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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.
United Nations negotiations on climate change have opened in Nairobi with the focus, according to the BBC, on helping poorer countries adapt. This is the 12th set of U.N. climate talks since the Rio Earth Summit of 1992. A U.N.
The Copenhagen Consensus Project recently asked a group of 24 UN ambassadors and other diplomats to prioritize a list of 40 global development interventions. The US was there. Their interesting report places heath and sanitation on top, with education and hunger somewhat lower. Trade, financial, and environmental policies received lowest priority, due in part to political infeasibility.
Nearly every time there is a news story about the billions of dollars flowing to poor countries as remittances, someone worries that not “enough” of that money is being saved and invested. A case in point is today’s piece in the Washington Post. Latin American workers in the US will send home $45 billion this year, but “only a small portion … has gone to economic development.”
The BBC recently featured a story on the flow of skilled Indian emigrants and their offspring returning to India. An Indian official says: "In the 1960s when people left India the buzz word was 'brain-drain'. We see it now as 'brain-gain'."
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.
I am pleased to announce the release of the 2006 edition of the Commitment to Development Index. Each year the CDI rates and ranks 21 rich countries on how much their policies help or hurt poorer nations. The CDI assigns scores in seven policy areas (foreign aid, trade, investment, migration, environment, security, and technology), with the average being the overall score.