What is the Role of Our Trade Agreements in Growing Income Inequality in America?›By Bill Krist // Monday, September 1, 2014
Income inequality in America has rarely been greater than it is today. While income inequality has been growing around the world, it has been increasing particularly rapidly in the U.S. And it is a major reason for the sluggish recovery since the great recession of 2008.
How much of the increasing economic inequality is due to our trade agreements? Will our current negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership aggravate inequality? What should the U.S. do to address inequality?MORE
Guest Blog – TPP and Canada: Wishful Thinking on Supply Management?›By David N. Biette, Director, Canada Institute, Wilson Center // Tuesday, August 26, 2014
One of the many goals of multilateral trade agreements is to level the field so that companies, industries, and countries compete on the basis of market forces. This requires all participants to be willing to open their markets in protected sectors in exchange for better access to the markets of their trade partners. In order to get the benefits sought, each party to the negotiation has to give up something.
As Canada wraps up its Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the EU, it remains deeply involved in another very ambitious multilateral negotiation: the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Canada became an observer to the TPP negotiations in 2010, but did not become a full member until 2012 because New Zealand, one of the founders of the TPP negotiations, and the United States held up Canada’s request due to concerns about Canada’s supply management of dairy, poultry, and eggs, as well as the longstanding U.S. complaint about Canada’s lack of protection for intellectual property rights.
So when Canada and Mexico announced they would like to join the TPP negotiations, trade observers asked out loud if Canada would be willing to disband its supply management. Accession to the negotiations meant accepting the rules at the time of accession, and New Zealand, having liberalized its dairy industry over the last decade or so, was not about to give Canada a pass on supply management.MORE
Guest Blog: Opening Foreign Procurement Markets Amid Domestic Preferences›By Jean Heilman Grier // Monday, August 18, 2014
In 1981, the United States implemented its first international procurement agreement. Since then, opening foreign procurement markets for American goods, services and suppliers has been a consistent objective of U.S. trade policy. Through pursuit of this objective, the U.S. has gained access to government procurement in 57 countries or economies — 42 WTO members covered by the WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) and another 15 countries under free trade agreements (FTAs). The U.S. aims to further open procurement markets in negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and accessions to the GPA.MORE
Guest Blog: GSP and labor rights in Bangladesh›By Sanchita B. Saxena // Monday, August 11, 2014
April 2014 marked the one-year anniversary of the deadliest garment factory accident in history. 1,129 people died when an eight-story building, Rana Plaza, collapsed in Savar, a sub district of Dhaka. Since the disaster, leading brands in the United States and Europe have signed two historic agreements that were supported by labor groups and various NGOs. These agreements are designed to institutionalize changes in the garment industry by making the brands a part of the solution and holding them accountable for critical improvements. The disaster also exposed the international community to the complex and nebulous web of subcontracting prevalent in the industry in Bangladesh.
Since the disaster, the US has suspended the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) benefits with Bangladesh. The US administration has stated that the GSP decision is intended to improve factory safety and workers’ rights. Whether Bangladesh has made progress in these areas will be reviewed at the end of 2014. Though largely symbolic, since garments and textiles are not even covered by the GSP scheme, this suspension is designed to send a loud and clear message to the international community that the United States condemns labor right violations in Bangladesh. But this symbolic gesture does little to address the underlying causes of the problem and remains just that–symbolic–without any practical solutions to stand behind it.MORE
Guest Blog: U.S. Automakers Continue to Lead American Manufacturing›By Governor Matt Blunt // Monday, August 4, 2014
In an ever-shrinking world, a popular refrain among some skeptics is that American manufacturing is not competitive in the global economy. A new report by the American Automotive Policy Council (AAPC) reveals that is simply not the case. Led by Chrysler, Ford and General Motors, American manufacturing is on the rise, creating jobs and expanding opportunity at a rate that hasn’t been seen in years.
