Monday, 16 January 2017

A US/UK Trade Deal - beware!


Our leading Brexiteers are doubtless preening themselves that, with the advent of President Trump the UK is likely to move from the back of the queue (Obama) to the front in the negotiations for a new, bilateral, trade deal.

Well, it's good that we've moved up the queue, but there can be little doubt that any such deal will be on terms dictated by the US.  The EU has been struggling for years to negotiate a deal which takes account of European susceptibilities in  the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership(TTIP).

Even in these negotiations between giants  the EU is finding it difficult to hold its own. A UK/US negotiation will be more a a David and Goliath confrontation in which, in this case, the little man is unlikely to win.

Issues at stake will include:

  • the ability of US firms to take over/buy-into to our public services, especially the NHS and our prison services;
  • the acceptance of US standards for meat products from animals reared with excessive growth promoting hormones and excessive antibiotics;
  • the acceptance of genetically modified (GM) products and products containing them;
  • the setting up of Investor Sate Dispute Battlement Courts (ISDSs) to overrule the decisions of our (and their!) sovereign governments
So much for the  much vaunted reclamation of our sovereignty and taking back control.

6 comments:

  1. On the other hand we won't, for example, be held up by the need to consider the French trying to protect their wine industry by slapping higher import tariffs on non-EU booze, which should lead to a nice fall in the price of a bottle of Californian red.

    I'm looking forward to a bilateral US/UK free trade deal: the US and the UK have always seen more eye-to-eye on the benefits of removing trade barriers, as opposed to the EU countries with their generally more protectionist instincts. Such a deal would be both easier to conclude and more beneficial to both countries than one with the Europeans trying to ring-fence their nationalised industries etc.

    And then hopefully we can quickly do another deal with New Zealand, to cut the cost of some of those yummy Sauvignon Blancs the kiwis are so good at making.

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  2. Of course, we can't negotiate any trade deals until we are out of the EU (March 2019 at best?) and what are the odds of Trump getting through until then without being impeached?

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    1. We can't sign any trade deals until we are out of the customs union, but we can certainly negotiate and get everything ready so that the deal can be signed the very minute after out notice of leaving the EU takes effect.

      Trump may well be impeached before then (here's hoping) but given his successor in that case will be another fee-trade-supporting Republican named Pence, I would hardly expect any progress already made on a trade deal to be ripped up; more likely the process will be entirely unaffected as the impeachment goes on in the background.

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  3. We still trade with New Zealand and other non EU countries Other countries still take over our business (Homebase sold to the Aussies). Any trade deals with Trump must start before Brexit and in public so we know what we are getting NOT after Brexit when we might be desperate for deals. Lets face it we will be a minnow to the size of the US AND Trump will be more interested in the US than UK We do not want to be stamped on.

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    1. Lets face it we will be a minnow to the size of the US

      The great thing about free trade is that thanks to comparative advantage, that doesn't matter. No matter how relatively big or small the parties are, the freer the trade, the more everybody benefits.

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  4. We still trade with New Zealand and other non EU countries Other countries still take over our business (Homebase sold to the Aussies). Any trade deals with Trump must start before Brexit and in public so we know what we are getting NOT after Brexit when we might be desperate for deals. Lets face it we will be a minnow to the size of the US AND Trump will be more interested in the US than UK We do not want to be stamped on.

    ReplyDelete