Getting Free Trade Right›By Peter Morici // Sunday, March 26, 2017By Peter Morici – – Sunday, November 20, 2016Globalization is inevitable and nothing about the presidential campaign changed that.
Ever since merchants first moved among human settlements, people have exchanged goods, blended cultures and specialized to create wealth, but trade also creates winners and losers. Donald Trump has seized on an enduring truth: whether America or any nation wins or loses depends on how well it manages the process.MORE
Negotiating NAFTA and the bilateral agreement permitting China to join the World Trade Organization, Ottawa, Mexico City and Beijing were not looking out for American businesses and workers — that was Washington’s job and it didn’t do it very well.
China’s Annual Political Gathering 2017›By St. John Moore // Friday, March 24, 2017
Fifth Session of the 12th National People’s Congress
Seeking Growth, Reform and StabilityThe just concluded National People’s Congress (NPC) and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Congress (CPPCC) gave a fresh view on the priorities of the administration and the implications for those operating in this ever complex market. The Two Sessions, held in March and commonly known in China as the lianghui, are among the most important events in the Chinese political calendar.This year the Two Sessions are the warm up act to the much more important 19th Party Congress at the end of this year when Xi Jinping will end his first five-year term as head of the Communist Party of China and when a number of the most senior members of the Party are expected to retire. The question is not if Xi Jinping stays for a second term (that’s a certainty), it is who will join him in the Politburo and the Standing Committee as this will influence the next five years and give early indication whether he may break with recent precedent and stay for a third term (2022-2027).MORE
US Trade Laws And The Sovereignty Canard›By Dan Ikenson // Thursday, March 23, 2017
John Bolton took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal yesterday to assert America’s interest in abandoning international institutions that threaten U.S. sovereignty. In identifying the World Trade Organization’s Dispute Settlement Body as such an institution, Bolton was reinforcing a central theme of the Trump administration’s recently-minted 2017 Trade Policy Agenda. That document is short on specifics, but makes one thing clear: Under threat of going rogue, the United States will leverage its indispensability to compel changes at the WTO that accommodate a more expansive, less surgical application of domestic trade laws.
“Defending our national sovereignty over trade policy” and “strictly enforcing U.S. trade laws” are, explicitly, the top two priorities on the agenda. Taken together, those priorities suggest the Trump administration will aggressively execute U.S. trade laws with little regard for whether that execution violates internationally-agreed rules established to prevent and discourage abuse of such laws. Agreeing that “all animals are equal,” then adding the famous caveat “but some are more equal than others” is what is meant by “defending our national sovereignty.”
Given the prominence of domestic steel industry representation in the Trump administration, these priorities aren’t surprising. High on the list of talking points of the Washington-swamp-savvy U.S. steel lobby is the assertion that the WTO’s DSB, by finding U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty practices in violation of WTO obligations on numerous occasions over the years, usurps U.S. sovereignty over its own laws. This is a complaint frequently made by Robert Lighthizer, Trump’s USTR-designate, who for decades has represented domestic steel interests in AD/CVD cases before U.S. agencies.MORE
The Trade Law Tool Box: What the Administration and the Private Sector May Use to Advance The Trump Administration’s Agenda›By Terence P. Stewart // Wednesday, March 22, 2017
These slides were prepared by Mr Stewart for his presentation at WITA’s “The Trade Law Toolbox” event on March 23, 2017. The event will look at what we might expect to see from the Trump Administration’s enforcement agenda, and the impact that might have on U.S. jobs, American consumers, and the global trading system. Register here for the event.
The Trade Tool Box – what one can expect in the coming years
Many of the tools in the trade tool box are for the government, although the private sector can support their use and identify needs.
- Historically, many trade problems with trading partners, in terms of market access, compliance with trade agreement obligations, or treatment of US investment overseas, have been handled either informally with trading partners or through a formal dispute at the WTO or with an FTA partner. See 19 USC 2411-2420.
- Trump Administration will similarly attempt to address many issues bilaterally, resorting to disputes when bilateral consultations fail to achieve the needed correction.
