Can trade agreements stop currency manipulation?

US Trade Representative Michael Froman is saluted by a guard while returning to the office for next negotiation with Japanese Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Akira Amari in Tokyo, Japan, 20 April 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Kemal Derviş, Brookings Institution

It is impossible to deny that trade and exchange rates are closely linked. But does that mean that international trade agreements should include provisions governing national policies that affect currency values? Read more…

Modi tinkering at the edges of trade policy

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi poses with supporters on 11 April 2015 after his visit at the WWI Indian Memorial of Neuve-Chapelle-Richebourg, northern France. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Rajiv Kumar, Centre for Policy Research, India

The Foreign Trade Policy of the Modi government, announced by trade minister Nirmala Sitharaman in early April, represents business as usual. It aims at only incremental change rather than the bold new beginning that is needed if India is to ‘assume a position of leadership in the international trade discourse’. Read more…

Why China is abandoning state soy reserves?

Soybeans are harvested on a farm near Pergamino, Argentina, feeding insatiable Chinese demand. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Tristan Kenderdine, ANU

Chen Xiwen, deputy director of the Central Leading Group on Rural Affairs, has long admitted that many countries produce soybeans more efficiently than China. So how can agricultural policy makers reform China’s soy industry? Read more…

Why the RCEP is the opportunity India needs

Indian fruit vendors wait for customers as they sell bananas on the roadside in Amritsar on 1 April 2015. (Photo: AAP)

Authors: Bipul Chatterjee and Kyle Robert Cote, CUTS International

As two mega-regional preferential trade agreements — the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) — loom closer to completion, India must move towards higher trade standards. Trade diversion from non-member countries of these mega-regional trade agreements is likely to occur and could be detrimental. This is a serious concern for developing countries cut out of the talks. Read more…

How will Japan’s new agriculture minister influence the TPP negotiations?

Author: Aurelia George Mulgan, UNSW, Canberra

Japan’s new Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) Yoshimasa Hayashi, who previously served in the position in 2012–14, was a logical choice to take over from his disgraced predecessor Koya Nishikawa. He arrived at the Prime Minister’s Office (Kantei) only five minutes after Nishikawa left, and was apparently selected because he was ‘the only one that could immediately do the job’. Read more…

Shanghai experiment is a major step towards financial liberalisation

Pedestrians walk at the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone in the Pudong International Airport bonded area in Shanghai, China, 9 December 2014. (Photo: AAP)

Authors: Daqing Yao, SASS and John Whalley, UWO

Since September 2013 China has been operating a new form of free trade zone (FTZ) based in a small area of Shanghai, called the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (SPFTZ). Only 28 square kilometres in area, the SPFTZ is a concrete first step to China’s new development model, the so-called ‘new normal’. Read more…

What the TPP portends for Japan–Australia agricultural trade

Akira Amari, Japan's minister in charge of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations, attends a meeting of trade chiefs from 12 countries involved in the negotiations in Sydney on 25 October 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Aurelia George Mulgan, UNSW Canberra

Australia’s farmers, particularly beef producers, may have celebrated too early when the Japan–Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) took effect on 15 January 2015. The deal may be gazumped by another that is taking shape between Japan and the United States in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. Read more…