Tag Archives: trade policy

Will America Biden change course about China and trade? | Instant News

Author: Charles R Hankla, Georgia State University

US President Joe Biden’s administration must find a way to partake of former president Donald Trump’s controversial trade policies, especially related to China. Some hope (or maybe afraid) that Biden will return US policy to a reformed version of liberal internationalism before Trump, embracing free trade and global economic leadership. However an integrated approach between liberal internationalism and populism is more likely.

The liberal internationalist approach will see Biden lead the United States to Trans-Pacific Partnership – a trade agreement between 12 Pacific nations that Trump abandoned in 2017 and have since become smaller Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He might as well restart the momentum towards Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union and negotiate new trade terms with the post-Brexit UK. He can refresh again that World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiation process while putting it down dispute resolution process in a firmer place.

Biden has signaled that he can accept traditional forms of liberal internationalism. In 2017, he gave defense of the liberal international order at Davos and in 2020 him publish a paean for US leadership in Foreign affairs. But Trump has violated the post-war consensus support free trade. Trade politics has changed, with skepticism trading on left and now stronger. This shows the possibility that Biden will continue its predecessor’s populist policies on trade, with a focus on protectionism and unilateralism.

The difference between liberal and populist internationalist policy directions in the United States is striking in Chinese policy. A liberal internationalist Biden will adopt a traditional US approach to China’s rise. He will see China’s economic growth as an opportunity for US businesses and will hope to manage any threat Beijing might pose by integrating it into international institutions and law.

However, Biden could add a strategic vision to Trump’s erratic and disorganized trade policy, and he may take a more aggressive position against Chinese trade practices deemed unfair. For example, he may impose trade penalties for manipulation of Chinese currency or intellectual property rights infringement. The Biden administration could also see trade protection as one of the many policy instruments available to punish China for the non-trade-related behavior it objects. This may include human rights violations against the Uighurs and aggressive behavior against Taiwan or in the South China Sea.

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace report is recently titled Foreign Policy for the Middle Class and co-written by Biden’s national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, might explain the plans for a new government. It lays out a vision for a more integrated approach to US foreign relations, one that is neither purely liberal internationalist nor purely populist. Biden has been supported reports and broad concepts build policy around the interests of ordinary Americans, however defined.

A ‘foreign policy for the middle class’ aims to consider how any action will affect the lives of most Americans. It intends to build broad coalitions around US foreign policy, prevent a shift from internationalism to isolationism and prevent destructive over-commitment such as the war in Iraq. But it is unclear what this approach means for US-China trade policy and relations.

Nonetheless, if Biden puts this report and its implications at the center of his foreign policy, we can predict five areas of change.

First, there will be a more integrated foreign policy approach. The Biden administration will view trade policy with China as one part of the overall US-China relationship, taking into account the trade policy implications for US prosperity at large.

Second, there will be an open but pragmatic approach to international cooperation on trade. Biden may be more agreeable than Trump to signing new trade agreements and deepening old ones. However, he would not endorse such an agreement simply to strengthen the US leadership, but would prioritize the economic impact of any potential agreement on middle-class voters.

Third, there will be strong demands that each new agreement contains more labor and environmental protections. Left-wing influence in the Democratic Party, along with the political power of the US rust belt, making it likely that such a provision will become increasingly important in trade agreements.

Fourth, there will be a greater emphasis on domestic policies related to trade. This may include an increased focus on building domestic industries, encouraging purchases of US products (already seen in the president executive orders), preventing outsourcing and relocation of production, and promoting labor participation.

Fifth, there will be a willingness to denounce China for human rights abuses and trade practices that it deems unfair, coupled with a reluctance to devote resources to confront China’s expansion. The United States will be reluctant to assert hegemony in the Asia Pacific if doing so requires a significant use of resources it deems best used domestically.

Overall, the Biden administration tends to establish a balanced, of course centric in relation to China and world trade. It will not return to the old paradigm of liberal internationalism and will not continue in a populist print. The United States will use both traditions to develop a version of limited internationalism that places US economic interests, broadly defined, at the center. Time will tell whether this new hybrid approach to US foreign policy will pay off.

