March madness seems to transcend from sports to trade these days…
On the US side: As the US President releases more details on the upcoming tariffs, there has also been considerable concern surrounding the national security justification behind the tariff package, as it might be creating precedent for other countries to do the same. President Trump also spoke with the leaders from Argentina, Australia and France and signaled progress made with Australia in reaching an exemption agreement on the tariffs

Global: The 11 member countries of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) (Formerly TPP but now without the United States) signed the new trade agreement in Chile yesterday. 
On the US side: UK Secretary of State for International Trade, Dr. Liam Fox traveled to DC this week to meet with Secretary Ross and USTR Lighthizer to make the case for the EU’s exemption from tariffs. On Saturday  trade representatives from the EU, the US and Japan met to discuss WTO cooperation – read the trilateral statement here. The meeting comes as an indicator of the EU and Japan’s support for US crackdowns on trade against China via the WTO. President Trump also talked trade with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. In other news, the US and South Korean negotiators met in Washington for the third round of talks on renegotiating the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement.
On the EU side:
 The EU is in the process of negotiation with the U.S. as it attempts to be exempted from the new US tariffs on steel and aluminium. The European Union released a 10-page list of potential targets for retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products. The European Commission also reported on progress in trade talks with Mercosur and Indonesia. Theresa May outlined her Brexit intentions during a speech on Friday, in which she noted the UK will face difficulties, but also re-affirming her commitment to a no-border promise for Ireland. After a long period of negotiation and uncertainty, Germany finally has its coalition government, and it is getting to work. The Italian election this Sunday did not bear fruit as no party won with absolute majority, yet proved the rise of anti-establishment sentiment in the region. The populist Five Star Movement swept the most seats in Parliament, while the Northern league surpassed poll expectations, coming in third and defeating Berlusconi’s Forza Italia.
On the US side: President Trump’s announcement of new tariffs sent shockwaves across its trading allies. Yesterday, President Trump formalized the tariffs, temporarily exempting Canada and Mexico. As the latest round of NAFTA negotiations wrapped up Monday, overcast by President Trump’s announcement of steel and aluminum tariffs. President Trump’s top economic adviser Gary Cohn resigned Tuesday, just days after Trump’s announcement of tariffs.
Upcoming: President Trump is set to attend the Summit of the Americas in Peru in April. The next round of NAFTA negotiations is slated to begin on April 8. EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström  is scheduled to meet with Secretary Ross next week to discuss the steel tariffs and push for an exemption for the EU.

The Trump Administration’s Sanctions Policy: Competence and Questions
A Reflection on Under Secretary Mandelker’s Speech at the Atlantic Council

On March 9th, Under Secretary Mandelker spoke at the Atlantic Council to conclude a half-day sanctions conference. In this article, former US sanctions negotiator and now Atlantic Council distinguished fellow Ambassador Daniel Fried analyses some of Under Secretary Mandelker’s talking points, outlining competencies but also challenges of the Trump administration’s current sanctions policy. Specific talking points included an emphasis on human rights and anti-corruption, along with an explanation of how CAATSA will be expanded upon. Undersecretary Mandelker confirmed that new Russia sanctions are being prepared, and suggested that they would target members of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s power structure. 

Questions remain as to how effective these efforts will be in the future. Particularly, international support and proper resource allocations are areas of grave concern. For the full article, follow this link. A webcast of Mandelker’s speech can be found here.
Want to learn more about the Atlantic Council’s Economic Sanctions Initiative? Read more here.

Official Statement: What You Need to Know About Infrastructure Funding,  The White House
Official Statement: Statements by Vice-President Katainen and Commissioner Malmström at the European Parliament Plenary Debate: US Decision to Impose Tariffs on Steel and Aluminium, European Commission
News: White House Aide Tells Wall Street to ‘Relax’ Over Trade Worries, Katia Dmitrieva, Bloomberg 
Analysis:  Chinese Steelmakers Shrug Off Tariffs on Exports to US, Emily Feng, Financial Times
Blog Post: Trump Steel Tariffs Could Kill Up to 40,000 Auto Jobs, Equal to Nearly One-Third of Steel Workforce, Benn Steil and Benjamin Della Rocca, Council on Foreign Relations
Blog Post: Trump’s Steel and Aluminum Tariffs are Counterproductive. Here Are 5 More Things You Need to Know, Chad P. Bown, Peterson Institute for International Economics
Analysis: Trump, China, and Steel Tariffs: The Day the WTO Died, Edward Alden,  Council on Foreign Relations 

