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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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Guest blog by Emily Jones, Associate Professor in Public Policy and Director of the Global Economic Governance Programme and Anna Sands, Research Officer of the Global Economic Governance Programme both at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford.

30 September 2020

In the next few weeks Parliament will decide how much scrutiny it has over the UK’s future trade deals. The Trade Bill is currently in the House of Lords, and a series of amendments have been tabled that aim to strengthen Parliament’s role.

As things stand, Parliament’s role will be minimal. The negotiation and ratification of international trade agreements falls under the Royal Prerogative – the making of international treaties is one of the few actions that Ministers can take without the approval of Parliament. (more…)

September 30th, 2020

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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

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8 July 2020

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

Japan and the UK launched the Japan-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiation on 9th June. The two governments agreed to “work quickly to make the new partnership as ambitious, high standard, and mutually beneficial as the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement”.[1] As negotiations accelerate, there are three fundamental issues to consider when assessing the deal. (more…)

July 8th, 2020

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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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