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You searched for: Content Type Policy Brief Remove constraint Content Type: Policy Brief Publishing Institution Chatham House Remove constraint Publishing Institution: Chatham House Topic International Trade and Finance Remove constraint Topic: International Trade and Finance
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  • Author: Jim Rollo, Peter Holmes
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The collapse of world trade is threatening to create a negative feedback loop to the global economy. Some countries have seen their trade fall by 30–50% in the year to February 2009, a bigger fall than between 1929 and 1930. Annual figures for world trade in 2008 show a big fall in the fourth quarter – a trend that has been accelerating. The world's trade ministers have failed to get the Doha Development Agenda back on track, despite direct instructions from the G20 leaders to do so quickly after the November summit in Washington, DC. This failure sends a very powerful negative signal about the G20's lack of policy coordination on even bigger issues. There is a two-way interaction between trade and the macro-economy at a national and global level. The current crisis is threatening countries that rely on export-led growth, a strategy that has led billions out of poverty. It is imperative for there to be recognition that the current shrinkage in global trade is a macro-economic problem requiring macro-economic solutions, and that the necessary actions must be coordinated.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Political Economy
  • Author: Roderick Abbott
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: In an important shift, inspired partly by drift in the Doha Round negotiations, the EU announced in 2006 that it would seek new free trade area arrangements with fast-growing economies, particularly in Asia. The plan, which ended a moratorium on the launch of bilateral trade talks, in place since 1996, was billed explicitly as a contribution to the EU's own growth and jobs strategy as well as a market-opening exercise. However, the policy has so far been no more effective than multilateral negotiations in producing concrete results. Negotiations with South Korea and ASEAN have made only slow progress, while the state of talks with India remains unclear. The EU spent most of 2007 renegotiating long-standing agreements with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries in an effort to satisfy WTO rules. Meanwhile, the EU's partnership agreements with China and Russia have expired, and appropriate successor arrangements are still being sought. In both cases, a number of important bilateral problems and strains will need to be dealt with. With its various trade negotiations treading water, the EU may need to review its options. One could be a more aggressive pursuit of market access, modelled on the US approach. Alternatively, the EU's traditional preference for multilateral engagement may reassert itself.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, China, Europe, Asia, South Korea, Caribbean
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Demand for food is increasing because the global population is rising and major developing economies are expanding. Global supply capacity, meanwhile, is struggling to keep up with changing requirements. Four global food supply scenarios have been developed by the Chatham House Food Supply Project to consider the challenges created and their impact on the EU/UK: 'Just a Blip': what if the present high price of food proves to be a brief spike with a return to cheap food at some point soon? 'Food Inflation': what if food prices remain high for a decade or more? 'Into a New Era': what if today's food system has reached its limits and must change? 'Food in Crisis': what if a major world food crisis develops? Across the world the responses to change will be conditioned by uncertainties surrounding the availability of sufficient energy, water, land and skills. EU/UK stakeholders need to start planning now to develop new food supply systems that are up to the task.
  • Topic: Agriculture, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Population
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Jim Rollo
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Both Korea and the EU are pursuing free trade areas (FTAs) aggressively as part of their trade policy strategies. Korea is much further down the road. There are strong incentives on both sides to conclude an agreement. However, specific issues and EU's desire to do at least as well as, and preferably better than, the Korea–US FTA may delay or even preclude success. Korea and the EU are not principal suppliers to each other, so while an agreement is predicted to be economically favourable to both sides, the effects are not expected to be very large. Korea has the higher barriers and is expected to make the bigger economic gains. There are sensitive sectors on both sides, notably automobiles for the EU and services and processed foods for Korea. Both sides have important agricultural constituencies to protect. Korea's key role in the East Asian production system suggests that rules of origin could be an area of particular difficulty in the negotiation.
  • Topic: Agriculture, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, East Asia, Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Jim Rollo
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The EU and the GCC have seemed close to an agreement on a region-to-region Free Trade Agreement (FTA) – possibly the first in the world between customs unions – for the last two years. The EU seems keener on an agreement than the GCC. An FTA is an element in the EU's Global Europe trade policy strategy and is explicitly linked to energy security concerns. The EU is the GCC's main supplier of goods and services, and since the completion of the GCC Customs Union tariffs are low and the economic effects of an FTA are likely to be small, on goods at least. There may be economic barriers to the final signing of an FTA on both sides: resistance by GCC states to services and investment liberalization; and resistance in the EU over access for GCC refinery products and chemicals. Commentary from the Gulf itself suggests that the EU practice of including clauses on human rights and labour market and environmental regulation may be at the heart of the slow progress from the GCC side.
