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  • Author: Jeremy de Beer
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: To remain competitive on a global scale, Canada needs to enhance its domestic intellectual property (IP) and digital trade strategies with an international approach that can respond to constantly changing global economic conditions. Although Canada launched its Intellectual Property Strategy in 2018 — focusing on IP awareness, strategic tools and legislation — its data initiative, known as the Digital Charter, remains a work in progress. Both policies would benefit from an outward-looking, interconnected, international strategic vision. As a member of various international trade agreements, Canada has framed its IP laws to align with these agreements and its trade partners. Canada should expand its trade relationships with Africa before other countries, such as China, take advantage of the continent’s rapidly growing economies and trade opportunities. Building strategic alliances with the right global partners, combined with the use of hard and soft laws to promote Canadian interests, will help Canada strengthen its international IP and digital trade strategy.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Intellectual Property/Copyright, Digital Economy, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Canada, Asia, North America
  • Author: Hugh Stephens
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: In the past, Canada has had to deal with the matter of Taiwan very delicately. China considers Taiwan to be an integral part of the nation: a rogue province that must eventually be reunified with the mainland. Since Canada relies much more on trade with China than with Taiwan, the stakes have favoured policies that avoid engaging with Taiwan in ways that would unnecessarily irritate China. As a result, there has been little appetite here for negotiating a bilateral trade deal with Taiwan. That attitude is finally changing. One main reason is because China is already angry with Canada, and vice versa. Relations between the two countries are at an all-time low, and domestic support for accommodating China is minimal. As a result, Canada is freer than before to consider negotiating a trade agreement with Taiwan. At the same time, Taiwan is interested in joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), to which Canada is already a party. By supporting Taiwan’s accession to the CPTPP, Canada can achieve a free-trade agreement with Taiwan without having to negotiate one bilaterally. The ability to do so under the aegis of a multilateral agreement should serve to mitigate any remaining concerns that China might further retaliate against Canada directly. However, striking back at China is not a reason for Canada to support Taiwan’s accession to the CPTPP. We should do so because it is in the interest of Canada and the other members of the CPTPP to add to the strength of the organization by welcoming an economy that is an important global trader and a key player in global supply chains. In addition, Taiwan is a country that is clearly willing and able to accept CPTPP disciplines. Canada should move quickly and enthusiastically to support Taiwan’s accession. The benefits of having Taiwan join Canada in a free-trade agreement are obvious. The opportunity to make it a reality is finally here. The Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which entered into force on Dec.30, 2018 for six of the 11 signatories that had completed ratification at that time (Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore),1 is a beacon of hope in a dark, protectionist landscape. Along with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, which was signed on Nov. 15, 2020, the CPTPP advances the trade and investment liberalization agenda at a time when protectionist measures by some major trading countries are threatening to undo decades of progress. The commitments and new disciplines of the CPTPP are particularly important because of malaise infecting the World Trade Organization, where the work of the Appellate Body has now ground to a halt because of actions by the United States, and to offset the negative impact of the U.S.-China trade war now underway.
  • Topic: Government, International Trade and Finance, Partnerships, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Canada, Taiwan, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Agnieszka Paczyńska
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: Since 2014 Russian economic, political and security engagement in Africa has grown significantly. This policy brief analyses the motives and recent changes in Russia's Africa policy, and discusses implications for German and European cooperation with Africa.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Cooperation, Power Politics, Investment, Trade
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, China, United States of America
  • Author: Peter Eppinger, Gabriel Felbermayr, Oliver Krebs, Bohdan Kukharsky
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW)
  • Abstract: In early 2020, the disease Covid-19 caused a drastic lockdown of the Chinese economy. We use a quantitative trade model with input-output linkages to gauge the effects of this adverse supply shock in China on the global economy through international trade and global value chains (GVCs). We find moderate welfare losses in most countries outside of China, while a few countries even gain from the shock due to trade diversion. As a key methodological contribution, we quantify the role of GVCs (in contrast to final goods trade) in transmitting the shock. In a hypothetical world without GVCs, the welfare loss due to the Covid-19 shock in China is reduced by 40% in the median country. In several other countries, the effects are magnified or reversed for several countries. Had the U.S. unilaterally repatriated GVCs, the country would have incurred a substantial welfare loss while its exposure to the shock would have barely changed.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Trade, Pandemic, Global Value Chains, COVID-19, Supply Chains
  • Political Geography: China, Global Focus
  • Author: Holger Görg, Haiou Mao
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW)
  • Abstract: This paper evaluates firms’ exporting responses to BRI and considers their heterogeneity in ownership types, product types, regional origin and trade mode. This is done by analyzing firm-product-destination level customs data from 2011 to 2015 in a gravity model framework. Our empirical results show that aggregate export behavior did not change significantly after BRI. However, ownership matters when evaluating firms’ reactions. SOEs increase their total exporting and average export value (the intensive margin) to BRI countries, while private domestic firms show no reaction to BRI at any margin. Further, our results on regional heterogeneity suggests that “open through the west”, i.e., boosting the development of western regions in China, did not appear to work in the short term. Our findings show clearly the implications of BRI’s impact from a firm level perspective.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Exports, Trade, Economic Development
  • Political Geography: China, Global Focus
  • Author: Marcus Noland
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: In 2016, the United States elected an avowedly protectionist president. This paper uses US county-level electoral data to examine this outcome. The hypothesis that support for protectionism was purely a response to globalization is rejected. Exposure to trade competition encouraged a shift to the Republican candidate, but this effect is mediated by race, diversity, education, and age. If the turn toward protectionism is due to economic dislocation, then public policy interventions could mitigate the impact and support the reestablishment of a political consensus for open trade. If, however, the drivers are identity or cultural values, then the scope for constructive policy intervention is unclear.
