Free Trade and Trade Protectionism: US-China Relations and Post-Brexit Impact on UK-China Relations

Free Trade and Trade Protectionism: US-China Relations and Post-Brexit Impact on UK-China Relations

Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 8
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4131-8.ch016

Abstract

Does a Trump era signify closer US-UK ties – particularly in view of the developments which heralded the era of such administrations – namely, a revolution against “the traditional establishment”? This chapter highlights what challenges exist for present trade relations – as well as the rationale behind the decisions of certain governments to dispel with previous precedents which were set by their predecessors.
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Background And Literature Review

The arguments for free trade have certainly ranked highly amongst the list of topics which have recently dominated the headlines during the latter part of September 2016 – as well as the beginning of October 2016, in Britain. Earlier during the week, the International Trade Secretary had also emphasized the benefits of free trade – namely, the need for competition and innovation, amongst other attributes, whilst also highlighting the need to counter dumping practices.

Against this backdrop, the economic environment in the United States appears to have witnessed a different scene in recent months – particularly in relation to its steel industry. Given the fact that the UK is also facing a steel crisis, it is interesting that responses echoed in relation to free trade and less protectionism in the United Kingdom relate to recent events – which have largely been impacted by Brexit and the need for the UK to forge new strategic relations with potential global partners.

In an analysis which considers why anti-dumping measures, on their own, may prove to be insufficient in addressing the issues of concerns relating to decreased steel prices and potentially devastating effects on the US economy,

It is highlighted that whilst (Tivey, 2016):

The significant new tariffs imposed on certain steel imports have certainly reduced imports and lifted US prices, new import sources will likely fill the gaps that have opened up, thus diluting the overall impact of the antidumping duties. To compete in the current environment, US steel producers must place continued focus on cost reduction through operational levers, raw materials supply renegotiation, and asset footprint optimization. Equally, support from the US government to help the ailing steel industry deal with its legacy costs would take a load off certain producers’ shoulders.

Whilst the United States has imposed anti-dumping measures1,other jurisdictions including Indonesia have also imposed increased duties on steel imports from China – with measures still being considered in other jurisdictions – notably the European Union (EU) and Australia. One vital lesson drawn from the Brexit vote, and largely considered to have contributed to the result that followed on the 24th June 2016, was the disconnect of the UK Government, namely Westminster, from the general mandate – as reflected by the differences in poll results – which significantly differed between London and the remaining parts of England and Wales.

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