12 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…)
George Meredith June 12th, 2020
27 May 2020
L. Alan Winters CB is Professor of Economics and Director of the UKTPO. Mattia Di Ubaldo is a Research Fellow in the Economics of European Trade Policies, and Palitha Konara is a Senior Lecturer in International Business at the University of Sussex. Both are Fellows of the UKTPO.
COVID-19 and Brexit may appear as independent shocks but, in fact, they are interrelated. First, as the UKTPO and many others have argued, because COVID has disrupted the preparation for and conduct of negotiations on the future UK-EU trading arrangements, the UK government should ask for an extension to the transition period. This would allow the UK and EU to work out details of mutual cooperation that will be beneficial on both sides of the channel. (more…)
George Meredith May 27th, 2020
1 May 2020
An international agreement on vital medical goods that keeps import restrictions low and constrains the use of export bans could help ensure all countries have sufficient supplies for the fight against Coronavirus, our new briefing paper proposes.
According to the report, which was produced in collaboration with Global Trade Alert, a global bargain where exporting nations give assurances medical supplies will not be cut off arbitrarily and importing governments agree not to re-introduce their import restrictions would remove disruption and uncertainty around the availability of life-saving goods. (more…)
George Meredith May 1st, 2020
14 October 2019
Michael Gasiorek is Professor of Economics at the University of Sussex and a Fellow of the UK Trade Policy Observatory.
With the current state of negotiations between the UK and the EU it is easy to see why attention is focussed on the politics of a possible agreement. The contentious issue is, of course, that of the Irish border. However, the focus on the politics means that there has been little discussion of the economic impacts and specifically of the vulnerability of the Northern Irish economy to the decisions being made. (more…)
Charlotte Humma October 14th, 2019
Posted In: UK- EU
1 April 2019
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.
During the first round of the indicative voting process at Parliament, the motion that proposes a permanent customs union attracted the second highest number of Ayes and was rejected by the slimmest margin of all eight motions. This result shows the prevailing preoccupation with trade in merchandise goods. Amongst other things, a customs union alone does nothing for services trade. In this blog, we set out why the continued neglect of services trade is a major concern for the UK economy. A twin-jet aircraft with just one engine on would ordinarily be bound for an emergency landing rather than for a smooth journey ahead. (more…)
Charlotte Humma April 1st, 2019
3 August 2018
Dr Emily Lydgate is a lecturer in Law, Dr Peter Holmes is a reader in Economics and Dr Michael Gasiorek is a Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Sussex. They are all fellows of the UK Trade Policy Observatory.
In describing the future regulatory relationship between the EU and UK, the recent UK White Paper proposes the notion of ‘equivalence’ in some areas. This may seem like a mere technical requirement, but equivalence is a loaded word in trade policy circles, and the UK government’s reliance on it bears further scrutiny.
With respect to goods, ‘equivalence’ shows up in two main ways. First, the UK states that it will maintain equivalence (rather than exact harmonisation with EU regulation) for some food policy rules in the context of a (more…)
Tina Perrett August 3rd, 2018
Posted In: UK- EU
L. Alan Winters CB is Professor of Economics and Director of the Observatory and Julia Magntorn is Research Officer in Economics at the UKTPO.
There is much to digest in the White Paper on The future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union and much to clarify. This blog is devoted entirely to trying to understand the Facilitated Customs Arrangement (FCA) that aims to deliver frictionless trade in goods between the UK and the EU after Brexit.
The FCA matters because trade that is ‘as frictionless as possible’ with the EU is now accepted by nearly everyone as desirable and has been characterised by much of business as essential. It also matters in the short term, however, because it is the UK government’s offer to the EU on how to ensure that there is no border between Northern Ireland and the Republic. Without a solution to this latter problem there will be no Withdrawal Agreement and no transition. (more…)
Charlotte Humma July 23rd, 2018
Posted In: UK - Non EU
11 January 2018
Two of the biggest Brexit-voting regions would be hit hardest by a potential fall in services exports upon leaving the EU, new analysis suggests. (more…)
Charlotte Humma January 11th, 2018
26 October 2017
Nicolo Tamberi is Research Assistant for the UKTPO and Charlotte Humma is the UKTPO’s business manager.
Leaving the Single Market and the Customs Union will require the implementation of new border controls between the UK and the EU that will surely increase transport time and therefore costs. However minimal they may be, these new procedures will negatively affect trade between the two parties.
According to a study by EY, Economic footprint of the Channel Tunnel fixed link, trade between Folkestone and Calais via the Eurotunnel was estimated to be £91.4 billion or 24.8% of trade with the EU in 2014. Goods transported through the Channel Tunnel are exported from and imported to every region of the UK.
Today, transporting things from one shore to the other requires minimal controls such as those that exist between Surrey and Somerset. Businesses on both sides of the channel increase their efficiency by integrating their supply chains and by relying on the prompt connection across the channel. So, what about Brexit? If one thing is clear in the impenetrable mist surrounding the future UK-EU relations, it is that exiting the Single Market and the Customs Union will require increased border controls. (more…)
Tina Perrett October 26th, 2017
Posted In: UK- EU
27 September 2017
Steve McGuire is Professor of Business and Public Policy and Head of the School of Business, Management and Economics at the University of Sussex. He is a Fellow of the UKTPO.
As Bombardier is bombarded with a 220% tariff increase on exports to the US, the UK needs to wise up. There are two key points from the Boeing-Bombardier dispute that have implications for Brexit. First, leaving the European Union will not affect the sovereignty that national governments already have to dish out state aid for key industries. This will not change. Second, and this is the critical point, trade is bound up in broader political calculations. (more…)
Charlotte Humma September 27th, 2017