News: Featured

Monitoring the impact of the EU’s new foreign investment screening mechanism

EU

Jens Hillebrand Pohl is a Research Scientist in the Faculty of Management and Business at Tampere University, Finland.
Amidst the rise of increased geoeconomic competition, the European Union introduced a foreign direct investment screening framework for member states. The framework coordinates member-state national screening mechanisms, rather than an EU-level screening authority, reflecting the compromise reached between the EU commissions favour of a  cautionary approach and the member states pushing for EU regulation. This policy brief outlines the Commission’s monitoring mandate over investment screening activity, proposing a set of parameters for measuring the impact of screening on investment.

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Improving border adjustment mechanisms

Gas emissions

WORKING PAPER 09
Despite several attempts and significant progress, broad agreement on the most appropriate way to manage conflicts between international trade and environmental issues has yet to emerge. Consequently, this paper begins with a search for a set of principles to guide the use of border adjustment mechanisms to ameliorate global environmental problems or, as economists call them, global externalities.
Ten principles are developed, and then applied to the European Union's current CBAM design, and recommendations for improving that design are put forward. As this CBAM is rooted in the EU's Emissions Trading System, broad recommendations for aligning the ETS with the principles are also offered.

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Carbon Tax Creep Beyond Industrial Goods: Challenges and Risks for Extending Coverage to Agriculture

Carbon Tax

Tim Ryan is completing a Masters in International Trade and Development at the University of Adelaide, and is Manager of Global Trade Development at Meat & Livestock Australia. 
Governments around the world are implementing emissions reduction policies to mitigate the impact of global warming, however the application of climate policies will occur at different speeds and depth due to varying levels of development and degrees of ambition. There are inherent dangers from unilateral expansion of carbon tax regimes, not least protectionism, hence this brief argue for a cautious and multilateral approach to carbon taxation.

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Strengthening African Agricultural Trade: The Case For Domestic Support Entitlement Reforms

Africa Agriculture

Reform of domestic agriculture support in the form of financial subsidies has long been a vexed issue. One relatively promising area for reform is to address WTO members’ entitlements to deploy domestic support, rather than aiming to cut actual expenditures per se. Specifically, reducing entitlements would diminish members’ rights to increase domestic support payments in future. Such reductions are best targeted at those subsidies that distort trading partners’ production and trade incentives, rather than at subsidies generally regarded as either relatively benign, or minimally distorting to support domestic farmers and the agricultural economy. Read our latest working paper on this important issue.

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Foreign Minister Wang Yi Makes a 9th ‘first trip of the year’ to Africa

China

Dr Lauren A. Johnston is Visiting Senior Lecturer, Adelaide University Institute of International Trade and Founding Director, New South Economics. China continues to prioritize its relations with Africa. As a result, China’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, has continued with a longstanding Chinese tradition of making an African country the first foreign visit of the year. This op-ed provides analysis of which countries were visited, and why, as well as how the schedule fits with China’s development strategy in Africa.

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Why Australia fails to understand the EU

EU

Richard Pomfret, Jean Monnet Chair in the Economics of European Integration at the Institute for International Trade, 2017-2020. Professor of Economics Emeritus at the University of Adelaide. Australian political leaders have long held a simplistic and misleading understanding of the European Union, due to over-reliance on reports from London for coverage of EU affairs. This op-ed argues Canberra needs to develop a more diversified and modern understanding of the EU project, and its value to Australia.

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Back from the Brink! The WTO gets on with Serious Business.

Photos: ©WTO/Jay Louvion

Anthony Patrick Dela Pena Chua is Lead Staffer to both the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Philippines and the Philippine Services Coalition.
Jane Drake-Brockman is Founder and Director of the Australian Services Roundtable and a co-convenor of the Asia Pacific Services Coalition.
Some matters are too important and the benefits too great for the global trading community, to let another postponement of the WTO Ministerial Conference get in the way of timely joint action.

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Why Abandoning the WTO E Commerce Moratorium is a Terrible Idea

Digital Transformation

Jane Drake-Brockman is Industry Professor, Institute for International Trade, Convenor of the JM Network, Trade & Investment in Services Associates (TIISA), Member of the G20 Trade and Investment Research Network (TIRN) and Founder and Director of the Australian Services Roundtable.
Services stakeholders around the world are banding together as never before in a last-ditch effort in the lead up to the 12th WTO Ministerial Session in Geneva on 30 November. Many issues are at stake, but one stands on a pedestal of its own; the WTO moratorium on customs duties on electronic transmissions.

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Government subsidies and environmental costs

Wind Farm

Ken Ash is an Independent Consultant, IIT Visiting Fellow, and former OECD Director of Trade and Agriculture.
The
economic and trade distortions caused by ill-conceived government support for sectors ranging from agriculture, fisheries and fossil fuels to aluminium (2019, 2021), steel and semiconductors are enormous. While this is explicitly recognized by G7, G20 and APEC member governments, amongst others, the pace of subsidy reform remains glacial.

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Prospects for future UK-Australia Services Trade

office space

George Riddell Director of Trade Strategy at EY, London. 
On 17 June 2021, Australia and the United Kingdom announced an Agreement in Principle on a new Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Since then, negotiators on both sides have been hammering out the details of the legal text of the agreement. This article assesses the prospects for services trade between the countries. 

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