12 June 2020
Simon Evenett is Professor of International Trade and Economic Development at the University of St. Gallen, and coordinator of the Global Trade Alert. He is an Associate Fellow of the UKTPO. L. Alan Winters CB is Professor of Economics and Director of the UKTPO.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted trade policy, along with everything else. As nations scrambled this year to source medical supplies – equipment, drugs and personal protective equipment – 89 governments imposed 154 restrictions on exports. What is much less well known is that 154 reforms easing imports of these goods were implemented by 104 nations too. It took a pandemic for some policymakers to grasp that taxing imported soap makes no sense.
As well as up-ending trade in the medical goods, these policy shifts have the unintended consequence of providing the foundation for a new trade bargain between nations over medical supplies. As a sizeable and reliable exporter of these goods this matters for the UK and comes at the time when British ministers and officials want to showcase an independent trade policy. It is at times like these—when the big beasts of the world trading system are at loggerheads—that, traditionally, the free trading so-called middle powers lay the groundwork for the next trade deals. (more…)
George Meredith June 12th, 2020
11 June 2020
Dr Ingo Borchert is Senior Lecturer in Economics and Julia Magntorn Garrett is a Research Officer in Economics at the University of Sussex. Both are fellows of the UK Trade Policy Observatory.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, attention has shifted away from the economic implications of Brexit and towards what a post-COVID economy might look like. This is understandable, yet by now it looks as if a hard Brexit might be just around the corner. Last week the fourth round of negotiations between the UK and the EU ended without visible progress, and the Government has repeatedly ruled out an extension to the transition period. Thus, in spite of the continuing impact of COVID-related restrictions, it seems warranted to put back into focus some features of the UK economy that are likely to change after the transition period has ended.
George Meredith June 11th, 2020
8 June 2020
Professor Erika Szyszczak is Professor Emerita and a Fellow of UKTPO, University of Sussex.
Control over state aid is a stumbling block for the future of a EU-UK trade agreement. The EU is seeking dynamic alignment of any future UK state aid rules. This is a bold demand, especially since the EU state aid rules will be in a state of flux in the forthcoming years. But if no agreement is reached there are implications for domestic UK policy. (more…)
George Meredith June 9th, 2020
Posted In: UK- EU
Tags: State aid
05 June 2020
Businesses should expect more paperwork, bureaucracy and additional costs on trade between Northern Ireland and Great Britain when the transition period ends in seven months’ time.
The UK’s recently published Command Paper highlights significant differences between the UK and the EU and does not fully address the challenges which come from the special situation around that border, warns our latest Briefing Paper – The unresolved difficulties of the Northern Ireland Protocol – co-authored by Prof Michael Gasiorek and Dr Anna Jerzewska. The paper highlights several areas where the UK’s interpretation of what was previously agreed appears to differ from the EU’s position. (more…)
George Meredith June 5th, 2020
Posted In: UK- EU