U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley is structuring a U.N. Security Council resolution toward North Korea by targeting a ban on DPRK exports. This approach is in line with the larger Trump strategy to leverage economic sanctions as pressure on North Korea to stop advancing military expansion and nuclear weapons.
However, how President Trump has set Nikki Haley up for success on this resolution is something for the history books to write about:
♦First: A review of the possible enhanced sanctions against N-Korea should be incorporated with the larger issue of policy toward the DPRK’s enabler, China. President Trump, Secretary Mnuchin and Secretary Ross have positioned a severely consequential trade reset between the U.S. and China. [Trump and Ross delayed an announcement on trade sanctions against China which was scheduled for today.]
♦Second: The enhanced U.S. energy export initiatives, in conjunction with lower oil prices, an outcome of U.S. energy policy and a mutually beneficial relationship between President Trump and Arab states in the GCC, have severely weakened the economic position of Russia.
Russia’s energy export economy is dependent on energy prices remaining high. President Trump has brilliantly worked the geopolitical economic relationships to leverage influence over a large portion of the Russian economy.
Combine these two points and you discover the leverage President Trump’s team has created.
The Bear (Russia) and Red Dragon (China) have been drawn into an economic battle space controlled by the Eagle (Trump-USA).
President Trump can offer a ‘better’ trade outcome (definitions variable) for China if they comply with Nikki Haley’s sanctions. Similarly President Trump can negotiate with Russia on ‘better’ or “more favorable’ terms (definitions variable) for U.S. energy shipments to Eastern Europe, again if Russia complies with Nikki Haley’s sanctions.
Previously, President Trump’s visit to Poland, and the Three Seas Summit (Baltic, Black and Adriatic Sea States), along with France and the G20 members, established economic relationships and agreements for energy export between the U.S. and Eastern Europe.
Add all this to the personal relationships developed between Trump and the Gulf Cooperation Council; then factor in the larger geo-strategic economic realm; and then overlay the leverage needed over Russia on issues unrelated to the EU,… and damn Trump’s foresight on this is incredible.
The Outcome – Now we see China and Russia holster their U.N. Security Council veto power, because it is in their economic interests not to oppose the U.S. sanctions. Brilliant strategy:
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – A U.S.-drafted United Nations Security Council resolution aims to slash by a third North Korea’s $3 billion annual export income by banning the country’s exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood, a council diplomat said on Friday.
The diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there was a “high confidence” that Russia and China would support the draft resolution.
The United States is aiming for a vote on Saturday to impose the stronger sanctions over North Korea’s two intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests in July, diplomats said. A resolution needs nine votes in favor, and no vetoes by the United States, China, Russia, France or Britain, to be adopted.
The draft resolution would also prohibit countries from increasing the current numbers of North Korean laborers working abroad, ban new joint ventures with North Korea and any new investment in current joint ventures, said the diplomat. (link)
When it comes to the use of economic leverage to create U.S. national security outcomes, well, we are learning at the knee of an economic master player.