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14 December 2022

Ruby Acquah and Mattia Di Ubaldo are Fellows of the UK Trade Policy Observatory and Research Fellows in Economics at the University of Sussex Business School. This blog was originally published by Trade 4 Sustainable Development.

The Role of Non-trade Provisions in PTA’s in Attaining the SDGs.

Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) are being increasingly used as a tool to pursue various non-trade policy objectives such as the protection of human rights and labour rights, the promotion of environmental sustainability, and combating climate change. (more…)

December 14th, 2022

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7 December 2022

Emily Lydgate, Reader in Environmental Law at University of Sussex and Deputy Director of the UKTPO [1]

Figures from the World Trade Organization suggest that the negotiation of new Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) peaked in 2008, and has since declined.[2] Meanwhile, the Biden Administration has disavowed FTAs. The UK emerged post-Brexit as an enthusiastic advocate, responsible for much of the 2020 outlying peak in WTO FTA notifications. However, even in the UK, the Trade Secretary recently said: ‘I would like us to move away from the DIT being seen as the Department for Free Trade Agreements and back to the Department for International Trade.’

Having created a so-called spaghetti bowl of FTAs, are the wealthy countries that have driven most FTA negotiations[3] finally running out of noodles? (more…)

December 7th, 2022

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14 October 2022

Maria Savona is Professor of Economics of Innovation at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex Business School and Full Professor at the Department of Finance and Economics at LUISS Business School in Rome. Filippo Bontadini is Assistant Professor in Applied Economics at LUISS and Associate Fellow at SPRU, University of Sussex. Valentina Meliciani is Professor of Applied Economics and Dean of the School of European Political Economy at LUISS. Ariel L. Wirkierman is Lecturer in Economics at Goldsmiths, University of London. 

After the great recession of 2008-2009, the world economy seemed to enter a phase of de-globalisation or deceleration in globalisation. But, is this really the case? Are we actually just experiencing a reorganisation and regionalization of production and value chains? Are these trends similarly affecting Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas, or are there regionally distinctive trends? (more…)

October 14th, 2022

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Erika Szyszczak16 September 2022

Erika Szyszczak is a Fellow of the UK Trade Policy Observatory and Professor Emerita of Law at the University of Sussex.

On 23 February 2022, in a Communication on decent work worldwide, the EU announced a new legislative initiative tackling issues of sustainability and working conditions in global trade. [1] On the same day, the European Commission published a proposal for a Directive on corporate sustainability due diligence. (more…)

September 16th, 2022

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12 September 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.

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

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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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8 August 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. Guillermo Larbalestier is Research Assistant in International Trade at the University of Sussex and Fellow of the UKTPO.

The UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) came into force in January 2021, as part of the UK’s post-Brexit trading arrangements. CEPA was designed to largely replicate the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), to which the UK had been a party. On the face of it, there was little additional economic value to the UK, since CEPA provisions follow EPA provisions so closely, except for a chapter on digital trade. (more…)

August 8th, 2022

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14 June 2022

Mattia Di Ubaldo is a Fellow of the UK Trade Policy Observatory and a Research Fellow in Economics at the University of Sussex Business School. Michael Gasiorek is Director of the UK Trade Policy Observatory and Professor of Economics at the University of Sussex Business School.

The UK Government has published its bill on the Northern Ireland Protocol (NIP), making a clear move to try to force changes in the arrangements disciplining the economic regime applying to the portion of the UK that has remained in the EU Single Market post-Brexit. The points of strongest contention between the UK Government and the EU concern the custom and regulatory checks applying to trade flowing from Great Britain to Northern Ireland together with a list of additional issues resulting from Northern Ireland remaining part of the EU Single Market territory: the regulatory regime applying to firms in Northern Ireland, rules on VAT, the use of state subsidies, and the role of the European Court of Justice in overseeing the NIP. (more…)

June 14th, 2022

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Trade and Public Policy (TaPP) Network [1]

13 June 2022 [2]

Free trade agreements (FTAs) cover the liberalisation of goods, services, and investment and can have substantial and long-term implications for many areas of public policy, from the environment to public health, from industrial strategy to farming practices. In the UK, parliamentary scrutiny plays an important role in holding the Government to account and ensuring that UK FTAs reflect the public interest, from negotiations to signature, and later, implementation. This blog highlights six ways to further strengthen the process. (more…)

June 13th, 2022

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27 January 2022

Michael Gasiorek is Professor of Economics and Director of the UK Trade Policy Observatory at the University of Sussex and Guillermo Larbalestier is Research Assistant in International Trade at the University of Sussex and Fellow of the UKTPO.

The crisis between Ukraine and Russia is deeply concerning – for the people of Ukraine, but also in terms of broader ramifications for world order and stability. NATO’s strategy to avoid direct military action against Russia points at diplomacy and economic sanctions. It is therefore useful to consider the possible role of these in the realm of international trade.

As we show below, Russian trade is highly dependent on the EU and NATO member states. Hence, the scope for the use of such policy is there. This is not an argument, however, for so doing – as that involves complex political trade-offs (which are beyond the scope of this blog). The importance of Russia as a supplier in particular sectors, notably energy, and hence the dependence of the EU and NATO member states on Russia is also a factor in those trade-offs.

(more…)

January 27th, 2022

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