Stopping China’s Mercantilism: A Doctrine of Constructive, Alliance-Backed Confrontation›By Robert D. Atkinson // Monday, March 20, 2017
China’s systematic mercantilism is a threat to the U.S. economy and the very soul of the global trading system. America cannot respond with either flaccid appeasement or economic nationalism; it must assemble an international coalition that pressures China to stop rigging markets and start competing on fair terms.MORE
Charting the Future Now: European Economic Growth and its Importance to American Prosperity›By Atlantic Council EuroGrowth Task Force // Monday, March 20, 2017
The European Union (EU), a vital partner for the United States, is facing numerous challenges, including massive migration flows, the UK’s vote to leave the EU (Brexit), and rising support for anti-EU and populist parties in upcoming elections in several European countries. In Charting the Future Now: European Economic Growth and its Importance to American Prosperity, the Atlantic Council’s EuroGrowth Initiative proposes pragmatic steps to restore European economic growth, safeguard the European project, and reinvigorate the transatlantic alliance.MORE
Congressmen Beto O’Rourke and Will Hurd Discuss NAFTA on Road Trip to D.C.›By Rep. Beto O'Rourke // Friday, March 17, 2017
On Tuesday, March 17th, as the East Coast was being covered in snow, two Congressmen found themselves stranded in Texas with no flights back to Washington. In order to make it back in time for votes, Representative Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) and Representative Will Hurd (R-TX) rented a car and embarked on a 1,600 mile road trip. During their journey, the two broadcasted their conversations for all of America on Facebook live. Their discussions touched on a variety of issues that ranged from criminal justice reform, the Republican health care bill, music preferences, and even a debate on cake versus pie. Above is a clip of their conversation on the issue of NAFTA and a potential renegotiation during the #BipartisanRoadtrip.MORE
Trade Facilitation Agreement’s benefits may extend well beyond cutting red tape›By Russell Hillberry // Friday, March 17, 2017
Late last month the World Trade Organization celebrated the entry into force of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), a global effort to streamline government procedures governing international trade.
The primary goal of the agreement is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of agencies that oversee trade, especially in developing countries, by reducing bureaucratic red tape at the border, simplifying customs procedures and improving enforcement capabilities through the application of technology solutions and institutional reforms.
While this is expected to significantly boost global trade, in my view the accord’s most important benefits are in its potential to improve governance in developing countries.
Such changes may begin with easing trade flows, but, with any luck, improved capabilities in trade oversight will spread to other areas of a country’s bureaucracy, leading to more effective law enforcement and tax collection, improved capacity to apply IT and better communication between different government agencies.
The agreement comes into force at a time when large trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership are under fire because they benefit some industries at the expense of others, a lesson I learned as an analyst at the U.S. International Trade Commission. The TFA – which succeeded in part because the benefits of improved governance may offset economic losses elsewhere – provides momentum for the global trading system at a time when it’s sorely needed.MORE
Growing Markets, Growing Incomes: Leveraging Trade Facilitation for Farmers›By Andrea Durkin // Thursday, March 16, 2017
Investment in trade capacity and facilitation can be a key driver of agricultural development and economic growth for small and medium-sized farmers around the globe. The ability to move food efficiently, cheaply, and safely across borders is crucial to linking small commercial farmers from national markets to larger regional markets, creating a virtuous cycle of demand for increased production to meet need in international markets. An increase in efficiency at international borders also supports US farmers, potentially boosting agricultural exports.
Even though the majority of food produced in the world is consumed locally, global trade in agriculture and food products has grown significantly in the last three decades. In 1980, the value of agriculture and food trade is estimated to have been $230 billion. By 2015, global trade had grown to $1.77 trillion in agriculture and $1.49 trillion in food products.
Perishable foods have become a particularly important growth category in global trade. They are essential for improving nutrition and provide a critical opportunity to grow the incomes of smaller producers in developing countries. But perishable foods are most vulnerable to trade delays or mishandling at international borders, which can compromise safety and quality and result in both food waste and income loss.MORE
Shop the World! Consumer attitudes towards global distance selling›By Thomas Kipp // Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Study by DHL e-Commerce. The full study can be found here.
Global distance selling accounted for sales of €616 billion in 2013 and is expected to see annual growth of 10.7% in the next five years. This trend now influences almost all sectors of the economy. An increasing focus is being placed on the eCommerce customers who decide whether, when and under what conditions they order goods online.
Businesses thus have to understand the various steps in the customer’s journey through the online purchasing process. And they must also be aware of the economic and cultural differences that drive cross-border eCommerce.
In this Shop the World! consumer study, more than 11,000 people in 20 countries were asked about their attitudes, behavior and preferences in respect of different media, product selection criteria, payment methods, and delivery and return options. They were also asked about their reasons for ordering goods from abroad, and the obstacles they face in doing so.MORE
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