U.S. and European trade negotiators face growing domestic pressure over agriculture, with clashing demands threatening to rekindle a tit-for-tat economic war. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom will meet in Washington on Wednesday for their fifth round of talks, now under pressure to avoid a fight over agriculture that neither appears to want. “It’s hard to see how you bridge the gap,” said Stephen Adams, Global Counsel. If Mr. Lighthizer faces political pressure to demand quick EU concessions on agriculture, “then the EU has fairly limited room for maneuver.”
Alex Dawson, Practice Lead for UK Politics and Policy at Global Counsel, discusses most recent Brexit developments.
Whatever accommodation is reached in the current US-China trade conflict, there is no doubt that the global trading system has entered 2019 in a state of crisis. While it may be easy to point the finger at United States President Donald Trump, broader structural and political forces have been weakening the international system for quite some time. Peter Mandelson, Global Counsel Chairman, for China Daily.
The UK’s charm offensive in south-east Asia is meant to be a bold marker of post-Brexit international ambition — but to some it smacks of a desperation to retrofit a “global Britain” foreign policy as the EU exit door fast approaches. (...) “Most south-east Asians I talk to — regardless of their respect for the UK — see Brexit as a remarkable act of self-harm,” comments Ying Staton, Head of Asia at Global Counsel. “People here feel an intellectual and cultural affinity for Britain but its economic relevance has for some time been dwarfed by China and other parts of Asia.”
Global trade war "We're not in a trade war yet, but we're in the risk of a trade war," explains Gregor Irwin, chief economist from Global Counsel. "One of the concerns of a trade war is that it wouldn't just involve the US and China. It would inevitably drag in other countries as well, or other countries would be caught up in the crossfire between the US and China."
Not long after the UK voted to leave the EU, Angela Merkel’s staff jested that they could write a short script for Theresa May to put Britain in a better negotiating position.
“There is an interesting point where Ireland ceases to be an asset and becomes a liability for the EU,” said Stephen Adams, Senior Director at Global Counsel. “We are not there yet but we may get there. It is looking like a pretty intractable problem. And Merkel is like anyone at that level of diplomacy: they don’t like intractable problems.”
The architect of Tony Blair's Labour government and former European trade commissioner, Peter Mandelson, has told CNBC that the only Brexit plan agreed with Europe cannot succeed.
From the day it launched membership talks with Britain to the last days of the country’s negotiations to leave, the EU has been ruthless in advancing its interests in one sector above all: fish.
“On issues like fishing rights we are going to discover that what the EU actually wants is a bespoke arrangement with an element of cherry-picking,” said Stephen Adams, a former EU trade official now at Global Counsel — a reference to the EU subverting some of the guidelines on future UK relations.
Ajay Banga, Mastercard president and chief executive officer, Ailish Campbell, Canadian chief trade commissioner and assistant deputy minister for International Business Development, Peter Mandelson, former European Trade Commissioner and Global Counsel co-founder and chairman, and Frederick W. Smith, FedEx chairman and chief executive officer, discuss the outlook for global trade with Bloomberg Economics' Stephanie Flanders at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore on Nov. 6, 2018.
Britain and the EU are trying to surmount the impasse in Brexit talks with a hybrid plan that aims to avoid both a hard border on the island of Ireland and a customs border that divides the UK. “Modern association [EU] agreements have very strong level playing field provisions, even for trade arrangements that are relatively conventional in FTA terms,” said Stephen Adams, a former EU trade official now at Global Counsel.