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12 September 2022

Michael Gasiorek is Director of the UK Trade Policy Observatory and Professor of Economics at the University of Sussex Business School.

Once again, the UK has a new Prime Minister, a new cabinet, and thus a new Secretary of State for International Trade. This is the 4th Secretary of State for trade in five years! (more…)

September 12th, 2022

Posted In: UK - Non EU, UK- EU, Uncategorised

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22 August 2022

Peter Holmes is a Fellow of the UK Trade Policy Observatory and Emeritus Reader in Economics at the University of Sussex Business School. Guillermo Larbalestier is Research Assistant in International Trade at the University of Sussex and Fellow of the UKTPO.

After time in the shade, Freeports are back in the news. The policy has been embraced and a subject of discourse by both PM candidates, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, as part of their “benefits from Brexit” claims and “levelling up” strategies. There has also recently been concern by some commentators that Freeports risk becoming ‘Charter Cities’. (more…)

August 22nd, 2022

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18 July 2022

Michael Gasiorek is Director of the UK Trade Policy Observatory and Co-Director of the Centre for Inclusive Trade Policy. He is Professor of Economics at the University of Sussex Business School.

Boris Johnson was elected on the slogan and promise of ‘Get Brexit Done’. It is perhaps somewhat ironic, then, to see disagreement between the contenders to succeed him as to whether Brexit has actually yet been done. (more…)

July 18th, 2022

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25 May 2022

Amrita Saha is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Development Studies affiliated with the University of Sussex and Mattia Di Ubaldo is a Fellow of the UK Trade Policy Observatory and Research Fellow in Economics at the University of Sussex Business School.[1]

The third round of negotiations for the proposed UK-India Free Trade Agreement (FTA) were concluded in New Delhi on May 6, with news that a deal could be reached by the end of the year. Yet, there are diverse interests on both sides, so any deal would be hard negotiated. We reflect on the current UK-India trade relationship, the state of play of negotiations, and what businesses on both sides hope the FTA will deliver. (more…)

May 25th, 2022

Posted In: UK - Non EU

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Image of Alan Winters6 May 2022

L. Alan Winters is Professor of Economics at University of Sussex Business School and Founding Director of the UK Trade Policy Observatory and Guillermo Larbalestier is Research Assistant in International Trade at the University of Sussex and Fellow of the UKTPO.

The concept is simple: cut tariffs levied on food imports so the products become cheaper in the UK, right? In this blog, we look at the trade data and discuss the reasons why changing tariffs would hardly affect prices.[1]

  • Only a small proportion of imports pay tariffs.

In 2021, the UK imported £38.6 billion of food products[2] (equivalent to 7.6% of the UK’s total imports that year and about 46% of UK food consumption). Approximately 66% come from the EU and are already exempt from tariffs under the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA).[3] (more…)

May 6th, 2022

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4 May 2022

Minako Morita-Jaeger is Policy Research Fellow at the UK Trade Policy Observatory and
Senior Research Fellow in International Trade in the Department of Economics, University of Sussex

The UK Government is aiming to secure the UK’s status as “a global hub” of digital trade, using Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) as well as digital economy agreements. Driven by the UK’s Indo-Pacific tilt strategy, the UK has been signing FTAs that include specific chapters/agreements on digital trade (such as with Australia, New Zealand, and Japan) and a digital economy agreement with Singapore. (more…)

May 4th, 2022

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11 March 2022

Michael Gasiorek is Director of the UK Trade Policy Observatory and Professor of Economics at the University of Sussex Business School

President Biden announced today that the US, the EU, and the G7 countries (which includes the UK) will be suspending Russia’s Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status at the World Trade Organization (WTO). In this blog we look at what this actually means for the UK and what the potential trade implications are for the UK. (more…)

March 11th, 2022

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4 March 2022

Minako Morita-Jaeger is Policy Research Fellow at the UK Trade Policy Observatory
Senior Research Fellow in International Trade in the Department of Economics, University of Sussex

The UK signed a bilateral FTA with Australia on 17th December 2021. The Agreement is currently under UK parliamentary scrutiny for a three-month period until the middle of March. This is the first FTA the UK has negotiated with a trade partner ‘from scratch’. The Agreement is potentially an important benchmark for future trade negotiations, notably the ongoing application by the UK for accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). (more…)

March 4th, 2022

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13 January 2022

Image of Alan WintersL. Alan Winters is Professor of Economics and Founding Director of UK Trade Policy Observatory and Bernard Hoekman is Professor of Global Economics, European University Institute and Fellow of the UK Trade Policy Observatory

It is widely accepted that international economic relations depend upon a smoothly functioning multilateral trading system. That trading system, institutionally underpinned by the World Trade Organization (WTO), can both stimulate economic activity and help to promote international cooperation in spheres such as climate change and migration. However, the WTO is becoming less relevant to a world in which services account for a growing share of trade, interest in environmental regulation (notably on CO2 emissions) is growing, and digital technology is reshaping our lives.

These issues impinge directly on international trade and thus fall within the broad remit of international rulemaking in the WTO. However, decision making in the WTO typically requires consensus from all the Members, which is difficult to achieve when Members have different ideas about what the appropriate rules for dealing with such challenges are. Thus, not only has it become difficult for countries to agree on how to move forward, but these differences are creating new tensions in the global trading system.

One solution that would help to overcome the impasse is to facilitate those within the WTO who want to change particular rules to proceed among themselves by signing so-called ‘plurilateral’ agreements. The WTO foresees two types of plurilateral agreements, depending on whether what is agreed applies on a discriminatory or non-discriminatory basis. (more…)

January 13th, 2022

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10 December 2021

Image of Alan WintersMichael Gasiorek is Professor of Economics and Director of the UK Trade Policy Observatory at the University of Sussex and L. Alan Winters is Professor of Economics and Founding Director of UKTPO

China acceded to the World Trade Organisation twenty years ago. Yet despite being a member of the international trading club for two decades, China’s ‘role’ in the trading system continues to generate controversy  across a range of areas such as the alleged support to state-owned enterprises boosting their international competitiveness, restrictions on foreign direct investment in China and the ineffective intellectual property protection in China. In addition, and sometimes conflated with trade, there are technology-related security concerns and human rights abuses, notably with regard to the Uyghurs. The Covid-19 pandemic has also raised worries in some quarters about the vulnerability of supply chains, including over-reliance on particular suppliers such as China in critical sectors. (more…)

December 11th, 2021

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