January 24, 2018 | By Brian Hanson

Deep Dish: Davos and the Global Economy

The World Economic Forum's annual meeting of economic and political elites opened Tuesday in Davos, Switzerland. As the vanguard of globalization met, we asked senior economist Phil Levy for a tour of hot spots in the global economy.

Transcript

[Brian Hanson: And in order to compete with Asian producers and people from other parts of the world, that being able to divide up the production is critically important.

Phil Levy: If you look around the global economy, there are a number of things that can go wrong. There's an assumption there that you don't really need to worry that much about US policy, I think you do, there's some structural issues in Europe having to do with things with their banking system, which they would tell you they have not addressed.]

Brian Hanson: This is Deep Dish in Global Affairs, going beyond the headlines on critical global issues. I'm Brian Hanson, and today we're discussing the state of play in the global economy. I'm joined today by Phil Levy, Senior Fellow for Global Economy here at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and he also was a former trade advisor to president George W. Bush. Welcome, Phil. It's good to have you here.

Phil Levy: Thank you. Good to be here.

Brian Hanson: The World Economic Forum's annual meeting, Davos as it's known, opened on Tuesday, January 23. This is an event, as many know, where the world's most famous politicians, business leaders, celebrities, all gather together, and as one attendee once quipped, it's a place where billionaires tell millionaires how the middle-class feels. I've never been there so I have to take their word for it.

Phil Levy: Nor have I.

Brian Hanson: But in this spirit, I want to focus our discussion on the global economy. In many ways, things look very very good, we've had an incredibly sustained recovery in the economy, growth rates were the strongest they've been in six years, in this country the stock market is breaking new records day after day, and I want to take stock of where we are in the global economy. As we look forward into the coming year, what should we be paying attention to? What are the things that could either keep us moving in a similar direction or create challenges to what really has been a remarkable period of economic success? I want to start locally, I want to start in North America, with the negotiations over the North American Free Trade Agreement, which President Trump has made a great deal about. As I understand it, we just started this week in the sixth round of renegotiations of this trade agreement with Canada and Mexico, where do things stand and where are things likely to go?

Phil Levy: Yeah. It's worrisome. And the funny thing is, as you said, the global economy is doing well and people don't seem very worried about much of anything. Right when you had a lot of economists who had kind of concluded that we had a new normal of low growth and we never have growth before, right on time growth picks up and everything seems to be humming along, but this policy underpinnings are troublesome. So if you look at the NAFTA talks, these NAFTA talks were not supposed to be taking place right now. Initially, when they had outlined the renegotiation plans, they had said, "Oh look Mexico is having elections in the summer of 2018, this is going to be politically treacherous if we have any talks once the calendar flips to 2018. We should stop." The problem was they didn't make enough progress that in the fourth round the US tabled out very controversial issues and they thought they needed to get more done so they gave themselves an extension. So we are now in this extension period, which they've notionally said lasts through the first quarter of 2018.

The problem is it's not terribly clear what might even work as an agreement, how the sides could come together because the US has been pushing in such different directions from not only where the Mexicans and the Canadians are, but from where the US Congress and the US business sector and the US agricultural sector are. So it's hard to see them coming to a quick agreement, and that's worrisome. If they don't come to an agreement that leaves really two possibilities, one, they roll things over and just put this on a back-burner and the more technical people keep talking about it in the background, but two, someone gets impatient and blows the whole thing up and that'll be very problematic.

Brian Hanson: President Trump has called this deal all kinds of things, the world's worst deal ever, and can be impatient in terms of policy development, is there the possibility that he will just pull the plug and say, this negotiation isn't progressing as it should so I'm going to pull us out of this deal?

Phil Levy: I think there's a very real possibility that he pulls the plug and it's a very worrisome possibility, and there's multiple reasons for this, one, he's surrounded himself, at least partially, with advisors who are very skeptical about trade, so you think about people like Peter Navarro, perhaps Ambassador Lighthizer, the US trade rep, Wilbur Ross, the Secretary of Commerce, so he certainly has voices in at least one of his ears preaching that. His own take on trade for decades has been remarkably consistent, President Trump has thought these were terrible deals. There's the fact that you could get frustrated by the lack of progress in talks, all of those could lead him out of the frustration or because he thinks he's killing a bad thing, to withdraw.

