Focus Article Alert: January – February 2019

FOCUS Article Alert is a monthly collection of important documents in U.S.-Taiwan relations and other recent information from the U.S. about the environment, economy, arts, society, culture, and government.
  • 「立穩根基,共創未來:AIT@40 — 1979 年後美台關係展」
    二O一八年十一月二十九日至二O一九年四月八日 高雄市立歷史博物館
    二O一九年一月十八日至二O一九年三月三日 嘉義檜意森活村T24所長官舍
    “Strong Foundation, Bright Future: AIT@40, U.S.-Taiwan Relations Since 1979”
    November 29, 2018 to April 8, 2019 exhibit at Kaohsiung Museum of History
    January 18, 2019 to March 3, 2019 exhibit at T24 House in Hinoki Village
  • 一月一日 (星期二) 元旦,放假
    January 1 (Tuesday) New Year’s Day, closed.
  • 一月二十一日(星期一) 馬丁路德.金恩日,放假
    January 21 (Monday) Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. Closed.
  • 二月四日-二月七日 春節, 放假
    February 4-7 Chinese Lunar New Year. Closed.
  • 二月十八日 (星期一) 總統日, 放假
    February 18 (Monday) Washington’s Birthday. Closed.
  • 二月二十八日(星期四) 和平紀念日,放假
    February 28 (Thursday) Peace Memorial Day. Closed.
1. 美國在台協會副處長谷立言「全球合作暨訓練架構(GCTF)人道救援及災難防救國際研習營」開幕致詞。
Remarks by Deputy Director Greene at Opening of the GCTF Workshop.

AIT OT-1845, December 14, 2018, 3 pages.
“Today’s workshop is the second one we’ve held under the GCTF focused on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, highlighting our belief that Taiwan is a regional leader in disaster prevention and response.” (From AIT)

2. 美國在台協會處長酈英傑全球合作暨訓練架構「邁向平等:印太女性領導人培力工作坊」開幕致詞。 
Remarks by AIT Director Brent Christensen at USA Pavilion, 2018 Taipei ITF. 

AIT OT-1844, December 10, 2018, 2 pages.
“When it comes to empowering women to not only participate in the political process, but to lead it, Taiwan truly stands out as a model to us all.” (From AIT)

3. Markusen, Maxwell B.
The Islamic State and the Persistent Threat of Extremism in Iraq.  

Center for Strategic and International Studies, November 30, 2018, 9 pages.
“Despite hard-fought victories to retake Islamic State territory, there are three major signs that Islamic State militants are regrouping, taking advantage of ongoing instability, and refocusing their campaign against the Iraqi government.” (From CSIS)

4. Warren, Elizabeth.
A Foreign Policy for All: Strengthening Democracy—at Home and Abroad.

Foreign Affairs, January/February Issues, 2019, 17 pages.
“Around the world, democracy is under assault. Authoritarian governments are gaining power, and right-wing demagogues are gaining strength. Movements toward openness and pluralism have stalled. Inequality is growing, transforming rule by the people into rule by wealthy elites. And here in the United States, many Americans seem to accept—even embrace—the politics of division and resentment.” (From Foreign Affairs)

5. The Manufacturing Institute Skills Gap and Future of Work Study.   (PDF, 14.3MB) 

Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute, December 13, 2018, 24 pages
“In the 2018 Skills Gap in Manufacturing Study, the report finds that the talent shortage is accentuated by two factors: a prolonged economic expansion that has increased the number of job openings in manufacturing and projected growth in baby boomer retirement. Although these two factors are expected to lead to more than 4.6 million manufacturing jobs over the next decade, the authors’ research finds that fewer than half of these jobs are likely to be filled.” (From Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute)

6. Morrison, Wayne.
Enforcing U.S. Trade Laws: Section 301 and China.  (PDF, 344 KB)

Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, December 3, 2018, 2 pages.
“Concerns over China’s policies on intellectual property (IP)and innovation policies led the Trump Administration to launch a Section 301 investigation of those policies. Since then, the United States has implemented three rounds of tariff increases under Section 301 on a total of $250 billion worth of Chinese products ( and has threatened tariff increases on an additional $267 billion worth of Chinese goods) while China has increased tariffs on $110 billion worth of U.S. products. On December 1, 2018, the two sides announced some progress in resolving the dispute.”( From CRS Report)

