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Monday, 5 March 2018

The Hindu Editorial : Avoid Trade Wars


The Hindu Editorial : No Discrimination & Into Priesthood

Title: Avoid trade wars

(Throwing free trade out of the window will make Americans and everyone else poorer)


       American President Donald Trump last week announced that his administration would soon impose tariffs on the import of steel and aluminium into the U.S. for an indefinite period of time.

       25% tariff would be placed on steel products, and a 10% tariff would be imposed on aluminum.

       The European Union, one of the largest trading partners of the U.S., has since vowed to return the favour through retaliatory measures targeting American exporters.

       The EU is expected to come out with a list of over 100 items imported from the U.S. that will be subject to scrutiny.

       Mr. Trump has justified the decision to impose protective tariffs by citing the U.S.’s huge trade deficit with the rest of the world.

       He likened his country’s trade deficit to a loss that would be set right by simply stopping trade with the rest of the world.


       The U.S. manufacturing industry which lost out to competition from countries such as China due to increasing globalisation.

       It will be important to see how China and other major trading partners respond to his opening salvo.

       Title: Plodding reforms

       Saudi Arabia has to do a lot more to begin a new journey in liberalisation

       In the latest in a series of steps aimed at enhancing women’s rights, Saudi Arabia has invited women to join its military.

       Saudi nationals aged between 25 and 35 were given the opportunity to apply for positions with the rank of soldier in Riyadh, Mecca, al-Qassim and Medina.

       Earlier this year, women were allowed to attend football matches. Last year, King Salman issued a decree ending the ban on women driving.

       Last month, a member of the country’s top clerical body said Saudi women need not wear the abaya, a full-length, loose-fitting robe.

       Prince Mohammed, whose ambition for the throne is hardly a secret, is hard-selling a new narrative about Saudi Arabia. He’s presenting himself as a reformer and moderniser who could change the way Saudi Arabia lives.

       Besides these tentative reform measures, he had also arrested several of the kingdom’s princes and senior officials in what the government calls a crackdown on corruption.

       Lifting the ban on women driving has been a long-standing demand by women activists in the kingdom and abroad.

       But if Prince Mohammed wants to go down in history as a champion of social liberalisation, he should take radical steps.

       For example, Saudi Arabia’s discriminatory male guardianship system, which requires adult women to get permission to travel, work, marry, or even get access to health care, remains intact.

       Though the top cleric has said abayas are not mandatory now, the law requiring women to wear the robes is still in place.


       Saudi Arabia has to do a lot more to ensure basic rights for its women and end its repressive policies against political and social dissent if it really wants to begin a new journey in liberalisation.

Vocabulary words:

  • Tariffs (noun)  : A tax or duty to be paid on a particular class of imports or exports (प्रशुल्क, दर)
  • Vowed (verb)   : Take an oath (शपथ लेना)
  • Retaliatory (adjective)  : An action characterized by a desire for revenge (बदला लेना)
  • Zero-sum game  : a situation in which one person or group can win something only by causing another person or group to lose it.
  • Plodding (adjective)  : slow-moving and unexciting (धीमी गति से)
  • Reined (verb)             : Stop, Prevent (रोकना)
  • Abaya (noun)             : a full-length over garment worn by some Muslim women.
  • Radical (adjective)    :  innovative or progressive (प्रगतिशील)
  • Cleric (noun)             : a priest or religious leader (पुरोहित )

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