TRADE in ACTION – February 23, 2017

This week in the newsletter: After negotiations ended in 2013, the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement entered into force. On the European side, global leaders met at the Munich Security Conference, and the EU and Japan agreed to work towards an early conclusion of their FTA negotiations, while Chancellor Merkel met with IMF’s Christine Lagarde and President Juncker. In the US, Wilbur Ross is scheduled to be confirmed as US Secretary of Commerce next Monday.

Here’s How to Keep TTIP Alive

In his first month as President of the United States, Donald Trump has removed the United States from TPP negotiations, stated his intention to renegotiate the terms of NAFTA, and has signaled a shift away from large multilateral trade deals in favor of bilateral deals that are limited in scope. As a result of this large shift in US trade policy, TTIP negotiations have faded from the spotlight and are currently on hold. While TTIP is not a priority for the Trump administration for now there is a lot that can be done to put this important issue back on its radar. What are options for the short and medium term? What are the scenarios for the long term? Atlantic Council’s Marie Kasperek has these answers and more insight here. If you want to learn more about Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) between the United States and Europe and why they need each other, check out this informative Atlantic Council EconoGraphic.

Press Release: WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement Enters Into Force, World Trade Organziation
News: Trump Administration Considers Change in Calculating US Trade Deficit, William Mauldin and Devlin Barrett, The Wall Street Journal 
Opinion: Former USTR: Withdrawing from Trade Agreements not the Answer, Michael Froman, Planet Princeton
Poll: In US, Record-High 72% See Foreign Trade as Opportunity, Gallup
Report: Trade Developments in 2016: Policy Uncertainty Weighs on World Trade, World Bank
News: EU Trade Commissioner Warns US against Trade War, Till Hoppe, Handelsblatt
Opinion: Trump, Trade and the EU: Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right, John Springford and Christian Odendahl, Centre For European Reform 
Opinion: Treat Mexico as the Important Ally and Trading Partner it is, Earl Anthony Wayne, Newsweek
OpinionNAFTA in Need of an Update, Rachel Ansley, New Atlanticist
News: Trump-Trudeau Meeting Sends Positive Signals about NAFTA, Chuck Chiang, Vancouver Sun
News: Merkel, Lagarde Close Ranks on Debt Relief, Jan Hildebrand Martin Greive, Handelsblatt
Podcast: New Zealand Prime Minister, Bill English: TPP ‘Still a Goer’ for Australia and New Zealand, NewstalkZB

tweet of the week 1 February 23 2017
Did you know…
..that with the ratification of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) by Rwanda, Oman, Chad, and Jordan on February 22nd, the WTO has surpassed the 110 member (two-thirds of total membership) threshold needed for the TFA to enter into force? The agreement aims to simplify international trade processes by reducing bureaucratic regulations governing imports/exports.  The United States was the third country to ratify the TFA having submitted its letter of acceptance on January 23, 2015.

Op-Ed: In Praise of Globalization, Carl Bildt, Handelsblatt Global
Speech: WTO Press Conference — Entry into Force of Trade Facilitation Agreement, Roberto Azevêdo, World Trade Organization (WTO)
Opinion: Sell the Benefits of Globalization: Rio Tinto Chief Jean-Sebastien Jacques, Edmund Tadros, Australian Financial Review
Opinion: Globalization in Crisis: Not a Zero-Sum Game, Unless We Make It, Arindam Bhattacharya, The Financial Express
Opinion: Without Globalization, Inequality Would Have Grown, not Massively Reduced, Jim O’Neill, Australian Financial Review

Opinion: Engage Constructively with Trump, IMF Advises Europe’s Leaders, Stefan Wagstyl, Financial Times
Interactive Charts and Maps: Who are the UK’s Trading Partners? Explore UK Trade through Key Charts and Maps, Office for National Statistics
Economic Survey: Italian Economy Overview 2017, Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)
Press Release: European Semester Winter Package: Review of Member States’ Progress Towards Economic and Social Priorities, European Commission
Analysis: Eurozone Growth Bucks Political Unease, Simon Nixon, Wall Street Journal

February 27: Secretary of Commerce Confirmation Vote for Mr. Wilbur Ross (Scheduled)
February 27: Cecilia Malmström meets with José Manuel Gonzalez, European Co-Chair of the Transatlantic Business Council
March 1: The Office of US Trade Representative is Scheduled to Release its Annual Report on the President’s Trade Agenda
March 17-18: Meeting of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in Baden-Baden, Germany
July 7-8: G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany

March 2: The EU as a Global Trade Partner – Student Debate with Cecilia Malmström 1:00PM at the University of Malta
March 13: Negotiating Trade Authority: Remarks from Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) on the Division of Congressional and Executive Powers 5:15 PM at the American Enterprise Institute 

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

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