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 DefenseWhat 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.
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.
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