Complexity and ambiguity are the new reality of global trade policy.
The EU and the UK are investing strongly in finding an arrangement to address some British concerns over the Northern Ireland Protocol negotiated in the 2019 Brexit agreement. As things stand, reaching a deal will be very difficult. Succeeding however would draw a big prize for the UK’s diplomatic relationships …
The year 2023 should offer political space for key trade policy files involving the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States to come to fruition ahead elections in 2024. Global trade policy is in a parlous state: this should also be a year for serious reflection about what …
Since President Trump’s election in 2016 there has been a concerted effort from other countries to save the WTO from the US moving against the fundamentals of the global trading system. As 2022 ends it is clear that these efforts have been only partially successful – to say the least. …
Recent political debates show that British politicians are finally starting to grasp the nature of trade-offs inherent in trade policy whilst stakeholders eye a future Labour government for change in policy direction.
The recent Brazilian election has renewed hopes that the EU-Mercosur free trade agreement can be ratified in the next twelve months. EU negotiators hope to complete free trade agreement negotiations with Australia within the same timeframe. Rising protectionism within the EU may however dash those hopes.
Recent political turmoil in the United Kingdom has encouraged a number of Brussels policy-makers to start thinking about how to shape closer relations with the European Union’s former member. This also reflects changes in mood in the UK. But strengthening bilateral relationships will take time and small, gradual steps.
Optimism surrounding the outcome of June’s WTO Ministerial has dissipated with regards to putting in place a fully functioning dispute settlement system. There is considerable economic risk from failure to which policy-makers should be paying much greater attention.
Leaders from 44 countries are holding an inaugural European Political Community meeting in Prague this week. The new forum could provide a setting for continent-wide dialogue and cooperation on critical trade issues linked to today’s challenges in the area of supply chain resilience or digital.
The new European Union proposal on prohibiting products made with forced labour triggered a discussion about the role of national authorities in its enforcement. This is only one example of the significant implementation and institutional challenges raised by Brussels’ new unilateral trade policy agenda.