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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.
A big fear about the post-2015 development agenda (AKA MDGs 2: The Assembly Strikes Back) is that there will be two competing sets of global goals—one on sustainable Development (based on the Secretary General’s High-Level Panel) and one on SUSTAINABLE development (proposed by the Rio Summit’s
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.
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,
I had the great honor to testify today on US responses to Zimbabwe’s election crisis in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs. Kudos to Chairman Chris Coons (D-DE) and Ranking Member Jeff Flake (R-AZ) for bringing attention to a country that is facing a watershed moment, yet few others in Washington seem to be paying much mind.
The agenda for action to tackle illicit financial flows has passed an important threshold. While the G-8 meeting which concluded today did not agree everything that had been hoped, there was tangible progress in two out of the three main areas.
The UK Ministry of Justice has released interim results for the Peterborough Prison Social Impact Bond: reconviction of former prisoners in the pilot has been reduced by 6% over two years, compared to a national increase of 16% over the same period.