TRADE IN ACTION March 2, 2018


On the EU side: Brexit negotiations resume between U.K. and EU officials on the thorny issue of the transition period.   

On Wednesday, the EU released the draft Brexit withdrawal agreement. Prime Minister Theresa May laid out her vision today, Friday.  EU trade ministers met in Sofia to talk about the state of play in trade talks with Mexico and Mercosur, among other things. Furthermore, EU Trade Commissioner Malmström unveils her 15-point plan to make EU trade and sustainable development chapters more effective.
On the US side: The seventh round of Nafta negotiations started this week in Mexico City. For an update on the USTR’s negotiation objectives for this round of NAFTA negotiations, watch this video. The annual report on the US trade agenda was released and clearly expressed the administration’s wish for the renewal of trade promotion authority (TPA). While Chinese economic adviser Liu He is in Washington to meet with several US government officials, President Trump announced today he will be approving a new 25% tariff on steel imports and 10% tariff on aluminum imports.
The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership(CPTPP) is scheduled to be signed next week. The eighth round of NAFTA negotiations is expected to take place during the second week of April in the United States.

Are Italians Giving the Establishment the Boot?
EconoGraphic by the Atlantic Council


Italians go to the polls on March 4th to elect a new government. Under a new electoral system, the outcome is uncertain. The inequality-stricken southern region is showing greater support for anti-establishment, largely Eurosceptic parties than the north. This rise in anti-establishment sentiment in Italy is mirrored across several advanced economies in the EU and beyond.

Stagnant middle-class wages, rising income inequality, and growing economic uncertainty are economic forces that are pushing middle class voters toward anti-establishment parties. In Italy’s case, weaker support for establishment parties will likely result in a hung parliament, and increased political uncertainty for Italy in the near future. Read the full analysis here.        
Official Report: 2018 Trade Policy Agenda and 2017 Annual Report, Office of the United States Trade Representative, Executive Office of the President
Official Document: European Commission Draft Withdrawal Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandEuropean Commission
Fact Sheet: Questions & Answers: Publication of the Draft Withdrawal Agreement Between the European Union and the United KingdomEuropean Commission
ReportCommissioner Malmström Unveils 15-Point Plan to Make EU Trade and Sustainable Development Chapters More EffectiveEuropean Commission
NewsTrump to Impose Stiff Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum, Ana Swanson, The New York Times
OpinionTrump Declares His Trade War: Targets Steel, Aluminum, Jonathan Swan, Axios
Blog PostHow to Avert a Trade War with China, Ryan Hass, Brookings
News: WTO Chief Roberto Azevedo Warns of Increased Risk of ‘Trade Wars’, Deutsche Welle
News: EU, Japan Seek to Push Through Trade Deal Before Brexit, Philip Blenkinsop, Reuters
AnalysisBrexit: 10 Observations on the Draft Withdrawal Agreement, David Allen Green, Financial Times
NewsBrexit Legal Text Signals Greater EU Urgency, David Herszenhorn, and Jacobo Barigazzi, Politico 
Official Paper: Background Paper On the EU’s WTO Priorities in the Post-MC11 Context, European Commission
Commentary: Trade Conflict With the U.S. is the Only Way to Protect Free Trade, Sebastian Dullien, ECFR 
News: NAFTA Talks Go Into Their Seventh Round. Canada Isn’t Optimistic, Joel Baglole, The Washington Post
AnalysisGlobal Trade Flows Rise at Quickest Rate Since 2011, Paul Hannon, The Wall Street Journal


Did you know…that after years of increases, the share of women earning undergraduate degrees in economics has begun to decline? Read more on why female voices are scarce in economics here

Analysis: IMF Urges Action on Europe’s Generation Gap, Paul Hannon, The Wall Street Journal
Blog Post: Blockchain to Accelerate Transatlantic Trade, Kati Suominen, CSIS
News: Silicon Valley Faces Make or Break Moment Amid Big Tech Backlash, Alyssa Newcomb, NBC News
Paper: Global Rules of Digital Trade, Laura Dawson, Canadian Global Affairs Institute
Analysis: Welfare Lessons From Finland, Martin Sandbu, Financial Times
Analysis: The Rise of Tech Giants May Be Bad News for the Economy, Alessandro Speciale, Bloomberg

Analysis: How Big a Threat is Italy’s Election?Capital Economics
Analysis: Brexiting Bad: 5 Ways the UK Could Go Rogue, David M. Herszenhorn, Politico
AnalysisItaly Resigns Itself to the Euro But Risks Remain, Pierre Briançon, Politico
NewsAngela Merkel Unveils Cabinet Picks, Matthew Karnitschnig, Politico
Opinion: German Directness, American Euphemisms: The Hell of Cross-Cultural Communication, John Otto Magee, Handelsblatt Global 
News: Brexit and the Border: The Great Reckoning?, Tony Connelly, RTE
Paper: Tackling Women’s Underrepresentation in U.S. Politics: Comparative Perspectives From Europe, Saskia Brechenmacher, Carnegie Endowment

March 1: Restoring Trust in Euro-Atlantic Relations: A Conversation with OSCE Secretary General Thomas GremingerWilson Center
March 4
Labor Markets and EnvironmentCenter for Economic Policy Research
March 5: 
Bipartisan Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer ProtectionHeritage Foundation
March 5: 
China’s Rapid Rise as a Green Finance ChampionWilson Center
March 8: 
Inequality & Opportunity Summit 2018Aspen Institute 
March 9: 
Sanctions in Trump Era – One Year InAtlantic Council

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

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