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What we’re watching: November 13 to November 19, 2017

♦ The conclusion of President Trump’s prodigious visit to five Asian capitals where he met every Asian leader of consequence. The personal encounters and the speeches he delivered explained US strategy towards the region with a breadth, depth and forcefulness that cannot have left many with any doubt about US intentions.
♦ There will be another round of NAFTA negotiations beginning Friday in Mexico City (Nov 17-21). The talks aren’t going well and now look to stretch into 2018. At some point — just not yet — it will dawn on the Canadians and Mexicans that the issue for the Trump administration is to reduce the US trade deficit within NAFTA. Everything else is peripheral. If they don’t like the US proposals for how to do this, they should suggest some creative ways of their own to accomplish the same objective.
♦ In London on Tuesday, Parliament will kick off its deliberations on Brexit. It will hold a four-hour debate on repeal of the 1972 European Communities Act which took Britain into the EU/EEC, followed by another four hours on how to translate decades of accumulated EU law into British law. It should be a rough and tumble afternoon and evening.


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