The operator’s manual for the popular entry-level Honda Civic is 601 pages. It doesn’t fit in the glove box; it comes in the form of an electronic document to download, which seems appropriate considering the number of electronic components in the car. High-tech, high-cost, components are lightweight and positioned to move long distances on a just-in-time basis.
In the wake of Psy and other K-Pop stars comes the next South Korean culture wave in the form of a 12-step regimen known as K-Beauty. Thanks to trade, more Americans every day are slathering exotic ingredients such as snail mucus, starfish extract, and donkey milk on their faces.
Every January, the global automobile industry gathers in the Motor City for the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). In a celebration of ingenuity, companies display futuristic concept cars, present cutting-edge technologies, and promote their latest offerings.
“I, Pencil, simple though I appear to be…have a profound lesson to teach. And I can teach this lesson better than can an automobile or an airplane or a mechanical dishwasher because—well, because I am seemingly so simple. Simple? Yet, not a single person on the face of this earth knows how to make me.”
Protectionism is making a comeback. Governments aren’t just trying to protect traditional sectors such as agriculture,chemicals, and machinery out of concern for lost jobs or domestic economic interests. They’re also intervening in the digital economy and innovation-intensive industries as critical components of national competitiveness.
The two Section 201 cases that the president will shortly decide—solar panels and washing machines—are good illustrations of how much the trade landscape has changed in recent years and how unexpectedly complicated these decisions have become.
It would be a guessing game to try to predict what the president might do specifically on trade in 2018. Whatever he decides, there are trends morphing the trading system even as the U.S. Government works to figure out its role in shaping it.
New WTO members Afghanistan and Liberia are cheerleaders for other countries seeking WTO membership, including Iraq, Somalia and Timor-Leste. These countries are resolved to rebuild their post-conflict economies and believe that making commitments in the WTO will undergird necessary, but difficult, economic reforms at home.
The WTO’s Accessions Intelligence Portal contains a bevy of information on the accession process, the status of more than twenty governments in the process of becoming a WTO member, technical assistance activities, and other resources.