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United States

Yearbook 2018

USA. For the second year in a row, the political life was overshadowed by the president's unpredictability and unorthodox behavior - new agreements, broken agreements and a stream of comments on Twitter of varying levels of truth. For example, the Washington Post reported at the beginning of the year that President Donald Trump during his then 347 days as president had delivered 1,950 falsehoods.

2018 United StatesAt the midterm elections in November, the Democrats secured the majority in the House of Representatives. According to Countryaah.com, the Democrats, who have been in the minority since 2010, now received 218 seats out of 435. That means President Trump is now getting harder to enforce his policies. In the Senate, however, Republicans retained their majority. In the election to the House of Representatives, all 435 members were elected, while the Senate election only concerned 35 new members. At least 31 women were elected as new members of the House of Representatives. It's a record from 1992 that was beaten; then 24 women were elected. In total, there are now 96 women in the House of Representatives - three quarters of them are Democrats. Among the governors are now ten women, and in the Senate there are 14.

2018 United States

During the summer, the United States imposed penalties on steel (25%) and aluminum (10%), mainly applicable to China, but the EU was not excluded. The Chinese were also told two weeks later that the US had decided to impose 25 percent tariffs on just over 1,100 Chinese goods worth about $ 50 billion, equivalent to almost SEK 440 billion. China responded by introducing 25 percent duty on a total of 659 US goods. The EU also imposed penalties worth € 2.8 billion, including agricultural products, bourbon, jeans and motorcycles. Canada responded to US steel tariffs with its own revenge tariffs on about 250 products, such as orange juice, bourbon and ketchup - products that come from swing states, where loyalty shifts between Democrats and Republicans. The purpose was to put pressure on Donald Trump ahead of this fall's midterm elections. In September, additional penalties were imposed against China, this time a 10 percent import duty on Chinese goods worth $ 200 billion, which would be increased to 25% from the turn of the year. This time China responded by activating US $ 60 billion in customs duties. However, during the G20 days in Buenos Aires in early December, President Trump agreed with China's President Xi Jinping on a 90-day "ceasefire" in the ongoing trade war. This meant, for example, that it would not introduce its planned tariff increase (from 10 to 25%) of goods from China in January 2019. In return, China promised to buy large quantities of US agricultural, energy and industrial products. In September, additional penalties were imposed against China, this time a 10 percent import duty on Chinese goods worth $ 200 billion, which would be increased to 25% from the turn of the year. This time China responded by activating US $ 60 billion in customs duties. However, during the G20 days in Buenos Aires in early December, President Trump agreed with China's President Xi Jinping on a 90-day "ceasefire" in the ongoing trade war. This meant, for example, that it would not introduce its planned tariff increase (from 10 to 25%) of goods from China in January 2019. In return, China promised to buy large quantities of US agricultural, energy and industrial products. In September, additional penalties were imposed against China, this time a 10 percent import duty on Chinese goods worth $ 200 billion, which would be increased to 25% from the turn of the year. This time China responded by activating US $ 60 billion in customs duties. However, during the G20 days in Buenos Aires in early December, President Trump agreed with China's President Xi Jinping on a 90-day "ceasefire" in the ongoing trade war. This meant, for example, that it would not introduce its planned tariff increase (from 10 to 25%) of goods from China in January 2019. In return, China promised to buy large quantities of US agricultural, energy and industrial products. this time a 10 percent import duty on Chinese goods worth $ 200 billion, which would be raised to 25% from year-end. This time China responded by activating US $ 60 billion in customs duties. However, during the G20 days in Buenos Aires in early December, President Trump agreed with China's President Xi Jinping on a 90-day "ceasefire" in the ongoing trade war. This meant, for example, that it would not introduce its planned tariff increase (from 10 to 25%) of goods from China in January 2019. In return, China promised to buy large quantities of US agricultural, energy and industrial products. this time a 10 percent import duty on Chinese goods worth $ 200 billion, which would be raised to 25% from year-end. This time China responded by activating US $ 60 billion in customs duties. However, during the G20 days in Buenos Aires in early December, President Trump agreed with China's President Xi Jinping on a 90-day "ceasefire" in the ongoing trade war. For example, this meant that it would not introduce its planned tariff increase (from 10 to 25%) of goods from China in January 2019. In return, China promised to buy large quantities of US agricultural, energy and industrial products. However, during the G20 days in Buenos Aires in early December, President Trump agreed with China's President Xi Jinping on a 90-day "ceasefire" in the ongoing trade war. For example, this meant that it would not introduce its planned tariff increase (from 10 to 25%) of goods from China in January 2019. In return, China promised to buy large quantities of US agricultural, energy and industrial products. However, during the G20 days in Buenos Aires in early December, President Trump agreed with China's President Xi Jinping on a 90-day "ceasefire" in the ongoing trade war. For example, this meant that it would not introduce its planned tariff increase (from 10 to 25%) of goods from China in January 2019. In return, China promised to buy large quantities of US agricultural, energy and industrial products.

