A student shows a piece of ceramic in the archaeological excavation near Salbitz, central Germany, on Friday, April 8, 2011.

States at dawn: Part I

Critical State, a foreign policy newsletter by Inkstick Media, takes a deep dive this week into the pre-history of international relations.

Long exposure photo shows cars and trucks driving on a highway in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. 

The company and the state: Part II

Critical State
US President Donald Trump is shown with his right hand raised and wearing a dark suit with a red tie.

Trump vows tariffs on Mexico unless illegal immigration ends

People visit a nail polish booth at the China Import and Export Fair in Guandgong province, China.

Chinese exporters worry more about the rising cost of doing business at home than trade wars

a man with goggles and a protective helmet points to the factory behind him

In Springfield, Massachusetts, bracing for uncertainty from Trump’s trade policies

President Donald Trump is shown at his desk in the oval office talking via speakerphone.

How Trump split Mexico and Canada in NAFTA talks

When then Mexican president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador took a congratulatory call from US President Donald Trump, the conversation marked a pivotal moment after a contentious year of negotiations between the United States, Canada and Mexico to rework the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Chevrolet Equinox SUVs are shown parked in a fenced in area with CN Rail cars in tbe background.

Canada, US set for second day of NAFTA talks amid growing optimism


Canada and United States are working to tackle their contentious issues in bilateral talks on Wednesday, as the two nations work to salvage the North American Free Trade Agreement amid signs Ottawa was open to taking a more conciliatory approach.

US President Donald Trump, wearing a suit and blue-stripped tie, waves as he arrives to board Air Force One.

‘Fair trade, fool trade,’ Trump’s tweets spew ire on NATO allies, Trudeau

Global Politics

US President Donald Trump fired off a volley of tweets on Monday venting anger on NATO allies, the European Union and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the wake of a divisive G7 meeting over the weekend.

People work on boats at the port near the North Korean town of Sinuiju.

China says it will ban imports of North Korean iron, seafood imports


China will halt iron, iron ore and seafood imports from North Korea starting Tuesday, following through on new UN sanctions after US pressure for Beijing to strongarm Pyongyang over its ally’s nuclear program.

North Dakota leads the nation in the production of several crops including: barley, canola, spring wheat, and honey. A low population state, farmers there rely heavily on exports.

Trump says we’re losing badly with trade. But North Dakota suggests otherwise.


North Dakota is a big place with a small population: 750,000. So, farmers send a lot of their harvest overseas, and elected officials know full well: Exports are the state’s lifeblood.