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Economics International

US-China Phase One Trade Deal: Challenges for Trade Expansion

After a year since the United States and China signed the phase one trade deal agreement, it is evident there are several systemic challenges to its full implementation. China’s decentralized governance, limitations in the deal’s dispute resolution mechanism, and failure to address structural issues in the bilateral economic relationship limit the prospects of reaching phase one goals of trade expansion. The consequent market distortions may negatively impact international trading partners, whereas China’s search for alternatives to US imports will hinder progress in subsequent negotiations.

Economics Europe

Britain’s Economic Outlook – Navigating Brexit

As news of the last-minute trade deal with the EU emerged, right-wing commentators in publications such as The Spectator embraced it with cautious optimism. Johnson’s administration will not be leaping into the dark, but the economic costs of the pandemic and Brexit, irrespective of the trade deal, will likely pave the way for a bleak decade. 

Economics Middle East/North Africa

What is next for Turkey?

With the Turkish lira at a record depreciation amid the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic,Turkish leadership is struggling to deal with an economic impasse and a seismic foreign relations shift as a result of the US election. 

Asia Pacific Economics

A Big Deal: Signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership

On November 15th 2020, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership was signed. An ASEAN-led initiative, the agreement was signed during a virtual ceremony in Vietnam. The bloc takes sole position as the world’s largest trading bloc, representing roughly 30% of global GDP.
The signing of this imminent and long-awaited free trade agreement is between 15 nations: the 10 ASEAN members in addition to China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand.
The timing of this pan-Asian trading agreeement’s signing is symbolic – amid a global pandemic that has shaken the global economy and caused free trade and globalisation to be questioned; however, it’s significance goes far beyond symbolism.
While this agreement appears to support ASEAN’s incrementalist approach, the pact will do little to halt China’s creeping dominance over the surrounding region, nor influence America’s position of distancing itself from China, or indeed influence any agreement in which China plays a part.

Economics Finance North America

Killing the Dollar: A Side-Effect of COVID and its Cures?

Since the end of World War II, the US dollar has consistently functioned as a safe harbour for investors caught by any sort of turbulence. Thus, no one was surprised by its appreciation at the height of the current pandemic, which began in April 2020. And no one will be surprised if vaccine makers’ promises to end the pandemic null all those gains. Yet, the currency’s status and reputation have been weakening since the demise of the Bretton Woods Accord in 1974 to the point that, as a side-effect, COVID and its cures may be lethal for the dollar’s international dominance.

Economics Latin America

Rumours of reform: the likelihood and consequences of currency reform in Cuba

Indications have been growing that the Cuban government intends to move forward with sweeping reforms to the country’s currency and exchange rate systems. These reforms will certainly involve the unification of the country’s current dual currency system. Nevertheless, such a change is easier said than done and will almost certainly be painful in the short term.

Economics International

The Uncertain Future of the EU-Mercosur Trade Agreement

In June 2020, the EU and the Mercosur trade bloc, which consists of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, concluded negotiations over the Political Dialogue and Cooperation part of their Association Agreement, after the free trade section was completed in June 2019. With a number of EU member states and civil society organisations voicing concerns about the environmental impact of the deal, its ratification is becoming more unlikely in the short-term.

China Economics

China’s pivot towards domestic-driven growth: not as easy as Xi hopes

China desperately wants to and must recover from its long-lasting dependence on exports as a means of economic growth. This is the objective of the dual-circulation strategy, which is set to become Beijing’s escape plan from the feared middle-income trap. However, with domestic consumption still weak, China is unable to survive without a good injection of public investment to boost its economic engine. The rush of rapid supply-side growth is hard to give up for a country used to abnormally high levels of GDP growth. 

Economics Latin America

IMF Money? Colombia’s Listening!

After a year of bad news due to the  COVID-19 pandemic and its economic repercussions, Colombia’s fortune is finally improving: at the end of September, the IMF expanded Colombia’s credit line from USD 10.8 billion to USD 17.2 billion.

Economics Europe

European monetary policy faces another crisis: Is the ECB effectively leading the way?

In a little over a decade the European Central Bank found itself fighting three considerable crises: the Great Recession in 2008, the sovereign-debt crisis in 2011-2012 to today’s pandemic-induced recessions. The Euro is a project without precedent and under Mario Draghi the ECB was a leading actor in world monetary policy. In 2019, Christine Lagarde became the new president of the ECB.  How does she compare?