There's also the fact that even if things seem to go well, he has repeatedly said that this is a favored negotiating poy, that to get the really best deal out of NAFTA he thinks he has to declare the US is withdrawing. There's lots of evidence that that would be a bad mistake in this case.

Brian Hanson: Why so?

Phil Levy: Well, because unlike perhaps in a small real estate deal, you've got national politics involved, and the Mexican government has said repeatedly they cannot negotiate with a gun to their head, that as soon as the US declares that it's withdrawing from NAFTA, that is the end of talks. So I think the president may conceive of this as this is the equivalent of you're about to strike a bargain, you stand up dramatically and walk away from the table and your counterpart comes running after you and says, "No, no, stay, stay. I'll fix this." There's no indication that that's what either Canada or Mexico would do in this case. In all likelihood, they say adios.

Brian Hanson: And what would the implication be? Would that be disruptive to the US economy, North American economy? How big a deal is this?

Phil Levy: I think it's a very big deal. It's hard to quantify. Your natural inclination for quantifying this is let's go look at all the studies that said what kind of big impact did NAFTA have, that's hard because NAFTA came in at the same time that a lot of other trade deals and other shocks hit the economy.

It's also true that when the US dropped tariffs during NAFTA, there wasn't very far for them to drop. US average tariffs on Mexico pre-NAFTA were around 3%, so you wouldn't normally expect that to have an enormous impact on the US economy, but I actually think that pulling out would have a much bigger impact.

Brian Hanson: Why?

Phil Levy: Because we've set up economic systems throughout North America that really rely on these rules and rely on these open borders. So the first sector one wants to think is the automotive sector where you really ought not to think about a car being made in Mexico or in Canada or in the United States. Wat the industry has done is allocated production across the three countries in a way for them to become globally competitive, and so the industry is so sensitive to this that they don't even like administration proposals which nominally require more to be done in the United States because they've made their investments, and any disruptions-

Brian Hanson: In terms of more production to be done in the United States, in terms of the total content of a car, is that what you mean?

Phil Levy: That's right. So it's this thing which can sometimes seem a little [inaudible 00:08:08] rules of origin where you try to decide, does a car qualify for North American trade preferences and how much of that car needs to be made in the US to qualify? The administration has proposed, one of the more controversial proposals, is dramatically increasing how much needs to be made in North America, from about 62% to about 85%, and then putting in a new requirement that of that 50% of the total needs to actually be United States, not North American. So this is radically different from what we've seen in any other trade agreement and has been referred to by some as a poison pill that our trade partners could not possibly swallow.

Brian Hanson: Your point about the automobile industry is that they have constructed their manufacturing process so that they take low skilled parts of the production, put it in a low-wage labor setting, say Mexico, keeping other high skill pieces in a higher wage setting like the United States or maybe Canada, and in order to compete with Asian producers and people from other parts of the world, that being able to divide up the production is critically important for the global competitiveness. Is that why this is threatening?

Phil Levy: Yeah, that's exactly it. That through modern manufacturing, features [inaudible 00:09:24] called fragmented production, global supply chains, but it's exactly letting each country do that piece of the production process they can do efficiently. Just as you say, if you look at the major auto producing parts of the world, they tend to have these complementary skills whether it be very technically sophisticated countries that can handle those aspects, often higher wages, and then there'll be some which are developing countries and often feature lower wages, and you can divide the parts [inaudible 00:09:55]. In Asia they have that, Japan is a very sophisticated country, China in the middle and moving but in other countries like Vietnam that are just emerging. In Europe you have the relationship between various sophisticated advanced countries like the UK and Germany versus more developing, such as the central and Eastern European countries. And in the US we've had this division between Canada and the United States on the more developed side and Mexico on the developing. If you cut our auto producers off from it, it's not clear they can be globally competitive.

Brian Hanson: Okay, so the auto producers could be threatened by a disruption in NAFTA, what are other key industries that would also face big challenges?

Phil Levy: So another one, which [inaudible 00:10:36] to mind, of course, is agriculture. That North American agriculture is heavily integrated and that would face serious challenges.

I also think beyond these sort of headline sectors, and the effects on the headline sectors are real, part of what happens is were we to have something like a NAFTA withdrawal, it would send very worrisome signals much more broadly beyond this. Worrisome signals of, do the rules ... Are they reliable? Can you invest on this basis, or do you do what we normally think in unreliable countries, which is you pull back on your investments and you charge a risk premium? It's not unknown to have countries with very volatile policies, they're just not usually thought of as attractive places to invest. So it's a little bit ironic that at the same time that the administration has been working rather hard with things like tax policy reform, with one of its main goals being bring money back to the US, have people come and invest here, they're dabbling with a policy which could have exactly the opposite effect and that's what might well happen should they initiate a NAFTA withdrawal.

