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Thailand in 2016: Restoring Democracy or Reversing it?

18-04-2016

After staging a military coup against the Yingluck Shinawatra government, a junta has been ruling Thailand since 22 May 2014. It has drastically restricted political activities and freedom of speech. There have been numerous human rights abuses, including torture. Under a ‘roadmap to democracy’, a referendum on a new constitution is planned for August 2017 and could be followed by elections at a later stage. However, the military might retain power until the king’s successor accedes to the throne ...

After staging a military coup against the Yingluck Shinawatra government, a junta has been ruling Thailand since 22 May 2014. It has drastically restricted political activities and freedom of speech. There have been numerous human rights abuses, including torture. Under a ‘roadmap to democracy’, a referendum on a new constitution is planned for August 2017 and could be followed by elections at a later stage. However, the military might retain power until the king’s successor accedes to the throne, in order to guarantee stability. Despite close trade ties, the EU has suspended the signing of a partnership and cooperation agreement and negotiations on a free trade agreement until democracy is restored. In April 2015, Thailand received a ‘yellow card’ warning by the European Commission for problems relating to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Workshop on "Market Economy Status for China after 2016?"

16-03-2016

Section 15 of China’s Protocol of Accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) allows importing WTO members to determine, under their national law, whether China is considered to be a market economy for the purpose of price comparability and of calculating dumping margins. Some provisions of this section expire on 11 December 2016, leaving uncertainty as to how China should be treated in antidumping investigations thereafter. The European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade (INTA) organised ...

Section 15 of China’s Protocol of Accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) allows importing WTO members to determine, under their national law, whether China is considered to be a market economy for the purpose of price comparability and of calculating dumping margins. Some provisions of this section expire on 11 December 2016, leaving uncertainty as to how China should be treated in antidumping investigations thereafter. The European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade (INTA) organised a workshop jointly with the Policy Department of the Directorate-General for External Policies in order to hear the views of different academic experts on both the legal and the economic implications.

Autor externo

Bernard O'CONNOR, Jean-François BELLIS, Robert SCOTT and Maurizio ZANARDI

The United Nations and the EU Trade Policy: The Case of UNCTAD

28-01-2016

The EU's trade policy does not exist in a vacuum. On the one hand, it is affected by international standard and rule-setting. On the other hand, the EU is itself an influential actor shaping the international trade agenda by participating in the work of international organisations and fora. This short note focuses on the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The EU's trade policy does not exist in a vacuum. On the one hand, it is affected by international standard and rule-setting. On the other hand, the EU is itself an influential actor shaping the international trade agenda by participating in the work of international organisations and fora. This short note focuses on the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

One Year to Go: The Debate over China's Market Economy Status (MES) Heats Up

17-12-2015

Market economy status (MES) – a technical term used in antidumping investigations – has come to the top of the international agenda, bringing heated discussions on whether or not China will soon be granted this status. China argues that its WTO accession documents foresee an automatic acquisition of MES after 11 December 2016. Yet for many other WTO members, the text in question – Section 15 of China's Protocol of Accession – is subject to interpretation. The issue is sensitive for a number of reasons ...

Market economy status (MES) – a technical term used in antidumping investigations – has come to the top of the international agenda, bringing heated discussions on whether or not China will soon be granted this status. China argues that its WTO accession documents foresee an automatic acquisition of MES after 11 December 2016. Yet for many other WTO members, the text in question – Section 15 of China's Protocol of Accession – is subject to interpretation. The issue is sensitive for a number of reasons. Legally, the EU must ensure that its rules are compatible with the WTO's. But the economic aspects are complex – and potentially substantial for significant sectors of the Union's economy. The EU's ability to level the playing field for its own industrial products and imports from China depends on its ability to offset unfairly low prices of 'dumped' Chinese imports; the antidumping instruments the Union deploys to this end depend on China's MES. The issue also has political ramifications, and may well affect the Union's relationship with other countries. In general, the EU would benefit from a more elaborated assessment than has yet been undertaken, from the input of the European Parliament, and from a more coordinated approach with major trading partners.

Japan’s Bet on Reforms: Growth First – Fiscal Sustainability to Follow

04-09-2015

Given the underwhelming results of the large-scale fiscal and monetary stimulus implemented by the administration of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the country is now focusing on structural reforms. The government's new economic and fiscal plan – released in late June 2015 – is clear in its message: to reduce Japan’s gigantic debt, now estimated at over 246 % of GDP, and achieve fiscal sustainability, the country needs robust economic growth. The government is betting that structural reforms ...

Given the underwhelming results of the large-scale fiscal and monetary stimulus implemented by the administration of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the country is now focusing on structural reforms. The government's new economic and fiscal plan – released in late June 2015 – is clear in its message: to reduce Japan’s gigantic debt, now estimated at over 246 % of GDP, and achieve fiscal sustainability, the country needs robust economic growth. The government is betting that structural reforms will trigger a ‘productivity revolution’ and boost income, investment, consumption and profits. Fiscal sustainability will then follow, as a revitalised economy will broaden the tax base and bring in higher revenues. Despite Abe’s good intentions, however, his economic policy agenda has been criticised on several fronts. The international community is calling for greater fiscal discipline, while the business community is dissatisfied with proposed measures to simplify doing business in Japan. The plan has also failed to convince many of Abe’s genuine commitment to advance economic reforms at a time when the Prime Minister seems more interested in upgrading Japan’s defence capabilities. If Japan is serious about restoring its glorious economic past, far-reaching economic reforms will need to move at a faster pace.

China: Economic Outlook, 2015

15-07-2015

China stands now at a crossroads, where factors that for many years contributed to its growth have nearly – if not completely – exhausted their potential. As domestic economic challenges grow more pressing, Beijing has embarked on a new development strategy to 'rebalance' its economy and reinforce its integration into global markets. A number of elements of this strategy – including the 'One Belt One Road' initiative – are likely to have a major impact across the globe.

China stands now at a crossroads, where factors that for many years contributed to its growth have nearly – if not completely – exhausted their potential. As domestic economic challenges grow more pressing, Beijing has embarked on a new development strategy to 'rebalance' its economy and reinforce its integration into global markets. A number of elements of this strategy – including the 'One Belt One Road' initiative – are likely to have a major impact across the globe.

Trade and economic relations with China 2015

23-06-2015

The EU's trade and economic relations with China, the global leader in trade, are generally good, and the number of disputes reasonable. Yet the EU is dissatisfied with China's reluctance to fully implement its commitments to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and, more generally, with its protectionist measures, which often hurt EU interests. For its part, Beijing is still dissatisfied with the EU's refusal to grant the country 'market economy' status and with other measures it believes limit China's ...

The EU's trade and economic relations with China, the global leader in trade, are generally good, and the number of disputes reasonable. Yet the EU is dissatisfied with China's reluctance to fully implement its commitments to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and, more generally, with its protectionist measures, which often hurt EU interests. For its part, Beijing is still dissatisfied with the EU's refusal to grant the country 'market economy' status and with other measures it believes limit China's access to the Single Market. Negotiations for an EU-China partnership and cooperation agreement, initiated in 2007, have yet to be concluded. In January 2014, China and the EU held the first round of negotiations for a bilateral investment agreement. Negotiations are progressing steadily but their end is not in sight. More recently, Beijing has suggested opening talks for an EU-China FTA, but Europe’s reaction has been lukewarm.

Protectionism in the G20 (2015)

09-03-2015

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