The fundamental goal of any trade agreement is to promote and undergird government adherence to rule of law, which in turn enables private economic activity to thrive. When coupled with commitments to market access, individuals and companies are free to do business anywhere in the world.
The U.S. and China signed a trade deal on Jan 15. Attempting to rewire China’s economic system cannot be achieved in one pass – an agreement this ambitious would have to be built in phases. What does that mean for the future of trade deals?
Labor provisions are an increasingly important feature in trade agreements. But do they work? Despite the attention paid to labor provisions in trade deals like USMCA, domestic policy, not trade agreements, might be the most direct – and most effective – way to improve workers’ lot, especially in advanced countries like the United States.
President Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced their desire to “build a new partnership” after meeting in August, potentially through a bilateral free trade agreement. Beyond any political merits or challenges, the potential commercial benefits of a U.S.-Brazil FTA can be shown through textbook economics.
Many American farmers and ranchers breathed a sigh of relief when the United States and Japan formally signed a U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement in September. However, U.S. agricultural producers are not completely out of the woods.
In 2016 the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union (EU). The three years of negotiation that ensued have thus far been about the terms of a “withdrawal agreement” which provides for a transition trade agreement. The longer-term trade arrangements between the EU and the UK are still up for negotiation.
As rallying calls of “Trade for All” and economic inclusion reverberate throughout national trade agendas, international forums, and across trade negotiation tables, here’s a closer look at trade and gender issues, how trade agreements of the past have addressed them, and how a new generation of trade and gender chapters aim to change the narrative.
An estimated 152 million children in the world today are in child labor. Provisions on labor issues have proliferated in trade agreements since NAFTA was implemented. But child labor is a complex problem requiring complex and situational solutions. Only concerted action in local communities and throughout global supply chains will make widespread and demonstrable improvements to lives of the millions of children who are mainly not included in the scope of a trade agreement.
Every policy realm has its jargon. Trade policy is no exception. The difference between a country’s weighted average bound tariff and its weighted average applied tariff is called “water in the tariff schedule”. It’s a topic of discussion in WTO negotiations over what the starting point for tariff cuts should be.
The art of bracketology is crucial in both March Madness and trade negotiations. Consensus is the goal, as trade negotiation texts move from “plenary” sessions with all 164 players on the court to a single agreed text, often with the help of chairperson who serves at turns as coach, referee, and cheerleader for the negotiations.