Why the US should help the Gulf states negotiate a trade deal with the UK & More Trending News


In September, the United Kingdom (UK) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) wrapped up the first spherical of negotiations on a free trade settlement. A deal guarantees financial positive aspects for either side. More importantly, it will help the GCC reinvent itself following the trade embargo of Qatar that almost ripped it aside. This could be good for the Middle East and the United States.

Formed in 1981, the GCC consists of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE). Its Charter requires “coordination, cooperation, and integration” amongst the six nations on the whole lot from science to financial rules. The GCC has additionally sought nearer ties with third markets, signing trade offers with Singapore, the European Free Trade Association and New Zealand, and launching talks with Australia, China, the European Union (EU) and others.

Fast ahead to June 2017. Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE reduce diplomatic ties with Qatar, which they accused of sponsoring terrorism, cozying as much as Iran and meddling in their very own affairs. Other nations joined the bandwagon. A trade embargo adopted. Qatar fought again by suing Bahrain, Saudi Arabia twice and the UAE at the World Trade Organization. Things regarded bleak for the GCC.

In January 2021, with COVID-19 raging and Qatar proving itself to be reasonably resilient, a deal was brokered to revive diplomatic relations and finish the embargo. Now, the GCC should reinvent itself. Reaching a trade deal with the UK, if carried out proper, might go a good distance on this regard. 

Commercially, the GCC lacks depth. It has few incentives to advertise regulatory cooperation, not to mention harmonization. This is a downside as a result of the UK identifies technical trade limitations and well being and security requirements as being amongst the foremost obstacles to getting a deal carried out.

There’s extra. The UK is sticking near Brussels on its strategy to regulatory points, not least as a result of all however two of its trade offers are copies of EU texts. London nods to the significance of following worldwide requirements, however likes to inform Brits that it’ll “defend” its “high” requirements in any respect prices. The wrinkle is that a few of these requirements, like on “chlorinated chicken,” are extra grounded in politics than science. The GCC nations lack the bureaucratic capability to interact in these negotiations.

This is the place the U.S. can help.

Washington should give technical help to the GCC, significantly on regulatory points. These are key to the financial well-being of the six nations, and would give the GCC secretariat a formal position for itself.

A “modern” trade deal would additionally function a helpful template for future pacts in the area, and help the U.S. improve present trade offers with Bahrain and Oman, each of that are members of the GCC.

There’s a lesson on this for the world economic system: “Weaponizing” trade is simpler stated than carried out. The Saudi-led coalition needed to exempt liquified pure gasoline from its embargo of Qatar, and customarily discovered the sanctions troublesome to work. In distinction, the political and financial returns to nearer ties amongst the GCC nations will allow them to extra absolutely take part in the world economic system.

Marc L. Busch is the Karl F. Landegger Professor of International Business Diplomacy at the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Follow him on Twitter @marclbusch.

Why the US should help the Gulf states negotiate a trade deal with the UK

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