As digital technology creates new and different ways to transact we have witnessed the emergence of new forms of currency and transaction platforms to support different methods and types of value exchange. New methods of transaction could have wider economic and social implications with regard to the extent of government control over the economy; the structure of traditional models of tax, social security and pensions; and the role of individuals and communities in the wider financial system. Because the landscape of innovations in this sphere is broad and fast moving, thought should be given to the potential impact of these changes on wider society, and how they could be harnessed by government, communities and individuals for societal good. This perspective explores how digital platforms are changing the ways we transact and exchange value and the associated societal impact.
After 20 years of on-and-off again talks, the Mercosur trade bloc, consisting of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, and the European Union have reached an agreement to strengthen commercial ties. The deal would form one of the world’s largest free trade areas and includes the elimination of nearly 90 percent of tariffs on both sides. How significant is the Mercosur-E.U. trade deal, and what are its most important provisions? Which sectors in the South American countries stand to gain or lose the most from the agreement? What challenges will the deal face before its final approval, and to what extent could presidential results in Argentina and Uruguay in October affect its implementation?
The US-China trade war will leave both countries worse off in coming years, according to an analysis of current and threatened trade scenarios that is based on a global simulation model of the world economy. The model employed here assumes that US tariffs will raise prices for American consumers and for producers who import intermediate inputs from China, and that Chinese tariffs will disrupt the supply chains of US exporters and producers. Several studies and news reports indicate that these effects are already happening for American consumers and businesses.
On July 10, 2019, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation hosted a panel discussion and spirited debate about the fraught economic and political realities of the U.S.-China trading relationship and the best-available options for policymakers. LA Times Economics Reporter Don Lee moderated the conversation.
Successive Administrations have used sanctions extensively to try to change Iran’s behavior. Sanctions have had a substantial effect on Iran’s economy but little, if any, observable effect on Iran’s conventional defense programs or regional malign activities. During 2012-2015, when the global community was relatively united in pressuring Iran, Iran’s economy shrank as its crude oil exports fell by more than 50%, and Iran had limited ability to utilize its $120 billion in assets held abroad...
The liberal international order set up under U.S. leadership at the end of World War II has produced enormous economic benefits for both the United States and the rest of the world. But recently, the order has been under severe strain, the result of shifting economic forces at home and challenges from new powers abroad. U.S. leadership remains critical to an international order that delivers broad-based prosperity for Americans and stability abroad. In a new essay collection, CSIS experts on economics, trade, energy, technology, and development share their thoughts on how the United States can reaffirm its leadership through smart policies both at home and abroad.
The rapid rise of China to the status of economic powerhouse has roiled marketplaces all over the world and caused serious disruptions in the global trading system. Part of this was inevitable—in economics, as in many things, size matters, and China is the proverbial 800-pound gorilla. Once it emerged from its largely self-imposed economic cocoon, it was bound to leave a very large footprint.But that footprint has proved heavier than expected, in large part because of the policies China has chosen to pursue. Having watched the rapid development of Japan, the original “capitalist developmental state” (a term coined by Chalmers Johnson), and then the Asian Tigers—South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan—China has developed its own blend of state control and market policies, with the emphasis on the former...
The Trump administration's Prosper Africa program, announced in June, aims to double two-way trade and investment between US and African companies. While many development experts welcome the US's commitment to more actively engage with African companies and leaders, questions remain about the program's impact. Will it attract American businesses? Can it compare to China's influence on the continent? Are there enough resources available to support the program? In this episode of the CGD podcast, I host a conversation between four experts on African policy about what needs to happen to make Prosper Africa successful: Landry Signé from Brookings' Global Economy and Development Program, Aubrey Hruby from the Atlantic Council's Africa Center, Judd Devermont from the Center for Strategic and International Studies' Africa Program, and our own Gyude Moore, a visiting fellow here at CGD. On the podcast, they share their expectations for Prosper Africa and discuss the roles that infrastructure, communication, and the new US Development Finance Corporation might play in its impact.
