Overseas Headlines – August 21, 2020

United States:

U.S. Trade Chief Lays Out His Vision to Revive the Ailing WTO

“America’s top trade official, Robert Lighthizer, laid out his vision for overhauling the World Trade Organization, which is confronting the most challenging period in its 25-year existence with a looming leadership void and the virtual paralysis of its core functions. Lighthizer, a former trade lawyer who has led an aggressive campaign to reshape the WTO, argued in a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Friday that nations should replace the defunct WTO appellate panel — where disputes are settled — with a single-stage process “akin to commercial arbitration.”



U.K. Economic Revival Is Clouded by Debt, Job Losses and Brexit

“The U.K. economy rebounded faster than expected in August but the figures were clouded by warnings of an impending crisis for retailers, a jobs crunch, ballooning public debt, and signs that trade talks with the European Union will fail. While IHS Markit’s monthly Purchasing Managers Index, which measures private-sector business activity, jumped to a seven-year high, the report showed that business confidence declined and companies continued to cut jobs.”



Japan, India and Australia to Seek Supply Chain Pact

“Japan, India and Australia are seeking to build stronger supply chains to counter China’s dominance as trade and geopolitical tensions escalate across the region, according to people in Tokyo and New Delhi with knowledge of the matter. The three nations are discussing building a “supply chain resilience initiative,” according to the people, who asked not to be identified because they are not authorized to speak to the media about internal discussions. The talks are at a working level currently, but Japan would like to bring them to a higher level at some point, according to a person in Tokyo.”




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