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What we are reading

Week of December 14

Published 14 December 2021

What We are Reading is a curated list of articles and reports on the latest developments in sustainable trade and investment, technology, and geopolitics.

Reflection about China’s role in the WTO

This week marks the twentieth anniversary of China’s accession to the WTO, and the world is assessing the success and failure of that historic development. The Financial Times notes that this anniversary is met with mixed emotions. Politico talks to US policymakers involved in negotiating China’s accession and finds that hindsight is 20/20.

In Foreign Affairs, Elizabeth Economy takes the broader view on China’s ambition to shape the rules-based international order in its favor, while James Fok in Asia Global Online proposed that ‘financial cold war’ more accurately characterizes US-China tensions.

Digging into trade and technology, the Harvard Kennedy School lays out the current and future “great tech rivalry” between China and the US, and the Asia Society Policy Institute focuses on China’s growing influence in the setting of international technology standards.

Tensions between Lithuania and China are increasing. The Perth USAsia Centre and the Asia Society Policy Institute weigh in on how best to counter trade coercion. Is coercion working in Europe? No, argues the Swedish National China Centre, in an article that outlines how to support targets of coercion.

Industrial and foreign policy, and services trade, and supply chains

Calls for industrial policies are in vogue in Washington. The Peterson Institute for International Economics provides important perspective in scoring 50 years of US industrial policies.

Aime Williams in the Financial Times argues that the United States is leveraging trade policy to accomplish broader foreign policy goals.

A plurilateral agreement on services regulations, designed to lower costs and ease services trade globally, was successfully negotiated by dozens of WTO members, according to this announcement.

Delayed Christmas presents?

Will gifts arrive on time? Nikkei Asia gives a brilliant breakdown of the latest saga of supply chain congestion – this time impacting Apple.

Lastly, in case you are wondering how long you’ll wait for those gifts to arrive, Flexport’s Ocean Timeliness Indicator offers a new way to measure the delay of shipments. Patience is optional.

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