Charles R Hankla is Associate Professor of Political Science at Georgia State University.


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The Quiet New Year provides some breathing space after the UK-EU Brexit split | Instant News

LONDON – Trucks continued to flow from ferries and trains on both sides of the English Channel on Friday, a quiet New Year’s Day following an overnight seismic shift in relations between the European Union and Britain.

The busy freight route between southeast Britain and northwestern France is at the forefront of change now that Britain has completely abandoned the embrace of the 27-nation bloc, the final stage of Brexit.

“For most trucks, they won’t even notice the difference,” said John Keefe, a spokesman for Eurotunnel, which transports vehicles under the Channel. “There’s always a risk that if this happens at a busy time then we could run into some difficulties, but this happened overnight on bank holidays and long weekends.”

Britain leaves the European bloc’s vast single market for people, goods and services at 11 p.m. London time on New Year’s Eve, in the single biggest economic change the country has experienced since World War II. The new UK-EU trade deal will carry restrictions and bureaucracy, but for British Brexit supporters, it will mean reclaiming national independence from the EU and its network of rules.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson called it “an extraordinary moment for this country.”

“We have freedom in our hands, and it is up to us to make the most of it,” he said in a New Year’s video message.

On the quiet streets of London – which voted strongly to remain in the EU in the 2016 UK membership referendum – there is little enthusiasm for Brexit.

“I think this is a disaster, among the many disasters this year,” said Matt Steel, a doctor. “This is a bad deal. To be honest, I don’t see anything positive in it. “

The breakthrough comes 11 months after a political Brexit that leaves both sides in a “transition period” in which EU rights and rules continue to prevail in Britain.

The trade deal sealed on Christmas Eve after months of tense negotiations ensures that the two sides can continue to buy and sell goods without tariffs or quotas. But companies face tons of costs and new paperwork, including customs declarations and border checks.

The Ports of Dover and Eurotunnel on the English Channel braced for delays as new measures were introduced.

Vital supply routes were scrambled after France closed its border to British truckers for 48 hours over Christmas week in response to a fast-spreading virus variant identified in Britain. About 15,000 truck drivers needed emergency virus tests just to enter France, a process that has left many trapped in their trucks for days.

But the pandemic and a weekend getaway left traffic-channel traffic quiet on Fridays. Britain has also postponed full customs checks for several months so companies can adjust.

At the French port of Calais, officials said the new computer system was working properly and the truck driver had the correct paperwork.

“Brexit … is not a synonym for congestion, as we say in English, or a synonym for traffic disruption, but everyone has to do their job,” said Jean-Marc Puissesseau, president of the Port of Calais and Boulogne-Sur-Mer.

Jean Marc Thillier, director of customs for the region, warned that the border faces a “trial fire” as traffic spikes after a holiday weekend.

Brexit also brings new checks across the Irish Sea. A dozen trucks rolled off the first ferry to arrive at Dublin Harbor from Wales just before dawn, completing new customs checks without delay.

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said trade would change “fundamentally”.

“We will now see 80 billion euros ($ 97 billion) of trade across the Irish Sea between the UK and Ireland disrupted by more checks and declarations, and bureaucracy and paperwork, and fees and delays.”

Hundreds of millions of individuals in the UK and the bloc are also facing changes in their daily lives, with new rules for work visas, travel insurance and pet documents.

And years of discussion and argument lie ahead, about everything from healthy competition to fish quotas, as Britain and the EU settle into their new relationship as friends, neighbors and rivals.

In Scotland, which voted strongly in 2016 to stay afloat, Brexit has stepped up support for separation from Britain’s pro-independence country’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “Scotland is coming back soon, Europe. Keep the lights on. “

European leaders, whose patience with Britain has run out over years of the Brexit melodrama, expressed regret over Britain’s departure, and anger at the forces driving it.

“Britain remains our neighbor but also our friend and ally,” said French President Emmanuel Macron in a New Year’s address. “The choice to leave Europe, this Brexit, is the child of European malaise and lots of lies and false promises.”


