Trade & Manufacturing - News of Note - October 2019

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OECD and the U.S. Business Roundtable Release Reports Indicating that Trade Tensions May Be Affecting Growth on a Global Basis

Leo Amiel

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (“OECD”) and the Business Roundtable have both recently issued reports stating that trade tensions between the world’s largest economies are having an impact on future prospects for growth across the globe. In a report issued on September 19, 2019, the OECD stated that “escalating trade conflicts are taking an increasing toll on confidence and investment,” which is “adding to policy uncertainty, aggravating risks in financial markets and endangering already weak growth prospects worldwide.” As a result, the OECD projects that the global economy will grow by 2.9 percent in 2019 and 3 percent in 2020, which are the weakest annual growth rates since the financial crisis.

Similarly, in its CEO Economic Outlook Index for the third quarter of 2019, the Business Roundtable stated that there is now less confidence in the continued growth of the U.S. economy due to “growing geopolitical uncertainty, including U.S. trade policy and foreign retaliation, and slowing global economic growth.” As a result, the Business Roundtable expects a growth rate of 2.3 percent in the United States for 2019, which is a decline from its second quarter estimate of a 2.6 percent U.S. growth rate.

U.K. Supreme Court Declares Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Suspension of Parliament Unconstitutional, Paving Way for Further Debate on Brexit

Barbara Medrado

On September 24, 2019, the United Kingdom’s Supreme Court ruled that Prime Minister Boris Johnson acted unlawfully when, as part of his drive to effectuate Britain’s exit from the European Union, he suspended Parliament. Determined to bring about Brexit by October 31, Prime Minister Johnson had suspended Parliament to prevent it from voting to delay Brexit. Such a vote remains a possibility, given that many members of Parliament believe that Brexit should not occur without having a deal in place for a transition process.

In its decision, the U.K.’s Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the Prime Minister overstepped his authority by suspending Parliament, which allowed Parliament to resume deliberations on the matter. On September 26, 2019, leaders of the opposition met on September 26 and discussed a plan to prevent Johnson from taking the country out of the European Union without a deal. They agreed to prevent a “no-deal” Brexit, stating that the Prime Minister’s plans to hold an election before coming to a deal would not make it through Parliament.

The Prime Minister announced that he may again suspend Parliament, in defiance of the Court’s decision.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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