7. Perkins, David W. 
Cryptocurrency: The Economics of Money and Selected Policy Issues.  (PDF, 1.3 MB)

Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, December 7, 2018, 30 pages.
“The purpose of this report is to assess how and how well cryptocurrencies perform this function, and in so doing to identify possible benefits, challenges, risks, and policy issues surrounding cryptocurrencies.” (From CRS Report)

8. Peck, Sarah Herman and William J. Krouse.
U.S. Gun Policy: Framework and Major Issues.    (PDF, 305 KB)

Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, December 3, 2018, 2 pages.
“In recent Congresses, a range of proposals has been introduced, with some seeking to ease various federal firearms restrictions or facilitate reciprocity in state treatment of persons authorized to carry a firearm by another state. Other proposals have sought greater restrictions on the federal rules concerning the possession, transfer or sale of firearms, or the expansion of background checks for firearm purchases. These various approaches, in turn, prompt debate about not only their pros and cons but also their legalities, as Congress’s ability to legislate on such matters must comport with the Second Amendment and other constitutional constraints.” (From CRS Report)

9. Report on Serious Human Rights Abuses or Censorship in North Korea.

U.S. State Department, December 10, 2018, 3 pages.
“This report details aspects of the human rights and censorship situation in North Korea and the conduct of persons, including the Government and/or Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) controlled groups and officials determined by the Secretary of State to be responsible for the commission of serious human rights abuses or censorship in the DPRK.”(From the U.S. State Department)

10. Laskai, Lorand and Ira A. Lipman.
A New Old Threat: Countering the Return of Chinese Industrial Cyber Espionage.  

Council on Foreign Relations, December 06, 2018, 9 pages.
“China is once again conducting cyber-enabled theft of U.S. intellectual property to advance its technological capabilities. To combat the problem, the United States should build a multinational coalition, sanction Chinese companies, and strengthen cyber defenses.” (From Council on Foreign Relations)

11. Stephens, Suzanna and Matthew Southerland.
China’s Role in Wildlife Trafficking and the Chinese Government’s Response.  (PDF, 1 MB)

The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, December 6, 2018, 34 pages.
“China is the largest market for trafficked wildlife products. Its demand has been an important factor leading to declines in iconic species such as elephants and big cats, as well as in lesser-known species like pangolins. Although China’s legal regime establishes protections for many endangered species, loopholes regarding captive breeding and anti-trafficking enforcement create opportunities for the illicit wildlife trade to flourish. Success in combating this trade varies by species: regarding the trade in elephant ivory, for example, a confluence of domestic and international pressure culminated in a U.S.-China joint ivory ban, completed in early 2018. Though indications following the ban appear promising, China’s recent partial reversal of its ban on the use of rhino horn and tiger bone highlights continuing shortcomings in its effort to combat wildlife trafficking.” (From the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission)

12.14 Predictions about the Future Of AI And VR.  

Forbes, December 11, 2018, 4 pages.
“As groundbreaking advances are made in the realms of AI and VR, many are speculating on how these technologies will reshape both everyday living and the way businesses operate. 14 members of Forbes Technology Council to highlight the ways they foresee AI and VR technologies changing the world.”(From Forbes)

13. Janna Anderson, Janna and others.
Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humans.

Pew Research Center, December 10, 2018, 123 pages.
“Experts say the rise of artificial intelligence will make most people better off over the next decade, but many have concerns about how advances in AI will affect what it means to be human, to be productive and to exercise free will.” (From Pew Research Center)

14. Meltzer, Joshua P.
The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on International Trade.

Brookings, December 13, 2018, 13 pages.
“Artificial intelligence (AI) stands to have a transformative impact on international trade. Already, specific applications in areas such as data analytics and translation services are reducing barriers to trade. At the same time, there are challenges in the development of AI that international trade rules could address, such as improving global access to data to train AI systems. This article provides an overview of some of the key AI opportunities for trade as well as those areas where trade rules can help support AI development.” (From Brookings)