NAFTA talks to resume, according to Mexican negotiators
Mexican Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo declared that the negotiating teams for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) are ready to kick off talks again after they stalled last month. The full story is here.
Chief negotiators from the 11 signatories to the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreed this week to start accession talks with potential newcomers in 2019, when the free trade pact takes effect. Thailand, Indonesia, Columbia, South Korea and Taiwan are reportedly seen as willing to join the revised accord, which was signed in March and is now formally known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. The story is here.
European member states have given the go-ahead for a free trade deal with Japan, the world's third-largest economy, news outlets report. Among other things, the new accord will create the world’s largest open economic area, removing EU tariffs of 10 percent tariffs on Japanese cars and the 3 percent rate typically applied to car parts. Meanwhile, Japan has reportedly committed to remove duties of some 30 percent on EU cheese and 15 percent on wines as well as allowing it to increase its beef and pork exports and gain access to large public tenders in Japan.
The Journal of International Economic Law's latest edition is out--offering papers presented at an academic conference on the sidelines of the WTO’s 11th Ministerial Conference, which was held in Buenos Aires in December 2017. Substantively, the Special Issue is clustered around two themes: first, a substantive theme focused on e-commerce and the digital economy and how trade rules could or should adapt to them; secondly, a process-based theme addressing how trade rules could be better improved and updated. For more, see here.
G7 acrimony sparks new concerns for the international trading system
Listen here to the Financial Times's new podcast. As Professor Brummer also notes on twitter, the bludgeoning of the G7 will invariably bolster the status of the G20 as the primary forum for global policymaking where--notably--Russia is already a member (and China).
A Bitcoin rally is underway due to the FSB's suggestion to the G20 that it refrain from regulating bitcoin. However, as Professor writes in an op-ed for Cointelegraph, traders are almost certainly reading too much into the comments.
Chris Brummer Shares Views of Bitcoin, Initial Coin Offerings with Congress
Professor Chris Brummer delivered testimony on the proper regulation of cryptocurrencies and ICOs before Congress's House Financial Services Subcommittee. The testimony was broadcast on C-SPan and covered in a number of venues, including here. The full written testimony can be found here.