Here are the trade issues we will be watching through the course of 2018:
Brexit: The two-year period for UK to negotiate its exit from the EU began on 29th March, 2017. Can the 30th March 2019 deadline be met? How will the anti-trade sentiments that fueled Brexit impact the negotiations? How are Brexit and these negotiations shaping Britain’s relationship with the EU and the rest of the world?
Trump on Trade: Since becoming U.S. President, Donald Trump has launched talks to re-negotiate the 24-year old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico. Can these talks conclude successfully by the self-imposed deadline of March 31, 2018? What are the implications of failure or success? The US has also begun talks regarding amendments to the 5-year old US-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS). What will the Administration’s 2018 trade policy agenda reveal about its trade priorities?
China on Trade: The Comprehensive Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership excludes the United States. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership of 16 Asia-Pacific countries includes China. How is China capitalizing on the Trump Administration’s “America First” approach to foreign relations and international trade?
World Trade Organization (WTO): The highpoint of the 11th WTO Ministerial, held in December 2017, was a decision to negotiate an agreement on fish subsidies. This seems an inconsequential result from the highest decision-making body of the organization that sets the rules governing international trade. Are there are no more major decisions to be made? Or are the institutional challenges facing the organization impeding its effectiveness? Can the WTO meets its stated vision of setting trade rules that also serve the interests of the developing countries who make up the majority of its members?