In The News

David Pilling January 19, 2020
Ghana and Ivory Coast produce about two thirds of the world’s cocoa. David Pilling, writing for the Financial Times, questions why such nations cannot break free of poverty, and then explains how many farms are small, producing just a few bags of pods each year. “Ghana supplies about one-fifth of all cocoa beans, for which it earns about $2bn a year, less than one-fiftieth of the value of the...
Bill Tomson January 18, 2020
Members of the World Trade Organization, 25 years old, express concerns about processes. The WTO can no longer settle disputes of 164 members after the Trump administration blocked appointments of appellate judges to the body that decides cases. The body has one of three minimum judges; dozens of cases are now on hold. “The U.S. ag sector is keen to see suits filed that would challenge the...
January 16, 2020
The European Union, the United States and Japan are proposing that the World Trade Organization enact new restrictions on industrial subsidies. Analysts see China as the target and suggest that foreign firms cannot compete in China with firms that receive the subsidies. “The three economies hope to win support for the proposal from a wide range of WTO members in the buildup to a ministerial...
Phil Thornton January 12, 2020
Global trade is tightly interconnected, so tariffs imposed by China and the United States “hit firms in their own countries almost as much as the ones they were aiming at,” reports Phil Thornton for the Independent. Researchers in Switzerland and China studied stock market responses to tariffs announced since 2018 and “found that while the trade war tariffs of the US and China directly hurt...
Jill Lawless and Raf Casert January 8, 2020
The British may consider Brexit a done deal after December’s decisive election, but the European Union expects “major concessions” and hard details. The United Kingdom leaves the EU on January 31, and the tough task of negotiating a trade deal awaits, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen warned the British prime minister that reaching a comprehensive agreement is challenging...
Made Anthony Iswara December 29, 2019
The European Union labeles some palm oil as unsustainable, responsible for high rates of deforestation. Indonesia has filed a lawsuit with the World Trade Organization over EU renewable energy policy. The European Union plans to phase out use of biofuels by 2030, and Indonesia officials express concern that EU policy could “tarnish the image of palm oil products in global trade.” The EU insists...
Nayan Chanda December 18, 2019
US President Donald Trump seeks partners in his push to rebalance global trade, reduce global agreements with environmental and other constraints, and build US influence based on power rather than cooperative alliances. He views the UK’s Boris Johnson as a likeminded leader, after an overwhelming victory in parliamentary elections all but ensures Britain’s speedy exit from the European Union....