America and China started a trade war, the world’s worst such dispute in decades. America imposed tariffs on $250bn-worth of Chinese products; China responded with tariffs of its own. America also slapped duties on steel imports from Europe, Canada, Mexico and elsewhere, infuriating its allies. Donald Trump intervened on national-security grounds to scupper a $117bn bid from Broadcom, a chipmaker with ties to South-East Asia, for Qualcomm. It would have been the biggest-ever tech merger. There was one de-escalation: America, Canada and Mexico struck a deal to update NAFTA.
“Fire and Fury”
In another dysfunctional year at the White House, Rex Tillerson was sacked as secretary of state, as was Jeff Sessions as attorney-general, both after the president had publicly undermined them. The investigation by Robert Mueller, the special counsel, into Russian influence in American elections rumbled on, laying charges against some of Mr Trump’s former aides. A voter backlash against Mr Trump propelled the Democrats to win the House of Representatives in the mid-terms, though the Republicans increased their majority in the Senate.
在白宫又一个混乱的年头里，国务卿雷克斯·蒂勒森(Rex Tillerson)遭解职，而杰夫·赛辛斯(Jeff Sessions)也被解除了司法部长一职，特朗总统曾公开表示对两人的不满。特朗普的特别顾问罗伯特·米勒(Robert Mueller)针对俄罗斯对美国大选影响的调查仍在继续，他对特朗普的几位前助手提出指控。选民对特朗普的强烈反对，推动民主党在中期选举中赢得了众议院，尽管共和党在参议院的多数席位有所增加。
The messy spectacle of Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings to the Supreme Court polarised American politics even further. With the #MeToo movement fully behind them, Democrats wheeled out sexual- assault allegations from the early 1980s to try to block his path. Mr Kavanaugh survived the media circus and was eventually confirmed in the Senate by 50-48, the narrowest such margin since 1881. He appointed a team of all-female clerks, a first for the court.
After a year of tortuous Brexit negotiations, Theresa May and the European Commission agreed a deal for Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, but Britain’s Parliament has not approved the agreement. Britain’s prime minister clung to power after hard Brexiteers in her party tried to bring her down. Two-and-a-half years after the referendum, the opposition Labour Party still had no coherent Brexit policy. Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29th.
Tensions increased between Britain and Russia after two Russian intelligence officers poisoned Sergei Skripal, a dissident, and his daughter with a nerve agent in Salisbury, an otherwise quiet cathedral town. They both survived. Russia paraded the attackers on television, claiming they were innocent tourists with an interest in church spires.
Facebook had a terrible year. The social network came under intense pressure to rein in fake news and protect user data. The revelation that Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy that had worked on Donald Trump’s campaign in 2016, had obtained information on 87m Facebook users through a third-party app shook the company to its core.