Trump is also facing more pronounced "deep state" pressure than ever before following the resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis in response to the US' surprise withdrawal from Syria, which exposed a serious rift between the Executive Branch and the military.
Altogether, 2018 was a monumental year for Trump because he was finally able to shape events all across the board in an impactful way after struggling to get a hang of things during the first year of his presidency. The opposition to him and his policies, both from his internal rivals and those abroad, has never been stronger, but he's nevertheless gradually making progress on implementing part of his agenda even if next year will see him curb some of his domestic ambitions because of the Democrat-controlled House. That said, Trump will probably focus more on international affairs in response.
Andrew Korybko is joined by David Hungerford, Veteran grassroots activist and self-taught Marxist economist.
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