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What we are reading

From snarling supply chains to China policy

Published 25 January 2022

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

Subsidies, supply chains, and China

More countries are adopting industrial policies and incentives to reshore production. Japan, for example, is planning subsidies to bolster its supply chains in critical areas, Nikkei Asia reports. How will similar policies impact global commerce? The Economist offers answers in its special report on business and the state.

Speaking of supply chains, China’s zero-Covid policy is likely to keep them snarled, reports the Financial Times.

The United States’ China policy remains under scrutiny. Is President Biden boxed in on China, asks Jenny Leonard of Bloomberg. Why is China’s trade surplus higher than ever, asks the New York Times. Would removing tariffs on Chinese imports significantly impact inflation? Not necessarily, according to the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE).

Tailoring trade remedies to address the challenge of China’s practices more directly may help save the embattled dispute settlement regime of the World Trade Organization (WTO), explains another PIIE report.

Many governments are focused on digital trade and possible supportive policies. The Congressional Research Service helps us to understand US trade policy on digital trade.

Succeeding in digital trade is certainly one challenge facing the world’s least developed countries. A new WTO report outlines the participation of low-income economies in global trade and the hurdles they try to overcome.

Acronym alert: IP, FDI, and AI

How beneficial are intellectual property (IP) provisions in trade agreements? In a comprehensive examination of the European Union’s free trade agreements, the European Centre for International Political Economy counts the ways. The lesson may be helpful to Vietnam. In the East Asia Forum, Nguyen Anh Duong urges Vietnam to get cracking on its IP commitments, among others, to the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The Philippines has a new law for entering the retail sector, part of its plans to liberalize rules for foreign direct investment (FDI). Nikkei Asia explains the significance.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the game changer that the world’s superpowers covet to lead. Will China’s ambition to lead this field come to fruition? Watch the hype about China’s dominance in AI, explains The Economist.

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