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Photo of Emily Lydgate3 March 2021

Dr Emily Lydgate is Senior Lecturer in Environmental Law at the University of Sussex, and a Deputy Director of UKTPO. Chloe Anthony is a doctoral researcher at the University of Sussex.

This blog was first published on LSE British Politics and Policy.

Due to differences in underlying logic, there is much potential for trade and climate policy to conflict. Fundamentally, world trade rules and agreements aim to facilitate the free movement of goods and services, and restrict subsidies that distort trade. Climate policy, on the other hand, aims to support the low-carbon economy and restrict trade in high-carbon goods and services. The UK was the first country to put its climate target into law in 2008; it has met its first two interim targets for emissions reduction and is on course to meet the third in 2022. Yet analysis has shown that the first two emissions targets were met due to changes in accounting methods and the financial crisis, rather than due to effective policymaking. (more…)

March 3rd, 2021

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25 February 2021

Peter Holmes is a Fellow of the UKTPO. Guillermo Larbalestier is Research Assistant in International Trade at the University of Sussex.

The Government’s competition for proposals to create ten Freeports across the UK came to a close earlier this month with an announcement of the successful locations expected soon. Freeports are areas within a country that are outside its customs territory. Goods coming into the country via Freeports are exempt from paying tariffs until they enter the mainland or are shipped to another country. In the UK Freeports model[1] these areas may also be subject to special regulatory, tax, or subsidy rules. Such features may make the terms Enterprise Zone, Special Economic Zone or, the more general, Free Trade Zone more appropriate. The full details of all bids have not been published but summary reports indicate wide variety of business cases. (more…)

February 25th, 2021

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3 February 2021

Michael Gasiorek is Professor of Economics and Director of the UKTPO.  Guillermo Larbalestier is Research Assistant in International Trade, and Nicolo Tamberi is Research Officer in Economics, both for the UKTPO.

As widely anticipated and signalled in advance, the International Trade Secretary announced on Monday 1 February that the UK notified the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), of its intention to join. The CPTPP is a free trade agreement between 11 ‘Pacific’ countries which was signed in 2018.[1] This is an early step in the UK’s newfound and hard-won sovereign and independent trade policy. (more…)

February 3rd, 2021

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Erika Szyszczak4 December 2020

Professor Erika Szyszczak is Fellow of the UKTPO.

The preoccupation in the final stages of the Brexit talks with an industry that contributes 0.12% to GDP and employs less than 0.1% of the UK workforce baffles commentators. Control over “our” fishing waters owes more to maintaining the British psyche rather than economic arguments.  Amidst fears that the traditional UK fish and chip supper could be at risk without a fisheries deal with the EU, the UK has put in place a series of Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with four Northern fishing nations; Greenland, Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands. (more…)

December 4th, 2020

Posted In: UK - Non EU, UK- EU

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13 November 2020

Guest blog by Emily Jones, Associate Professor in Public Policy, and Beatriz Kira, Senior Research and Policy Officer, both at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford. 

The Government’s new approach to digital trade deserves close scrutiny. It has described the new digital provisions in the UK-Japan agreement as going “far beyond the EU’s” to make the deal “truly cutting-edge”. Digital trade is a priority in negotiations with the US too. Earlier this week a spokesperson said the UK and US have already agreed provisions on digital trade and data that are “forward-leaning” and argued that this would make a UK deal attractive to the new Biden administration. (more…)

November 13th, 2020

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29 October 2020

Yohannes Ayele is Research Fellow in the Economics of Brexit at the University of Sussex and Fellow of the UKTPO.

Update 30 October 2020: This is a slightly revised version of the blog we released yesterday. Sorry for any confusion we may have caused. Essentially, we tripped over the fact that the first year of the UK-Japan CEPA trade liberalisation schedule lasts for only one month, in order to bring it into line with that of the EU-Japan EPA.

Having left the EU and with the conclusion of the transition period at the end of 2020, the signing of new free trade agreements with countries that cover 80% of the UK trade by 2022 has been an integral part of government plans. On 23 October 2020, the UK signed its first post-Brexit free trade agreement  – with Japan, the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). This blog provides an analysis of the extent of the trade liberalisation in this new deal. (more…)

October 29th, 2020

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22 October 2020

Dr Minako Morita-Jaeger, International Trade Policy Consultant and Fellow, UK Trade Policy Observatory at the University of Sussex.

The Japan-UK Free Trade Agreement will be signed soon, the UK’s first post-Brexit trade agreement. While the Agreement has a certain political significance, its economic impact is likely to be very small. This is because it contains very limited improvements relative to the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). While a detailed examination will only become possible once the text is put on the public domain, one of the key shortfalls in the agreement appears to be the treatment of investment. (more…)

October 22nd, 2020

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Image of Alan Winters 15 October 2020

Max Mendez-Parra is Senior Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute. Ian Mitchell is a senior fellow and the director of development cooperation in Europe at the Center for Global Development.  L. Alan Winters is Founding Director and Fellow of the UKTPO.

Three years ago, the government pledged “to help improve access to UK markets for world’s poorest countries post-Brexit.” To assess that promise, we have analysed how the United Kingdom’s new Global Tariff (UKGT) affects low- and lower-middle income countries (LICs and LMICs). We found that in terms of tariffs, access will not actually improve for up to 95 LICs and LMICs, though neither will their exports be materially damaged. Still, Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana and Kenya are yet to roll over their trade deals and risk facing higher trade tariffs with the UK if no agreement is reached. (more…)

October 15th, 2020

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2 October 2020

The UKTPO held its third annual conference on Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16 September. The conference, under the theme ‘World Trade Policy: Back to the Future?’, addressed two of the most important issues in trade policy today.

Three presentations explored aspects of the as yet unknown UK trading regime after the end of the transition period, including the impact of uncertainty, the effect of tariff reversals, and the political economy of protection, respectively. Secondly, trade in the 21st century is ever more intertwined with other areas of public policy and, this year, two sessions explored the links between trade and the environment. Lastly, the conference concluded with a Roundtable discussion on trade and economic cohesion in the UK after Brexit. (more…)

October 2nd, 2020

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2 October 2020

This Trade Finance Talks podcast was first published on Trade Finance Global on 29 September 2020.

Trade is a force for good, but with the current COVID-19 pandemic, the World Trade Organization facing its biggest challenges yet, and a turn towards protectionism in many economies, the current trade outlook is unsettling, and uncertain.

The UK’s trading regime after the end of the transition period yields much uncertainty and potential tariff reversals in just a few months. In this episode of Trade Finance Talks, Deepesh Patel and Professor L. Alan Winters discuss the power of good trade policy, how trade negotiations are done, and how to mitigate the negative effects of trade.

(more…)

October 2nd, 2020

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