Trade and Development | Wilson Center

Trade and Development

Behind Asia’s Other Trade War

While the trade war between Washington and Beijing has garnered significant attention, another trade war between two of the world’s largest and most advanced economies is heating up. Japan and South Korea are the world’s third- and twelfth-largest economies, respectively, representing an annual GDP of greater than $6.5 trillion. Yet trade friction between Tokyo and Seoul has intensified as a political standoff, rooted in history and inflamed by domestic politics on both sides, has begun to impact the economies of two critical American allies and global supply chains.

The Aftermath of a Lackluster G20

Risks to global growth still loom large, not least as trade tensions between China and the United States remain unresolved after the latest G20 summit. Yet the biggest takeaway from the Osaka meeting is that the real, long-term threat to global stability is not friction over tariffs and trade imbalances. Rather, the biggest source of instability is the growing divide between the world’s two largest economic and political powers, and the rest of the world.

G20 Beyond U.S.-China Tensions: What the G18 Want and Need

Trade concerns continue to blight the outlook for global growth as the leaders of the world’s most influential countries gather in Osaka, Japan in late June. While relations between the United States and China will invariably be the focus of attention during the G20 summit meeting, the annual event is also a chance for key powers to address common threats and challenges beyond the ongoing tensions of the world’s biggest economies.

Mexico's Dignity

The damage is done. Irrespective of whether Donald Trump imposes his proposed tariffs on Mexican goods, he has already gravely undermined the bilateral relationship between the United States and Mexico.

Donald Trump has begun his 2020 reelection bid in much the same way he began his successful 2016 campaign: by attacking Mexico and Mexicans to galvanise his base. He has insouciantly slapped Mexico, a central economic partner and strategic ally, with the International Economic Emergency Powers Act, a law ordinarily reserved for enemies of the United States.

Reaching Agreement with Mexico

U.S. and Mexican cabinet ministers are conducting intense negotiations this week to craft solutions on handling Central American migrant flows.  They seek to forgo a dangerous path of ratcheting up U.S. tariffs on Mexican imports that would dearly cost U.S. consumers, businesses and farmers.  

As former U.S. Ambassadors to Mexico, we urge these senior leaders to delink trade and immigration and find ways ahead to address the real problems around Central American migration.  Otherwise, we face lose-lose outcomes. 

Paying the Cost for U.S. Withdrawal from TPP

With bows exchanged to Japan’s newly enthroned emperor and a huge trophy awarded to the season’s sumo champion, President Trump’s latest visit to Tokyo was at first blush a protocol triumph. The fact that the president was willing to commit four days simply to travel to Japan when he will be going there again in a month’s time for the G20 meeting also sent a powerful signal to across the Asia-Pacific region that U.S-Japan relations remain strong and critical for both countries.

Trump, Tariffs, and U.S.-Mexico Relations: Finding a Path Forward

Last week, President Trump announced that the United States will impose a 5% tariff on all Mexican imports in an attempt to pressure Mexico to crack down on migrants trying to cross into the United States via the southern U.S. border. Under this plan, the government will increase tariffs by 5% each month until it believes Mexico has taken sufficient action or until the tariffs reach 25%. These tariffs are expected to go into effect on June 10th.

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