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This audio recording is revealing for various reasons, especially for what it tells us about how trade policy is made under the current administration. There's never been any shortage of cynicism in international commercial diplomacy, so nothing really shocking there. But two comments really give us some insights into Trump's thinking on trade policy and international economic affairs and the very severe limitations it is subject to. First of all he says the Japanese are so p...rotectionist and that is why they are "doing well". More and more I get the impression from listening to their sound bites that the Trump economics team still have their heads in the 1980s, which by the way, was about the last time anyone thought Japan was "doing well". After two decades of stagflation and an increasingly ageing population, Japan these days resembles little more than an above-ground cemetery. The second comment that Trump makes which is revealing is his plans to impose a 10% tax to mitigate the trade deficit, saying: "you go from losing money to breaking even in one year". This shows more than anything else that he thinks he's just running a giant business, with very little understanding of what the deficit really is, what caused it, what it means, and why it's not really a big problem systemically for the US economy. He just thinks his business is losing money and that it needs to be fixed as soon as possible. And because he has such an unshakable belief that he is always right about everything, I don't see much chance of anyone educating him differently. Prepare for a rocky few years in US foreign economic policy.

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President Donald Trump intends to intensify enforcement of food safety regulations as a cudgel in international trade negotiations, according to leaked recordings of a what appears to be a phone conversation between Trump and Wilbur Ross, his nominee for Commerce Secretary. During the conversation,…
gizmodo.com
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I saw the head of Uber Taiwan on the BBC this morning and he did a very good job not losing his cool and denouncing the Taiwanese government authorities as both protectionist and parochial!

Ride-hailing app Uber announced in a statement yesterday the suspension of services in Taiwan, starting from February 10, citing fines that amount to TWD1.1 billion (MOP283 million) within just one month after a new law banning unlicensed taxi services was introduced. The island-state imposes the hi...
macaudailytimes.com.mo

Nice little info-graphic on regional supply chains!

How tearing apart Nafta could wreak havoc on supply chains
bloomberg.com

A very interesting article on the race to the top of the global smartphone business!

Huawei's smartphones are huge successes in China and Europe. But the No. 3 phonemaker's global ambitions face major hurdles—especially in the U.S.
fortune.com

Another blow for freedom of contract, especially if the State of NY can still sue property owners but lets AirBnB off the hook. If I own it, I should be able to rent it to whoever I want, for however long I want, for whatever price the market dictates.

Airbnb Inc. is in talks with New York City and New York state to settle a lawsuit over a new state law designed to curtail short-term apartment rentals.
wsj.com

Can't wait until National Geographic or 60 Minutes do their own report on this! But until then the WSJ has produced this revealing piece!

Samsung’s decision to push a sweeping recall of the Galaxy Note 7, based on what turned out to be incomplete evidence, left the South Korean company with little choice but to kill the model later.
wsj.com

Another article that documents the vertical integration going on in the ICT industry, where internet companies that started out on the "data side" of the ecosystem have moved into the "infrastructure side".

Facebook and Google are building an 8,000 mile fiber optic cable across the Pacific Ocean.
wired.com

Chang Seung Wha's farewell speech to the WTO. Well done to you sir! There's just no way to sugar-coat it, the US did a disservice to the whole system by blocking his reappointment, just like they did four years ago with their own AB Member Jennifer Hillman. What happened to the days when the US provided leadership to the organization? They seem long gone!

Great op-ed by President Obama that reminds us of the phenomenal changes that have taken place during his time in office as well as the importance of getting the balance right between regulation and laisser faire!

Things are a little different today than when I first moved into the White House. Back then, my watch told me the time. Today, it reminds me to exercise. In my first year, I couldn’t take pictures with my phone. Last year, I posted on Instagram from Alaska. Of course, American innovation is driving…
post-gazette.com

Huawei selfie with Ambassador Chiedu Osakwe on secondment from the WTO Accessions Division to the MITI of Nigeria

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, suit and indoor

Great meeting today with Okechukwu Enelamah, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment (MITI) of Nigeria!

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Talking last week with Australia's Ambassador to China, Her Excellency Ms Jan Adams about the opportunities provided by the new China Australia Free Trade Agreement CHAFTA

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A nice piece of counter-culture analysis on the benefits of an open and liberal market economy, which includes openness to international trade! Thank you @decunningham2

My hometown of Hickory, North Carolina is actually a great example of the American economy’s resilience—not despite trade, but in concert with it.
thefederalist.com

For those interested in some of the legal and procedural underpinnings of the TPP ratification process in Congress!