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Showing posts for "International Trade and Investment"

The Keystone Pipeline May be Dead, But Here’s How it Could Blow up the TPP

by Edward Alden
A depot used to store pipes for Transcanada Corp's planned Keystone XL oil pipeline is seen in Gascoyne, North Dakota November 14, 2014. (Reuters Photographer/Reuters). A depot used to store pipes for Transcanada Corp's planned Keystone XL oil pipeline is seen in Gascoyne, North Dakota November 14, 2014. (Reuters Photographer/Reuters).

So much for the U.S.-Canada honeymoon. With the election in October of the new Liberal prime minister Justin Trudeau, both Washington and Ottawa had hoped to put behind them several years of poor relations that had been soured largely by a single issue – President Obama’s dithering and then final rejection in November of the Keystone XL pipeline to bring Canadian tar sands oil to refineries in the U.S. Midwest and the Gulf Coast. Obama was so delighted to see the backside of Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper – an ardent supporter of the pipeline – that he quickly invited Trudeau for a state dinner in Washington in March. Read more »

The New Education Bill May Not Improve Student Outcomes

by Rebecca Strauss
Jaden Perez, 8, participates in a chess-geography lesson at Discovery Elementary School in Sunrise, Florida August 29, 2014. (Stringer/Reuters). Jaden Perez, 8, participates in a chess-geography lesson at Discovery Elementary School in Sunrise, Florida August 29, 2014. (Stringer/Reuters).

Congress is on a roll. First a budget deal, then a multi-year highway bill, and now a K-12 education bill, whose most previous authorization had dated from 2002—the infamous No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The new version preserves the best parts of NCLB, sheds the most flawed parts, and also hands back more education power from the federal government to the states. It is unclear, however, whether this bill will actually do much to improve student outcomes. Read more »

The TPP Agreement: Big Things Are Still Possible

by Edward Alden
Trans-Pacific Partnership TPP ministers press conference Lahaina Maui Hawaii July 31 2015 The twelve Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) ministers hold a press conference to discuss progress in the negotiations in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii July 31, 2015 (Marco Garcia/Reuters).

A dozen countries from the Asia-Pacific region showed today that it is still possible for nations to do big things. Following a week of difficult meetings in Atlanta, trade and economy ministers from the United States, Japan, Mexico, Vietnam and others have reached a final deal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the largest and most consequential trade agreement since the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) more than two decades ago. While there is still a long road ahead to final ratification by the U.S. Congress and other national legislatures, the TPP deal has the potential to reshape an important part of the U.S. economy, strengthen American diplomacy, and launch a new generation of international economic cooperation. Read more »

Trade in Services: WikiLeaks and the Need for Public Debate

by Edward Alden

WikiLeaks has done it yet again, releasing in an extraordinarily timely fashion many of the latest negotiating texts from the Trade in International Services Agreement (TISA), just in advance of a meeting of negotiators next week. Their sources, it has to be said, are impressive. I worked many years ago as a reporter for the newsletter Inside U.S. Trade, where one of our goals, in the pre-digital age, was to encourage leaks of trade negotiating positions. But, with the exception of the Clinton administration’s proposal for the NAFTA labor and environmental side agreements in 1993, we rarely got our hands on the texts themselves. Read more »

The TPA Deal: A Big Step in the Right Direction

by Edward Alden
Barack Obama bipartisan Congressional leaders White House U.S. President Barack Obama hosts a bipartisan meeting of Congressional leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, January 13, 2015 (Larry Downing/Reuters).

America’s politics have been broken for so long that it is rather shocking when things go right. But President Obama’s careful work across the aisles with the Republican congressional leadership to pass a new Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill this week shows that good governance is still possible. Read more »

China’s International Growth Agenda

by Michael Spence
Xi Jinping Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank launch ceremony China's President Xi Jinping (R) meets with the guests at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank launch ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing October 24, 2014 (Takaki Yajima/Reuters).

For most of the past 35 years, China’s policymakers have set their focus on the domestic economy, with reforms designed to allow the market to provide efficiency and accurate price signals. Though they had to be increasingly aware of their country’s growing impact on the global economy, they had no strategy to ensure that China’s neighbors gained from its economic transformation. Read more »

How Warren Would Expand Trade With Asia

by Renewing America Staff
container ship Bridge of the Americas Panama Canal A container ship sails underneath the Bridge of the Americas in the Panama Canal in Panama City August 14, 2014 (Rafael Ibarra/Reuters).

Over the past half century changes in trade infrastructure, such as the growth of container shipping and increases in the size of ports and canals, have had a huge effect on expanding international trade. In a new column for Bloomberg View, CFR Adjunct Senior Fellow Peter Orszag discusses the impact of better infrastructure on increasing trade, and asks why some opponents of trade deals nonetheless support local projects that would increase imports to their states.

A Big Moment for Trade Politics in the United States and the EU

by Edward Alden

This is a big moment for trade politics in the world’s largest democracies. The events of the next few days could well determine whether the United States and the European Union find a new way to lead the international trade agenda, or instead turn inward in the face of growing distrust from their own populations. The European Parliament is set to vote June 10 on a set of negotiating objectives for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). And in the United States, the House of Representatives is moving towards a final vote on President Obama’s request for Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which he needs to conclude both the TTIP and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deals. In this piece out today in Politico Europe, I argue that critics of the trade deals — rather than walking away from the table — should fight to make them better. Read more »

WikiLeaks and Trade: A Healthy Dose of Sunshine

by Edward Alden
FedEx Mojave Airport California A FedEx MD-11 takes off from the Mojave Airport in California (Reuters).

I love WikiLeaks. While I recognize that secrecy has its place, I strongly believe that the affairs of the people should, to the greatest extent possible, be conducted with the full knowledge of the people. Secrecy breeds distrust, and feeds claims that governments are only serving narrow corporate interests. Thus I was delighted to see in my inbox this morning that WikiLeaks has yet again purloined and published a series of trade negotiating texts, this time for the pending Trade in Services Agreement (TISA). Read more »

A World of Underinvestment

by Michael Spence
G20 leaders G20 Leaders Summit G20 leaders watch a cultural performance at the G20 Leaders Summit in Brisbane November 15, 2014 (Jason Reed/Reuters).

When World War II ended 70 years ago, much of the world – including industrialized Europe, Japan, and other countries that had been occupied – was left geopolitically riven and burdened by heavy sovereign debt, with many major economies in ruins. One might have expected a long period of limited international cooperation, slow growth, high unemployment, and extreme privation, owing to countries’ limited capacity to finance their huge investment needs. But that is not what happened. Read more »