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Quota drawing (1)

Are Quotas Worse Than Tariffs?

With all the focus on tariffs these days, it is easy to overlook the return of another tool used to limit imports: quotas. Both quotas and tariffs are used to protect domestic industries by artificially raising prices in the domestic market. Their administration and effects, however, differ in specific ways.

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Global Arms Trade Highest Since End of Cold War

After a decade of steady increase, the volume of arms trade by 2012 had reached levels not seen since the end of the Cold War. Trade in conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies is regulated through policies that include government defense procurement regulations, national export control licensing regimes and embargoes.

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Wave of Global Sand Trade May Be Depleting Beaches

Sand is a critical component in many of the products we depend on every day. Demand for sand is expected to increase in the coming years, especially in developing countries faced with increasing populations, urbanization and economic growth. But despite its importance worldwide, sand is one of the least regulated resources today.

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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.