World News Brief, Friday October 18

US government reopens after 16-day shutdown; Japan considers imposing more foreign tariffs; Nigeria expects to win seat on UN Security Council; Pakistani minister killed in suicide bomb; and more

Top of the Agenda: Government Reopens After 16-Day Shutdown

President Barack Obama signed a bipartisan measure early on Thursday to end a sixteen-day-long partial shutdown of the U.S. government, which Standard & Poor's said has cost the economy $24 billion (AP). The agreement will keep the government funded until January 15 and raise the debt ceiling through February 7. Many business leaders and economists say that Congressional dysfunction is the biggest risk to the economy (Reuters), citing damage done by last-minute budget deals. The U.S. dollar weakened against the euro while bonds and gold gained on Thursday as investors speculated that the Federal Reserve will maintain its stimulus amid the deadlock in Washington (Bloomberg).


"Our policymakers can only address these issues at the last possible moment, and when there isn't agreement on the last possible moment … mistakes can happen. In particular, the recent pressures on the money market would have forced extraordinary actions from the Fed or Treasury soon, leaving a question mark over how future showdowns will be handled," writes CFR Senior Fellow Robert Kahn.

"In the process, they also brought on a government shutdown that deeply damaged the party, dismayed many in the party's business-community base, distracted attention from the budget issues where others in the party believe they have had the most success and turned the keys to that budget debate over to more moderate forces in the Senate," writes Gerald Seib in the Wall Street Journal.

"Then, on Feb. 7, the Treasury will again hit the debt ceiling. That will be closer to the midterm political season, and the futility of trying to use default as a weapon should be a fresh memory for Republicans. But many in the party remain defiant, opposing this week's deal and vowing to keep waging their crusade," writes the New York Times in an editorial.



Japan Considers Expanding TPP Tariff Exceptions

Tokyo, seeking to protect its agricultural industry in new free trade agreements, plans to expand the scope of foreign farm products it aims to impose tariffs on under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (Kyodo).

This CFR Backgrounder explains Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic vision for Japan.

CHINA: The mayor of China's eastern city of Nanjing is under investigation for corruption, part of a high-profile antigraft campaign launched by President Xi Jinping last year (SCMP).


Nigeria expects to win seat on UN Security Council

Pakistani minister killed in suicide bomb

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