TRADE in ACTION – February 2, 2017

This week in TRADEinACTION: President Trump roils relations with Mexico, British PM Theresa May announced she will trigger Brexit negotiations on March 9, IMF’s Christine Lagarde visits the Atlantic Council on February 8, and Japan’s PM Abe to meet with President Trump in Washington, DC on February 10.

Trump’s Wall Drives a Wedge Between the United States and Mexico

In his first two weeks in office, President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to begin construction of a wall on the Mexican border, floated the idea of imposing a 20% tax on goods imported from Mexico, and issued an ultimatum to the President of Mexico, Enrique Pena Nieto to either pay for the wall or cancel their planned meeting- President Nieto opted to cancel the meeting“Now a destabilized relationship threatens decades of bipartisan work. Today’s events are dangerous for the immediate and long-term security and economy of the United States” – Jason Marczak, director, Latin America Economic Growth Initiative, Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center. The recent developments pose some pressing questions: What is the future of the US-Mexico relationship? What are the implications for trade and NAFTA? Atlantic Council’s Ashish Kumar Sen, Peter Schechter, and Jason Marczak have the answers. 

Announcement by President Trump: Manufacturing Jobs Initiative, The White House
Presidential Executive Order: Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory CostsThe White House
Statement by Press Secretary Sean Spicer: All Trade Deals Under Review, The White House
News: Trump Says Plans lots of Bilateral Trade Deals with Quick Termination Clauses, Steve Holland, Reuters
EU News: EU and Mexico Agree to Accelerate Trade Talks, European Commission
Brexit News: Theresa May will Trigger Brexit on March 9, Esther King, Politico
Opinion: A Trump Trade Agenda, Marc L. Busch,  Diplomatic Courier
Blog: Will TTIP Be Shot Down or Rebranded as the ‘Trump Trade and Investment Partnership, Tereza Novotna, LSE Business Review
Opinion: ‘Trump Country’ Might Suffer More in a Trade War, Study Says, Bob Davis, The Wall Street Journal
Podcast: Unpacking America’s Complex Trade with Mexico, Sabri Ben-Achour, Marketplace
Video: After Trump’s TPP Withdrawal, What’s Next for US Trade Deals?,
Opinion: Wait…TPP Isn’t Dead? Peter Buxbaum, Global Trade
Opinion: EU Must Seek New Trade Deals if United States Looks Inward: Eurogroup President, Anthony Deutsch, Reuters
Blog: Is Peter Navarro Wrong on Trade?, Michael Pettis, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
White Paper Brexit: The United Kingdom’s Exit From and New Partnership with the European Union, HM Government UK

tweet of the week 1 February 2 2017
Did you know…?
that Americans would need to buy 25 billion avocados for Mexico to pay for the wall? President Donald Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer said that one of the possibilities of paying for the wall between the US and Mexico is to make Mexico pay by putting a 20 percent import tax on Mexican goods. In the end, it would be US consumers paying additional costs for Mexican products to make up the total.
Taking the example of avocados, that would necessitate that Americans buy between 20 and 25 billion avocados. US consumers buy 3.4 billion avocados from overseas each year, meaning that it would take 6-7 years’ worth of avocado consumption for “Mexico” to finish paying for the wall. (Chicago Tribune)

Opinion: Yes, Protectionism can Save some US Jobs, But at what Cost? Empirical Evidence Suggests it’s very, very Expensive, Mark J. Perry, AEIIdeas
Commentary: On Globalization, China and the United States  Are Closer Than They Appear, Greg Ip, Wall Street Journal
Opinion: Pope’s Term ‘Cooperative Globalization’ Call to Rethink Economic Responsibility, Devin Sean Watkins, Radio Vaticana
Opinion: Retreat from Globalisation Will Destabilise the World Economy, Mohamed El-Erian, The Guardian

Neil Gorsuch: Who is He? Bio, Facts, Background and Political Views of President Trump”s Attorney General Nominee, Josh Gerstein, Politico
Opinion: Mexico’s Seven Bargaining Chips, Robbie Gramer and Emily Tamkin, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Op-Ed: 2017– A Make or Break Year for Europe, Jean-Claude Juncker, Politico Europe
Official Letter to EU heads of Government: “United We Stand, Divided We Fall”, European Council President Donald Tusk,  Consilium
Data Report: Eurozone Economy on Pace With United States, Paul Hannon and William Horobin, Wall Street Journal
Opinion: Trump Devaluation Claims Raise Fears of Global Currency War, Shawn Donnan, Robin Harding, and Katie Martin, Financial Times

February 10: Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, meets Trump at the White House

February 3: Trumping Trade Orthodoxy
February 7: Recent Developments in EMEA Impacting Business – Panel Discussion and Reception at Baker McKenzie​
February 8: The Power of Transparency to Increase Economic Resilience with Christine Lagarde at the Atlantic Council

Your Newsletter Team:
Marie Kasperek, Associate Director, Global Business & Economics, Atlantic Council
John Butler, Program Intern

Please send us suggested news stories, opinion pieces, publications, and upcoming events that you would like us to highlight! Email with your ideas and suggestions.
The views expressed in this newsletter and linked external articles and content do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Atlantic Council, its staff, or its sponsors.