Posts

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Should Women Have Their Own Provisions in Free Trade Agreements?

As rallying calls of “Trade for All” and economic inclusion reverberate throughout national trade agendas, international forums, and across trade negotiation tables, here’s a closer look at trade and gender issues, how trade agreements of the past have addressed them, and how a new generation of trade and gender chapters aim to change the narrative.

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Time to Renew the WTO

The bountiful show of cherry blossoms in Washington DC is a reliable harbinger of spring renewal. When they bloom in Japan, communities pause to appreciate their beauty and reflect on renewal. As WTO members start to design critical reforms to the global trading system, they should carry a renewed commitment to its future and a renewed vision to match that of its founders.

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Have Trade “Preference” Programs Kept Up with the Times?

The concept of creating a generalized, non-reciprocal system of preferences for developing countries dates back to 1968. But enabling legitimate forms of discrimination has predictably had positive and negative consequences and there’s little economic data to demonstrate the programs have accrued significant benefits.

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Do Food Standards Inhibit Trade in Ugly Produce?

“Ugly” produce is a local trend serving a niche market. But if it does go global, there are a number of changes that would need to be made to standards at international, national and retailer levels on how we define what food “should” look like.

Energy Trade and GATT Rules: Is Something Missing?

Trade in hydrocarbons, fissionable materials and cross-border transmission of electricity largely take place outside the multilateral trading system. Two key developments may now lead to convergence between the energy business and the rules of the WTO.

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Export Controls and the Art of Modern Defense

Export controls are not a new idea. They date back to at least the 14th century when the English tried to keep longbow technology out of the hands of the French during the Hundred Years War. Today, we face a very different world with multiple adversaries, including non-state actors, and no strong consensus on how or when to act.

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Trade Promotion Authority: Driving Trade Deals on the Fast Track to Congressional Approval

A May 17 NAFTA deadline has been in the news. That’s because Congressional leaders have advised the Trump administration that the deal needs to get done soon in order to have a vote on NAFTA 2.0 in this Congress under so-called “fast track” voting procedures. There are all sorts of steps on the timeline built into the Trade Promotion Authority legislation (TPA) for expedited approval of trade agreements. Here’s a short version of the history, context, and essentials of how it all works.

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Sharing Trade Powers

Here’s your annotated guide to the timeline and procedures for “fast track” approvals of U.S. trade deals by Congress.

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The One Trade Lesson Everyone Should Learn: Smoot-Hawley

In Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Bueller’s classmates stare blankly, blow bubbles, and fall asleep on their desks as high school teacher Ben Stein (an economist in real life) explains how the United States sank deeper into depression in the early 1930s. As he drones on, asking the students questions — “Anyone? Anyone?” — few of the movie’s fans realize he’s teaching one of the most important lessons in the history of trade policy: how Congress muffed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930.

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Sorting Product Origin to Secure the Benefits of Trade Agreements

Trade agreements offer a variety of benefits, most notably tariff cuts – but only to goods that qualify. Rules of origin serve that gatekeeper function, aiming to ensure that the benefits of trade agreements go to the goods of the parties.