Video journalists Jo Kearney in Folkestone, England and Alex Turnbull in Calais, France contributed to this story.


Follow all AP’s stories about Brexit at https://apnews.com/Brexit


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EU officials sign Brexit trade deal as UK lawmakers debate | Business news | Instant News


LONDON (AP) – Ahead of Britain’s seismic economic split from the European Union, British lawmakers were asked to turn a 1,200-page trade agreement with bloc into law in one day on Wednesday.

Right after top EU officials formally signed the hard-earned agreement in Brussels, Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged legislators in the House of Commons to support a deal that he said heralded “a new relationship between Britain and the EU as equal sovereignty.”

Britain left the European Union nearly a year ago, but remains in the bloc’s economic arms during the transition period that ends at midnight Brussels time – 11pm in London – on Thursday.

The agreement will then take effect, if the British Parliament has approved it. The European Parliament must also sign the agreement, but is not expected to do so for several weeks.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel signed the agreement during a brief ceremony in Brussels on Wednesday morning. The documents were then flown by a Royal Air Force plane to London for Johnson to add his signature.

“The agreement we signed today is the result of months of intense negotiations in which the European Union has demonstrated an unprecedented level of unity,” said Michel. “This is a fair and balanced agreement that fully protects the fundamental interests of the European Union and creates stability and predictability for citizens and companies.”


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EU, UK, announced a major trade pact that will go into effect on 1 January | Instant News

The European Union and Britain have announced broad agreements set out to regulate future trade and cooperation between them from January 1

EU ambassadors and lawmakers on both sides of the English Channel will now study the “EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement,” which contains more than 1,240 pages of text. EU envoys are expected to meet on Monday to discuss the document, which was drawn up during nine months of intense talks.

Businesses, not knowing what to expect for so long, will also try to understand the implications.

Most importantly, the existing agreement ensures that the UK can continue to trade goods with the world’s largest trading bloc without tariffs or quotas once Britain is completely free of the EU. It ceased being an official member on January 31 of this year and is a few days away from the end of the exit transition period.

But another obstacle will emerge, as Britain is deprived of the kind of access to large markets that only membership can guarantee. These range from access to fishing waters to energy markets, and include everyday ties that are vital to citizens such as travel arrangements and educational exchanges.

EU member states are expected to support the agreement over the next week. British legislators can vote on Wednesday. But even if they do, the text will only take effect temporarily on New Year’s Day because the European Parliament also has to express its opinion.

EU lawmakers said last weekend that there was not enough time to properly check the text before the deadline, and they would debate and vote on the document in January and February, if the approval process went well.

Despite the deal, unanswered questions remain on many fronts, including security cooperation – with the UK losing access to real-time information in some EU law enforcement databases – and access to the EU market for the UK’s large financial services sector.


Follow all AP’s stories about Brexit and British politics at https://apnews.com/hub/brexit


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UK, EU on top of finally Brexit trade deal | World | Instant News

If a deal is announced, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be able to claim to have fulfilled the promise that won him a resounding election a year ago: “Finish Brexit”.

Even with the deal, trade between the UK and the EU will face customs checks and other obstacles on January 1. But the deal will prevent the more damaging effects of tariffs and duties. Britain withdraws from the EU on 31 January, and the economic transition period ends on 31 December.

Johnson has always insisted that Britain will “prosper enormously” even if no agreement is reached and the UK must trade with the EU under World Trade Organization terms from January 1.

But his government has acknowledged that a chaotic exit is likely to lead to congestion at British ports, a temporary shortage of some goods and rising prices for staple foods. Tariffs will be applied to many UK exports, including 10% for cars and more than 40% for lamb, hitting the UK economy as it struggles to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Over the past few days, Johnson and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen have grown increasingly drawn into talks, speaking by telephone in an attempt to unblock negotiations that have dragged on for months, hampered by the pandemic and by both sides. ‘opposing views on what Brexit entails.

Rumors of a pre-Christmas trade deal have emerged in recent days based on progress on major issues that are overwhelming: fair competition, future dispute resolution and fishing.


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