  • Topic: Economy, Trade, Donald Trump, Protectionism
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Steve Chan
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: This short essay introduces some concepts and propositions from social science research that I personally find helpful in understanding the ongoing Sino-American trade dispute. Naturally, they are not meant to suggest a comprehensive or exhaustive list of factors that inform this topic. Given the purpose and the limits of my essay, I also do not engage any specific theory or method, such as the efficient-market hypothesis or game theory pioneered by well-known Nobel laureates (e.g., Burton Malkiel and Eugene Fama1; Thomas Schelling2).
  • Topic: Conflict, Trade, Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Margareth Sembiring
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: International garbage disputes are rare. Lately, however, the world witnesses waves of newsworthy trash saga. From the Philippines shipping containers of rubbish back to Canada, to Malaysia planning to return tons of garbage back to countries of origin, to China’s near-total ban of plastic waste import, it is hard not to wonder whether this is a real sign of rising environmentalism. Have countries begun to think that the environment is worthy of a similar priority as the economy? This Insight argues that behind the seemingly growing pro-environment attitudes, it still remains to be seen whether this trend is sustainable in the long run. Considering that the global waste trade is a multi-billion dollar industry, the balance may tip to favour the economic activities again once the dust has settled back. The paper first looks at a brief description of the global waste trade industry. It then discusses some of the contemporary development in the global waste industry particularly on the issues of waste smuggling and China’s plastic waste import ban. It describes related experiences in Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand.
  • Topic: Security, Environment, Economy, Trade, Waste
  • Political Geography: China, Malaysia, Canada, Philippines, Southeast Asia, Global Focus
  • Author: Amitendu Palit
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations concluded at the ASEAN Summit in Bangkok on November 4, 2019. Fifteen RCEP members, including the ten-ASEAN countries, and Australia, China, Japan, Korea and New Zealand, agreed to commence preparation of the legal text of the agreement for signing in 2020. India was the only member to opt out, citing significant unresolved outstanding issues. India’s decision was surprising as it actively participated in the negotiations that lasted for 29 rounds and went on for more than six years since beginning in 2013. Domestic pressures forced Prime Minister Modi to withdraw India from RCEP at the last minute. It also points to disengagement becoming the prominent character of India’s trade policy as domestic protectionist interests successfully undermine outward-oriented economic visions.
  • Topic: Politics, Treaties and Agreements, Economy, Trade, ASEAN
  • Political Geography: China, India, Asia
  • Author: Amit Bhandari
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations
  • Abstract: Over the last two decades, every component of the global energy scenario has changed: demand, supply and energy-type. The only constant has been the U.S. Dollar as the currency of energy trade. Lately, the Chinese Yuan has emerged to challenge the Dollar. Can the Indian Rupee be a third player? India is now the world’s third-largest consumer and second-largest importer of energy. Its open market, transparent regulation and growing demand give it an opportunity to become the hub of a vibrant new oil market, simultaneously ensuring its energy security and raising the international profile of the Rupee. This paper explores the possibility the Rupee could be the third currency in which energy is traded, and the challenges and opportunities it presents.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Markets, Oil, Currency, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, South Asia, India, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Uri Dadush, Marta Dominguez-Jimenez, Tianlang Gao
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: China and the European Union have an extensive and growing economic relationship. The relationship is problematic because of the distortions caused by China’s state capitalist system and the diversity of interests within the EU’s incomplete federation. More can be done to capture the untapped trade and investment opportunities that exist between the parties. China’s size and dynamism, and its recent shift from an export-led to a domestic demand-led growth model, mean that these opportunities are likely to grow with time. As the Chinese economy matures, provided appropriate policy steps are taken, it is likely to become a less disruptive force in world markets than during its extraordinary breakout period.