President Trump renegotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico in the fall. It was now named the USMCA (The United States – Mexico – Canada Agreement). According to analysts, there are several benefits for the United States: US farmers will have greater access to the Canadian dairy market and car exports to the US will decrease. The agreement was signed by the respective country's leaders on November 30 in conjunction with the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires.

In May, the US signed the nuclear deal with Iran, signed by President Barack Obama in 2015. It also meant new and harsher sanctions on Iran. According to President Trump, the agreement did not work but rather led to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. However, the Russian Federation, China and the EU are still behind the agreement. In January, the United States had extended the agreement and easing sanctions against Iran, but Trump had then warned the country that it was the last time and that he intended to resign.

In October, the United States also submitted the disarmament agreement INF (Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces) with the Russian Federation. The agreement was signed in 1987 between the two presidents of the two countries, Ronald Reagan and Michail Gorbachev, with the aim of abolishing medium and short-range robots. Trump's reason for canceling the deal was that the Russian Federation is breaking it. The agreement was renewed in 2011, and it was intended to be renewed in 2021.

In June, the United States decided to leave the UN Human Rights Council. According to US UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, the UN agency is "chronically biased" in, for example, the Israel-Palestine issue. The United States has previously boycotted the UN Council for three years when George W. Bush was president, but when Barack Obama became president, the boycott ended. As a result of Haley's statements, in August, aid to Palestine was reduced by over $ 200 million. In January, it had been decided to withdraw its previous support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA). Nikki Haley later left his post as UN ambassador at the turn of the year.

During the year, Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller continued his investigation into contacts with the Russian Federation in connection with the 2016 presidential election. In February, he indicted 13 Russian citizens and three companies for trying to influence "American politics and the election process, including the 2016 presidential election". According to the prosecution, the manipulation must have been ongoing since 2014 and includes Internet fraud, bank fraud and identity theft. However, according to United States Deputy Justice Minister Rod Rosenstein, this manipulation did not change the election results. In July, further charges were brought, this time against twelve Russian intelligence officials, suspected of trying to influence the election result by hacking the Democratic Party's computer network during the presidential campaign.

In August, Paul Manafort, a former campaign manager with US President Donald Trump, was convicted of tax fraud. The trial was the first against him in Robert Mueller's investigation into contacts with the Russian Federation; the second trial was supposed to be conducted in Washington, but Manafort chose to cooperate with Mueller on admitting two of the offenses and that the other charges against him were dropped. He was charged, among other things, for hiding tens of millions of dollars when he was a lobbyist for the then Prorean Ukrainian government.

That same month, Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to violating, among other things, the Campaign Funding Act. He alleged that he had acted on behalf of "a national political candidate" when he paid $ 130,000 to former porn star Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about a deal with Donald Trump. In December, Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison.

In December, the trial ended with Donald Trump's former security adviser Michael Flynn. Among other things, he had lied about his Russian relations when questioned by the FBI. However, the sentence was postponed until March 2019 to allow special prosecutor Robert Mueller to get more information from Flynn in exchange for penalty relief.

Just Flynn is perhaps the biggest threat to Donald Trump and his presidency. Perhaps a new Watergate is about to dry up, and after the Democrats' success in the by-election and majority in the House of Representatives, the president is not entirely sure. Maybe national law awaits.

