Summary: Soumaya Keynes (The Economist) and Chad P. Bown (Peterson Institute for International Economics) cohost a podcast about the economics of international trade and policy. From trade wars to trade deals, this podcast covers trade developments with insights and economic analysis from two of the world's top trade geeks.
Stephen Vaughn, formerly the Trump administration’s USTR General Counsel, joins in a wide-ranging conversation about the Trump administration’s trade policy. They discuss critiques of the pre-Trump approach (3:04), as well as Trump’s approach on China (6:00), the European Union (18:30), the WTO Appellate Body (22:50), and more. Episode Transcript [PDF]
Companies can now “print” some products locally, obviating the need for trade. But for hearing aids, the economic shakeup has turned out different thus far. Caroline Freund and Michele Ruta (World Bank) join to discuss their new research examining the many ways the introduction of a transformative technology impacted global trade and consumer access to one important 3D-printed product. Read more… Freund, Caroline, Alen Mulabdic and Michele Ruta. 2019. Is 3D Printing a Threat to Global Trade? The Trade Effects You Didn’t Hear About, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No 9024.Freund, Caroline, Alen Mulabdic and Michele Ruta. 2019. Trade effects of 3D printing (that you didn’t hear about). VoxEU.org, 28 October.
The WTO authorizes China to retaliate against US exports. The timing bodes poorly for an Appellate Body already under stress. They discuss how the US has failed to fix its antidumping and the “single rate presumption” issue in this dispute, as well as the history of WTO challenges to US use of trade remedies. As the clock ticks toward potential end of the Appellate Body on December 11, they also speak with former WTO AB member Peter Van den Bossche (World Trade Institute) about American complaints over judicial activism, overreach, and precedent at the WTO. Read more… World Trade Organization. 2019. “DS471: United States — Certain Methodologies and their Application to Anti-Dumping Proceedings Involving China.”
Services trade gets no respect. The release of the WTO’s World Trade Report 2019 gave us a chance to fix that. Roberta Piermartini and Stela Rubinova (World Trade Organization) as well as Alan Beattie (Financial Times) join to provide insights on services trade from the Report. They explain services trade’s growing importance relative to goods trade, the sectors and countries driving the increase, the various modes by which it is delivered, and why liberalizing services trade is just so hard. Read more… World Trade Organization. 2019. World Trade Report 2019: The Future of Services Trade, October.
Paul Blustein (Centre for International Governance Innovation) joins to discuss the contentious process of US-China negotiations in the late 1990s that ultimately resulted in China joining the World Trade Organization. Their discussion of his latest book – Schism: China, America, and the Fracturing of the Global Trading System – sets the stage for much of the subsequent challenges that continue to affect the US-China trade relationship today. Read more… Paul Blustein. 2019. Schism: China, America, and the Fracturing of the Global Trading System. Center for International Governance Innovation.Soumaya Keynes. 2019. The trade war did not start with President Donald Trump. A new book suggests it may not end with him either. The Economist, September 27.
Jenny Leonard (Bloomberg News) joins to update what is known about President Trump’s October 11 announcement of a potential deal to address his ongoing trade war with China. Their wide-ranging conversation covers Beijing’s take on these developments, how this agreement compares to what was on the table in May, as well as common misconceptions about the ongoing trade conflict. Read more… Jenny Leonard and Shawn Donnan. 2019. Trump Advisers Consider Interim China Deal to Delay Tariffs. Bloomberg News, September 12.Jenny Leonard, Saleha Mohsin, Josh Wingrove and Shawn Donnan. 2019. Trump Touts US-China Phase One Trade Deal, Delays Tariffs. Bloomberg News, October 11.Soumaya Keynes. 2019. A mini-truce between America and China has investors feeling hopeful. The Economist, October 12.
The World Trade Organization authorizes new US retaliatory tariffs on EU imports in one of the biggest and longest-running formal disputes in history. Former WTO Appellate Member Jennifer Hillman (Council on Foreign Relations) joins to explain the complexity of the case and what happens next. They discuss WTO rules on subsidies, upcoming US retaliatory tariffs on imported airplanes, billions of dollars of imported European cheeses, alcohol, and other consumer products, as well as the products the United States left off this round of retaliation. Read more… Soumaya Keynes. 2019. America is preparing to hit $7.5bn-worth of European imports with tariffs. The Economist, October 3.
A strengthening dollar reignites a recurring debate about how to hit back against countries that deliberately weaken the value of their currencies. Joseph Gagnon (PIIE) and Maury Obstfeld (PIIE, Berkeley) join to discuss two recent and controversial policies proposed to attack that problem. The first is retaliatory tariffs under US countervailing duty law. The second is to give the US Treasury and Federal Reserve new access to hundreds of billions of dollars to use as countervailing currency intervention. Read more… C. Fred Bergsten and Joseph E. Gagnon. Currency Conflict and Trade Policy: A New Strategy for the United States. Peterson Institute for International Economics, 2017.C. Fred Bergsten and Joseph E. Gagnon. Comments on Proposed Modification of Regulations for Countervailing Duty Proceedings. June 25, 2019.Joseph E. Gagnon and Christopher G. Collins. Despite Minor Changes in Treasury’s Foreign Exchange Report, Major Flaws Remain. Peterson Institute for International Economics Trade and Investment Policy Watch, June 12, 2019.Soumaya Keynes. America considers retaliating against currency manipulation. But such a strategy could easily backfire. The Economist, July 27, 2019.
