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Bill Owens: Confounding And Confusing Events 1/4/21

The Canadian dollar firmed up last week as a result of the new Brexit deal between England and the EU.  The belief in the Canadian market is that this will bolster global trade, not just trade in the EU, but also in virtually every region of the world.  Clearly, this Brexit trade deal is good for England, good for Europe and it would appear that many experts believe it would be good for the world.    This deal keeps free trade in place with regard to goods, but interestingly, virtually all other aspects of the EU agreements are not going to be available to Great Britain, and conversely, the Europeans will not have those provisions available to them visa via Great Britain.  The principal issue, of course, is the movement of people, as that is going to be stymied and will take some time, I suspect to work out since they will now have to reestablish immigration operations.  I would also note that Northern Ireland won in this arrangement because it remains part of the EU and therefore, connected to the Republic of Ireland with essentially free trade staying in place.  Very important on many levels for the Irish.

High Kite News reports that businesses after four years of turmoil hope for a stable trade policy from President Biden.  I’m sure there will be disagreements over particular policies, but those policies are not going to be all over the place every other day, broadcast on twitter, but so they will be responsible reasoned positions that will allow people to disagree, but nonetheless, to understand that there is stability in the process.  I would note from my many years of advising businesses that stability is extremely important, and although Mr. Trump provided some exciting and positive times, they were anything but stable. 

I recently read that a researcher had observed fish and an octopus hunting together, which apparently had not been observed previously. But the best part of this particular video was not the fact that the fish and the octopus were hunting together, but that the octopus reached out with one of its tenacles and punched one of the fish who apparently wasn’t acting appropriately.  It seems even the animal world has its bullies. I have to say I got a great laugh out of watching that video, and as I shared it with my family however the chuckles were muted.

The US has paid dearly for its absence from the Trans Pacific Partnership of 2017, as we have lost substantial GDP growth as the result of Mr. Trump withdrawing the US from the TPP. The losses are in the billions, and it will be interesting to see how Mr. Biden decides to address that as he moves forward.  It may be difficult to establish a way back in, but I think it is clearly worth exploring, as those kinds of losses are not particularly helpful to our economy.

Bill Owens is a former member of Congress representing the New York 21st, a partner in Stafford, Owens, Piller, Murnane, Kelleher and Trombley in Plattsburgh, NY and a Strategic Advisor at Dentons to Washington, DC.

The views expressed by commentators are solely those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views of this station or its management.

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