Brian Hanson: Moving to Europe in search of other places where there could be instability in the global economy, over about the next 12 months there's going to be the continued negotiation for the United Kingdom withdrawal from the European Union, Brexit, how is that progressing and could that create significant instability in the global economy, or do we think that will unfold relatively smoothly?

Phil Levy: I think it's definitely worth keeping an eye on. It's worth remembering that the UK is not a small appendage to the European economy, it's somewhere on the order of one sixth of the overall European economy.

At the moment, I think that the powers of continental Europe are a little bit smug about the whole thing, that the Theresa May government has not played this particularly well. They've gotten themselves somewhat stuck with a number of unpalatable options right now and you sometimes have the Europeans seeming to wait until it dawns on them and they surrender. That may work, but if this doesn't go well and you get a major disruption to trade we may find out linkages that we weren't sure were important but now we see are important.

Brian Hanson: So we talked about those kinds of economic linkages in the case of North America, is the kind of thing that could happen in Europe similar in the sense that they're severing relationships that are necessary for economic efficiency, or what's the real threat here?

Phil Levy: The UK has served as the financial hub of Europe. In the optimistic continental view, no problem, you just to take everything that was done in the city of London and you transport it to Frankfurt, or you transport it to Paris, and you pick up from there. Yet that's assuming that all goes off without a hitch. That doesn't always happen. Either you've got integrated production ... They have their own autostuff for some of this manufacturing will be done in the UK, can you disentangle at all costlessly? It's not clear it. I mean, it is clear this is very worrisome for the UK, that they took this vote to leave without, I think, a clear understanding of what was entailed, that the worry is that [inaudible 00:14:01] goods trade, you can do okay. You can sort out a bunch of tariffs and maybe you get a certain status, it gets much more complicated as you beyond this, into services and into a lot of things that a modern economy does. Remember, most of our developed economies are 70% to 80% service economies, and how do you do that? How do you get movement of people? How do you sort all this out? And this is what they're coming to grips with.

So the way, the picture looks at the moment is the UK is gradually recognizing that none of the options on the table look anywhere near as good as what they had ex-ante, and Continental Europe is feeling somewhat smug about that. I think probably too much so, that they could be hit with a number of disruptions. But at the moment people seem fairly sanguine about the whole thing.

Brian Hanson: Is there anything that people should pay a particular attention to as the negotiations go on that would mark a turning in a bad direction?

Phil Levy: Well, the real question is going to be, do they have a transition deal and what status is the UK going to have? So the bad direction is if they give up on all of that and say, "We'll just go with WTO, the World Trade Organization, and whatever the sort of standard package is, we'll take that." And not striking a transition deal, that's the hard Brexit, and likely a very rocky transition. So then the question is, what are the alternatives to that? That's the stage we're at right now where they're being presented with a whole series of alternatives and they're rejecting essentially all of them, saying, "Well, I don't like that one because that makes me take immigrants more and I don't like that one because I don't have a vote anymore." So none of these packages look good relative to what they had, and yet there are a finite number of options and it's going to be one of them.

Brian Hanson: So as we take our tour around the world, I want to next go to Asia, and the Trump administration has just announced that it's imposing new tariffs on washing machines and on solar panels coming out of Asia. These tariffs are really quite high, 50% on washing machines and parts, 30% on solar panels. The other thing, I think, that's notable about this decision is that they've evoked safeguard measures in order to do it, which have not been used since 2002 when the Bush administration did this vis-a-vis steel imports. What is the significance of this action and does it signal the potential start of a major disruption in trade, potentially even leading to trade wars? What's your take on this?

Phil Levy: So I'm normally quite happy to preach doom and gloom and how we're all going to hell in a hand basket, I think in this case that may be a bit overdone. It's easy to see how people reach that conclusion because you've had such incendiary rhetoric, that even a somewhat conventional action when coupled with this incendiary rhetoric seems like, "And now we want tour trade war." It's not totally standard action. You're right, using the safeguard mechanism is different.

