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  • Author: Chad P. Bown
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: While the public was transfixed by the Trump administration’s policies alleging that imports were a threat to America’s national security during 2017–20, there was a concomitant and more quiet US policy shift on the export side. Addressing the national security threat presented by exports posed different economic and institutional challenges from those associated with import policy, including the acknowledgment that export controls for legitimate national security reasons can be the first-best policy to confront the problem at its source. Yet, export controls could also be misused as a beggar-thy-neighbor policy to redistribute economic well-being across countries, even from one ally to another. This paper describes how US export control policy evolved over 2017–20, as well as the international institutions—first the Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM), then the Wassenaar Arrangement—historically tasked with multilateralizing US export restrictions used to protect national security. With the potential for US export control policy to brush up more frequently against WTO rules designed to limit the use of export restrictions, the paper also highlights new challenges for the WTO’s system of resolving trade disputes. Overall, a US failure to strike the right balance for its export control policy would result in it being ineffective at addressing national security risks, costly for the economy, and problematic for trade and diplomatic relations.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, National Security, Exports, Trade
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Chad P. Bown, Soumaya Keynes
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: On December 10, 2019, the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) 25-year-old system of resolving disputes broke down. This paper explains why. It describes the dysfunctional system that preceded the WTO, when the United States dealt with politically troublesome imports by using voluntary export restraints and increasingly resorted to the “aggressively unilateral” Section 301 policy to resolve trade concerns. The WTO was a compromise between the rest of the world and the United States, whereby the latter accepted some constraints with the expectation that the new system of binding dispute settlement would serve its interests. But although the creation of the WTO resolved some concerns about American unilateralism in the short term, its system of handling disputes turned out to be politically unsustainable.
  • Topic: Economics, World Trade Organization, Trade, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: George Tzogopoulos
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)
  • Abstract: With President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis scheduled to meet early this January, Dr. George Tzogopoulos, Research Fellow at ELIAMEP, outlines the course of Greek-American relations from 2015 onwards. Dr. Tzogopoulos argues that Athens and Washington DC have entered a period of strong cooperation that can be further consolidated in 2020. Defense, energy and trade are the main focal points. The agenda includes the need to create a new security environment in the Mediterranean – with Greece playing a key role. The excellent status of Greek-American relations creates new opportunities for closer bilateral cooperation on defense, energy and trade. The region of Northern Greece becomes of gradually higher significance for the US. US foreign policy towards Greece reflects its interest in restraining Russian influence. While anti-Americanism in Greece is declining, there is widespread concern in the domestic public sphere on whether the US will support Greece in the case of a crisis with Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean. US support to the trilateral cooperation of Greece-Israel-Cyprus will be reinforced through the Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act. The US-Greece Strategic Dialogue and NATO Mediterranean Dialogue are useful instruments for strengthening Greece’s role in the South, contributing towards a new security landscape.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Bilateral Relations, Trade
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Judit Fabian
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: International trade is often framed in starkly divergent terms: either countries choose multilateral trade agreements (MTAs) and advance the cause of global economic liberalization, or they choose preferred trade agreements (PTAs) and put the entire system at risk. Canada has a long track record of pursuing PTAs and with the Trump administration’s opposition to multilateralism, and longstanding opposition in elements of the Republican and Democratic parties, this trend will likely continue. The question is whether progress will come at the expense of the global trade system. Some economists believe PTAs to be trade-diverting, reducing trade with more efficient producers outside the agreement. Others insist that PTAs can create trade by shifting production to lower-cost producers in one of the participating countries. One prominent contrary argument holds that PTAs lead to discontinuities in tariff regimes between countries and regions, increasing transaction costs, disrupting supply chains, creating opportunities for corruption and harming global welfare, especially in developing nations. While debate continues about the effects of PTAs, a closer examination suggests that worries are overblown about their negative impacts on global trade flows. Evidence indicates that they support rather than harm the international trading system. Countries shut out of PTAs are more motivated to seek out agreements in new markets, increasing liberalization overall. They may also seek a reduction in most-favoured nation (MFN) tariffs, which would deprive PTAs of their major tariff benefits. Studies have found complementarity between preferential and MFN tariffs, revealing that PTAs promote external trade liberalization. Even if a PTA reduces a given country’s incentive to push for multilateral liberalization, it raises