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Renewing America

Ideas and initiatives for rebuilding American economic strength.

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U.S. Budget Deal: A Needed Step

by Renewing America Staff

While the new budget deal isn’t a grand bargain, it is a necessary first step, writes CFR’s Robert Kahn on his blog “Macro and Markets.” The deal won’t dramatically reshape spending over the next two years, but it will restore a sense of sanity to U.S. fiscal policy. Additionally, Democrats and Republicans both crossed former red lines, giving a sense of where the budget debate may head in the coming year.

New Zealand Offers Lessons for the U.S. Housing Bubble

by Renewing America Staff
New Zealand resident Brett Plumer nails a national flag to his house in Auckland (Bogdan Cristel/Courtesy Reuters). New Zealand resident Brett Plumer nails a national flag to his house in Auckland (Bogdan Cristel/Courtesy Reuters).

The Federal Reserve may have lessons to learn from New Zealand about managing a mortgage market. In an op-ed for Bloomberg, CFR Adjunct Senior Fellow Peter Orszag explains that by imposing limits on high loan-to-value mortgages, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand is helping to manage housing prices.

The High Stakes in Regional Trade Talks

by Renewing America Staff
European Union chief negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercero (left) and U.S. chief negotiator Dan Mullaney (right) address a joint news conference during the second round of EU-US trade negotiations for Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership in Brussels November 15, 2013 (Francois Lenoir/Courtesy Reuters). European Union chief negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercero (left) and U.S. chief negotiator Dan Mullaney (right) address a joint news conference during the second round of EU-US trade negotiations for Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership in Brussels November 15, 2013 (Francois Lenoir/Courtesy Reuters).

International trade negotiations are at a crucial stage. The multilateral front, with the World Trade Organization (WTO) at its center, is facing a foundational crisis. In a new expert brief, The High Stakes in Regional Trade Talks, Jaime Zabludovsky Kuper and Sergio Gómez Lora explain that the future of international trade, at least in the short and medium term, depends heavily on the outcome of regional agreements such as the Transpacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

The Tobacco Problem in U.S. Trade

by Renewing America Staff

In the context of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a pending trade deal between the U.S. and eleven other countries, the White House has a tremendous opportunity to forge a new approach on tobacco that balances U.S. mandates on trade with its obligations to promote public health at home and abroad, writes CFR Fellow Thomas Bollyky in this CFR Expert Brief.

How to Win Over GOP on Immigration

by Renewing America Staff

Though many declared the Senate’s immigration bill dead on arrival in the House, Edward Alden writes that prospects for big bipartisan agreement may not be out of reach. For CNN.com, he writes that to get across the finish line, both parties should emphasize areas of agreement, not waste time on those who won’t vote for reform, emphasize that this bill will outlast the Obama administration, demand performance accountability, and prioritize the issue of the undocumented population.

Critics Are Wrong About the Medicare Payment Board

by Renewing America Staff

For Bloomberg, CFR adjunct senior fellow Peter R. Orszag responds to growing opposition to the Independent Payment Advisory Board. Created as part of the Affordable Care Act, the purpose of the board is to create a process to tweak the evolving Medicare payment system in response to incoming experience and data, allowing for more flexible testing of new payment structures than turning to Congress for legislation. Orszag states that many critics do not grasp the core rationale for the program and do not realize it will allow them to actually reach their objective of shifting away from fee-for-service payment.

Getting to Yes on Transatlantic Trade

by Renewing America Staff

The United States and the European Union should create a new global regulatory blueprint through the just-launched Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations, CFR Senior Fellow for Global Health, Economics, and Development Thomas J. Bollyky and Columbia Law School’s Anu Bradford write in their new Foreign Affairs article, “Getting to Yes on Transatlantic Trade.” In an era of global supply chains, disparate and overlapping regulatory policies are the central hindrance to greater trade between the U.S. and the EU. If TTIP negotiators focus on sectors in which the two share similar trade and regulation goals, the agreement could serve as a necessary foundation for future transatlantic and global trade cooperation.

The Case for Allowing U.S. Crude Oil Exports

by Renewing America Staff

In an era of rising U.S. oil production, long-standing restrictions on crude oil exports no longer serve U.S. interests, CFR Fellow for Energy and National Security Blake Clayton argues in this Renewing America Policy Innovation Memorandum, The Case for Allowing U.S. Crude Oil Exports. Export restrictions reduce the value of U.S. crude oil, costing the country a potential $15 billion in lost revenue annually. Allowing the market to work freely would stimulate U.S. production, advance U.S. foreign policy goals and demonstrate the U.S. commitment to freer trade, without jeopardizing energy security.

Why Are So Many College Graduates Driving Taxis?

by Renewing America Staff

In his Bloomberg column, CFR Adjunct Senior Fellow Peter Orszag discusses recent research that finds that though an unprecedented number of American college graduates are employed in jobs that don’t require a college degree, the wage premium enjoyed by college degree-holders persists. Orszag states that if some of the researcher’s conclusions are correct–that the movement of these high-skilled workers into lower-skilled jobs is bringing down wages for manual workers even more–the value of a college degree could at least be found in avoiding this wage depression.