A summary of the most important trade news stories from the past week. This summary is emailed to our subscribers every Monday morning, along with the latest comment and analysis from The Channel Group. If you would like to receive this direct to your inbox, you can sign up at the bottom of this article or click here.
UK heading for ‘swift and clean’ Brexit
After last week’s to-ing and fro-ing over the UK’s membership of the single market, Theresa May will set out her Brexit stance more clearly (we hope) on Tuesday. In the meantime, an indication of her stance has emerged. Senior sources have said that Mrs May will announce plans for a ‘swift and clean’ Brexit deal that will see the UK leave the single market and the customs union. Lord Lawson has called for such a move this week.
However, Chancellor Philip Hammond has suggested that the UK could cut taxes to compete more aggressively with the EU, if it was not to be granted access to the customs union. Speaking to Die Welt, he said; “The British people are not going to lie down and say, ‘too bad, we’ve been wounded’”.
New Zealand trade deal
Theresa May met the New Zealand Prime Minister, Bill English. At a press conference both PM’s reiterated their joint commitment to free trade.
English said that New Zealand was the “ideal partner for UK to demonstate it can negotiate high-quality trade deals”. Both English and May said that they hoped a deal could be negotiated “as soon as possible”.
Re-connect with the Commonwealth
The Free Enterprise Group of MPs has called for a reconnection with the Commonwealth following Brexit. Co-author of the report James Cleverly MP said, “A market of 2.3 billion people and some of the fastest growing economies in the world is too big an opportunity to ignore”. You can read the full report here.
Trump strategy threatens US competitiveness
The outgoing US trade tsar, Mike Froman, has warned that President-elect Trump’s promise force impose tariffs on goods manufactures overseas and imported into the US. He also warned that the move could drive US allies into China’s embrace.
“When 95 per cent of consumers, 80 per cent of purchasing power and the fastest-growing markets for our products are outside the United States there is a risk that if other countries followed suit we’d actually see an outflow of manufacturing from the US”, Mr Froman said.
Global leaders from more than 70 countries will meet in Davos for the World Economic Forum, which runs from 17-20 January. This year’s meeting will focus on “strengthening global collaboration, revitalizing economic growth, reforming capitalism and preparing for the Fourth Industrial Revolution”.
Best of Elsewhere
- 5 options for post-Brexit trade with Europe (Politico)
- The worrying macro-economics of US border taxes (FT)
- US border tax threatens Asian growth (FT)
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Before this, he worked for GlaxoSmithKline and as a theatre producer. Thomas enjoys playing cricket, cycling, and reading.