Being perceived as tough can be an effective negotiating strategy. It backfires though if by “tough” you mean walking back on past agreements. As this is from the Trump playbook, some words on that are in order /1
Trump threatened to bring NAFT down to reach USMCA. And he got what he wanted including rules of origin for the car industry that will be tough (impossible?) to meet for Mexico. So why not copy those tactics? /2
Because the UK-EU relationship is entirely different from the Mexican-US one. Mexico is utterly dependent on trade with the US (the US takes more than 70% of its exports). The UK is not even the EU’s largest trading partner. /3
Cannot help but think this is also a rather unfortunate moment in history for Brexit. The US and the EU both - and independently from Brexit - turn their trade policies towards stronger level-playing field. Plus the EU shifts its emphasis to enforcement anyway. /4

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More from @hhesterm

9 Oct
Allow me to correct @tradegoveuk. Your comparison does not support your conclusion. Allow me to explain (thread)
1) Your sample. You compare the UK system to Canada, Japan and Australia. Two of these systems are Westminster systems. That does not support a conclusion relating to “the world”.
2) Why do I say that? The real power in treaty scrutiny is an up or down vote on an FTA in Parliament. That exists, for example, in the US or the EU. Not in the UK.
Read 7 tweets
8 Oct
Germany published its ranking of trading partners in foreign trade for 2019 (any hint where to find the equivalent for 2018, @destatis ?) /1…
For overall trade (imports+exports) the UK was Germany's 7th largest trading partner, after China, NL, US, France, Italy and Poland. For exports it ranked No. 5 after the US, France, China and NL.
The statistics for Jan to August for German exports unsurprisingly show dramatic change, but...
Read 4 tweets
6 Oct
From today‘s Politico: Ministers will ensure that 60% of the equipment used in the UK for producing wind energy is made in the country.
What is not mentioned: this can very quickly come into conflict with WTO law (Short thread)
National content requirements are highly dubious under WTO law - and Canada and India are amongst the countries whose programs ran into trouble at the WTO for precisely that reason.
Fortunately someone has written an article about this issue…
Read 4 tweets
6 Oct
A thoroughly remarkable article. Gertrude Lübbe-Wolff takes on the US Supreme Court. The dysfunctional Court.…
It is hard to argue with the observation that the construction of the court has led to a thoroughly undesirable polarisation.
Probably important to point out: I do not agree with everything in the article. To point out one observation I do agree with: I think lifetime tenure and the mode of appointment lead to undesirable results.
Read 4 tweets
5 Oct
Steve talks bananas. Let me add one thing (short thread)
Another reason why we have fruit quality standards is to facilitate trade. Traders need to talk to each other and speak the same language.
For that reason, there actually is a working party on agricultural quality standards - under the banner of UNECE.
Read 7 tweets
5 Oct
It is difficult to understand what’s going on here. As Emilio rightly points out, this is put down explicitly in the NI Protocol. It’s not vague language. But this shows an interesting issue of Committee work /1
Sometimes a question can catch someone off guard and rather than admit it the person might follow the logic of some talking points without actually knowing the answer. And the answer the person gives can then simply be false - as happened here. /2
The question then is: who corrects these errors? Committees will give you a chance to correct any mistakes in your testimony. But what if you don’t? /3
Read 4 tweets

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