CFR Presents

Renewing America

Ideas and initiatives for rebuilding American economic strength.

After Two Decades, American Trade May Finally Get a Needed Upgrade

by Guest Blogger for Edward Alden Wednesday, February 26, 2014
China Shipping containers lie on the dock after being imported to the U.S. in Los Angeles (Lucy Nicholson/Courtesy Reuters). China Shipping containers lie on the dock after being imported to the U.S. in Los Angeles (Lucy Nicholson/Courtesy Reuters).

This is a guest post by Robert Maxim, research associate, competitiveness and foreign policy, for the Council on Foreign Relations Studies program.

In 1989 the government of Singapore launched an innovative improvement to its trade infrastructure. The project, known as TradeNet, was a “single window” system that allowed exporters and importers to file trade documents and pay government fees through an electronic one-stop shop. Read more »

Overshooting in Emerging Markets

by Michael Spence Thursday, February 20, 2014
Chinese banknotes are seen at a vendor's cash box at a market in Beijing February 14, 2014 (Kim Kyung-Hoon/Courtesy Rueters). Chinese banknotes are seen at a vendor's cash box at a market in Beijing February 14, 2014 (Kim Kyung-Hoon/Courtesy Rueters).

Until relatively recently, countries’ so-called middle-income transitions were largely ignored–in part because what was supposed to be a transition often became a trap. A few economies in Asia–particularly Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan–sailed through to high-income status with relatively high growth rates. But the vast majority of economies slowed down or stopped growing altogether in per capita terms after entering the middle-income range. Read more »

The North American Summit: Robert Pastor’s Roadmap for Progress

by Edward Alden Tuesday, February 18, 2014
A monument marks the border between the U.S. and Mexico in Laredo, Texas (Jessica Rinaldi/Courtesy Reuters). A monument marks the border between the U.S. and Mexico in Laredo, Texas (Jessica Rinaldi/Courtesy Reuters).

This week’s meeting in Toluca, Mexico between President Obama and his Canadian and Mexican counterparts offers a long overdue opportunity to jump start a new North American agenda. What should it look like? No one has given better answers to that question than the late Bob Pastor of American University, whose vision of a “seamless North American market” is if anything more relevant today than it was during his enormously productive career. His passing last month after a long battle with cancer was a huge loss. Read more »

Volkswagen’s Tennessee Gambit: Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Union?

by Edward Alden Wednesday, February 12, 2014
The Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga ,Tennessee, is shown (Billy Weeks /Courtesy Reuters). The Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga ,Tennessee, is shown (Billy Weeks /Courtesy Reuters).

I have long been a strong advocate of foreign investment in the United States, and have argued against discriminatory tax rules, short-sighted security restrictions, or other government measures that discourage foreign companies. Now Volkswagen, the German carmaker, has given me one more reason to like foreign investors; the company could play a role in changing what has become a self-destructive anti-union ideology that permeates too much of American business and political culture. Read more »

Marrying Your Equal Boosts Inequality

by Renewing America Staff Wednesday, February 5, 2014
U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class John Chen, 23, from Lakehurst, New Jersey, kisses his new bride Victoria Chan, 25, from Manhattan, as they pose for photographers after they were married in a civil ceremony at New York City's Office of the City Clerk (Mike Segar/Courtesy Reuters). U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class John Chen, 23, from Lakehurst, New Jersey, kisses his new bride Victoria Chan, 25, from Manhattan, as they pose for photographers after they were married in a civil ceremony at New York City's Office of the City Clerk (Mike Segar/Courtesy Reuters).

Americans are increasingly marrying people of similar income and educational backgrounds. In a new column for Bloomberg, CFR Adjunct Senior Fellow Peter Orszag discusses the effects of this phenomenon, including increased inequality, changes in women’s participation in the workforce, and reduced geographical mobility.