the odds of that country liberalizing its trade to avoid getting left behind. PTAs are a response to the difficulties of securing sweeping multilateral agreements. The World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreements authorize them under GATT Article XXIV, GATS Article V, and the enabling clause, and the WTO facilitates a degree of governance over PTAs through its dispute settlement process. Over the past 25 years, countries have adopted these deals at a rapid pace. Between 1994 and 2005, the number of PTAs increased from 50 to 200. By April 2018, 336 were in effect. At the same time, global trade has increased significantly. Between 1994 and 2010, the volume of world merchandise exports more than doubled. The proliferation of PTAs has resulted in a rise in international trade governance, because the countries involved shape their relationships in line with the WTO agreements. This juridification makes PTAs subordinate to the international system rather than giving them room to dissolve it. Canada should therefore have no fear of pursuing PTAs within the larger framework of the effort to achieve multilateral trade liberalization.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Multilateralism, Trade, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America, United States of 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: David J. Bercuson
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: When U.S. President Donald Trump was elected in 2016 on a promise to cancel the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canada risked losing the free-trade regime that it had enjoyed with the U.S. since the original U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement took effect in 1989. Those who came to Canada’s rescue, by persuading the Trump administration to eventually make a new deal, the United States-Mexico-Canada agreement, were Canada’s trading partners in the United States, whose interests were threatened: Nearly two-thirds of U.S. states now have Canada as their most important trading partner. This was indicative of a long-term trade pattern of an ever-increasing closeness in trade between the U.S. and Canada. It is a pattern that started since before Confederation and in spite of not a few attempts in Canada to diversify exports away from the U.S. However, that simply cannot happen in any meaningful way: The 170-year-old pattern of Canada-U.S. trade is now so permanent as to be utterly irreversible. Since the decision by Britain to end tariff preferences for its colonies in the mid-19th century, Canada has naturally sought to penetrate the U.S. market for its exports. The desire has not always been mutual: American protectionism has, at times, hampered the export of Canadian products to the U.S., although tariff barriers have failed to stop what is a seemingly natural and, in many ways, necessary north-south flow of goods and services. Even Canadian attempts to reorient its own trade emphasis to enhance domestic east-west trade, or to expand into countries beyond the United States have made little difference. The trading relationship between Canada and the U.S. has endured through wars and in peacetime, through Republican administrations and Democratic ones. It will only continue to grow. Fantasizing about some markedly different trading future is therefore a waste of Canada’s time and energy, which should instead be expended on further penetrating the American marketplace and solidifying ties with state and local governments, local manufacturing associations, Congress and new industries. Canada should take advantage of its new trade deal with the U.S. to integrate the Canadian economy as fully into that of the U.S. as possible. There may be others like President Trump or some like him in Canada, who try to disrupt the trade relationship. That even Trump eventually was persuaded to agree to free trade with Canada is evidence, however, that an ever-closer trading relationship is simply a reality that cannot be stopped.
  • Topic: Markets, History, Trade, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: Canada, 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: Emily Blanchard, Chad P. Bown, Davin Chor
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Republican candidates lost support in the 2018 congressional election in counties more exposed to trade retaliation but saw no commensurate electoral gains from US tariff protection. The electoral losses were driven by retaliatory tariffs on agricultural products and were only partially mitigated by the US agricultural subsidies announced in summer 2018. Republicans also fared worse in counties that had seen recent gains in health insurance coverage, affirming the importance of health care as an election issue. A counterfactual calculation suggests that the trade war and health care can account for five and eight of Republicans' lost House seats, respectively.
  • Topic: Politics, Elections, Trade Wars, Trade, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Chad P. Bown, Jennifer A. Hillman
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The United States, the European Union, and Japan have begun a trilateral process to confront the Chinese economic model, including its use of industrial subsidies and deployment of state-owned enterprises. This paper seeks to identify the main areas of tension and to assess the legal-economic challenges to constructing new rules to address the underlying conflict. It first provides a brief history of subsidy disciplines in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the World Trade Organization (WTO) predating any concerns introduced by China. It then describes contemporary economic problems with China’s approach to subsidies, their impact, and the apparent ineffectiveness of the WTO’s Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures to address them. Finally, it calls for increased efforts to measure and pinpoint the source of the problems—in a manner analogous to how the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development took on agricultural subsidies in the 1980s—before providing a legal-economic assessment of proposals for reforms to notifications, evidence, remedies, enforcement, and the definition of a subsidy.
