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The outcome of today’s G20 summit has become even more critical for developing countries as the World Bank revised the 2009 forecast for GDP growth in the developing world to 2.1 percent down from 5.8 percent in 2008. But a draft copy of the G20 communiqué published by the Financial Times could go farther in its commitment to help the world’s most vulnerable countries.
In early 2009, before the inauguration of President Obama, Kim Elliott and I decided it was time to think seriously and coherently about the future direction of U.S. trade policy, especially as it relates to developing countries.
The U.S. Congress launched a new bipartisan Caucus for Congressional-World Bank Dialogue at a packed event on Capitol Hill July 16. The caucus, co-chaired by Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Betty McCollum (D-MN), provides a forum for members of Congress to engage the World Bank, parliamentarians and policy experts on poverty reduction, global development and trade.
A report in the Financial Times by John Thornhill leads with a remarkable quote from French President Nicolas Sarkozy warning the EU that he would block a proposed World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement on agriculture that would reduce European production incentives:
Policymakers and pundits are still scrambling to decipher what the results of the U.S. midterm elections mean for the U.S.’s role in the world. Caught in the middle of this is the question of global trade. Daniel Gross, in Slate and the Washington Post, argues that fears about the incoming Democratic Congress curtailing the nation’s free-trade policies “misunderstand the new politics of trade.”
After the breakdown of WTO Doha Round negotiations this summer, some economists -- including IIE’s Fred Bergsten - are advocating the pursuit of regional or preferential trade agreements (PTAs) to further free trade while the WTO is stalled.