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Renewing America

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Showing posts for "International Trade and Investment"

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 »

How President Putin Has Given a Boost to U.S.-EU Trade Talks

by Edward Alden
U.S. President Barack Obama participates in a G7 leaders meeting in the Hague March 24, 2014 (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters). U.S. President Barack Obama participates in a G7 leaders meeting in the Hague March 24, 2014 (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters).

When President Obama first announced his trip to Europe two months ago, the main topic was supposed to be trade, particularly the difficult ongoing negotiations to form a new Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). But when he meets Wednesday in Brussels for the first U.S.-European Union summit in more than two years, most of the discussion will be about Ukraine and the Russian annexation of Crimea. Read more »

Investor-State Arbitration in Trade Agreements: A Bad Idea?

by Edward Alden

Dan Ikenson at the CATO Institute has just published a must-read policy memo on the issue of including investor-state arbitration in trade agreements. With President Obama’s ambitious trade agenda stalled in Congress, Ikenson suggests a radical, but to my mind rather sensible, move to break the impasse–drop the provision from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and future U.S. trade agreements. Read more »

After Two Decades, American Trade May Finally Get a Needed Upgrade

by Guest Blogger for Edward Alden
China Shipping containers lie on the dock after being imported to the U.S. in Los Angeles (Lucy Nicholson/Courtesy Reuters). China Shipping containers lie on the dock after being imported to the U.S. in Los Angeles (Lucy Nicholson/Courtesy Reuters).

This is a guest post by Robert Maxim, research associate, competitiveness and foreign policy, for the Council on Foreign Relations Studies program.

In 1989 the government of Singapore launched an innovative improvement to its trade infrastructure. The project, known as TradeNet, was a “single window” system that allowed exporters and importers to file trade documents and pay government fees through an electronic one-stop shop. Read more »

The North American Summit: Robert Pastor’s Roadmap for Progress

by Edward Alden
A monument marks the border between the U.S. and Mexico in Laredo, Texas (Jessica Rinaldi/Courtesy Reuters). A monument marks the border between the U.S. and Mexico in Laredo, Texas (Jessica Rinaldi/Courtesy Reuters).

This week’s meeting in Toluca, Mexico between President Obama and his Canadian and Mexican counterparts offers a long overdue opportunity to jump start a new North American agenda. What should it look like? No one has given better answers to that question than the late Bob Pastor of American University, whose vision of a “seamless North American market” is if anything more relevant today than it was during his enormously productive career. His passing last month after a long battle with cancer was a huge loss. Read more »

Volkswagen’s Tennessee Gambit: Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Union?

by Edward Alden
The Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga ,Tennessee, is shown (Billy Weeks /Courtesy Reuters). The Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga ,Tennessee, is shown (Billy Weeks /Courtesy Reuters).

I have long been a strong advocate of foreign investment in the United States, and have argued against discriminatory tax rules, short-sighted security restrictions, or other government measures that discourage foreign companies. Now Volkswagen, the German carmaker, has given me one more reason to like foreign investors; the company could play a role in changing what has become a self-destructive anti-union ideology that permeates too much of American business and political culture. Read more »

Obama’s State of the Union: A Missed Opportunity for Progress

by Edward Alden
U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union speech on Capitol Hill in Washington January 28, 2014 (Larry Downing/Courtesy Reuters). U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union speech on Capitol Hill in Washington January 28, 2014 (Larry Downing/Courtesy Reuters).

President Obama has been nothing if not a model of consistency in his State of the Union speeches, focusing again and again on the critical need to lift up America’s struggling middle classes. There is no more important issue on the agenda today. But in any political leader, consistency and conviction need to be twinned with a sense of opportunity and timing. And last night’s State of the Union speech was a big missed opportunity in that regard. Read more »

How Obama’s NSA Reforms Could Help TTIP

by Guest Blogger for Edward Alden
A mobile phone simulating a call to German Chancellor Angela Merkel next to a tablet computer showing the logo of the United Staes' National Security Agency (NSA) is seen in this multiple exposure picture illustration (Kai Pfaffenbach/Courtesy Reuters). A mobile phone simulating a call to German Chancellor Angela Merkel next to a tablet computer showing the logo of the United Staes' National Security Agency (NSA) is seen in this multiple exposure picture illustration (Kai Pfaffenbach/Courtesy Reuters).

This is a guest post by Robert Maxim, research associate, competitiveness and foreign policy, for the Council on Foreign Relations Studies program.

On Friday President Obama will unveil his plan to curb the surveillance practices of the National Security Agency (NSA). When he does, he could inadvertently give a boost to the ambitious U.S.-European Union free trade negotiations. Read more »

With TPP and TTIP, U.S. and EU Reassert Control Over Rules of Global Trade

by Edward Alden
U.S. President Barack Obama listens as European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso speaks after an economic summit at the White House in Washington (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters). U.S. President Barack Obama listens as European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso speaks after an economic summit at the White House in Washington (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters).

Never again. That was the sentiment I remember hearing over and over from developing country officials following the tumultuous completion of the Uruguay Round negotiations in 1993 that led to the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) two years later. Once again, most of them believed, the United States and the European Union had dictated the final terms of a global trade agreement and forced it down the throats of the rest of the world. These countries were determined to have far more say in the shape of any future deals. Read more »

Renewing America Progress Report: U.S. Trade and Investment Policy

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

The Renewing America initiative is releasing today a new Progress Report and Infographic Scorecard, “Trading Up: U.S. Trade and Investment Policy,” which looks at the challenges and accomplishments of the Obama administration in international trade policy. As I wrote in an op-ed for Reuters today, “The Obama administration has quietly embraced the most ambitious agenda on trade and investment liberalization in the past two decades.” Read more »