Issue 83 | April 21, 2017
Canadian envoy fires back at Trump over dairy claims
During an event at a Wisconsin factory, President Trump directly criticized Canada of systematically disregarding their trade obligations, appearing to take aim at Canada's dairy sector. David MacNaughton, Ambassador of Canada to the U.S., responded to the criticism in a letter defending Canada, stating that Canada's dairy policies are not the cause of the financial loss of dairy farmers in the United States but rather overproduction. Trump has also signaled he wants to make greater changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement or else plans to scrap the trade deal altogether. Read more.
Paul Ryan announces U.S. is ready to forge a new bilateral trade deal with U.K. "as soon as possible"
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan announced the U.S. is ready to forge a new trade agreement with Great Britain as soon as possible and offered the unequivocal support of America as Britain transitions during Brexit. Ryan said he was confident the U.K. and E.U. could agree on an exit deal. He also indicated that the U.S. would work closely with the European Union to chart a path forward on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations. Read more.
Liam Fox insists U.K. will play full trade role in E.U. until Brexit
With the triggering of Article 50, which officially initiated the process of a British exit from the European Union, conflicts of interests are straining the U.K.-E.U. relationship.  As Australia and other countries continue trade talks with the E.U., U.K. International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is insisting that Britain still has full membership rights and access till an official exit in 2019. There are concerns among E.U. leaders that the United Kingdom will get an unfair advantage in the negotiations of their own bilateral trade agreements by participating in E.U. negotiations. Simultaneously, the E.U. and U.K. are negotiating exit and trade terms with a strict deadline of two years. Read more.
RCEP facing a critical deadline 
With the failure of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) earlier this year, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) has taken center stage for economic integration in the Asian region. The trade deal, which is led by China and other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, will start its 18th round of negotiations in May. After missing the previous two deadlines, RCEP countries are feeling pressure to successfully address and resolve the remaining disputes in the agreement. Moving forward, the trade deal needs to address intellectual property rights, e-commerce, and other "new" economy issues, in order to appease western trade partners. With its successful implementation, RCEP could serve as a blueprint for future trade deals. Read more.
In Japan, Vice President Pence Pushes for Bilateral Trade Deal 
Vice President Pence visited Japan on Tuesday and spoke with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Finance Minister Taro Aso among others in regards to trade. Pence spoke of seeking a bilateral trade deal with Japan in hopes of giving U.S. companies better access to the Japanese market and to move forward without the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Both Aso and Pence downplayed the potential for conflict, though the loss of U.S. participation in the TPP is a blow to Japan, especially given the strenuous negotiations over opening Japan's long-protected farm sector. Read more
US-China "100-day plan" yields tactical win for Xi
Aiming to tackle the U.S.-China trade deficit, Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump agreed to a 100-day plan after meeting earlier this month. Initially seen as a major concession by Chinese leadership, the vague terms and goals of the plan make the agreement less significant according to experts. It's unlikely that any major policy agreements will be reached in the next three months, while also affording the Chinese more time as they face pressure to more harshly deal with North Korea, and choose new leadership at the National Congress meeting this fall. Read more.
Compiled by Global Initiatives Intern Krishna Babla.

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