Free trade

More than a trade war

The escalating trade war between the United States (US) and China has sometimes been characterised as what game theorists would call a prisoner’s dilemma. A prisoner might benefit by informing on another, but only if the second prisoner does not also betray the first. If both inform, both lose; the best outcome occurs when both remain silent.

1 September 2019

Trade deal centre stage at ASEAN Summit

World leaders will push for the rapid completion of a massive, China-backed trade deal that excludes the United States (US) at a summit this week, in a rebuke to rising protectionism and Donald Trump's "America First" agenda.China, Japan, India and other Asia-Pacific countries could announce a broad agreement on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which covers half the world's population, on the sidelines of the annual gathering.Not only is the US absen

12 November 2018

Europe and Asia back free trade

More than 50 European and Asian leaders backed free trade and the fight against climate change on Friday in a veiled swipe at United States (US) President Donald Trump and his increasingly protectionist approach.

21 October 2018

EU builds ties with Asia

European leaders sought to build support from Asia on Thursday in defence of free trade and the fight against climate change, to counter the growing protectionism of President Donald Trump's America.The 28 European Union (EU) states were joined at a summit in Brussels by more than 20 Asian leaders including Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Japan's Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is also attending, despite tensions over Moscow

19 October 2018

ASEAN and EU close ranks

Southeast Asia and Europe stressed the importance of pushing back against protectionism and the threat of global trade wars Friday, as their ministers work towards the eventual goal of a region-to-region free trade pact.The United States (US) is embroiled in trade spats with China and close allies including the European Union (EU), imposing tit-for-tat tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of goods and heightening fears of economic pain that could spread worldwide.At a meeting in Singapore, E

4 August 2018

The costs of trade war

According to an old African proverb, “When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.” The same is true for full-blown trade wars: when major economies clash, developing countries will be among the hardest hit.On 1 June, the United States’ (US) administration imposed import tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminium. The levies will affect not just China, but also Canada, Mexico, and the countries of the European Union (EU).

19 June 2018

U.S.-China trade talks end with key differences still unresolved

Two days of U.S.-China trade discussions ended in Beijing on Friday with an agreement to keep on talking, and little else.China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported Friday afternoon that both sides reached a consensus on some trade issues, without providing details. They also acknowledged major disagreements on some matters and will continue communicating to work toward making more progress.The U.S.

5 May 2018

32nd ASEAN Summit: Five possible talking points in Singapore

It’s that time of year again. Starting from tomorrow, the heads of state from all 10 ASEAN countries will meet and discuss the biggest issues in the region today. Hosting the ASEAN Summit for the 32nd time is Singapore, the Chairman of ASEAN 2018. The theme of Singapore’s chairmanship is “Resilient and Innovative”, which perfectly encapsulates the attitude ASEAN needs to take in the face of today’s global challenges.

24 April 2018

Fortifying ASEAN against a potential global trade war

United States (US) president, Donald Trump’s imposition of at least US$60 million worth of tariffs on China’s products has already prompted signs of Chinese retaliation, something that could result in a trade war between the two nations. Trump’s earlier proposals to impose a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminium imports has already sparked a global uproar. Spill-over effects from a likely trade war could impact Southeast Asia too.

24 March 2018

The geopolitics behind free trade

During a free trade forum at the Wilson Centre in 2014, United States (US) Trade Representative, Michael Froman addressed a crowd on America’s commitment to free trade.“By leading on trade, we can carry forward the torch that President Wilson held up a century ago, when he said, ‘The time for provincial thinkers has gone by.

17 March 2018

Effects of “America First” on the solar industry

Donald Trump’s inherently protectionist “America First” policy is a far cry from what many have grown to perceive the United States in the international arena – as a bastion of free trade. But with Trump at the helm, the superpower has rescinded its global leadership in trade and has dented its reputation further by way of imposing tariffs. The recent tariffs which affected industries in Asia – specifically Southeast Asia – was the imposition of tariffs on solar panels and modules.

21 February 2018