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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"

Trump May Threaten a Trade War Over NAFTA, but His Options Are Limited

by Edward Alden
Trucks wait in a long queue for border customs control to cross into the U.S. at the Otay border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico (Jorge Duenes/Reuters).

When then-President Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement in a White House ceremony in December 1993, he called it “a defining moment” for the United States and praised Mexico and Canada as “our partners in the future that we are trying to make together.” All three countries had made what then seemed like an irreversible decision to marry their economic futures. Yet today, less than a quarter-century later, those bonds are badly fraying. Read more »

Trump and the TPP: Giving Away Something for Nothing

by Edward Alden
Opponents of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement protest outside of the White House in Washington (Gary Cameron/Reuters).

President Donald Trump likes to claim that he is a smart negotiator. “He’s an amazing negotiator, probably the best in this world,” his attorney Michael Cohen boasted during the campaign. “He will deal with trade and deal with issues.” Read more »

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).

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).

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).

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).

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

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).

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).

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).

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 »