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  • Author: Dan Ciuriak, Maria Piashkina
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The rapid digital transformation occurring worldwide poses significant challenges for policy makers working within a governance framework that evolved over centuries. Domestic policy space needs to be redefined for the digital age, and the interface with international trade governance recalibrated. In this paper, Dan Ciuriak and Maria Ptashkina organize the issues facing policy makers under the broad pillars of “economic value capture,” “sovereignty” in public choice and “national security,” and outline a conceptual framework with which policy makers can start to think about a coherent integration of the many reform efforts now under way, considering how policies adopted in these areas can be reconciled with commitments under a multilateral framework adapted for the digital age.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Reform, Digital Economy, Multilateralism, Digitization
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, Asia, North America
  • Author: Christof Ruhl
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy (CGEP), Columbia University
  • Abstract: Oil markets are sending confusing signals at a time when more confusion is the last thing anyone needs. When Russia walked out on OPEC+ rather than contribute to more output cuts, Saudi Arabia turned on the crude taps. Whatever Riyadh’s intention, this “price war” was quickly made meaningless by the impact of the new coronavirus on global oil demand. The price collapse has been beyond anything anyone could have imagined. Now, storage room for crude is becoming scarce. Analysts warn darkly that plunging prices may threaten global economic stability. Equities follow the oil price news. Everyone seems to agree that prices should stop falling; and yet no one seems to argue that a very low oil price is exactly what the world’s economy needs to recover. The combination of price war and pandemic is also creating strange bedfellows. Some American shale producers are advocating that their country blocks Saudi oil imports, others want to talk to OPEC. President Donald Trump’s government has expressed an interest in cooperating on global oil supplies with Saudi Arabia and Russia; it’s nudging OPEC+ to reconvene, or an even wider group of producers to meet. Could we be witnessing the emergence of an unholy alliance of Saudi Arabia, Russia and the U.S., to “manage volatility,” and incidentally shore up the price of oil?
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Oil, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Richard Nephew
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy (CGEP), Columbia University
  • Abstract: The last four years have borne witness to a range of new sanctions, policies, and approaches around the world. Some of these were predicted in November 2016, as Donald Trump took to sanctions far more than his predecessors, using them to tackle virtually every foreign policy problem he encountered. In fact, Trump’s use of sanctions transcended their typical usage in both form and content, as he employed tariffs and other more traditional “trade” tools to try to manage a bevy of nontrade problems. The long-term effects of this decision have yet to be felt or properly understood. It may be that Trump was ahead of the curve in seeing the fracturing of the global liberal economic order and employed the US economy for strategic advantage while it was still ahead. It may also be that Trump undermined the US position in the global economy through his policies, if not actually hastened the demise of this system of managing global economics. Time and the evolution of policy in other global power centers will eventually tell. The shifting approach to sanctions policy by a variety of other states is a manifestation of the potential effects of Trump’s policy choices in using US economic power. From the EU to Russia to China, other countries have changed long-standing policy approaches as they relate to sanctions, either to respond to or perhaps to take advantage of the new paths forged by the United States. The actions that they have taken are not “unprecedented” per se, as each of these countries or organizations has—at times—embraced policies that are consistent with some of these current actions. But, in aggregate, they describe an overall shift in how the world treats sanctions and trade policy, particularly that as practiced by the United States.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Jens Velten
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Trade and Economic Integration, The Graduate Institute (IHEID)
  • Abstract: The EU adopted Regulation 2019/452 (Regulation) as part of a more robust Common commercial policy to strengthen and defend its interests in a shifting global order. More concretely, the Regulation has two objectives: protecting domestic assets from harmful foreign investor interests, and equipping the EU with leverage to achieve more favourable treatment of EU investors abroad. Therefore, the Regulation provides Member States with an option to adopt foreign direct investment (FDI) screening mechanisms on the grounds of “security or public order”. However, the Regulation misses its objectives. The Regulation’s vague screening ground “security or public order” must be interpreted in accordance with WTO law. A detailed analysis finds that the relevant WTO notions of essential security interests and public order are rather narrow. The Regulation’s screening ground “security or public order” therefore only allows the screening of a few, high-profile cases of FDI. Such a narrow scope undermines the Regulation’s objectives.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment, WTO
  • Political Geography: Europe, European Union
  • Author: Patrick Leblond
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: On the margins of the Group of Twenty leaders’ meeting in Osaka, Japan on June 28-29, 2019, Canada and 23 others signed the Osaka Declaration on the Digital Economy. This declaration launched the “Osaka Track,” which reinforces the signatories’ commitment to the World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations on “trade-related aspects of electronic commerce.” In this context, unlike its main economic partners (China, the European Union and the United States), Canada has yet to decide its position. The purpose of this paper is thus to help Canada define its position in those negotiations. To do so, it offers a detailed analysis of the e-commerce/digital trade chapters found in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), the North American Free Trade Agreement’s replacement, in order to identify the potential constraints that these agreements could impose on the federal government’s ability to regulate data nationally as it seeks to establish a trusting digital environment for consumers and businesses. The analysis leads to the conclusion that Canada’s CPTPP and CUSMA commitments could ultimately negate the effectiveness of future data protection policies that the federal government might want to adopt to create trust in the data-driven economy. As a result, Canada should not follow the United States’ position in the WTO negotiations. Instead, the best thing that Canada could do is to push for a distinct international regime (i.e., separate from the WTO) to govern data and its cross-border flows.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, World Trade Organization, European Union, Digital Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, Canada, Asia, North America
