The Morning Vertical — August 8, 2017

To Inform is to Influence


by Brian Whitmore 

On My Mind:

Dmitry Medvedev’s remarks about new U.S. sanctions against Russia were telling for a number of reasons.

First, the Russian prime minister said that by imposing additional punitive sanctions, Washington has declared a “full-scale trade war” on Moscow.

But a trade war assumes that there is some level of trade to speak of. And in fact, U.S. exports to Russia account for less than 0.1 percent of America’s GDP and U.S. imports from Russia are less than 0.2 percent of America’s GDP.

But it wasn’t just a lack of knowledge of the U.S.-Russian trade relationship that Medvedev demonstrated in his comments. 

Medvedev said that U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration “has demonstrated total impotence by surrendering its executive authority to Congress in the most humiliating way.” 

This remark betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the separation of powers and of how…

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