Someone reached out to say they couldn't watch All the Goods Trade Puns Were Taken on Twitch, so I threw together a Youtube channel.

The full playlist I'll be updating with each episode is here, and I'll grow this thread with each new episode.…
Episode 1 covered vaccine nationalism, international taxation, the UK's CPTPP ambitions and Boris Johnson's ill-fated trip to India.

Episode 2 covered the EU's anti-coercion mechanism, how governments are likely to pursue remote workers dodging taxes, and a brief climate discussion of carbon border adjustment taxes and fossil fuel subsidies.

Episode 3 focused on the US decision to accept (in principle) a waiver of intellectual property rights for Covid-19 vaccines.

Anna was out that week.

Episode 4 was a deep dive into the UK-Australia FTA and the most common arguments used by everyone both supportive and opposed to it.

Bonus Episode 1 was a by-demand discussion of the UK's plan to build a national yacht for trade promotion purposes.

I did this one solo because Sam and Anna deserve better than to have to deep dive this silly issue.

Episode 5 was a deep dive into the European Union's new Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism draft, and what it might mean for business.

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More from @DmitryOpines

3 Jun

So far there have mostly been "nerdy Brexiters" that have posited without specifics the existence of competitiveness hurting EU red tape to be cut and "nerdy Brexiters" who have a hit-list of red tape they personally hate, but which is far too popular or complex to touch.
That by the is why we're on about the 4th Government Commission/Initiative where it begs someone, anyone, to bring it a list of EU red tape for the bonfire.
EU regulations are far from perfect, and there are doubtless improvements to be made but there really isn't a binder somewhere labelled "Uncomplicated Consequence Free Regulatory Cuts With No Constituency To Boost Growth"
Read 4 tweets
27 May
1/ The debate over the Australia-UK FTA exposed that we don't quite know how the UK government thinks about tariffs.

A thread to try to lay out the options and trace the UK Government's journey so far. 👇
2/ Option #1: Optimistic Libertarian

Crude Summary: "Tariffs are bad, and it's not worth having them even as bargaining chips. Remove them all unilaterally, then use active trade leadership to secure market access abroad the way Singapore or New Zealand do."
3/ Option #2: Strategic Libertarian

Crude Summary: "Tariffs are bad but other countries may be reluctant to get rid of theirs and they're the primary 'chip' traded in negotiations. Keep some tariffs but then get rid of them by trading them away in negotiations."
Read 14 tweets
24 May
1/ @SamuelMarcLowe, @Annaisaac and I started our show to accessibly break down trade issues in the headlines without the stress of a 3 minute TV slot or a pundit yelling at us.

Tonight, we talked through the most common questions about the Aus-UK FTA.

Some clips below!
2/ First, for those who haven't been following the debate, here's @Annaisaac summarizing what we know about the Australia-UK FTA and why it's proven controversial.…
3/ Will the FTA destroy British farming? Will the FTA make food radically cheaper for the nation's poor?

@SamuelMarcLowe thinks the answer to both is "probably not" and explains why he thinks everyone should calm down:…
Read 9 tweets
19 May
1/ Since no one asked, here's a thread on the UK-Australia FTA.

Biases on the table:
- I was an Australian trade negotiator
- I have trained many of DIT's negotiators, likely including some of the ones working on this FTA
- I'm neoliberal scum who generally thinks tariffs = bad
2/ Like we all warned, most Free Trade Agreements, and all Free Trade Agreements including Australia, come down to agriculture.

Australian trade policy tends to be laser focused on getting beef, lamb, dairy and wheat into markets it's currently locked out of.
3/ Reports suggest that Liz Truss, with the Prime Minister's backing, is pushing to give Australian products complete tariff and quota free access to the UK market, phased in over 10-15 years.

Another faction, lead by Eustice and Gove is pushing back arguing for "TRQs" instead.
Read 23 tweets
15 May
Because motivations are unknowable, it's hard to retroactively distinguish "trying to get my buddy a lucrative government contract" from "trying to get a bargain for the taxpayer."

That's why there are strict rules against Ministers interfering in procurement regardless of goal.
No matter how dodgy the deal, a Minister can always claim they thought it was a badly needed offering at a great price and that it would be wrong to penalise the vendor for being their friend.

But that's not supposed to be a defense.
If there are good deals on badly needed products or services out there, the procurement process is supposed to find and contract them on its own, without Ministers writing to Ministers to help it along.

If that's not happening either the vendor or the process sucks.
Read 4 tweets
5 May
1/ This is a huge symbolic win for campaigners, but it could mean a number of things depending on the Administration's strategy here and what it does next.

A quick thread on three options I can see: the straight forward, the cynical, and the screws.
2/ Option #1: It is what it is.

This is 100% what it appears to be. The US negotiates a few technical changes to the waiver and signs up, likely leaving the EU, Switzerland and other hold outs too isolated to maintain opposition.

The waiver passes largely unchanged.
3/ There is heated debate about whether the passage of the waiver will mean more vaccines in the short to medium term.

I'm not really qualified to weigh in on that, but one has to believe an IP waiver could shake some progress loose somewhere, and we need that right now.
Read 10 tweets

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