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Is WTO Reform Necessary?

When the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was first agreed by 23 original contracting parties in 1947, there were no guarantees that the rules would endure. Today, WTO membership stands at 164 countries -- representing collectively, more than 98 percent of global trade. But for an institution to endure, it must remain relevant.

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Trump-Xi Meeting on US-China Trade War: Five Possible Outcomes

The meeting between President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping in Argentina in late November may prove to be a turning point for not only for the US-China relationship, but for global trade. Both leaders enter these discussions knowing the far more important question is whether there can be a sustainable co-existence between a Western market-driven economy with democratic ideals and a centrally-managed Chinese economy led by the Communist Party of China.

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Will China’s Big Techs Overtake Silicon Valley?

Tencent and Alibaba are names you need to know. They are leaders among China's five Big Tech firms. They are growing fast and starting to rival American giants Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft, and Facebook. Whoever among these giants acquires the most consumer information on habits, preferences, spending patterns, and financial behaviors stands to win in our growing global digital economy.

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Toward a Global Cashless Economy

At some point between the start of the Thanksgiving holiday and Cyber Monday, did you reach for your credit card or use another secure payment system like PayPal to make a purchase online? You’re in good company: 259 million Americans routinely buy online. Last year, internet sales in China on “Single’s Day” reached $25.3 billion -- $6 billion more than what Americans purchased online over the entire Thanksgiving weekend. In the future, the whole world just might be cashless.

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Facing Sanctions, Iran’s Oil Tankers Go Dark

On November 5, U.S. sanctions went into effect that target Iran’s energy, shipping, and banking sectors, including vessels and banks called out by name. Ahead of the November deadline, Iranian oil tankers moving supplies offshore went “dark” in unprecedented numbers, trying to cloak their movements.

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First Came Beard-Loving Millennials. Now Razor Makers Face a Close Shave with Steel Tariffs

Well-known razor makers like Boston-based Gillette already face strong headwinds from changing consumer habits: fewer men are shaving as regularly now that beards are more in fashion. Online subscription services like Dollar Shave Club or Harry’s are also putting pressure on prices and profit margins. Now, razor makers are dealing with the problem of tariffs on the specialized steel they import.

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The Secret Postal Organization You Never Heard Of (Until Last Week)

Jayme Smaldone noticed that knockoffs of his Mighty Mug were selling on e-Bay for very cheap and included free shipping. But for his company, the cost was about $6.30 to ship the same (original) mug from their New Jersey warehouse to a U.S. location, even one across the street. How could that be?

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The X Factor That Helps Cities Rebound

A community’s store of “social capital” can determine how well it rebounds from adversity.

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The New Blueprint for U.S.-Backed Development Financing

The BUILD Act enjoyed bipartisan support in the Congress because it represents to many in the development policy community a smarter, more modern way to advance development objectives. The new development financing agency it creates will also provide an alternative to China's aggressive financing of infrastructure projects in developing markets.

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Free Trade is Full of Holes When It Comes to Cheese

American cheesemakers are having a harder time finding an outlet for production through exports. China, Canada, and Mexico are three of the most important destinations for U.S. cheese. But in reaction to U.S. steel tariffs, these trading partners raised their tariffs on cheese. Getting caught in the crosshairs isn’t new for cheesemakers. It’s a sacred cow for many countries (pardon the pun) and therefore a popular pain point to exploit in trade disputes.

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