On the EU Side: After the end of Estonia’s term, Bulgaria has taken up the rotating six-month EU Council presidency.
More on the prospects of the new presidency here. French President Emmanuel Macron paid a historical visit to China with a strong agenda for a closer and more balanced trading relationship between China and Europe. 
On the US Side: After repeated worries and mixed reports on whether President Trump would pull out of NAFTA, an interview with President Trump in the Wall Street Journal earlier this week seems to indicate that withdrawal might be off the table- for now.
Upcoming: President Donald Trump will be attending Davos in Switzerland this year. The annual gathering is scheduled for January 23-26, with the theme “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World”. On the sidelines of the Davos meeting, the WTO is scheduled to host a mini ministerial meeting on January 26 to discuss how to further strengthen the WTO and international trade. In other news, the India- ASEAN Summit is scheduled for January 25. Negotiators from the United States, Canada and Mexico meet in late January for the sixth and penultimate round of NAFTA renegotiation talks.
On our radar: Trade promotion authority law (TPA), passed in 2015, will expire on July 1 unless President Trump requests a three-year renewal by April 1. Congress could block a renewal by passing a resolution of disapproval before the July 1 deadline (Politico). More on the issue here.

Will Global Trade Survive 2018?

The future of the global trade system faces more risk and uncertainty than at any time since it was created after World War II. This year promises to be a decisive one for trade.” – Robert A. Manning, Atlantic Council 

In a recent Foreign Policy article, Atlantic Council expert Robert Manning outlines the current challenges trade is facing: structural hurdles, challenges posed by fast-emerging new technologies, and not least, lingering populist-nationalist, anti-globalization backlash in the West. Last year’s WTO ministerial meeting in Argentina ended indecisively on December 13. But the biggest wildcard impacting the future of trade is President Donald Trump’s sharp reversal of the historical U.S. role.

Read more on what this means for global trade, what it means specifically for trade negotiations, and how it might result in a trade war as early as in 2018. 

Interview: President Trump on NAFTA, Mexican Elections, the Mexican Border Wall and South KoreaThe Wall Street Journal
Official Document:
Tax Reform: Where Have We Been and Where Are We Going?, Kevin Hassett, White House
After Tax Cuts, Watch America’s Trade Deficit Surge, Ben White, Politico Money
Statement on Submission of Steel Section 232 Report to the PresidentDepartment of Commerce
Statement on the Conclusion of Meeting on the U.S.-Korea (KORUS) FTA, Office of the United States Trade Representative
KORUS: What Could Be Changed in the US-South Korea Trade Deal, Wendy Cutler, CNBC
The Weaponization of the Language of Trade, Rebecca Harding, Financial Times 
Decisions on Trio of Trade Partners Loom Large for US in 2018, Earl Anthony Wayne, The Hill 
It’s in America’s National Interest to Stay in NAFTA, Anthony Earl Wayne, The National Interest
Will Trump Punish the Farm Belt?, The Editorial Board, The Wall Street Journal 
US Economic Outlook, Ben White, Jack Lew, Politico Money 
US Trade Deficit Rises More Than Expected to a Near 6-Year High on Record Imports, CNBC
Trump Readies Full Trade Arsenal, Kevin Nealer, CSIS 
China’s U.S. Debt Holdings May Be an Ace Card in Trade Dispute, Sarah McGregor, Bloomberg
Trilateral Trade Deal would Rein in China’s Expanding Power, Emanuele Scimia, Asia Times
Digital Trade in North America, Jessica R. Nicholson, U.S. Department of Commerce Office of the Chief Economist
Non-Tariff Barriers to Trade are the Biggest Issue Facing Companies, Paul Johnson, The Times
US Urges Britain to Press ‘Reset Button’ on Food Rules After Brexit, Laura Hughes, Financial Times
The Post-Brexit Trade Deals that Britain Needs to Prioritise, Gemma Tetlow, Financial Times
UK Looks to Join Pacific Trade Group after Brexit, Henry Mance, Jim Pickard, Shawn Donnan, Financial Times 
Eurozone Manufacturing Sector Growth Hits Record, Nicholas Megaw, Financial Times 
MiFID II Passes First Implementation Test, Jorge Valero Euractiv 
France’s Macron Visits China to Talk Fairer Trade and the Future, Rick Noack and James McAuley, The Washington Post


Did you know…
that during the 2016 election, over 75% of rural voters within America’s farming belts voted for Donald Trump? Now, farmers are overwhelmingly voicing strong concerns about the administration’s possible break-up with NAFTA and are extending the movement to Twitter with the hashtag #farmers4NAFTA.

Analysis: The Cashless Society Has Arrived— Only It’s in China, Alyssa Abkowitz, The Wall Street Journal
News: Forget Bitcoin – Now Dogecoin Goes Wild, Robert Plummer, BBC News
News: Global Manufacturers Strain to Keep Up With Faster Economy, Fergal O’Brien, Bloomberg
Analysis: Do Globalisation and World Trade Fuel Inequality?, Jeffrey Frankel, The Guardian
Opinion: The Looming Digital Meltdown, Zeynep Tufekci, The New York Times
Opinion: The Missing Ingredients for Growth, A. Michael Spence, Karen Karniol-Tambour, Council on Foreign Relations
Blog Post: Gamechanger: The Digital Payment Boom in India, IMF Blog
Analysis: Two Security Flaws in Modern Chips Cause Big Headaches for the Tech Business, The Economist
Event Webcast: Globalization at a Crossroads, Danish Institute for International Studies 
Paper: The End of Liberal International Order?, G. John Ikenberry, International Affairs
News: Brussels Looks at Easing Bank Capital Rules to Spur Green Investment, Jim Brunsden, Financial Times

Report: Top Risks 2018, Ian Bremmer, Cliff Kupchan, Eurasia Group
Analysis: Making China Great Again, Evan Osnos, The New Yorker
Blog Post: Order From Chaos: The Brexit Options, Explained, Douglas A. Rediker, Brookings
Analysis: 6 European Elections to Watch this Year, Emma Anderson, Politico
Blog Post: Europe’s MiFID II Challenge to U.S. Finance, The Editors, Bloomberg
Analysis: Southern EU States Unite on Populism and Migration, Caterina Tani, EUObserver 
Blog Post: Year in Review: Top 5 Foreign Market Developments in 2017, JD Supra
Analysis: The EU and US in the Age of Trump, Andrew Rettman, EU Observer
Opinion: Transatlantic Relationship Status: It’s Complicated, Arne Lietz, International Politics and Society
Opinion: The New World Disorder and the Fracturing of the West, Martin Wolf, Financial Times
Report: A Post-American Europe and the Future of U.S. Strategy, Thomas Wright, Brookings

January 12: Economic Growth Dialogue: The time to invest in Europe is now! European American Chamber of Commerce New York 
January 17: Brexit and the Food System: Trade, Environmental, and Security, Chatham House
January 19: Iran Looks East, Atlantic Council
January 30: Trust and Estate Update, European American Chamber of Commerce New York 
February 2: Can an Internationally Competitive Tax System Protect Its Tax Base? IIEL Georgetown 

Your Newsletter Team:
Marie Kasperek, Associate Director, Global Business & Economics, Atlantic Council
Alexatrini Tsiknia, Intern, Global Business & Economics, Atlantic Council 

Please send us suggested news stories, opinion pieces, publications, and upcoming events that you would like us to highlight! Email mkasperek@AtlanticCouncil.org 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.

© 2017 Atlantic Council

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