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Posts Tagged ‘WTO’

The threat to world trade: The rules-based system is in grave danger

Posted by hkarner - 9. März 2018

Date: 08-03-2018
Source: The Economist

Donald Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminium would be just the start

DONALD TRUMP is hardly the first American president to slap unilateral tariffs on imports. Every inhabitant of the Oval Office since Jimmy Carter has imposed some kind of protectionist curbs on trade, often on steel. Nor will Mr Trump’s vow to put 25% tariffs on steel and 10% on aluminium by themselves wreck the economy: they account for 2% of last year’s $2.4trn of goods imports, or 0.2% of GDP. If this were the extent of Mr Trump’s protectionism, it would simply be an act of senseless self-harm. In fact, it is a potential disaster—both for America and for the world economy.

As yet it is unclear exactly what Mr Trump will do. But the omens are bad. Unlike his predecessors, Mr Trump is a long-standing sceptic of free trade. He has sneered at the multilateral trading system, which he sees as a bad deal for America. His administration is chaotic, and Gary Cohn’s ominous decision on March 6th to resign as the president’s chief economic adviser deprives the White House of a rare free-trader, signalling that it has fallen into protectionist hands. Not since its inception at the end of the second world war has the global trading system faced such danger.

This danger has several dimensions. One is the risk of tit-for-tat escalation. After the EU said it would retaliate with sanctions on American goods, including bourbon and Harley-Davidson motorbikes, Mr Trump threatened exports of European cars. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »


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Europe Between Trump and Xi

Posted by hkarner - 5. Januar 2018

Zaki Laïdi

Zaki Laïdi, Professor of International Relations at L’Institut d’études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), was an adviser to former French prime minister Manuel Valls. His most recent book is Le reflux de l’Europe.

French President Emmanuel Macron is trying to advance a new kind of „offensive multilateralism.“ But unless the European Union as a whole embraces the cause, Europe risks becoming a casualty of China’s efforts to bend the multilateral system to its own will or, worse, Trump’s efforts to dismantle it altogether.

PARIS – The most recent World Trade Organization ministerial conference, held in December in Buenos Aires, Argentina, was a fiasco. Despite a limited agenda, the participants were unable to produce a joint statement. But not everyone was disappointed by that outcome: China maintained a diplomatic silence, while the United States seemed to celebrate the meeting’s failure. This is bad news for Europe, which was virtually alone in expressing its discontent.

It is often pointed out that, in the face of US President Donald Trump’s blinkered protectionism, the European Union has an opportunity to assume a larger international leadership role, while strengthening its own position in global trade. The free-trade agreement recently signed with Japan will give the EU a clear advantage over the US in agriculture, and strengthening trade ties with Mexico could have a similar impact, as the US renegotiates the North American Free Trade Agreement. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Market failure: China takes on the EU at the WTO

Posted by hkarner - 9. Dezember 2017

Date: 08-12-2017
Source: The Economist

Both the EU and America are loth to weaken their defences against Chinese dumping

NOT all trade tension is made in America. China is suing the European Union at the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Hearings began this week. China thinks it deserves treatment as a “market economy”. The EU, supported by America, disagrees. As they lock horns, each side sees the other as breaking a promise.

China’s entry into the WTO in 2001 was part of a grand bargain. In return for market access, it promised economic reform. The deal laid out unusually strict terms. Any members’ exports can face anti-dumping duties if sold too cheap. But China’s accession agreement allowed others to erect stronger defences, and assume that it was a non-market economy when calculating the “fair” duty—using third-country prices for comparison. In practice this meant higher tariffs. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Whither the Multilateral Trading System?

Posted by hkarner - 7. Dezember 2017

Daniel Gros is Director of the Brussels-based Center for European Policy Studies. He has worked for the International Monetary Fund, and served as an economic adviser to the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the French prime minister and finance minister. He is the editor of Economie Internationale and International Finance.

The global economy today is dominated by three major players – China, the EU, and the US – with roughly equal trading volumes and limited incentive to fight for the rules-based global trading system. With cooperation unlikely, the world should prepare itself for the erosion of the World Trade Organization.

BRUSSELS – Free trade seems to have few supporters these days. Though actual trade volumes are recovering from the post-crisis recession and drop in commodity prices, “globalization” has become increasingly contentious, as exemplified by the election of US President Donald Trump on the back of a promise to rip up international agreements and get tough on trade partners. What does this mean for the future of the rules-based trading system?

Some 60 years ago, when the current rules-based global trading system was conceived, the United States was the world’s sole economic “hyperpower,” possessing unquestioned dominance in the day’s most advanced manufacturing industries. With enough power to impose rules, and enough dominance to be able to count on accruing the largest share of the benefits, it could – and did – perform the role of “benevolent hegemon.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Trump Passes Baton of Global Leadership to China’s Xi

