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What we are reading

Week of October 5

Published 05 October 2021

In What We are Reading this week, we share with you the latest developments in sustainable trade and investment, technology, and geopolitics.

Evolving US-China trade

Expect US-China relations, already a perpetual hot topic in trade, to be in the news again this week in anticipation of a trade policy speech by USTR Ambassador Katharine Tai.

In a paper for the 21st Century China Center, Samantha A. Vortherms and Jiakun Jack Zhang examine whether firms have left China. Meanwhile Cissy Zhou of the South China Morning Post reviews a report from Capital Economics that looks at who stands to gain most from decoupling.

China continues to evolve its use and application of intellectual property rules in favor of its own companies. China’s intellectual property offensive is discussed in a Nikkei Asia article by Maki Sagami, while China’s use of anti-suit injunctions is outlined by Josh Zumbrun in the Wall Street Journal.

China was not mentioned by name in the joint statement of the inaugural EU-US Trade and Technology Council. But the council’s intention to work together to counter non-market policies clearly indicates that China was a focus of the discussions.

Supply chain kinks and FDI

Are the troubles facing supply chains merely kinks or a sign of deeper fissures? Nikkei Asia explains why China is experiencing an energy crunch and its potential impact on supply chains. The Washington Post explores America’s broken supply chain.

Jeffrey J. Schott of the Peterson Institute for International Economics asks whether Mexico’s challenging environment for FDI is hampering its chances to bring supply chains from China to North America.

Lastly, to help investors looking for opportunities, the Asia Society Policy Institute launched a helpful new tool cataloguing the regulatory environment for foreign investment and supply chains around the Asia Pacific region.

The confluence of trade and geopolitics

China and Taiwan have both applied to join the CPTPP. Who will be welcomed to join – both or neither? Taiwan’s prospects are examined by Kathrin Hille in the Financial Times. If you are wondering how the CPTPP accession process works, the Peterson Institute for International Economics provides a helpful infographic.

Meanwhile, a new study found over $385 billion of hidden debt among China’s Belt and Road lending, raising questions over relations between these countries and China, as described by Edward White in the Financial Times.

A race to lead in technology

Between the US and China, who is leading the technology race across nine sectors? The Washington Post gives us a snapshot in nine charts. Meanwhile, the Economist tracks Japan’s bid to regain market dominance over cutting-edge battery technologies.

Lastly, we recommend this video from Cheddar explaining tariff engineering. Informative and fun (really)!

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