  • Topic: Economics, Governance, European Union, Investment, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Jens Bastian
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)
  • Abstract: During a three-day official visit to Moscow in June 2019 the Chinese President Xi Jinping described Russia’s Vladimir Putin as his “best friend”. While China-US relations are deteriorating over bitter trade disputes, the imposition of tit-for-tat tariffs and intellectual property rights, the Sino-Russian partnership is evolving and deepening in areas such as security and defense, bilateral energy cooperation as well as the Kremlin’s expanding participation in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Both Beijing and Moscow are building an alliance shaped by shared grievances and based on mutual strategic convenience. Against this background the following report argues that the strategic realignment underway between the Kremlin and Beijing is not one of equal partners. Status matters between the leadership of both countries. Moscow cannot compete with China’s sweeping investment efforts and infrastructure projects in the context of the BRI. What is increasingly emerging in this relationship is a junior role for Moscow and senior status for Beijing. The trade balance is heavily tilted in China’s favor. Chinese banks are key lenders to Russia. The energy cooperation is defined by China being able to command prices from Russia below market rates. Most importantly, China’s BRI is a multi-decade vision, spacing continents and backed up by sheer unlimited financial resources which Russia cannot even contemplate to match. With Russia and China strengthening their cooperation across policy fields, individual countries and sub-regions in continental Europe are faced with new and challenging strategic choices. As Moscow consolidates its economic footprint in Serbia and Montenegro, Beijing expands its presence across Central and Eastern Europe in the context of the 17+1 network. Policy makers are thus faced with daunting options. Some see Beijing as the more promising alternative, while others are tempted to seeking accommodation with both Russia and China.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation, Bilateral Relations, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Trade, Strategic Interests
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, United States of America
  • Author: Wendy Cutler, Peter Grey, Kim Jong-Hoon, Mari Pangestu, Yoichi Sozuki, Tu Xinquan
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia Society Policy Institute
  • Abstract: The U.S.-China trade dispute has dominated headlines over the past year, disrupting trade and investment flows and increasing uncertainty at a time when the global economy is already facing headwinds. The conflict has left many countries in the Asia Pacific feeling caught in the crossfire seeking to navigate the tensions without alienating either country. While the World Trade Organization (WTO) would ideally help reduce the frictions, it has not been up to the task. The paralysis at the WTO points to a deeper problem: it’s inability to keep up with the pace of change or address the challenges of new developments in advanced technologies and the digital economy. Simply put, the trade regime is in trouble and in need of reform. At this dynamic and uncertain time in trade, the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) convened a group of leading trade experts and former trade officials from across the Asia Pacific, led by ASPI Vice President Wendy Cutler. In this issue paper, the authors examine the major developments in the international trading system, including the U.S.-China trade dispute, FTA activity in the Asia Pacific, and efforts to reform the WTO. In this challenging environment, the authors find that the Asia Pacific is uniquely well-positioned to lead reforms to get the system back on track. This paper is the latest product of the ASPI initiative, “Building a High Standard and Inclusive Asia-Pacific Trade Architecture.” It builds on the work of two previous reports published in March 2017 and January 2018.
  • Topic: Economy, Trade Wars, Trade, WTO
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Nicholas Crawford
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Institute for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: China has become the largest lender to developing countries, and a major investor there too. As a result, it has a major stake in many countries facing political and economic instability. Western policymakers involved in responding to instability and crises overseas need to understand how China navigates these situations. China’s approach is similar in some respects to that of Western states, but there are also important differences. China’s policy towards countries facing political and economic instability is driven by four main concerns: It seeks to strengthen and maintain its partnerships with those countries to ensure they remain open to and supportive of the Chinese government and its businesses. China is determined to protect its financial interests, businesses and citizens from the harms that result from instability. It is concerned to see its loans repaid, its investments secure, its workers safe and its supply chains undisrupted. It wants to maintain its narrative of non-interference. Any intervention in the politics or policies of its partner states must be seen as being at the invitation of their governments (although China may pressure its partners for consent). China wants to increase its influence in the world, independently and distinctively. It is increasingly proactive in its response to instability in partner countries. Some responses seek to address the instability directly; other responses are intended to protect Chinese interests in spite of the instability. This paper analyses the political economy of China’s responses to instability, identifies the types of responses China undertakes, and assesses these responses.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Cooperation, Developing World, Political stability, Trade
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, China, Europe, Beijing, Asia
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Mexican Council on Foreign Relations (COMEXI)
  • Abstract: For the mid- or long-term, no country in the world—and much less Mexico—benefits from a strained environment in which there is no adherence to international trade rules. However, for the short-term, a strained trade environment produces adjustments to the supply chains, which could benefit competitors of those economies that are currently in conflict. Mexico, the second supplier of the United States only behind China, could reassert its position as a credible competitor of the Asian economy in the US. Likewise, in the context of trade friction, or even just the threat of a conflict, Mexico could strengthen its trade positioning in China by replacing part of the US offering. /// En el mediano o largo plazo, a ningún país del mundo, y menos a México, le conviene que exista un clima de tensiones donde no se respeten las reglas del comercio internacional. Ahora bien, en el corto plazo, el clima de tensiones comerciales genera ajustes en las cadenas de suministro, lo cual puede beneficiar a los competidores de las economías en conflicto. México, el segundo proveedor de Estados Unidos sólo después de China, puede reafirmar su posición como competidor creíble de la economía asiática en Estados Unidos, así como fortalecer su posición comercial en China, al sustituir parte de la oferta estadounidense, en un contexto de fricciones comerciales o su amenaza.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economy, Economic Growth, Trade Wars, Exports, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Mexico, United States of America