  • Author: Idris Ademuyiwa, Pierre Siklos
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Recent events have the potential to reverse the positive macroeconomic performance of the global economy and trigger a slowdown in both global growth and international trade. In particular, the implications of ongoing trade disputes that have undermined trust in the existing multilateral cooperation system and the incentive for countries to align with ongoing global policy coordination efforts. A compelling case for a mutually beneficial resolution of these tensions can be made by emphasizing the interdependence of the Group of Twenty (G20) economies — the G20 being the premier repository of international cooperation in economic and political matters. This study also considers the state of trade globalization, with an emphasis on the performance of the G20. The emergence of geopolitical risks (GPRs), that is, events that heighten tensions between countries and therefore threaten global economic performance, is an attempt to quantify the potential economic impact of the nexus between politics and economics. In the presence of heightened political risks, negative economic effects become more likely. Nevertheless, there is no empirical evidence investigating the links between the real economy, trade, the state of the financial sector, commodity prices and GPRs. Moreover, there is no evidence on these links that has a sample of countries that make up the G20. This paper begins to fill this gap. Relying on descriptive and statistical evidence, the conclusion is drawn that GPRs represent a significant factor that threatens global economic growth and economic performance, in the G20 countries in particular. Ultimately, however, GPRs reflect other factors, including threats stemming from trade tensions and large swings in commodity prices.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Economic Growth, Multilateralism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia, South America, North America, Global Focus
  • Author: Andrew Walter
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This special report explores the role of emerging-country members in the Basel process, a key aspect of global financial standard setting. It argues that this process has been significantly more politically resilient than adjacent aspects of global economic governance, in part because major emerging countries have perceived continuing “intra-club” benefits from participation within it. Most important among these are learning benefits for key actors within these countries, including incumbent political leaders. Although some emerging countries perceive growing influence over the international financial standard-setting process, many implicitly accept limited influence in return for learning benefits, which are valuable because of the complexity of contemporary financial systems and the sustained policy challenges it creates for advanced and emerging countries alike. The importance of learning benefits also differentiates the Basel process from other international economic organizations in which agenda control and influence over outcomes are more important for emerging-country governments. This helps to explain the relative resilience of the Basel process in the context of continued influence asymmetries and the wider fragmentation of global economic governance. The report also considers some reforms that could further improve the position of emerging countries in the process and bolster its perceived legitimacy among them.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Financial Markets, Global Political Economy, Emerging States
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Asia, South America, Australia, North America, Global Focus
  • Author: Izabela Albrycht
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO)
  • Abstract: Launched in 2016, the Three Seas Initiative (3SI) is designed to build cooperation and interconnectivity between 12 CEE countries through new cross-border infrastructures. The aim of the region’s political leaders is to leverage the economic growth to the extent in which it Kitarović, President of the Republic of Croatia at the Third 3SI Summit in 2018. She added: “substantial projects, such as energy supply corridors and communications infrastructure, as well as modernization of our economies through an extension of transportation links, will allow for the full integration of Central can contribute to the EU’s greater prosperity and at the same time tighten transatlantic bonds. Let us wish the 3S region yet another good year in which the 3S countries will see the materialisation of hopes”, stated Kolinda Grabar- Europe with the remainder of our continent. It will annul the artificial, but still lingering division between old and new, West and East Europe and it will most definitely contribute to a higher level of prosperity of Europe as a whole.”
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Balkans, Croatia, Central Europe
  • Author: Ana Muhar Blanquart
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO)
  • Abstract: Brexit is a term coined of the words “British exit”, referring to the United Kingdom leaving the European Union. First used in 2012 by the founder of the British Influence think-tank Peter Wilding, it became the most frequently used political term in 2016, the year when the British electorate chose to leave the European Union and thus change the political landscape of the United Kingdom and the European Union.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, European Union, Brexit
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, England, North Ireland, Ireland, Scotland, Wales
  • Author: Nakgyoon Choi
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: Recently, international trade has become regional rather than global. This paper aims to test if deeper regional integration contributes to the organization of global value chains along the regional clusters including Asia, Europe, and America. We estimate the impacts of deep regional integrations on global value chains by region, investigating the implications of mega FTAs for global value chains by scenario. We use not only data on trade in value added but also global value chains participation indexes which reflect the global value chains better than domestic value added in goods and services exports. The estimation results reveal that a deep regional trade agreement has heterogeneous effects on global value chains depending on the regional clusters. In particular, Asia turns out to import more intermediate goods than Europe and America while RTA member countries tend to import more intermediate goods from Europe than Asia and America.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Regional Integration, Economic Policy, Exports
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia, Global Focus, North America