It’s almost impossible to summarise the dispute between China and most other major trading nations at the WTO.
There are five key issues surrounding the EU’s role in the world economy.
On February 15, the EU’s Parliament approved the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with Canada, abolishing tariffs on 98% of EU-Canada trade.
They claim Customs procedures will be bureaucracy-free and “risk-based.” But even their claims accept 10% of arrivals might be unnecessarily delayed. Who really believes government assurances on future IT projects? And no hint of how urgently Britain’s partners might respond to the challenges.
China’s income from apparel exports falls dramatically in the second half of 2016. Especially in exports to the UK.
The US dollar value of China’s apparel exports fell year on year by 11.4% in the last six months of 2016: an abrupt worsening of the 4.5% fall in the first six months.
The EU appears to be accepting greater political variation between its members, as the leading candidate in the French Presidential elections announced her policy of calling a referendum on EU membership.
Seemingly endless January trade-related government announcements in the US and UK lacked a single detail businesses could use for planning.
The EU and Mexico announced on February 1 an “accelerated timetable” to upgrade their current free trade deal. Though two more rounds of talks were planned for the first half of 2017, no date has been offered for agreement or for ratifying any ensuing deal.
“Trump may have killed the TPP, and while Vietnam’s textile and garment industry may be affected there are still benefits to be had,” says one real businessman.
The eleven countries abandoned by the US when it left the Trans Pacific Partnership on January 23 appear seriously divided about what to do next. Beijing continues to suggest their best response is a completely different arrangement centred on China.
The EU’s Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said in a January 24 speech that the “The election of Donald Trump seems likely to put our EU-US [TTIP] negotiations firmly in the freezer at least for a while”.