  • Author: Cecilia Bellora, Lionel Fontagné
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales (CEPII)
  • Abstract: Despite the “Phase One Deal” agreed on mid-December 2019, bilateral tariffs between US and China remain at unprecedented high levels, which will have long-lasting effects. US tariffs remain very high on parts, components and other intermediate products; similarly, only the last wave of Chinese retaliatory tariffs has been half cut. We investigate in this paper how such tensions between highly interdependent economies will impact trade, income and jobs. We rely on a set-up featuring General Equilibrium, imperfect competition and importantly differentiating demand of goods according to their use, for final or intermediate consumption. This authorizes tracing the impact of protection along the value chains, on prices, value added and factor income. Additional tariffs from official lists are taken into account at the tariff line level, before being aggregated within sectors. Beyond the direct toll of sanctions, US exports to the world post a sizeable decrease as a result of reduced competitiveness led by vertical linkages along the value chains. Because of the tariffs in place as of February 2020, three quarters of the sectors decrease their value added in the US. Consistent with political economy determinants, these twists of value added are transmitted to production factors, leading to sizeable creation and destruction of jobs, and reallocation of capital to the benefit of protected sectors, mostly at the expense of their clients. Ultimately, this paper sheds light on the economic consequences of policies disrupting global value chains.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, Bilateral Relations, Tariffs, Trade Wars, Trade
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Ariell Reshef, Gianluca Santoni
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales (CEPII)
  • Abstract: We study the evolution of labor shares in 1995-2014 while taking into account international trade based on value added concepts. On average, the decline in labor shares (starting around 1980) accelerates in 2001-2007, after which labor shares recover somewhat. In contrast, skilled labor shares consistently increase. The acceleration in the decline in labor shares is associated with increased intensity of intermediate input exporting; this manifests in a sharp increase in the foreign component in upstreamness of industries and countries in global value chains (GVCs). China's global integration accounts for much of this. Declines in the price of investment together with capital-skill complementarity can explain both the consistent increase in skilled labor shares and the reversal of trend in overall labor shares. Compared to shares in GDP, labor shares in gross national product (GNP) are higher in countries with positive net FDI positions; the uneven spread of multinational activity contributes to greater inequality through this channel.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Labor Issues, Trade, Global Value Chains, Skilled Labor
  • Political Geography: China, Global Focus
  • Author: Valérie Mignon, Antonia Lopez-Villavicencio
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales (CEPII)
  • Abstract: This paper assesses whether the emergence of new trading partners (i.e., China and Eastern Europe) as suppliers reduces the exchange rate pass-through (ERPT) in Eurozone countries which differ regarding their external exposure. Using bilateral data on import prices at the two-digit sector level, we find that (i) pass-through is complete in many cases, (ii) ERPT from China is higher than from the United States, and (iii) there is no compelling evidence of a generalized link between ERPT and the increasing integration of some emerging markets in European imports. We also show that the launch of the single currency has not provoked a sufficient change in the part of trade exposed to exchange rate fluctuations and, therefore, has not affected the pass-through. Overall, the trend of liberalization in new players' markets has not altered the competitive environment such as to induce exporters of other countries to absorb exchange rate depreciations.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Exchange Rate Policy, Eurozone, Trade, Imports
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Matthew Funaiole, Jonathan Hillman
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The issue: China’s Maritime Silk Road Initiative (MSRI) seeks to connect Beijing with trading hubs around the world. Beijing insists the MSRI is economically motivated , but some observers argue that China is primarily advancing its strategic objectives. This article examines several economic criteria that should be used when analyzing port projects associated with the MSRI. China’s leaders have mapped out an ambitious plan, the Maritime Silk Road Initiative (MSRI), to establish three “blue economic passages” that will connect Beijing with economic hubs around the world.1 It is the maritime dimension of President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which could include $1–4 trillion in new roads, railways, ports, and other infrastructure. Within this broad and ever-expanding construct, Chinese investments have been especially active in the Indo-Pacific region, raising questions about whether it is China’s economic or strategic interests that are driving major port investments.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Imperialism, Maritime, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Gurmeet Kanwai
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Issue The development of Gwadar Port is a key element of the greater China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). It speaks to both the strength of the China-Pakistan relationship and the reach of China’s grand strategy. With Pakistan’s two other major ports operating near capacity with no room for expansion, projects in Gwadar promise to eventually handle one million tons of cargo annually, while also providing significant industrial, oil, and transportation infrastructure. Though a “monument of Pakistan-China friendship,” there are misgivings on both sides about CPEC, including the safety of Chinese workers, the resentment of Baloch nationalists, and the growing debt trap created by the project. The prospect of the PLA Navy in Gwadar poses greater security questions, as it forms another link in China’s efforts to expand its maritime presence in the Indo-Pacific region. The members of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or “Quad,” comprised of India, Japan, Australia, and the United States, should counter China’s strategic outreach by networking with other like-minded countries on cooperative security frameworks to ensure a free, open, prosperous, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.
