Trade Deals across the World: November Edition


The past month has been extremely busy when it comes to Brexit news. But there was more happening in the world of global trade. Same as last month: an update on free trade agreements that were signed, negotiated, or announced.

The UK with the United States

There have been talks between the UK and the US on a post-Brexit trade deal. There has not been an agreement yet. The Independent has reported that Boris Johnson has taken several food-related safeguards out of the agreement at Trump’s request.

Boris Johnson is paving the way for a quickfire US trade deal after Brexit that would slash UK food standards by stripping out protections imposed by parliament earlier this year, critics are warning.

The alarm has been raised after the Queen’s Speech revealed he will introduce a new trade bill – rather than “roll over” the trade bill from the last session, which was changed dramatically in the House of Lords.

Read the full story here.

The United States and China

An interim trade agreement between the US and China is in the works. At the start of October Bloomberg reported:

The U.S. and China agreed on the outlines of a partial trade accord … that President Donald Trump said he and his counterpart Xi Jinping could sign as soon as next month.

As part of the deal, China would significantly step up purchases of U.S. agricultural commodities, agree to certain intellectual-property measures and concessions related to financial services and currency… In exchange, the U.S. will delay a tariff increase due next week as the deal is finalized, though new levies scheduled for December haven’t yet been called off.

Read the full story here.

At the end of October Reuters reported, that the trade agreement may not be ready in time for the expected time later in November. As a U.S. Government official told them:

“If it’s not signed in Chile, that doesn’t mean that it falls apart. It just means that it’s not ready,” the administration official said. “Our goal is to sign it in Chile. But sometimes texts aren’t ready. But good progress is being made and we expect to sign the agreement in Chile.”
Read the full story here.

The United States and Japan

Another interim agreement that is in the works is one between the US and Japan. Bloomberg reports:

The U.S. and Japan signed a limited trade deal that opens markets for American farmers and brings Tokyo a degree of assurance that President Donald Trump won’t impose new tariffs on auto imports for now.

The accords on agriculture and digital trade cover about $55 billion worth of commerce between the world’s largest- and third-biggest economies, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said at a ceremony in the Oval Office alongside Trump. The accord is a “game-changer for our farmers” and ranchers, Trump said at the event.

Read the full story here.

You can find a short overview of the 6 key takeaways of the deal here.

According to the New York Times, the United States is using the latest trade deals to protect American tech giants from foreign regulators.

The Trump administration has begun inserting legal protections into recent trade agreements that shield online platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube from lawsuits, a move that could help lock in America’s tech-friendly regulations around the world even as they are being newly questioned at home.

Read the full story here.

More China Trade Deals

Singapore and China have signed a total of nine agreements last month:

The two countries signed a raft of pacts – from customs twinning to a Smart City project in Shenzhen to a youth internship exchange program – at their 15th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation meeting.

Read more here.

There is also a large free trade pact with the 16 nations of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership in the works. Although India is causing some ripples in the pond.

Progress in talks that began in 2012 has been held up by disputes between China and India over access to markets and lists of protected goods. India wants safeguards to be built into the proposed pact to prevent a sudden surge in imports.

But Thailand said the trade agreement was on track to be concluded while it chairs the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) this year – and ideally before an RCEP summit on Nov. 4.

Read more here.

A more recent piece by Bloomberg is less positive:

In recent days, India angered other negotiators by making additional requests on the China-backed pact covering half the world’s population, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. Leaders had planned to announce a preliminary deal on Nov. 4 during meetings hosted by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the people said.

Read more details on the issue here.

China also signed a free trade agreement with Mauritius, as you can read here.

Other trade agreement news:

Brazil, Argentina sign free trade agreement in automotive sector
In an era of crumbling trade deals, India and Indonesia get closer
President Bolsonaro, Prince Al Nahyan Announce Brazil/UAE Trade Agreement
Medvedev: Serbia To Sign Trade Deal With Moscow-Led Economic Union

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