This Global Governance Working Paper is a feature of the Council of Councils (CoC), an initiative of the Council on Foreign Relations. Targeting critical global problems where new, creative thinking is needed, the working papers identify new principles, rules, or institutional arrangements that can improve international cooperation by addressing long-standing or emerging global problems. The views and recommendations are the opinion of the author only. They do not necessarily represent a consensus of the CoC members, and they are not the positions of the supporting institutions. The Council on Foreign Relations takes no institutional positions on policy issues and has no affiliation with the U.S. government.
Trade policy has played and will continue to play a prominent role in forming or curtailing economic opportunity for America’s diverse working class. Unfortunately, President Donald Trump’s renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)—the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA)—does not do enough to consider the needs of working Americans. Among other oversights, Trump’s trade deal lacks certain and swift labor enforcement provisions, fails to mention climate change, and locks in high drug prices for pharmaceutical companies. The proposed trade agreement serves as yet another example of corporate handouts to the very people squeezing the working class and securing greater profits and power for the wealthiest few. Moreover, President Trump’s deal fails to consider the unique needs and concerns of workers of color, continuing a long trend in the trade policy sphere. While race is rarely the focal point of policy debates regarding globalization and trade in the United States, people of color—particularly Black people—are far more prevalent than commonly appreciated in the sectors that are hurt most by trade. Additionally, systemic economic and social inequities along racial lines can intensify the effects of trade dislocations, increasing the need for racially conscious trade policies...
The world’s largest trade area since the advent of the World Trade Organization is rising to the fore in Africa. Yet with so much discussions in the West around disputes with China, it is easy to have missed this monumental geo-economic development...
The Trump administration has raised the alarm about China’s domination of large infrastructure projects in Africa, diagnosing the growing indebtedness of African nations to China as a threat to US national security, as well as the sovereignty of the countries affected. They also correctly bemoan the unfair advantages conferred on Chinese firms by Beijing’s multi-billion dollar financial commitments. China’s commercial interests in Africa have evolved from infrastructure-centric, government-to-government (G2G) financing to challenge areas of traditional US investment strengths, such as foreign direct investment, private equity, and venture capital. As a result, the administration needs to account for the true nature of the economic challenge to US interests that China’s changing engagement with Africa poses.
rade at a Crossroads: A Vision for the US-India Trade Relationship, a joint report with the Atlantic Council's South Asia Center and the U.S. India Strategic Partnership Forum, provides an expert analysis of the current state of the relationship, including recent negotiations, and recommendations for the path forward in the short-, medium-, and long-term. This report urges both countries to prioritize efforts to manage current tensions, reach an early agreement and build on successes to initiate a series of cooperative projects in areas such as intellectual property rights, digital trade and regulatory coherence, mirroring previous successes on the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. Finally, the report provides a sober assessment of future prospects for a bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA). While highlighting many compelling reasons to avoid rushing into exploration of an FTA in the near future, it concludes with a vision of this ultimate form of economic integration through trade negotiations.
The introduction of a revenue-based tax on digital giants by the French government has sparked condemnation on the part of the U.S. administration, and threats of trade retaliation, starting with an official investigation. European divisions had already led to the abandonment of an EU-wide digital tax. While EU-US tensions had so far centred on German exports, how will this new episode affect the political dynamic in Europe on trade issues? An interview with Rémi Bourgeot, economist and associate fellow at IRIS.
Ce premier rapport du Conseil national de productivité (CNP) se veut un tour d’horizon, pour la France, des enjeux et des questions concernant la productivité et la compétitivité. C’est un exercice original qui est amené à évoluer en fonction des discussions avec les partenaires sociaux et les autres parties prenantes, ainsi qu’avec les autres conseils nationaux de productivité organisés en réseau européen. Avec cette version préliminaire du rapport s’ouvre une phase de consultation d’un mois durant laquelle les partenaires sociaux, au premier chef, mais aussi l’ensemble des parties prenantes sont invités à transmettre au Conseil leurs réactions. C’est à l’issue de ces échanges que la version définitive du texte sera publiée.