  • Topic: Security, Oil, Regional Cooperation, Global Political Economy, Trade
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, Japan, China, Middle East, India, Asia, Australia
  • Author: Gordon Houlden
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: In 2017, Canada engaged in several rounds of exploratory discussions for a potential free trade agreement (FTA) with the People’s Republic of China. It seemed probable that this exploratory phase would be followed by the opening of formal rounds of negotiations, to be announced during Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to China in December 2017. An FTA appeared to be a priority for Trudeau since his government came into office in 2015 (Global Affairs Canada, 2017a; Lu, 2017; PMO, 2017); however, such negotiations were put on hold indefinitely, ostensibly due to irreconcilable differences on gender and labour issues. Despite this setback, it is likely that the Canadian government will continue to explore this option in the coming years, particularly with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in jeopardy. While there are many potential benefits of a Canada-China free trade agreement (CCFTA), there are also significant national security implications that will deserve particular attention. The security dimension will be the focus of this paper. Prospective CCFTA negotiations with China would be both complex and time consuming, in part due to the wide divergences between the Canadian and Chinese economies, as well as differences between Canadian and Chinese administrative and legal systems. Negotiations could therefore take several years to conclude, and might not be finished until well after the 2019 federal election. It took a full decade to sign and ratify the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), although it appears that the most difficult portion of the negotiations was wrapped up in the final two years. It is unlikely that a CCFTA will move as slowly as the Australian FTA did, in part because of the established Australian precedent and because of China’s increasing familiarity with FTA negotiations that involve advanced economies. For this reason, Canada would benefit from approaching a CCFTA after Australia, but before many other Western countries. Chinese and Canadian negotiators will be consumed with elaborating the principles of each side’s responsive FTA approaches, as well as the myriad of details involving thousands of products and services that a CCFTA’s provisions would affect. Canadian negotiators will seek a high-quality FTA that covers a large percentage of our export and import products with China, as well as an agreement that covers all key sectors and industries. There is also likely to be a Canadian focus on addressing China’s use of non-tariff barriers to trade which currently inhibit Canadian firms from taking full advantage of the massive China market. Such measures include the Chinese Ministry of Health’s 2013 changes to food safety standards which required all imported food products to list detailed nutritional components in Chinese. Procedural barriers such as this represent a significant hurdle for Canadian firms, and cause uncertainty among international exporters that want to break into the Chinese domestic market. In theory, the centralized Chinese economy lacks the regional complexity of the Canadian federal state, characterized by sub-national units, but in reality, China’s provinces and municipalities can, and often do, impose barriers to foreign imports, often to protect market share for local substantive industries. To date, China has FTAs with only a handful of developed countries. Australia, Korea, Switzerland, Iceland, Singapore and New Zealand currently have bilateral FTAs with China, and several others, such as Norway and Israel, are in FTA negotiations. China is also floating ideas for FTAs with developing countries, including India. China is far more trade-dependent than the United States, although by comparison China is not nearly as trade-dependent as Canada is.1 The balance of trade is currently in China’s favour: China exports US$46 billion to Canada, versus the US$16 billion that it imports from Canada (MIT, 2016a). However, it is important to note that China’s exports to Canada account for only 2.2 per cent of China’s total merchandise exports (MIT, 2016b).