Brett Kavanaugh, who was nominated by President Trump as a member of the nation's highest court, was accused in September of sexual assault by Professor Christine Blasey Ford. This was an abuse that had taken place at a private party 36 years ago when they were 16 and 17 years old respectively. That led to a Senate hearing that month, when Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh separately testified in a four-hour televised hearing. After the hearings, Kavanaugh was approved by the Senate Justice Committee as a member of the United States Supreme Court. In October he was elected to the court, though with the smallest margin since 1881, 50 votes in favor and 48 against. Democrat Senate Leader Chuck Schumer thought "the approval of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is a low-water mark for the Senate, for the court, for the country."

In June, a historic meeting took place between President Donald Trump and North Korea's dictator Kim Jong Un. At the Singapore meeting, agreements were reached on nuclear disarmament in the Korean Peninsula, the signing of peace agreements after the Korean War, and the US and South Korea ending military exercises in the area. The significance of the meeting may be time-honored, but many believe that Trump has overestimated his role as a peace broker, and no detailed plans have yet been presented. In addition, it was not many weeks after the meeting until the US intelligence service announced that North Korea had not decreased but increased nuclear fuel production and that nuclear fuel had been hidden in secret places in conjunction with the US negotiations. In addition, it is suspected that North Korea has several secret nuclear facilities in addition to the one known in Yongbyon. In September, however, North Korea agreed to "permanently shut down" its most important robotic facility during the review of international observers. The dismantling of the plant in Tongchang-ri has already begun, in line with the agreement made with the US during the summer.

At the end of December, parts of the US state apparatus were shut down because Democrats and Republicans could not agree on the budget. The crack issue was that President Trump wanted a tax financing of a wall against Mexico and threatened with veto if it was not included in the budget. The state apparatus remained partially closed for the rest of the year. Only on 2 January 2019 would the budget negotiations continue. The reason for Trump's urgency to get the wall built (except it was a ballot pledge) was the migrant caravan of thousands of women and children who, in mid-October, made their way through Mexico from Honduras and Guatemala to escape violence and unemployment. When the caravan reached the US border at Tijuana/San Diego, it was stopped by tear gas and Trump threatened to close the border completely.

At the end of July, California was hit by forest fires. In Redding, 40,000 people were forced to leave their homes, and the so-called Mendocino fires a week later were considered to be the largest in the state's history with more than 114,000 acres of burnt forest. Still in November, the California fires raged. Worst, the city of Paradise was hit by the fire "Camp fire" with at least 59 casualties. In total, the death toll in the fires amounts to 87. That makes this year's fires the deadliest in the history of the US state.

In September, Hurricane Florence pulled over the US East Coast. At least seven people were killed and 1.7 million evacuated because of the storm, which mainly affected the state of North Carolina. In October, Hurricane Michael hit Florida's west coast on its way from Central America with gusts of over 69 meters per second. The worst hit was Mexico Beach in northwest Florida, which was almost completely leveled with the ground. At least 17 people were killed.

Among the many shooting deaths this year are a school shooting in Parkland, 7 miles north of Miami in the state of Florida, where a 19-year-old in February killed 17 people. At a school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, in May, a 17-year-old killed nine students and one adult. In June, a newspaper editorial in Annapolis was attacked - five people died - and in August four people were shot dead in connection with an e-sports tournament in central Jacksonville, Florida. The 24-year-old offender must have been angry that he lost a match. In November, twelve people were killed when a 28-year-old exmilitary opened fire with a semi-automatic weapon in a bar in Thousand Oaks, California. Thousand Oaks was also hit by the severe forest fires in the state.

At the end of the year, President Trump announced that the United States intended to withdraw its forces in Syria. The withdrawal would be "complete" and "fast", since "we have defeated IS in Syria" (which he wrote on Twitter). Now the US force amounts to only 2,000 men, and it is mainly the Kurdish forces that - if possible - defeated the Islamic State (IS) terror group. A few days later, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis resigned because of the decision. On an unannounced visit to Iraq on Christmas Eve, the President announced that the United States will no longer act as "world police". One will keep a more passive line and will not interfere in various conflicts around the world in countries that "most people have not even heard of".

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