Here's where I would preach a degree of calm for the moment, we still could be headed to very bad things in trade, but why this doesn't necessarily signal it, which is that we do have this so called section 201 safeguard provision. It has not been frequently used, it differs from some of the other provisions that are frequently used in that there's White House discretion, so the administration had a choice of how much protection to put on within a range, so in that sense it is a slight escalation from what we see. But it's worth remembering, we actually slap tariffs on the Chinese all the time, usually that's done under things like antidumping or countervailing duties. So it's not that you had a background of pure free trade and now all of a sudden we've introduced tariffs. Those antidumping duties by the way, are sometimes very substantial so 35% would not exceed the highest levels of antidumping.

That said, this does involve a bit of discretion ... No, it's worth noting, the Trump administration did not crank up the protection as high as they might have gone, so in some of these cases they stuck fairly closely to what the international trade commission recommended, and we're below the limits of what they were allowed to do. So what does it tell us? It tells us that they have some protectionist inclinations, that they underplay how important this is for consumers and for using industries, that can be worrisome going forward, and the specific example here is solar where if you look at the US solar industry there are solar manufacturers, that's one part of the sector, but a much bigger part of the sector has to do with things like sales and a big part has to do with installation. So you've got a lot more users of solar panels than you do producers of solar panels. The predictions that you're getting out of the industry, the first take on this are, this can be actually very costly in terms of jobs. That as you drive up the price of a key input, people might not do so and you're going to undercut this. That has broader applicability.

The other big trade cases that are considering our steel and aluminum, again, both instances where most people are not end-users of steel and aluminum, they're using it to make other things and if you apply protection you drive their costs up. That can either drive them out of business or hurt their businesses. So it's an early indication. It's certainly not a move towards free trade, but I'm not sure it yet signals the launch of a trade war.

Brian Hanson: A couple of other things going on in Asia on the trade front, one is the Trump administration has called for the renegotiation of a free-trade agreement with Korea, how big deal is this and where might it go?

Phil Levy: Korea's important as a trade partner. The curious thing is that while they have said they want to have talks, it's a little bit hard to know how to characterize those talks because ... And they are having talks and so you and I can informally refer to those as a renegotiation, however, we actually have a law that governs these things. If you want to renegotiate a trade agreement, first thing you do is, under trade promotion authority, you notify the Congress and say "In 90 days from now I will begin negotiations," and that was what the administration did on NAFTA. That's why they had to wait. So it was in May they notified they were going to do this and in August they were able to start negotiating. There's been no such notification for Korea, which means that there is no groundwork being laid for and now we reach a new agreement that changes things in a substantive way.

Were there to be such changes of any substance, they would have to go through the U.S. Congress and you'd want them to go through this notification process, so it's really a very odd set of talks. It matters just like the NAFTA negotiations matter because they send signals that the administration has said it was eager to walk away from all kinds of multilateral deals and what it was going to do instead was strike a whole range of wonderful bilateral deals. In terms of that whole big range of bilateral deals, the only things that we have on the table at the moment are the formally notified NAFTA talks and the informal Korean talks. Nobody else has been eager to get into that queue and they're watching those to see what does this mean.

It's worth remembering also that if you're think, well, give them a little bit of time, these things take a lot of time. If you were to launch something with Korea right now or with Japan, as I said, it's 90 days before you start talking. Even once you then finish talking there's a long tail that goes with this. The Trump administration doesn't have as much time as it thinks.

Brian Hanson: One of of the first acts of the Trump administration was pulling the United States out of the transpacific partnership, the 12 country trade deal that was under negotiation in Asia. The other 11 countries seem to be moving toward reinvigorating those negotiations and bringing this forward. We've talked about some of the threats and challenges to the global economy, how should we read this process of these countries picking this negotiation up? Is this a good sign?

Phil Levy: It depends from whose perspective. I mean, I guess it's a good sign that you're seeing people pushing forward with shaping the global trading system. Part of what it tells you is there's a real imperative to do this. You have business that, as we talked about in the auto sector, that spams boundaries and people need rules that cover that, and so they're pushing for those rules. This is also why many countries prefer a multilateral setting because it's a lot easier to have rules that cover a large set of countries than a whole spattering of bilateral rules. So in that sense, it's encouraging.

