Will Congress Give Obama Authority to Negotiate Trade Agreements?›By Bill Krist // Friday, January 23, 2015
President Obama called on Congress to give him authority to negotiate trade agreements in last night’s State of the Union address. This authority, commonly called Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) or Fast Track Authority, was last granted to the President in 2002, but that authority expired in 2007. Under our Constitution, authority to regulate foreign commerce rests with Congress, but since the 1930s Congress has periodically delegated authority for trade negotiations to the President in legislation that sets out the objectives and specific conditions for consultations.
Right now the U.S. is engaged in two monumental trade negotiations. The farthest along, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), involves eleven other nations, including Japan, Vietnam, and Malaysia. The objective of the negotiation is to almost completely eliminate trade barriers among the twelve countries and develop strong rules on investment, protection of intellectual property, practices of state-owned enterprises, and other issues. The other enormous trade negotiation, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), involves the European Union.MORE
Krugman Gets It Wrong: Trade Agreements Will Grow the Economic Pie›By John Murphy // Tuesday, January 20, 2015
In a recent blog, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman criticizes the U.S. Chamber’s advocacy in support of the trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic trade agreements now under negotiation by the Obama administration.
Our position is simple: If American businesses large and small can fill their order books with sales to new customers, they will need to hire more workers, increase working hours, and expand their businesses to fill those orders. That is what these trade deals are all about — making it easier to reach the 95% of the world’s consumers living outside the United States.
And Krugman? How to grow the economic pie and how to divide it up are two of the great questions facing economists. Krugman would be the first to admit that over the years he has become much more concerned with the latter.MORE
Haiti: Five Years Later; Five Years from Now›By Steve Lamar // Friday, January 16, 2015
On January 12, 2010 – five years ago this week – a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti.
It killed as many as 300,000 people. Another 300,000 were injured and 1.5 million were initially displaced.
Congress responded by enacting the Haitian Economic Lift Program (HELP) Act of 2010, which built on the earlier Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement (HOPE) Acts of 2006 and 2008. Through these programs, goods made in Haiti can access the U.S. market duty free.MORE
C-SPAN WITA VIDEO; The Thawing of U.S.-Cuban Relations: What does it really mean for trade?›By Diego Anez // Thursday, January 15, 2015
Rapprochement with Cuba? Opening a U.S. Embassy in Havana? Lifting the Embargo? Long thought a distant possibility, normal commercial relations with Cuba may be a tangible reality in the near future. U.S. businesses may soon have the possibility of entering and investing into an untapped market with an array of different opportunities. However, policy makers must weigh the benefits of increased economic engagement against concerns about human rights, democracy, as well as consider the desires of the Cuban people and the Cuban-American community.MORE
5 Minutes with Devry Boughner Vorwerk on U.S.-Cuba Trade Relations›By Diego Anez // Monday, January 12, 2015
From Ken Levinson, Executive Director of WITA:
A regular feature of this blog is what we call “5 Minute Interviews”. For these features, we will speak with leaders in the trade community to get their thoughts on key issues facing global policy makers. Our first of these interviews is with Devry Boughner Vorwerk, Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Cargill, and the Chair of the U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba.
WITA is hosting a policy event, The Thawing of U.S.-Cuban Relations: What does it really mean for trade? on Wednesday, January 14 from 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM EST. You can sign-up here.
Devry Boughner Vorwerk is Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Cargill and President of the U.S. Agriculture Coalition on Cuba. In 2014, Devry was identified by the World Economic Forum as a 2014 Young Global Leader, and on Jan 8, of this year, she helped launch the U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba. Prior to joining Cargill, Vorwerk worked at the U.S. International Trade Commission in the Office of Industries and as Economic Advisor to the Chairman. She also served as Senior Economist in Agricultural Affairs at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
Ken Levinson is the Executive Director of WITAMORE
Big Changes Coming to AmericasTradePolicy.com›By Bill Krist // Friday, January 9, 2015
AmericasTradePolicy.com was launched a little more than a year ago with the objective of being a non-partisan forum where all views of trade policy could be presented. Since its launch, we’ve posted 76 blogs on a range of trade policy topics and have reached people and organizations interested in trade policy around the world. AmericasTradePolicy.com is now going to take an enormous leap forward. Starting Monday, January 12, the Washington International Trade Association (WITA) will take over management of the site.MORE
Welcome Message from WITA’s Executive Director and President of its Board of Directors›By Ken Levinson // Friday, January 9, 2015
On behalf of the membership and Board of the Washington International Trade Association, we are delighted to follow in the very lofty footsteps of Bill Krist and the Wilson Center in managing this blog. As Bill noted in his own post, WITA is Washington’s largest non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to providing a neutral forum in the US capital for the open and robust discussion of international trade policy and economic issues.
WITA is committed to maintaining Bill’s vision for the website, in ensuring that different perspectives continue to be heard on topics related to trade, and that the perspective of other geographies, business and civil society groups continue to be heard. This is, of course, fully consistent with WITA’s own mission to provide a neutral forum for the discussion of trade policy and will support WITA’s overall educational trade policy mission.MORE
Five Trade Policy Wishes for the New Year›By Bill Krist // Monday, December 22, 2014
2015 will be a watershed year for U.S. trade policy! Since the World Trade Organization and the North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect in the mid-1990s, the U.S. has been unable to make significant progress in liberalizing world trade and strengthening global trade rules. However, negotiations are nearing completion on an enormous trade agreement with 11 other countries in the Asia-Pacific – the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – and are in an early stage with the European Community.
The TPP really needs to be completed in early 2015 so as not to be embroiled in our 2016 Presidential election. Many other countries are negotiating free trade agreements; unless the U.S. moves forward, our exporters will be put at a competitive disadvantage and U.S. leadership on world trade policy will be increasingly questioned. Here are my five wishes for trade policy for 2015MORE
German Consumer Protection or Protectionism?›By Emre Karaca // Thursday, December 18, 2014
During the negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), many consumers expressed concerns about future regulatory standards and their impact on consumer protection. Most notably, German consumers and media staged a veritable campaign against “chlorine chicken“ which became a synonym for widespread anxiety in an age of global trade. Many Germans also fear genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and demand a total ban or at least a reliable labeling process. Others are afraid that the TTIP could undermine regional quality/cultural standards as well as the viability of local markets. They wish to see enhanced protections for certain products such as German beer and regional wine. Why are many German consumers so anxious, and is there any reason for them to be worried?MORE
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations – It’s Time to Open the Kimono›
Negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that would largely eliminate all barriers to trade between 12 nations, including countries as diverse as the U.S. and Vietnam, Japan and Malaysia, are nearing the end game. The TPP negotiations have been a keystone of U.S. trade policy since 2008, but they have been largely negotiated behind closed doors. If successful, the TPP agreement would not only eliminate tariffs and other barriers imposed at the border, but would affect rules governing investment, intellectual property protection, and regulations impacting health and safety.MORE
What We’re Tweeting
- Will Congress Give Obama Authority to Negotiate Trade Agreements?
- Krugman Gets It Wrong: Trade Agreements Will Grow the Economic Pie
- Haiti: Five Years Later; Five Years from Now
- C-SPAN WITA VIDEO; The Thawing of U.S.-Cuban Relations: What does it really mean for trade?
- 5 Minutes with Devry Boughner Vorwerk on U.S.-Cuba Trade Relations