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28 July 2020

Peter Holmes is a Reader in Economics at the University of Sussex and Julia Magntorn Garrett is a Research Officer in Economics at the University of Sussex. Both are Fellows of the UK Trade Policy Observatory.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) Freeports consultation document states duty inversion as one of the four core benefits of a Freeport: “If the duty on a finished product is lower than that on the component parts, a company could benefit by importing components duty free, manufacture the final product in the Freeport, and then pay the duty at the rate of the finished product when it enters the UK’s domestic market.” (more…)

July 28th, 2020

Posted In: UK - Non EU, UK- EU

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3 July 2020

A car constructed entirely of Korean components could be classed as Made in Britain under proposals put forward by the UK Government to the EU, our new analysis reveals.

As part of its negotiations over a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the UK is calling on the EU to allow it to escape EU tariffs on products made with imported parts from any country in the world that both the EU and the UK have FTAs with.

The UK Government is requesting that goods using inputs imported from third parties should be treated as if they had been made in the UK so long as the two relevant FTAs have equivalent rules of origin. (more…)

July 3rd, 2020

Posted In: UK- EU

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1 July 2020

Jaime de Melo is Emeritus Professor at the University of Geneva and a Researcher at the International Growth Centre.

Africa is the last continent to be hit by COVID-19. Toward the end of June, reported cases neared 300,000 and deaths 8,000 across the 54 countries. Coordination across countries has been low in spite of the cross-border nature of the pandemic and its effects.  The Regional Economic Communities (RECs), whose principal function was coordinating trade policy, and other supra-national institutions provide the institutional framework for the needed cooperation and joint action. The latter has proved difficult in the past, but recent actions give hope that COVID-19 might be the spark to start implementing the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in earnest. (more…)

July 1st, 2020

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Erika Szyszczak29 June 2020

Erika Szyszczak is Professor Emerita and a Fellow of the UKTPO, University of Sussex.

In response to the global economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic the European Commission has launched a major review of EU trade policy. The first act was to launch an inclusive online public consultation on a number of themes:

  • Building a resilient and sustainable EU economy after the coronavirus
  • Reforming the WTO
  • Creating global trade opportunities for businesses and in particular SMEs
  • Maximising the contribution of trade policy to addressing key global challenges: climate change, sustainable development, the digital transition
  • Strengthening of trade and investment relationships with key trading partners
  • Improving the level playing field and protecting EU business and citizens

(more…)

June 29th, 2020

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Image of Alan Winters12 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…)

June 12th, 2020

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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.

(more…)

June 11th, 2020

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Erika Szyszczak8 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…)

June 9th, 2020

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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…)

June 5th, 2020

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29 May 2020

Policymakers should resist the urge to make kneejerk and wholesale changes to supply chains and global trade policy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, an economist with the UK Trade Policy Observatory has warned.

Professor Michael Gasiorek, a trade policy expert at the University of Sussex Business School, is advising governments against making trade policy responses to the Coronavirus crisis which could have longer-lasting and potentially negative implications in the post-pandemic future for the global trading system. (more…)

May 29th, 2020

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28 May 2020

Sam Roscoe is a Senior Lecturer in Operations Management and Research Leader for the Supply Chain 4.0 Hub at the University of Sussex. He is an Associate Fellow of the UKTPO.

Boris Johnson has drawn up plans (codenamed Project Defend) to reduce the UK’s reliance on foreign countries for products that are deemed critical to the wellbeing of the nation. This follows a recent Fox News interview with President Donald Trump, who said “these stupid supply chains that are all over the world…..we should have them all in the United States”.  And, a recent article from The Economist (May 16th-22nd, 2020) that declared the end of globalisation, noting that the push to bring supply chains back home in the name of resilience is accelerating. Indeed, the pandemic has exposed that global supply chains are only as strong as their weakest link and is prompting a move from low-cost, overseas production towards the localisation of manufacturing.  (more…)

May 28th, 2020

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