Chickens coming home to roost?

Well, well, well. Scaremongering and doomists have been predicting the end of Britain once we Brits leave the European Union—and a double dose of hell if it happens without a deal. We’re doomed, as Jamie Frazier would say.*

Then we read the following in the Financial Times:

Brussels rejects plea for dual-listed London shares trading

EU asset managers warn they could move to UK because of commission’s stance Brussels has rebuffed calls from EU asset managers who want to continue trading dual-listed shares in London after a no-deal Brexit, in an indication of the European Commission’s tough stance on financial services.

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Trump’s Tariffs Are An Appallingly Inefficient Method Of Raising Tax Revenue

President Donald Trump is hailing the money pouring into the Treasury from those import tariffs that have been imposed upon those things we all like to buy from foreigners. Confident claims that this will pay off the national debt and all that. There are three problems with this sort of claim.

The first is that the people paying the tariffs are American consumers, the price of things they buy has risen as a result of the taxes.…

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Free The Bangladeshi Salt Industry – Kill The Import Tariffs

An interesting little puzzle from Bangladesh concerning the salt industry. The particular complaint is that certain nefarious types are subverting the tariff protection enjoyed by that Bangladeshi salt industry. There’re substantial tariffs upon the import of sodium chloride – 100% of value. Given that sodium sulphate is an input into the garments industry, that comes in near tariff free. And, of course, there are some who import the sulphate and convert to the chloride in order to beat said tariffs.…

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Of Course The US Trade Deficit Is Up – The US Economy Is Booming

A nice little story showing how wrong so many are about trade and the economy – worries that the US trade deficit is expanding. Well, yes, obviously enough, the US economy is expanding mightily, so of course the trade deficit is increasing. This is what normally happens – we’re all buying more stuff and the rise in what we’re buying is going up faster than local production is. Thus we end up buying more from foreigners.…

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Trump’s USMCA – Change Nafta’s Name, Pleasure The Base, Declare Victory, Go Home

President Donald Trump is doing the victory lap as he celebrates his new USMCA trade agreement. Which is, essentially, Nafta with the name changed. Which allows him to declare, a month before the midterms, victory – a victory that pleasures his base – and he can go, and bring them, home. Not bad as a piece of politics even if the economics of it all is both upside down and trivial.

For the thing is, really, not much has changed:

James Pethokoukis Trump’s new trade deal with Canada and Mexico fixes what he broke.

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Export Taxes Are A Bad Idea, Obviously Enough

There has been some work done on optimal export tariffs but for there to be such an optimal one at a rate above zero you’ve got to be the near monopoly supplier of the item – as Brazil was with coffee and as was the exemplar. Other than that, no, export taxes are a bad idea:

The impacts of export taxes on agricultural trade
Jayson Beckman, Carmen Estrades, Manuel Flores, Angel Aguiar 03 October 2018

Export taxes are the most commonly employed form of export restrictions on agricultural products, but they receive relatively little scrutiny in multilateral trade negotiations.…

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Trump Withdrawing US From WTO Would Be Complete Disaster For America

It would appear that Donald Trump has simply no clue at all about how the World Trade Organisation works. For if he did he’d not make a threat so risible as thinking of withdrawing America from the WTO. He’s entirely missed the point of the entire arrangement – it’s to limit the tariffs that other people can charge upon your exports. Well, that plus a mechanism by which we all get to hold governments to the promises that they make – it being generally thought that capricious government is not a good thing.…

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