We are happy to welcome the European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström to Bruegel on 24 January to talk about the future of the EU's trade policy.
We are happy to welcome the European Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström on 24 January at Bruegel to discuss the future of EU-China relations in the context of a new US approach to China under Trump’s administration.
The year 2016 was certainly eventful as far as EU trade policy is concerned. Among the many developments that occurred during the past 12 months, three are particularly noteworthy. The first was the difficulties with the signature of the trade agreement with Canada (CETA) in October and the ability of the EU to engage in international agreements in the future, notably on investment. As part of this debate, Commissioner Malmström will advance her plans towards a Multilateral Investment Court, a new instrument to address some of the concerns related to disputes with foreign investors.
The second follows Trump’s election in the fact that the EU-US trade and investment partnership deal “will probably be in the freezer for quite some time”. Commissioner Malmström will share her prospects and expectations of engaging with the new administration and the future of TTIP. The third key development was the expiry of some provisions in China’s WTO protocol, the so-called ‘market economy status’.
Following the Commission’s proposal on 11th November for a new anti-dumping methodology and China’s request for WTO consultations with the EU and the US approach to China under Trump’s administration.
This event will be livestreamed on this page starting at 13.00. There is no need to register for the livestream.
Check-in and lunch
Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Trade
Chair: David Bremmer, Economy and Political Reporter, National Daily Algemeen Dagblad
Economy and Political Reporter, National Daily Algemeen Dagblad
European Commissioner for Trade
Trump has set out a plan to repatriate highly-paid manufacturing jobs to the US. But the idea that manufacturing jobs are better paid than service roles is a myth. Moreover, labour markets are slow to shift between sectors. An aggressive trade policy may create some jobs in manufacturing but will not be a benefit to US citizens in general.
Following the proposal from the Scottish Government that Scotland remain in the Single Market, the differing “Brexpectations” of the UK’s four constituent countries are once again back in the news. Scotland is getting a lot of attention in the Brexit debate, but Northern Ireland is an equally interesting case.
The UK government has high hopes that new trade deals with non-EU states will offer an economic boost after Brexit. But how likely is this to materialise? The authors show that a FTA with China is unlikely to offer much to the UK's prominent services sector. Strong links with the EU will remain vital.
It is too early to say what the Trump administration’s trade policy will look like – but a total cut-off from Asian partners is unlikely. It would harm the US economy, and offer China even more scope to cement its position in Asia. Nevertheless, with TPP and TTIP both looking unlikely, the EU should move fast to build relationships with China and ASEAN countries.
What's at stake: this week has been filled with news that the he small Belgian region of Wallonia intended to veto CETA (the Canada-EU trade agreement). Eventually, Wallonia conceded defeat and agreed to let the agreement go on. But meanwhile, it spurred a debate on trade agreements and their sovereignty implications, which we summarise here.
Wallonia recently voted against the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), which aims to eliminate 98% of tariffs between Canada and EU. While the ratification is currently on hold, we take a look at the figures for EU-Canada trade.
A China-UK free trade agreement has been extensively discussed since the UK’s vote for Brexit. Many supporters of Brexit argue that the UK’s regained flexibility to strike trade deals with other partners, and in particular with China given its economic size, will be a key advantage. This analysis indicates that a China-UK FTA will be neither as easy nor as clearly advantageous as portrayed by Brexit supporters.
Theresa May's recently announced that she will trigger Article 50 no later than March 2017. Guntram Wolff debriefs May's speech and the implications for the future of EU-UK relations.
Much has been written about the Belt and Road initiative since Xi Jinping made it Beijing’s flagship initiative in September 2013. There are many interpretations of the initiative’s ultimate objectives, but one objective is clear. The belt and road scheme will bring huge improvements in regional and international connectivity through infrastructure upgrades and trade facilitation across a massive geographic area.
The Belt and Road aims to ease bottlenecks for cross-border trade in Asia, Europe and Africa. This paper measures empirically whether the reduction in transportation costs will have a positive impact on trade flows for Belt and Road countries and for EU countries. The authors also explore the possibility that the Belt and Road may eventually go beyond its current objectives towards the creation of a free trade area.
The UK Government appears divided on whether the United Kingdom should seek to remain within the European Union’s customs union after Brexit. The United Kingdom is likely to want to leave the customs union, even it remains in the EU’s single market. But the UK should try and keep to the EU’s commitments at the WTO, at least at the start, in order to minimise the trade disruption that Brexit entails.
There are concerns that the UK’s decision to leave the EU may jeopardise future TTIP negotiations. Some fear Brexit could make the EU a less attractive trade partner for the US. However, it seems that the new US administration as well as upcoming elections in Germany and France could end up posing bigger threats to the trade agreement than Brexit.