The part that's discouraging from a purely US perspective is these are no longer the rules that we are writing and that we are shaping to best meet our own interests. I have one colleague who was closely involved in a lot of disputes, who originally described the TPP as it's as if you went back to every dispute the US had lost and we were rewriting the rules so that we would win. That it was very carefully crafted to meet US commercial needs, and that's what we walked away from. And part of what you're seeing in these TPP 11 talks to which you referred is they're not just taking the old TPP package and saying let's just pass it as 11 of us, they're saying, "Let's tweak this and those things where the US was the only country that really wanted it but we were accommodating them. We don't need to accommodate them because they're not here anymore." What they've done in an interesting way is said, "We're to change this to acknowledge the fact that the US isn't there with some provision that should the US come back the table, should they wake up, we can perhaps snap back." So I guess that's one of the things they've been talking about.

The other thing I would note is to link the TPP to China, which is-

Brian Hanson: How so?

Phil Levy: - the other big country in the region. Well, so one of the things we've seen with the Trump administration, China's been a major fixation, major focus, and the question is, broadly, let's say China is doing things that you don't want China to do, for example having state owned enterprises get heavily involved in a subsidized way in distorting key industries, or working so have excess steel capacity, the question is how can you persuade China to do something different?

Now, one possibility, which is clearly the favorite view of the Trump administration, is you sit down, you have some bilateral talks and you say, "I want you to change." The problem is these are often politically sensitive things and if the Chinese say "No thank you, I'm not that interested," you don't have an awful lot of recourse on this. So what are potentially effective ways to get China to change its behavior? Well, one version of this was you strike multilateral rules. We did that at the Word Trade Organization, and I think you can make a very strong argument that this was effective with China. The administration has just concluded the opposite, they said it was a mistake to bring China in. I think the problem is that what they're saying is, did this suffice to make China do everything the way we want them to do it? And the answer is no, of course it didn't. But remember, the Word Trade Organization rules were not perfect, they were a work in progress, so China did a reasonable job of meeting the rules that were there under the World Trade Organization. Those rules weren't perfect. So there's lots of things we dislike like subsidies or the operational state owned enterprises, those are not against WTO rules, so the fact that China continues these practices is not an indictment of the multilateral system, it just says we haven't pushed it enough.

Let me bring this back to the TPP, the TPP looked to be an extremely effective way of coaxing China to change its behavior. China was not a member of the TPP, they were told that they would simply be welcome if they were able to meet the high standards of the TPP set. So in terms of effective means of setting new standards .. And the TPP did address things like state owned enterprises. So you put out a set of standards, it was clearly something that had peaked China's curiosity and interest, and you said "If you change your behavior, then here's a carrot we can offer you." We don't actually have a lot of tools like that and so by turning away from the TPP, we gave up one of our most effective means of potentially coaxing China into better behavior.

Brian Hanson: One of the frameworks that exists, that you just referred to, is bringing China into the WTO, there is concern about the future of the WTOT. Again, President Trump has made statements about whether or not the ... Again, President Trump has questioned whether or not the WTO is in the interest of the United States and also observers have noted that the enforcement provisions to ensure compliance with the trade rules is dependent on a judicial process and that there's an appellate stage of that, not to get too technical, but the simple thing is there are seven judges on this appellate process. Currently, three of those seven seats are vacant, and the United States has been actively resisting and blocking the appointment of new judges into these appellate positions. The concern is, as this goes on, it takes three judges to hear a case so there is the possibility that the administration just by blocking the appointment of new judges could take out the entire enforcement mechanism of the WTO. What's your sense of this administration's position vis-a-vis the WTO? Is the WTO in trouble?

Phil Levy: I think the WTO is in trouble, I'll start there, and I think there's layers of concern in terms ... So where is this administration? They've come up as very skeptical. President Trump has said that we could consider withdrawing from the WTO, the most direct engagement we had was our US trade representative, Ambassador Lighthizer, went down to the grand meeting of WTO ministers in Buenos Aires last month, and expressed a lot of skepticism. He talked about all the failings of the WTO. He had some good points in there, the problem [inaudible 00:29:06] the normal US rule is and then here's how we fix these problems, and he didn't do that. He stopped short of the here's how we fix, he just gave his list of complaints and headed home. So the WTO looks a little bit rudderless. It's not clear that there's another country poised to step up and take that leadership role that the US has done.