L'entrée en vigueur de la zone de libre-échange continentale africaine (ZLEC) a été approuvée par tous les pays d’Afrique le 7 juillet 2019. Si les modalités de mise en œuvre de l’accord restent à négocier, l’acte de naissance politique de la ZLEC est de première importance pour l’avenir des relations entre pays du continent, et entre le continent et les autres. Que dit l’accord de libre-échange sur la place que s’assignent les pays du continent dans les relations internationales, et quelles conclusions l’Union européenne peut-elle en tirer ? La lecture politique et stratégique des relations entre ces deux grandes régions constitue un préalable indispensable tant pour les négociations commerciales que pour la coopération en matière de développement durable.
By encouraging clean technology deployment and imposing new costs on commonly traded commodities, climate policy would have significant impacts on international trade flows. This document answers basic questions about climate policy and its implications for the international trade of goods.
If, as some argue, conflict between the Islamic world and the West is on the horizon, then the frontline of such disputes is in the Mediterranean area, where North Africa and southern Europe meet. The fear of increased migration from North Africa into southern Europe co-exists with an inevitable growth in anti-Arab feeling by some Europeans whose own economies are less than robust. As France, Spain, and Italy assume the presidency of the European Union over the next two years, a valuable opportunity to initiate a dialogue on how best to promote the economic and political stability of Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco should also emerge. This paper analyzes the degree to which the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) among the United States, Canada, and Mexico may offer insights and possible solutions to help promote stronger trade among the states of the Mediterranean while at the same time establishing stabilizing economic links among them.
In 1944, an international conference was convened in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, to lay out a framework for international economic relations in the postwar world. The institutions that grew out of that conference --the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)--have generally served us well. But today's international economic environment is much different than could have been foreseen in 1944, and the time may be ripe for a broad rethinking of international economic institutions and arrangements. Four fundamental policy questions underlie debates about the future nature and purposes of international economic institutions. First, should concerted efforts be made to stabilize exchange rates among major currencies? Second, has the expansion of private credit and capital markets eliminated the need for official sources of international credit? Third, do the GATT principles of nondiscrimination and multilateralism still provide the best basis for expanding world trade? Fourth, what aspects of economic regulation require international cooperation?
This study analyzes Chinese commercial negotiating practices for two reasons. The first is to minimize future misunderstandings in such activities, and the second is to provide guidance for government-to-government negotiations. The research procedure used involved interviews with American businessmen and bankers with extensive experience in the China trade, and — in order to control for American cultural factors — interviews with comparable Japanese bankers and businessmen. What was learned from the experiences of businessmen is of value in government-to-government negotiations, even though there are substantial differences between commercial and diplomatic relationships. At present, both Beijing and Washington seek a more cooperative and complementary relationship. By better understanding the Chinese style of negotiating in the commercial realm, we should be able to avoid misunderstandings and achieve desired goals in the political realm.
India has long been a challenging trading partner for the United States. And in the World Trade Organization (WTO), it has wavered between a begrudging participant and a full-scale obstructionist. Successive US administrations have tried to pry open its markets by offering trade concessions to get it to play by the multilateral rules, with limited success.President Donald Trump is now reversing course, as he has on most trade issues, seeking instead to punish India with tariffs. Since the beginning of 2018, his administration has increased duties on 14 percent of India’s exports to the United States. India has recently retaliated by slapping new tariffs on about 6 percent of US exports to India, including $600 million of almonds from California...
With ratification of NAFTA 2.0 still up in the air in the U.S. and Canada, a new international report looks beyond that deeply flawed agreement to imagine a more progressive and truly fair trade regime. The report, which includes contributions by trade experts and activists from all three North American countries, critically analyzes the USMCA (known as CUSMA in Canada and T-MEC in Mexico) and sets out alternatives that would give priority to human rights and the rights of nature over corporate rights.The report challenges both the Trump administration’s trade wars and the broken, neoliberal status quo. It recommends many practical changes to current trade rules, including safeguarding climate-protecting initiatives from trade challenge; fully eliminating investor-state dispute settlement; enshrining labour, indigenous and gender rights; and exempting public services from trade treaty interference. It also looks at ways to replace excessive intellectual property protections with measures that would encourage innovation while supporting user rights, data privacy and access to affordable medicines.
