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Renegotiating NAFTA: “fair” or foul?

In Blog by Marta Bengoa0 Comments

By Marta Bengoa Amid all the controversies surrounding President Donald Trump, the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the US, Canada and Mexico – which starts tomorrow – may seem relatively unimportant. But think again. The US’s NAFTA partners spend some $600 billion a year on American goods and services, making them its biggest export market. As the US’s neighbours, the future of their trade relations …

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Free trade requires openness to people too

In Blog by Hosuk Lee-Makiyama0 Comments

By Philippe Legrain   Britain’s international trade minister, Liam Fox, was in Washington DC this week crowing about prospects for a post-Brexit trade deal with the US. Cue much clucking about whether this would entail the UK having to accept “chlorinated chicken”. Fox insisted that there wasn’t even a nugget of truth to fears that American poultry was unsafe to eat. But feathers flew when another leading Brexiteer, environment minister …

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The case for freedom of movement

In Blog by Philippe Legrain0 Comments

The single most important determinant of people’s life chances is not how talented they are or how hard they work, it’s where they were born. A bright, enterprising, hard-working woman born in an African village is likely to lead a worse life than a lazy dimwit born in North America, Europe or Australia. Migration can change that. In fact, allowing people in poorer countries to move to richer ones with …

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After the G20, can the EU lead on trade?

In Blog by Philippe Legrain0 Comments

By Iana Dreyer At the G20 summit in Hamburg over the weekend, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other European leaders were among the few advocates for free trade. In a summit declaration heavy on weasel words such as “reciprocity”, “mutual”, “trade defence”, “level playing field”, they managed to insert a commitment (with caveats) to “keep markets open”. Which begs the question: With President Donald Trump leading the US in an increasingly protectionist direction, might …

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Why the EU-Japan trade deal matters, not least for Brexiting Britain

In Blog by Philippe Legrain0 Comments

By Hosuk Lee-Makiyama Free traders haven’t had much good news lately. So far this year, we’ve seen President Donald Trump withdraw the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), start to renegotiate the North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and threaten trade wars with Germany and China. Meanwhile, Europe’s trade policy has been mired in crisis following the near-failed ratification of its Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada and legal wrangling over its …

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Europe’s many crises haven’t gone away

In Blog by Philippe Legrain0 Comments

Europe’s refugee crisis hasn’t gone away. While the grubby deal between the EU and Turkey has staunched inflows to Greece, many refugees are trapped there and various walls and barriers block the Balkan route, record numbers of people are taking the longer and more dangerous crossing from lawless Libya to Italy. More than 2,000 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea so far this year, according to the IOM. …

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Does World Refugee Day make a difference?

In Blog by Philippe Legrain0 Comments

“This not about sharing a burden. It is about sharing a global responsibility, based not only the broad idea of our common humanity but also on the very specific obligations of international law. The root problems are war and hatred, not people who flee; refugees are among the first victims of terrorism.” — UN Secretary-General, António Guterres Tuesday, June 20th, was World Refugee Day, the 17th of its kind. It …

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Brexit: A solution in search of a problem

In Blog by Hosuk Lee-Makiyama1 Comment

Philippe’s newsletter last week included the quote “Brexit matters to voters not because of what it is, but what it brings”. The past week only brought more uncertainty about purpose. Why did we just have an election? And whatever the voters once thought leaving the EU would bring, many voters now think of Brexit as a solution in search of a problem. And some find the most contrived arguments to find a problem: the right-wing tabloids …

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The upside to an era of political upheaval

In Blog by Philippe Legrain0 Comments

We live in an age of political turmoil. Many people are angry, fearful and confused. Old loyalties are breaking down and new cleavages are appearing. Nothing is settled. Take the UK election results this week. A year ago, Britons shocked the political establishment by narrowly voting to leave the European Union. People voted Leave for all sorts of reasons after a dirty campaign marked by lies and xenophobia. Power then …

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EU aid to refugees abroad isn’t a substitute for offering humanitarian protection

In Blog by Philippe Legrain0 Comments

Our Refugees Work study highlighted how refugees in advanced economies often become entrepreneurs. Think of Google co-founder Sergey Brin, hedge-fund manager and philanthropist George Soros and Asian business magnate Li Ka-Shing. But what of those who remain trapped in refugee camps in developing countries? While they have far fewer opportunities, some manage to overcome huge obstacles to start successful businesses and social enterprises. In a new blog post for OPEN, Jackie Edwards highlights how refugee …

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