The Economic Game-Changer no Presidential Candidate Wants to Talk About›By Alan Wolff // Thursday, January 28, 2016
It’s the only area of bipartisan agreement.
There was a fair amount of excitement last week in Singapore as hundreds of delegates—including a number of chief justices, senior judges, and lawyers—came together from Southeast Asia, Australia, Japan, China, Korea, and India. They gathered at an international conference—“Doing Business Across Asia: Legal Convergence in an Asian Century”—with a single focus: to promote convergence of their disparate legal systems in order to boost Asian business. International commerce thrives on the rule of law because it reduces uncertainty, so this was no mere academic exercise.
Their efforts reflect one of their governments’ top priorities: regional economic integration to promote growth. The dominant economic player in the region is China, and it has its own set of regional initiatives. The latest is its “ One Belt, One Road” policy, which consists of massive Chinese expenditure on Pan-Asian infrastructure, spanning the continent with new highways and railroads. (For an American comparison, think of the interstate highway system created on the initiative of President Eisenhower.) The China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) became operational that same week, making it, in essence, a world bank focused on Asia.
As the U.S. promoted interstate commerce a century ago, there are a series of regional trade negotiations underway in Asia. The largest—in terms of number of participants—is the Regional Cooperative Economic Partnership (RCEP) with 16 countries (the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states—Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Brunei, and Myanmar—plus Australia, New Zealand, India, China, Japan, and Korea). America’s economic involvement in the region is most evident in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an agreement joining 12 Pacific-Rim countries to open their markets on a reciprocal basis. It is due to be signed next week in New Zealand. Within the TPP are the first U.S. free-trade agreements with Japan and Vietnam—and this is just a beginning. Six other Asia-Pacific countries have indicated that they want to join TPP as well. This is no small deal.MORE
2016 – A Good Year To Ace The Trade Agenda›
With momentum building on the trade front despite ongoing concerns about globalization, here’s how leaders can earn an A in trade.
The trade horizon unexpectedly brightened last year, including in the United States, where some key successes pushed the trade agenda forward despite ongoing concerns about globalization and its effects. Congress delivered the votes President Obama needed to complete negotiations on an ambitious trade pact spanning the Pacific Rim and to reopen the embattled Export-Import Bank, while the U.S. also helped lead an international deal to significantly expand trade in information technology goods.
The gains were enough to earn a B+ for global trade policy leaders, according to trade experts Gary Hufbauer and Tyler Moran of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. If the U.S. and other countries can continue to build on the momentum, they face the prospect of acing the trade agenda and providing a much-needed spark to global growth.MORE
A ‘Groundhog Day’ Global Economy In 2016?›By Harry G. Broadman // Thursday, December 31, 2015
As 2015 closes and we begin the latter half of the 21st century’s second decade, much of the global economy one year on has changed only modestly and still moving in slow motion. 2016 will surely hold some significant economic surprises. These will likely include re-runs, yet punctuated with new twists, turns and sharper edges. Will the world’s marketplace in 2016 be a shadow of its former self?
Here’s a list of some—but by no means all—of the key factors that will shape our near-term (and perhaps, long-term) economic future. I also point to potential policy changes to keep an eye out for.MORE
Addressing Barriers to Digital Trade›
This paper addresses the question of whether it is possible to balance the need for a free flow of information across borders with legitimate government concerns related to public order, consumer privacy, and security. The paper begins by highlighting the risks associated with limitations on free information flows and the policy concerns that lead to these limitations. The paper then provides an analysis of the current international regime on cross-border information flows. The authors argue that specific binding trade language promoting cross-border flows — combined with continued international cooperation — will enhance, rather than undermine, public order, national security, and privacy.MORE
Imports benefit U.S. workers and consumers›By Steve Lamar // Wednesday, November 18, 2015In the national debate about the benefits of trade to the U.S. economy, it’s easy to overlook imports. The fact is U.S. imports benefit Americans in two important ways:
Imports support U.S. jobs; and
Through imports, American consumers have access to a wider variety of more affordable goods.
This is especially true in the clothing and shoe industry.MORE
TPP Text Public; TPP Series Topics Announced›By Ken Levinson // Friday, November 6, 2015On November 6th, 2015, USTR released the full text of the of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Subsequent events will look at:
- The Digital Economy
- The Impact on Consumers
- Rules and Disciplines
- Intellectual Property
- What TPP Will Mean for the States
Unleash Global Investment in America Report›By Organization for International Inverstment // Tuesday, October 20, 2015
|April 2015| Once fully implemented, the study shows that TTIP and TPP will increase the stock of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the U.S. economy by an estimated $173 billion, with more than one-third of that investment occurring in the manufacturing sector. It also finds that the employment contribution of insourcing companies will increase by more than 1.4 million U.S. workers. Every state would experience positive job contributions, with most experiencing an increase of more than 10,000 new jobs from global investment.
Given that employees associated with insourcing companies earn significantly higher wages than the economy-wide average, policymakers now have 1.4 million new reasons to support TPA legislation and the trade agreements it will facilitate.MORE
Ties That Bind: Turkey, TTIP and Transatlantic Partnership›
Late last month, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström met with U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman for nearly five hours in an effort to provide momentum to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations. Negotiations are progressing slowly, however both sides are reportedly looking to accelerate the process in order to finalize TTIP before President Barack Obama leaves office in January 2017. During this critical phase of negotiations, it is important to reiterate the true potential of TTIP and lay the ground work for its eventual expansion. It is therefore important to recognize Turkey, among other third countries, as an indispensable part of an effective transatlantic economic area.MORE
2015 The Real Politics of Trade›By Ken Levinson // Wednesday, October 14, 2015
A discussion of Democratic and Republican attitudes toward trade in the wake of TPA and in anticipation of a vote on TPP
The fight over TPA inaugurated the “Year of Trade” – but that was only the beginning. That fight was a proxy war over TPP – which may be voted on within the next six months.
We know what Congress thought about TPA, but what about the American people?
And how do the views of Congress and the American people align with the views of the Beltway crowd, and what about those running for President?
Please click “MORE” to download the presentations and watch the video.
Hillary Clinton’s Flip-Flop On TPP Comes Amid Shift In Washington On Free Trade›By John Brinkley // Friday, October 9, 2015
To borrow a phrase from Alice in Wonderland, the politics of trade are getting curiouser and curiouser.
Shortly after the 12 governments that are parties to the Trans-Pacific Partnership announced they had arrived at a deal, Hillary Clinton announced that she opposed it. The timing suggests that she came out against it not because she thought it was, on balance, a bad deal for Americans, but because she determined that supporting it would cost her more votes than opposing it would.
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