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  • what comes next After America first four years of Donald Trump have left their mark on the international trading order.

  • Tourney up deals, trade wars, tit for tat tariffs.

  • And it's hardly been a resounding success.

  • Take the trade war with China.

  • Washington Slap tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese products, but record amounts air still being spent on them.

  • While American exports have only slightly improved, China's global trade surplus still skyrocketed to over $75 billion.

  • Exports to the U.

  • S are still growing.

  • Ah, winner take all approach that divided the world into the United States and everyone else has made a lot of losers.

  • But all that's over now.

  • The end of Trump's time marks the start of a golden age in cross border economic relations.

  • Well, maybe not quite.

  • And we'll tell you why.

  • But first, let's hear from the man of the next four years, Joe Biden.

  • Here's what he had to say about international trade.

  • We make up 25% the world's trading capacity of the economy in the world.

  • We need to be aligned with the other democracies another 25% or more so that we can set the rules of the road.

  • Instead of having China and others dictate outcomes, I want you to know that there are three things gonna happen if I'm elected one.

  • We're going to invest in American workers to make them more competitive.

  • Number two, We're gonna make sure that labor is at the table and environmentalists are at the table and any trade deals we make.

  • And I'm not looking for punitive change.

  • The idea that we are poking our finger in the eyes of our friends and embracing autocrats makes no sense to me.

  • So here are the trade related takeaways.

  • Biden wants to strengthen manufacturing and return to a more cooperative trading relationship with Democratic allies like the EU so they can band together and keep China in check while using trade to further the cause of environmental protection and workers Rights sounds great as to do lists go.

  • But here's the thing with talking about trade.

  • It's never just about trade, As in the transfer of goods and services between markets, there are always complex geopolitical issues in the mix.

  • But let's not get lost.

  • We're going to take it step by step and get some expert help.

  • But first, let's look at why traditional allies that you and the US have found themselves at odds in the first place.

  • As early as his first election campaign in 2016, Donald Trump has called the you unfair, citing the trade deficit at the start of his presidency.

  • The amount of goods that you sold to the US was worth about $147 billion more than the goods the US sold to the U.

  • To punish that you for perceived trade abuses, Washington slapped the block with steel and aluminum tariffs in 2018.

  • And here's a related accusation that the high share of you exports destroys American jobs.

  • Trump singled out German car makers in particular.

  • That's even though German automakers have long since stopped exporting their cars from Europe and instead produce them locally, employing thousands of American workers.

  • Despite repeated threats, car tariffs never did materialize, But the tariffs that did didn't accomplish much on.

  • While Trump's tariffs haven't really done much to shift the balance of trade between the EU and the US, there's obviously been damage done to the quality of the transatlantic relationship.

  • I mean, remember this moment from 2017.

  • Thanks.

  • Thank you.

  • Thank you.

  • Thank you.

  • Okay.

  • Thank you, Fellow.

  • Awkward does not even begin to describe that.

  • And that never would have happened under former President Barack Obama.

  • Arguably, it won't happen under bite and either And that experts concur, is a good thing.

  • I think there will be, ah, lot more.

  • Um, you know, mending off relationships with previous allies such as the European Union, but also multilateral approaches for common problems at the W t o level, the World Trade Organization.

  • So overall, a much more consistent of more predictable, um, presidency, um, in terms of trade and engagement.

  • So are we going to start seeing a trading relationship coming out of the US?

  • Let's say, a trading relationship with the EU that's still adversarial, but more polite.

  • Is that Is that what we're going to see?

  • Um, you phrase it really nicely.

  • I think it is a little more than that.

  • I don't think that we're going to be restricted to just rhetoric here or change in tone.

  • I do think there are substantive things that we can change.

  • Okay, so at the very least, the tone is going to change under Biden which is a start.

  • But it's also important to realize that transatlantic trade tensions did not start with Donald Trump.

  • In fact, the EU and the US have the longest running trade dispute in the world.