Posted by hkarner - 21. November 2017

Date: 20-11-2017
Source: YaleGlobal by Nayan Chanda

Donald Trump’s dogged pursuit of “America First” policies are essentially ceding global influence and control to Xi Jinping of China. Nayan Chanda, the founding editor of YaleGlobal Online, analyzes the symbolism behind Trump’s speech delivered in Da Nang on November 10, the eve of Veterans Day in the United States. In 1965 US Marines landed on the beach of Da Nang, launching a doomed intervention in Vietnam. US leaders escalated the war, viewing their efforts as resisting the spread of communism and domination by China. But they misread history, failing to understand Vietnam’s long and wary relationship with China. China and Vietnam eventually came to embrace capitalism and the value of trade – though Vietnam still worries about Chinese dominance and in recent years has strengthened US ties as a security buffer. China’s Xi distracted Trump with pomp and parades and, later in his speech at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Da Nang, emphasized globalization, cooperation and international initiatives – thus presenting himself as the capable world leader on multilateral trade, climate change and other complex issues that do not interest Trump. Unfortunately for the world, both men fail to emphasize issues of human rights. – YaleGlobal

China’s Xi presents himself as a capable world leader who masters the world’s complex challenges that fail to interest Trump Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Posted by hkarner - 2. November 2017

Date: 01-11-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal By Jacob M. Schlesinger

The U.S. helped create the group to smooth global commerce and integrate a rising China. Instead, it’s become a battleground for intense national rivalries

GENEVA—Inside the cement compound housing the World Trade Organization lies a colorful Chinese garden of cultivated rocks, arches and calligraphy. The gift from the Chinese commerce ministry symbolizes “world prosperity through cross-cultural fertilization,” according to a marble plaque.

It’s not the only way China has left its mark on the institution.

Sixteen years after becoming a member, the world’s second-largest economy is in an increasingly tense standoff with the U.S. and Europe that threatens to undermine the WTO’s authority as an arbiter of global trade. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Der Schiedsrichter flieht vor dem Handelskrieg

Posted by hkarner - 9. Juli 2017

Die WTO macht den Weg frei für Trumps „Schutzzölle“ und beraubt sich so ihrer letzten Daseinsberechtigung.

Traut er sich? Oder traut er sich nicht? Führt Donald Trump wie angedroht Strafzölle auf Stahlimporte ein und zettelt so einen Handelskrieg mit EU und China an? Brüssel und Peking haben ihre Bedenken jedenfalls vorsorglich bei der Welthandelsorganisation (WTO) deponiert, die in solchen Fällen üblicherweise als Schiedsrichter fungiert. Doch diesmal scheint alles anders: „Die WTO ist nicht das richtige Forum für diesen Disput“, gab WTO-Chef Roberto Azevêdo beim G20-Gipfel zu Protokoll.

Interessant. Die WTO hat also offenbar keine Lust mehr, den Schiedsrichter zu spielen – und droht so ihre letzte Daseinsberechtigung zu verlieren. Viel mehr als zwei Aufgaben hat die 20 Jahre alte Organisation nämlich nicht: multilaterale Freihandelsverträge aushandeln und internationale Handelskonflikte beilegen. Punkt eins verfehlt die WTO seit Jahren grandios. 15 Jahre Doha-Runde brachten selbst bei freundlichster Betrachtung nur einen Minimalkompromiss. Die Beilegung von Konflikten funktionierte hingegen bisher gut. Warum nimmt sich die WTO da freiwillig aus dem Spiel?

Ihm seien die Hände gebunden, argumentiert Azevêdo sinngemäß. Artikel 21 der WTO-Regeln besagt, dass Staaten, die ihre protektionistischen Maßnahmen mit nationaler Sicherheit erklären, sich nicht weiter rechtfertigen müssten. Genau das versuchen jetzt die USA. Als Grund für die geplanten Zölle dienen nicht mehr angebliche Dumpingpreise der Ausländer. Stattdessen gibt Trump vor, die US-Stahlindustrie schützen zu müssen, um die Versorgung im Kriegsfall zu sichern. Tatsächlich landen allerdings nur drei Prozent der Stahlimporte bei Rüstungskonzernen. Dass die WTO der kruden Argumentation folgt, ist auch mit ihrer eigenen Schwäche zu erklären. Die USA drohten der Organisation bereits offen, ihren Schiedsspruch ohnedies ignorieren zu wollen. Dieser Schmach kommt Azevêdo mit seiner Verneigung nun zuvor. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The WTO Reborn?

Posted by hkarner - 23. Februar 2017

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Why Multilateralism Still Matters

Posted by hkarner - 30. November 2016

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How Donald Trump Can Fight Globalization

Posted by hkarner - 20. November 2016

Date: 18-11-2016
Source: Fortune

Globalization infiltrates every part of business and life, and most citizens may not even notice some of the trends in which they participate. US President Barack Obama noted while in Germany while adding that governments could do more to explain the complexities and ease hardships. “Make America Great Again” and “America First” of the Trump campaign were easy slogans that appealed to voters, especially the working class and others worried about jobs. Research suggests that “actual trends in globalization are much different than the political rhetoric from the 2016 election would suggest,” explains Chris Matthews for Fortune. Growth in cross-border trade has already slowed, and trade agreements can create more jobs than they eliminate. “And there is clear evidence that these other measures of globalization, including immigration to America, the flow of information into the country from globalist forces outside the U.S., and the flow of capital in the form of foreigners buying U.S. assets continues to grow healthily.” Analysts anticipate the Trump campaign to focus on immigration policies, but limits could impose costs in unexpected ways. – YaleGlobal

Globalization involves many complex trends; cross-border trade already slowed in recent years and, combined with technology, contributes to slow job growth

He shouldn’t fight the last war

One of Donald Trump’s most effective slogans during the presidential campaign was “America First.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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