Okay, I said layers of concern, so there's one that we don't look like we're on the verge of doing a new deal that would fix things with the WTO. It's not entirely clear that this is a viable path, and this is one that the Obama administration embraced where, "Well, we don't need to have new talks because those are really difficult. We can just have disputes and essentially rest on our laurels." They never put it that way, but rest on our laurels and we'll just have the WTO solve these disputes. Even that, I don't think is necessarily viable because imagine a situation where you didn't make any new laws in the United States and you just had judges trying to fill in the blanks and interpret old laws, we have ... Our last major WTO trade agreement was in the mid-1990s, so we've had a lot of development since then, you've had e-commerce, and what you're getting is these disputes. Somebody will say, can you interpret early 1990s law to cover 2017, 2018 commerce? And it means that these panel members, the equivalent of judges, need to fill in a lot of blanks, and that gets to be politically controversial because usually you want to fill in those blanks with political guidance where countries are negotiating these things. They're being left to interpret these things, and it's going to be a bigger and bigger stretch from the last time you had an agreement.

Then add in on top of that, the basic functioning of a system and do you have people appointed? So let's say there's layers of concern, I think the WTO ... It's a little bit like the plumbing system of a city, it's there, it's underneath, it makes everything work, you'd really miss it if it were gone, and I think we're in some danger of that with the WTO.

Brian Hanson: So I want to come back to where we started, which was Davos. Davos is known for bringing world leaders together and addressing big problems, when it comes to the global economy, including global trade and other issues, ever since the end of World War II, the United States, frankly, has been the leader in driving for a more open global system. What so striking last year in Davos was Xi Jinping, comes and response to Donald Trump's declarations of pulling the US back and says, "I am your champion of globalization and an open global economy." This year, Donald Trump is going to go to Davos, what is important about this moment of world attention on Donald Trump and what are the implications for how he handles this moment? Does it matter what he says and how will that affect the trajectory of the global economy going forward?

Phil Levy: I think that at this point much of the rest of the world has learned not to take some of these things too seriously, and that's for better or for worse. I think we've usually benefited from having the rest of the world take the statements of the US president very seriously, so this is a bit of a sad commentary, which is that they won't necessarily. The problem is that there's often a disconnect between what the president says and what actions follow.

If we think what is he likely to say, what's my expectation of what he will say at Davos, we had a bit of a dry run when he was in the Asia-Pacific at the AIPAC talks and he gave everyone a lecture of how the US had been wronged by the system and here's the importance of America first. That did not seem really designed to inspire other countries, that they would all rally behind us, and I would be surprised, very pleasantly surprised, if he ups his game and says something that is more inspiring in Davos. I don't expect he will, but given that he also frequently says volatile things that don't lead directly to action, I don't think we need to be quite as concerned as had any of his predecessors gone and said something really volatile at Davos.

Brian Hanson: As we close, what's your prediction about 2018? Will the world experience an increase in growth and economic liberalization, or do you think we'll head in a different direction?

Phil Levy: So my crystal ball's always very murky, that's one reason I have to keep working for you because I can't just play the markets and get rich that way, what I have learned about watching others who do this is that the safest thing is that you project current trends on-off to infinity. Whether you're right or not doesn't matter because everybody else is doing the same thing. So if you're going to do that, you say everybody's starting to grow, we've got growth in our foreseeable future, and it's very good, happy times. I think if you look around the global economy, there are number of things that can go wrong.

There's an assumption there that you don't really need to worry that much about US policy, I think you do, there's some structural issues in Europe, having to do things with things like their banking system, which they would tell you they have not addressed and [inaudible 00:34:34], "Well, that's okay, it works in Italy, it isn't going to be that bad." There's a big debt problem in China, hard to say exactly how big but it's a concern. The IMF has flagged this as a concern. So we have a growth trajectory going on, there's a number of these underlying concerns. Meanwhile, against all of that, you have the world's central banks all starting to tighten at the same time. People looked at that maneuver from some years back and said, "Wow, that's going to be a really tough one to pull off," that you do all of this stuff without, say, pricking stock market bubbles or causing serious downturns. That could happen, but there's plenty of dangers on the horizon.

Brian Hanson: Well, there's certainly a whole lot for all of us to be watching in this year. Thanks, Phil, for helping provide a guide of where we should pay attention as we seek to understand how these events unfold. Thanks for being here, Phil. I look forward to having you back soon.

Phil Levy: Thank you.

Brian Hanson: And thank you for turning into this episode of Deep Dish on Global Affairs. As a reminder, the opinions on Deep Dish are those of the people who express them and not the institutional position of The Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

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