AAPC’s recently released “The State of the U.S. Automotive Industry 2014″, a report that comprehensively lays out the contributions of the American automakers to the U.S. economy. The annual study concluded that after a period of hard decisions, transformation and renewal, the American auto industry is roaring back. This means there are more American-made cars and trucks on the road, greater innovative technologies in American vehicles, and thousands of new American jobs for automakers and their suppliers.MORE
ISDS: A Sticky Issue in Both the TPP and TTIP›By Bill Krist // Thursday, July 31, 2014
U.S. proposals to include Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) in both the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreements have run into strong opposition. These provisions are important for encouraging foreign investment by ensuring a company that wishes to invest in a trade partner country that the investment will be protected against expropriation. Unfortunately, a few companies have used these provisions to stymie legitimate government actions to protect public health and the environment. Australia has led opposition to U.S. proposals in the TPP and Germany appears to be leading opposition in the TTIP.
So what is the way forward?MORE
Solar Power Trade War – What are the Implications?›By Samuel Benka // Monday, July 28, 2014
The Commerce Department issued a preliminary determination Friday that China is “dumping” solar panels in the U.S. market (i.e. selling these in the U.S. below their cost of production). This will likely mean that the U.S. will impose antidumping duties on these imports in the near future. This is the latest development in a long-running dispute between the U.S., which has been hoping to stimulate production in the U.S., and China, which has been heavily subsidizing its domestic industry, thereby suppressing development of solar industries in its trade partners.
What would increased U.S. tariffs on solar panels from China mean for the U.S. and worldwide?MORE
Student Blog: The Failure of Negotiations for a Free Trade Area of the Americas›
The Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA)—an FTA that was being negotiated by 34 countries in the Western Hemisphere—was supposed to be the most far-reaching trade agreement in history, but fell into a deadlock with no signs of negotiations resuming. Negotiations came to a stalemate because of domestic interest group constraints, internal politics, and a change of trade preferences between administrations within the two most important economic players, U.S. and Brazil; agricultural subsidies and the lack of progress in the WTO’s Doha Round negotiations; and different participating country stances regarding overall scope and approach of FTAA implications.MORE
Guest Blog: The Australian View of the TPP and the RCEP›By Andrew Stoler // Monday, July 21, 2014
You can find a lot of Aussies these days that think the country has to choose between its largest trading partner (China) and long-time security alliance with the United States. Those (a majority) who don’t share this view see the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations as not only an important exercise that will set the framework for economic relations in the region for the 21st Century but also as a key part of the American “pivot” to Asia that at the same time enhances China’s integration in the Asia-Pacific. On this last point, the Australian view tends to support Chinese participation in the TPP as soon as possible. Judged against expectations for the TPP, the ASEAN + 6 Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) project is at most a third– or fourth- best fallback option.MORE
Can Regional Connectivity Promote Development Along the New Silk Road?›By Bill Krist // Monday, July 14, 2014
1000 and 2000 years ago countries along the Silk Road prospered enormously from the trade that passed through on its way between China, Europe and North Africa. Today, however, trade along this historic route has largely dried up as important countries including India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, have many barriers to block inter-country trade.
While there were several routes, much of the trade traveled through the area that today is Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Today, however, intra-regional trade between these countries accounts for just 6.2 percent of the total global trade of these nations.
The U.S., of course, has a special interest in helping Afghanistan develop economically so that it can be a future partner and never again provide a safe haven for Al Qaida. To promote economic development in this critical region, the U.S. is promoting a “New Silk Road” initiative focused on regional connectivity between Central Asia and South Asia, which will heavily involve Afghanistan.MORE
About The Book
What We’re Tweeting
- What is the Role of Our Trade Agreements in Growing Income Inequality in America?
- Guest Blog – TPP and Canada: Wishful Thinking on Supply Management?
- Guest Blog: Opening Foreign Procurement Markets Amid Domestic Preferences
- Guest Blog: GSP and labor rights in Bangladesh
- Guest Blog: U.S. Automakers Continue to Lead American Manufacturing