Issue 100 | Oct. 19, 2018
U.S. regains crown as most competitive economy for first time since 2008: WEF
In its closely-watched annual Global Competitiveness Report, the World Economic Forum (WEF) said the U.S. is the country closest to the "frontier of competitiveness," an indicator that ranks competitive productivity using a scale from zero to 100. The U.S. beat off Singapore, Germany, Switzerland and Japan, the other top four markets, with a score of 85.6 out of 100, the report said, due to its "vibrant" entrepreneurial culture and "strong" labor market and financial system. The WEF said it was too early to factor in how the Trump administration's recent trade policies would affect its ranking. Read more
Tesla secures land for Shanghai factory, first outside U.S.

China is the biggest global electric vehicle market and Tesla's second-largest after the United States. Tesla said Wednesday it signed a "land transfer agreement" on a 210-acre (84-hectare) site for the factory. It announced the plan for a China factory in July after the Chinese government said it would end restrictions on full foreign ownership of electric vehicle manufacturers. Those plans have gone ahead despite U.S.-Chinese tensions over Beijing's technology policy. Read more
USTR notifies Congress of intent to negotiate deals with EU, UK and Japan
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has formally notified Congress of the administration's intent to negotiate trade agreements with the European Union, United Kingdom and Japan. In Oct. 16 letters notifying Congress of potential talks with the EU and Japan, Lighthizer cites "chronic U.S. trade imbalances" despite significant volumes of trade. All three letters say the U.S. aim "is to address both tariff and non-tariff barriers and achieve free, fair and reciprocal trade in a manner consistent with the objectives that Congress has set out in Section 102 of the Trade Priorities and Accountability Act." Read more
Senate will not vote on new North America trade pact in 2018: McConnell

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Bloomberg Television that the Senate will not have time to take up the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement trade deal before 2019, leaving the issue to the next Congress. The new trade deal is set to be signed on Nov. 30, but to comply with fast-track U.S. trade rules, Congress must get a report from the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) on the economic impacts of the trade deal. Read more
'Regional protectionism' in new U.S. trade deal favors Mexico: negotiator

The new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement increases protectionism in the North American region but will most benefit Mexico, a senior trade negotiator for that country said, despite U.S. President Donald Trump's aim to move jobs north. Jesus Seade, who led the negotiations for Mexico's incoming leftist government, told Reuters in an interview on Monday he believed the agreement, clinched at the last minute on Sept. 30, would create more U.S. jobs, but that Mexico would do even better "if it plays its cards right" because of cost advantages, especially in the auto industry at the heart of the deal. Read more
UK Parliament debates Brexit customs union backstop deadline
British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday defended her government's Brexit negotiations and attempted to assure British lawmakers that a "backstop" customs union arrangement with the European Union would only be temporary. The UK would not be able to enter into a trade agreement with the U.S. while it is in a customs union with the EU. The EU wants the backstop, which would take the form of a customs union arrangement, to apply only to Northern Ireland, while the UK government insists it would have to apply to the whole of the UK -- for a limited time. The issue has proved one of the biggest sticking points in negotiations. Read more
Transatlantic Trade: A Tie That Binds
Nov. 14, 2018
Join the Global Initiatives Council to hear from Dr. Karen Donfried, president of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, for a closer look at the existing EU-U.S. trade relationship, the current state of trade negotiations, and the divergences in regulation of tech between the two nations. RSVP here.
Compiled by Center for Global Trade & Foreign Coordinator, Janice N. Atmadja.

For more information, contact Jasmin Sakai-Gonzalez, 213.580.7569.