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Analysis – The EU-US Trade and Tech Council as the new ‘friend-shoring’ vehicle

The EU US Trade and Technology Council has somewhat fallen off global headlines amid the war in Ukraine and the related fallout for the global economy, global supply chains and global politics. But despite its structural weaknesses as a forum to deepen economic ties across the Atlantic, it is defying …

In-depth briefings Investment ISDS MIC ICS Latest news

Analysis: Even the EU cannot be fully consistent on investment protection in FTAs

The EU’s international investment protection policies are not 100% consistent, Nikos Lavranos concludes after examining the relevant chapters of the bloc’s trade agreements with Vietnam and Singapore and CETA. The perceived inconsistency in existing bilateral investment agreements and the jurisprudence of international arbitral tribunals established under those BITs have been …

Beyond Brussels In-depth briefings Latest news Steel United States WTO crisis and reform WTO dispute settlement

Beyond Brussels: WTO complaints against US duties are similar, but not the same

So far, six World Trade Organization members have lodged complaints challenging President Donald Trump’s assertion that tariffs on steel and aluminium are needed to protect US national security. They are broadly similar, but hardly identical, and some of the differences are quite noteworthy.   More members have ganged together in …

EU FTAs & bilateral ties In-depth briefings Latest news Mercosur Mexico

Blog: EU-Mexico agreement – key elements

The European Commission has released an 18-page document on the EU-Mexico free trade deal that was concluded over the weekend. Here are the distilled contents of the modernisation exercise, with yours truly’s knee-jerk reactions and annotations.   Negotiators will work over the coming months on a final pact ready to …

Brexit & UK trade Brexit comment In-depth briefings UK-EU negotiations

Technical briefing: EU Commission offers glimpse of ‘hard’ Brexit

Be prepared to run away from Britain, and to run fast. That is, in short, the message the European Commission is sending to non-EU exporters and to UK exporters as part of its ‘Brexit preparedness’ activities with businesses representatives. The commission has been issuing a long list of notices to …

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EU Japan EPA text analysis – Easy on the ambition?

The European Commission published the bulk of the text of the EU Japan Economic Partnership Agreement in early December last year.   Below some highlights of the pact and some comments – result of your truly’s Christmas break reading. The deal favours significantly EU exporters and is relatively unambitious in services.

In-depth briefings ISDS MIC ICS

Insight: How the EU intends to fast-track its multilateral investment court plans

The EU Commission is preparing the ground for negotiations towards a multilateral investment court – MIC. Member states will be working on a negotiating mandate in the coming weeks and months. Nikos Lavranos explains that the Commission hopes to fast-track the process by taking the so-called ‘Mauritius approach’.    On …