Right then, new paper time, this time on whether China makes everything. In short, no. Here for example are the five leading categories of UK manufacturing imports from China. Basically an awful lot of cheap consumer goods. So what should we do?
Firstly, we should understand the facts of manufacturing outside China. Rising outputs but falling employment. I just deal with some of this in my short paper, but you can get fuller details from @scottlincicome here - similar idea. cato.org/publications/p…
What about fighting covid, hasn't this shown that we're dependent on China in a crisis? No. Multiple studies have in fact shown a variety of suppliers.
With regard to what China makes, and how to respond, we'd be best starting with the story of its growth, which seems to me primarily taking advantage of post 1990 opportunities in technology and regulation to produce safe consumer goods in great quantity.
Then where is China planning to go? The answer is moving away from the 'world's factory on behalf of western brands' model, encouraging Chinese brands and more sophisticated production. What is the right response to this?
I have questions about China's economic strategy, not least in trying to build trusted brands when all companies are potentially vulnerable to domestic pressures. And I'm unsure the west's focus on doing what they think China did (subsidies) is right. bit.ly/3rF4HQL
Check out our New Globalization webpage for more such thoughts on today's global trade landscape, and how the EU, UK and others should respond. ecipe.org/new-globalizat…

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More from @DavidHenigUK

2 Apr
Very very slowly UK government, politicians and businesses are realising what third country means to the EU, no special financial services or food paperwork arrangements, largely symbolic joint committees, and hard work to change anything. ft.com/content/310ec0…
Too many people have taken the joint committees established under the Withdrawal Agreement and Trade and Cooperation Agreement - these are not serious bodies in other EU agreements (the NI Protocol arrangements are - rightly - more substantive).
Any UK requests for changes for improvements to EU trade will require heavy lifting - whether to streamline paperwork, get better visa conditions for musicians, or establish proper financial services equivalence. That's how loose trade arrangements work.
Read 8 tweets
31 Mar
I'm afraid the level of ignorance and deliberate misinformation in the UK about the EU is only getting worse. Provisional plans become permanent anti UK conspiracies, regulatory decisions even when shared with non-EU countries similarly.
And that's no kind of pro EU bemoaning, but a wish for objective news which too many in the UK media with anti EU sentiment now wish to avoid. Their view, I think, that the news used to be pro EU and now its their turn. Except the eurosceptic view was always reported.
Vaccines is such a good example. The anti EU voice is one long incompetence with no redeeming features leading (as ever) towards EU breakup. The balanced view isn't great for the EU, but would for example recognise regulatory decisions are not ridiculous.
Read 6 tweets
31 Mar
Guess what, media yelling has been apparently followed by the UK government doing as the EU asked. Almost like we've seen this movie before...
Meanwhile, shellfish latest... amp.theguardian.com/business/2021/…
Some suspicions of what the UK Northern Ireland road map will contain, fair, but the point is it was demanded after the UK government unilaterally extended grace periods. Now we're back on the road to joint implementation of the protocol.
Read 4 tweets
31 Mar
Well this is quite the statement -

"The fact is the trading system has not delivered – by not being fair to people across the world or relevant to their lives"

Especially from a self proclaimed champion of free trade.
So why does the UK government think the current global system is unfair. Though not making progress on new issues is mentioned, the major issue is unfair subsidies. Where of course the UK record and recent history is somewhat mixed.
Of course not being naive this wouldn't be the first time UK speaking points on the problems of the global trading system seemed like a reworked version of what the US is saying - on WTO dispute settlement or the evils of China.
Read 6 tweets
29 Mar
The boat is free and globalisation probably isn't dead. Again. bbc.co.uk/news/world-mid…
Useful for talking about the impact of the Suez Canal, and indeed potential decoupling from China, over 50% of UK goods imports form China by value come in these five categories. From an upcoming paper.
Modern globalisation explained - the ability to get specialists when you need them wherever they are (or to get cheaper production if that's the goal). You can regulate, but not switch it off.
Read 6 tweets
28 Mar
Catching up on end of week reading and I come across this, by some distance the sloppiest pile of meaningless buzzwords I've been unfortunate enough to read for many years. Cannot believe this was thought to deserve five pages in print. newstatesman.com/politics/uk/20…
"For example the low carbon production required by a green new deal cannot be achieved unless much of manufacture and service provision moves in the direction of a socially inclusive knowledge economy". Many words, no meaning.
"The UK has stopped making enough goods and services that the rest of the world wants". Lazy cliche without justification, and not backed up by any figures.

Continues ad nauseam for far too long in such a vein.
Read 4 tweets

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