Erin Ennis and Jake Parker (US-China Business Council) join to explain results from the USCBC’s annual survey of its members of American companies doing business in China. They describe the original purpose and nearly 20-year history of the survey, as well as the latest findings about what worries American companies in China. They also discuss how companies miscommunicate with both the US and Chinese governments, how they feel about the Section 301 investigation and the tariffs, and how they are being treated during the trade war. Read more… US-China Business Council. 2019. USCBC 2019 Member Survey, August.
Nicholas Lardy (Peterson Institute for International Economics) joins to provide an update on Chinese economic performance over the year since the summer 2018 outset of the trade war. They assess a number of President Trump’s recent statements by examining data on China’s economic growth, exports, unemployment, and foreign investment taking place in the Chinese economy. Read more… Nicholas R. Lardy. 2019. China’s Growth Is Slowing, But Not Because of the Trade War. Peterson Institute for International Economics China Economic Watch Blog, August 21. Nicholas R. Lardy. 2019. China’s Manufacturing Job Losses Are Not What They Seem. Peterson Institute for International Economics China Economic Watch Blog, August 29.Nicholas R. Lardy. 2019. Are Foreign Companies Really Leaving China in Droves? Peterson Institute for International Economics China Economic Watch Blog, September 10.
Yuan Yang (Financial Times) joins to explain the allegations and complications surrounding Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei. They discuss alleged risks to national security, IP theft, unfair trade, sanctions violations, export controls, the entity list, and more. Read more… Yuan Yang. 2019. My brush with surveillance in Xinjiang. Financial Times, July 31.Yuan Yang, James Kynge and Sue-Lin Wong. 2019. Huawei: still fighting for survival despite Trump truce. Financial Times, July 3. Yuan Yang and Louise Lucas. 2019. China’s race to 5G hampered by Huawei ban. Financial Times, June 24.Yuan Yang. 2019. How Trump blacklisting affects the inside of a Huawei smartphone. Financial Times, June 3.Yuan Yang. 2019. Is Huawei compelled by Chinese law to help with espionage? Financial Times, March 4. Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (HCSEC) Oversight Board. 2019. Annual Report 2019: A report to the National Security Adviser of the United Kingdom. March.
Anand Menon (The UK in a Changing Europe) joins Keynes and Bown to provide an update on political developments, as well as the shifting timeline, for Britain to depart from the European Union with or without a trade agreement. They also discuss shortages, contingency planning, and the expected initial economic impact if no deal were to arrive. Read more… The UK in a Changing Europe. 2019. No Deal Brexit: Issues, Impact, Implications. 3 September.
Kadee Russ (University of California Davis) joins Keynes and Bown to discuss her research on why Korea’s trade surplus grew so widely after the Korea-US (KORUS) Free Trade Agreement went into effect in 2012. They explain the role of trade diversion, or US imports from South Korea displacing imports previously coming in from other countries like China and Mexico. They also discuss contributions due to differences in US and South Korean rates of economic growth, and the right way to think about trade deficits. Read more… Katheryn N. Russ and Deborah L. Swenson. 2019. “Trade Diversion and Trade Deficits: The Case of the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement,” Journal of the Japanese and International Economies 52: 22-31.
Jeromin Zettelmeyer (Peterson Institute for International Economics) joins Keynes and Bown to explain the growth of Germany’s trade and current account surplus, and the puzzle behind why it has not gone away. They discuss the role of the European Union, the value of the Euro, ways German policymakers could tackle the surplus, as well as worries over the return of economic nationalism. Read more… Jeromin Zettelmeyer. 2019. The Return of Economic Nationalism in Germany. Peterson Institute for International Economics Policy Brief 19-4, March. Jeromin Zettelmeyer. 2019. The Troubling Rise of Economic Nationalism in the European Union. Peterson Institute for International Economics Realtime Economic Issues Watch, March 29.Monica de Bolle and Jeromin Zettelmeyer. 2019. Measuring the Rise of Economic Nationalism. Peterson Institute for International Economics Working Paper 19-15, August.
Sophie Richardson (Human Rights Watch) joins Keynes and Bown in a wide-ranging conversation about human rights in China. They begin with basic human rights before turning to recent Chinese government efforts to surveil, detain and politically re-educate hundreds of thousands of Uighurs – the minority Turkic and Muslim community – in Xinjiang province. They also describe the concerns driving the Hong Kong protests, how countries and the United Nations Human Rights Council could hold the Chinese government accountable, as well as how the international approach to China on human rights issues is influenced by the connection between the Chinese and global economies. Read more… Human Rights Watch. “Eradicating Ideological Viruses: China’s Campaign of Repression Against Xinjiang’s Muslims.” September 9, 2018.United Nations Human Rights Council. Universal Periodic Review – China. Last accessed, 22 August 2019.