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.

 

Dear General Jones: Add the USAID Administrator to the National Security Council

Last week, I sent a policy memo to the White House recommending they amend Presidential Policy Directive 1 (PPD-1) which sets out the organization and membership of the National Security Council, to add the USAID Administrator.  Why?  Three main reasons:

1.  It puts real action to the Obama campaign pledge and, most recently its new Afghanistan and Pakistan strategy,  to elevate development in U.S. national security and foreign policy.

Do We Need a "Crisis Round" of Trade Talks? (Or Just Faster Dispute Settlement?)

Would a “Crisis Round” of trade talks launched at the London Summit next week be a useful mechanism for averting a further beggar-thy-neighbor protectionism? My colleague Arvind Subramanian and his frequent co-author, World Bank economist Aaditya Mattoo, think so. They argued for such a move in an interesting piece in the Wall Street Journal Asia earlier this week (A Crisis Calls for a Crisis Round):

Will the Financial Crisis Undermine Support for Market Capitalism in Russia?

As part of CGD’s efforts to track the impact of the financial crisis, I have been leading a series of conference calls to discuss how recent policy responses—or the lack thereof—may affect poor people in the developing world. Our latest call on the prospects for Russia suggests that the government could—and should—do more.

Protectionist Snares Along the Road to Copenhagen

Countries importing Chinese goods should be responsible for the heat-trapping gases released during manufacturing, a top Chinese official said yesterday…. "As one of the developing countries, we are at the low end of the production line for the global economy. We produce products, and these products are consumed by other countries.... This share of emissions should be taken by the consumers, but not the producers."

-Associated Press, March 17, 2009

A Cautionary Note on AIG Bonus Clawback: Is the United States Turning into Argentina?

A friend who works in Wall Street was livid upon learning about the U.S. House of Representatives’ move to tax the controversial AIG bonuses at 90 percent. My friend—who is from Latin America and does not work at AIG—said that it looks like the United States is turning into Argentina. He was referring to last year when, in the midst of the commodity boom, the Argentine government attempted to raise the tax rate on the additional profits to around 90 percent and to increase its access to resources it nationalized the private pension plans.

Wal-Mart and the AFL-CIO Agree: The U.S. Can (and Must) Do a Better Job Fighting Poverty, Disease, and Lack of Opportunity in the Developing World

This is a joint posting with David Beckmann, originally appearing on the Huffington Post Web site on March 17, 2009.

In the face of big global challenges, President Obama has rightly called for a new, smarter U.S. foreign policy that focuses on bolstering our long-term security, building our alliances, and expanding global prosperity. A central element of his new approach is elevating U.S. support for global development and balancing it with defense and diplomacy, which in practice means strengthening U.S. foreign assistance and other programs that fight poverty, disease, and lack of opportunity in developing nations.

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