  • Topic: Security, Intellectual Property/Copyright, Free Trade, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Canada, Asia, United States of America
  • Author: Jeff Kucharski
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: Canada’s growing interest in trade with countries in the Indo-Pacific region corresponds with an ominous growth in geopolitical instability and insecurity in that part of the globe. With Indo-Pacific hunger for oil expected to soar – especially in China, where demand will translate to 80 per cent of imports in 10 years – Canada needs to develop policies to deal with the region’s turbulent realities. The Indo-Pacific comprises countries in South Asia and Southeast Asia, and includes such unstable and unpredictable players as North Korea and Pakistan, both of which have nuclear weapons and long-simmering border tensions. India is an emerging economic and military rival to China. In the next 20 years, China and India are expected to lead the global demand for gas as coal consumption continues to decline, and Canada has a stake in this prosperous future. Along with territorial squabbles in the region, Canada will have to deal with complex issues such as terrorism, human trafficking, transnational crime, piracy and cyber-crime, as well as the struggle for global dominance between China and the U.S. One key area for potential conflict is China’s recent construction and militarization of artificial islands in the South China Sea. The Canadian government’s new military strategy, Strong, Secure, Engaged does little more than make a plea for peace and the rule of law in the South China Sea. However, more trade crosses the Pacific Ocean from Canada than crosses the Atlantic. And with Canada signing on to the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the region’s troubles will need to be resolved by more than good intentions on paper. Canada must shift more diplomatic, security and military resources to the Indo- Pacific; otherwise, its efforts will be spread too thinly to be effective in the region. Trade, especially through a major route like the Strait of Malacca, could easily be disrupted by any one of a number of disputes, such as a conflict between China and Taiwan or if historic resentments boil over among competing territorial claimants in the region. Thus, Canada needs to step up and reaffirm its security commitments to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as a partner in the region. Participating in maritime exercises and Freedom of Navigation (FON) operations would also help to reinforce to countries in the region the importance of abiding by international law. Meanwhile, Canada should set aside for now any intentions to negotiate a free trade agreement with China. China does not share some of Canada’s key trade and security goals and its aggressive behaviour in the South and East China Seas clearly signal that now is not the time to talk about a trade pact. China must demonstrate that it is willing to take a more cooperative approach to resolving trade and security issues in the Indo-Pacific and to support and respect the rule of law in the region. Canada has the potential to become a reliable, stable source of energy for Indo-Pacific countries. There is also an opportunity for provinces such as Alberta to strike their own strategic deals to provide energy resources to countries in that region, in return for trade and investment benefits. However, while investing at home in the necessary infrastructure and export capability to expand its role, Canada must also strive to bring its own unique approach to enhancing regional and energy security in the Indo-Pacific.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Geopolitics, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Canada, Asia, North America
  • Author: Hugh Stephens
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: The “non-market” clause in the just-concluded update of NAFTA, now known as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) would appear to limit Canada’s options in terms of negotiating a free trade agreement with China at the present time (given the de facto U.S. veto over a Canada-China agreement that it provides), yet Prime Minister Trudeau has already reaffirmed Canada’s intention to pursue closer economic ties with China despite this apparent limitation. If negotiations proceed, negotiating a free trade agreement (FTA) with China will be very different from negotiating one with a country that shares Canada’s Western values. However, a trade agreement with China makes good economic sense, and while there are some unique obstacles to reaching such an agreement owing to differing views of progressive trade, these are not insurmountable. In fact, Canada can use the same models in negotiating with China that it has used with Western countries. Such an approach combines trade goals with respecting Chinese cultural and political differences, particularly those that fall into the category of progressivism. This category includes labour rights, Indigenous and gender issues, and governance. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has been focused on progressive elements in trade deals, while China has made it clear it is not interested in including them in any such pact. Concluding an agreement would mean that China and Canada must both recognize the political requirements and dynamics on the opposite side of the negotiating table, while seeking common ground diplomatically. Side agreements such as those that exist in the original NAFTA and in the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) are one way to work with the two countries’ differences. Many of the provisions in a side agreement are not binding and thus not subject to the agreement’s dispute settlement mechanism or trade sanctions. Instead, they are more aspirational and sometimes lay out a process for civil society groups to raise issues and help the thinking on those issues evolve, rather than simply holding the parties accountable for breaches. Canada is rightly concerned about Chinese stances on human rights, labour, environmental and gender issues. However, instead of including these issues in the main document on trade, they can be dealt with as shared interests between the two countries. Establishing separate but parallel mechanisms to deal with these issues would be a practical way to make progress. Focusing on micro, small and medium-sized businesses as one Chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) did, could be another successful approach. Women own many of these businesses in developing countries, so such a focus would make a substantial contribution to their welfare. None of this means Canada should kowtow to China or look the other way on important values and issues. Side agreements and special focuses have formed parts of agreements with other countries that already share Canada’s Western values. This type of give-and-take is present even when Canada negotiates with countries that are not polar opposites. No country’s interests are exactly the same as those of any other and it’s unrealistic to expect unanimity on every issue. Language and firm commitments on progressive issues are still evolving in many of Canada’s free trade agreements, including the USMCA. It would be unreasonable to hope that everything can be achieved in an agreement with China on the first go-around. Rather, viewing a trade agreement with China as a work-in-progress means controversial elements can be brought into the negotiations and language used that reflects the understanding that these issues are evolving. It will require creative thinking, flexibility and joint commitment to find a solution, but—assuming that the USMCA does not rule out Canada-China negotiations toward a trade agreement— it should be possible to find sufficient common ground without having to resort to obfuscation and “creative ambiguity”.