  • Topic: Environment, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Alex Evans
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Global food prices have risen 83 per cent over the last three years. The increases have been driven by high income growth in emerging economies (probably the single most significant factor), use of crops for biofuels, the relative inelasticity of supply, historically low stock levels and some speculative investment. More recently, national concerns over inflation and prices have led some countries to reduce exports and others to try to build up stocks – creating a feedback loop that feeds on itself to drive prices up still further. In the medium to longer term, 'scarcity trends' – climate change, the cost of energy inputs, scarcity of land and water – could limit the supply-side response. In the immediate term, the priority is to increase both the volume and the quality of humanitarian assistance available to poor people, including by moving away from in-kind food aid and towards cash transfers or voucher systems – although it is important to be clear that there are outstanding questions about how these social protection systems will work, and they should not be seen as a panacea. The issue of compensatory financing may also arise for some countries facing balanceof- payments difficulties. In the longer term, the key challenge is to increase the supply of food: the World Bank estimates that demand for food will rise by 50 per cent by 2030, as a result of rising affluence and growing world population. Achieving this challenge will require something close to a revolution, and a massive investment in agriculture in developing countries. If supply fails to keep pace with rising demand, then the question of 'fair shares' is likely to emerge as a significant global issue. Already, the effect of a burgeoning global middle class switching to diets with more meat and dairy products – both relatively inefficient in terms of grain use – has been to reduce the affordability of staple foods for poorer consumers.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Environment, International Trade and Finance, World Bank, Population
  • Author: Guy de Jonquières
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The troubled history of the Doha trade talks, which suffered their latest breakdown in July 2008, is due to more than differences between members' negotiating positions. It is a symptom of deeper institutional problems in the WTO, as it struggles to adjust to global economic change. At stake are not only prospects for a further push to open world markets, but the primacy of the WTO as the maker and enforcer of the multilateral rules that underpin the international economic order. Although reforms of WTO procedures may be desirable, they will not be enough to restore momentum. WTO members need also to develop a new model of leadership, define a clearer mission for the organization and pursue domestic policies that buttress its role. It is unclear whether governments possess the political energy or commitment required to undertake that effort. But continued drift risks weakening the organization and could, in the longer term, undermine the integrity of the rules-based trade system.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Globalization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Halina Ward
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The business of global governance is set to become one of the key international policy issues of the twenty-first century. The governance of global business is one of the most difficult action points in this agenda. New issues are still emerging, not least among them a discussion on whether there is a need for tougher transnational regulation of multinational corporations. This Briefing Paper outlines the implications of one way of enforcing corporate environmental, social and human rights standards across borders: 'foreign direct liability'.
  • Topic: International Law, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Duncan Brack
  • Publication Date: 04-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The interrelationship between international trade and environmental protection is becoming increasingly important – and controversial. The volume of world trade in goods topped $5 trillion for the first time in 1996, having grown at an average rate of about 8% a year since the signing of the Marrakesh agreement in 1994 which marked the completion of the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations. The set of agreements administered by the World Trade Organization (WTO), centred around the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and covering areas such as agriculture, textiles, services, intellectual property, technical barriers to trade and health standards, represents a significant extension in scope compared with its pre-Uruguay Round version. In turn this means that international trade regulation increasingly impinges on other areas of public policy.
  • Topic: Environment, International Organization, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Chen Yixin
  • Publication Date: 01-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Recent years have seen increasing liberalization of trade in financial services associated with the GATT / WTO negotiations. The Agreement concluded on 13 December 1997 by 70 WTO members will result in a significant impact on the financial services sector for these members. Although China has not yet been admitted to membership of the WTO, it has come under pressure to open its financial services market. Market access in this sector has been not only one of the major issues in its WTO accession talks, but also intrinsically linked to China's ongoing domestic financial system reforms, consistent with the gradualist scheme for its overall economic reform. China has been liberalizing its financial services sector, but only gradually. This paper outlines the reforms in its financial sector since 1979, and then offers an explanation for the slow speed of reform .
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China, Shanghai
  • Author: John Chown
  • Publication Date: 08-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Currency boards have been suggested for Russia, and adopted elsewhere in eastern Europe. Brazil's fixed rate has had to be abandoned, but Argentina is considering replacing its currency board with dollarization, and suggesting this solution for the rest of Latin America. Fixed exchange-rate regimes (and the crawling peg in Russia) have collapsed in Southeast Asia but Hong Kong, which had a formal currency board, has (so far) survived.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Central America, Caribbean, North America
  • Author: Tim Forsyth
  • Publication Date: 10-1998
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This workshop was arranged by the RIIA under the sponsorship of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) of Japan to explore ways of increasing international investment in renewable energy technology in Asia. Enhancing renewable energy investment is clearly relevant to global strategies to mitigate climate change. However, the two debates on climate change policy and renewable energy investment have largely remained separate, and characterized by tendencies to discuss large-scale global flows of energy and investment on the one hand, and local development-oriented practice on the other. The workshop attempted to integrate these two debates, and therefore form part of a growing body of knowledge to inform the current climate change negotiations with practical options available to small and large businesses. The workshop had three main aims: to identify the implications of the Kyoto Protocol for international renewable energy investment; to define technology transfer and identify how it may be increased for renewable energy in South and Southeast Asia; to assess what public and private forms of finance could be sought to ensure the success of renewable energy businesses in South and Southeast Asia. The workshop was attended by some 30 industrialists, financiers and renewable energy specialists from around the world. This paper is a summary of the proceedings. In order to encourage frank exchange, the workshop was held under Chatham House Rule of confidentiality and anonymity, so individual speakers are not named.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Asia