Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

Suspending Trade Privileges a Tiny Twig to Push Worker Rights in Bangladesh

The Obama administration has announced the suspension of Bangladesh’s trade benefits under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) over the country’s failure to improve working conditions and protect worker rights. The decision is not surprising given the problems in Bangladesh, but, as I noted here in January, it is purely symbolic. First, GSP does not include clothing. Second, it accounts for a trivial $35 million of duty-free exports, or less than 1 percent of Bangladesh’s total exports to the United States, most of which (90 percent) is clothing. Meanwhile, most Bangladeshi exports face an average duty of 15 percent, one of the highest rates in the US market.

Two Challenges for New US Trade Rep Michael Froman

First, congratulations. In a rare show of bipartisanship, the US Senate overwhelmingly confirmed Michael Froman, previously the president’s top international economic adviser in the White House, as the new US Trade Representative (93-4). Ambassador Froman will have his plate full, with the “mega-regional” negotiations in the Pacific and with the European Union. But I also hope he won’t forget “working to foster development through trade,” as he pledged at his swearing-in.

Global Citizens on the Rise

This is a joint post with Christian Meyer.

Last year I (Nancy) was asked to contribute to the inaugural project of the Global Citizen Foundation (GCF), a new Geneva-based organization that aims to support “research and educational programs that reveal the preferences, capabilities, and choices of the world’s citizens.”  Other researchers on the project include Franklin Allen, a professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania; three CGD Advisory Group members, Jere Behrman, Dani Rodrik, and Andrew Steer; and Arvind Subramanian, a CGD senior fellow. Together we have compiled a set of six thematic studies on finance, demographic challenges, economic growth, resource scarcity, trade integration,

Pages