  • Topic: Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations, Sanctions, NAFTA, Free Trade, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Canada, Asia, North America
  • Author: Kyu Yub Lee
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: Over the last decade, quantifying the welfare effects from tariff changes has become one of the main challenges among international trade economists. There are a number of quantitative trade models with micro-foundations which emphasize demand-side (Anderson and Van Wincoop 2003), supply-side (Eaton and Kortum 2002), Bertrand competition (Bernard et al. 2003), extensive and intensive margin (Chaney 2008), etc, and conclude that trade liberalization with tariff reductions leads an economy to reach a higher level of welfare compared to pre-liberalization (Costinot and Rodriguez-Clare 2014). While elegant, these models inducing gravity equations share the common assumption, a perfect labor market. Quantitative trade models with full-employment developed so far have not taken account of labor market frictions when evaluating the welfare effects from tariff changes. This paper aims to fill the gap in the trade literature by explicitly considering labor market frictions. I employ search-and-matching to a multi-country and multi-sector Ricardian model with input-output linkages, trade in intermediate goods, and sectoral heterogeneity, in order to quantify the welfare effects from tariff changes. The paper shows that labor market frictions can be a source of comparative advantage in the sense that better labor market conditions contribute to lower cost in production. Labor market frictions play a critical role in determining the probability of exporting goods to trading partners, and interact with bilateral trade share, price, expenditures, etc. Unemployment and changes in unemployment rates due to tariff reductions contribute welfare changes across countries, implying that welfare effects based on quantitative trade models with full-employment are likely to be biased. I confirm the biased welfare effects by revisiting Caliendo and Parro (2015), who conduct an analysis of the welfare effects from the NAFTA from 1993 to 2005. I show that the welfare gap between theirs and mine has a positive correlation with changes in observed unemployment rates across countries. With the constructed model, I further conduct counterfactual exercises by asking what would happen if China’s tariffs remain unchanged from 2006 to 2015. It turns out that there are mild welfare effects to trading partners in the world trading system.
  • Topic: Tariffs, Economic Policy, Trade, Unemployment, Welfare
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Michelle Nicholasen
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: After President Trump withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement earlier this year, it seemed that NAFTA was next in his crosshairs. But soon President Trump is expected to take a measured approach to the issue of trade and step away—at least temporarily—from his threats to dismantle the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) by signing an executive order calling for a comprehensive study of US trade imbalances. The Trump worldview has consistently blamed foreign trade deficits, especially those with China, for job losses here at home. He has wanted to take down NAFTA to purportedly save American jobs, calling it “the single worst trade deal ever approved in this country.”Much like healthcare, trade networks are complicated, and not all agreements have the same goals. It’s instructive to take a closer look at both TPP and NAFTA, two very different trade agreements, to evaluate how a more protectionist stance might play out. Heavily promoted by the Obama administration, TPP would have allowed the United States to form a trade consortium with eleven Pacific Rim nations (representing 40 percent of the world’s GDP) to secure market access and protections for certain US industries. More than this, the political reason to join TPP was to provide a US-led counterweight to China’s growing dominance in the region’s economy.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, NAFTA, Trans-Pacific Partnership, Trade
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Canada, Asia, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Hugh Stephens
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: The Trump administration’s arrival has scrambled the cards in the trade policy world. Not only will the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) be reopened with uncertain results, but President Donald Trump has scuttled the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) by announcing the United States’ withdrawal from the agreement. Canada, originally cool toward the TPP, pushed hard to be included in it. The TPP became the centrepiece of Canada’s Asia trade strategy, notwithstanding some public ambivalence on the part of the Trudeau government. With the TPP in its present form now in limbo, Canada still has options in Asia. First, it can keep an open mind with regard to the possible reconstitution of the TPP in another form, such as “TPP Minus One” (i.e., minus the U.S.). It should also push to reopen the bilateral negotiations with Japan that were suspended when that country joined the TPP negotiations. Canada is already exploring the possibility of an economic partnership agreement with China, perhaps on a sectoral basis, and simultaneously, it should actively pursue negotiation of a free trade agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) community. This could in time provide Canada access to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) currently being negotiated among 16 countries in the Asia-Pacific region and would position Canada well in the eventuality that a Free Trade Area of Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) emerges. In the meantime, uncertainty regarding NAFTA’s future needs to be addressed. This uncertainty makes it more difficult for Canada to attract Asian investment but it also provides further impetus for Canada to diversify its trading relationships and to explore stronger relationships with Asian economies.
