Frihandel i media vecka 50

2019-12-12

Enligt en beräkning publicerad av BBC kommer nya frihandelsavtal inte kompensera för den ekonomiska skadan som Brexit förväntas orsaka:

“Post-Brexit trade deals will not make up for the economic damage inflicted on the UK from leaving the EU, analysis for BBC Newsnight has suggested.

Independent trade experts from the UK Trade Policy Observatory (UKTPO) looked at the likely impact of US, Australian and New Zealand free trade deals.

They found that even combined, new tariff-cutting agreements were likely to boost the UK economy by just 0.4%.

A simple free trade deal would also depress the economy UKTPO said.

The body said that moving from full EU membership to a simple deal with our closest trading partner – the objective enshrined in Boris Johnson’s Withdrawal Agreement – would depress the size of the economy by at least 1.8%.

A Conservative spokesperson said: “The prime minister’s fantastic deal makes clear that we will have a future relationship based on free trade and friendly cooperation. By striking trade deals around the world we will create exciting new opportunities for British businesses.”

The Conservative manifesto claims free trade is the “best way” to increase exports, cut prices and increase investment.

The upshot from this analysis is that there is no realistic prospect of new trade deals with other countries, even the “ambitious” deals touted by ministers, offsetting the economic hit from Brexit itself.

Moving to an EU free trade deal and striking new free trade agreements with the US, Australia and New Zealand has an estimated negative impact on the UK economy of 1.4% in the UKTPO results – equivalent to £28bn, or £1,000 per household.

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Prof Michael Gasiorek led the modelling project for UKTPO. He was unsurprised by the results.

“It’s arithmetic,” he said. “Tariffs on many goods are already quite low or zero so there are no great gains from lowering them.

“Also relative to how much we trade with the EU, we do much less with the US, Australia and New Zealand, so the overall impact on output is not massive.

“It certainly doesn’t offset the negative impact of leaving the EU. Further, agreeing on the removal of regulatory barriers will be difficult – as the EU had found in its negotiations with the US.”

The UKTPO results are in line with the findings of a Treasury modelling exercise in 2018, which estimated the benefit of any new trade deals would only be between 0.1 and 0.2% of GDP – a benefit dwarfed by the negative impact of leaving the EU’s single market and customs union.

Newsnight understands the Department for International Trade has now completed fresh impact assessments of US, Australian and New Zealand trade deals, which show results similar to the UKTPO findings, but that these are not due to be published until after Brexit and ahead of the publication of mandates for trade negotiators.”

2019-12-12

Lorrie Goldstein på Toronto Sun påpekar att liberaler och konservativa i Kanada har bytt åsikter om frihandel med varandra:

“With their enthusiastic endorsement of an amended free trade agreement between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico on Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Deputy PM Chrystia Freeland demonstrated one of the Liberals’ greatest political talents.

That is their ability to flip and then re-flip on their support for free trade, while claiming their latest position — whatever it is — will make Canada stronger.

On free trade, the Trudeau Liberals of 2019 bear no resemblance to the John Turner Liberals of 1988.

Back then, the Liberals were adamantly opposed to the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiated by then Progressive Conservative PM Brian Mulroney and U.S. President Ronald Reagan earlier that year.

During the 1988 election, Turner made virulent opposition to Mulroney’s deal the centrepiece of the Liberal campaign.

Turner called it “the fight of my life” and a famous Liberal attack ad during that campaign showed a U.S. negotiator erasing the 4,800-km Canada-U.S. border, suggesting Mulroney had handed control of Canada to the U.S.

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While Turner was declared the winner of the 1988 leaders’ debate, Mulroney won the election, having reversed the Conservatives’ historical opposition to free trade and paving the way for Mulroney, U.S. President George H.W. Bush and Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari to negotiate NAFTA in 1992.

That remained in effect until U.S. President Donald Trump demanded NAFTA be renegotiated after he won the U.S. presidency in 2016.

During that process, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, trading places with Turner in 1988, accused Trudeau of negotiating a bad deal for Canada, while Trudeau assumed Mulroney’s role of defending it.

Tuesday’s announcement of a modified Canada-US-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), signed by Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, contains revisions demanded by U.S. Democrats, who hold the majority of seats in the House of Representatives.

It now has to be approved by the U.S. Senate, where the Republicans, who are in control, say they won’t ratify the deal until after Trump’s impeachment trial.

As for Canada, our history shows that Liberals and Conservatives support free trade only when their own party is in charge of negotiating the deal.”

 

2019-12-10

Bönderna i Illinois gillar frihandel enligt Chicago Morning Star:

“Richard Guebert Jr. the president of the Illinois Farm Bureau, spoke in the annual meeting of the group in Chicago. He highlighted the key challenges they faced during the year 2019. He said, “I do not know about you, but I am ready to be done with 2019 and turn the page to 2020.” He talked about the key political and weather issues that plagued agriculture.

He told Illinois farmers to demonstrate the positive role of agriculture in solving the climate change issues. He also called for free trade. He criticized the “fair tax” proposed by the Gov. JB Pritzker. Guebert said that it was not the answer. He also said that the referendum to change the constitution and graduated income tax must be defeated.

Guebert highlighted the key issues that they faced in the year 2020 including weather challenges, African swine fever outbreak in China, Trump’s trade war, and low commodity prices. He said, “We weather these storms by being stronger together.” He called the spring floods in Illinois “unprecedented”. He said that it was eerie to see unplanted fields.

Guebert said that the seven-inch rainfall in several areas impacted the harvest. He added that they wanted to earn their income from the marketplace. He said, “We are in the sixth year of depressed commodity prices and low farm income.” He called the 2019 harvest “challenging”. The soybean export to China fell by 53% due to the trade war. Guebert requested President Trump to advance new trade agreements with China.

The US-China Business Council issued a report in July that revealed the severe losses of Illinois due to the ongoing trade war of Trump with China. Illinois lost $1.86 billion in exports from 2017 to 2018 due to the trade war, according to the report. Guebert said that the farmers felt betrayed by the Trump administration’s wavering support for ethanol. He added that members of Congress needed to prove their support towards the farmers by voting yes on trade agreements.”


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