Archive for the ‘Globalization & International Trade’ Category

30
Dec

Last Monday, at the conclusion of China’s closed-door Central Economic Work Conference, Beijing’s public relations machine went into high gear to show that the country’s leaders had come up with a viable plan to rescue the economy.

Unfortunately, they do not now have such a plan. In reality, they decided to continue strategies that both created China’s current predicament and failed this year to restart growth.
The severity of China’s economic problems—and the inability to implement long-term solutions—mean almost all geopolitical assumptions about tomorrow are wrong. Virtually everyone today sees China as a major power in the future. Yet the country’s extraordinary economic difficulties will result in a collapse or a long-term decline, and either outcome suggests China will return to the ranks of weak states.

As an initial matter, China’s current situation is far worse than the official National Bureau of Statistics reports. The NBS maintains that the country’s gross domestic product rose 6.9 percent during the third calendar quarter of this year after increases of 7.0 percent during each of the first two quarters.

Willem Buiter, Citigroup’s chief economist, a few months ago suggested the rate was closer to 4 percent, and growth could be as low as the 2.2 percent that people in Beijing were privately talking about mid-year. The most reliable indicator of Chinese economic activity remains the consumption of electricity, and for the first eleven months of the year electricity consumption increased by only 0.7 percent according to China’s National Energy Administration. Read more…

Published on Dec. 29 in nationalinterest.org 

Gordon G. Chang is the author of The Coming Collapse of China.

9
Oct

AFTER more than five years of negotiations, representatives from 12 countries in Asia and the Americas finally struck a deal today on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an ambitious and contentious free-trade pact. It is the biggest and deepest multilateral trade deal in years, encompassing countries that account for 40% of the world’s economy. But it might prove even more important than that if it succeeds in its ambition to “define the rules of the road” for trade in Asia, as Michael Froman, America’s lead negotiator, put it.

Mr Froman’s office estimates that TPP will see more than 18,000 tariffs on American products reduced to zero. But tariffs, which have already been greatly reduced among TPP’s members, are not the most touted bit of the treaty. More important are the minimum standards for the protection of intellectual property, workers and the environment. All parties will be compelled to follow the International Labour Organisation’s basic principles on workers’ rights, for example. By the same token, countries that do not live up to the deal’s environmental rules can be pursued through the same dispute-settlement mechanism that will be used to adjudicate commercial grievances. There are even rules barring countries from favouring state-owned enterprises—a big step for the likes of Malaysia and Vietnam. Read more…

Published in The Economist on 5 Oct. http://www.economist.com

10
Mar

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On March 6th IE hosted Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Trade, who examined the challenges facing EU trade policy with students and professors of IE University’s Bachelor and Master in International Relations. The EU Commissioner was received by the President of IE, Diego del Alcázar, and Arantza de Areilza, Dean of IE School of International Relations.

The talk formed part of a series of initiatives launched by the European Commission aimed at informing citizens about advances in negotiations on international trade agreements, such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and to hear opinions from different collectives on EU policy issues. Commissioner Malmström and her team are heading European negotiations related to the TTIP, an agreement aimed at enabling free trade with the US.

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Malmström explained how one of the EU’s key challenges is that of “connecting with citizens”, listening to their opinions, and debating with them on European policy.  She recognized that there is a major debate surrounding the TTIP negotiations, the completion of which would have a very positive impact in terms of job creation. Malmström reminded those present that 30 million people in Europe work in positions related to export, 4.5 million of which have a direct connection with exports to the US. She explained how Swedish policy has centered around the idea that trade agreements are not only aimed at large companies, but at smaller firms as well, pointing out that in Spain alone there are 70,000 SMEs that export.

The European Commissioner for Trade underscored the fact that the signing of the TTIP agreement does not mean that consumers will have less protection or will face a change in regulations. She explained that the agreement is about providing European firms with greater access to the US market, citing as an example how the safety tests to which the US and European automobile industries are subjected to when exporting from one region to another are of a similar, very high standard, which is a major cause of inefficiency in the sector.

Participating IE University students were able to exchange views on key subjects with Cecilia Malmström, including European trade policy, and the main agreements currently being negotiated in the Asia-Pacific region, Latin America and Africa, as well as reflecting on the challenges facing the EU in this field in the coming years.

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Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Trade, is interviewed by Arantza de Areilza, Dean of IE School of International Relations, on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and Europe-US Relationship.

17
Feb

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On March 6th IE will host Ms. Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Trade, for a discussion with our students and faculty on the much debated Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the trade agenda and priorities of Europe.

Since assuming office in November 2014 as the new Commissioner for Trade under the Juncker Commission Ms. Malmström has been leading the negotiations of the TTIP with the objective of reaching a balanced and reasonable agreement with the U.S. that respects Europe’s safety, health, social and data protection standards, and Europe’s cultural diversity.

Previously, Ms. Malmström served as European Commissioner for Home Affairs (2010-2014) and as Minister for EU Affairs in the Swedish Government (2006-2010). She was Vice-President of Folkpartiet (Swedish Liberal Party) from 2007 to 2010, Member of Folkpartiet Party Executive (2001-2010), and Member of the European Parliament (1999-2006).

For more information on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) please visit this LINK.

 

The event will take place from 1.00pm to 2:30pm (Room S-105, Calle Serrano 105). Please, register here: https://clubs.ie.edu/iecampuslife/rsvp?id=200001878

10
Dec

On December 4th, the IE School of International Relations welcomed Marcos Troyjo, co-founder and co-director of BRICLab at Columbia University, who discussed with MIR students the coming of Reglobalization and its impact on reemerging markets.

According to Mr. Troyjo, if we were sent 25 years back in time and had to identify four main trends that defined International Relations, he would highlight the following:

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  1. The idea that a combination of free markets and representative democracy represents a superior model in History, a sort of natural law to bring about prosperity.
  2. The dramatic shift of the world economic center from the West to the East illustrated by the influential role of Japan and the rise of the so-called Asian Tigers.
  3. The notion that innovation is about the capacity of big corporations to reinvent themselves.
  4. A deep conviction that political, economic and legal integration is the way forward for regional integration and ultimately for establishing a global government.

Read more…

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