15th April 2018
Trump U-turns again on TPP. EU just presses on with TPP’s key members
The Trump administration's stances on the TPP in April probably established an all-time record for policy U-turns. The TPP's major members, though, made real progress with the EU Trump's wobbles...
24th May 2017
EU announces Brexit talks to start around June 19 as UK threatens walk-out
The EU's General Affairs Council agreed its timetable and directives for Britain's exit negotiations on May 22, as the major UK and EU negotiators appeared to take strongly conflicting positions...
7th April 2017
The Brexit and Trump kamikaze wings are trying to kill businesses
Brexit and the Trump Revolution are often linked. What really unites them is the extraordinarily uncommercial attitude many of their politicians are taking to what real businesses want. They differ...
31st March 2017
Post-Brexit customs chaos could choke UK apparel retailers
On 29 March, Britain's Prime Minister signed a letter triggering the two-year process for leaving the European Union (EU). Though the negotiations will cover almost every aspect of British life,...
31st March 2017
“Confidence collapsed” in key UK Customs project for Brexit
The Chair of a UK Parliament Treasury Committee said on March 31 that "confidence had collapsed" in Britain's having essential Customs IT infrastructure ready to handle the expected fivefold increase...
27th March 2017
UK Customs admit: “Any form of customs controls will increase costs”
An internal March 2016 document within the UK Customs Administration (known locally as HMRC), leaked by Britain's Sunday Times on March 26, admits that “Any form of customs controls will increase...
16th March 2017
UK hit by EU’s €2 bn bill for “repeatedly ignoring warnings” over trouser tax fraud.
The UK is facing a €1.98 bn bill from the EU for "repeatedly ignoring warnings" of tax frauds on imported Chinese shoes and apparel. The case highlights grave systemic complications in...
1st March 2017
UK Government: “Prepare to leave EU without a free trade deal”
The UK government was reported on March 1 to have instructed its departments to have plans ready for governing if Britain fails to secure an adequate free trade deal with...
4th February 2017
UK government White Paper gives broad Brexit issues outline
On February 2, the UK government issued a White Paper (WP) claiming to outline its Brexit plans. Light on detail, the WP is a useful checklist of the issues the...
3rd February 2017
High-minded idealism is confusing buyers as much as the new nationalism
Seemingly endless January trade-related government announcements in the US and UK lacked a single detail businesses could use for planning. So did other government plans just as potentially disruptive to...
6th December 2016
How uncertain are the uncertainties facing apparel sourcing?
I think many of the alleged uncertainties observers forecast for 2017 are badly misconceived. At this time of the year, observers typically start pontificating about the challenges facing businesses in...