Forbes: The U.S. And China Are Both Wrong On Steel›By Dan Pearson // Monday, May 23, 2016
May 23rd, 2016 | By: Daniel R. Pearson
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.
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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.
There’s Only a Slim Chance TPP Will Be Ratified This Year›By Alan Wolff // Monday, May 9, 2016
This article originally appears on Fortune.com on May 5, 2016
But it should be.
The web offers two definitions for the term “lame duck.” One refers to politicians who are still in office after an election that they did not run in—or lost. The other is historical—the term was used to describe a broker in the 19th Century London Stock Exchange who could not pay his debts. Both of these definitions apply to the future of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement: It’s not going to pass Congress before the election, and American trade policy will appear bankrupt the longer Congressional action is delayed.
The United States signed the deal at the end of last year, but still needs to implement it, which requires Congressional action. If it does not ratify, America will have defaulted on its promise to 11 trading partners who also signed the deal, and to the more than half dozen other countries that have expressed an interest in joining. So the question is: When can the agreement receive Congressional action? Not in the run-up to the election when Congress is focusing solely on that career-determining event, but afterwards, possibly during the post-election session.MORE
Celebrating American Ingenuity and Innovation on World Intellectual Property Day›By Danny Marti // Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Today, on World Intellectual Property Day 2016, we join our partners around the world in celebrating the important role that the creative and innovative communities play in our cultural and economic lives.
As President Obama said in commemoration of World Intellectual Property Day, or World IP Day, today: “Whether through the music or movies that inspire us, the literature that moves us, or the technologies we rely on each day, ingenuity and innovation serve as the foundations upon which we will continue to grow our economies and bridge our cultural identities.”
Innovation, creativity, and artistic expression are quintessential characteristics of the American experience. We are, and have always been, a Nation of inventors and creators making bold ideas real and blazing a trail of technological advancement. As the world’s most innovative economy, intellectual property is critical to U.S. growth and American businesses. Nearly 40 million American jobs are directly and indirectly supported by intellectual property-intensive industries, which account for over $5 trillion – or 35 percent – of U.S. GDP.
World IP Day offers an opportunity to pause and celebrate the artists and inventors whose work and ideas touch our lives in both profound and practical ways. Films, TV, music, books, video games, apps, inventions, the arts – from sculpture and painting to photography, dance, and theater – and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement form the body of cultural works and expression that define us individually and as a Nation.
Since its founding, World IP Day has also offered an opportunity to join with others around the globe to consider how strong IP protections and enforcement, like those in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), contribute to the flourishing of music and the arts and drive the technological innovation that helps shape our world. Through trade agreements such as TPP, we can rewrite the rules of trade to benefit America’s middle class and ensure that our workers, our businesses, and our values are shaping globalization and the 21st century economy, rather than getting left behind. And TPP requires participating partners to provide effective tools, modeled after those in the United States, to thwart piracy, both digital and in the physical world.
So take a moment today to join President Obama in celebrating the role of intellectual property in our world. And to all the makers out there, keep doing what you do. America’s greatest export truly is the creativity and innovation of the American people.
Danny Marti is the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator.
This article originally appeared on the whitehouse.gov on April 26, 2016
China Killed 1 Million U.S. Jobs, But Don’t Blame Trade Deals›By Chris Arnold // Monday, April 18, 2016
This article originally appeared on npr.org on April 18, 2016.
Economists for decades have agreed that more open international trade is good for the U.S. economy. But recent research finds that while that’s still true, when it comes to China, the downside for American workers has been much more painful than the experts predicted.
If you’re Bernie Sanders and you want to get your supporters fired up at a rally, bashing trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a good way to go. Sanders recently said to huge applause that his opponent Hillary Clinton wasn’t qualified to be president because she supported “every disastrous trade agreement, which has cost us millions of decent-paying jobs.”
Likewise, in a Fox News debate, Donald Trump said the TPP is “a horrible deal.”
“It’s a deal that was designed for China to come in as they always do through the back door and totally take advantage of everyone,” he said.
What the Presidential Candidates Get Wrong About Free Trade›By Alan Wolff // Friday, April 15, 2016
This article originally appeared on Fortune.com on April 14, 2016.
It’s not a time to embark upon a new era of turning inward.
Every presidential candidate now recognizes a new political reality: Income inequality and depressed wages are making voters feel that the future will not be as good as the past. Yet politicians are reluctant to talk about the real causes of income inequality, and negatively talk about trade agreements instead. In fact, free trade has become a major theme in this year’s presidential race, and is bound to come up in tonight’s Democratic debate. But it’s time to stop blaming trade agreements and ignoring other causes of job loss if we’re ever to figure out what to do about the real problems that exist.
What the candidates ignore is that America’s market is already very open, and that really isn’t going to change unless the country wants to trigger a global economic downturn more serious than the one caused by the financial crisis in 2008. Trade agreements are mainly about leveling the playing field for American exports by opening up foreign markets, so they are the right policy for America.MORE
Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders Are Delusional on Trade Policy›We import so many parts—and parts of parts—that tariffs and protectionism will only kill jobs and hike prices.MORE
In this campaign season of populist anger and demagoguery, bad ideas are bubbling to the surface like marsh gas. Among the worst is protectionism, which would wreak havoc on a U.S. economy that’s finally picking up steam.
Both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have seized on trade as a convenient scapegoat for the nation’s economic woes. There’s deep irony here. The popular frustrations on which they feed stem mainly from the productivity and wage slump America has experienced since 2000. Yet their proposed fix—shredding international treaties and walling off the U.S. economy—is a textbook formula for economic stagnation.
It’s a perfect negative feedback loop. And it won’t be the “one percent” who suffer if the populists get their way; it will be U.S. companies with global supply chains and millions of middle-class American workers and consumers.
A Great Achievement in Economic Diplomacy›By Matt Gold // Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Tomorrow, in Auckland, New Zealand, the United States and 11 other countries will sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a new free trade agreement that encompasses nearly 40 percent of the world’s economy, and includes three of our four largest trading partners.
The United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, Chile and Peru completed the treaty after many years of intensive negotiations that continued as the group grew in size.
After the U.S. Trade Representative and other trade ministers signMORE
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
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