WITA’s NextGenTrade™ Launch Event›By Ken Levinson // Tuesday, October 18, 2016
On October 18th, 2016, the Washington International Trade Association held the public launch of its NextGenTrade™ initiative. At this launch event, WITA’s speakers discussed the business, political and economic context we are operating in today, and shared their visionary thoughts about the future of business and trade.
To read more about the event, please click here.MORE
Trade and the Second Renaissance›By Chris Kutarna // Thursday, October 13, 2016
It is stunning that neither nominee for leadership of the country long regarded as global trade’s chief architect dares to utter publicly a compelling case for why trade matters. And yet, it is also unsurprising.
The bald, aggregate argument ought to be compelling without any rhetorical flourishes. American real income (GDP) per capita is 44% higher today than it was in 1990-which is to say, 44% higher than before the founding of the WTO and China’s entrance to it, before NAFTA and before “offshoring” entered English-language dictionaries. Over the same time period, the developing world has achieved the biggest poverty reduction in history.
In 1990, almost 2 billion people worldwide lived in extreme poverty. Now it’s fewer than 900 million. That lifts everyone, first because poverty is a blight and eradicating it is a moral imperative. Second because the billions who are emerging from poverty into a global middle class create a new market for present and future generations of American economic growth. It’s an over-simplification to attribute these gains to flourishing trade alone (other transformations, not least digitization, have been vital), but trade has been integral.
To read the full article, please click here.MORE
The Ultimate Disruptive Technology: 3D Printing Will Not Only Change the Way We Trade; it Will Change the Way We Live›By Jonathan Engler // Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Today’s product regulation and trade regimes resemble World War One cavalry facing off against modern mechanized divisions. It is imperative that we begin the process of entirely reimagining what functional health, safety and trade regimes will look like in the next decades. 3D printing and the disaggregation and diffusion of product design and manufacturing – which will touch all tangible items – will massively disrupt existing economic models and render much of today’s national trade and health and safety regulation anachronistic and ineffective.
The intellectual property and international trade law regimes that are in place today are, in many respects, relics of the 19th century, a time when trade involved principally tangible goods – steel, cotton and finished products. Since the mid-1990s, however, with the rise of digitized goods – starting with movies and music – technology began to move much more quickly than the law could keep up. Consumers had access to counterfeit and pirated movies, music and books – frequently from off-shore servers such as Pirate Bay – and began to download unauthorized copies of these works in large volumes.
To read the full article, please click here.MORE
2016’s Other Big Trade Opportunity: The Trade in Services Agreement›By John Murphy // Friday, September 30, 2016
While debate over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) mounts in Washington, many trade mavens are keeping at least one eye on the negotiations in Geneva for the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA). This pact could be concluded as soon as December—if a strong agreement can be reached.
Negotiators have been working for more than three years to craft a high-standard trade agreement among 50 countries opening doors to trade in services. Tradeable services sectors are mostly in so-called “professional and business services,” which employ more than 20 million Americans. What’s more, these are good jobs: Wages in these fields are 18% higher on average than those in manufacturing.
Difference (advantage: services)
U.S. Average Hourly Earnings
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, August 2016 dataMORE
NextGenTrade™ by WITA›
“There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.”
– Donald Rumsfeld, former Secretary of DefenseNextGenTrade™ Launch Event will be hosted on October 18th! More information may be found here: https://wita-nextgentrade.eventbrite.comWhat we do know is that the next President of the United States, whoever she or he may be, will have the authority to negotiate new trade agreements. What we don’t know is whether he or she will be negotiating the next trade agreements in the context of having a Transpacific Partnership Trade Agreement (TPP) in place, or one in which there is no TPP. Either scenario creates its own set of policy imperatives, but what are those?Today the Washington International Trade Association (WITA) is launching its Next Generation Trade (NextGenTrade) initiative. NextGenTrade™ will identify emergent trade issues that will be at the center of trade discussions, negotiations and disputes in the years to come. Through NextGenTrade, WITA will lead this conversation, educate the public, and equip trade professionals to address the issues constructively.MORE
Let’s Get the Investment Chapter Right in TTIP›
The Investment chapter, and more specifically the arbitration provisions or “Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS)” provisions in that chapter, have turned out to be some of the most important and controversial elements of the U.S.-EU effort to negotiate a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). For many of us in the business community on both sides of the Atlantic, the investment provisions are among the very most important areas of the entire wide-ranging TTIP agenda. In very many ways, investment is the core of the unique U.S.-EU economic partnership. Most of us feel that the strong investment protections and the effective ISDS enforcement system have worked well, to the benefit of both investors and governments, leading to strong investment flows, economic growth, competitiveness and more good jobs.