By agreeing to restart stalled trade talks at their meeting in Osaka last week, President Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping averted a new round of punitive measures in a trade conflict that’s moving into its second year.But the respite is likely to be short-lived. The history of international conflicts over trade and economic matters suggests the outcome of the current trade tensions could be just the earliest stage in China’s campaign to replace the current rules-based trade order with a system aligned with Chinese mercantilist policies an practices...
nnovations in technologyhave the potential to enable anddisruptinternational commerce(e.g., online shoppinganddrone delivery services).Along with emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things,blockchainmay change the conduct of internationaltrade, includinghow it is financed, how companies manage supply chains, andhow border officials vet imports.Congress may face questions about the potential benefits and risks of this new technology andwhether, orhow,blockchainshould be regulated.
In this episode, the Trade Guys and Jack Caporal (filling in for Andrew Schwartz) talk with Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM). They discuss what the U.S. should be doing domestically while engaged in a trade war with China.
After nearly 20 years of negotiations, the EU and the four founding members of the customs union Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay)1 have reached an agreement to lower trade barriers, sending a signal to the world’s protectionists that increased economic cooperation and integration can benefit all sides. The accord underscores the EU’s willingness to make trade concessions at a time when the US is threatening to get into a trade war. The four Mercosur countries are betting that they too can benefit from increased trade cooperation. The accord is thus an important accomplishment for both parties...
Like other countries participating in the multilateral trading system, China agreed to limit the use of import tariffs when it joined the WTO. As this column shows, however, it continued to employ other instruments of trade policy, including a new set of restrictions on exports which partly restored the asymmetric treatment of Chinese industries embodied in its pre-WTO import tariffs. Today's tariff wars appear to be just the latest example of an ongoing battle whose skirmishes have taken many forms.
Échec provisoire ou définitif, l’affaire Renault-FCA pose des problèmes de stratégie et de valorisation, de gouvernance et de gestion, d’actionnariat et de diplomatie qu’il faut distinguer si on ne veut pas sombrer dans la confusion. Le débat public sur l’opportunité de cette fusion a oscillé entre considérations patriotiques, défense de l’emploi, appréciations du rôle de l’État, sans que n’apparaissent réellement les enjeux...
Dépourvue de ressources naturelles, la Turquie est très dépendante des importations énergétiques en provenance de la Russie et de l’Iran. Ouvertement opposée aux sanctions contre l’Iran qui entravent son économie, elle a recouru à l’or «non monétaire» (transactions hors pièces d’or et lingots) pour contourner l’extraterritorialité du dollar et fait face aux menaces de sanctions américaines. La géopolitique et l’économie étant devenues indissociables, l’évaluation économique de l’impact des sanctions contre l’Iran sur la Turquie relève d’un exercice très inhabituel, à mi-chemin entre l’analyse économique et le documentaire d’espionnage.
The World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Aid for Trade initiative is designed to connect developing countries to the global trade system in a sustainable manner. For the world’s poorest countries – where trade plays an essential role in their economic development – it can be a powerful tool to help achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)...
Trade has become a taboo topic in climate negotiations on the implementation of the Paris climate agreement. This must change. The nexus between trade and climate change must be addressed in the climate regime. In particular, a definition is needed that will clarify the meaning of a climate “response measure.” Without a definition provided by climate negotiators, the task of defining which national climate measures are permissible and which are not when they restrict trade while pursuing climate mitigation and adaptation will be left to the judges of the World Trade Organization. To avoid a collision between the climate and trade regimes that will potentially be harmful to both, the ongoing deliberation on response measures in the climate regime must be reframed by ending the climate taboo on trade.