The United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced on 23 June that it is proposing to “carousel” its retaliation list in the US-EU large aircraft dispute. This US action will potentially remove products currently on the list and modify the scope to include new products, an expanded number of countries, and a possible increase in retaliatory tariffs applied.
These proposed modifications are the latest move in a series of actions in the US-EU large aircraft dispute. On 13 July 2018, the WTO ruled in favor of the United States and approved retaliatory measures against the EU due to subsidies provided for the Airbus company and in EU domestic commercial aircraft industry, which were deemed inconsistent with international trade obligations. Following an initial investigation which began on 12 April 2019, a finalized list of products from EU countries subject to additional tariffs came into effect on 18 October 2019 . On 14 February 2020, the USTR announced a further revised list, including an additional tariff on aircrafts and parts from 10% to 15%, as well as other modifications.
After a stunning, landslide victory for Boris Johnson and his Conservative party in the 12 December UK general election, Britain is on course to leave the European Union on 31 January 2020. The British people have given Prime Minister Johnson a parliamentary majority of 80 seats and a clear mandate to “Get Brexit Done,” the slogan of his re-election campaign. All hopes for a last-ditch effort to keep the UK in or to have a second referendum have been dashed, but the Brexit process is far from over. Brexit will not be “done” on 31 January, in fact, the harder part may be yet to come.
With the British departure all but assured for the end of January, what’s next for the trade relationship between the UK and the EU and how does this impact potential trade negotiations for a US-UK trade agreement? In this post, I try my best to answer these questions and to give more context on how Brexit could impact US exporters.
What does this mean for the continent and for US SMEs interested in trade opportunities with countries in Africa
The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), is set to enter into force on 30 May 2019, given that half of the original signatory countries have completed ratification of the agreement.
The AfCFTA was first conceived by the 55 members of the African Union as a step towards an African free trade area to promote intra-African trade for sustainable economic development and integration into the global economy. The first round of AfCFTA negotiations was held in February 2016, and the final text was signed by 44 countries in Rwanda on 21 March 2018. Eight more countries have since signed the deal. Only 3 countries of the African Union (Benin, Eritrea, and Nigeria), have not yet signed on to the AfCFTA. With the ultimate aim of the single market, the AfCFTA paves the way for a continental wide customs union in the near future that integrates the many existing regional customs unions throughout Africa already in place.