Many of us in the business community are, frankly confused and troubled by the European Commission’s proposal for a radical departure in the TTIP investment chapter, calling for a new “investment court” system to replace the long-established ISDS system to resolve specific investment disputes. The U.S. Government seems still to prefer to work from the proven ISDS model embedded in U.S. investment agreements (and in over a thousand investment agreements of the 28 EU member nations) in crafting a TTIP investment chapter. In discussing these important investment issues with European business colleagues, it quickly emerged that many business leaders on both sides of the Atlantic share serious questions, and in many cases serious qualms, about the EU’s proposal for a radical new “re-do” of international investment policy and law.MORE
Is trade really so unpopular with both parties?›By Steve Lamar // Friday, July 29, 2016
Convention platforms rarely endure. Written by a committee, incorporating uneasy compromises and reflecting a single candidate’s campaign priorities, these documents often have a short shelf life.
That’s perhaps the silver lining when one looks at the rambling discourse on international trade contained in the Republican and Democratic convention platforms released this month.
Tapping into the widespread anti-trade rhetoric spewing from both presidential candidates, and many of their self-appointed spokespeople, the two platforms contain many concerning provisions with respect to trade policy.MORE
The Republican platform is a particular case in point. Entitled “A Winning Trade Policy,” the platform’s section on international trade opens strongly by stating that “trade is crucial to all sectors of America’s economy.” It discusses numerous opportunities, proposals and concerns, but concludes with a statement suggesting that trade is not so crucial after all. It ends by declaring, “Significant trade agreements should not be rushed or undertaken in a Lame Duck Congress.”
Globalization and its discontents: How the Trump/Brexit movements might herald New World Orders›By Bill Krist // Monday, June 27, 2016
Early this spring, when a Trump presidency seemed still just a chimera, I hosted a private dinner for over two dozen sitting ambassadors at a Washington hotel.
The topic was the future of NATO. My guests all spoke of their great admiration for the United States, even those who were troubled by the Obama administration’s “pivot” to Asia. Ever briefly the talk was of Putin; then it gave way to my guests’ strange cocktail of amusement and shock at Trump’s unlikely ascent.
“Americans will come to their senses,” said one Asian ambassador, dressed perfectly, standing for our parting toast and echoing the fallacy that the pundit class has been bellowing all year: This absurd and insurgent Trump candidacy, surely, is one bad news cycle away from fatal. Many ambassadors also argued that the British people would see sense and stay in the EU.
Now, a new political reality unimaginable just months ago has set in overnight.MORE
Forbes: The U.S. And China Are Both Wrong On Steel›By Dan Pearson // Monday, May 23, 2016
The United States and China have begun a “bilateral steel dialogue” to discuss curbing surplus global supplies. China is the world’s largest steel producer and exporter. The United States is the fourth largest producer and a leading importer, so a useful exchange of ideas ought to be possible. But don’t hold your breath.
This exercise is likely to amount to a dialogue of the deaf for the simple reason that neither side gives any indication of actually understanding the economics of the situation. Both sides should seek to resolve the dispute by reorienting their policies to align with their underlying economic interests.
Clumsy central planning has led to the greatest oversupply of steel-making capacity the world has ever seen. Chinese policymakers set their steel sector on a path of continual expansion, which led to an eight-fold increase in that country’s steel output over the past 15 years. However, Chinese leaders forgot to build an “off” switch into their steel-making leviathan, which now produces fully half the world’s output.
This article was published by FORBES, read more .MORE
USITC RELEASES REPORT CONCERNING THE LIKELY IMPACT OF THE TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP (TPP) AGREEMENT›By Diego Anez // Wednesday, May 18, 2016The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) today released its report assessing the likely impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement that the President has entered into with Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.MORE
The USITC’s report, Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement: Likely Impact on the U.S. Economy and on Specific Industry Sectors, provides an assessment of the likely impact of the Agreement on the U.S. economy as a whole and on specific industry sectors and the interests of U.S. consumers, as requested by the U.S. Trade Representative and required by the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015.
In making its assessment, the Commission investigated the impact the agreement will have on the U.S. gross domestic product; exports and imports; aggregate employment and employment opportunities; and the production, employment, and competitive position of industries likely to be significantly affected by the agreement. In preparing its assessment, the Commission also reviewed available economic assessments regarding the Agreement, including literature concerning any substantially equivalent proposed agreement. The Commission provides a description of the analytical methods used and conclusions drawn in such literature, and a discussion of areas of consensus and divergence between the Commission’s analyses and conclusions of other economic assessments reviewed.
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