  • Topic: Economics, World Trade Organization, Tariffs, Trade
  • Political Geography: Japan, Europe, Asia, North America, United States of America, European Union
  • 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: Malcolm Cook
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Conventional narratives are either supported by facts or overcome them. Recent increased trade flows between the US and the ten economies of Southeast Asia suggest that the predominant narrative of the commercial displacement of the United States by China in Southeast Asia is incorrect. However, the United States’s growing trade deficits and shrinking surpluses with Southeast Asia do bolster an American mercantilist narrative that bilateral deficits are an economic loss for the US caused by Southeast Asian governments’ unfair trade policies.
  • Topic: Global Markets, Economy, Trade, Deficit
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia, United States of America
  • 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: 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: Minsoo Han
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: In this paper, I estimate the global effects of hypothetical 1% changes in US sectoral productivity. To do that, I formulate a multi-sector Armington trade model with import tariffs, trade in intermediate goods, sectoral heterogeneity, and input-output linkages. Because a closed form for changes in welfare is not available in the model, as opposed to Ossa (2015), I solve for equilibrium to conduct the counterfactual exercises. In particular, knowing that the gravity equations in this model are identical to Caliendo and Parro (2015) once we calibrate the trade elasticity and industry level productivity to the corresponding data, I modify their computation approach to estimate the counterfactual productivity changes. The model predicts that the primary channel through which the sectoral shocks affect welfare is terms of trade. I also find that both US productivity’s direct effect and effects through export prices are substantial for countries such as the US, Canada, Chile, and Mexico. On the other hand, changes in volume of trade are small and their directions of changes are also mixed across countries.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Economic Policy, Trade
  • Political Geography: North America, 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: Wendy Cutler, Hyemin Lee
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia Society Policy Institute
  • Abstract: For nearly 70 years, the United States-Republic of Korea alliance has remained strong, built mainly on shared strategic and national security interests. While the North Korean nuclear threat has long dominated political discussions and media headlines, the economic pillar of the relationship is no less important. With amendments to the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) now in place, it is an opportune time for both countries to look beyond KORUS and expand their bilateral economic engagement to new and evolving areas. This closer cooperation can serve as an engine for growth in a slowing Korean economy, as an opportunity for job creation in the United States, and as a vehicle for jointly writing the rules for the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. As policymakers in Washington and Seoul look to the future, the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) charts a possible path forward in its newest issue paper, Advancing the U.S.-Korea Economic Agenda. This paper presents a range of concrete actions that the United States and South Korea can take to advance and strengthen their bilateral economic relationship in the areas of trade and investment, energy, digital economy and advanced technologies, infrastructure, and women’s economic empowerment. The recommendations included in this paper are based partly on two roundtables ASPI organized with South Korean and American experts in Seoul in June 2018, with support from the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, and in Washington, D.C., in October 2018. The ideas are also based on discussions with government officials, business leaders, and think tank experts.
  • Topic: National Security, Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations, Alliance, Trade
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North America, United States of America
  • 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: 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: Sarah Goldfeder
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: On Jan. 23, the first Monday after being sworn in as president of the United States, Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum that laid the groundwork for exiting the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP was the elegant solution to a host of hold-over irritants from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as well as a way to address wholly new issues of trade and commerce. In the wake of this decision, Trump also promised a wholesale reworking of NAFTA, in which everything would be on the table. In the days since, the Trump trade team has been off to a rocky start. Finally, after months of discussion, the notification incumbent for use of the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) was provided to Congressional leaders on May 18, 2017. Mexico has taken it all in stride, as it took almost immediate advantage of the blusterous U.S. rhetoric to outline its demands for any NAFTA discussion. Canada meanwhile plays the sphinx, open about its willingness to negotiate, but not much else. The U.S. may find that it’s less ready for this round of negotiations than it wanted to be, but its partners are well placed to unite and drive a hard bargain.
  • Topic: NAFTA, Trans-Pacific Partnership, Trade, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Brian Bow
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: The security perimeter agenda is buried, but it’s not dead. U.S. President Donald Trump’s attitudes toward trade, immigration and international institutions make it difficult to work with his administration and may get Canadians thinking about looking for new international partners. At least in the short run, however, Canada has no choice but to try to maintain its bilateral relationship with the U.S., and a crucial part of that relationship is the ongoing effort to make the border more secure and efficient. Significant progress has been made on some of the key policy co-ordination challenges – travel, shipping, border infrastructure and law enforcement co-operation – but there is still a lot of work to be done. Given the priorities and problems of the Trump administration, Canada’s best bet is probably to try to work around the White House on these issues, engaging with other players in the U.S., like bureaucratic agencies, members of Congress, and state and local governments. The focus should be on finding and supporting transgovernmental (state) and transnational (society) allies in the U.S., and Ottawa’s approach should be low key, patient, problem-solving and opportunistic. The most urgent concern is to anticipate and prevent policy changes in the U.S. that might disrupt existing arrangements, but Canadian officials should also continue to look for ways to improve bilateral co-operation on border/perimeter security issues.
