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Congressional Democrats and the US Trade Representative (USTR) are inching toward agreement on key elements of the US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The Trump administration is aiming to achieve Congressional approval of the new trade agreement during September or October, when it still may be possible to get it through the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives before 2020 electioneering is in full swing. 

The US administration just announced a new $4 billion list of European Union (EU) products which it could apply additional tariffs on in response to the ongoing dispute between both sides of the Atlantic over government subsidies to aerospace companies Boeing and Airbus. While the United States thinks it can create better economic outcomes by forcing concessions out of Europe, this new action will only continue the lose-lose spiral of threats gripping the transatlantic trade relationship. Washington could pursue a different strategy, however, by legitimately working with Europe to reduce government subsidies, while also taking tangible steps to strengthen antitrust enforcement at home. The transatlantic trade environment, growth prospects, and public finances would greatly benefit from such a change in approach.

A sigh of relief reverberated from Osaka when US President Donald J. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to resume trade negotiations. Important as it is, this agreement overshadowed another development which will weaken the world’s ability to forge a consensus to tackle pressing common challenges: the Group of Twenty (G20) has effectively turned into the ‘Group of Nineteen Plus One.’

While headlines from the Group of Twenty (G20) summit in Osaka, Japan understandably focused on the latest trade war truce between the powerhouse economies of China and the United States, media coverage unfortunately overlooked a strategically significant trade policy pivot at the summit.

The group of global policy makers in Osaka acknowledged the growing importance that the digital economy plays for supporting economic growth and innovation, and the need for the trade policy paradigm to account for this shift. While a substantial number of key policies needed to complete this shift remain incomplete, by turning their attention toward the digital economy global policy makers could help reignite discussion at the global multilateral trade level at a time when most are obsessed with bilateral negotiations.

Trump lifts some restrictions on Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei

US President Donald J. Trump agreed on June 29 to lift some restrictions on Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei and delay imposing new tariffs on Chinese goods. These concessions were announced following a meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, at which the two leaders agreed to restart trade negotiations between their countries.

“Frankly, this was all fairly predictable,” said Mark Linscott, a senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center and a former assistant US trade representative (USTR) for South and Central Asian Affairs.

“The two sides had already made progress before and intensifying the war is in neither side’s interest,” Linscott said, adding, “At this point, it seems a lot easier to impose tariffs than to lift them, so avoiding new ones makes a lot of sense, particularly to allow more space for negotiation.”

US President Donald J. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping may agree to a temporary ceasefire in their ongoing trade war when they meet in Osaka, Japan, on June 29, but a full trade deal is unlikely, according to Bart Oosterveld, C. Boyden Gray fellow on global finance and growth and director of the Atlantic Council’s Global Business and Economics Program.

Coming up on the anniversary of the July 2018 “trade truce” between European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and US President Donald J. Trump, little progress has been made in trade negotiations between the United States and the European Union (EU). This article is the fourth in a series that will take stock of the opportunities in and challenges to the deepest trading relationship in the world and focuses on opportunities for further deepening and the potential impact on jobs and investment due to the current stalemate.

US consumers and importers are already paying a price for trade tensions between the United States and China. They are bearing almost entirely the tariff revenue collected at the US border. Escalation is also likely to affect business sentiment and investment.

Over the course of four days in June, more than 8,000 world leaders, influencers, practitioners, advocates, academics, activists, and journalists gathered in Vancouver, Canada, to discuss how to accelerate progress for girls and women around the globe. The Women Deliver conference included important conversations about the future of work and women’s economic participation. Importantly, the debate demonstrated how the dialogue on the role of the private sector is shifting: from corporate responsibility to corporate interest and from social impact to bottom line impact—and increasingly both.

Coming up on the anniversary of the July 2018 “trade truce” between European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and US President Donald J. Trump, little progress has been made in trade negotiations between the United States and the European Union. This article is the third in a series that will take stock of the opportunities in and challenges to the deepest trading relationship in the world and focuses on WTO reform.

The World Trade Organization (WTO), the largest multilateral trade organization and the foundation of the global trading system, has increasingly drawn the ire of the United States and other countries that view the organization as outdated and complacent as other countries skirt the rules to get ahead.

Coming up on the anniversary of the July 2018 “trade truce” between European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and US President Donald J. Trump, little progress has been made in trade negotiations between the United States and the European Union. This article is the second in a series that will take stock of the opportunities in and challenges to the deepest trading relationship in the world and focuses on two current high-profile disputes.

US frustrations with the functioning and role of the World Trade Organization (WTO) figure prominently in the background of discussions with key trading partners, including the European Union (EU).  The United States and a number of its allies have for some time flagged areas of the WTO process they consider problematic. These include the self-designation as developing countries by China and others, which allows them to commit to a narrower range of WTO obligations; the notification procedures under which member countries are supposed to (but often do not) disclose information about domestic subsidies and other economic policies affecting trade; and the organization’s dispute resolution system.



    

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