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Renewing America

Ideas and initiatives for rebuilding American economic strength.

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Showing posts for "International Trade and Investment"

Taking on Trump: A Lesson from the Japanese

by Edward Alden
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe addresses media following a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump in Manhattan, New York, U.S. (Andrew Kelly/Reuters). Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe addresses media following a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump in Manhattan, New York, U.S. (Andrew Kelly/Reuters).

Having watched Japan in trade negotiations with the United States for more than a quarter century now, I would never have described the Japanese approach as direct. When confronted with a difficult trade negotiating problem, they always tended to obfuscate, delay and otherwise try to muddy the waters. Read more »

Trumponomics: Can He Move Beyond Bluster to a Competitiveness Policy?

by Edward Alden
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and Vice-President Elect Mike Pence tour a Carrier factory in Indianapolis, Indiana (Mike Segar/Reuters). U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and Vice-President Elect Mike Pence tour a Carrier factory in Indianapolis, Indiana (Mike Segar/Reuters).

It was hard not to root for President-elect Donald Trump when he went to the Carrier air conditioning factory in Indianapolis to announce a deal to save about 800 jobs the company had planned to move to Mexico. For those who have not watched it, the video that surfaced during the election—in which a company manager tells assembled workers their jobs will be sacrificed to “stay competitive and protect the business for the long term”—is a film noir of heartless corporate greed in an open global economy. Read more »

Donald Trump and the New Economic Order

by Michael Spence
A TV screen showing Donald Trump is pictured in front of the German share price index (Kai Pfaffenbach). A TV screen showing Donald Trump is pictured in front of the German share price index (Kai Pfaffenbach).

HONG KONG – Since the end of World War II, the hierarchy of economic priorities has been relatively clear. At the top was creating an open, innovative, and dynamic market-driven global economy, in which all countries can (in principle) thrive and grow. Coming in second – one might even say a distant second – was generating vigorous, sustainable, and inclusive national growth patterns. No more. Read more »

Trump and U.S. Trade Policy: What’s Known is Scary, What’s Not May be Worse

by Edward Alden
Donald Trump gestures while delivering a speech at the Alumisourse Building in Monessen, Pennsylvania, U.S., June 28, 2016 (Reuters). Donald Trump gestures while delivering a speech at the Alumisourse Building in Monessen, Pennsylvania, U.S., June 28, 2016 (Reuters).

For the past two decades, the central question in U.S. trade policy has been whether the government could continue to move forward in liberalizing trade. The answer was usually yes, but slowly. For the next four years, following the election of Donald Trump as president, the central question will be a different one: will the United States move backwards on trade, and if so how fast and with what consequences? Read more »

Failure to Adjust: How Americans Got Left Behind in the Global Economy

by Edward Alden
failure-to-adjust-alden

I am delighted to announce the publication of my new book, Failure to Adjust: How Americans Got Left Behind in the Global Economy, which is the product of nearly four years of research and a quarter century spent as a reporter and policy analyst covering the ups and downs of America’s trade policies. As my friend and former reporting colleague Bruce Stokes of the Pew Research Institute said recently, for those of us who have labored in the obscure details of U.S. trade negotiations for decades, it has been astonishing to see trade become one of the hot-button issues of the 2016 presidential election. It is even more astonishing to see a Republican presidential candidate running on an openly protectionist platform, and to see a Democratic internationalist like Hillary Clinton running away from her record on trade. Read more »

Restoring Support for International Trade

by Guest Blogger for Edward Alden
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speak at their first presidential debate (Mike Segar/Reuters). Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speak at their first presidential debate (Mike Segar/Reuters).

This is a guest post by John Veroneau, partner at Covington & Burling LLP and former deputy U.S. trade representative. He was also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations Independent Task Force on U.S. Trade and Investment Policy. Read more »

A Winning Trade Policy for the United States

by Edward Alden
Semi trucks line up to pick up shipping containers at the Port of Long Beach (Bob Riha Jr./Reuters). Semi trucks line up to pick up shipping containers at the Port of Long Beach (Bob Riha Jr./Reuters).

The Renewing America initiative is releasing today a new paper entitled, “A Winning Trade Policy for the United States,” co-authored by myself and CFR adjunct senior fellow Robert Litan. The paper is the first of two that will look at new directions for U.S. trade policy at a time when American support for the global trading system is under challenge as rarely seen before. Read more »

How to Fight Secular Stagnation

by Michael Spence
Construction workers work on a taxiway bridge for airplanes (Kai Pfaffenbach/ Reuters). Construction workers work on a taxiway bridge for airplanes (Kai Pfaffenbach/ Reuters).

MILAN – Much of the world, especially the advanced economies, has been mired in a pattern of slow and declining GDP growth in recent years, causing many to wonder whether this is becoming a semi-permanent condition – so-called “secular stagnation.” The answer is probably yes, but the question lacks precision, and thus has limited utility. There are, after all, different types of forces that could be suppressing growth, not all of which are beyond our control. Read more »

Finding a TPP Alternative is Becoming a Priority

by Edward Alden
Delegates protesting against the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement (Mark Kauzlarich/Reuters). Delegates protesting against the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement (Mark Kauzlarich/Reuters).

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, the landmark trade agreement linking the United States, Japan and 10 other Asia-Pacific countries, looks set to become the biggest casualty of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The path for congressional approval was at best a narrow one already, but the growing election-year controversy over the TPP looks to have choked it off entirely. For America’s economic partners in Asia, it is time to start looking for a plan B. Read more »

Growth in a Time of Disruption

by Michael Spence
A man walks past various currency signs (Yuya Shino/Reuters). A man walks past various currency signs (Yuya Shino/Reuters).

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA – Developing countries are facing major obstacles – many of which they have little to no control over – to achieving sustained high growth. Beyond the headwinds generated by slow advanced-economy growth and abnormal post-crisis monetary and financial conditions, there are the disruptive impacts of digital technology, which are set to erode developing economies’ comparative advantage in labor-intensive manufacturing activities. With the reversal of these trends out of the question, adaptation is the only option. Read more »