  • Topic: Security, Immigration, Trade, Donald Trump, International Institutions
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • 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: Yeo Joon Yoon, Woong Lee
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes 2015-TPA voting patterns in the Congress in the context of the trade negotiating objectives. By setting the trade negotiating objectives, the Congress lays out important trade agenda that the Administration is ex-pected to address when it is negotiating trade deals with foreign countries. Therefore setting the objectives is subject of heated debates in the Congress and an important part of TPA. LPM and probit models are used to evaluate the importance of each trade negotiating objectives in 2015-TPA voting deci-sions. It turns out that the objective on promoting U.S. agricultural exports by reducing unfair trade barriers positively affected the voting decision in favor of the TPA. The objective on enforcing strong labor standards on trade partners also had significant impacts. One other notable result is that how much each congressional region export to China was also an important de-terminant. This variable is meant to capture several negotiating objectives as well as growing worries of large trade deficits with China. This study docu-ments important issues that U.S. Congress is concerned about in making conducting and implementing trade policies. It may provide insights into the future course of U.S. trade policy and trade deals such as renegotiation of NAFTA and Korea-US FTA.
  • Topic: Treaties and Agreements, NAFTA, Voting, Trade
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Ian Brodie
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: The last decade has seen serious setbacks to the global role of the United States. Iraq, Afghanistan and the 2008 economic crisis provoked deep partisan debates about American policy but little in the way of consensus on how to respond. Meanwhile, America’s rivals have gained strength and a new south-south economy of investment and trade has emerged. There is little disagreement that the U.S. has lost its relative power to influence developments around the world. Is this Canada’s moment to extend our global influence? Canada’s privileged geography gives us freedom to choose where and how to engage beyond North America. We have opportunities across the Atlantic and across the Pacific, as evidenced by our simultaneous negotiations at the CETA and TPP tables. But freedom of choice means we have trouble committing to relationships beyond North America. Unlike, say, Australia, which must engage in the Pacific, we face no natural imperative to be “all in” in Asia. Moreover, even though Canada does not have a history as a colonial power, we are often ambivalent about engaging with the new global south. We prefer to deal with emerging economic powers through clubs we already belong to - the G-20, the Commonwealth and the Francophonie. But as south-south institutions displace the influence of the “world America made”, the room for Canada to exercise global influence has declined. We were once welcome as a dependable joiner of international clubs, but we are having trouble joining newer, more dynamic clubs like the Pacific Alliance.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Military Affairs, Geopolitics, Economy, Trade
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Veronique de Rugy
  • Publication Date: 11-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: MIT Center for International Studies
  • Abstract: The most terrifying security threat to security experts and the public alike is nuclear proliferation. Once the figment of Hollywood imagination, the ultimate nightmare scenario that is dis- cussed by some as inevitable is the detonation of a nuclear device on American soil. The majority of experts believe that the most likely way weapons of mass destruction (WMD) would enter the United States is by sea, hence a focus on port security.1 Ports offer terrorists vast opportunities to inflict damages. As the primary mode of transpor- tation for world trade goods, maritime commerce is essential to America’s economic vital- ity.2 Every year approximately nine million cargo containers—26,000 a day—arrive at U.S. ports from all over the world.3 The U.S. maritime system includes more than 361 sea and river ports with more than 3,700 cargo and passenger terminals and more than 1,000 harbor channels along thousands of miles of coastline.4 In FY 2007, President Bush requested $2.3 billion for port security out of a $57 billion government-wide budget for homeland security.5 However, the important question is not how much money is spent but rather whether the money is allocated toward the most cost- effective programs. In other words, is America getting the maximum level of protection in exchange for our tax dollars? A close look at port security allocation decisions indicates that spending occurs without regard for risk analysis let alone cost-benefit analysis, leading to a large array of misallocated spending. For instance, what should be the highest priorities—preventing terrorists from acquiring nuclear devices and material—receive less money than much less cost-effective policies such as nuclear detection in the ports or post-disaster response activities.
  • Topic: Security, Maritime, Trade, Port
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America