Opinion: Under the Guise of Security, Trump Sets a Protectionist Fire, Daniel J. Ikenson, Cato Institute 
News: Trump Tariffs May Derail Delicate Global Economic Recovery with Prospect of Trade War, Japan Times

Analysis: The Places in America Most Exposed to a Trade War, Ana Swanson, Ted Mellnik, and Darla Cameron, The Washington Post
News: France Tells Trump a Trade War Won’t Go his Way, Jakob Hanke, and Hands von der Burchard, Politico           
News: Trudeau Floats Tariffs to Prevent Flood of Steel Through Canada, Josh Wingrove, Bloomberg
Report: The Transatlantic Economy 2018: Annual Survey of Jobs, Trade and Investment Between the United States and Europe, Daniel S. Hamilton, and Joseph P. Quinlan, AmCham EU
Opinion: The Debate on Trade Deficits is Littered with Misconceptions, Joseph E. Gagnon, The Hill 

News: Britain Can Sign Trade Deals While in Single Market, Brussels Rules, Oliver Wright, and Bruno Waterfield, The Times 
Analysis: Six Wins as KORUS Turns Six, Nicholas Montella, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Opinion: Pacific Nations Leave the US in the Rearview Mirror on Trade, Earl Anthony Wayne, The Hill 

Analysis: Theresa May’s Impossible Vision for Brexit, Jonathan Hopkin, Foreign Affairs


Did you know…that the phrase “March Madness” was first coined in connection with the NCAA in 1982 when sportscaster Brent Musburger mentioned it during his tournament coverage? The average single-game ticket costs about $212, roughly 1.3 million extra barrels of beer are produced to keep up with increased demand, and estimates are that distracted employees cost businesses about $6.3 billion per year. (Wallethub


Analysis: Why is Free Trade Good?, The Economist
Report: This is What Countries Around The World Think of Globalization, Jeff Desjardins, World Economic Forum
Analysis: Artificial Intelligence Rules More of Your Life. Who Rules AI?, Heidi Vogt, The Wall Street Journal
News: Google to Ban Ads for Cryptocurrencies, Lara O’Reilly and Douglas MacMillan, The Wall Street Journal     
Opinion: Bitcoin Is Not The Answer to a Cashless Society, Benoît Cœuré and Jacqueline Loh, Financial Times
News: Whitehouse Says It’s Blocking Broadcom Bid For Rival Qualcomm, Steven Overly, Politico  
Paper: Why is it So Hard to Reach the EU’s Poverty Target?, Zsolt Darvas, Springer
Opinion: Capital is On its Way to America, but for the Wrong Reasons, The Economist


News: Eurozone Central Bank Inches Toward Stimulus Exit, Deutsche Welle
News: Germany and France to Postpone Eurozone Reform Plan: Report, Hans von der Burchard, Politico      
Analysis: Too Close for Comfort: European Geostrategy and the Transatlantic Alliance, Jeremy Shapiro, European Council on Foreign Relations
Analysis: Multilateralism for a Despotic Age, Dalibor Rohac, AEI 
Analysis: America v China: How Trade Wars Become Real Wars, Gideon Rachman, Financial Times
Blog Post: Addressing the Dark Side of the Crypto World, Christine Lagarde, IMF Blog

March 16: How to Create a Better, More Efficient Approach to Infrastructure, Brookings Institute
March 16: Nothing Miraculous About It: China’s Economic Growth and the Great Wall of Debt, Wilson Center
March 22: The Future of Infrastructure Policy Under the Trump Administration: Remarks from Department of Transportation Under Secretary Derek KanAEI
April 3: Blended Finance and Aligning Private Investment with Global Development – Report Launch, CSIS
April 9: Italy’s Threat to the Euro, AEI

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 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.

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