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From Big Bird to malarkey to binders full of women, it’s been quite the presidential debate series (there was also that whole dramatic shift in the momentum of the race thing).
On Monday, we’ll hear from President Obama and Governor Romney for 1.5 Bob Schieffer-moderated hours on foreign policy. The topics have already been announced, and while it’s possible some development-related questions could come up (mostly likely under the basket of America’s role in the world), the odds aren’t great. Regardless, here are three questions that I’d like to hear the candidates answer.
“Better late than never” has never been truer. Recent reports (Financial Times, Reuters) indicate that the European Union (EU) is on the verge of reducing tariffs on a range of Pakistani exports for two to three years.
After years of delay, three U.S. trade agreements are finally down to the wire. President Obama has sent Congress legislation to implement long-delayed free trade agreements with Colombia, Korea, and Panama. Congress is expected to vote on all three agreements, and an extension of the Trade Adjustment Assistance program for workers displaced due to trade, on or about October 12, on the eve of a visit to the United States by South Korean President Lee Myung Bak.
A recent Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) report on U.S. trade policy is refreshing. (Full disclosure: I was a member of the thoroughly bipartisan Task Force behind the report—chaired by Andrew Card and Tom Daschle—so you can take my reaction to it with a grain of salt.) What is also refreshing is that there is finally some movement in on trade, with the long-awaited legislation to implement the three bilateral trade agreements, with Colombia, Korea, and Panama, being submitted by the administration to Congress.
The United States could help developing countries by opening its trade with poorest countries.
WASHINGTON — With a complex and difficult situation grinding on in Libya, the uprising in Syria, war in Afghanistan and fresh uncertainty about U.S. assistance to Pakistan, many Americans feel beleaguered about international involvement.
At the same time, they recognize that the U.S. cannot disengage from a globalized world. If only there were a simple, low-cost way for the United States to intervene for good in the world.
Twelve months after the devastating earthquake, some of the fresh ideas CGD policy experts proposed to help Haiti through non-aid channels have gained traction, while others remain relevant, but have yet to be tried. The anniversary is a time to revisit progress and shine a light on untapped opportunities to assist Haitians in their reconstruction efforts through U.S.
A new year calls for a development policy wish list. My wish list is about what the rich and powerful global actors– mostly but not solely in the United States – can do to improve lives among the poor and vulnerable around the world in the coming year.
Earlier this week, New York Times columnist Nick Kristof commented on the dire situation in Haiti, nearly one year after the catastrophic earthquake.
In addition to noting the immediate needs of medical workers and cholera patients, Kristof aptly recognized that trade preference programs are a critical investment in Haiti’s long-term, sustainable development.
This commentary also appeared on The Huffington Post and Global Post
Last week at a United Nations conference, donors pledged more than $10 billion to finance reconstruction and development investments in Haiti. The United States promised a hefty $1.15 billion.
But pledging money is the easy part. The United States, the lead donor and friend with the greatest interest in Haiti's future development, can do much more, in two ways: its own aid programs can be more effective; and it can take steps beyond aid that are far more critical to long-run prosperity for Haiti's people.