  • The Boeing Airbus aviation subsidies dispute has been going on for 16 years.

  • The European Union and the United States claim that each other's airplane manufacturer is unfairly subsidized by the government, therefore skewing competition.

  • In fact, the first big move in trade policy after Biden's election win was announced was a further escalation of this conflict.

  • On November 9, the EU moved to start imposing tariffs on U.

  • S imports worth $4 billion.

  • The target list includes airplanes, wind spirits, frozen fish, tractors, suitcases and produce from onions two Cherries.

  • Settling this issue can help enable the post Trump reset the transatlantic alliance needs, and experts say that after years of being undermined by a U.

  • S.

  • Government skeptical of multilateralism, reforming the World Trade Organization is going to be vital to recharging rules based trade among nations, especially if they want to stand together to keep another economic superpower in line.

  • The big unknown isas China strategy because if he is willing to face the challenge head on.

  • That means being able to say maybe the multilateral trading system is going to look quite different from what it used thio, right?

  • It may mean that we will have deep integration amongst like minded allies, but it will not be this universal membership system.

  • If China plays by the rules, then China is welcome.

  • But the rules will be set and they will be enforceable.

  • H because we don't know what his China strategy is going to be.

  • We can't really say whether he will be able to go far enough in getting that reform that is much needed now.

  • How to deal with China is a shared question for both the EU and the US They both want to be present in the Chinese market because it's huge, but they also want to get China to play by the rules.

  • That means respecting intellectual property and having the same conditions for European and American companies in China as the other way around.

  • And they don't want China to have unchallenged technological dominance in the world.

  • They just haven't figured out how to achieve those aims yet together or separately.

  • But at a time where multilateralism has supposedly floundered.

  • China has since become a signatory to the world's largest free trade pact.

  • The regional comprehensive economic partnership involves 15 countries making up close to 30% of world trade.

  • The deal cuts as much as 90% of the tariffs on imports between its members within 20 years of coming into effect.

  • Now it's worth noting that the R.

  • C E P was first proposed in 2011, and that's quite a long time before the U.

  • S China trade war even started.

  • So it's not as if one precipitated the other, but the U.

  • S.

  • And that you should sit up and take note anyway.

  • Rcep might not mean us much economically right now, but it means that these countries have agreed on a joint economic venture.

  • It is a forum.

  • It's a building block that these countries can and will build on right, so it's kind of it za stepping stone, if you will, and that is kind of the part that should worry the U and that should worry the United States.

  • There's nothing in there about labor rights, uh, environmental standards.

  • It's much more transactional, and it's far from being completed.

  • There's still a lot of work that needs to be done.

  • But it you know, it shows, uh, certainly that the transatlantic community has not yet come up with a way to present itself as a feasible alternative to countries in Asia in the way that China has done.

  • Now, in case you haven't been paying attention, here it is again.

  • The EU and the US have a host of issues to deal with before they can repair and eventually strengthened their relationship so that they can counter the outsized ambitions of China, which among other ways has cemented its international influence by signing a sweeping free trade deal with its neighbors and beyond.

  • I mean, that's manageable.

  • But it is also, of course, a special time Joe Biden is gonna is inheriting a very, uh, you know, dramatic economic situation domestically.

  • He is therefore, because of the pandemic, going to be first and foremost a domestic oriented president.

  • Those who really hope that the Biden administration is gonna usher in a new era of closer transatlantic trade relations.

  • I think they're gonna have to be patient for the first couple of years.

  • So for now, it looks like America first will be followed by America First for now, but its allies have come knocking already anyway, hoping at the very least for America and friends sooner rather than later.

  • Sooner because while a golden age is hardly to be found in the time of a pandemic, there is a golden opportunity not to return to the system before Donald Trump.

  • But to make it better.

  • He won't make trade great again.

  • Alone.

  • With allies.

  • Help, it can be greater than it Waas.

what comes next After America first four years of Donald Trump have left their mark on the international trading order.

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/12/31
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