The European Union and Mexico have committed to deepening their economies ties in the wake of Donald Trump’s inauguration as president of the United States.
In a statement released last week, EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström and Mexican economy secretary Ildefonso Guajardo announced that they would hold talks in April and June to renew a 2000 trade agreement between the two sides.
Australia isn’t waiting for Donald Trump to assume office in January before recalibrating its foreign relations.
The island nation — America’s most reliable ally in the Pacific — has thrown its support behind Chinese trade initiatives now that the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) appears dead.
Steven Ciobo, Australia’s trade minister, told the Financial Times he would work to conclude new trade pacts with other countries in the region, including China’s proposed Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific.
“Any move that reduces barriers to trade and helps us facilitate trade, facilitate exports and drive economic growth and employment is a step in the right direction,” Ciobo said.
One of the first victims of Donald Trump’s election victory in the United States could be the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a comprehensive trade agreement that the outgoing president, Barack Obama, had hoped to enact in the waning days of his administration.
Many Republicans in the Senate, and quite a few Democrats, support free trade in principle and understand the strategic value of the pact.
Regional legislators in the south of Belgium are persisting in their opposition to a European free trade accord with Canada.
I reported here earlier this year that a majority of lawmakers in French-speaking Wallonia are against the treaty, which proposes to eliminate tariffs on almost all goods and services traded between Canada and Europe. The pact is projected to raise transatlantic trade by more than €25 billion per year.
The Walloons worry that European countries will be pressured into weakening their environmental standards and labor laws as a result of the treaty. (Fears that are overblown.)
German economy minister Sigmar Gabriel set off alarm bells this weekend when he said European trade talks with the United States have “de facto failed, even though nobody is really admitting it.”
The European Commission, which is negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) on behalf of the European Union’s 28 member states, rejected Gabriel’s assertion. A spokesperson said, “The ball is rolling right now and the commission is making steady progress in the ongoing TTIP negotiations.”
One theory of Donald Trump’s popularity has been turned on its head. Gallup’s Jonathan T. Rothwell argues in a working paper that the businessman’s voters are not in fact motivated by any disproportionate impact from immigration and trade.
Rothwell bases his analysis on interviews Gallup conducted with more than 87,000 American voters, including Trump supporters and Trump opponents. He then compared support for Trump to various other indicators, including proximity to the Mexican border (which Trump has famously promised to wall off), the share of manufacturing in local employment, educational attainment and racial segregation.
Some of his findings confirm widely-held beliefs. Trump’s voters are older than the general electorate and more likely to be retired; more male, more white, less likely to hold a college degree and more likely to work, or have worked, in a blue-collar profession.
But their average household income is actually higher than the general population’s and they are more likely to be self-employed than unemployed. Labor force participation is lower among Trump supporters, but not after adjusting for age.