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Renewing America

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Showing posts for "International Trade and Investment"

Re-assessing U.S. Trade Policy on the Eve of the TPA Debate

by Edward Alden
CFR Renewing America Trade Investment Scorecard The CFR Renewing America Trade and Investment Scorecard

With the anticipated introduction in Congress this week of legislation that would give President Obama the authority to conclude massive regional trade agreements in Asia and Europe, the issue of trade and its impact on the American economy is about to take center stage in Washington.  To help shine some light on the issues at stake, we have substantially updated and revised, and are re-releasing today, the Renewing America infographic Scorecard and Progress Report on U.S. Trade and Investment Policy. Read more »

The U.S. Trade Deficit: Is It a Problem, or Not?

by Edward Alden

The United States has run a trade deficit with the rest of the world every year for the past 40 years. With the U.S. debate heating up over the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), we will be hearing a lot over the next few months about the trade deficit and its causes. Recently I hosted here at CFR a panel of four extremely bright economists with different views on the subject — Robert Atkinson of ITIF, Robert Blecker of American University, Dan Ikenson of Cato, and Derek Scissors of AEI. I asked them a simple question: “Is the trade deficit a problem, or not?” The debate that followed was extremely lively, with many areas of disagreement but some surprising areas of consensus as well. Have a look. It is worth your time. Read more »

The TPP and the Bicycle Theory of Trade

by Edward Alden
Bicycle Corporation of America plant Manning South Carolina A patriotic label is affixed to the handlebars of each bike at the new Bicycle Corporation of America plant in Manning, South Carolina, November 19, 2014 (Randall Hill/Courtesy Reuters).

I am having a hard time making up my mind about economic pluses and minuses of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the pending trade deal that will deepen economies ties between the United States, Japan and 10 other Asia-Pacific nations. Nick Martin, a cycle shop owner in Colorado who has been made a poster child for the deal by the White House, has shown me why. Read more »

A Bridge Too Far: Made in Detroit, Paid for by Canada

by Edward Alden
Ambassador bridge Detroit Michigan Windsor Ontario Commercial trucks line up on the Ambassador bridge crossing over to Detroit, Michigan from Windsor, Ontario (Rebecca Cook/Courtesy Reuters).

There are two possible reactions to the news that Canada and the United States have finally ironed out the last wrinkle and can now move ahead with the much needed new International Trade Crossing of the Detroit River.  It will create thousands of short-term construction jobs (far exceeding the much better-known Keystone pipeline project) and will speed movement of goods and people between Michigan and Ontario . I know I should celebrate it as a creative example of cross-border cooperation to solve a thorny problem. It is, as the Department of Homeland Security noted, an “innovative approach.” But mostly I’m just deeply embarrassed. To cut to the conclusion: we are getting a new bridge, but our neighbors to the north are putting up every penny for it. Read more »

The “Strong Dollar” Policy: Back to the Future

by Edward Alden
Jacob Lew AT&T Foundry U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew listens during a tour of the AT&T Foundry in Palo Alto, California (Beck Diefenbach/Courtesy Reuters).

The “strong dollar” has been a mantra for the United States for decades. Recently, as the euro has fallen to an 11-year low against the dollar, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has once again been paying homage. “I have been consistent in saying, as my predecessors have said, that a strong dollar is good for the United States.” Read more »

Obama’s Speech: The Conundrum on Trade

by Edward Alden
Barack Obama State of the Union 2015 President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 20, 2015 (Mandel Ngan/Courtesy Reuters).

President Obama urged Congress last night in his State of the Union address to “give me trade promotion authority” to complete “strong new trade deals from Asia to Europe.” If Congress agrees – and it probably will – it will be the first time in his administration that the president has had the authority to move forward on trade. The potential results – a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with Japan and 10 other countries, and a new Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with Europe – would be the farthest-reaching trade agreements in a generation. Read more »

A New Realism: The Independent Task Force on North America

by Edward Alden
Barack Obama speech North American Leaders' Summit Toluca Mexico President Barack Obama gives a speech at the North American Leaders' Summit in Toluca, Mexico, February 19, 2014 (Henry Romero/Courtesty Reuters).

The Council on Foreign Relations has released this week the new report of the Independent Task Force on North America, and for anyone familiar with the long history of efforts to deepen economic integration in North America, the adjectives that probably best describe the report are “pragmatic” and “realistic.” The Task Force, co-chaired by Robert Zoellick, the former World Bank chief and veteran of several Republican administrations, and General David Petraeus, the former commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, urges a series of measures to improve security and boost the economic fortunes of all three countries in an increasingly competitive global market. (I served as an “observer” on the Task Force, which meant I participated in the discussions but was not asked to endorse the report or its recommendations.) Read more »

The GOP’s Tunnel Vision on the Export-Import Bank

by Edward Alden
Republican McCarthy Scalise Boehner Export Import Bank leadership elections Newly elected House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks to the media with new Republican Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (L) and Speaker of the House John Boehner (R) after House Republican leadership elections on June 19, 2014 (Jim Bourg/Courtesy Reuters).

Ask which of the two congressional parties is more in favor of free trade, and the answer is easy: the Republicans. If President Obama succeeds in concluding the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations this year, he will rely on GOP votes, including Tea Party Republicans, to get the deal through Congress. His own Democratic Party is strongly opposed. Read more »

A Conversation on the President’s Trade Agenda with Michael Froman

by Renewing America Staff

Yesterday, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman visited the Council on Foreign Relations to discuss President Obama’s trade agenda. In a conversation with former U.S. Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky, Ambassador Froman highlighted the strategic importance of ongoing U.S. trade negotiations, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the Information Technology Agreement (ITA). Read more »

Obama’s Critical Moment on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

by Edward Alden
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe talks to U.S. President Barack Obama during the opening session of the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague March 24, 2014 (Yves Herman/Courtesy Reuters). Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe talks to U.S. President Barack Obama during the opening session of the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague March 24, 2014 (Yves Herman/Courtesy Reuters).

What does President Obama actually want from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), his administration’s signature trade negotiation with 11 Asia-Pacific countries? During his visit to four countries in the region this week, we may finally get an answer to that question. And it says something about how closely he has played his cards on the issue that it’s rather hard to predict the outcome. Read more »