TPP

Does Trump’s toying with the US rejoining the TPP mean anything?

What Donald Trump meant by announcing that he wanted the US to rejoin the TPP left everyone a bit baffled. His withdrawal from the original deal was one of his first presidential announcements following an election campaign promise. His opponent, Hillary Clinton, was not an enthusiast either and there were doubts that the US Senate would have passed the agreement.

Comparative advantage is rarely important in modern trade deals, such as TPP11 (CPTPP). Why bother?

Economics students have ‘comparative advantage’ drummed into them. The intuition seems commonsense; specialise in what you (or the country) do well and exchange the surplus for what you are not as good at.

While they're still getting used to being taken seriously and driven around in limos, we've already seen some fumbles and fair play by the new government

The early days of a new government are always a bit unreal. A new Prime Minister has a good advice stream from day one, with the support of a well organised department.

Bill English seems to think that New Zealand could become a part of a new, non-US Trans Pacific Partnership trade bloc without Parliament having to look at the issue. I'm pretty sure he is wrong about that.

As everybody should very well know, the primary rule for surviving a horror movie is: "When it appears you have killed the monster, NEVER check to see if it's really dead." Because if you do so ...

Can Trump wreck the world trading system?

New Zealand is such a small country that it is very easy to be internationally bullied. Much of our diplomatic effort aims to minimise such bullying, but fear of it lurks behind concerns about what a Trump administration might do, not only to us but the rest of the world. Could the US, big enough to be hard to bully, disrupt the world trading system?