  • Topic: International Affairs, NAFTA, Trans-Pacific Partnership, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Canada, Asia, United States of America, North America
  • Author: Igbinoba Emmanuel
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: Recent development economic literatures theorize that South-South trade and foreign investment may have a larger impact on economic growth in devel-oping economies than North-South trade and investment, since investors from the South are more familiar with local developing markets and business practices, which increases their productivity spillovers (Aykut and Goldstein 2007). Amighini and Sanfilippo (2014) provided evidence that South-South trade and investments stimulate product diversification in light manufacturing industries such as agro-processing, plastic, textile and leather production. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) launched in 2013, aims to create economic opportunities as well as improve and establish new trading routes between China and connected regions. This paper attempts to evaluate the degree of trade relations between China and selected African countries along the Mari-time Silk Route (MSR) and further appraise the trade potentials and gains in-herent for African economies through the initiative. To achieve our objective, we apply quantitative techniques in trade evaluation to enable us explore and estimate the degree and intensity of trade engagements amongst selected Si-no-African silk route countries, identify the trade opportunities and potentials, which are critical for increased trade engagements between both parties along the route and to explore some of the channels through which the maritime route can impact on investment, trade and economic growth in Africa. Findings from the analysis indicate that while the degree of trade integration is unbalanced and favourable to China relative to Africa, the trade pattern and structure are observed to be more complementary than competitive, and this provides Africa with ample opportunity to engage in product upgrading and diversification, critical for structural transformation.
  • Topic: Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Economic Policy, Trade
  • Political Geography: Africa, China
  • Author: Barry Cooper
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: At the end of the Pacific War, the United States wrote a new constitution for Japan that included an article compelling their defeated adversary forever to renounce war as an instrument of state policy. Today, in response to changing economic and geopolitical realities, Japan had the most effective military forces in Northeast Asia. This paper discusses the reasons for the change and how Japan was able to interpret constitutional pacifism so as to respond to the political necessities created by its confrontational neighbours. The “view from Tokyo” presented in this report will be of interest to Canadians not least of all because it differs from the more familiar “view from Beijing.” Japan today is a stable democracy and a natural trading partner for Canada. Understanding the evolution of Japanese security policy will assist Canadians in understanding the evolution of postwar Japan.
  • Topic: Security, History, Geopolitics, Trade
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Canada, Asia
  • Author: Jiang Nan
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Australian National University Department of International Relations
  • Abstract: The illegal ivory trade fuels illegal elephant poaching in both Africa and Asia. The illegal ivory trade in China is considered a key threat to the survival of the elephant species: since 2009, China has become the largest illegal ivory market in the world. Although China has uncovered a great number of cases of illegal ivory trade with the seizure of illegal ivory in the past decade, this trade is still growing. A deeper understanding of the nature and patterns of illegal ivory trade through an analysis of ivory seizure data should improve the efficiency of efforts to prevent the illegal ivory trade in China. This paper analyses data on 106 seizures of illegal ivory that was collected from Chinese news reports between 1999 and 2014, with a particular focus on its frequency and illegal trade ‘hotspot’ locations in China. The analysis found three illegal ivory trade cycles (2001–2005, 2006–2010, and 2011–2014) and four hotspots. Preventing the illegal ivory trade will require more international cooperation and coordination between China and other countries.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Trade, Illegal Trade, Ivory
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Asia
  • Author: Pradumna B. Rana, Wai-Mun Chia
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper argues that contrary to popular belief, in the bygone era, there was not one but two Silk Roads in Asia – the Northern and the less well-known South-western Silk Road (SSR). The SSR connected South/Central Asia with southern China and present day Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). After enjoying a rich history of around 1,600 years, the Silk Roads went into disrepair. Now, for various economic, security, and political reasons, land connectivity is once again making a comeback in Asia. These include the (i) ―Go West‖ and the recent ―New Silk Roads‖ policies of China; (ii) ―Look East‖ policies of South Asia; (iii) opening of Myanmar, a node between South Asia and East Asia; and (iv) growing importance of supply-chain trade. The focus has, however, been mainly on reviving the Northern Silk Road with relatively few actions being initiated to revive the SSR. Mirroring the on-going efforts in the Greater Mekong Sub-region and the Central Asian region, this paper proposes four economic corridors for Pan-Asian connectivity that is to connect South/Central Asia with southern China and ASEAN. The paper argues that the revival of land connectivity in Asia is making Maritime Asia of the past, more continental-based. One implication is that regional institutions focusing solely on Maritime Asia, such as the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), may be losing some of their relevance vis-à-vis say the more continental-based China-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The other is that the influence of the West in Asia‘s security may be declining relative to that of China, India, and Russia.
  • Topic: Security, Globalization, Trade
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, Asia