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Trump’s beggar-thy-neighbour trade strategy is anything but foolish - The Globe and Mail

The U.S. administration’s tariffs are actually perfectly rational – from Mr. Trump’s perspective (i.e. his worldview).

The extent of the punitive tariffs Mr. Trump is imposing is unprecedented. They threaten to bring down the system of global trade – Bretton Woods' meticulously calibrated, multilateral system of rules has 164 member-states and comprises tens of thousands of products--by design.

World Trade Organization (WTO) tribunals – which are about to grind to a halt because the United States has not named a judge to the seven-member Appellate Body – were meant to ensure that everyone sticks to the rules....
The President is now intent on destroying co-operation within the WTO by driving wedges between the world’s trading blocs and countries. The United States would be in a much stronger position if it could negotiate with each trade bloc directly. ....Mr. Trump’s recent musings about replacing NAFTA with two separate trade agreements with Canada and Mexico are further evidence to that effect. Canada risks selling out the WTO by making concessions to the United States.

China, too, is negotiating bilaterally with the United States and is already caving to American demands. In the end, the large trading blocs are likely to divide up the world among themselves; countries with little leverage, such as Canada, could become collateral damage......Where once the goal of the United States was to rise to global hegemony, today its goal is to maintain that dominance.

So, that same rules-based system is now causing competitors.... Under these conditions, it is no longer in the interest of the United States to co-operate; as the global political and economic hegemon, the United States can win a strategic competition for wealth and power. Everyone ends up poorer, but the United States remains top dog because everyone else grows poorer faster than the United States. Beggar thy neighbour. Literally.

But being frank will not sit well with Canadians; painting Mr. Trump as a crazy buffoon is more politically expedient. So, along with the EU and China, Canada falls right into Mr. Trump’s bilateral trade-negotiation trap. R.I.P. WTO. Score: Trump 1; Canada 0.
beggar-thy-neighbour  bilateral  Canada  Canadian  China  crossborder  NAFTA  Donald_Trump  EU  international_system  international_trade  Justin_Trudeau  middle-powers  multilateralism  negotiations  punitive  rules-based  tariffs  WTO  worldviews  mercantilism  zero-sum 
16 days ago by jerryking
Trade After Brexit: What the Deals Might Look Like - WSJ.com
With Britain voting to leave the European Union, it could face a raft of new tariffs
brexit  tariffs  tariff  wto  eu  uk  politics  eccomomics  tax  import  export 
6 weeks ago by iaeon
World Trade Organization conference could be consequential for e-commerce
The protection and enforcement of IPR has always been a longstanding component of United States international trade policy. But as IPR creeps into more internationally traded goods – especially those conventionally seen as “low tech,” such as household goods and automobiles – it is implicit upon the WTO to continue to its broad approach to IPR protection. As more and more goods become “smart,” countries cannot allow the enforcement of IPR to put undue burdens on consumers, researchers and tinkerers. The WTO should be careful not to impose excessive copyrights or “digital locks” that keep users from accessing goods they legally purchase.
wto  trade-policy  IP 
11 weeks ago by elrob
China Started the Trade War, Not Trump
March 23, 2018 | WSJ | By Greg Ip.

Even free traders and internationalists agree China’s predatory trade practices—which include forcing U.S. business to transfer valuable technology to Chinese firms and restricting access to Chinese markets—are undermining both its partners and the trading system....starting in the 1980s, economists recognized that comparative advantage couldn’t explain success in many industries such as commercial jetliners, microprocessors and software. These industries are difficult for competitors to enter because of steep costs for research and development, previously established technical standards, increasing returns to scale (costs drop the more you sell), and network effects (the more customers use the product, the more valuable it becomes).......In such industries, a handful of firms may reap the lion’s share of the wages and profits (what economists call rents), at the expense of others. China’s efforts are aimed at achieving such dominance in many of these industries by 2025.
trade_wars  Greg_Ip  Donald_Trump  China  myths  China_rising  tariffs  comparative_advantage  predatory_practices  network_effects  increasing_returns_to_scale  winner-take-all  WTO  protectionism 
12 weeks ago by jerryking
United States tells WTO of concerns over China's new web access rules
On Friday, the U.S. told the World Trade Organization (WTO) that China's new VPN restrictions will disrupt cross-barrier trade and warrant discussion by the global economic arbiter, Reuters reports: "'The United States urges China to address these concerns quickly and pursue new policies that promote rather than disrupt cross-border transfers of information and trade in services,' [the U.S.] said in a statement to the WTO’s Services Council. In January 2017, China published a circular on 'Cleaning up and Regulating the Internet Access Service Market', which seemed to put new restrictions on virtual private networks (VPNs) and leased lines, it said...The circular would expressly ban VPNs or leased lines from connecting data centers inside and outside China, the U.S. statement said...“Since this measure is due to enter into force by 31 March 2018, we request that China expeditiously respond to these questions and concerns,” the United States said."
otf  wto  china  vpn  access  trade 
february 2018 by dmcdev
US says China WTO membership was a mistake
The Trump administration has said that allowing China to join the World Trade Organization was a mistake and accused Beijing of moving further away from becoming a market economy.
china  wto  trump  russia  to_blog 
january 2018 by yorksranter

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